LOVE: A WORK IN PROGRESS
By Judy Bierman
This is my first..posted fanfic, so please be gentle!
Disclaimers are as usual... Nothing B5 is mine. It just takes up an unusual portion of my mental universe. I offer my humble respects to JMS and the cast of Babylon 5 for making me the B5 addict I am today! A gracious thanks to my patient beta readers for dealing with my spelling error laden work, and Kaaren for putting up with my constant Babylon 5 ranting! All feedback is welcome at Da_Flarn@b5fan.b5lr.com
The ISN broadcast ended, and Ivanova darted from the office with the look of "death incarnate" in her eyes. John was silent, having crossed to the other side of his office, no longer looking at the monitor. His mind was a sea of frustration and anger. Delenn moved to him, gently touching his arm to reassure him that he was not alone, and to ease her mind. He stood like a statue; arms behind his back, jaw clenched, and barely breathing as she leaned towards him hoping to catch his eyes, but to no avail. His reaction was predictable, but his shutting her out was not.
As she turned to leave, her heart aching, she felt a touch of anger. She didn't understand these feelings....these human feelings...and for the first time in years she felt quite alone. Delenn had to think; seperate herself from what had happened. The human feelings that had confused her from the time she emerged from the chrysalis, were now making her physically ill. Heading quickly for her quarters, she hoped for the mental strength she could gain through meditation.
John finally broke his stoic stance, and headed for the door, only to retrace his steps to shut off the monitor. His mind was spinning in so many different directions. Being refered to as subservient and mentally sick quickened his pace. John was marching to nowhere as if he had a destination, chastising himself for trusting that *ISN shit Randall!* *Garibaldi!!!* his mind exploded, and that explosion was shown only as a mad flash in his eyes. *God complex!*, his mind screaming, *where the f*ck did that one come from!*
His determination to get those far off answers were reflected in his gait. *How the hell did Randall get into the cryo area!* he thought. The portrayal of down below as normal life on the station made him bristle, as the muscles in his jaw began to jump. All John wanted to do was put his fist through a wall, thinking of how *that 'son-of-a-bitch' butchered his interview.* His blood started to boil as he whipped around a corner thinking of what was said about Delenn. John's rushed movement came to an abrupt stop as if he'd walked into the wall he'd just wanted to hit. "Delenn, oh hell....what is going through her mind...?" He didn't notice the people that stopped and peered at the captain talking to himself.
Delenn tried to meditate, but was unable to focus and calm her thoughts, because the memory of ISN twisting her soul again, and John's shutting her out of his thoughts in a way he had never done before. Staring into the single candle she thought, maybe, just maybe their joining wasn't meant to be...the prophecy...their love. Feeling as if the wind had been knocked out of her, Delenn felt trapped and needed air.
*Could John possibly be better off without my existance?* her mind cried. *His people could accept him more readily if I......what is that human term......was not in the picture!* She sped out of her quarters in a fog of doubt, heading for the gardens.
"I love him, but maybe my love is a burden," she murmered, the words catching in her throat like dried bread. *Oh Valen, help me see this clearly!* she repeated to herself. Delenn sighed as she sank onto the bench in the Zen Garden. Nervously, she twisted the engagement ring on her finger. *The humans will never see me in a positive light...* There were tears now, remembering how she had been shunned by her own people. After taking the engagement ring off, Delenn stared at it in the palm of her hand, then closed her hand around the ring, and closed her eyes thinking of John's face.
John got to Delenn's quarters to find it empty; one lone candle was still lit on a small table, and his heart sank when there was no response to his calling her name. ISN had changed the whole context of their interview and portrayed the woman he loved as some biological freak to be feared. His anger started to mount as he thought of how ISN had betrayed them. That anger subsided to a lump in his throat at the realisation of the pain that Delenn might be in.
Where else would she go other than her quarters to think comfortably... *the Zen Garden!* he sighed. That place had become a special spot for them, but for her especially. The garden was totally human, yet Minbari in feeling to her. John bolted for the garden trying to get his thoughts in order, and praying to whoever would listen that she would be there!
The garden was silent save the gentle trickle of a water fountain. *Thank you, whoever is listening!* he thought when he spotted her on a bench from a distance. He knew she was upset by the way she was sitting. Usually straight backed and regal, she was slumped over with her elbows on her knees gazing at the ground.
John touched her shoulder as he whispered her name; she straightened up in surprise. "John.." her voice was barely audible as she turned her head from direction of John's voice.
"Delenn," he said earnestly, "Please forgive me. I was so caught up in my own anger...caught up being human..... a boneheaded human male," he chuckled, trying to lighten the moment, but not realising how distressed she was.
"Please look at me Delenn," he pleaded as he placed his hand over the fist holding the engagement ring.
"I cannot, John, I am sorry I have brought more trouble for you," she said weakly. "I know I am confused," her voice was breaking, "I love you, but cannot go though with this...with us...with you. Your people will never accept me...mine barely do! You are half my soul John, but cannot bear the anguish I see in your eyes." She had spoken with little emotion.
"Stop this Delenn," he barked, hoping to get her attention, "ISN was right on a couple of points about you!" Her head snapped in his direction, and their eyes locked for a moment before she looked downward, away from him.
As if to tell her a secret, John leaned forward, his lips almost touching her ear. "You do hold the key to my heart!" He slid the hand that was holding her fist around her waist to enable more of his body to touch her. "I knew your sweet face was the face of my future the very first time I saw it!. And I am sorry, honey, it took me as long as it did to realise it", he muttered sheepishly. John then slid off the bench onto one knee while moving the hand that was around to Delenn's still clenched fist, but never loosing contact with her body.
As he tried to pry open her small hand to free the ring, Delenn released a quivered sigh trying to hold back the tears. When he cupped her cheek with his other hand, she turned into it, but was still unable to meet his eyes. "I am not going to let you do this to...us," he declared as he looked into her sad whistful eyes. "You have said the body is only a shell, and if what you say is true. And you back out of my life, then what is left?.......a half a soul in a short term shell!"
*In Valen's name, please...," she prayed. After retieving the engagement ring fom her hand, John kissed Delenn's palm reddened from where the ring had cut into her palm. "I need you Delenn." His words flowing like the warm melted chocolate she loved so much; "You are my conscience, my music, and the pulse that answers my heartbeat!" He smiled gently thinking *Where in Valen's name did that fraggin' come from?* as he placed the ring back on her finger.
"I love you Captain John J. Sheridan," she quietly swooned as she gazed into his face as if she'd forgotten what it had looked like.
Still holding her hand, he moved back onto the bench. "Do you realise my love, that this is the least you have spoken in a conversation with me? That is not very human, or is it humane ...... of you!" And then he winked. That brought an outburst from Delenn. *Aw hell, now what did I say...* But to his joy the tears were mingled with her laughter as she wrapped her arms around his neck, resting her forehead on his cheek. He pulled her close, bringing his face around into her hair and quietly breathed another secret.
"I love everything that makes you Minbari, and Human, and mine!" John pulled back, his eyes twinkling playfully. "If you come with me Delenn of Mir, I would like to show you that you are the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and how much I love your .......shell!"
"Perhaps that would be appropiate, Captain. I am unaccustomed to hearing such things in a public place!" There was a small wicked smile on her blushing face, as she looked away from him for in instant.
"Please Ambassador.....may I call you Delenn?", he teased. "I feel another ritual coming on, and I need you to participate." His smile took her breath away. John stood, pulling Delenn up to her feet and wrapping his arm around hers taking her hand into both of his. He kissed her fingers never taking his eyes off hers. "Never ever doubt what we have Delenn, or my need for you in my life!" They strolled out of the garden silently....deep in each other's thoughts.
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