A GOODBYE MESSAGE
This was originally written by a friend, who gave me permission to rewrite it as an example of sappy J&D writing which he hadn't quite gotten the hang of. I don't claim to be an absolute authority, but I do have a lot of experience in the area. I couldn't rewrite the whole story, which wasn't really J&D related anyway, but I did do this one relatively unrelated scene.
John Sheridan strode briskly down the White Star corridor, heading for his private suite. He'd left the bridge a few minutes ago, leaving Lennier in charge of the repair attempts and de-briefing Stiles from his short EVA walk. He slid the keycard into his door lock, barely noting when it opened. His mind was too clouded to realise, thoughts on something else entirely. He wanted to send a message to Delenn... just in case... In case he never saw her again.
God, he hated that thought.
The comm panel was in front of him, though it took a few minutes to notice. He pulled himself away from the thought of Delenn, activating the terminal.
"Computer, begin recording. I want to record a time-delay message for Ambassador Delenn, access to her only."
"Acknowledged. Beginning recording."
He took a deep breath, straightening his shoulders and looking squarely at the screen.
"Delenn, I..." He paused, stalling. He'd spent the time from the bridge to here thinking it over in his head, but when it came to the time everything seemed to fall apart; he wasn't sure what he wanted to tell her anymore. He knew he loved her, more than he'd loved Anna although it had taken time to realise it, but the words didn't want to enter the air. He could still see her smiling at him the last time he'd been on this ship; urging him to sleep, her tone almost protective. He'd welcomed it, glad to have someone there, even more so that it was Delenn. Now here he was, about to send her a message she might never hear, confessing everything to a woman who might never see him again. How could he do that to her? How...
He suddenly realised the panel was still recording. After an awkward pause, he cleared his throat and re-started.
"Delenn. I hope you never have to watch this message; but if you do, it means we didn't get out of here in time. I guess it's the wrong time to be saying this... God knows I should have said it long ago... but I need to tell you something. Something very, very important to me. I hoped I'd get a chance to tell you face to face, but hell, here goes." He paused, taking another breath and trying to smile.
"I never really thought about the Minbari in any other way than I did during the war. I guess you have the same problem... but then we did say we had more in common than we thought. I wasn't sure, when I first met you again, exactly why you did what you did.... why you changed." He smiled, this time with a gentle warmth. "I think I have an idea now. If more people can do what we've done, put the past behind us and get to be friends-" He shook his head, angry at himself for stalling. "John, you're missing the point," he muttered in annoyance.
"Delenn, I'm not good at this at the best of times, let alone to a cold computer screen, but if this is the only way to tell you then I guess it'll have to do. I - What I'm trying to say is that I love you. I think I always have. It's been a long time since then, I know, and I don't expect you to even understand what I'm saying, but when I saw you again...." He ran a hand back through his cropped hair. "I recognised you straight off. We never talked about it, but I think you remembered me too, at least a little." He grinned. "It's your eyes, I think. I always had that image of you in my head." He paused carefully, moved closer to the screen. "Don't you ever let anyone tell you you're not beautiful, Delenn. It doesn't matter what they think; I know it hurts you, I can see it in your eyes, but they can't see you the way I see you." He swallowed hard, surprising himself with the honesty of his words. "If you're seeing this, I guess I'll never get a chance with you. But you need to know, Delenn, if only because I need to tell you. I love you, I always have and will and I wanted you to know." Another long pause filled the room as he caught the lump in his throat. "I hope you're happy, Delenn. I want that more than anything. And if you do see this, know that I still love you, wherever I am. And I'll see you again, whenever that might be. In the place where no shadows fall."
He ended the message, turning to sit down for a moment. He hadn't meant to mention their long-ago meeting, but he hoped she understood. He sighed, leaning forwards and cupping his hands over his face. After a moment, he got up and went to the bedroom. If he was going to wait, he might as well catch some sleep. It seemed ironic that his last words before he lay down were Minbari.
He closed his eyes, the image of her face forming in his mind as he slept.
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