MAKING THE FUTURE

By Danielle Hart

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER : This story contains what I hope you will think is tastefully erotic material with a story. In other words, one night stand on Babylon 5 it's not. If you just have a hard time watching B5 and envisioning John and Delenn doing any of the events pictured below, or if you're not 18....Don't read. Comments accepted as always at dnh2@dana.ucc.nau.edu. Thank you for your patronage.

 

 

 

 

*****

   John Sheridan surveyed his quarters with satisfaction. They were in perfect order for his evening's plans: dinner, dancing, and seduction. Delenn had no idea what he had in mind, although he had asked her to wear something different from her usual attire. It was no longer enough for him to know that they were soulmates, each the other half of the other. He wanted to show Delenn how intense the physical bond between lovers could be. He wanted to feel her body beneath his, to wake up next to her in the morning. He wanted to be a father, with Delenn as his wife and mother to those children. In order to see those events happen, he had to make love to the woman he loved more than life itself. 'What a chore,' he thought to himself with a smile. 'What an awful chore.'

   The coffee table had been removed, and instead a soft blanket had been laid out, with pillows scattered around the edges. Flowers sat in vases around the room, red roses mainly. Romantic music, soft and dreamy, poured into the room. Himself, showered and shaved, with the aftershave that Delenn had commented she especially liked. John had also taken the precaution of telling Susan Ivanova what he was up to. Although he hated how he had no privacy, he understood the necessity. Susan had contributed a few items, and given him her promise that nothing short of the station's imminent destruction would cause her to call him until he called her.

   The doorchime rang, and he admitted Delenn. She had on a dress of hunter green velvet, sleeveless, with delicate copper chains falling across the front of it, accenting the modest cleavage. Her hair was piled high, with tendrils teasing her face and neck. Delicate copper jewelry completed the look. John stood there, staring appreciatively.

   "Good evening, John." There was a smile on her face, one of satisfaction at the effect she found she had on John when she stepped out of her Minbari clothes and into something human. "Susan and Lyta helped me pick it out."

   "Ahh, good evening." He motioned her into the room, watching her.

   "You seem to have redecorated. Again." Delenn said teasingly.

   "Just a little."

   "Did you have a reason?"

   "I just thought a nice romantic dinner would be a change for us. It's a variation on a picnic."

   "An outdoor dinner?"

   "Yes. This version, however, has no ants." He helped her sit down, then disappeared into the kitchen. Lieutenant St. Clair had done a good job, he noted approvingly as he lifted the tray of food.

   "Don't worry," he said in response to her look of mock panic, "I didn't cook it." There was a platter of Chinese fried rice, with eggs, sprouts, carrots, onions, green onions, barbecued pork, and flarn, as the main course. There was also a pot of green tea, and a plate of little fried wontons. He laughed at the sight of Delenn savoring well-cooked flarn, enjoying her eager expression. John promised that she would really like dessert. They ate, feeding each other bites occasionally. When they were finished, he took the plates into the kitchen and returned with another, holding a cake. The cake was white, creamy, topped with a thin maroon sauce. Delenn looked closer and realized that it was made of gran'le fruit. She knew that to humans, it tasted like a mix of cherries and raspberry. Ever since her childhood, gran'le had been a particular favorite of Delenn's.

   "It's cheesecake," John explained. "Usually it is served topped with whole cherries, but I thought we'd try something different." They fed each other pieces, and Delenn decided she liked cheesecake. She lifted a piece of the gran'le, intending to let John eat it without the cheesecake. But instead of merely taking it from her hand, he nibbled her fingers slightly, drawing them into his mouth.

   "You like it?"

   "Very tasty, Delenn. Especially with the fingers." He smiled at her again, and Delenn began to feel a little different. Part of her sensed that tonight would be different from any other dinner they had shared.

   When all the leftovers had been cleared and put in the 'fridge unit, John slid a new datacard into the player. It was romantic music, but with more of a beat to it. They danced, John teaching Delenn the steps of the waltz. She liked the feeling of him holding her as they swayed together, one hand on her waist, the other gripping one of her hands. Then, after a few songs, John pulled her close, so close that their bodies were touching. She was so close she could rest her head on John's shoulder, which she did. His arms encircled her, and Delenn felt safe, loved. Finally, they stopped, holding each other. After a few moments, John stepped away slightly, just far enough back to be able to look at her.

   "Delenn," he said, his voice soft, warm, "Let me make love to you."

   She looked at him, uncertainty plain in her eyes.

   "Please, Delenn. We're already so close. I want to share with you a human ritual. I want to show you how my people show their commitment."

   She was quiet, looking down. Stephen Franklin had assured her that she was sexually compatible with human, and even capable of having a child. Yet, in this moment, she wanted John to find her more than 'sexually compatible'. She wanted him to find her attractive. Delenn looked up, saw the passion, the love in his eyes. Breathing deeply, she nodded, smiled.

   "I promise you, you won't regret this." He surprised her by picking her up and carrying her into the bedroom.

   "John, the bed is horizontal." She was no longer fully Minbari, but she did still have the slight fear of sleeping in the horizontal position.

   "Well, yes. Delenn, I can't even sleep on one of those contraptions you're so fond of, let alone make sweet love to you. If you like, we can prop you up with something to go to sleep..."

   "No," she said finally. "You will not let me be harmed."

   "I will protect you with my life," he promised. Then, he set her down on the bed and watched her expression as she sank into it. John leaned down and kissed her deeply, letting his hands roam her back.

   "What manner of bed is this?" Delenn looked at him with a wondering on her face.

   "A waterbed. The mattress is plastic, filled with water." He kissed her again, enjoying the feeling of her kissing back. His hands went to the seam of her dress in back, searching for the fastenings. She stiffened slightly, still nervous.

   "It's all right, Delenn." His hands moved up to her shoulder blades, massaging away the knots of tension they found.

   "John, I have never.." He put a finger to her lips.

   "Don't worry about it, Delenn. I'm sure you'll be a quick learner. I know what I'm doing." His voice betrayed the fact that he too was nervous. It had been a long time since his last sexual encounter, with a lieutenant aboard the Agamemnon. John hadn't really enjoyed it, but he had just been too tired to turn the lieutenant, a cute little medic, down. He kept up the massage, sliding his hands down her slender arms. Delenn sighed, enjoying the gentle touches. He looked at her, reclining like a princess on his waterbed.

   "I know you're nervous, Delenn. I promise you, if I do something you don't like, I'll stop. All you have to do is say the words, and I'll stop." He fervently hoped that she would not do that.

   "It is..." He kissed her again, one hand drawing her closer. Delenn breathed deeply, deciding. She knew that John would not harm her. He placed another kiss on her lips, trailing down her neck, gently sucked on a delicate collarbone. Then, it was back up her neck to tease her ear with his teeth and tongue, making Delenn shiver. His hand went to the seam again, finally figuring out how to unfasten the tiny row of hooks. He slid the dress off her body, eased her back onto the bed.

   Delenn wore a typical Minbari undergarment. Susan Ivanova had likened it to a teddy, although Delenn had no idea why. It was made of cream colored silk that made her own fair skin glow. The piece of clothing itself wasn't sexy, but the fact that it was on Delenn helped a great deal. He kissed one of her breasts through the garment, the wet heat making her gasp. Then, as he peeled the teddy off and got his first look at her naked body, it was John's turn to gasp. Long shapely legs that ended in delicate feet, sensual feminine hips, a small waist, slightly rounded stomach, and beautiful breasts. John Sheridan would be one of the first to admit that he, like many men, had a fascination for that particular female trait. Delenn's were slightly larger than average, with dark areolas and nipples finishing them. His eyes were drawn to the dark curls covering her mound, and his hand went to the curve of her waits, squeezing.

   "You're so beautiful." His voice was a husky whisper, and Delenn could see the truth of the statement in his passion-darkened eyes. A wave of relief, freedom swept over her body.

   "Aren't you planning on taking anything off?" Her question broke him out of his daze, and he quickly discarded his clothing. He was eager to feel his skin next to hers. She surveyed his body as he had hers, liking what she saw. Religious caste Minbari tended to be slight, delicate, but John's body was neither. Broad shoulders, well-muscled arms and legs, a narrow waist and hips, large hands, and she saw, quite adequate in the sexual department. The thought of the homework she had done on the human reproductive system and sexual processes came back to her.

   He leaned over her, drawing her left nipple into his mouth, stroking the other one with his thumb. She moaned softly, running her hand up into his hair, pressing his head against her. He switched sides, paying an equal amount of attention to each breast. The hand that had been engaged in stroking her slid down over her stomach, caressing the sides and hollows of her hips, sliding into the dark curls that had caught his attention earlier. He opened her slowly, gently exploring. He raised his head from his attentions to her, and his lips began tracing the route his hand had followed moments before, nipping at the area around the indentation of her belly button, gently scraping his teeth over her hipbones. She'd seen a mention of what he was going to do in her reading, and the idea shocked her. It was definitely not a Minbari custom -- and then he was kissing her thigh gently, nibbling slightly. She shifted, moving her legs apart to allow him better access. As his tongue slid into her, over her, exploring, Delenn moaned, clenching her hands. One of his hands caressed her hip, as he allowed his tongue to explore her as throughly as his fingers had.

   John had expected some slight physical differences in Delenn. After all, he was probably the first human male to be engaged in lovemaking with a Minbari -- partly Minbari -- female. He had a fair amount of experience with women, and the only difference he could detect was a slightly alien taste. Every woman tasted different, but Delenn...he couldn't quite identify it, and he really didn't care. She was enjoying herself, and he was getting a charge out of being able to teach her what he could. He knew he was having an effect on her, and that was a turn-on too. Delenn was growing more slippery, her moans more insistent as he worked together with his tongue and fingers, driving her crazy.

   Delenn felt as if she were on the edge of a cliff. John was making her feel intense sensations, the kind she had felt mildly before, but never so strong. For a long time, she had wondered if she might be slightly frigid, even for a Minbari, but now she knew that she wasn't frigid at all. She could feel little shocks all over her body, up and down her spine. It was almost unbearable, and then she had to squeeze her eyes shut. John flicked his tongue over her, sending her over the edge of that cliff as her body reacted. She moaned John's name, squeezing her thighs slightly around his head as her release came.

   When she opened her eyes, John was leaning over her, watching her.

   "Did I do all right?" She whispered the question, seeking approval.

   "You did fine, Delenn." He squeezed her hip, smiling. "The question is: Did I do all right?"

   "Yes," she breathed, remembering the feeling. He began suckling her breast again, and she reacted by running her hand over one muscular shoulder, nibbling on it a little. He broke away from her, allowing her the opportunity to explore his body as he had explored hers. She ran her hands over his back as she kissed his neck, biting, sucking. She glanced with interest at the purplish mark she'd left, then flicked her tongue around the rim of his ear experimentally. Then she ran a hand over his chest, squeezing his pectorals, playing with a flat nipple. She'd read that human males often had hairy chests. The idea had been somewhat repulsive to a Minbari female. Minbari men might have small mustaches or beards, but usually no bodily hair. John's chest however, was fairly smooth, with fine brownish blond hairs, mainly around his nipples, and down on his stomach. She played with one nipple slightly with her tongue. It was the first truly overt sexual move that Delenn had made, and he found sexy as all hell. He captured her wrist with his hand, pulling her hand down to where he wanted her to touch him. And touch she did, shyly at first, then sensually, exploring from the slit on the head to the veins on the underside, her gentle touches eliciting a moan from John. She explored the ridge for a moment longer, then let her had travel down the smooth broad shaft to the base in the patch of brownish blond curls, slightly darker than that on his chest. Delenn's hand gently teased the two soft sacs of flesh hanging below as well, and John rolled over, pinning her beneath him. He was afraid that if he let her torture him much longer, she was not going to have a good impression of sex, because it would be extremely short. The passion in her darkened eyes matched his own, and he felt a regret at having to break the sensual spell that they were under.

   "Delenn," his voice soft, hesitant, turned her full attention to him. "When human females first have sexual relations, there is usually some pain. I don't know if..." The rest of his sentence was left unspoken as she kissed him deeply, letting him feel how passionately she felt about him, about the act they were about to enter into. She tasted herself on his lips, his tongue. It was vaguely not to her liking, but then the feeling evaporated as both of them got into the act. One of his hands went behind her head, holding her in place. Then slowly, he slid into her, giving her time to adjust to the feeling of having him inside of her, until he came to the barrier he had expected to feel. A memory of his first sexual experience, with Cathy Jensen, came into his mind. She'd been a virgin too, and he'd thought that going slow would make it easier, less painful. But after a few slow thrusts against it, Cathy had practically ordered him to get it over with. He did so now, with one hard thrust that broke Delenn's hymen and settled him firmly inside of her.

   Delenn braced herself for the pain she had read about. It was sharp, sudden as he pushed into her hard, but as she lay still for a moment, the pain eased. It was still an odd sensation, having him buried inside of her. Not unpleasant, but odd. The dry technical details she had read could not impart what went on in the bedroom. She watched him, as he was watching the play of emotions on her face. John saw surprise, a tinge of discomfort as she squirmed slightly, and then a look of pleasure. He laid a gentle kiss on her forehead, then began slowly moving in and out, in and out. Delenn arched her hips tentatively, murmuring something in her native language. Experimentally, she squeezed her inner muscles around John. The reaction she received surprised her, as he increased the speed, the strength of his thrusts, gave a low, throaty moan. She squeezed again, and again, enjoying the effect that she was seeing. Suddenly, with an unintelligible cry, John gave a hard, final thrust, collapsing on top of her as he spilled into her.

   Neither moved for a long moment. Delenn savored the feeling of his body crushing her, still throbbing inside of her. John raised his head, running a finger down her delicate cheekbone, studying her face intently, as if he were trying to memorize it.

   "I love you, Delenn. Body and soul, always and forever." He pulled out of her so that he could roll onto his side, gather her into his arms. He closed his eyes, and Delenn studied him for a moment.

   "I love you, John. As long as I live, longer." He was asleep, holding her. She listened to the gentle sounds of his breathing, his heartbeat. She too, fell asleep, her body curled next to his.

   John awoke first the next morning, quite pleased at the picture a sleeping Delenn made. Her face was delicate, calm, her eyelashes curly crescents against her cheeks. Her dark hair had fallen from its style of the night before, and was slightly tangled around her crestbone. Propping himself up on one arm, he began slowly lifting strands away. The crestbone, he discovered, was as warm as the rest of her body, slightly velvety to the touch. He ran his fingers over the edges, tracing the soft, fluted pattern. John wondered if the headbone was seen as an attractive feature by Minbari males, much as hair was by human males. Seen up close, Delenn's appeared as a delicately carved piece of art. She smiled softly in her sleep, snuggling closer to him. Then her eyes opened, and he let himself get lost in the emerald green pools.

   The sensation of John caressing her crestbone brought Delenn awake. His touches were not firm enough to be arousing, merely pleasurable.

   "Good morning," she said softly, and John noted that her voice seemed more accented than usual. It was a nice sound, although one he could not readily identify. It was one of the things about her that was uniquely Minbari.

   "Good morning."

   "Do you have any plans for today?"

   "Right now, laying right here in bed all days sounds like a fine idea."

   "Our responsibilities..." She began, but the look in his eyes stopped her.

   "What about our right to some time for ourselves? Susan agrees with me. We need some time for ourselves, to spend with each other. The universe can wait for a day or so, as far as I am concerned. I've already died once for it. Personally, I think it owes me a day to lay in bed with the woman I love."

   She'd flinched at the mention of his death, and he almost instantly regretted bringing it up. "Then," she said slowly -- it was always more of a challenge in the morning to phrase her words -- "There are better things that we could do."

   "Such as?"

   "A walk in the gardens, a quiet lunch in the Zocalo, a flight in Zhalen, more dancing..."

   "Zhalen?" He was perplexed.

   "My flier. It means "pilot's charm" in Adronato. It is also the name of the flight squadron that Valen personally trained. Unlike your Starfuries, the fliers we use can hold up to three people."

   "We could also just stay right here and make love again." His grin was infectious, and she couldn't hold back her answering one.

   "How about a shower, then some breakfast?" He posed the question after a quiet moment.

   In the shower stall, John turned on the hot water, facing Delenn. She was studying his body. Delenn looked up to see him watching her watching him.

   "I was merely thinking," she said in response to his unasked question, "Human males are quite different from Minbari males."

   "Is that a good kind of different?"

   She laughed at the look on her lover's face. "Well..." She burst out laughing at the way his face changed as she hesitated. Then she pulled herself together, remembering her own insecurities of the night before. "Minbari males are usually not as large in stature, and have no hair, of course. Also, it is not a Minbari custom to do what you did to me, with your mouth."

   "Did you enjoy it?" It was a stupid, useless question.

   "Yes."

   He let her step under the water to wet her hair, then picked up the small bottle of shampoo Susan had lent him. It was, she'd told him, the same stuff that Delenn used in her quarters. He lathered it onto his hands, then started washing her hair, gently massaging her scalp. She smiled as he washed her hair. To her, hair washing was often just another chore that had to be done. But John was taking his time, as if he found it an enjoyable activity. She rinsed it out, let him apply the conditioner, and then after a moment rinsed that out. He leaned over, and picked up the washcloth, but she snatched it out of his hands, claiming the privelege of washing him. She smoothed the cloth over his shoulders, down his chest, his back, learning the contours through the soft cloth. He closed his eyes, enjoying the feeling of having someone take care of him. Since Anna had died, a lot of things which he used to do happily took on the feeling of being mere chores. Delenn knelt down to scrub his legs, taking special care as she gently massaged his thigh. Then, so quickly that John didn't have time to react, she took him into her mouth. His eyes flew open as she closed her lips around him, sliding up and down, gently nibbling and sucking. He whispered her name, and after what seemed to him an eternity of her sweet torture, he came in her mouth, moaning her name, sagging against the shower wall.

   Delenn frowned slightly. While she had enjoyed giving John pleasure, as well as the act itself, she did not care for the taste of it. More than the taste was the way it seemed to cling to her throat and mouth, coating it. She caught some water in her cupped hands, rinsing her mouth with it.

   "Where did you learn that?" John asked, leaning against the wall as he picked up the washcloth.

   "In Temple." He raised an eyebrow, knowing that Delenn usually didn't joke about religious matters.

   "You're kidding."

   "No. In Temple, they taught us to 'treat others as we would have them treat us.' I thought since I enjoyed what you did so much..." She kissed him, having to stand on her tiptoes to reach his mouth . He began washing her gently, lingering over her breasts. When he'd rinsed her off, he quickly washed his own hair, then turned off the shower. He toweled off, then dried Delenn off, enjoying getting another chance to touch her body.

   "Are you hungry?" She nodded as she ran her fingers through the mass of dark curls, trying to comb the rats out. It dawned on him what he hadn't told Susan to bring over. Then he noticed her picking something up off the bathroom counter. She ran through her hair, and John made a mental note to do something very, very nice for his first officer. He pulled on a pair of pants and padded towards the kitchen. Delenn followed after a few minutes later, her hair neatly combed out, wrapped in his robe. There wasn't much in there to eat, but John had some oranges, and fresh gran'le left over from the cheesecake sauce. The lovers feasted on the fresh fruit, John enjoying a cup of real coffee, one of the most precious things aboard Babylon 5. Delenn placed their dishes in the recycler, then turned. He was enjoying the way she filled out his comfortable robe. She looked a damn sight better in it than he ever did.

   "I'm going to go dress," he said as he walked towards the bedroom, leaving her alone in the living room. When he came back out, she was examining his bookcase, looking at a volume titled Heir to the Empire, examining the picture on the front. He cleared her throat and she jumped slightly, turning with a guilty look on her face.

   "Instead of your other ideas, we could look at some of my old things. That way you wouldn't have to sneak." The last was said teasingly, as he handed her a pile of clothes, items he had bought in anticipation of a night like the night before. In addition to her teddy of the night before, there was a pair of black palazzo pants and a tunic in grey that fell to her knees, bared her arms, and tied at the waist in the back.

   "Do you like them?"

   "Yes, they are lovely, comfortable."

   "I've never seen you wear pants, so I wasn't sure if you'd like it."

   "The warrior caste women occasionally do, but they are about the only ones."

   He was looking around for the box that he kept the stuff in, finally found it. "Now, Delenn..."

   "Yes?"

   "Whatever you see in here, you already promised to marry me. You can't back out now." He smiled at her, and she returned it.

   The first book of photos covered the immediate family, David and Victoria Sheridan, John and Elizabeth. Delenn became acquainted with John's baby pictures, studying them intently.

   "Your hair is so much lighter," Delenn remarked in amazement.

   "Human hair darkens with age, generally." He pointed at a picture of him and Liz as kids, both with light blond hair. "Liz's hair is still pretty light, but I have a suspicion that she keeps it that way with some help from a box." At Delenn's look of puzzlement, he elaborated. "Hair dye, to color your hair a certain color."

   School pictures, pictures of the family around a tree. There was one of John with a ridiculous looking bow stuck in his hair, and Liz laughing. "Christmas," explained John. "A winter holiday. It's coming up pretty soon, and I'll explain it then."

   Pictures of John in his high school baseball uniform. There was one of him by himself, and two where he posed with a girl in what looked like armor to Delenn. Her uniform was slightly different. In one, it looked as if she was punching John, and in the other, he was holding her, like he'd picked her up the night before. In the pictures of the teenager, she could see the man who was to be, the man whom she was to love. She wondered whom their children would look more like, her or John.

   Next was the gallery of dance pictures. In most pictures, Liz was with a different man each time. Cathryn Jensen was prominently featured with John.

   "John and Cathryn, Senior Prom." Delenn read the caption aloud, turning her questioning look on him. "What is this 'senior prom?'"

   "A formal dance, to celebrate the upcoming graduation."

   "Cathryn?"

   "My steady girlfriend, Cathy Jensen. We went together for a long time."

   "She looks like the girl in the pictures, the baseball pictures."

   "She is. That was one of our favorite things. Cathy was a catcher, so she had to wear protective gear to keep from being injured."

   "She is pretty."

   "That was what we all thought, too." He remembered the time that her parents had gone to Dallas for a conference. It was the summer before their senior year, and Cathy had invited him over to go swimming. John came over ready to swim, and Cathy called for him just to walk back. It was something he had done about a million times. Cathy was already in the pool, he figured, and she hated it when water got tracked into the house. Cathy had indeed been in the pool, and her teal colored Body Glove bikini had been by the side of the pool...Skinny-dipping had been a lot of fun, but not nearly as much fun as what they had done on the deck afterwards.

   The next book had pictures of John's academy years, his commissioning, Liz's graduation from college, Liz's wedding, John's wedding. These were the pictures Delenn was interested in. She was interested in the woman who had come before her. There was a picture of Anna catching the bouquet at Liz's wedding, and John remembered the teasing that they had endured that night at the reception. He had noticed that he could remember Anna without so much pain now, remember the Anna that was his and that had really died on the Icarus. Liz had recalled it when she spoke at John and Anna's reception. Suddenly, he recalled Liz at Anna's funeral, sobbing as she looked at the empty casket.

   "Tell me about Liz."

   "She's my younger sister, about three years younger. She married her college sweetheart, Dan Matthews. They have three kids -- Richard, Reilly, and Charles."

   "Reilly? That seems like an unusual name."

   "It was Anna's maiden name. She and Liz were best friends. Liz had promised to name her first daughter after her, but didn't like Anna's first or middle name, Lynne." They kept moving, and Delenn spied a picture of a younger Susan Ivanova hugging John. Both of them wore pilot's suits.

   "The Starfury competition for 2250. Our team from Io won. By a very, very large margin." There was a pleased smile on his face, as he recalled the event. The next page was of the 2255 exhibition. John was older in this picture, and a pretty young woman stood next to him, wearing a similar pilot's suit. Delenn was always a tiny bit surprised at the equality between men and women in the Earth military. In Minbari military castes, the men were largely in charge.

   "That was the Galactic Fighters Exhibition. Fighters, pilots, from all over the galaxy."

   There were John's publicity portraits, which he kept out of habit. They seemed to be designed to highlight on of EarthForce's most dashing captains. His collection of downloads with information on him, highlighting his career were with them.

   In the bottom of the box was a small, carved wooden box. Inside sat John's class rings, his ranks, and a plain gold band. John swallowed, the sound loud in the quiet room.

   "My wedding band. I wanted to keep it close by." He watched her closely. "Ours will look different."

   "John, it is all right. I know that you loved Anna. I know that you love me." She took his hand, running her thumb over his. He looked at her, thinking of the women that he'd loved in his life. Cathryn, rising up out of the pool naked, sitting beside him when he'd fallen off Ghostly and broken his arm... Leigh Brandon, his crush at the academy... Anna on their wedding day... Delenn beside him in bed that morning, the woman whom he would love, always and forever.

   They spent the day enjoying each other's company and the freedom of not having everyone depending on them. The night was filled with love again, as the two fully explored each other. John had the most sexual experience, but Delenn was quite imaginative as well, and she didn't have any shyness about doing things to him. They lay in bed, playfully wrestling as John introduced Delenn to tickling, listening to the musical sound of her laughter. When they lay quietly again, Delenn reclining against John, tracing patterns on his stomach, she brought up the subject that had been on her mind since the day he had proposed.

   "John." Her quiet tone brought his full attention to her, and he rolled over, facing her.

   "Yes."

   "What if what we did, what if that made a baby?" Her green eyes looked into his hazel ones, mirroring how serious the question was.

   "Then we would raise it, together, as best we could."

   "But, is this a good time to have a child? Look at everything going on in the world around us. Could this possibly be a good environment to bring children into?" It was something that she had given much thought to. She wanted her own child, to have a piece of John after he stopped. Did they have the right, however, to bring a child into this world? Their child would live a life of danger, would face peril daily, would be a target for the people of the universe who still opposed what John and Delenn were trying to do.

   "Delenn, no one has ever brought a child into a perfect world. Our parents, our grandparents, no one."

   "But, because it is our child..."

   "Yes, there are people who would harm our children. There are also all the people who would protect them. The Rangers, Susan, Marcus, Lennier, everyone close to us." He ran a finger down one of her delicate cheekbones. "Try not to think of all the horrible things that could happen. What if we don't have a child? I think we'd regret that more." John was quiet after delivering that statement. He wanted children, while he could enjoy them. He had accepted the fact that he only had twenty years. He wanted to at least give his children the memory of a father who loved them. And, part of him knew, that if Delenn didn't have anything left to live for, she was all too likely to die early, so that she could be with him in the place where no shadows fall.

   She nodded, touched her abdomen. She wondered if right now, there might be a child, partly John, partly Delenn, growing inside her. It was a slightly scary thought, and yet a most welcome one.

   John caught the motion. "Besides, if you are pregnant, then it's past worrying about." He wondered if she might be. Only time would tell.

   [END]

 

*****

 

 

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