DINNER; DISCUSSIONS & APOLOGIES
This is a short gapfiller piece set after 'The Very Long Night Of Londo Mollari', which I wrote after some discussion on the J&D Forum. I, along with the majority, I think, thought Sheridan's comments in said episode were slightly off-target: however, I don't think he's the kind of guy to let things go without an apology, especially given the nature of his relationship with Delenn.
Here, therefore, is the apology. Shortest thing I've written, this, and I'm proud. Enjoy yourselves!
Disclaimer: This is totally pointless, I know, people have said it a million times, but who cares? I think it's funny. All White Stars and Babylon Stations thrown in my direction will be gratefully received (if they don't squash me first).
Dinner that evening in Delenn's quarters was a forced affair, far removed from the previous night. Delenn herself barely spoke a word, eating without really noticing the food, and sat in silence studying the table as her husband cleared away the remains of their takeout. He watched her as he did so, concerned at her listlessness. He wondered if Lennier knew what he had done to her in leaving so suddenly; surely he wouldn't have wanted Delenn to act like this. She seemed almost... bereaved. *If Lennier had realised...* he sighed inwardly and sat down on the couch, and when she finally raised her head he held out a hand to her. Avoiding his gaze, she came to his side and he gently pulled her toward him, the concern clouding his eyes.
"Are you okay?" She said nothing, silently watching the floor. He sighed. "Listen, I'm sorry if what I said earlier... about three being a crowd? I'm sorry if it sounded insensitive. I didn't mean it to be."
"I know." Without looking up, she tilted her head to rest on his shoulder. "It's all right. I just wish... I don't know. That it didn't have to happen this way, perhaps. That he didn't feel the way he does about me... about you."
He tightened his arm around her waist. "I like Lennier, Delenn. I wouldn't want to hurt either of you."
"I know that." She let out a heavy sigh and looked up at him. "Unfortunately, that is not possible." She burrowed further into his embrace, thankful for the comfort she found there. "It's so hard for him, John. I don't think I could ever understand how difficult it must be..."
"Then maybe it's better he's gone, hmm?" Shocked, she shot him an angry look. "For his sake," he soothed quickly. "I know you'll miss him, Delenn."
"I already do."
He hugged her tenderly. "I can tell. Lennier must know as well, or he would have gone long before now." She drew herself completely onto the couch and Sheridan held her closer to him, sympathy evident in his embrace.
"He was waiting until we were married," she said quietly. "He told me, although not in so many words." She had such an anguished expression on her features that he wanted to go out and drag back the White Star with Lennier on board, just to make her smile again. "I love you, John, but I wish I could give him what he wants from me..."
"Shh." He smoothed her hair, lightly kissing her forehead. "It's not your fault, Delenn. It's no one's fault, it's just the way things happened. You shouldn't feel guilty for that."
"Then why do I?" The question was harsher than she meant, but he stopped her before she could apologise.
"Because you care, Delenn. Don't think I'm not upset either, but there's nothing you could have done to make it any easier for him. For anyone," he corrected. "In that respect maybe it is better he's away from you. He needs a life that doesn't revolve around you every day." He smiled softly. "I know if I'd been in his position, I would have loved you as much. I still do," he assured her when she looked up, "but it's different. Isn't it?"
Delenn studied him for a moment and sighed, staring absently into the candles lighting the dinner table. "I used to think so. I'm not sure anymore. I think we would both like it to be, but after what he said..." Sheridan knew better than to ask what that had been, but after a short time she told him anyway. "He said that he wanted to be 'more of what I would want him to be' - more of what I would find..." she trailed off. Sheridan raised his eyebrows slightly.
After a pause, she looked up into his eyes and nodded, quickly darting her gaze away again. "I think so."
Sheridan winced. "Ah." He lifted his hand from her shoulder, gesturing vaguely. "Do you think he understands that you and he..." He flicked a finger between them two of them, intimating their own relationship. "You wouldn't be able to - well, you know. Physically, if nothing else, you couldn't be with a full Minbari." He looked at her quizzically. "Could you?"
"No. And I think Lennier knows that, it's just - he doesn't want to admit that's what he wants."
"Pretend it's not there and the problem goes away." Delenn nodded. "That does make things difficult."
"Yes, it does." She sighed and yawned involuntarily. Although she hid it behind her hand, Sheridan noticed and pulled her up from the couch.
"You need some sleep, Delenn." He put his arm around her again as they entered the bedroom. Their nightly ritual was completed almost in silence, and it was only when he motioned to the light and the room darkened that he heard her voice again.
"Hmm." He turned onto his side on the slanted bed, and she cuddled up against him.
"I'm sorry I snapped at you in Medlab. When you asked if there was anything you could do to help." Even in the darkness he saw the apology in her eyes. "You did help, John. Thank you."
"I love you," he answered as his arms encircled her.
"I know." She smiled and sighed again, although she didn't let him hear. *I just wish you were the only one.*
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