You Must Remember This

Minbar 2271

"What are you doing?" The voice was low and soft, and came from the direction of the doorway. There was little background light in the room. Most of it came from a row of small softly glowing pyramids situated along the front edge of the large desk at the far end of the room. The dim flicker from a comscreen on a low table revealed a dark figure seated on the couch.

John Sheridan was sitting comfortably in his study waiting for the sun to rise, and the day to begin. He couldn't sleep. The pressures of his position imposed on his mind some nights. At times, even the presence and rhythmic breathing of his beloved wife beside him couldn't help him find peace. He'd finally gotten up, and put on a vid, hoping it would lull him to sleep. It was one of a set they'd received as a tenth anniversary present from Michael Garibaldi. Instead of relaxing, he'd found himself caught up in the story, as old-fashioned and dated as it had seemed at the beginning.

"I couldn't sleep." He patted the couch cushion, and Delenn settled down beside him. Her body was still warm from their bed, and the black silk of her gown fell in soft folds outlining her figure. She pressed up against him, and he put one arm around her to pull her close. "I thought I might as well get up and wait for morning, but I couldn't settle to work or find anything I wanted to read. So..." and here he gestured towards the screen with his free hand. His other hand was occupied absently caressing the bare skin of her shoulder. In her current position, nestled under his arm, the thin strap of her gown was slightly loose. He hooked one finger under it, running it along the strap, slowly moving it towards her arm. That gown was one of his favorites; once you'd moved the strap off the shoulder, it had an alarming propensity to fall further, revealing what it was meant to conceal.

"What is it that you are watching?" Delenn pretended to concentrate on the screen, where black and white human figures moved and spoke. All her focus was on John's hands, one warm on her thigh, the other working the strap of her sleeping attire down her arm. The silk on her leg slid up and down, a little further upwards each time, she thought. The smooth fabric across her chest caught on her sensitive and now erect nipples as he maneuvered the strap down. "Who are those people?" she asked, trying to keep her voice steady. The thought of what he might do next made her almost dizzy with anticipation. Part of her marveled that even after ten years, the effect had not lessened.

"Two lovers," he replied, shifting his body towards her. As his robe fell open, he felt her hands slide into the gap, and open it further. Her hands and arms moved over his body, like silken ropes tying him to her in welcome capture. "Separated by a war, I think."

"That is unfortunate. But it seems they have found one another again." She could barely hear her own voice now, the sound of her heart was so loud in the pre-dawn quiet. There was music coming from the player, a simple plaintive melody that managed to penetrate her distraction. You must remember this... She had her hands on either side of his face now, fingertips stroking the soft facial hair, the slightly rough skin around it. The heat from his body warmed her and she breathed in his scent, a subtle masculine fragrance all his own. His eyes were focused on hers, their ever-changing colors dim in the faint light from the screen. A kiss is still a kiss... Oh yes, she thought, gently guiding his lips towards hers; it was that and much more. When John kissed her, it was joy and hope, a declaration, and a promise.

John leaned into her kiss, reveling in the feel of lips and tongue, the warm wet embrace of her mouth. It was never enough. If he kissed her once a day, once an hour, once a minute, until the end of time; it still wouldn't be enough. A sigh is just a sigh... He felt her breath catch as his hand tangled in the folds of silk, then finally slipped inside and cupped her breast. She sighed into his mouth, and he kissed her harder, more urgently in response. It was as if he drank life from her lips. The song wove around them as they continued to move against each other; their bodies shifting and merging into one flesh, one heart, one soul. He never felt more alive than at these moments.

"John," said Delenn when she broke free to take a shaky breath. "Come back to bed. It is still early."

It seemed like a fine idea, but then he could barely think at all at that point. And there was something else, tugging at his awareness. He'd been wanting to do...something, what was it? The fundamental rules apply... "I was going to watch the sun rise," he said. His protest was only a token, and he knew it, as did she. Some small rational part of his mind wondered what time it was, as if that was of any importance. Another errant thought occurred to him, "Besides, the movie isn't over. I want to see how it ends."

Her lips, moist and full, curved upwards in a slight, knowing smile. "The sun will rise on other days. And there is plenty of time to watch the end of the program..." She stood and glided towards the connecting door that led to their bedroom. "Later," she added in conclusion, turning back towards him. She stood framed in the doorway, the yellow glow from the bedside lamp outlining her figure with a golden aura.

The insistent melody curled around his mind as he stood to follow, admiring the view as she posed, but wasting no more time in joining her. He paused to discard his robe, but she caught up his hand impatiently, and pulled him towards the bed. The slick dark sheets lay in folds like clouds on the horizon awaiting the kiss of the sun. It seemed to him that time stood still, but the movie continued to play, and both love stories continued to unfold.

As time goes by, concluded the song. And time did go by, as it always did, and always would. The sun would rise; night would give way to morning's bright promise. But that particular morning, neither John nor Delenn would be there to see it.