Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Delenn of Mir and John Sheridan
Mother's Day on Minbar
Delenn and John Sheridan slept soundly in their bed. Though the sun had risen in the sky over two hours ago and the birds had long since begun their daily lyrical routine, the couple that slumbered lay oblivious to the new day. Exhaustion having laid claim to their bodies only a few hours ago after nearly two days of non-stop negotiations with new Alliance members who just couldn't wrap their brains around the rules governing sovereignty. And yes, sovereignty meant respecting other nation's boundaries not just one's own.
The first day started like any other with Sheridan calling the meeting to order and everyone taking their seats in their respective chairs deliberately and strategically placed by Delenn who knew far more about each race and diplomacy than John. If left up to him, Sheridan would have put them in alphabetical order according to their nation or name or some other arbitrary method. But Delenn knew better and created a seating chart, placing them according to their customs, rank, personal identification, and relationship with other ambassadors. Such were the details and nuances that came with being a diplomat and John Sheridan was still but a babe in the proverbial woods.
Pleasantries were extended, roll call taken, and the minutes from the last meeting read and accepted. Delenn, however, wasn't present and John tried to ignore the nagging feeling that something was wrong. Delenn, like him, was always busy but she'd been especially so the last week. In fact, Delenn had taken many private calls in her study and often ended them whenever he appeared in the doorway. She was a private person by nature, like all Minbari, and Sheridan had accepted that there would always be things about his wife he would never know and she would never volunteer.
But she'd never been openly secretive with him since they'd married. Well, not since the incident with Lennier when they'd both agreed to hold no secrets between them that could possibly hurt the other. Sheridan hadn't truly understood what that promise had cost Delenn until he moved to Minbar and lived and worked alongside them. Minbari would go to great lengths to spare the feelings of another, to avoid embarrassment, pain, and even dishonor. Normally this would come in the form of ignoring the obvious, telling a partial truth, or withholding information.
And Delenn was definitely keeping something from him and Sheridan wondered, as Delenn bowed upon entering the council chamber, if this something is what pulled her from their bed so early and made her late to the meeting. They exchanged nods and smiles from across the room and that was the last moment of peace the universe granted them before all hell broke loose. And so it was for the rest of the day and all of the next, John and Delenn were waist deep in managing one conflict after another while trying to hold onto their sanity and the Alliance, checking on David and assuring the Minbari nanny that Jack and the Beanstalk wasn't an inappropriate book for a child. Although Delenn could see her point and had even mentioned it to John when he brought it home and read it to her.
"He's a thief," she said.
John laughed and shook his head. "He's not a thief, Delenn."
She frowned and read the passage again then said, still frowning, "He took the goose from the big man without his consent. I believe that is called stealing and that would make your Jack a thief."
"Delenn," he huffed giving her a kiss," it's just a children's book."
"I know, John, but between this thieving boy, and the old woman who likes to eat children, and the golden haired girl who breaks into homes and eats someone else's food, destroys furniture, and then falls asleep, I can understand why human children can be so ill-mannered and overactive."
And with this, John released a hearty laugh at his serious wife and was reminded how different they were and why he loved her so. Even after being married to a human for six years and being partly one herself physically, it was times like this that Delenn reminded him of the days in which they were just beginning to know each other on Babylon 5 and her understanding of the finer points of human culture wasn't found in any text she'd ever read or studied.
Nearly twenty hours later, they dragged themselves home, kissed David without waking him, mindlessly undressed, and collapsed on their bed. And there they lay only five hours later as the door to their bedroom creaked open.
Small feet walked silently from one side of the bed to the other, taking in the disheveled appearance of his parents. David Sheridan stumbled as he made his way to his mother's side of the bed, holding a tray like he was a waiter. He placed his load on a low table, smiled at his hard work, jumped on the bed, and yelled, "Happy Mommy's Day."
John and Delenn bolted upright almost colliding into each other. David stood then jumped on the bed, repeating his declaration, "Happy Mommy's Day! Happy Mommy's Day!"
As tired as they both were, the proud parents couldn't help but smile at their very awake son. His smile and gentle spirit was infectious, brightening their day with his mere presence.
"Happy Mommy's Day," he squealed again, jumping off the bed. "I made breakfast for you."
David cautiously lifted the tray off the table, giving his father a warning look when he moved to help. John sat back in bed and allowed his little man to proceed. David awarded John with a smile that was all Delenn, quiet, reassuring strength.
Delenn sat up in bed fully, placed her back against the headboard, and accepted her son's offer.
"What is this?" Delenn asked.
"It's for you, Mommy," David said, crawling back into bed with his parents, displacing his father as he wiggled his small frame between the two.
"I made it all by myself," he said proudly. "Ms. Samrell tried to help me but I told her I was a big boy and could do it myself. I made a little mess and she frowned at me," he confessed, giving his mother his best sheepish look.
"I'm sure Ms. Samrell will help you clean up your little mess," Delenn assured before giving David a hug and kiss. "This looks wonderful, David, thank you."
Delenn took a bite from a burnt piece of something that looked vaguely like bread but tasted more like overcooked meat. She chewed, swallowed, and smiled. Then she took a healthy gulp of milk and was pleased David hadn't included any of his special ingredients he liked to put in his. She looked into his still smiling face and up into John's and realized she would have to suffer in a household with two males who didn't know the first thing about cooking. And in spite of herself, she laughed, running her hand through David's hair.
"Mommy," he complained, "you always do that."
"She treats me the same way," Sheridan said. "That's Mommy's way of saying she loves us both." He grinned at Delenn, causing her to shyly look away and pick at other unknown food items on her plate.
"May I watch the new video Uncle Michael sent me?" David asked of his mother.
"Have you said your morning prayers?" Delenn asked and from the look on his suddenly red face she knew he hadn't.
"Tell you what, sport," Sheridan said, "say your prayers first then you may watch the vid and send Uncle Michael a thank you message."
"Yeah," David yelled, scrambling from the bed, tiny bonecrest peeking out from under a mound of silky, brown hair.
"Michael's going to spoil him with those vids," Delenn said, removing the tray from her lap.
"True, but what are uncles for?"
Sheridan closed the distance between himself and Delenn, took her hands in his, and said, "Happy Mother's Day, honey."
"Thank you, John."
"David couldn't have a more loving and devoted mother."
Delenn looked down at their joined hands and John knew that even after four other Mother's Days, Delenn, still wasn't quite comfortable with the idea of being celebrated for doing what mother's are supposed to do.
He remembered her confusion when he first explained the holiday to her and she glared at him and said, 'I don't understand this human ritual of yours, John. Why is it humans feel a need to constantly thank each other for performing their natural duties? That would be like the warrior caste thanking the religious caste for their prayers or the worker caste thanking the warrior caste for protecting our homeworld. It's what we're all supposed to do. No thanks are required or necessary."
'It's a way of honoring those you love. It's a way of letting the person know they are appreciated and not taken for granted.'
'I don't feel taken for granted, John,' she protested, missing the point. 'I'm David's mother, I do what is required because he is ours, he's a part of us, and I love him. What else is there?'
And for Delenn it was as simple as that; yet, John continued with the annual celebration and Delenn, in turn, tried to do the same for him on Father's Day.
John raised her hands to his lips and kissed each one in turn. She raised her eyes, seeing his love for her reflecting back. "John, I—
He silenced Delenn with a kiss, wrapping his arms around her small waist, and pulling her to him. She was so warm to Sheridan and their bodies melded together perfectly. He pulled her down under him and kissed her fervently, forcing her to squirm under him and moan into his mouth her pleasure.
Sheridan kissed his way from Delenn's mouth, to her chin, down her neck, and to her heaving breasts. He gently sucked her nipples through the thin, satin, black gown he loved to see her in, encouraged when she arched further into his mouth and wound her legs about his own.
"Ah, honey," John, moaned, forgetting how tired he was, thinking only of the beautiful Minbari who'd just relieved him of his night shirt.
Sheridan ran his left hand down Delenn's waist to her hip, and then further south to her soft, toned thigh- massaging and caressing the way she liked.
He penetrated Delenn's mouth with his tongue, sucking, devouring her, leaving no bit of her tantalizing mouth unexplored.
Sheridan pressed his fully aroused body into his wife's, moving between her legs, and lifting her gown to her waist.
"Jooohn," Delenn moaned for a third time, unable to think of what else to say, giving in to her desire to be with him, knowing if this continued, she would be late for her appointment, but not caring in the least. She knew she should, but Delenn could never think straight when John was this close to her, burning a path of wanton desire through her aching body, that was now throbbing with a nearly painful need to be one with her husband.
Sheridan started to remove his wife's panties when a squealing child came bounding into the room screaming something about a Porky Pig and a bald man with a gun. And for the second time that morning, they bolted upright, John quickly drawing the covers over his lap.
"David!" John gritted through his teeth, trying his best not to yell at the innocent child. "How many times have we told you to knock before entering?" John readjusted the covers, ignoring the throb and focused on his son's sudden remorseful features.
"But Dad," the child wined, "the door is open," David said, pointing to the door that was indeed wide open.
"You still need to knock, sport. It's only polite to do so even when our door is open?"
And John couldn't help but notice, once again, how his son questioned his every rule and ran about the house like a raving lunatic when it was just the two of them, but never, not once, had he questioned his mother's directives or acted like anything other than the perfect child in her presence. And here he was, a grown man, explaining himself to a five-year old while his hard earned erection was steadily wilting and if the redness of Delenn's cheeks was any indication, Sheridan didn't think she would be doing anything anytime soon to get it back and in working order. At least not until David was long gone and the door firmly closed and locked in his wake.
"Why? Did I wake you again?" David asked, not in challenge, but a child's genuine curiosity.
"Why were you sleeping on, Mommy?" he said, clearly not having heard or cared for his father's response. "You're too heavy for her, Daddy. You always tell me not to play rough with the smaller kids at temple. You're much bigger than, Mommy. You may crush her then I will have no Mommy."
John's mouth dropped open and Delenn, who was initially embarrassed, couldn't help but laugh. She rose from the bed and took David by the hand. "Come, David, let's get you dressed and ready for temple."
David took his mother's hand without protest, used to the routine, having already forgotten why he'd barged into his parent's room.
"Delenn, what about . . ." John said, nodding to his lap.
Delenn ran a hand over her neck, gave John a wistful smile, and said, "I have something to tend to, John, and if I . . ." she paused, looking down and finding David's green eyes staring intently back at her, "tend to you first, I'll be late," she managed.
"It's Sunday, Delenn, what could you possibly have to do that will take you from home?"
"I won't be long," she said, gripping David's hand, and walking out of the bedroom, having not answered her husband's question.
Delenn had been gone from home for three hours and John was none-too-pleased. She had skirted around his question several times while she dressed, no matter how many different ways he phrased it. Minbari were very good at that and Delenn was an expert. If she didn't want him to know something, he wouldn't, and that made for a grumpy John Sheridan.
She'd taken David to temple and sent him back with a Ranger and now the five-year old was running around the house playing, oblivious to his father's angst about his wife's whereabouts.
John heard the door open and braced himself for the confrontation that was long overdue. The last thing John wanted to do was have a disagreement with his wife on Mother's Day, but damn it, she was acting strange and gave no reason for her actions, and didn't seem to care.
John squared his shoulders as he heard the swish, swish, swish of her silk robe getting closer and closer to the main living area. As she rounded the corner John said, "Delenn I . . ." then promptly closed he closed his mouth. He opened it again, only to find no words.
"Did we surprise you, Johnny Boy?" the familiar voice came.
"Mom?" John said, as his parents descended on him with hugs and kisses.
"Dad . . . Mom," he said again, squeezing them to him and laughing.
"I can't believe you're both here. I can't believe you guys came all the way to Minbar." He looked at his mother, Miranda, and said, "I can't believe you left Earth, Mom."
Miranda Sheridan wiped tears from her eyes, unable to tear them away from her son. "Delenn sent a White Star for us and said if we didn't get on it she would come to Earth personally and land it in our front yard and drag me aboard." She leaned closer to Sheridan and whispered, "I believe she meant it, son, and I dared not say no to her again. She said if we didn't come this time, she wouldn't make the offer again. And I believed that as well."
John held the laugh boiling inside of him, envisioning Delenn threatening his mother who was not only afraid of heights but knew nothing of other races outside of what his father had shared with her from his time in Earthforce.
"Aw, Miranda, what would you have her do?" David Sheridan asked, wrapping one arm around his wife and the other around his son. "She's been trying to convince us, or rather you, to make the trip since they moved here."
And that was news to John. He figured if he didn't make his annual trip to Earth, he would never see his parents, knowing how his mother felt about space travel. Hell, she complained for a month when his father took the family to Canada for spring break. And Minbar was a hell of a lot further than Canada.
"Well, I'm glad Delenn finally put her foot down," David said, "otherwise I'd have to go another Mother's Day with you crying over missing your son."
Delenn smiled, knowing she'd done the right thing. She wasn't sure if treating her mother-in-law like a recalcitrant Alliance member was the correct tact, but looking at the Sheridan's together soothed her soul.
David came running into the living room and stopped in his tracks, hiding behind his mother's robes.
"David, don't be afraid," John said, gesturing for his son to come to him. "Come, son, I would like for you to meet your grandparents."
David gave the strangers an unsure look, but went to his father, looking back at his mother for reassurance.
"It's all right, David," Delenn said encouragingly and the boy walked to his father and grandparents.
John hoisted his son in his arms and said, "David and Miranda Sheridan, mom and dad, this is your grandson, David Sheridan. David, these are your grandparents."
David glared at them at first then smiled a little as their faces didn't seem so unfamiliar.
"Hi, David, remember me?" his grandfather asked. "I've sent data crystal messages to you. We both have," he said, referring to Miranda. "Boy, how you've grown since your last message to us."
"I turned five," David said, revealing two missing front teeth. "Mommy says I'm a big boy now and can start school soon."
"You are a big boy," Miranda said, smiling brightly at her youngest grandchild. "But I hope you aren't too big of a boy to give your ole grandma a hug."
David looked from one parent to the other then at the two smiling faces he'd seen only through data crystals, then lifted his arms. Relieved, Miranda took hold of the slight boy, hugging him to her chest while David Sheridan stroked his hair, steering clear of the sharp bonecrest.
The sight brought a tear to John's eyes and he looked up, searching for the woman who'd made it all possible, but Delenn had vanished. He turned in a complete circle but she was nowhere to be found. Still fussing over young David, Miranda and David Sheridan barely heard John when he said, "I'll be right back."
After looking in the kitchen and their bedroom, John finally found Delenn sitting on the bench on the balcony. It was one of her favorite places, the cool air not enough of a deterrent to keep her from making her daily pilgrimage. She sat as still as a statue, not moving when he opened the door, but knowing she knew he was there.
He stood in front of her and pulled her to her feet and into his arms. They hugged in companionable silence, John not having to voice the gratitude in his heart. And every time, John Sheridan, thought he couldn't love this woman more, she pulls the rug from under him again.
"Thank you," he said, tightening his grip on her. "Thank you so much, Delenn. You have no idea how much this means to me."
Delenn returned the embrace, having some idea what it meant to John to have his parents with him, but she definitely understood how important it was for Miranda to see her son. While Delenn didn't fully understand Mother's Day, she knew the importance of family. And after having, David, she understood the depth of a mother's love for her child.
John only had fourteen years left, and barring illness or an accident of one of the Sheridans, he would precede his parents in death. The thought sent a shiver down her spine and tears down her cheeks. She would never voice this, of course, but the way he hugged her, she knew she didn't have to.
"I've taken the liberty of clearing your schedule for the two weeks your parents are here."
"Two weeks, Delenn? I don't think I can take that type of time off without an ambassador taking a phaser to another one."
Delenn simply caressed his cheeks and said, "I've also rearranged my schedule. I'll take care of Alliance business while you and David spend time with Miranda and David."
John's heart swelled yet again. "I thought this was supposed to be Mother's Day, Delenn. I'm the one who's supposed to be giving you presents, not the other way around."
"John, this is my gift to your mother. She gave me you. This is the least I can do in return and I hope when I send a White Star next year it won't have to be preceded by a threat."
They both laughed then John hugged Delenn again.
"I love you, honey."
"I know, John, and I love you just as much." She smiled mockingly and said, "Sooo, does this mean I don't have to get you a Father's Day gift?"
John laughed, leaned down, and pressed his lips to his wife's. She opened her mouth, accepting his tongue, allowing him to explore her mouth with a familiar passion. She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer to her, heat rising between them as their bodies started to ache for the type of intimacy that couldn't be fulfilled until much, much later.
Reluctantly, they disengaged as three voices could be heard approaching, laughing.
"Later," John whispered. "If you think I'm going to let this little turnabout go unrecognized then you have another thing coming. After we put David and my parents to bed, we're going to have our own Mother's Day celebration. And," he said, swatting her on the bottom a second before his parents and David joined them on the balcony, "I'm going to close and lock our bedroom door."
She smiled, looking forward to her Mother's Day gift, already plotting for Father's Day. Oh yes, she definitely had something special in store for, John Sheridan, and this time no parents or children would be allowed. But that was a month away. For now, Delenn was content to spend her special day with the people she loved most in the world and those who loved her. And that is the meaning of Mother's Day.
Author's Note: Happy Mother's Day to all those women who are mother's to their own children and to other women's children. Where would we be without the love, support, and dedication of the woman who birthed and raised us, or those who stepped in and filled a hole, a need? This was just a little holiday fluff that came from the heart. Hope you enjoyed.