Chapter 4: Women Are From Venus
"You know, John," Delenn said, playing idly with the ribbon on the box, resting forgotten in her lap, "I used to think all Human males were strange, now however, I believe that perhaps it's just you." She shook her head. "How will we ever manage this marriage of ours over the next twenty years?"
John couldn't turn away from her serious and grave expression. Did she think they were too different, their cultures too disparate to be reconciled? Was she now having second thoughts? John's stomach dropped at the thought, as did his head, and then he heard a low rumble of a sound.
He jerked his head up and, indeed, his wife was laughing at him. And not one of those cutesy girlie laughs so many women have perfected, but a sincere, belly laugh he hadn't heard since Rebo and Zootie visited Babylon 5.
"Oh, Delenn, that's not fair. I thought you were serious. How could you put me through that?"
"John," Delenn said, wiping laugh tears from her eyes, "you just dragged me in here after explaining to me about a bachelor party in which it's common for naked women to perform before a group of drunk men, for no other reason than to prove to me that you can get an erection without the aid of a blue pill. I was unaware that men couldn't not get in that state if they so desired."
And there was no humor at all in her voice, John noted, with this last sentence. She was serious. Damn she was serious. Minbari men were not only stronger and lived longer than Human males, but apparently, they didn't suffer from erectile dysfunction. Sheridan wanted to take a PPG to his head. Life was definitely not fair.
She was giving him that quizzical look again, but John refused to be baited. If she wanted to learn about Human impotence, she would just have to learn the old-fashioned way. Not that John expected not to be able to perform his husbandly duties, but let's admit it, those league meetings could drain even the strongest of men.
Taking a deep breath and deciding to salvage his plan, John said, "Remember when you gave me this robe, Delenn."
"Yes, John, you said it looked like a dress and while you appreciated the sentiment, soldiers didn't wear dresses."
John winced, having forgotten that part. Plan B it was then.
"True, honey, but I'm wearing it now, and it's not so bad. In fact, I think it looks rather nice on me."
"It looks as nice as I thought it would, John, but . . ." John didn't like the way she said the word but.
"Why have you decided to wear it now? It's been hanging in that closet of yours for months. Actually, I'd forgotten about it."
"I thought I would wear something you wanted to see me in and you could wear something I wanted to see you in."
"Ah," Delenn said and then peered down at the box with a knowing expression. "I assume there is something in this box you wish for me to put on."
"That would be nice." John was hopeful as he watched Delenn untie the ribbon and open the box.
She removed the pink tissue paper and her mouth opened to say something then shut. It opened a second time but no words came out, just a very soft gasp of . . . Disbelief? Shock? Embarrassment?
Sheridan fumbled to find the right words to fill the uncomfortable silence. "Michael gave me a magazine and I didn't really want it but then I thought 'why not?' I know it's different from your Minbari robes the same way the robe you gave me is different from the type of clothing Human males tend to wear but—''
"These are supposed to be worn?" she interrupted, lifting the skimpy panties and fishnet stockings between her thumb and index finger, looking at them with unhidden disdain. "How?"
She pulled out the remaining garments, her mouth open, brow wrinkled in deep lines, and a small, thin line where her lips should be. "Did you actually pay for these items, John, there's nothing here but a box full of unfinished pieces of silk fabric? A Worker Caste seamstress would be shunned for turning out such a garment. Her clan would disown her and send her to the nearest Temple for prayer and guidance."
Was that a joke or a genuine question and statement? Sheridan honestly didn't know. Delenn looked at him fully then. "I know I have a lot to learn about being married to a Human but I don't think I can . . ." The words stuck in her throat as she looked at the black fishnet teddy and matching stockings. There were garters and other items she didn't even have names for.
"Well, I was thinking . . . well . . . hoping we could do something different."
"Different?" she repeated. "John, we've only been married a few months, I believe everything we do in this marriage would be considered different.
Yeah, this wasn't going well at all. Why did women have to be so logical and intelligent? And John Sheridan had actually married three logical and intelligent women, one from each caste. When he finally realized that, talk about having a duh moment.
"True, honey, but married couples often . . ." He trailed off, thinking he should've waited until they'd been married two or three years. Delenn was right; they were just getting to know each other in the physical sense. It wasn't like they were an old married couple who needed to play dress up to get things going in the bedroom. In fact, they were still considered newlyweds and needed no external stimuli to get them in the mood. But still—
"Are you not pleased?" she asked with a soft, genuine concern that made John want to smack himself for making her feel inadequate.
"No, honey," he quickly responded, moving the items out of his way. "Of course I'm pleased with you. I love the nightgown you have on and the others you wear. Hell, I love you in nothing at all."
This seemed to reassure her but in case it didn't, John kissed her to solidify his point. Taking her in his arms, John pressed their mouths and bodies together, twining his tongue around hers and sucking deeply. Her mouth parted fully to his exploration, each breath heightened as his warm, wet lips slanted and moved sensually over hers, tasting of ginger, lemon, and honey from their tea.
John sucked, bit, and licked, trailing kisses down her neck, sliding one shoulder strap down, and delving into the sweetness between her breasts. They fell back on the bed, rolling on top of the discarded items from Adam and Eve Lingerie.
"I don't need them, Delenn, I just thought you would look damn sexy in them. You are so beautiful. I don't even think you know how gorgeous you are. You turn me on when you're covered from neck to ankle. I just wanted to see you in something different, that's all. Not a big deal, honey, I assure you."
Sheridan removed the other strap, revealing Delenn's upper body to him. She was indeed beautiful, like a flawless pearl he'd plucked from the sea and claimed as his own.
"John," Delenn said, sliding her right hand to his chest and unclasping his robe. "I do like you in this, very much in fact." She pulled his head down to hers with her other hand and kissed him, lifting and opening her legs, allowing him to settle firmly between them. "I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing your gift. I don't even think I would know how to put them on. I can't imagine anything less appealing or dignified than putting unfamiliar clothes on the wrong body parts or inside out."
John chuckled low in his chest, the vibration going through him and into Delenn. "I could put them on for you," he said, taking a breast in his mouth and suckling. "And then I could show you how to get out of them." This time he took the other breast in his mouth, twirled his tongue around the pert nipple, making Delenn gasp and reach for his robe again.
In spite of John's torturous attentions and refusal to let her go, Delenn managed to rid him of the pesky garment. "This is too much to take off when we're like this, isn't it, Delenn," he asked, moving just enough so she could toss the robe on the floor, leaving his hard body naked and ready.
"Yes," she moaned, closing her eyes and raising her hips, allowing John to remove her nightgown. "Oh, yes," she said again, taking him into her body, no longer thinking about Minbari formality or culture clashes.
"You can order something for me, if you like, honey. I promise I'll wear it this time without complaint. Anything you want, just consider the teddy, with or without the stockings and garters."
"I'll consider it, John, if you'll just stop talking and move your hips like that again. Delenn flung her head back against the pillow, her mouth in an O, John fulfilling her request, making them both cry out in pleasure. "Yes, John, just like that. I'll consider your request, but not now. Tomorrow, yes tomorrow when I can think and breathe again."
"No, Delenn, absolutely not."
"You said you would wear whatever I ordered without complaint."
"I did, but I didn't think . . ." Sheridan looked inside the small white box again, and not for the first time this evening, he'd considered strangling his Head of Security, Michael Garibaldi, preferably with one of Delenn's fishnet stockings around the neck that held up his big mouth.
Do you honestly think Delenn of Mir of the Religious Caste would pick such a crass garment?
"Michael," he hissed. "This is all his fault, I could strangle him."
"It's fine, John, you don't have to wear the gift. I release you from your promise," Delenn said, taking the box from her husband's hands. I'll just stick it in the closet on the ledge where my gift used to be."
Sheridan watched as his wife removed a stool from the back of her closet, placed it in front of his own, and climbed it. "Hand me the box please, so I can put it away."
Sheridan gave his wife a considering look. "How did you know where I kept your present?"
"You must have told me."
"Then I must have seen you take it down when you gave it to me."
"You didn't," he said. "I took it down while you were still in the bathroom." He watched as her eyes dropped to the floor and she descended the steps. "I thought Minbari didn't lie, Delenn, and I'm pretty sure you just broke that cardinal rule."
"I was looking for a box I brought to your quarters when I moved some of my things in here. I thought you stored it in your closet so I went hunting for it one day."
"And you came across the package."
"And you couldn't help but open it."
She sighed. "Yes."
"And your Minbari honor wouldn't allow you to admit the truth because it would ruin the surprise I'd planned."
"Yes, John. I forgot that pretty bows and boxes were clues to a gift in Human society. It looked like any other box to me. I didn't mean to spoil the surprise."
Sheridan considered this for a moment and knew it to be the truth, but he'd figured out another truth while she spoke.
He went to his nightstand drawer and pulled out the magazine. He turned to the men's section, looked inside the gift box from Delenn, and turned to page twenty-two and read.
" 'Adonis Boxers, put your goods on display!
If you've got it, why hide it? Showcase your stuff in these hot-looking Adonis Boxers. This is the underwear that has no secrets – the unique design features a see-through mesh panel right where it counts the most, to draw her undivided attention straight to your ramrod-hard manhood.
Imagine her delight as you slowly strip down to these sexy black boxers. Watch her eyes as the shiny wet-look fabric catches her gaze. Wiggle your well-defined butt, then turn around and give her a great peek at your package through the front panel mesh window. She'll love the sight and you'll love her reaction!
But the Adonis Boxers are more than just sexy. They're made of cool, comfortable spandex and polyester that feels great against your skin. Wear them any time: under your clothes for a smooth unrestricted feel, or at home for comfy relaxation. The stretch waist and legs guarantee a perfect fit and feel all day.
Why should the ladies get all the hot underwear? Wear the Adonis Boxers tonight and give your girl a show to remember. The Adonis Boxers come in black only and are imported.'''
Sheridan squinted his eyes at Delenn whose mouth couldn't help quirking in a small smile.
"You ordered this on purpose and others." He flipped to the next page.
" 'Naughty People Boxer Briefs. Slip on a fun and sexy change from your regular 'jammies – these comfortable cotton/poly boxer briefs are a delightful departure from traditional sleepwear. When your lover gets close, they'll see the cute cartoons of naughty naked folks – like the Frankenboner, Strap-on Sue, and the Dirty Sock Monkey! They'll have you both laughing, grinning, and getting into the groove in no time! Imported.'"
He scanned the page one more time and finished with, "'Cyclops Malewear, Show Your Stuff!
This sexy jock gets everything out in the open! Exotic black leather-look fabric surrounds your stuff with nickel-plated O-ring and studs, while the jock back frames your hot buns. 4-way black nylon/spandex. Imported."'
Delenn laughed outright now and flopped on the bed. Sheridan felt totally and thoroughly foxed. She'd turned Michael and his plan on its ear, buying him something so outrageous she knew he would refuse to wear it; thereby, nicely absolving herself from wearing his gift, maintaining her honor and word in the process. Well, she wasn't going to get away with it.
"Where's your gift?"
"What?" Delenn asked, quickly getting to her feet.
"You know, the fishnet teddy with matching stockings. Go get it and put it on for me."
"But . . . but," she stammered, "I just thought you refused to wear my gift. Meaning—''
"Meaning, we'll both look silly together. We made a bargain, remember?"
Now it was John's turn to laugh, for the look on his stunned wife's face was priceless. And since sulking wasn't Delenn's style, she went to her dresser, removed the items, and proceeded to the bathroom.
Sheridan was quite pleased with his maneuvering, that is, until he glanced back into his own gift box. "Aw hell, they probably won't even fit or hold me right." He bemoaned his fate the entire time it took him to undress, claiming the tight, garish boxers were some male hating woman's idea of a torture device aimed at getting back at men for the invention of corsets, bras, and stilettos.
Sheridan was still quietly cursing when he heard the bathroom door creak open. He turned and instantly forgot about the see-through mesh of his boxers. But Delenn hadn't, for her eyes suddenly fell to that region and her face flushed hot and red. Perhaps there was something to be said for silly looking Human clothing after all.
"My God, Delenn," was all he managed to say before they collided into each other like the Titanic hitting the iceberg—powerful, hard, and unexpected. And there was crying, screaming, drowning, and finally a total immersion into the cool, comforting abyss of twined bodies and souls, where Human sexuality crashed into Minbari formality and from it merged a new story, the next chapter.
Searching for her next breath, Delenn said, "You definitely don't need those little blue pills or," she smiled at John naughtily, "that book from G'Kar."
John's jaw dropped. He'd been played. He'd been so focused on winning the battle, he'd foolishly forgotten with whom he was dealing-a master Minbari strategist. He'd lost the war even before Delenn opened the white box with the pink polka dot bow. "You sneaky little . . ."
Thanks for sticking with me. I apologize if the characters were a bit 'out of character,' but I had too much fun writing this fluff to be as precise as I normally try to be. It was just a silly, fun story, a departure from my normal fics, and I hope you enjoyed my temporary state of lunacy.