By Travis Gillis




   TAKE COVER!! *WHAM* *WHAM* It's some incoming spoiler rounds from 'Deconstruction of Falling Stars' -- GET DOWN!! *WHUMP* [Transmission start] [A handsome, smiling, and casually dressed young guy is shown sitting behind a desk with some small objects sitting upon it. You want to change the channel, but his hypnotic blue eyes draw you in...] Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Were you as annoyed as I was when John and Delenn's wedding wasn't shown on Babylon 5? Did you jump up and down in frustration when you didn't get to see the all-important honeymoon scene? Well, thanks to the marvels of technology, for a limited time you can buy [he holds up a small data crystal] the John and Delenn wedding ceremony on long-lasting crystal. Here's a scene from that video... [John and Delenn are shown, smiling, as Delenn says "I do."] But wait -- that's not all!! Call now and we'll send you a bonus crystal: John and Delenn's wedding night bloopers! Watch this... [A nude John holds up a condom with what appears to be a small leak in it. He looks at it and turns to Delenn with a sheepish look on his face, saying "Oops..." The screen turns back to the guy, smiling as only someone in an infomercial can] Just ask any of our satisfied customers, such as Penny Rothkopf [Mrs. Rothkopf appears on screen, smiling wildly "It was so beautiful...it just brings tears to my eyes."] Act *now* and we'll throw in a third crystal: 1001 ways to torment a peeping Narn. We... [He stops and looks offscreen, a worried look on his face] G'kar...put down that rifle, G'kar. G'kar...NO! [The guy is thrown backward in his chair as a PPG blast hits him. G'kar appears onscreen, looks at the guy, then turns to face the camera. He smiles as only a Narn can then shoots the camera, returning us to static...]






   If there was ever one universal truth, it is this: Never get anyone angry at you.

   The only difference in *how* someone gets angry at you depends on which race you belong to. For example, if you upset a Centauri, he would bluster for several minutes before he hired someone to kill you. Anger a Narn, and he'll cut out the middleman and dispose of you directly. Even the Humans, with their regard for laws and sentient rights, are not immune since they'll happily heave you out the nearest airlock if you annoy them too much. Last, but certainly not least, are the Minbari. Anger them and they'll bring their entire race to settle the dispute; the Humans nearly lost their planetary real estate (and their race) learning that lesson.

   If, by chance, you've ignored all of the above and somehow ticked off any race, deal with it. If you've made the Minbari angry with you, pray. If you've incurred the wrath of a Minbari female...well, the Humans have an appropriate saying:

   Kiss your ass goodbye.


   Delenn Sheridan was furious.

   Had she been even twenty years younger, she could have told those arrogant Humans a thing or two about John Sheridan that they might have been surprised at. 'If,' she thought sadly, 'they had bothered to listen to me at all.' Unfortunately, she was tired, old, and sick of defending John and the Interstellar Alliance to people that hadn't even been born when the Alliance was first created, much less to people who tried to rewrite history.

   The faint hum of the White Star's engines surrounded her, lulling her back into her soft chair as she closed her eyes. 'Tired. Yes, that was it,' she thought dreamily. First, there was the Shadow War, then the retaking of Earth, the Alliance, the Telepath War...more than enough death and pleasure to fill ten lives. She had ascended to the heights of power, fallen from grace, become half-human, killed, created, and loved. Especially loved. There had never been a day when she hadn't thought about her husband and lover since he passed beyond the veil eighty years ago. The twenty years she had spent with him had almost seemed like a dream; one which her memories and family quite never made up for. Not that she was complaining, of course. Her son, David, had taken on his father's role in the Alliance at a critical time and did his work with his father's flair - simple, direct, and sneaky. Her memories were intact, and she could still remember every facet of their marriage - good and bad - up until the day he just stopped.

   She remembered the day of their marriage and the subsequent honeymoon aboard an earlier version of the White Star sixty-seven cycles (100 years) - 'Valen, has it been that long?', she thought - ago. Even though she had been Satai of the Grey Council and Entil'Zha to the Rangers, she had never made love to anyone, Minbari or human. 'Although,' Delenn thought with a smile, 'he did cure that very quickly.' Even after all the years that had passed she could still remember how his mouth and tongue felt on her skin, the way his hands gently fondled her breasts and roamed over her body, making love with him again and again until they both collapsed, exhausted. Afterward...there was the homecoming on Babylon 5, the formation of the Alliance's government, wars, and very little time together, since there was always something that seemed to drag them apart. At least she was there at the end, thank Valen.

   She thought of her home on Minbar, and of the years of seclusion that she had passed there ever since she had retired from the government twenty years after John's death. Almost secluded, anyway. Except for the occasional state function, there was little for her to do except to keep up with her grandchildren, write about the Alliance's history and the events before it, and being creative with her hands. Even now, that didn't look so appealing anymore. Her grandchildren were all grown, her great and great-great grandchildren were scattered all over the galaxy, and there was no more writing to do. For the first time in her life, she was faced with the prospect of having nothing to do except to deny claims made by some Humans that John craved power and wanted to rule everything in sight. Even then, who would listen?

   She opened her eyes and leaned forward across the desk, reaching for a mahogany box John had given her as a gift so long ago. Delenn opened it and removed a sheet of paper - real paper, not synthetic - feeling the richness of it between her fingers as she laid it on the desk, then took a polished wooden pen from the box and started to write:

They refuse to see
They refuse to believe
But I do. I miss you, John.
They called you power hungry. Tyrant.
But I know better.
I know your soul, your heart.
You cared for no reason
And you loved without question
I'm tired, John.
Tired of speaking into the dark
When I long to see, to feel
The warmth of your body
The sweetness of your lips
And the song of your soul
And I want...

   Delenn set the pen down on the desk and leaned back, staring blindly at the words. She knew what she wanted.


   The funeral, held several weeks later, kept in tune with Minbari tradition: solemn and dignified.

   A soft wind rustled through the nearby trees as Delenn's body was laid to rest next to her husband's. After saying the traditional blessings the religious caste members withdrew, leaving the family and friends of Delenn behind to say their final goodbyes. One by one the mourners, ranging from the President of the Interstellar Alliance down to her friends, left the resting place until only the family remained. David Sheridan watched with tears in his eyes as one of Delenn's great-great-grandchildren, and John Sheridan's namesake, placed a single flower upon the casket. Then, slowly, they left.

   One day later, Delenn's resting place looked like every other new gravesite on Minbar, except with one difference: a flat gray stone marker lying against the ground instead of the usual crystalline marker. Chiseled into the cold stone were Delenn's name and the year 2362. A similar marker above John Sheridan's grave was almost the same way, except for a small message below his death year: I love you. The late afternoon sun was fading behind the trees as the cemetery's last visitors left, leaving it almost deserted.


   Unseen by curious eyes, a softly glowing ball of light hovered over a certain resting place and waited. It had, in a very real sense, always been there in one way or another. It glowed brighter as a second ball rose out of the freshly turned soil. For a brief instant, the two balls of light touched and became one, shining like twin suns. Then they were gone, leaving behind a now-empty cemetery.

   Delenn Sheridan had finally come home.






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