By Lee B




They walked arm in arm; at first talking quietly about the day that they had just endured, then gradually Sheridan shifted the subject to other things: their next visit to Minbar and recent calls from his family, whom Delenn had only just met before their wedding. She knew he was shifting the focus to anything but what had happened that day. They passed others in the corridors and in the garden, but they were, for the most part, oblivious. Passersby, however, were not oblivious to this couple, strolling arm in arm, clearly so in love with each other. Some of those that they passed knew who these two were, others did not, but none could miss the depth of love and the bond between them.

   The "professional" demeanor and personae that they donned for "official" events, council meetings et cetera, had generated rumors when their marriage had first become public knowledge. They had perfected those "professional" personae during the first two years of their growing relationship; knowing full well that were it to be publicly known the ambassador from Minbar and the Earthforce military governor, and Captain of Babylon 5 were becoming a couple, it would have had disastrous complications for both of them. Not to mention, the potential fallout from each of their homeworlds as well. His being still considered StarKiller, by many of her people, had only added to their knowing that in the beginning they must keep their relationship very private, and very discrete.

   When news of their relationship had become more public they had wanted it to be known that both took their "jobs" and professional obligations seriously, and that those were separate from their relationship as a couple. His voice was not hers, neither was her voice his. A stranger, seeing them together only in the council chamber, might not even know of their personal relationship.

   Now that their relationship was definitely in the open, they continued to be acutely aware of their duties to those whom they represented; which for the most part was no conflict at all. In the past, at times, issues had arisen which had put them on opposite sides of a point of contention. Their marriage, in the beginning, had been touted as a political alliance; a marriage likened to the joining of royal houses to strengthen dynasties. However, anyone anywhere near them when they were "off the clock," would have no doubts about their marriage. It was obvious that the propaganda, implying theirs was a marriage of political expediency, was absolutely false.

   They walked for some time and she noticed, as they walked, that the lines of tension were leaving his face. His voice was getting lower and softer, he was smiling and joking more. She felt herself relaxing as well. To say this had been a very difficult day for both of them, was an understatement of colossal proportions. She especially felt how difficult it had been for her. It was always harder to be the one left to stand, and watch, when he was in jeopardy, and to really not feel as though there was much she could do to prevent him from coming to harm.

   They came to a bench and he motioned for her to sit with him. They sat with arms around each other, each lost in the other. He bent and kissed her; his kiss at first light and gentle. As she met his emotion and matched it, however, the kiss deepened, became intense and full of all that he had been holding in check all day. The intensity of the kiss continued to build and it seemed to last an eternity. They were shifting positions, attempting as much contact between them as possible. By the time they came up for air, Delenn was practically in his lap. He bent his head again for round two. This time both were becoming lost in the sensation, and the moment. His hands were pressing her body as tightly to as much of his as their current circumstances would allow. Her hands were in his hair, caressing, and holding his mouth to hers. Their kisses continued to deepen and become more passionate, their breathing became shallow and rapid. Delenn broke off the kiss.

   "John......." Her voice was breathless and husky with growing arousal. Her hand was on his chest holding him away, which in reality was the last thing that she wanted; however, this was a very public place, and although they were on their own "private time" right now, given who they were, carrying on past this point in such a public place would be inappropriate. "John, we . . . John, I did not agree to the public redemption of your raincheck," she laughed lightly as both her hands moved to his chest and she bent to kiss him lightly once again.

   "HMMM, HMMMM." They heard the sound of someone clearing their throat. "Would the two of you consider hearing the suggestion that taking your, ahh, little party, to a more private location, might be a good idea?" Michael was standing over them, shaking his head and smiling at the same time.

   Delenn blushed to the roots of her hair and John grinned an embarrassed, sheepish grin.

   "Mr. Garibaldi, since when has it been part of your job to break up public necking?" Sheridan asked, trying to keep this somewhat embarrassing situation on a lighter note.

   "Since I was appointed head of covert intelligence for the Interstellar Alliance, and specifically, since one of my duties entails insuring the safety of the president of said Alliance. Not that I have anything against romance or anything, Mr. President, but I might point out that in your current state of .....ah........ shall we say, preoccupation, anyone could come out of anywhere and you would be an easy mark. Not to mention the fact that I thought only kids came to the garden to "make out" at this time of night. And, of course, there are still those regulations about public indecency," he added, poking a little fun at the two of them.

   "Mr. Garibaldi, I have the right to "make out" with my wife anywhere I choose, thank you very much," Sheridan was laughing in spite of his embarrassment. "And as to indecency, we are both fully clothed, I might remind you." Delenn loved to hear him laugh, but she could not understand what this "making out" that they were talking about was.

   Garibaldi snorted. "Mr. President, I wouldn't be able to attest to the fact that you would still be clothed if I had come even five minutes later," Garibaldi laughed. "Geeze you two, get a room, huh?"

   Sheridan groaned, he was quitting while he was ahead, Michael was making this more embarrassing by the minute. "Well now that you have spoiled the mood, Michael, we will be on our way." He held out a hand to Delenn and she took it.

   "Good night." Michael called after them, laughing as they walked away arm in arm.

   "Good night, Michael." They called back in unison, before quickly becoming absorbed in each other again.

   They walked back to Delenn's quarters, talking softly about nothing in particular, holding each other as they walked. Once inside Delenn's place he moved to the couch in the living room. It was much bigger than his and more comfortable. He pulled her with him, his lips never leaving hers. She knew exactly what he was doing. He still had not exactly mastered the art of making love on a Minbari bed. He preferred the couch when they were in her quarters. He pulled her more tightly to him and once again she found herself all but sitting in his lap.

   "Now, if you recall, you owe me a rain check, Ambassador, and I have been, very patiently, waiting to collect it." His voice was low and sensuous. He pulled her fully into his lap. In a very short time, they had picked up where they had left off when Michael had interrupted them.

   Sheridan deepened his kiss and began caressing his wife, both hands moving over her back, her face, her brow. She, in turn, was trailing small kisses along his jaw and neck. He groaned as their lips met again and parted, their tongues entwining in an intensely intimate kiss. He began tugging at her clothing. She looked very beautiful in them, but he knew from personal experience that she was also very beautiful without anything on whatsoever. Delenn was in turn removing his coat and unbuttoning his shirt. Soon her hands were trailing along his chest, pausing at his nipples, and traveling to his abdomen. He sucked in his breath as her hand dipped slightly below his belt and she began to remove it. For his part, he was finally getting the knack of removing her clothing, it was different than conventional human female garments, and it had taken some practice to become adept at assisting his wife out of her clothing at times such as this.

   Their hands and mouths traveled each others bodies, as their clothing finally lay in piles around them. They were still new to each other on this level, but were already coming to know how and where to give and receive pleasure from each other. They kissed and caressed until neither was content with anything less than joining their bodies together. Sheridan stroked her forehead and gazed deeply into her eyes as they shifted their positions and he moved to unite their bodies as one. This woman rocked him to his very soul, and being with her like this, moving as one being, giving and receiving as much pleasure, physical contact and connection as mere mortals were capable of, was sometimes almost more than he could handle and maintain his sanity.

   As their heartbeats slowed, and they held each other regaining equilibrium and breath, he once again thanked the universe for crossing their paths. He loved her so much, and he knew that she returned the depth of his feeling. He reached up and pulled a blanket over them as they lay in each others arms. He knew they wouldn't be comfortable sleeping here, but just now he wanted to be together like this, not yet ready to break the closeness they felt. He pulled her into his arms so she was mostly lying on him. She lifted her lips to his and kissed him with immense tenderness and love. He shifted to meet her eyes and they gazed at one another, speaking the depths of their love and commitment without words. Their mouths met again, the kiss deepening as again they began to caress each other slowly and with more deliberation than before. Sheridan felt his body begin to again respond to his wife's kisses and caresses. He was a bit surprised. They both had had an exhausting day and he was no longer a kid. But the depth of feeling and desire that she elicited from him was immeasurable. They made love again, with soft whispers and caresses, deep kisses and looking through to each other's souls as they moved as one, giving and receiving pleasure together.

   Sheridan picked up his wife when he could breathe again, and carried her to her bed. He tucked the blankets in around them, pulled her into his arms, and they fell asleep, now absolutely exhausted, and absolutely contented in each others arms.







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