1. “Ho Hey” - The Lumineers
i belong with you, you belong with me
John entered his quarters, took off his suit jacket, flung it...somewhere. In his peripheral vision was a familiar purple-blue blur with a brown and white top that he knew was Delenn. “Hey,” he muttered, feeling unbearably old and tired. What was it about the bureaucracy of running the Interstellar Alliance that was infinitely more exhausting than actual soldiering? Give him a gun and a target any day.
“You humans and your lackluster greetings,” Delenn murmured, a smile in her voice he could hear yet not see. “If I did not know better, I would think you weren't happy to see me.”
John went to her, kissed her. A hand at the back of her neck, at the small of her back, and he dipped her low. She laughed into the kiss, his favorite thing in the world. He pulled back just enough to look at her, at eyes the color of a sea tempest. “Hey,” he whispered. The storm ended; the sun broke through.
“That's much better.”
2. “I Know” - Fiona Apple
i can't help you out while she is still around
“You lied to me,” John hissed, and Delenn felt the knot in her gut tighten even more. She should have confessed all she had known about Anna last year, when John had first been told about the Shadows, but what more had she known? She had known that Anna's true fate was unknown; that was all.
But she had led John to believe that Anna was surely dead, yes, that is exactly what she had done. A lie. Minbari never lied; another lie.
“You would have gone to Z'ha'dum,” she began, but he cut her off immediately.
“Spoiling the plans for your precious war.” The anger in his voice, the disdain. It was more than she could stand. “You lied to me so you could keep me here, so I wouldn't upset the balance.”
“No!” she exclaimed. “I lied to keep you safe! Because I love you!” Was that the truth of it? Had she truly already loved him then, in those days when every meeting between them was an awkward dance, careful, cautious. She didn't know, and neither did John, it seemed, who stared at her as though she were a test he needed to pass.
Delenn needed him to speak. She needed him to tell her that he loved her, or to cast her aside; one or the other, she needed to know. But John only shook his head, rubbed his jaw.
“She is not your Anna,” she said, voice low. She clasped her hands behind her back so he would not see them tremble.
“And if she were?” he asked.
Delenn had no answer.
3. “No Light, No Light” - Florence + The Machine
you want a revelation, you want to get right
“Now give me your hand,” Delenn ordered in her most imperious voice, a voice that John had come to fantasize about quite frequently. Someday, if they ever got through all these goddamned rituals, she'd be giving him orders in the bedroom; he was looking forward to that as much as he'd ever looked forward to anything in his life.
“Minbari hold hands when they meditate?” he asked.
“This is not ordinary meditation. This is the Ritual...”
“...of Joint Revelation,” he finished. “I know.”
“Now we must breathe together. In, and out, together.” He had to hold his breath the tiniest bit longer than he was used to in order to sync his exhale with hers. It was a bit disconcerting at first, but before too long he was doing it without thinking.
“How long till we have the revelation?” he asked. He wasn't used to sitting cross-legged on the ground.
“Be quiet,” she commanded, her fingers tightening around his. John imagined her saying that while he begged for mercy as she stood over him in something tiny and made of tight leather, and a shiver ran through him.
4. “A Dustland Fairytale” - The Killers
don't you know the kingdom's under siege, and everybody needs you
The War Room was silent as the grave. The main lights were dark, the only illumination coming from the screens, which displayed planetary systems, known locations of enemy attacks, projections of casualties.
Delenn made no attempt to quiet her footfalls as she walked to John, who stared at the screens without seeming to blink, but she still managed to startle him. She looked for a chair to sit in, but he just drew her down to his lap, wrapping arms around her waist. Delenn kissed his temple. “You need to sleep,” she whispered, a litany that was beginning to annoy even her.
Last night he had kissed her on the White Star, and there had been such triumph in his eyes. She thought that the two of them could have ended the war on their own, just the two of them, before daybreak. Now he seemed sunk in melancholy again.
“Sleep, perchance to dream,” he muttered. The words sounded like an incantation to her, and she shivered; John hugged her close. The words came to the tip of her tongue. Come sleep with me. But she knew what that would mean, to issue such an invitation, and she was afraid. So she just ran her fingers through his hair, and together they stood watch.
5. “I Will Wait” - Mumford and Sons
raise my hands, paint my spirit gold
Delenn said something in the Minbari language, something that sounded joyful beyond what English could manage. Their newborn son was gazing up at them, propped up on Delenn's thighs, her back against John's chest, as they all sat together in the bed at home for the very first time.
“Look at all that hair,” John murmured. He'd been bald as a baby, and assumed Delenn had been as well, but little David's head was covered with fine dark hair, and the wide eyes staring in amazement their way were bright blue. Lots of babies had blue eyes; he wondered if they'd shift hazel or gray later.
“Were you worried that he would have no hair?” Delenn asked. She extended a finger and David grabbed onto it for dear life. “Were you worried that he would look like a Minbari infant?”
“No, no. I don't even know what Minbari babies look like. They aren't born with bone crests already, are they? Because ouch.”
Delenn laughed, shaking her head. David stared with even wider eyes, then his little face crumpled up and he cried that perfect, sweet baby cry that John couldn't imagine ever getting tired of hearing. Delenn shifted him so he could nurse, and John moved his head down to her shoulder so he could watch. “He's perfect,” he whispered, ghosting a finger across his son's cheek.
“Yes,” she agreed. John kissed her neck, then kissed away the tear that rolled down her face.