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Delenn of Mir and John Sheridan

Author: NWHS

Author's Note: This story is a gapfiller for the end of Atonement, Season 4: Episode 9 when Delenn and Lennier return to Babylon 5 after Delenn was summoned home to explain her choice of a Human as mate. It's a fun, fluff piece from Lennier's POV. Nothing heavy, it's just a poor Lennier story. A good character turned sad and pathetic. What a waste.

Lennier: Odd Man Out

I watch her as we approach Babylon 5, her spirits happy and free of worry. That wasn't the case a week ago when we made our trek home, our caste having summoned her to explain her desire to mate with a Human. While I disagree with their motives and even their handling of the situation, I too often wonder about her decision to mate with Captain John Sheridan.

Such pairings are truly not the way of our people; yet, she claims to love him, and who am I to question the calling of her heart.

She turns and grants me one of her brilliant smiles. She's thankful for my assistance, my friendship. She walks to me and touches my cheek in a way that I've come to appreciate and desire more than I should.

"What would I ever do without you, Lennier. If it wasn't for your support during the Dreaming, I don't think I could've faced what I did all those years ago."

Her words are sincere, her touch tempting. She doesn't know the affect she has on me, would probably send me back to Minbar if she did. The words that choke in my throat, burn my brain, and overwhelm by heart can never be spoken. They are forbidden, as forbidden as a union between Humans and Minbari. Yet . . .

"I told you before we embarked on our journey, Delenn. 'I have pledged myself to your side . . . come fire or storm or darkness or death.'"

She smiles at me again, caresses my cheek, and then lowers her hand.

"We must strap in and prepare for docking," she says.

I nod and take my seat, wishing the universe would turn the horrible hand of fate, the one that led her to him and not to me.

Fifteen minutes later we are moving through a throng of people, all anxious and chatty. They are far too talkative and happy for my current mood. They are either pleased to be "home" or are first time visitors anxious to see all that the famed Babylon 5 has to offer.

I see him before she does, his black uniform and radiant smile shimmering through the crowd. He makes his way towards us . . . toward her, arms outstretched.

"Hey."

"John," Delenn says, as surprised to see him as I am.

I knew once he heard of her return, he would come straight to her quarters. I thought I had time to prepare myself for the inevitable. I was wrong; he was here and Delenn was pleasantly surprised.

"What are you doing here?" she asks, accepting his eager embrace, the one I long to give her.

Yet, here I stand, the man that foolishly made this reunion possible, head and eyes low, spirits even lower.

"Well, I just heard that your ship was docking and I wanted to make sure . . . you were on it."

They hold hands, staring into each other's eyes and my discomfort level jumps two stories. I have to get out of here, away from them.

"I'll go and see to our things, Delenn. Captain."

I make my way around them and fade into the crowd, knowing my words and departure were vaguely acknowledged by Delenn. Sheridan is with her now. She no longer needs me.

There's a Human saying that fits my predicament and the entire walk to my quarters I try to remember. I give up once I enter. I turn to the kitchenette in search of the ingredients for tea. Yes, I desperately need the warm, aromatic taste of Minbar's finest herbs.

The tea is therapeutic but not as relaxing as meditation. I get up from the small table planning to find my meditative candles, but then I remember. Or rather, I remember that I had forgotten. I didn't secure Delenn's personal belongings, her files and data crystals. I never make such mistakes. I blame Captain Sheridan and his unexpected arrival at docking bay, as I hurriedly make my way out of my quarters.

Half an hour later, items in hand, I briskly walk to her quarters, chiding myself. I enter Delenn's personal code and let myself in. As expected, the outer room is dimly illuminated. I walk to her table and place the folders in a neat pile and the data crystals on top. I turn to leave when I hear a sound coming from her bedroom.

I turn in the direction of the sound. The door to her private chamber is slightly ajar but not enough for me to see clearly inside. I don't have to though, because I recognize the voices.

I didn't think she would be here, figuring the captain would be filling her in with news of Mars, either in his office or the garden. If I had known she . . . or he would be here, I would've requested entrance. Now, I appear to be nothing more than an intruder, a "Peeping Tom," as the Humans say. Although I've yet to meet a Human named Tom.

I quietly move into the shadows and prepare to leave.

"Are you all right, Delenn?" I hear the captain ask. I halt my retreat and turn to stare at the door. I can discern two fingers in shadows.

"Yes, I think so. It's just not what I was expecting."

The captain gave a low laugh.

"Well, I told you what would happen once you set it free."

"True, John, but it's so . . . so . . . big," she finishes.

My hand reaches for something . . . anything. This couldn't be happening, not now, not with me in the other room. But they don't know I'm out here, I remind myself. Still, they couldn't have progressed that far in the mating ceremonies.

I try to think how far they've gotten when I hear the captain again.

"Does the size worry you? It will eventually go down, back to its normal size. It can't stay like this forever, you know."

There is a long silence and I think the horror is over. The thought of the two of them in Delenn's bedroom disgusted and, to my shame, aroused me.

"What if I did this?" the captain asks, and then there was more laughter coming from the room, slapping me in the face, cursing me for the intrusion and my weakness.

And I am weak. My feet cemented to the floor, my body growing hard with unrequited desire.

"Rubbing it, honey, definitely makes it feet better, but there are more effective ways to help ease the tension."

"So, no rubbing?"

It sounded like a question, but I wasn't sure. I move my hand under my robe, trying to release tension of my own.

"Does it feel good to you when you do that?" the captain asks.

"Yes."

Delenn's voice is pitched a bit high, a soft sigh following the simple response.

"Then don't stop, honey. Keep going. Yeah, just like that. Soft, Delenn, remember to be soft. It's more sensitive than you think."

"I know, but I've never done anything like this before."

So, this is their first time. I should've known it would happen eventually. But I thought the Shan'Fal would come first. Then I upbraid myself. Did it really matter when they consummated their relationship? She challenged every clan leader of her caste in order to be with him. Delenn loves him, not you. Get that through your head, Lennier.

"Here, let me show you how it's done, Delenn." Sheridan says. "Just lean back, relax, and watch me."

"Ah, I see— smooth, long, gentle strokes."

That's it, I have to get out of here. I fix my pants and robe, and thankfully, my legs give, allowing me to walk to the door. Just when I reach it, the bell goes off. I stiffen.

"I'll get it," Sheridan says, and I hear footsteps.

I quickly make my way back to the table, pick up the folders and data crystals— my sword and shield.

Captain Sheridan fully opens the door, walks out, and catches my eye.

Surprised, he starts to speak but I'm quicker.

"I just stopped by to leave these for Delenn," I say, lifting my arms and showing the folders and data crystals. I assumed the ambassador was out and let myself in. I hope I didn't interrupt an important meeting between the two of you."

It was the truth at best, misleading at worse. Letting him know how long I've been here wasn't judicious. He didn't ask and I felt no need to elaborate.

He simply smiles, accepting my words at face value.

"Well, I'm glad you're here, Lennier. Delenn could use your help."

Glad to see me? Is this some strange sex game Humans play? Has he corrupted Delenn into participating in some kind of deviant mating game?

I vaguely hear the captain admit someone, voices, and then footfalls. Finally, my name, Delenn was calling me, beckoning me to her room. I cautiously stride forward.

Delenn was lying on her bed, Captain Sheridan, and Dr. Lillian Hobbes at her side. She looks at me and smiles. I return the smile, trying to keep the confusion from my eyes.

"Thanks for coming, Dr. Hobbes," the captain says. "With Stephen away on Mars, you have the run of Medlab."

"Of course, Captain, it's my pleasure."

She sits in the chair that was already stationed at the end of Delenn's bed, and for the first time I notice her foot and ankle.

"So, how did this happen?" Dr. Hobbes asks, looking at Delenn and then to the captain.

I was wondering the same thing.

"Well . . . umm . . . I . . ." The captain stammers, and then glances down at Delenn beseechingly.

She touches his hand, twining her fingers through his, the familiarity and intimacy of it causing me to look down.

"Let's just say, Dr. Hobbes, that John was overly pleased to see me."

I raise my head, eyes focusing on the captain, heat rising within. What did you do? I silently ask.

Dr. Hobbes turns a frowning, albeit inquisitive gaze on Sheridan.

He clears his throat three times, his face starting to redden.

"I tripped."

"If you tripped, how is it then that I'm treating the ambassador instead of you?"

"I was holding her and—''

"You dropped her," I state without thinking, my tone incredulous, accusatory.

"It was an accident, Lennier," Delenn says, touching my left hand with her right. Her warm smile and warmer touch calms my anger. How did she do it? One touch, one look, and I would go through fire for her, sacrifice all that I am and will ever be.

"An accident," Dr. Hobbes repeats, her frown as deep as my own. "What exactly were you doing?"

"If the two of you must know," he starts defensively, "I was introducing my fiancée to the Earth custom of carrying the bride over the threshold."

I am unaware of this particular Human custom, but I'm pretty sure dropping the bride isn't part of the ritual.

I must have been correct because Dr. Hobbes shakes her head and lets out an exasperated sigh.

"It seems like you managed to introduce Ambassador Delenn to another custom instead."

"Yeah, what's that, doc?" He sounds aggravated, annoyed even.

What right did he have to be annoyed? He wasn't the one who was dropped on the floor and had a swollen foot and ankle to show for some ridiculous Human ritual.

"The clumsy husband with slippery hands custom, of course," the doctor says—no hint of professionalism or deference in her tone.

Dr. Hobbes and Delenn laugh, while Captain Sheridan and I find no humor in the unfortunate situation.

"To be honest, Dr. Hobbes," Delenn says, "the captain isn't totally at fault. I . . . umm distracted him."

"Distracted?" Dr. Hobbes responds, eyeing Delenn carefully. Her eyes suddenly sparkle with an understanding I miss. She smiles. In fact, they all smile and I feel lost, abandoned to the currents of the Human cultural tide of alien naivete.

I look at the captain then, really look at him and start to notice details I missed before. His normally tamed hair is tousled and his neatly tailored uniform jacket undone along with the top button of his white shirt. He no longer resembles the immaculate Captain Sheridan who greeted us at docking bay nine only an hour ago. Now I understand the discreet smiles and exactly how the captain had been 'distracted.' Valen, could this day get any worse?

"All right, ambassador, the first thing I need to do is properly elevate your foot and . . ." She surveys the bed. "Does this thing change positions? I mean . . . can it lift so it's horizontal instead of on an angle?"

The question was clearly directed at Delenn but the captain answers all too quickly for my preference.

"Of course, doc, the lever is right here."

He moves to adjust the bed, oblivious to the stares coming from Dr. Hobbes and me.

"What?" he finally says, noticing our knowing looks. "I'm captain of this station; I'm supposed to know these things."

Delenn gives a slightly embarrassed laugh and reaches for him again. For a moment, they are in their own world, the rest of us ceasing to exist.

'He is the calling of my heart,' she told her clan leaders, and so he was.

I slowly step out of the bedroom, Dr. Hobbes and Captain Sheridan clearly having everything under control. I am no longer needed, easily forgotten by the two that would soon become one.

I navigate the corridors of Babylon 5, not yet ready to retreat to the security of my quarters. Then I remember the Human phrase that so eluded me earlier.

"Odd man out, deviating from what is ordinary, usual, or expected; strange or familiar," I whisper aloud, the Drazi female in front of me, turning back, eyeing me with caution. She increases her speed, wanting to get away from the strange Minbari who likes to talk to himself.

Alone again. I wonder if this is my destiny, what the universe has in store for me. I board the lift, close my eyes, and see her face, that wonderful, beautiful face.

I wondered if you were going to leave without telling me. My place is at your side, Delenn.

Not tonight.

Always.

If you go, you may learn things about me that may change your opinion of me,

I have pledged myself to your side . . . come fire or storm or darkness or death. Can understanding be a greater danger?

In this case . . . yes.

I disembark in Down Below, knowing the truth about Delenn's role in starting the Earth-Minbari War; yet, the truth changes nothing in my heart. She was right back then; her anger righteous, justified. But now . . . well now she has lost her way, the taint of Humans have blinded her. John Sheridan may be the calling of her heart, but she is the calling of mine.

Someday, she'll see the truth. Someday, I'll be more of what she wants in a male. Someday, but not today. Today, I'm nothing more than the odd man out, the third wheel.

Odd Man out by Mitchel Musso

I could be the guy with all the clever lines.
Beneath my breath is standing just outside.
You started pulling me in but next to him.
I'm falling further behind.
You don't even know him but I see that three's a crowd.
I am the odd man out.
I don't wanna be but I'm just the best friend now.
I am I am the odd man out.
I am the odd man out.
But I lost myself and let you slide away.
Now there's someone else appearing in my place.
Am I the last one to know or a year too slow?
All I wanted to say.
You don't even know him but I see that three's a crowd.
I am the odd man out.
I don't wanna be but I'm feeling all crushed now.
I am I am the odd man out.
I am the odd man out.
I want in I got something to say.
I could still win this race.
I'm not losing this game.
Cause it doesn't have to end up doesn't have to end up that way.
You don't even know him
You don't really know me but you see that three's a crowd.
I am the odd man out.
I'm just lonely cause I'm just the best friend now.
I am the odd man out.
Listen closely cause you can't be sorry.
I am in ?and bout to drown?
I don't wanna be but I'm feeling all crushed now.
I am I am the odd man out.
I am the odd man out.

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