WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

By Jennie Moore

 

 

 

 

 *****

Delenn woke with a start. 'What had just brushed up against my leg' she wondered. Then turning slowly, noticed John sleeping peacefully beside her. At that moment it all came back to her. The wedding the day before, the reception, and then John carrying her over the threshold of his..'our'..quarters, she corrected herself. She had dreamed of this morning for a long time and now that is was finally here, she was overwhelmed with emotion, mostly of her love for John.

   As if sensing her staring at him, John stirred and turned over to face her. "Good morning, Mrs. Sheridan," he said to his 'bride'. John waited for her reaction, when she smiled back at him.

   "Good morning, Mr. Sheridan," she said...and reached out to brush his hair back off his face. John took her hand and gave it a gentle kiss..moved over closer to her and kissed her on the lips. She responded and pulled herself even closer. He ran his hand up through her hair, sensing again, how soft it was. He couldn't believe that she was actually here..in my.. 'our'..bed, he corrected himself.

   As he pulled back a little from the kiss, he quietly said to her "I love you."

   "I love you, too," she said. 'How have we come this far..in such a short amount of time' Delenn thought. 'Will he feel this way in the years to come...will I?' She knew that it would only get better as time passed on. But looking into John's eyes she had no doubts left. The love that shinned in his eyes, mirrored the feelings in her heart.

   John moved to cuddle up next to her, holding her in his arms. "What would you like to do....aside from cuddling up here?...Its already 10am, so I guess breakfast is out, but we could go to the Zocalo for lunch?" he remarked as he nuzzled her neck.

   "Lunch at the Zocalo would be nice..so maybe we should get up, shower, and dress."

   "Sounds good..you go ahead and shower first, I want to check in with C & C."

   "Okay...but you promised that you wouldn't work today and I'm going to hold you to it."

   John held her tighter and kissed her neck. "I know...nothing is going to take me away from you today. Nothing!" declared John.

   -----

   But there was something happening already. Something that neither John or Delenn knew anything about.

   "We can get them when they leave their quarters," said one of the conspirators.

   "Right. But wait in the lift...then grab them," the other one declared.

   "Got it!"

   ---

   John and Delenn left their quarters and headed for the lift. Holding hands, walking side-by-side, they hadn't noticed how quiet the corridor was. When they stopped in front of the lift, John reached to summon it. The doors opened and they stepped in. They were not the only ones there. There was a man standing behind them. All three acknowledged each other. "Zocalo" John said and the lift started to move.

   John realized that something was wrong. The lift had gone past their destination. And the man behind them suddenly drew a weapon.

   "Don't make any sudden moves Captain..I don't want to hurt you ...or you 'wife' " The last word was said in disgust.

   The lift stopped somewhere in the 'Down Below' section of the station. As all three stepped off, another man came rushing up.

   "Okay...we got them..now lets get out of this area. We don't want anyone tracking us down."

   John was beginning not to like the situation and was worried for Delenn. She must have sensed his fear, for she turned to look at him. "Its okay..just do as they say." John told her, putting his arm around her.

   "That's right..just do what we tell you..and maybe you won't get hurt," said the man that had been in the lift with them. He pointed the weapon down the corridor; signaling for them to head in that direction.

   As they where being hustled down the corridor, John was internally kicking himself for not putting his ComLink on before they left their quarters. John didn't want to do anything that might get Delenn hurt, so he followed instructions without protest. He had no intention of letting Delenn know how scared he was for her.

   John could almost make out what the two men behind him where saying.

   "Jack, take them to the area where we planned on keeping them till the ship is ready to leave."

   "Right, Morty."

   'So', John thought, 'their names are Morty and Jack. Well...that's more information than I had a few minutes ago...they keep this up and I might find out what's going on.' John looked down into Delenn's eyes. He could tell she was frightened.

   "Turn left at the next corridor." Jack said. "And then we will see just how brave you really are Captain Sheridan."

   John tightened his grip on Delenn and kept moving. It was like all his survival training was kicking in. John had faced enemies before, even with someone that he loved right beside him. But somehow this was different. Delenn wasn't just another shipmate or comrade...she was his wife. And no matter what happened, he was going to see that she was safe.

   They reached the corridor and made a left, finding themselves in a small alcove. "Okay..that's far enough...get on the floor Sheridan, face down, hands behind your back." Jack told him.

   "You," referring to Delenn, "Stand over there." He gestured to a corner of the alcove.

   "It will be all right, Delenn. Just do what they say." John told her, as she moved slowly out of his grip.

   "Okay Morty....you know what to do."

   "Right, Jack." Morty replied, as he tied up John. When he finished his gaze turned to Delenn.

   Delenn watched as Morty tied up John. She could tell that he was being bound too tight, for he grimaced in pain. "John!" she cried.

   "I'm all right, Delenn." He tried to reassure her. 'She will be okay..if she stays calm' he thought.

   "All right, Captain..let's see just how much you care for this alien 'freak'." Moray said.

   And as John tried to look over his shoulder at him, he saw the weapon aimed at Delenn.

   Delenn had watched the man pull the weapon out and aim it at her.

   "Don't..." But the cry died when the shot was fired. John turned back, just in time to see Delenn fall to the floor.

   She thought she heard John cry something, but couldn't make it out. Suddenly pain shot through her body and she fell to the floor. Her last thought was of John.

   "AAA...poor Sheridan..just watched his wife die," spat Morty. Then he reached down and dragged John to his feet. "Lets get out of here." he said to Jack.

   John was being dragged, fighting, out of the alcove. He took one last look over his shoulder at Delenn. He could see blood soaking through the front of her dress. And she seemed to be struggling to breathe.

   "Delenn!...Delenn!" John cried. But she never moved.

   -----

   Delenn felt as if she was floating....when she sensed someone was looking for her..needing her. She was having trouble breathing...having trouble staying connected to herself. She felt as if she was floating in a warm pool..only when she opened her eyes, did she see that the pool she was in...was her blood.

   Delenn knew that she needed help...and needed it right now. She struggled to move, when pain shot through her whole body. Her breathing became labored. She started clawing her way across the floor. She knew that she wasn't that far from the corridor that her and John had been led down.

   'I can make if there' she told herself. And with what little energy she had, forced herself to move. It took everything she had just to make it to the corner. As she looked down the corridor, the lift seemed miles away..but in reality it was only about twenty-five steps.

   As she pushed her way up the wall, trying to stand...she became dizzy. 'The lift...please John...give me the strength to get there' she pleaded. And as if John heard her...she gained enough strength to make it.

   She summoned the lift. When it arrived...she collapsed in it...letting darkness take her once again.

   -----

   "Security to MedLab," came a very frantic voice.

   "MedLab...Doctor Franklin."

   "Do...we need help..fast! Ambassador Delenn has just been found. We're in the Zocalo...you better hurry..she's lost a lot of blood."

   "I'm on my way" Doctor Stephen Franklin replied. Turning to his staff, he assembled a team and headed for the Zocalo.

   -----

   Meanwhile in the Captain's office, Commander Susan Ivanova was going over daily reports. She was cursing John for leaving things such a mess the last couple of days. but then she couldn't blame him. His mind had been on other events, like his wedding...and she couldn't have been happier for him.

   She was just looking up from one of the reports, when Security Chief Michael Garibaldi walked through the door.

   "Good morning, Commander. " He said, then stopped in his tracks when he saw the pile of paperwork that was in front of her. As he turned to make a hasty retreat, she said one word.

   "Halt!"

   "Look, Commander, I don't want to keep you from your work." Garibaldi said. Trying to find some way to get out of the office before she 'volunteered' his help.

   "Relax Michael, I was only going to ask about the Captain. I haven't heard from him since he checked in this morning." Susan said, as a way to get him to stay.

   "I haven't heard from him all day. But then I hadn't expected to..it is their honeymoon after all," replied Michael....with somewhat of a grin on his face.

   "I know, I just thought you might have seen them or at least heard from them." Susan said. She couldn't begrudge them the time alone. She had been honored when Delenn had asked her to stand up with her at the wedding. And at the reception, Delenn had made a public thank you. That statement had meant so much to Susan.

   "Well..I'm sure we will hear from them. We are having dinner with them tonight."

   Just then his ComLink went off. "Security to Garibaldi," came the voice at the other end.

   "Garibaldi here...go"

   "Sir..we just got a report from MedLab. Ambassador Delenn was just found in a lift. She has been taken into surgery. No word on the whereabouts of the Captain." Said the officer.

   "What's her condition?" Michael inquired.

   "Doctor Franklin couldn't give me a full report, only to say it wasn't good."

   "I'm going to MedLab, you check out the lift where she was found. Oh and see if anyone can locate the Captain." Susan said, as she headed out the door and to MedLab.

   "Right" he replied to Susan. Then turning back to the link "I'm on my way to you now..don't touch anything. " He said and practically ran out of the office.

   Both Officers know what their priorities are and they were not about to let John Sheridan down. The Captain had seen them through a war with the Shadows and Vorlons. If they could get past that together, they felt there wasn't anything that they couldn't handle.

   -----

   On her way to MedLab, Susan contacted C & C and told them that no ships where allowed in or out of the station until further notice.

   As she entered MedLab, she could tell that things where not going well. Doctor Franklin was still in the isolation room. The look on his face was grim. He was working frantically to stabilize Delenn.

   Susan noticed that Delenn's face was ashen. As she stood at the window watching Franklin work on her, she couldn't help but remember what Delenn had said at the reception.

   ----Delenn stood up from the long table, where the wedding party was sitting, and tapped a knife on the glass in front of her. After getting everyone's attention she said "I just wanted to say 'Thank You' to Susan. She has been a good friend to me and to John. I was honored by her acceptance to stand with me. So Susan..a toast to you..may you find the happiness and love that you deserve.----

   Susan's eyes stung with unshed tears. "How is she?" she asked, as the doctor exited the isolation room.

   "I've got her stabilized. She's lost a lot of blood." Stephen told her, then asked "Have you found the Captain yet?"

   "No...not yet. He doesn't seem to have his ComLink on, so we don't know where he is"

   -----

   When John had lost sight of Delenn..he seemed to stop struggling. 'God...Delenn...I'm sorry...so sorry..' he said, as a silent prayer to her. He had no idea if she was alive or not.

   "What's wrong Sheridan...don't like the wedding 'gift' we gave you!" Said Jack. Then he shoved John from behind, causing him to stumble and fall. With his hands tied behind him, he couldn't break his fall. John hit the floor...the side of his head hitting the hard surface.

   "You better pray my wife is alive!" John said, through clinched teeth, as he struggled to stand.

   "Oh! And just what are you going to do..seems to me your in no position to bargain." Said Morty. "Do you think anyone has missed you yet?"

   John was just getting his feet under him, when Jack knocked them out again. As John fell on his back, he kicked up with his feet, only to miss his target.

   Jack reached down and grabbed the front of John's shirt "You keep fighting with us and I'll see to it no one will find your body. NOW!...get to your feet...or I'll see that you'll never stand again!"

   John managed to get to his feet. He didn't like the way they kept talking about Delenn...'Please, just be all right' he thought.

   "Okay...move!" Said Morty.

   As they made their way down the corridor, John was trying to get his bearings within the station. He knew they where still in the 'down below' area. But since he didn't get down there much, he didn't know his way around. They stopped outside a door.

   "Okay...Sheridan..inside." said Morty.

   Jack opened the door and shoved John in. The room was dark, except for one light hanging from the ceiling. John had moved forward into the room and turned to face Jack.

   "I've been wanting to do this for along time Sheridan." He spat out.

   John never knew what hit him. Suddenly he was being attacked from all sides of the room. There was at least four others there. He tried to defend himself...but with little success. At that moment, he knew he was in desperate need of help. As they kept hitting him, he fell to the floor. And with one final, well placed kick to the head, John passed out.

   -----

   When Security Chief Michael Garibaldi made it to the Zocalo, he found Sgt. Zack Allan looking kinda grim.

   "Zack, what have you found?" asked Michael.

   "Nothing Chief....we only found the Ambassador's fingerprints and blood." That last part made him a little queasy. "And we still don't have any word on the Captain's whereabouts."

   "Any witnesses to the lifts arrival?" Inquired Michael.

   "Just the person that reported finding her."

   Garibaldi had the feeling that they where going to get nowhere with this investigation. He took one last look around the area, decided it was in capable hands, and headed to the MedLab. 'Hopefully, Delenn will be able to tell me what happened...and where the Captain is' he thought.

   -----

   John slowly came around. His head hurt bad...and so did the rest of him. 'I must have broken ribs, too' he thought, as he was having trouble breathing. He found that he was alone in the room...the same one that he had been attacked in. And that his hands had been untied.

   He slowly pushed himself up, to sit with his back against a wall. He reached up to feel for the lump on his head, only to find his hand come away with blood on it. 'Well...you should have known that' he thought.

   When he saw the blood, his thoughts turned to Delenn. 'Are you still alive?....God Delenn..... How did I let you walk into this with me?' John felt tired and defeated with those thoughts running around in his mind.

   'I promise Delenn, if you are in that place...'where no Shadows fall'...I will do what ever I can, to see that whoever put you there, will pay for it' And with that, he passed out again.

   -----

   "We just got word, no shuttles...in or out...so now what are we supposed to do?" Said Morty.

   "Send a signal to Ivanova. Lets she if she can get a ship out...when we tell her we have Sheridan." remarked Jack.

   "Yea...but we can be traced by the ComStation...how do we get past that?"

   "Send voice only....and make it very short. That should keep her and security off our backs." Jack told him.

   "Right....I'll send it from the Zocalo, that way there will be a lot of noise in the background." And then Moray headed out.

   -----

   "C & C to Commander Ivanova." Came Lt. David Corwin's voice over her comlink.

   "Ivanova here."

   "Ma'am, we have someone holding...he said he has news on the Captain...its voice only"

   "Patch it through to MedLab...I'll take it here...oh and put a trace on it." Susan made her way to a commutation and waited for the signal to be relayed.

   "Ivanova here....who is this?" She said, as soon as the speaker cracked to life.

   "My name is not important...the fact that I have your Captain is. We have a ship waiting to leave. Give us safe passage off the station...or we'll kill him." said the voice.

   "Just who are you? What have you done with Captain Sheridan?" Susan asked.

   "Just get us clearance to leave..and maybe we will return him to you? If not...then we will kill him..and you'll never find his body!"

   "Okay...but we need some kind of a flight plan...otherwise the launch sequence won't work." Susan told him. She was only stalling for time. A ship didn't need a flight plan to leave the station, only for use with the Jumpgate.

   When Garibaldi got to MedLab he noticed, with satisfaction, two security guards standing outside the doors. He entered MedLab while Susan was still talking to someone, and he noticed that it was voice only. He could make out some of the noise coming from the background.

   "Garibaldi to Allan" he said, into his Comlink.

   "Allan here...whets up Chief..did you find the Captain?"

   "No..listen..is there someone using a ComStation...without video?" Michael asked, silently praying he was right.

   "Yea...there is. Should I stop him?"

   "No...but follow him...he might lead you to Sheridan."

   "Right, Chief...I'm on it."

   Michael was having an internal fight with himself. 'Should I stay here or go back to the Zocalo and help Zack?' when he saw the look on Susan's face.

   "I'll contact you in an hour...you better have everything in place or you'll be going to a funeral." said the voice, threatening to kill Sheridan again.

   "All right....I'll do what I can." Susan said..and the connection was broken. She turned to see Garibaldi looking at her. "How much of that did you hear?"

   "Not much...but enough to know where the call was coming from..or at least where I think it was coming from." Michael replied. 'I just hope I'm right' he thought.

   "And?" Susan inquired.

   "The Zocalo. Maybe whoever it was didn't know that we had Delenn and figured it was safe to go there." At the thought of Delenn he inquired "How is she?"

   "Not good....Stephen took along time to stabilize her. He thinks she will be all right...but she was slipping into a coma...Michael...we have to find John." Her voice breaking on that last statement.

   "I know...I just wish I knew where to start." Michael had never felt so helpless.

   The Captain was missing, his new bride slowly slipping into a coma, and some nut threatening to kill Sheridan if he didn't get off the station. A nightmare that no one ever thought could happen after having such a good time yesterday.

   -----

   Morty, heading out of the Zocalo, noticed all the security in the area. When he asked a shop owner what was going on, he was informed that Ambassador Delenn had been found injured in a lift.

   'Oh no!' Morty thought, and headed back to where Jack was waiting.

   -----

   "Jack!...they found her." Morty said, somewhat out of breath.

   "Oh...that's unfortunate. Did anyone see you in the Zocalo?" Jack asked.

   "I don't know....why?"

   "Well...for what its worth Moray...I'm almost sorry you hadn't said no" And then Jack pulled his weapon out and shot Morty.

   "Why......Jack..." Whispered Morty....then he slumped over..dead.

   "Because Morty....you where always expendable." Said Jack to Morty's dead body. Then he turned and headed back to where Sheridan was locked up.

   -----

   Dr. Franklin was checking on Delenn's vital signs, when she slowly opened her eyes.

   "Well...welcome back." Stephen said, smiling down at her. "We were getting worried about you."

   "What...happened?" She hurt...all over. She remember taking a walk with someone. But she couldn't remember how she got here.

   "You were hurt, but your gonna be okay. Do you remember what happened?" Stephen asked. He was hoping that she could give them some idea where the Captain was and how she got hurt.

   "John?" She whispered out.

   "We don't know where he is....but I'm sure he's okay." He tried to reassure her. Stephen didn't want to tell her that no one had seen the Captain. Besides...how do you tell someone that just got married, their husband was missing.

   "We left J..our quarters....the lift...there was someone...a weapon....John tied....John?...where is he?" She practically sobbed that last of the sentence out. She didn't know where he was, if he was hurt, or if he was still alive. But she had to hold onto the idea that he 'was' alive.

   "Delenn...who was in the lift?" Stephen asked. If it was someone that she didn't know, chances were, he or she would know where the Captain was.

   -----

   Zack Allan had followed the man from the Zocalo to a lift...where he had somehow lost him in the crowd. He was just heading back to the main security office when a general security alert went out.

   Some of the security patrols where making their way through the station, trying to figure out where Ambassador Delenn had been, when she was injured. Suddenly they came across a body. After checking for an identi-card and not finding one, they had put the alert out.

   Michael arrived at the scene. After getting the mans picture on file, he headed to MedLab.

   -----

   As Michael entered MedLab, he noticed Delenn was awake. He just stood outside her cubicle. He didn't want to frighten her with the information that he had, but he needed to talk with her. So as not to scare her, he walked to the door and stopped.

   "Ambassador?" He asked.

   "Mr. Garibaldi...what is it?..have you found John?" She asked, fear slipping into her voice.

   "No...no yet...I came to ask you about something else. We found a body...I need you to look at this picture and tell me if you recognize him." He told her. Michael wasn't sure if the dead man had anything to do with her being shot or John's disappearance, but he had to be certain.

   "All right."

   Michael walked over to her bed and handed her the date pad. She took it from him and glanced at the picture on the screen. Her face paled..and her breath caught in her throat.

   "That's the one named Morty. He's the one who was in the lift...the one that tied up John...and the one who...shot me." She finished quietly.

   "Yea...I kinda figured. Look...um...Delenn...I have all my people looking for the Captain...we'll find him...." He told her...taking her hand in his.

   Delenn was surprised by this...but she held his hand back. "I know your doing everything you can...thank you."

   -----

   Jack managed to get back to the room that Sheridan was locked in, which was no small task. He had to avoid the SecureCams and security, which was checking everyone's identi-cards. He had thought about a direct route, but changed his mind. So he had worked his way through the station deck by deck, at one point making his way in a ventilation duct.

   The room was the last one, in the farthest corridor, in section Grey 29. Jack had accidentally stumbled upon it, when he was looking for someplace to keep Sheridan. He knew with the reactor ventilation overhead, Sheridan's comlink wouldn't work. After he had gotten all the information about the Resistance, First Ones, the White Star Fleet, and he had even managed to get Sheridan's medical records, after his return from Z'ha'dum. He needed a place to keep all the information and put together a plan for getting it and Sheridan off the station.

   Now those plans had been tossed aside, when Ambassador Delenn had been found. He was cursing Morty for not doing a better job, but then he had paid the ultimate price for it. Jack was grateful that he didn't have to deal with him anymore. Morty had pushed Jack past his limits a few times..almost coming to blows.

   As he stopped in front of the door, he punched in the code and the door opened. His temper was already starting to boil over, even before he saw Sheridan.

   "Well, Sheridan...seems they found your wife...or more precisely, her body." Jack said, with hatred in his voice.

   John, still sitting on the floor, cradling his ribs, looked up. He felt like a vise had just gripped his heart. 'Delenn' his soul cried. Using the wall, he pushed himself to his feet. Once standing, breathing hard form the effort, looked at Jack.

   "You're lying...she's not dead!" John said, trying to control his anger. As he stood there he tried to get control over his feelings. 'I love you, Delenn' he said silently to her.

   "Oh...and how do you know that?...I just came from the Zocalo...everyone is talking about how her body was found...all covered in blood." Jack said, as a way to provoke Sheridan. He could tell it was working.

   John set his jaw and pushing himself away from the wall....rushed Jack.

   Jack was ready...and hit John in his already sore ribs. John doubled over..looked sideways at Jack..and was hit in the side of the head. John fell to the floor.

   Jack never slowed down. Not only was he hitting John with his fists, but he was kicking him too. John cried out when Jack had kicked him in the ribs...breaking at least one. As John was cradling his mid-section...Jack kicked him in the back.

   John wasn't sure how many times Jack had kicked him before he passed out.

   As Jack looked down on Sheridan, he noted with satisfaction, that he was out cold. "Good, now maybe you'll die lying here...and no one will find you." And then he reached up and broke the light that was hanging from the ceiling. "Good-bye, Sheridan" With that he left the room.

   -----

   Jack made it back to the Zocalo. He had seen security looking his way, but he tried to ignore it. But the officers would not ignore him. When one of them approached him, they asked about the stains on his shirt. That was when he looked down and saw blood on the front of his shirt.

   'Damn.' Jack said to himself, but answer the officers question "Ahh...I cut my hand..see," and held out his hand. "cut it working on some conduits." He was hoping they would take his explanation....but they didn't.

   Pulling out their weapons, they decided that they didn't want to take any chances.

   "Come with us, please." One of the officers said.

   -----

   Once in the interrogation room, Jack knew he was in trouble. They had gotten his name from his prints, and had taken a sensor reading of the stains on the front of his shirt. And was informed that it was Sheridan's blood.

   "Okay...Mr. Kroft...where is the Captain?" Garibaldi asked, as he leaned closer to Jack.

   "I don't know what your talking about?" Jack said, with his best 'innocent' voice.

   "Yea...then how come you have his blood on your shirt?" Garibaldi asked, this time raising his voice. He had to find out if the Captain was still on the station or not. And if he was, where he was, and if he was hurt. He suspected that John was hurt...by the amount of blood that was on the shirt.

   "I don't know what you mean?...I told the other officers that I had cut my hand working."

   Garibaldi had his back to Jack when he heard him choking....and turned to see him slumped over the table...working hard to breath.

   "No!" Garibaldi yelled and rushed to his side. "Tell me where Sheridan is damn it!" But Jack only said two words.

   "He's dead." Then stopped breathing.

   Michael Garibaldi and his officers didn't know that Jack had swallowed poison right before he was arrested. They only knew that the one person that knew where Sheridan was, had just committed suicide.

   "Aww...NUTS!" Garibaldi explained.

   -----

   Michael and Susan went to see Delenn in MedLab. She had been up and around, but was not strong enough to be released. No one had told her about arresting Jack or his suicide. They just didn't want her to panic, thinking that John was lost forever.

   "Delenn?" Susan started, "We have some news....we arrested a man that had some of John's blood on his shirt. He committed suicide." Susan was fighting back tears as she tried to finish "He never told us where John was."

   Delenn sat there with no expression on her face. "John?" she whispered out. And then leaned forward into her hands and started crying. Michael reached out, putting a hand on her shoulder.

   "Delenn.....Delenn...listen....I'm not giving up...I'm gonna find him...no matter how long it takes. I'm going to bring him back to you." Michael said to her. But he wasn't even sure where to start looking, he just couldn't bare to see Delenn like this. It broke his heart listening to her cry.

   -----

   Garibaldi had searched the station from top to bottom, practically tearing it apart. And still no sign of Sheridan.

   It had been three days since the first body was found. Delenn had identified him as the one named Morty. And two days since the man known as Jack had been caught. Only to have him commit suicide before he had told them where the Captain was or who else was involved. Now it came down to searching every room...every part of the station...painstaking work "But damn well worth it" as Susan had said.

   Michael was working his way to the depths of the station. He was about to give up for the day when he decided to go down one more corridor. Pounding on the doors and calling the Captain's name, when he suddenly stopped. Had he heard something?

   "John!...Captain Sheridan!..." He said again..pounding on the door.

   "Michael!...Help!.....help me!" Came a muffled voice.

   Michael Garibaldi couldn't believe that he had found him. After almost four days. Four days with out food....water...or medical help if he was hurt. Michael reached in his pocket, pulled out his security pass, and slid it in the slot.

   When the door opened, there was no light in the room, except what poured in from the corridor...and the only sound was someone working hard to breath.

   Michael went over to the figure lying on the floor, kneeling down he shook the Captain's shoulder. "John...John....its Michael." He said, and slowly rolled him onto his back.

   "Michael?" John whispered out. He started to cough, holding his arms around his mid-section. John had turned back on his side and started to spit up blood. By the way things looked, he had been doing that for at least a few hours.

   Tapping his ComLink "Garibaldi to MedLab." No response.

   "Garibaldi to Security." Again...no response.

   "Damn!" Michael swore.

   Michael gave up trying to use his ComLink. He knew the area above the room housed the reactor ventilation system, so there was too much shielding between him and the main communication system. He looked down at Sheridan. The way he looked, Michael was afraid to move him.

   "John...your going to be okay?" Michael was afraid for John. He didn't like the way he was working to breath. He slowly got John to sit up. But when he did, the Captain started coughing so bad..he almost passed out.

   "Stay with me John....do you hear me...stay awake!" Michael was getting scared. He wanted to get the Captain out of the room and into the corridor. That way he would get a better idea of just how injured he really was.

   "Michael.....can't breathe.....hurt...." John was trying to tell him. John felt if he moved he would only make things worse. He knew that a punctured lung could kill him, but if he didn't try to get up and out of the room...he would die.

   Suddenly John grabbed Michael's arm. "Delenn.....she's dead....my fault....she was...shot..my fault.....dead....." Michael had no idea how to handle this. He tried to get John to look at him, but John was trying to bury his face in Michael's shoulder. And what made it worse, was that he started to cry.

   "John...Captain....listen to me..." Michael took John by the shoulders and eased him back against the wall. "John...she's not dead.....Delenn is NOT dead." Michael kept saying. But John never heard him.

   "She's......" But he never finished his sentence. His emotions were so out in the open that all Michael could do was hold onto his shoulders and let him cry.

   After everything that they had been through, John had finally broken down. But it hadn't been for Earth, for Babylon 5, for the people lost in the war, it had been over Delenn. The one person that meant more to him than his own life. John had survived his fall at Z'ha'dum because of her. And when the Shadow War was over, took the time to marry her. Now, believing she had died, all the pent-up feelings came crashing down on him.

   Michael knew that he had to get Sheridan to MedLab...and fast. But with the amount of blood he had lost, he wasn't sure that he would be able to get John to stand. With all his efforts, he finally got John to lean on him while he lifted him up.

   "Come on John....lets get you out of here." And with a grunt...got John all the way to his feet.

   They headed out of the room. When they got out in the light of the corridor, Michael let out a small gasp. He had no idea just how badly beaten up John had been. One of his eyes was almost swollen shut. The other had a cut over it, which had bled down the side of his face. Michael wasn't sure, but he thought he had a concussion too.

   Michael, practically caring John, worked his way slowly down the corridor and into the nearest lift. Once inside he said "MedLab" and then tried his ComLink again.

   "Garibaldi to MedLab"

   "MedLab." Stephen responded.

   "I got him...repeat...I got him....be ready at the lift...he's in bad shape."

   "We'll meet you there"

   Michael let out a small sigh of relief. When everyone else was thinking of giving up...he hadn't. He knew that Sheridan had never been taken off the station. And when he told his people to search every part of the station, Susan never even thought about telling him 'no'. Now he was glad for it.

   When the lift arrived, Stephen and the medics got John on the stretcher. Stephen started running his scanner over John, noting with alarm, how bad he really was. As John was lying on his back, his breathing became labored, and he rolled on his side coughing. Stephen and Michael grabbed him before he could fall off the stretcher.

   "Easy...John...easy." Michael said, holding onto the Captain until he stopped coughing. Then turning to Stephen "Doc, he thinks Delenn is dead. I tried to tell him that she was okay, but he didn't seem to believe me."

   "It's understandable. He's in shock. Broken ribs, internal bleeding, bruised kidney, and a severe concussion. I'm surprised he's still with us. He should be unconscious. Whoever worked him over, did a good job."

   "Stephen?" John whispered out. "Delenn...she's...she's dead...Stephen." And John's eyes started to tear up. All Doctor Franklin could do was try to keep him calm.

   "John...take it easy..Delenn...She's okay...do you understand...She's okay." Stephen told him. But noting the look on the Captain's face...he didn't believe him. The Doctor figured the only way he was going to believe anyone, was if he saw her.

   "Lets get him inside...and tell someone to bring Delenn. If he sees her, he might relax and let us help him."

   -----

   Delenn had witnessed the commotion out in the hall, but was too afraid to move. When she had seen the Doctor and a med team run out of MedLab, her first thought was of John.

   "Did they find him?" She asked...scared to hear the answer.

   The nurse standing next to her turned and "Yes...seems Mr. Garibaldi found him. Ambassador..I think you should sit down. From what I gathered..he's in bad shape."

   Just then Delenn got site of Garibaldi as he came through the door. She walked over to him, as quickly has her wound would let her. "Michael?" She inquired. And he said two words to her.

   "He's alive!" And caught Delenn as she started to collapse in his arms. "Its okay, Delenn...he's here. He's hurt bad..but he's gonna be okay."

   She regained her composure and looking over Michael's shoulder, noticed the stretcher with John on it.

   "John!" She cried, as she came closer to him.

   "Delenn....?" John managed to say. He couldn't believe he was seeing her, till he touched her.

   "Its okay John...I'm here...I'm here..." She said, as if speaking to a child. And taking his hand, all the emotions that she had kept locked up...came spilling out.

   It was four hours of surgery, six hours of intensive care, and another seven hours after that, and still John had not opened his eyes. After he had seen Delenn, he closed his eyes in relief. At that point, he knew everyone around him was trying to help, so he stopped fighting with them.

   Warmth....something soft to lay on...breathing easier...Delenn.

   At that last thought, he slowly opened his eyes, taking in his surroundings. He could sense someone waiting for him..needing him. As he turned his head, he caught site of Delenn watching him. But her mind seemed miles away, for she hadn't noticed he was awake.

   "I....thought we...already...got through....the watching...ceremony." He managed to breath out. Delenn was suddenly on her feet, standing next to his bed. She had been there, almost from the time he had been brought into MedLab by Garibaldi.

   "John..." Delenn practically sobbed his name. With tears running down her face, she took his hand in hers. "I knew you would be all right...and as you promised long ago...you would never leave me..not if the whole universe stood between us." Then she leaned down to kiss him. ----------

   Ten months later...

   "Come on Delenn....push....that's it...push." John told her...in his best authoritative voice.

   Suddenly a cry could be heard...one that would forever change the station.

   As the others waited outside the delivery room, the door suddenly opened. What greeted them was the best site they ever wanted to see....Captain John Sheridan...grinning from ear to ear, tears running down his cheeks and proclaiming....

   "IT'S A BOY!"

   Everyone was so happy for John. There was hugs, handshakes, and pats on the back. John turned to Michael....and without thinking, gave him a big hug. Michael returned it in kind.

   Later that evening Michael had invited John over for dinner. At the sound of the door chime.

   "Come" When the door opened, John came bounding in.

   "Michael...humm...something smells good." John said, as he sniffed the air appreciatively.

   "Thanks....take a seat." And Michael finished getting dinner ready.

   As they sat and ate their dinner together, the conversation wondered from problems with the station, Earth, Susan and her next broadcast of the VOC, but mostly it was about the baby. Michael knew that the little boy was going to be spoiled rotten by his father. And he thought it was the greatest thing to happen to the Captain, especially after what had happened a few months back.

   But both men knew that something had been left undone between them. "Michael...I'm not really sure where to begin. I don't know what to say to you. Thank you seems poor and inadequate. You didn't stop looking for me, you didn't give up, even when others told you it was hopeless." John said...not taking his gaze off Michael.

   "Look, John...its okay. I'm just glad it turned out all right...besides...I don't think I would have wanted to miss the look on your face when you came out of the delivery room."

   "Yea...I can't believe it...a son...wow!" John replied, with so much love on his face. "Oh, Delenn and I where talking about what to name him. Seems she already had a first name picked out, but was stuck as to what his middle name should be. I told her I had an idea."

   "And what was that?" Michael inquired.

   "Well...first...we decided that he needed a Godfather....interested in the job?" John said, a twinkle in his eye.

   "Me?...Really?...I'd be honored, thank you. But what does this have to do with his middle name?"

   "Well...if you don't mind...I would like to name him......

   So as the night went by..and a friendship grew closer....and a bond was formed...the new life in the Universe had a name - David Michael Sheridan.

 

 *****

 

 

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