Reason 25: Last Time
John Sheridan awoke for what he knew to be the last time. After today, there would be no more sunrises for him. No more Alliance. No more squabbling ambassadors. No more long Minbari rituals. No more David. No more Delenn. No more John J. Sheridan.
Eyes still closed, John just lay quietly in his bed, not quite ready to face the end . . . or the unfathomable future. A future without home or hearth.
Not wishing to wake Delenn, John swallowed a sigh as he thought back to the words he'd spoken to his wife last night. "Tomorrow there will be no talk of this. I want it to be a good day, a happy day. I want that. I want it a great deal." And he did. He needed today to not be full of tears and regrets. He needed to be able to leave his home, his family, his mate with the remaining embers of his soul still intact. For John knew that anything less would rip his heart into tiny bits of sorrow and pity.
He shifted, turning onto his side so that he could see the sleeping form of his wife, his Delenn. John watched and listened, the strong up and down motion of her chest affirming her place on this plane of existence. The beat of Delenn's heart was always true, filled with an honorable determination John admired in her long before his own heart had healed from Anna's death.
But it had healed . . . over time and with the help of good friends and an understanding family. But the journey had been a difficult one, a road he would've rather left untraveled. Yet death always came, unbidden, unavoidable.
And now it was John's time to be reabsorbed back into the Universe, the cosmos of stars, of light, of hope, of faith.
John smiled. He couldn't help it. He'd spent the last twenty years living among Minbari and on his last day, he'd just realized how much he actually thought like them. Funny, funny indeed. So funny that he forgot about not waking his wife and laughed. Not loud or long but genuine and refreshing.
As he knew they would, sleepy green-gray eyes opened. Then a happy smile played around the edges of Delenn's lips as they stared at each other. The love this woman had for him was endearing, always shining on the other end of any look she bestowed on John.
"Then you will have it." Delenn's words from the night before. She would give him his happy day. John's last happy day. Her eyes, the way she looked at him said that a Minbari never lies. That Delenn of Mir, no matter how much grief she would endure when her husband left to never return, would honor her vow, John's last request of her. And for that, if it was at all possible, John loved Delenn even more.
John reached for Delenn and she came, body still naked from when they'd made love last night. The last time. Or so John had told himself. Yet the way his equally nude body was responding to Delenn's nearness was a contradiction he welcomed.
With vigor that came from some reserve John didn't know existed, he went about making love to his wife one last time. Knowing when they finished, when they exploded in rapturous, sensual glory, it would truly, inescapably be the last time for John Sheridan and Delenn of Mir.
And when John reached that peak, when his heart raced, skin tightened, muscles clenched, there was only one thing we could say, "Woo hoo."
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who supported this work—reading and commenting. When I began this story, it was not my intention to take months to complete the 25 chapters. But as we all know, real life takes precedence over fictitious ones. Again, thank you.