Specs: Babylon 5, John/Delenn, 6300 words
Notes: Conquest Ch.1, Ch.2, Ch.3
John didn't see her the next morning, for which he was incredibly thankful. After lying awake all night, he was in no condition to deal with what had happened. What had happened? He couldn't quite believe it hadn't just been a dream, but there was still a warm, pleasant ache in his balls that told the truth. What on Earth had gotten into Delenn? What had possessed her to show up in his room in the middle of the night to jerk him off?
Of course, he was the one who'd brought it up in the first place. A cigar, a scotch, and a handjob. He'd thrown the request in her face, meaning it to be a sarcastic statement on the impossibility of her finding something that would actually make him happy. Okay, that was being a bit snooty about it, but the basic psychology was mostly correct. Everyone he loved was dead, but a drink and an orgasm was supposed to make everything all right again?
John showered, then made his way downstairs. She'd been leaving his door unlocked fairly consistently since he'd gotten over the flu, but he didn't usually bother leaving his room. What was the point? He had so little appetite these days, and the thought of breakfast most mornings made him slightly nauseated. The few mornings he made the trek down to the kitchen, he opted to take his meal back upstairs with him, rather than eat at the table.
Today, though, he found himself curious. He knew so little about Delenn. She had told him that she was a member of the Religious Caste, and he knew she had been with the Minbari leader when he'd been killed in the initial attack, but beyond that, she was an absolute enigma. The only thing was, he didn't know how much of that was the fact that she was literally an alien, and how much of it was just her.
There was a small room at the foot of the stairs. John had noticed the door, of course, but hadn't thought of it beyond that. Now he tried the knob, and found it unlocked. He went inside. A guest room, what furniture there was covered in plastic, cold and sterile. John carefully closed the door behind him.
The living room had a sofa, two armchairs, little knick-knack tables. Superficially not too different from human furniture, but the lines were too unforgiving, the angles too harsh. John had tried to read on the sofa once, stretched out with a blanket over his lap, but he had never been able to get comfortable. The chairs were little better. Now he went to each of the little tables, studying each thing sitting on top. At first they all seemed the same, useless crystal do-whats-its, pretty but nothing else. But this square one was a clock, he thought, and that flat one was perhaps an I/O device; he picked it up, but maybe he had the wrong body temperature, or wasn't running his fingers over the screen with the right pressure, because it stayed dark and inert.
The viewscreen, however, Delenn kept securely locked. She allowed him to watch vids on occasion, but always under her supervision. What was she afraid of? It would be easy enough to disable the screen so that he couldn't send out any messages – though who would he even call? Still, as he did every time he passed by, John tried to swipe the screen on. No joy.
The kitchen was the most human part of the house. Moving furniture in was easy, but installing new appliances had apparently been more trouble than it was worth. John poked through the fridge and the pantry, but nothing caught his eye.
Down a hallway, and there were three doors. The first was a closet, empty save for dust and abandoned hangers. The second was another bedroom, as closed-up as the other. John wondered for a moment why Delenn hadn't installed him in the room next to hers, but a quick look showed that the room shared a bathroom with what could only be Delenn's bedroom. She certainly wouldn't have wanted him to have access to her while she slept.
John had assumed that her room would be locked, but surprisingly, the knob turned. But he didn't open the door, not immediately. Suddenly he felt afraid, a bone-deep fear that was so unnerving that the hair on the back of his neck stood up, and his legs felt weak. Run. Run back upstairs, hurry. John usually never ignored the voice that spoke to him from out of his fear, as it had always warned him true. This time, though, he stood his ground. Maybe tomorrow he would feel different, or maybe even just a few hours from now, but at this moment, John was tired of hiding.
He opened the door and stepped inside. It's not even a bedroom, was his first thought. As big as his room, but it seemed much bigger because there was hardly any furniture at all, and no bed that he could see. So spartan it was practically sterile. John walked in, his feet soundless on the thick carpet. A low table was up against the wall, two long tapers partially-burnt. There was a single stone between the candles, rough and gray but otherwise unremarkable. John picked it up, sure that it was from Minbar, though he had no way to know that for a fact.
Next he wandered to the bureau, opening one drawer after another. It was hard to tell what was what, as everything was equally silky and small. Is this what she wore under those stiff robes? But that just reminded him of last night, so he slammed the drawers shut.
The master bathroom was easily five times as big as his, big enough for a spacious tub and a shower besides. The head wasn't quite as spic-and-spam as the bedroom, with a few jars on the counter, a towel hung on the bar. Still, it was hard to imagine Delenn needing to use the head in any context; she was so otherworldly, so strange. After she left him last night, had she come down here and climbed into the bath? Had she needed to wash the stink of John away? Or had she slid into warm, soapy water to touch herself? John laughed; it was a ludicrous thought.
“What are you doing?” John spun around. Delenn was standing in the doorway to the head, staring at him. John couldn't read her at all. She could be furious, or she could just be curious. He hated that he had absolutely no clue what she was thinking most of the time. The handjob last night certainly hadn't helped matters.
“Does the bathtub work?” he asked, sounding dumb to his own ears. Something in her eyes softened, and she stepped into the room with him, closing the door behind her. John felt trapped, and wanted to flee, but she was between him and the door. He was afraid she would touch him again. He wanted her to touch him, he didn't want her to touch him, and being caught between the two wants simply froze him in place.
She didn't touch him, but she did kneel to turn on the water. “Hot?” she asked, and he nodded. Very quickly, the room filled with steam, and John felt himself relax despite himself. He didn't know why she returned to the house so early in the day, and why she didn't seem to mind that he'd been poking around in her room, but anymore, if he didn't understand something, it was easier to just put it out of his mind entirely. He watched her dribble some oil into the water, and then he waited for her to leave.
Instead, she came to his side, and put her hands on the hem of his shirt. “No,” he blurted out, but when she lifted the shirt, he didn't fight her. He shivered as her hands slid up his sides. Then she pushed his sweats down, her fingertips running over his bare thighs. She knelt to pull the sweats off his feet, and he could feel her warm breath on his cock, which was already getting hard.
“I can undress myself,” he said, voice tight.
“I know.” She smiled up at him, that shy smile from the night before, as she had slid a hand down to stroke his balls. John sucked in a breath, sure that she would put a hand on him again, or maybe even her mouth, but instead she just stood in one graceful movement, then led him to the tub, now full.
John winced as he stepped in, but in no time the hot water wasn't too hot at all; the warmth sank into his bones, and his sigh was utterly sincere. Now she'll leave, he thought, but instead she knelt again, right behind his head, and she gently urged his head back, getting his hair wet.
“Hmm,” she hummed, and while she apparently thought, she stroked his scalp with her fingertips. “I do not have any of your hair cleanser down here.”
“Regular soap is fine,” John answered, words slurring together. He was too relaxed to talk. “But I took a shower this morning, so it doesn't really need to be washed.” Now she'll leave, he thought again, the thought turning into a chorus, but she kept rubbing his scalp; some time later, she poured something in her hand, and started washing his body with her palms. God, but it felt good, it just felt so good to be touched like this. It was stupid to complain, to worry about it at all. If he had to be alive after all that had happened, wasn't it better to be some important Minbari muckety-muck's pet? Because that's clearly what was happening here. Oh, there was some real affection on her part, he had figured that out when he was sick, and in the aftermath. But hadn't he always worried when his cat hadn't felt well? Hadn't he stayed home his first semester at the Academy when his old hound dog had broken a leg at Thanksgiving?
Well, maybe he wasn't just a pet. Delenn slid her slick hand down his stomach to find his cock, and began to gently stroke him. He tried to say something, offer up some protest, but he couldn't quite get the words out. “Does this feel good?” she whispered in his ear, and then she kissed his jaw. A soft kiss, and her hand was moving so languidly, and it would have been so easy to just nod and let her do this. Just let her get him off. Instead John pushed her hand aside and sat up.
“What is it?” she asked, and John made himself ignore the genuine dismay in her voice.
“Just fucking stop it,” he snarled, grabbing her towel off the bar, wrapping it securely around his waist, not bothering to dry himself off otherwise. He splashed water all over the floor as he stepped out of the tub, and she was still on her knees. He had the terrible urge to drop the towel, grab that ugly bone around her head, and shove his cock into her mouth. Make her suck him off. If she wanted him to be happy, well hell, he'd show her happy. Maybe she saw it in his eyes, that feral moment, and maybe she saw the shame that immediately followed.
“Sheridan,” she said, so gentle, so understanding. John hated her. John was afraid that he was starting to like her, maybe even... But no, no way in hell. Anything positive he felt was nothing more than his poor brain trying to protect his fragile psyche. When a person is abused, it's ultimately easier to accept the abuse, to love the abuser, than it is to try and keep fighting. He'd be damned if he wouldn't stop fighting, though.
He retreated into her bedroom, and the move from the warm, steamy bathroom to the chilly bedroom was enough to wrack his body with shivers. He saw something now he had ignored before, a triangular shape covered with a thin foam pad set in the corner of the room. It was scarcely two feet wide, and with the gauzy article of clothing draped over it, he had assumed it to be some kind of weird Minbari open-air closet. John went to it now, recognizing the gauzy robe as the nearly-transparent thing Delenn had worn to his room last night. And the triangular shape could only be a bed. He picked up the robe in his fingers, and it felt dirty to him, unclean in some obscure way; not that it was physically dirty, but it almost felt like a diabolic object, and he dropped it to the floor.
“Sheridan?” she said, standing behind him. Then, timidly: “John?”
“You sleep on this?” he asked. He turned and did his best to lay on it, but it was canted at such an extreme angle he could really only lean against it. She may as well sleep in a coffin for as comfortable as this was.
“That is my bed,” she said primly. He saw dark patches on her robes, and realized that he must have splashed her with water, too.
He laughed. He put his head back and laughed. God, everything about everything was a fucking nightmare. What he wouldn't give to wake up literally anywhere else. She'd posed the question once before as though to trap him, but he really would rather be back in that cell, just one anonymous soldier amongst thousands, left to rot until he died a hopefully not-too-painful death. Because this was more than he could deal with. There was no staying sane, there was no fighting it, there was no just making it through. There were tears at the back of his eyes, and Christ, he was so tired of crying. He was tired of everything.
Delenn came to him, resting her hip beside his, and then she gingerly laid down on the bed. There really wasn't enough room for both of him, even with her on her side. She put her head on his shoulder; her bone crest pressed against him, reminding him even with his eyes closed that the world was a fragged-up joke. She slid her hand over his bare chest, caressing him, soothing him, and John just fucking let her.
For every scant bit of progress she made with him, John then seemed to immediately regress. It was as though he steadfastly refused to be happy, was adamantly opposed to it for no reason Delenn could understand. She had his cigar and his scotch, and had returned home early to present them to him, but she was afraid that now it would only be, as the Humans put it, putting wood on the fire.
Speaking of which, she was trying to light a fire, in the main hearth in the primary shared living space. John hardly ever spent any time there, but she hoped the fire would entice him. It upset her that he had asked her for a fire very early on in his residence here, perhaps as early as the second day, but with so many other things to manage, not to mention her actual responsibilities on the Council, she had completely forgotten about it.
Delenn had thought it to be full winter six weeks ago, when she had first moved into this house, but the cold had somehow grown even harsher, the snow deeper, the whistling winds more penetrating. This past week she had often been cold in the house, no matter how high she set the environmentals. Procuring wood had not been difficult at all, but building a fire was proving to be a frustrating task.
“Filth and more filth,” she cursed under her breath in Adronato, striking yet another match. She had stacked the various layers of kindling and sticks and logs exactly as the diagram showed, but she could not even get the kindling to catch fire, let alone the primary logs on top. This time she took care to stick the lit end of the long match as far back as she could, fearing that the air currents toward the front of the hearth were blowing out the little flame. But this time the match seemed to go dark even more quickly. Delenn cursed again, far more loudly than she intended, and she was embarrassed when John entered the room. Even though he could not possibly have known what she had said, he would undoubtedly be able to intuit the general meaning from her tone and volume. How happy for him, to learn that Minbari had tempers, that they were not as civilized compared to everyone else as they always pretended to be.
But John did not smile, he only frowned a little and joined her in front of the hearth. He studied the arrangement of wood, and he made a whistling sound between his teeth.
“This is exactly as it is shown in the diagram,” Delenn said, defending her work. John nodded, and now she thought there was a suggestion of a smile at the corner of his mouth.
“This looks like a fire built by an architect,” he said. “Any newspaper?”
“We disseminate our bulletins electronically,” she answered, mystified by the change in subject. “It is wasteful to print out topical news on paper.” John grunted in that way of his, then stood with a wince. Without another word, he went upstairs to his room. Delenn stood herself after a moment, replacing the box of long matches atop the mantlepiece, disappointed straight through to her heart. What did he want?
And she knew what he wanted, which is what made it all the worse. His parents, his sister, she could not return to him. They were dead and gone. His home was likely still bathed in radioactive soup. But the woman he had inquired after, a woman named Anna Keller, Delenn knew where she was. In custody, alive and relatively well. She could easily make the arrangements, bring this Anna here, present her to John. They could share the little upstairs room, and Delenn's experiment, such as it was, could continue unchanged; perhaps it would even be better, with a mated pair to consider.
The thought of John happy upstairs with a Human woman turned her stomach, and Delenn could not have said why. He was an awful, insensitive, ungrateful creature. His body was strange and hairy and bulky and altogether physically repulsive. He had said perhaps a dozen kind words to her since she had first met him. And yet... She still cared for him, inexplicably and irrationally. So she would save Anna Keller for later, as it were, and should John grow so despondent that she feared for his sanity, or perhaps even his life, she would procure the woman.
John returned, bounding down the stairs so quickly that she feared he would trip and fall, as he had done once before already. His broken finger was mostly healed, only needing to be taped to the finger next to it, and his other injuries had been minor indeed, but Delenn still winced every time she heard him descend. He carried a book with him, not one she recognized.
“It was already here,” he said shortly, though Delenn had not asked. He sat before the hearth again, opened the book, and began ripping out pages.
“Sheridan,” she scolded him, aghast. He ignored her, tearing out at least a dozen pages. Then he crumpled the paper up into balls, setting them aside. Next, he removed the logs and then the sticks and then even the kindling. “That is how the diagram said to arrange the wood,” she protested.
“Hush,” he said, so peremptorily that she could only blink down at him. He put the crumpled paper balls into the hearth, then gently laid the kindling on top, making a lattice of sorts. He looked around on the floor. “Matches?”
Delenn handed him the box, and he lit one. He lit a paper ball on the left side, in the middle, on the right. Flames leapt up, so bright in the dim, cold house. And Delenn saw the kindling start to catch as well. He fed a few of the smaller sticks inside, carefully atop the kindling. He lit another match and poked it into the paper again. Now it was a true fire, crackling away, and he leaned over and blew the flames bigger, even brighter. More sticks. And then, only then, did he add the big logs.
“Why didn't the instructions include the paper?” she asked, feeling betrayed. There were hearths in many Minbari houses, but they were fed by gas lines and required only a button to be pressed. What was the point of continuing to have wood-burning hearths on this planet, and having instructions and diagrams as to their use, if they weren't even accurate? Sometimes Delenn really hated Humans.
“They were probably written by someone who had never actually built a real fire,” John answered, but his voice was distant, and he stared at the flames. Delenn was already growing quite warm, and she was standing a few feet away. John must be getting rather hot, but he showed no signs of moving.
“Why would someone write instructions for an activity they had never performed?” Delenn asked. John spread his arms wide with a smile.
“Welcome to Earth.”
Delenn could not help but smile back, though she did not bare all of her teeth the way John did. She retreated to one of the chairs, rotating it with a finger so that she might face the fire. She had a theory that no matter how technologically advanced a species might become, they would always appreciate those things that had meant survival in their early days. For Minbari as well as Humans, that meant fire. There was a tale of a Worker named Jekhat who discovered the first hearth on Minbar; a myth, of course, as the castes were not created until long after the Minbari had fire, but a pleasant myth nonetheless.
“Come sit with me,” she suggested softly. John, instead, moved from his crouch to a seat in front of the hearth. He held out his hands, warming them over the flames. The flickering glow of the fire highlighted the angles of his face, casting shadows under his cheekbones. Had she truly thought him physically repulsive in any way? He was beautiful.
“That cannot be comfortable,” she told him a few minutes later. There was the slightest draft in this part of the living space, and Delenn took the knitted blanket that hung over the back of her chair and arranged it over her lap.
“More comfortable than those chairs.” He was leaning back on his hands now, and his face looked positively ruddy. An errant thought wandered into Delenn's head. What would it be like to spread this blanket upon the floor in front of the fire and lay with him? And as she stood, gathered up the blanket, and walked over to him, the thought remained chaste. Delenn had never been much for physical contact, not even by Minbari standards, but she found herself often wishing to touch John. She liked his solidity, his presence. What had begun as nothing more than the need to confirm that he was all right had turned into something she craved, almost needed.
John glanced up at her as she approached, but said nothing. He helped her spread the blanket out over the cold hardwood floor in front of the hearth. And he meekly allowed her to press him down to his back, and he drew her head down to his shoulder as though he could read her thoughts.
It was almost too hot down here, between the fire and John's body, but Delenn let herself soak the warmth up, trying to imagine the heat as an aura she could pull into her body and store for the future. She often meditated by staring at candle flames, and she looked into the fire now, studying individual flames, the gradations in color, the char on the wood. She found herself growing drowsy in the particular way meditation could take her, a relaxation that suffused her body and soul.
John had one arm around her, hand on her ribcage. His other hand he stroked up and down the forearm she had resting on his chest. She did not think he had ever caressed her like this, not even when she had gone up to him last night. And Delenn now let herself remember last night, her brazenness, her boldness. When she had searched for information on the word he had thrown at her, curious as to its meaning as it seemed so obvious on the face of it – were not all jobs done by hand? - she had been positively scandalized. Why had he said such a thing to her, what could he have possibly meant by it? She had been angry at first. He was the coarsest, most beastly creature imaginable.
But she had not turned off her tablet in disgust and set it away from her. Much like the diagram of the fire, there were instructions of a sort, vids that demonstrated the proper technique. Delenn watched several. At first, it seemed the sensations that the handjob evoked were painful; the men grunted and swore, their faces torn by grimaces. Yet the men and women performing the act said such things as doesn't that feel good and you like that don't you, so she could only assume that Humans experienced pleasure in a way that looked like agony. Considering all she knew of Humans, that made perfect sense.
She could not have said why she changed into the robe, that soft little translucent thing that was certainly not intended to be worn on its own, but only over other articles of clothing. She thought of the men in the vids, reaching up to stroke their partners, touching them as they were touched in turn, and as she began to ascend the stairs to his room, she had the oddest thought. Why was I ever allowed to take him for my own? Why have I been allowed to keep him unsupervised? It was a thought she’d had often in the days and weeks following Dukhat’s death, as more and more often others turned to her to make the difficult decisions. Had she not just been an acolyte? This was ludicrous, she ought not be in charge of anything. So she had felt entering Sheridan’s room last night.
And then she had seen him in his bed. He was hers. No one could deny it. She possessed him as fully as she did the clothing in this house, her mother’s brooch on her breast, her place on the Council. Watching him sleep, a rise of power washed over her, a knowledge that he belonged to her, she could do anything she liked to him, followed swiftly by that sense that this was all somehow a mistake.
Delenn wished to stroke him now, as she had tried to do while he soaked in the bath. But she knew this moment between them was fragile, and anything could shatter this quiet, still peace.
“Why?” he finally asked, and she felt his words more than she heard them. She could ask him for clarification - why what? - but knew that wasn’t necessary. She knew what he was asking.
“It was a mistake,” she murmured.
“Murdering all of us wasn’t a mistake,” he gritted out, his chest tense and hard beneath her, but he made no move to shift her aside, nor to leave.
“The man who fired on us, the captain who gave the order. It was a mistake.” Delenn sighed, remembering that terrible day, the panic and sudden fury, the way her world had ended in the time it took her to look into Dukhat’s eyes and see that his spirit had fled. “The call to vengeance, that was a mistake. The war, the capture of Earth. Mistakes.” There was some tremor in her chest, a flutter of wings beating against her ribcage, demanding escape.
“Removing you from your cell. Bringing you here. Seeing a smile upon your face, even if only for a moment. That has been no mistake. I think it has been the only thing I’ve done in my life that has been right.” Delenn heard the words with a dawning horror, never intending to say such a thing. But she felt no shame, none of the sticky sucking chasm of dishonor, so she knew that the words were no lie. Suddenly there was no air in her lungs, and she gasped in a breath that caught and tore at her throat.
Sheridan rolled her away, and for a split-second, Delenn knew fear. But he only moved her to her back, looming over her, peering down at her face. His face was dark, his body outlined in the warm red light from the fire, and she waited.
His lips found hers, hot and hard. Hands roaming her body, moving fabric aside, stroking and exploring. Delenn relinquished every last bit of control she had, lying quiescent, passive. She was afraid that if she moved, he would stop.
His mouth moved from hers, he kissed her neck, tongue roving, why was he licking her?, he touched and squeezed and kneaded her breasts, his mouth followed, and then he was shifting his own clothing, he entered her, too much it’s too much, she tried to open herself to him, she slid her hands over every bit of his skin she could touch, she wanted to kiss him again but he buried his face in her shoulder, her crest was thumping into the floor, the sound of it echoed throughout the house, pleasure built, it built, it built, it built, but his orgasm took him and he withdrew, leaving her sore and incomplete.
Sheridan sat up, his back to her. Delenn covered herself as best she could, feeling a sticky wetness between her legs; she wondered if it were only his discharge, or if she were bleeding as well. A keen embarrassment swept over her, the thought of standing and walking past him was almost more than she could bear. But as she did her best to rise in something approaching a graceful manner, he reached out and took her hand, stilling her movement.
There were tears on his face, glimmering in the dying light of the fire. Sheridan sniffled, wiping his cheeks and under his nose with his other hand. “Oh, God,” he muttered. “God. Good fucking Christ.”
She waited, but he said nothing else. She waited, but he only sat there, staring at the fire, more embers than flames. Finally she said, softly, quietly: “Do you feel any better?”
He turned to look at her, his eyebrows canted at the oddest angle; if she didn’t know any better, she would say that he was surprised. His hand left hers, and he stood. She had said just the wrong thing, again, ruining everything, again, and now he would be angry with her for days or even weeks to come, again.
But Sheridan instead put out a hand, and drew her to her feet, and then he led her to the stairs and up to his room.
His room was ice cold after the heat of the fire, and John shivered, his teeth honest-to-God chattering. Her room would be warmer, but there was no way in hell he’d ever be able to sleep on the wooden torture device she called a bed.
She was staring at him, her eyes big and round, her mouth a perfect little rosebud. She was pretty - alien or not, he couldn’t deny that. She had also walked up the stairs and into the room like she’d ridden a horse for the better part of a day. John waved on the lamp next to his bed, turned it down to ten percent. It took him a moment to work out the fastens on her robes - he’d just shoved shit out of the way earlier, and he could see where he’d ripped one out. He finally got the outer robe undone, the fabric thick and stiff, like a heavy wool. Beneath, she wore something more like a dress, snug and soft.
“John?” she asked, her voice low and tremulous. Sometimes he wondered about her ‘I’m so small and gentle and weak’ routine. Did she do it on purpose?
Off came the under-dress. John ran his finger here and there, testing the quality of her skin. Soft. Softer than he would have thought. Not a hair on her, and he didn’t think most of this skin had ever see the light of day. Probably why she’s so soft. She didn’t have much in the way of breasts or hips, which made what she did have all the more alluring. He found something catch in his throat at the sight of her navel, just like a human’s.
He tended to go for busty and athletic. Tanned skin, freckles. Loud laughs and playful punches. Delenn was slender, pale, elfin. He couldn’t imagine her laughing. But she was lovely, that’s all there was to it, and John felt the weirdest goddamned sense of protectiveness, seeing her exposed and vulnerable in front of him like this. He urged her to sit down on the edge of his bed and murmured: “Be right back.”
He soaked a washcloth in hot water in the bathroom, wrung it out. She was sitting docilely just where he’d left her, a tiny little thing, that big bone throwing her proportions off, and had he ever been scared of her? Scared of her?
John knelt before her, and eased her legs apart, and gently cleaned her up. She winced and tried to hide it when he first touched her, and she might as well had stabbed him in the gut.
“I hurt you,” he said, and it wasn’t really a question, but he’d have liked it if she told him no.
“I began to feel pleasure, toward the end,” she insisted, an encouraging smile on her face. He wanted to kiss her. He was disgusted by the fact that he wanted to kiss her. He still wanted to kiss her. Instead he tossed the washcloth aside, urged her legs a bit wider, and took a good look.
Superficially she was pretty much like a human woman, though as he poked and prodded around, he was fragged if he could figure out where her clit was. John stuck a finger in her stomach, and she finally figured out he wanted her to lay back. He decided he was just going to lick all over and see what worked.
Pretty soon it seemed like he had something going, one - just one - finger moving inside of her, her hips undulating up and down and side to side in a strange, intoxicating, alien rhythm. “John,” she said again and again, her hand in his hair, and when had she started calling him that? He couldn’t even remember.
Then her hands were on his shoulders, pushing him back. “But…” he said, and now she laughed. It wasn’t a big boisterous laugh, it was just a soft musical laugh, but by God, it was a laugh.
“That isn’t how it works for Minbari,” knowing somehow what he was going to say. “But that was lovely. Perfect.” Her hands kept urging him to his feet, and when he finally got there, she wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing soft open-mouthed kisses on his stomach. He hadn’t realized how hard he was until her kisses moved that-a-way, and his moan sounded harsh and ugly in the air after her breathy sighs, her delicate clarinet laugh.
Later he climbed into bed with her, getting them both firmly ensconced under all his blankets and quilts. He went ahead and let himself kiss her. In for a penny, and all that jazz. John smiled, wondering what she’d make of mixed idioms. She smiled back, a warm open smile like a Martian sunrise, and then she started crying.
“Delenn?” he asked, mystified. He was the one who cried all the time. He didn’t even know Minbari cried at all. But in no time at all, she was sobbing, hitching loud sobs that wracked her whole body, and John didn’t think at all, he just gathered her up and held her as close as he could.
“It’s okay, it’s gonna be okay,” he murmured, and other variations on that theme, stroking one hand up and down her spine. Her sobs died down but she kept her arms locked tight around him. Fuck, she’s strong. Her grip was actually starting to hurt his ribs a little bit.
“It’s all right, honey, it’s all right. Just relax.” She did, and he drew a deep breath he didn’t know he needed.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, accent thick. She wasn’t apologizing for crying, he knew, but he still didn’t know what to say back. So he only kissed her forehead, then her lips. He got them situated, her head on his shoulder like they’d been lying downstairs. He made sure she was good and tucked in. He held her until they both fell asleep.