VOICES (III)

By Frieda W. Landau

 

 

 


   ...4 July 2260:

   Who was it said "The best laid plans...?" Last night was a disaster. And it started out so well, too. Delenn seemed to like the flarn. But I really had to see what was going on below us. Despite what she said later, I think Delenn realized I had to go.

   What a situation! Poor Vir. He's been recalled, demoted in effect. And I believe his marriage is on hold, if not called off. Who would have thought that Vir, of all people, would risk so much to help the Narn. As soon as I can speak to him away from Londo, I'm going to tell Vir that I admire and applaud his actions. I just wish Susan had picked another time to discover what he was doing.

   We were so close. I could smell her hair, feel her breath on my face. She wanted me to kiss her as much as I wanted to kiss her. When she was buttoning my tunic, I was sure she could feel how fast my heart was beating. Damn! Every time I get close to Delenn, someone interrupts. You'd think we 'd get a break occasionally. I'll have to ask Delenn to dinner in my quarters again. But not right away. I think she was embarrassed when Susan interrupted. Maybe I should just take Delenn to Fresh Aire or one of the cafes. I don't want her to think I'm pressuring her or anything...


   ...5 July 2260:

   At least Susan's problem is solved. She's good at finding out and getting around things.

   All she needed was official recognition and approval. She'll get as many Narn to safety as possible, and after =91Consul Lincolni' is dismissed, I 'm sure Susan will find another way.

   I'm sure Susan was not the only one to feel dislocated by all that's happened. I'm going to order all supervisory personnel to report any problems, however slight, that they've noticed since we broke from Earth. I think I'll also order more drills and exercises. It will help improve our battle readiness, as well as keep everyone too busy to brood, I hope.


   ...9 July 2260:

   ...G'Kar has been asking questions. Even Delenn is having problems dissuading him from investigating. It is time, I think, to include him in the War Council. He and his people have more than earned the right. It seems as if we are always asking the Narn to sacrifice themselves in this war. First against the Centauri, and then against Clark's forces here on the station. And every day, countless Narn on the homeworld fight against their enemies in the only way they can - by starving rather than accepting Centauri handouts. G'Kar has been very patient with us. I do not know if I would, or could, be as patient if our situations were reversed. I'll talk to Delenn as soon as possible. I'm sure she agrees with me. She will welcome G'Kar into the War Council, if only to stop his incessant questioning of her.

   ...Strange, I had that dream again last night, the one with Delenn on the Minbari cruiser.

   I thought it would stop when I identified Delenn. What else is the dream trying to tell me? It can't be her involvement in the war. I figured that out even before the dream. It only helped me identify who it was that released me. So why am I still dreaming about that incident?


   ...12 July 2260:

   The Babylon Treaty is finally ready. Now all we have to do is persuade the League to sign on. Susan has talked the Drazi into signing. I think their ambassador still thinks she may have the right to command his obedience. Susan, being Susan, has done nothing to relieve him of this notion. Whatever their reasons, with the Drazi on board, many of the others will follow. The Gaim and the Brakiri will be the hardest to persuade. Delenn has been using all her skills and charm, lobbying for the treaty.

   I think we can do it. While we don't need every member of the League, I would prefer a unanimous vote for the treaty. It would provide the station with more than enough protection and send a message to Clark.

   Stephen tells me we have a most distinguished visitor on board, Arthur, King of the Britons. The poor soul really believes he's Arthur. I guess it 's easier for him than facing who he really is, David McIntyre, first gunner on the Prometheus. If I had been the one to fire the shot that started the Minbari war, I'd want to forget who I was too. I wonder what brought him to Babylon Five?

   He and G'Kar are quite taken with each other. Arthur has knighted him. Malory would have made quite a tale out of the adventures of Sir G'Kar. Marcus has been very helpful, especially at the entry bay. From the report, Marcus prevented McIntyre and the security team from going at each other. It is an amusing situation to the onlooker, but McIntyre's pain is raw and real. I hope Stephen can help him.


   ...13 July 2260:

   McIntyre is going to help the Narn resistance. His friendship with G' Kar is real, and he wants to help. I think McIntyre wants to give his life some purpose, now that he's recovered. The Narn will welcome him. So few outsiders are willing to help them. McIntyre left today with a small Ranger escort until he is clear of Centauri patrols.

   Stephen told me the most extraordinary story about McIntyre's recovery. Apparently he came to the station to find the Lady of the Lake, to return Excalibur to her. Though where he thought he would find a lake on a space station... McIntyre was lying on a bed in Medlab, almost catatonic. Somehow, Delenn came into Medlab. Maybe she was curious to see the man who killed her leader. I don't know. She walked over to stand by his bed. Without a word, she took the offered sword. Stephen said it was as though she was forgiving him. McIntyre seemed to think so. As soon as Delenn left, he started to recover.

   It was a gracious and loving act on her part...


   ...20 July 2260:

   Bester is back. That about says it all. This time, he claims he wants to help us. The hell of it is, if his story's true, we'll need his help, and probably more. I can't take the chance. I have to act, even if he is lying. To intercept the Shadow transport, I'll need the White Star. And Bester will have to be aboard. So much for secrecy. I did hope we could keep the truth of the White Star's ownership from Earth at least a little while longer. I don't like any part of this, but I have no choice. If Bester is lying, I will tear his heart out. Or better yet, I'll let Susan do it.


   ...22 July 2260:

   We have a weapon! Finally, we have a weapon. We will need to test it, of course, try to find out the limitations and problems. At least now we have a chance against the Shadows. If it works, we'll need to recruit telepaths. Lyta may be able to help with that.

   For once Bester told us the truth, or most of it. I'm sure he's holding something back. He always does. This time, I'll let it pass. I sort of feel sorry for him. Now that's something I never thought I'd hear myself say. Yet, I still don't trust him. But he did enable us to disable a hundred Shadow vessels. The Shadows will have to find other central processing units. Bester, I'm sure, will do what he can to keep telepaths out of Shadow hands. I don't harbor any illusions. As long as our goals are similar, he will be our ally. If our goals should diverge, or he can see an advantage, Bester will not hesitate to sell us out. Still, he is on our side, at least for now.

   G'Kar is now a member of the War Council. He has more than paid his dues. Delenn didn't tell me the details of her meeting with him. She probably never will. I do know it could not have been easy for her. When she brought G'Kar into the War Room, I thought for a moment she was going to cry. I wish she would let me help her occasionally. She didn't have to talk to him alone. I guess I'll have to learn not to try to protect her. It's hard, though. My every instinct is to take her in my arms, to shield her from the harsh realities of the universe. That's nonsense, of course. She has been dealing with those realities for a long time without my help. I have to remember that. Remember the steel and fire beneath that sweet face, under that lovely, soft body...


   ...3 August 2260:

   These last two weeks have not been very good for our side. Clark has started his campaign to liberate Mars from the forces of freedom. Unless they get outside help, I'm afraid the Mars resistance is doomed. EarthForce has the resources to conduct a long campaign.

   The Shadows are now attacking openly, as though our encounter last month made their secrecy unnecessary. A number of the League worlds have been hit. Those that have not are reluctant to help their allies. I see their point, in a way. They have no reason to believe we can win, so why should they get involved if they don't have to. The League is barely holding together. If it breaks apart, I'm afraid we will be unable to hold them to the Babylon Treaty, and we will be open to attack.

   Delenn says if we need a victory, I should give them one. Just like that. She seems so sure I can do it. There is a way, but only if the Vorlons take an active role in the fighting.

   They are the only race with the technology and strength to take on the Shadows as equals. I am going to try to make Kosh understand that, make him get involved. Without the Vorlons, there is no hope at all.


   ...6 August 2260:

   Kosh is gone. I never intended that. It is a high price to pay to keep the League together. If I had only known... No, I would still have made the same decision, confronted Kosh in the same way. It had to be done. Even Kosh recognized in the end that it is time to fight this war my way. No more hiding, no more evasions.

   Why didn't he tell me of his danger? We might have been able to protect him. He didn't even let us try.

   ...Despite my growing distrust and uneasiness with the Vorlons, I always liked Kosh. Perhaps like is the wrong word. I have always respected his lessons, even the ones I never understood. Learning from him has made me stronger. I don't know if I'm ready to fight legends, but at least I have a better chance now, thanks to Kosh. I shall miss him.

   Delenn has taken his death very hard. They were friends for a long time, and I think she was closer to him than anyone else. At least she seemed comforted, somehow, by the final ritual of Kosh's death. It was a fitting end.


   ...6 September 2260:

   The new Vorlon ambassador arrived today. We have respected the wishes of his government and concealed the news of Kosh's death. This new ambassador, this new Kosh, is not at all like the original. I don't know why I was expecting him to be; maybe because in those encounter suits, you can't tell one Vorlon from another. The new Kosh seems colder, harder than the old one. He makes me uneasy.

   That Vorlon ship was really something to see - especially up close and personal. I think the ship was trying to say something to me. Hello, I think. I said hello to it. Silly , I know, but it seemed appropriate somehow. Scared the hell out of Susan. I told her I was only doing what she suggested I do when I felt cooped up - taking a walk. I had the very rare pleasure of catching Commander Susan Ivanova completely at a loss for words!

   It is time to test our weapon against the Shadows. There has not been much Shadow activity since the Vorlons drove them out of Brakiri space, but there are signs that lull is ending. If Lyta is willing, I propose to take the White Star to intercept a Shadow destroyer. If Lyta, who is only a P-5, can incapacitate it long enough for us to destroy it, we will try to have at least one telepath on all our heavy ships.

   I'll need someone to interpret for me on the White Star. Lennier, if he 's willing and if Delenn gives him permission. Not knowing any Adronato is becoming a real disability. I'm going to have to learn at least the basic commands. Maybe Delenn will teach me. At least it will give us a reason to spend more time together. If we can find the time...


   ...8 September 2260:

   It worked. We destroyed one Shadow ship, and the others ran. But it was a very near thing. If G'Kar hadn't arrived with reinforcements, we'd all be dead. I was surprised the Narn showed up. They were most insistent about not helping. I don't know what G'Kar said that changed the Narn captain's mind about risking his cruiser. I didn't want to risk any other ships, but the War Council overruled me, I'm glad to say. Delenn insisted that at least a Minbari cruiser stand by to help. When I thanked her, she seemed surprised that I don't take her aid for granted, as a matter of course. I'll thank her properly at dinner tomorrow night.

   I'm worried about Stephen. He's on some sort of search for himself, as I understand it.

   I don't know much about the Foundationist religion he believes in.

   I hope this walkabout, as he calls it, helps him find what he needs to straighten out his life.


   ...10 September 2260:

   I had that dream again. I don't know why I still keep having it. I figured out that Delenn was there, and I know when the events took place, so why am I still dreaming about it. Is it trying to tell me something else? What? And why?


   ...12 October 2260:

   Since they drove the Shadows from Brakiri space, the Vorlons have refused to take an active role again. So far that hasn't mattered. The Shadows have not attacked populated sectors lately, for the most part; they have mostly hit and run along contested border areas of League space. The Shadow forces involved have been relatively small. It is as though they are probing us, looking for vulnerable points. By the time we hear of an attack, it is too late to strike back. They are not really doing all that much damage, and we can't hurt them. This stalemate cannot continue. Sooner or later, the Shadows will attack en masse, to try to inflict a lethal blow. If we cannot stop them, or at least meet them head on, our defeat will be inevitable.

   Clark is concentrating on Mars, but he will turn towards us, eventually. The longer Mars can hold out, the more time we will have to prepare and to recruit allies. Assuming we survive the Shadows. As much as I want to defeat Clark, the Shadow war must be my first concern. I wish I could be sure of the League states. The Minbari are my only dependable allies, thanks to Delenn...


   ...20 October 2260:

   Sometimes I think the universe has it in for me. Delenn and I have had no free time together in - I don't know how long. Either she's busy, or I'm busy, or we're both busy. And the few occasions when we've had time to have dinner together, we talked shop the whole time. Anyone listening in would never believe we have any feelings for each other. Our dinner conversations go something like this: "You look very lovely tonight, Delenn. Have the Gaim agreed to the new fleet rotation?" "Thank you, John. They finally agreed when the Drazi ambassador explained the consequences of refusing." Just once, you would think we would get a break, have some time for ourselves. It's been so long, I'm starting to wonder if I imagined her reaction when we almost kissed in my quarters. No, I'm sure of that. She wanted me to kiss her. Sheesh, I sound like some tongue-tied adolescent. Why the hell haven't I made an effort to kiss her, make love to her. I think she would welcome that. But either the time is wrong, or I'm too afraid to do or say anything wrong. This can't go on. One of us is going to have to make the first move. But who? And when? And where?


   ...25 October 2260:

   I have been thinking about that recurring dream with Delenn on the Minbari cruiser during the war, and what it's trying to tell me. I started having the dream when Delenn and I became friends. Her voice triggered the memories, so the dream took the form it did. I was not surprised to find out that the figure in grey was Delenn, and I was not surprised to hear her say that I had nothing to fear, that everything was all right. I've been looking at it the wrong way round. The dream wasn't trying to tell me the name of my enemy; it was trying to name my closest ally and best friend.

   My subconscious or something was trying to let me know that I could trust Delenn, that I no longer had to regard all Minbari as hostile to me. That at least one Minbari would do all she could to help and advise me. And now, I think the dream is reminding me that Delenn is more than the woman I love, that she is a valuable and potent ally. I think that makes sense.


   ...11 November 2260:

   I look at the date as I make this entry and I can hardly believe it.

   In the past few hours, I have whipsawed back and forth in time. I would like to talk to Delenn about our experiences on Babylon Four, but now is not the time. She is upset about Sinclair's departure, and needs some time alone. Besides, what can I say to her? How do you tell a woman you haven't even kissed that in the future she's going to be the mother of your son? How do I even know that future will come true? In fact, how do I know I didn't hallucinate the whole thing? It felt so real, so wonderful, having Delenn in my arms, kissing her like that, holding her so close. I was tempted to let her continue, not to tell her I was not who she thought I was. I'll never tell her that. Now or in the future. And it is very satisfying to know that Delenn will still love me years from now. I suspect that from now on, when we have no time for each other, when we are apart, that knowledge will warm me, will comfort me. But that doesn't help me decide how much to tell her now or even if I should tell her.

   I will have to tell her about Londo and Centauri Prime. We will have to try to do something to prevent that. What, I don't know, yet we can't just do nothing. Delenn will agree with me about this. She'll also want to know how I know what will happen and what we were doing in Londo's palace in the first place. Which brings me right back to the original problem. I don't know. Maybe I'll just tell her we were prisoners and let it go at that. I' ll tell her about our son, about David, when we're closer to conceiving him. I want to think about this for a while. If I tell her part of what I saw and experienced, she's bound to suspect that there's more I'm not telling her, and she's bound to think I'm trying to protect her, which she hates. Maybe I better not tell her anything...

   A son, a son named David. I can't believe how happy that makes me.

   To know that Delenn and I will have a son, that a piece of her will continue after we're both gone. I hope I was, will be, a good father. I don't have any worries about Delenn. Just from the pride and hope in her voice, the joyful way she said his name, David, I know Delenn will be a great mother, was a great mother. Time travel has a way of messing up your tenses!

   I wonder who we named - will name - him after. My father? Jeffrey David Sinclair? Probably both, knowing Delenn. My God, a son, a son with Delenn!


   ...12 November 2260:

   I have spent most of the day trying to come to terms with yesterday's experiences. I still haven't decided what or if to tell Delenn. Most of my thoughts today have been about Commander Sinclair. To find out that the most revered leader of the Minbari, their greatest religious leader and prophet, is a man I served with, who served under me, how do I deal with that? And how is Delenn dealing with it? She has spent her whole life following the teachings of Valen and preparing herself to fulfill his prophecies. Has her faith survived? I suspect it has. She seemed to know what was going to happen, so perhaps she has already adjusted to this revelation. But still, it must have been a shock. Sinclair was her friend, and she does not hold friends lightly. If I try to talk to her about this, will she be offended or relieved? There is so much I don't know or understand.

   All of us have agreed to keep the secret of Valen's identity. The Minbari are not ready to learn Valen was originally human. There are still too many unhealed wounds from the war. And humans must not know either. There is too much potential for harm. I wonder if the time will ever come when the secret is revealed. Probably not in my lifetime.

   And what of the Rangers? What will happen to them now? Who will lead them? For a time, we can go on as before, at least for the Rangers stationed in this sector. But we will need many more in the coming battle with the Shadows. Will the new Ranger One be fully committed to the struggle? As long as he is not of the Warrior Caste, I think we will be all right.

   I suspect Delenn also had a time flash experience. At the Council meeting today, I noticed her watching me when she thought I wasn't looking. She seemed to be considering something as she looked at me. As if she were measuring me, judging me, for something. I think I passed. Several times I saw her give a secret, satisfied, little smile. I wonder what she experienced on Babylon Four. And I wonder if she will tell me.

   Most of all, I keep thinking back to our son. And Delenn's love.


   ...20 November 2260:

   It's a good thing Delenn is still busy with Ranger ceremonials. I don't know whether I want to hug her or strangle her. Probably a little of both. I can understand her point of view, but she seems to have forgotten mine. What was she thinking of when she decided not to inform me of the threat against her life? Of course, it was her problem, but it was happening on my station. And I am responsible, as commander of this station, for the safety and security of all diplomatic personnel. Has she forgotten that? Never mind our personal feelings. Never mind that I would give my life for her. As long as she is the Minbari ambassador, I am responsible for her life on Babylon Five. By not informing me of the threat, she undermines my authority. And, given that our friendship, at least, is common knowledge, if I fail to protect her, how can the other ambassadors feel secure? If not for Lennier, and Marcus, she could have been killed.

   We both owe Marcus a great deal. Stephen says he will make a full recovery. There were no complications. His injuries are very straightforward. As Stephen put it, "There's nothing except what you would expect to find on someone who's been hit numerous times with a very big stick." I wonder if Delenn has fully accepted that the Rangers are willing to die for her. I think she'll have a problem with that. But it's something she will have to come to terms with herself. Lennier can't help her with this, and neither can I.

   Delenn as head of the Rangers, Entil'Zha, following in the footsteps of Valen. I am so proud of her I could burst. And also a little in awe of her. She is a remarkable person. As remarkable in her own way as Sinclair, or should I say Valen. I feel very privileged to know her, to call her friend, to love her. And to know that she loves me.

   I wonder what her people think of her appointment. I know so little about her life before we met and even less about her position in her government. From little things she's let slip, and from my own observations, I think at least part of her people do not approve of her transformation and her interactions with humans. She has never told me so, and I don't expect her to. I do know that she has been hurt by the reactions of some. That's another thing she'll never tell me.

   I was surprised when she started speaking of her father. She's never spoken of her family before. She seemed so wistful then, so vulnerable.

   I just wanted to take her in my arms, but I had to settle for her head against mine while I hugged her shoulder. I can't imagine her childhood, a life spent mostly in schools and temples away from family. I don't understand her mother's decision or Delenn's acceptance of it. Now matter what she says, I think she was very hurt.


   ...22 November 2260:

   Now that most of the Rangers are gone, and we're as back to normal as this place ever gets, I have to deal with Garibaldi's little adventure. Obviously, we can't let Grey Seventeen remain as it is now. When the sect is relocated, maintenance will have a big job on its hands. After Medlab checks everyone, we can let them settle in that unused part of brown sector. It's not very attractive, or very comfortable, but it's far better than what they have now. They are, however, going to have to find another perfect way to unite with the universe. If they think I'm going to allow another Zarg on this station...


   ...1 December 2260:

   The Shadow war is heating up. I am spending most of my time in the War Room now, trying to anticipate attacks and to coordinate our response. I'm not having much success with either. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to the attacks, or at least I can't find one, which makes responding almost impossible. By the time I can get a fleet to an area, the attackers are long gone. We do not have enough forces to position ships in hyper space near all the League worlds, the only way to counterattack effectively. Unless we can predict where they will strike or the Shadows deploy such a large fleet that we have several days warning, we are at their mercy. And if a massive Shadow fleet gathers to attack, I don't believe we have the capacity to resist them.

   The League worlds are still reluctant to commit the major part of their fleets. There is no more talk of non-involvement. They know now that no world is safe from the Shadows, which makes them very reluctant to leave their home worlds relatively unprotected. Understandable, but frustrating. I would probably get better cooperation if the Vorlons took a greater part. But since Kosh's death, the Vorlons have refused even to talk to me about combined operations. Every time I try to see the new ambassador - I refuse to think of him as Kosh - I'm told he's unavailable. I've tried ta lking to Lyta. Although she is genuinely upset about the ambassador's attitude, Lyta can do nothing, which also upsets her. Not even Delenn has been able to meet with the new Vorlons.

   Delenn hasn't even been able to spend any time with me either lately. Every time we try to make time for more than a brief meal, something goes wrong. Three times now, I've invited Delenn to dinner in my quarters. Twice, she had to cancel at the last minute.

   The third time, I couldn't make it. This is becoming an old-fashioned farce. Only Rebo and Zooty are missing!


   ...7 December 2260:

   I had dinner tonight with some distinguished visitors from Earth. Delenn blackmailed me into it. I'm glad she did. She was so cute about it, I couldn't resist. When she flounced out like that, I almost gave into the temptation to pat her butt. I'm sorry now I didn't. It was good to get away from the War Room for a little while. It was also good to know that we have some support back home, that not everyone thinks of us as rebels and traitors. And these contacts will be very useful when we finally can move against Clark. I enjoyed talking to the clergymen, once we concluded the business part of the meal. It reminded me a bit of dinners at my father's various diplomatic posts. Good food, stimulating conversation, good arguments. And Delenn at my side. A perfect evening. Well, almost perfect. After walking Delenn home, I had to go back to work.


   ...8 December 2260:

   ...Reverend Dexter was right; it is good to just have the company. And it's a chance to spend more time with Delenn. After she dragged me out of the War Room - boy did that bring back memories! Anna used to do the same thing when she thought I was working too hard - Delenn insisted on taking a walk. She wouldn't let me talk about anything having to do with the war or the running of the station. We ended up having a picnic supper in the gardens before the service. Delenn enjoyed the singing and enthusiasm, even though it seemed much less serious and formal than Minbari temple rituals. Lennier looked so bewildered by it all, we both had to laugh. I think I'll get a good night's sleep tonight. I'm much more relaxed. And finally, we can develop a plan to intercept the Shadows.


   ...11 December 2260:

   Delenn kissed me! I can't believe I can actually say that. My heart is so full tonight, I don't know what to say or how to say it. Or where to start. It's easier to start with Delenn's surprise, her first surprise! I can deal with that calmly, I think. When she insisted I come with her, I had no idea what to expect. A whole fleet of White Stars! And more to come! We now have a fighting chance. How was she able to keep their construction a secret? I'm so pleased, I can't even be annoyed at her for not telling me earlier, as she should have. I have a feeling, though, that this is going to be standard operating procedure for the rest of our lives. I'll just have to get used to it, I guess. I can think of worse things than being with a woman who's constantly surprising you. Like kissing you on the bridge of a warship!

   This fleet changes my plans. I had thought to ambush parts of the Shadow fleet with hit-and-run tactics. Now, I have the resources to fight a major battle, to meet them head on when they try to attack the refugee bases, and still leave Babylon Five protected. I've been afraid I would have to risk stripping station defenses to stop the Shadows. I still can't fully believe it. White Stars as far as I could see. And even further.

   I' m still speechless just thinking about it...

   Delenn kissed me. She drew my head down to hers and pressed her body against mine, and then she kissed me. I don't have the words to describe how it felt, how I felt, how I feel. I've waited so long for that to happen. I've imagined kissing her; I've dreamed about it. But nothing prepared me for the reality of her lips against mine, her thrusting tongue, the tender nips of her teeth, the taste of her saliva. And the feel of her in my arms, her scent, her softness pressed against me. I never knew a kiss could be so consuming, so erotic. It was almost like the first time I ever made love to a woman. And as satisfying in its own way. That sounds crazy, I know. Yet, that's the closest I can come to describing it. I felt like we were melting into each other. I can still feel her. I forgot everything, even where we were. I think Delenn did too. Or else Minbari don't have the same attitudes about public displays of lovemaking. We had our clothes on, and all we did was kiss, but it felt like much more was going on. I didn't want to stop, and neither did she.

   When we finally came up for air, I was a little embarrassed about where we were, but not Delenn. She turned in my arms and leaned against me as we watched the fleet fly past. Then, without pulling away, she gave the order to return to the station. And smiled at me and snuggled closer. We stayed like that until we docked. I love her so much. I feel even the universe is too small to contain my love.

   The crew took no notice, or pretended not to. I couldn't tell which. Even the human Rangers. If I had kissed someone on the bridge of the Agamemnon, the hooting and whistling would have been heard halfway to Earth. Maybe someday I'll ask Delenn to explain it to me. When we disembarked, the crew stood at attention as usual, as if nothing remarkable had happened.

   I walked her home afterward, the long way, through the gardens. It took even longer than usual. We kept stopping to kiss every few feet. Finally Delenn laughed and said we would be more comfortable in her quarters. I just looked at her, totally speechless again. She laughed again and said only for a little while. Besides, she wanted to know just what humans meant by making out and now was as good a time as any to learn. I started laughing so hard, I choked. At that, she gave me that wide-eyed innocent look of hers and said if I was unwilling to teach her, she could ask someone else. I told her that wouldn't be necessary. I would instruct her. She kissed me briefly, and we ran the rest of the way. If anyone had told me acting like a teenager at my age would be so much fun and so erotic...I don't think there's ever been a student more willing to learn, or a teacher more ready to teach. I left before things got out of hand. I don't know what Minbari consider proper, and I didn't want to press Delenn for anything she wasn't ready to give.

   Captain's Personal Log: 15 December 2260:

   From the Tactical Bridge of the Minbari Cruiser Delgado...In a little while, a few hours at most, I will lead my fleet into battle against the Shadows. I should be thinking about tactics and contingency plans, about how to coordinate the actions of such a diverse fleet of ships from so many worlds, or about the improbability of even assembling such a fleet.

   If we lose, all is lost. If we win, it is only the beginning of a long and terrible struggle. But I can think of none of this.

   I can only think of Delenn. Of my love for her and my desire to build a life with her. I know now this is what I want. When we return to the station - if we return; no, we will return, I have to believe that. When we return, I'm going to ask Delenn to marry me. I even bought an engagement ring. It's not much, not what I want for her, but the best I can get in the Zocalo. I don't know about Minbari engagement rituals - I'm sure they have some; they have rituals for everything - and I don't think Delenn knows about human customs. Still, if we're going to have a life together, we're going to have to learn each other's ways. And this is as good a start as any.

   Delenn wants to watch me sleep when we get back. Something about the female discovering the true face of the male and deciding if she likes it. Although she was in a teasing mood, I think she thinks it will be a formality in our case. I'm pretty sure I'll pass inspection. Afterward, I' ll give her the ring. I don't know when we'll be able to marry or what she' ll want to do. My guess is that she'll want to follow Minbari traditions. That's fine with me. Whatever it takes to make her happy. I love her so much.

   I'm still not sure how it happened. I can't point to one incident, one day, and say, "Then, right there, that's when I fell in love with her."

   All I know is that it happened. And I'm glad. I really can't imagine my life without her. Ironic, isn't it? Starkiller in love with a member of the Minbari ruling class! Almost as ironic as me commanding from a Minbari cruiser. Delenn always says the universe knows what it's doing. She never mentioned that the universe has such a sense of humor. She must find it just as ironic. Maybe I'll ask her one day. And maybe she'll tell me.

   I wish she had remained behind. But I know she couldn't. Even while I was trying to convince her to stay on Babylon Five, I knew her place is here with the fleet. Both as Entil'Zha of the Rangers and as the representative of the Minbari government. I can't protect her, no matter how much I want to. And I need her here, at my side.

   I'll always need her. She has become as necessary to my existence as food or air. She nourishes me. I never thought I would love again. And I never dreamed I could love like this. The Minbari believe that there are souls who are fated to be together throughout eternity, that these souls seek each other out every time they are reborn. I don't know. All I know is that something in me cries out to be with her, to hold her, to love her. I think, I hope, she feels the same.

   I should try to get some rest while I can. Delenn turned in a while ago. She said she was going to meditate and then sleep. I wish I could do the same. I can never sleep before a battle. I guess I'll find a crew lounge and try to relax...

 

*****

 

 

The JumpNow FanFiction Archive
To submit a story, questions, or removal of your story please mail to fanfiction@jumpnow.de.