Disclaimer:Babylon 5 belongs to the Great Maker, JMS, I'm just playing in the sandbox a while. No copyright infringement is intended and no money was made from this. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.
Title: Perhaps to Dream
Genre: Babylon 5 fanfic; John/Delenn
Rating: PG; rated for general concepts
Word Count: (needed for the challenge) 1,856
Timeline: Ah yeah so actually it takes place pre-series, mid-series, and post-series
Author's Notes: Okay so this is the fandom that I originally had this idea for, though I did eventually use it in a LotS fic; there may be some similarities. I finally worked through and finished this older fic though so I could use it for a scifiland love/valentine challenge. The Minbari words are a combination of canon and ones that I used just thinking they sounded appropriate.
And of course, the title is from Shakespeare...
Dreams indicated by italics
Timeline breaks indicated by:
"Shhh..." Delenn whispered urgently to her two giddy friends as the three half stumbled, half danced into a niche in the darkened crystal wall. "We'll be caught," she warned them. "And I for one, do not want to spend tomorrow cleaning the kitchens or the garden fanes."
K'lynn and Mayan instantly sobered, trying to quiet not only their laughter, but the quiet dripping of their robes as well. Their hands plucked quietly at the sodden garments in a hopeful, if somewhat useless gesture.
"Did anyone hear us?" K'lynn whispered.
Delenn looked cautiously out from the niche, her eyes straining slightly in the dimly lit stillness of the corridor. She ducked back into the shadows of the niche.
"There's no one there. We should go," she replied.
The three girls slipped out into the corridor, almost painfully aware that they were leaving a trail of wet footprints that glimmered softly in the low light, and Delenn cringed a little at the sound their wet slippers made on the cool crystal floor.
"Would the Sech really make us clean the garden fanes?" K'ylnn asked worriedly.
"Or the kitchens?" Mayan asked back.
"Shhh..." Delenn urged, pulling them back to the wall with her as a light flickered down the hallway. They waited in tense silence, hoping that whomever held the light down the corridor would turn right or left. Delenn sighed when it became clear that that wasn't going to happen. She stepped forward, unconsciously shielding her friends.
"Delenn..." Sech Lili'anna said, coming to stand before the girls.
"Sech Lili'anna," Delenn replied in a more dignified tone than any young temple novice in wet slippers and dripping robes should have been able to carry.
"I trust we're done with all of our excursions for the evening."
"And I trust that this one was well worth it?"
"That's not clear yet, Sech," Delenn replied.
Lili'anna wrinkled her brow thoughtfully but otherwise made no reply. Delenn stood steadily beneath her gaze.
"And you were the leader of this little excursion, yes?" The Sech asked finally.
"I was," Delenn replied over the objections of her fellow novices.
"Then I look forward to seeing you after morning devotions when we'll discuss the consequences of what being a leader might be."
Delenn nodded and began to walk away.
"Well, go on girls," Lili'anna encouraged the other two. "Delenn is a fine example, and it would do well for you both to follow it."
Confused, the two stumbled and then managed to catch up with Delenn where she continued to pace down the corridor.
"What just happened?" K'lynn asked uncertainly.
Mayan eyed her friend and replied, "I'm not sure. Delenn?"
Delenn squared her shoulders and walked on.
The other two shrugged and followed. They finally made it to their own chambers and entered almost solemnly. It lasted just as long as it took for them to change, and then K'lynn laughed, brandishing a small flower studded twig. Mayan laughed as well, and produced her own trophy, the flowers losing pink petals on the floor as she did so.
"Where's yours, Delenn?" She asked, turning to her friend.
Slowly, Delenn produced her own twig, studying it critically.
"You two don't really think that this will work do you?"
K'lynn shrugged. "It does no harm to try," she replied.
"Remind me of that when I'm cleaning out the kitchens tomorrow," Delenn countered dryly.
"Oh, they won't make you do that, will they?" K'lynn asked, suddenly concerned. Her eyes watered ever so slightly as she looked a her fellow novice.
"I'm sure they won't," Delenn comforted.
"And if they do," Mayan added. "K'lynn and I will help."
K'lynn nodded earnestly and Delenn smiled before asking, "Well, K'lynn, this was your idea, what's next?"
K'lynn smiled and dashed to her small trunk. From it, she produced three red ribbons that she waved in the air triumphantly. She handed one each to the other girls and kept one for herself.
"We're supposed to tie a red ro'jos ribbon around the li'assa twig. Then we put it under our pillows and that's it," she explained with a small grin.
"That's it?" Delenn asked, again eying her own twig dubiously. "And we dream of what's meant to be?"
"Our true destinies," K'lynn confirmed brightly.
Mayan laughed with anticipation and barely contained delight.
"From a twig..." Delenn said slowly with her own small smile.
"A li'assa twig, gathered in the dusk and dew, on the eve of Tyr," K'lynn half-chanted in a sing-song sort of voice before giggling a bit helplessly herself.
Delenn shook her head little, but smiled and tied the red ribbon around her flowered twig carefully. She slipped it under her pillow and climbed into bed slowly, letting the sound of the rain lull her to sleep...
Delenn could feel the cool mist like silken curtains brushing against her skin and her closed eyelids. The mist pressed down on them a moment before she slowly opened her eyes to the glimmering twilight that surrounded her. She looked up at the stars whirling above her and brushed her arms across the dew softened grass beneath her where she lay. She closed her eyes again, still moving her arms and enjoying the sensation of peaceful warmth that filled her until suddenly from just above her, she heard her name being called. She opened her eyes quickly to meet the strangely familiar ones that looked down at her. Strangely familiar, because they belonged to someone she was certain she had never met before. Indeed, as she studied the boy looking down at her, she realized that not only was he someone she had never met, he wasn't even Minbari. He wasn't even of a race she had ever seen before.
"How you know my name?" She asked as he stepped back, allowing her room to stand before him. He shrugged.
"The same way you know mine I suppose," he replied.
"John..." she almost whispered, surprised that she did, in fact know his name.
"Actually, I think I know a whole lot about you," he confessed, still smiling. "And I bet you know just about everything about me too."
He stepped forward, and it took almost everything in her for Delenn to not step forward herself.
"And don't you find that..."
"A bit weird?" John finished the question before she could. He shrugged again. "I suppose," he admitted before taking another step toward her. "But it feels right too, you know. Like that's how it's supposed to be."
He looked up then and whispered softly, "Na'chea, Duvea na." Then he looked back at Delenn as the first glimmering drops of rain began to fall from the purple sky. He smiled and beckoned Delenn closer. She took a deep breath and then closed the distance between them.
"Guess I've been falling for longer than I knew," John whispered, his breath warm as it brushed over Delenn's skin.
"I'll catch you," she replied before he suddenly kissed her...
"Come," Delenn said as the bell to her quarters chimed.
"You would not believe the day I've had," John said as he stepped through the door. He stopped short at the sight of Delenn kneeling before a candle. The soft golden light haloed her and revealed that she wore nothing beneath her sheer white ceremonial robes.
"Delenn?" John asked, tensing as he looked around, and seeing no one else, visibly relaxed.
Delenn hid a small smile and gestured him forward to kneel across from her.
"I have to warn you, I'm not sure how focused I can be on a ritual right now Delenn," John admitted, trying to keep his eyes dutifully trained on hers.
Again, Delenn hid a small smile.
"There is no ritual John, not for several more weeks," she assured him before reaching for a small wooden box placed before her. She handed it carefully across the candle flame to John.
"A gift," Delenn replied simply, waiting for John to open it.
"A gift... I..." the Captain opened the box and took out the dried twig with a curious expression. "It's ummm... it's..."
Now Delenn did smile.
"It's from a li'assa plant."
"Ahh..." John replied a bit uncertainly, but trying to understand.
"There is an ancient tradition from the time before Valen, when it was thought, that if one gathered a li'assa twig at just the right time, tied a red ro'jos ribbon around, and slept with it beneath one's pillow, that the one who did so would have a true vision."
"A true vision of what was meant to be; one's true destiny," Delenn replied.
John fingered the dried pink petals carefully.
"And did you; have a vision I mean?"
"I did," Delenn answered simply, meeting John's eyes.
John gently set the twig in the box as Delenn rose from where she knelt. He took her hand as he she offered it to him and followed her as she lead him back to her bedroom...
Delenn tried not to wince as she opened the small wooden box, consciously ignoring the pain in her arthritic hand as she did so. Carefully, she lifted the twig from the tiny chest and examined it's brittle form. She fingered the ribbon, faded to a soft pink that matched the last silver tinged petal remaining.
"Gathered in the dusk and dew," she whispered.
Then slowly, her body refusing to let her move any faster, she made her way to her bed. She tilted it with aching deliberation to horizontal position before slipping the fragile twig beneath the three sided pillow. She lay herself down.
"Na'chea, Duvea na," she whispered, closing her eyes for one last time as the sound of a light rainfall filled the room that the Sisters of Valeria had provided her with for her stay in the abbey...
Delenn could feel the cool mist like silken curtains brushing against her skin and her closed eyelids. The mist pressed down on them a moment before she slowly opened her eyes to the glimmering twilight that surrounded her. She looked up at the stars whirling above her and brushed her arms across the dew softened grass beneath her where she lay. She closed her eyes again, still moving her arms and enjoying the sensation of peaceful warmth that filled her until suddenly from just above her, she heard her name being called. She opened her eyes quickly to meet the familiar ones that looked down at her.
"I've been falling for a long time," Delenn said quietly.
"I know," John replied as he offered his hand to her. She took it and fell into his welcoming arms. "It's okay, I've been waiting to catch you..."