Discoveries (Part Three)

By Peej

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Later, they lay in each other's arms, drowsy, passion spent, but their need to be close; to touch, to feel, as strong as ever. Her face against his chest, she whispered, "I never knew I could feel like this. I never imagined that I could lose myself in my own body; that feeling you touch me could drive everything else from my mind."

He heard what almost sounded like a laugh, muffled against his chest, and felt her shake her head slightly. "Surely, I did not really do some of the things I think I remember doing." Her voice sounded amused and slightly embarrassed.

"Hmmn...I don't know which 'things' you're talking about," he teased. "Why don't you show me what you think you did, and I'll tell you if I remember it."

This time, it was definitely a laugh as she decided to call his bluff. She slid her finger down his side, past his waist, along his hip and and the inside of his thigh, whispering "Did I do this?" as her tongue brushed across his nipples.

Startled, he tightened his arms around her as his body reacted. "Good lord, Delenn, do you learn *everything* this quickly?"

Embarassed again, she hid her face against him, whispering, "Well, you said I should do whatever felt good when you did it to me, and since everything felt good..."

He laughed, and crooked his finger under her chin, tilting her face up so he could kiss her. "You know, I actually spent some time worrying that you might not enjoy this...you are the most amazing woman I've ever known. Every time I think I understand you, you surprise me, showing me some other part of you that I never knew existed."

"Is that not as it should be?" she smiled, "We would not want things to get boring." After a slow, sweet kiss, she snuggled against him contentedly. "I wish we could stay like this forever. I finally understand why you Humans are so obsessed with this."

He could tell she was smiling as she playfully traced the muscles of his shoulder with a fingertip. "I am surprised that your people ever found the time to invent the wheel."

As his fingers lazily caressed her back, he murmured into her hair, "Is it really so different from the way Minbari make love?"

There was a slight pause before she answered, "I don't know."

He was confused for a moment. "What do you mean, you don't know? You sound like you've never..." He stopped as the implication sank in. "Oh, lord, you haven't, have you? This wasn't just your first time with a Human--It was your first time, ever, wasn't it?"

She was a little puzzled by his reaction. "I thought that you knew that. Why are you so surprised?"

He was still trying to process everything, wondering what he could have, should have, done differently, if he'd realized her inexperience was complete. "Well...I knew...at least I assumed... that you'd never had a Human lover before, and tonight made that pretty obvious, but...well...you're an adult. You had a life before you met me, before your transformation, and I just thought..." He was watching her expression as he talked, and his voice began to trail off. "I thought there'd...probably been...other..." He looked at her apologetically. "I really do need to study Minbari culture, don't I?"

She was very serious now as she said softly, "John, there have been no others because I have never been in love before. Minbari take these things more seriously than your people seem to. If we were both Minbari, this would never have happened the way it did."

Concern in his eyes, he touched her face. "Delenn, I'm sorry. I know how important your customs and rituals are to you. You should have told me we were breaking a taboo, or I should have had the sense to ask..."

"You did ask. And I told you what I wanted. I said, 'if we were both Minbari.' You are not Minbari, and really, neither am I, anymore." She twisted a lock of her hair between her fingers. "You need only look at me to see that, and more than my appearance has changed. My body, my emotions, even my thoughts, my perceptions, are so different now that I am not the same person I was before. The Minbari part of me is still here," she said, placing her hand over her heart, "but the Human part of me becomes stronger every day, every time we are together. I love you, John, and if we are going to be together, I cannot continue to allow Minbari rituals and habits to govern everything I do."

He pulled her into his arms again, and whispered against her hair. "Delenn, I love you, too. You have to know that. You shouldn't have to do all the compromising. I'm willing to do whatever I have to do so we can be together; whatever it takes to make you happy."

"You already make me happy, John," she answered, as she pulled back to look at him, her eyes misty, "just by loving me, just by being the man that you are. I love everything about you, John, your honor, your strength, your gentleness...your passion. Just knowing that you love me is enough...although," she smiled as she slipped her arms around his neck, "I must admit that having you *show* me was quite...interesting. "

He tried to look offended. "Oh, I see...just 'interesting,' hmmn?"

"Well, entertaining, then."

"That's a little better, but not much."

She pretended to pout, enjoying the game. "You do not like my choice of words?" She projected an image of intense concentration. "What about...tolerable?"

He laughed. "Well, I guess it beats intolerable."

She laughed in return as her lips brushed his jaw, then his mouth. "Would you prefer incredible?" She kissed him again. "Or amazing?" She continued, punctuating each word with a kiss. "What about breathtaking...wonderful...astonishing...unbelievable?"

His arms tightened around her, and she felt his lips on her throat, his breath on her ear. "That's better...much better," He whispered, before his mouth joined hers in a slow, deep kiss, and they realized that they weren't really as tired as they'd thought they were.

****

John wrapped his body around her as she slept, but his own mind was too busy for sleep. He replayed the night's events, trying to remember exactly how things had happened; exactly when passion had overcome him, making him forget the real reason he'd wanted to see her. He shook his head as he admitted to himself that this *had* been the real reason, even if he'd never consciously acknowledged it. Anything else had just been an excuse. "No," he corrected himself, "an excuse, maybe, but not *just* an excuse. I really did want to tell her about what happened, about what will happen." As he thought about the things he'd left out, he felt her beginning to stir in his arms. She startled in confusion, then relaxed as she realized where she was, snuggling against him and kissing his chest. He brushed his lips through her hair, breathing in the scents of her body. "Did you have a nice nap?"

She stretched langorously, and he felt his body respond as she moved against him, but refused to give into temptation--at least, not for a little while. They still had things to talk about--the future, to be exact; both the future he'd seen and their immediate future. He wondered what she expected, what she wanted. Would she want everyone to know they were lovers, or would she want to try to keep it a secret? He didn't really think the latter was possible; people were sure to notice -- hell, people were already noticing. He suspected that Ivanova thought they'd been sleeping together for months, ever since she'd interrupted them on the Babcom just as they were about to kiss. She probably wouldn't believe him if he told her nothing had happened since -- at least, not until now -- he had trouble believing it himself.

Delenn regained his attention by sitting up and stretching again, with an expression which was entirely too innocent. "I am no longer tired, but all this activity has made me hungry. What has happened to the dinner you promised me?" She leaned down to kiss him as she continued, "I am beginning to wonder if dinner was ever what you actually had in mind."

He knew she was teasing him, but her words were so close to his earlier thoughts that he felt a little guilty and he answered her almost defensively. "Delenn, I won't try to deny that I've thought about this -- wanted it -- for a long time, but I really wasn't expecting it to happen tonight. I didn't plan this."

She smiled as she trailed her fingers along his shoulder, tracing the lines of his muscles. "Are you certain of that?"

He was mildly offended that she'd questioned him -- not that he didn't deserve it. Somewhat stiffly, he said, "What I planned was for us to have a quiet dinner, and then I was going to tell you what had happened to me...and that I loved you. I thought we'd just take it from there." His defensiveness disappeared as he smiled and shook his head. "I guess I wasn't expecting such an enthusiastic reaction -- I've heard too much about that famous Minbari reserve."

She smiled in return as she answered, "In my case, that Minbari reserve has been modified by Human impetuosity."

"Well, they make a pretty spectacular combination," he said as he pulled her face down for another kiss. She laughed, and lay down beside him again. He was silent for a while, as he held her, stroking her hair. Finally, he moved back a little, so he could watch her face, and began to speak again. "Delenn, I didn't tell you everything before. I left out an important part of what happened while I was in the future." He saw her expression change and he hastened to reassure her. "Don't worry, this part is good news -- or at least I hope you'll think so. I didn't want to tell you about it right away -- not until I'd had a chance to tell you how I feel about you." He stroked her cheek and waited a moment before he continued, "There's no way to know whether what I experienced was a true vision of the future, or just one possible future. I hope that a lot of it doesn't happen the way I saw it -- but I hope this part is true.

He paused again and looked into her eyes seriously. "Delenn, while we were in the cell on Centauri prime, before you realized I was from your past, you told me..." He took a deep breath and went on, "you told me that...that our son was safe." He stopped, waiting for her reaction.

"Son?" she whispered, eyes wide.

He smiled and said, "That was my reaction when you said it to me. You didn't tell me anything else about him, except that you said his name was David. I have no idea how old he was, when he was -- will be -- born." He stopped, and his face took on an expression of concern as a thought occurred to him. "I guess it's even possible that we just conceived him." He wasn't sure how to read her expression, and he began to worry a little. Maybe she didn't think it was good news, especially not if it happened so soon. "I -- I'm sorry...I should have considered that possibility before we -- I wasn't acting responsibly."

She silenced him with a finger on his lips. "John, if it is so, if I am already carrying your child, then it is because it was meant to be. If it is now, next week, ten years from now; when it happens, it will be the right time. And whenever he is born, we will welcome him with love."

He pulled her close again and kissed her softly. "Before what happened on the White Star, even when I thought about us being together, I wouldn't let myself hope that we'd have children -- I didn't know if it would be possible. But now, after what I experienced, I think that whatever transformed you made it possible. I hope so."

She was silent, almost pensive for a while, then asked, "John, why would I have told you he was safe? Why would he have been in danger?"

He knew it was a serious question, but he had to supress a smile. He didn't have to worry about her maternal instincts -- she was already worrying about a child who didn't -- might never -- exist. He tried to find a way to answer her question, although he knew he could only speculate.

"I'm not sure -- there wasn't a lot of time for conversation, but Londo had this -- this *thing* on his neck that he called his 'Keeper.' He said it controlled him, and it wanted us dead. I don't have any idea what it was, but from Londo's attitude, I gathered that we may have defeated the Shadows, but we still had some dangerous enemies. Our son could have been in danger simply because he *was* our son.

"As for why you told me, I'm not sure whether you were telling me something I didn't know, to reassure me, or whether you were trying to remind yourself and me that he was safe even if we weren't, and that that was what was really important."

He could still see concern in her eyes, and continued, "Delenn, when we helped Sinclair take Babylon 4 into the past, we changed the future. I think we can change it again, without surrendering to the Shadows or anyone else. What if...what if I was shown that precise time in our future for a reason? What if it was a warning, like hearing Ivanova describing the destruction of the station -- maybe it's something I'm supposed to change. I know you told me it couldn't be done, but I've heard that before. You know I've never accepted the word 'impossible.' I refuse to believe that there's nothing we can do to make the future safer for our son...and for the Centauri, and for everyone else threatened by the Shadows. We'll find a way," he said, as he smiled and stroked her cheek. "Somehow, we'll find it."

She returned his smile, but was still troubled as she contemplated the possibility of another seventeen years of war and uncertainty; of constant danger for them and anyone close to them. "A child," she thought, "a child who might never know security and peace. Would it be fair for us to give life to a child when that life would always be in jeopardy because we are who and what we are? But...we are all born into uncertainty -- if my parents had known..." She thought of the unexpected course her life had taken, and the woman she'd been three years before. When she had been a full Minbari, she'd never thought that she might have a child. She had been Satai, and in a sense, all Minbari were her children. But now...lying in John's arms, imagining a life together, it seemed so right, so obvious...she had hoped to become a bridge between Minbari and Humans; perhaps it was not she, but her child, who was truly to be that bridge.

She imagined herself holding a baby in her arms, with John's strong arms surrounding them both. The thought made her smile, and she knew that he had been right before. They could not stop living because they were at war; if they let fear make them deny themselves the things that made life worthwhile, then the Shadows would truly have won.

She snuggled closer to John, and she felt his arms around her, making her feel safe; making her believe that together, they *could* do anything. She looked up at him and touched his face again. "John, I do not know if we truly can prevent the future that you saw, but, even so, I know that whatever happens, we will manage," His arms tightened around her, and she felt his lips brush her forehead. She smiled as she continued, "but could we please wait until tomorrow to save the universe?"

He laughed as he pulled her back into their own private universe, where love was the only thing that mattered.

[END 3/3]

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