Nine months ago, after their dinner at the Fresh Air, he had walked her back to her quarters, an arm not quite slung around her, but always hovering near her waist, her back, her side. They had continued their conversation, they had laughed, and she had said good night with an expression on her face he had never seen before.
In a completely unplanned move, he had leant down and kissed her. She hadn’t responded, and it had been brief enough to constitute nothing but a friendly peck, but her eyes had been just a little bit wider, her smile a little more secretive afterwards, and he’d had to physically drag himself away before he did anything stupid like proposition the Minbari ambassador after just one date.
The weeks and months since then had been hard on both of them. Whatever intentions he might have had towards Delenn had first been tempered by the sheer amount of work constantly threatening to overwhelm them both, and then utterly quashed that fateful day when he finally found out what had happened to his wife.
After that, he had taken Delenn’s invitation to a ceremonial dinner as a platonic offering and had even managed to convince himself when he held her shaking body after the Markab incident that he was only there as a friend, nothing more. (He resolutely didn’t let himself dwell on that moment in the Gardens when her hand had landed on his and the feelings coursing through him had been further from friendly than ever before.) And it wasn’t like he didn’t have enough on his plate as it was, especially with the revelation of the Rangers. For the first time since finding out about the Shadows, John felt a vague sense of hope that maybe they had a chance.
For now, though, there were plans to be made, people to be introduced to each other, and heaps of work to be done. All this was strategic work at best, administrative bullshit at worst, and the part of him that thrived in zero-G wanted to tear all the paperwork apart until only little shreds remained.
Letting out a bone-deep sigh, John felt her presence before he even raised his eyes from the files in front of him, and the light in the room was dim enough to shroud her face in darkness. When she came closer, he saw the disapproval in her eyes, and she didn’t even need to open her mouth to tell him clearly what she thought of finding him working at this hour. But there was something else in her eyes, too, something he hadn’t seen there before. It sent a strange thrill through him, almost enough to quiet the nagging voice in his head that still firmly claimed they were just friends.
“You should be resting,” she said with a slight click of her tongue, and the sound was so human and yet unfamiliar, coming from her, that he stared at her so intently for a moment he dropped his pen. The clatter of it on the floor startled him out of his reverie. He bent down to pick it up, almost catching the edge of the desk with his knee. Suppressing a curse, John wondered when this evening had turned into such a farce. But Delenn was still there, still looking at him from those deep grey eyes, and that made up for all annoyances of the day.
He stood up, guided her over to the couch. “I’m not the only one who’s up late,” he admonished in the same tone she’d used on him earlier, but the tilt of her head told him quite clearly she wasn’t taking the bait. They sat in silence for a moment, at first half a foot apart, but then gravitating towards each other until there was no more space between them and their shoulders brushed together with each breath. There was something calming in this, as though she only needed to be near him to drive away the doubts and worries about what the next day might bring.
It wasn’t enough to get rid of the tension in his shoulders, though, and Delenn noticed, in that eerie way she noticed everything, every little inconsequential detail. With a soft look in her eyes, she ordered him to turn around, and though he complied immediately, he was confused for the moment it took her to dig her fingers into his back, finding knot after knot after knot and expertly loosening them until he felt like he could melt into the couch. He turned around, half expecting her to take away her hands and put more distance between them, but she didn’t move, stayed instead where she was, right down to the atom. It felt like they were in a world of their own, a little bubble nobody else could enter, almost like a dream, and he could tell then that any chance he’d ever had at keeping this platonic had been shot out the window.
Delenn looked at him, and he searched her face for insecurity, for signs she wasn’t completely sure about this, and when he didn’t find any, he tilted his head and kissed her. It wasn’t until his lips touched hers that he realised how long he’d really wanted this, wanted her. Their first kiss had been nothing compared to the way she was moulding herself against him now, hands scrambling at his uniform while trying not to let an inch of space between them. John still hadn’t managed to wrap his head around the fact that he was kissing Delenn when she was already letting her hands wander over parts of him that nobody had touched in a long time.
She reached her target with unerring accuracy, stroking him first through his pants, then, after carefully lowering the zipper, through his shorts. John wanted to ask her where she’d learned to do this, but he barely had enough brain function left to keep breathing, and that, too, went out the window when she let go of his mouth with hers and sank to her knees in front of him.
His shorts were quickly done away with and then she was sucking and licking and nibbling until it took every ounce of willpower he still had to not madly rock his hips forward. It still didn’t take long at all, not with the way she kept running her tongue over that spot, that one, right there, and he was swept away, shouting something into the silence of his office—maybe a curse, maybe her name, he had no idea.
Before he even saw her move, Delenn had tucked him back into his clothes and had sat down next to him again, hands folded in her lap. She looked so well put together that, if not for her flushed cheeks and the slight tremble in her breath, nobody who’d see her now would be any the wiser.
Coherency was not forthcoming, but she seemed to know what he was trying to ask.
“Since we had dinner, I have been researching Human mating rituals. This was one I came across quite often.”
Not sure what to say to that, and still caught in the wonderful afterglow, he hummed. It didn’t really matter where she’d learned just how to do this to him. What mattered was why, and when they were going to do it again. Now that he knew what she was capable of, now that he’d seen a hint of what was behind that Minbari reserve, he had no intention of going back to whatever they’d had before.
John looked at her, tried to figure out what to say. She was just looking back, not batting an eyelash. If he had let himself think about a moment like this, he would’ve expected more awkwardness and uncertainty, but she was just sitting there, waiting for him to make the next move. Not that she had any reason to be uncertain, he reminded himself. His reactions had probably made it painfully obvious how much he’d enjoyed it. And she was still there, which had to mean she wanted this, too, and so much more. Delenn’s eyes still inscrutable, he let his gaze drop to her mouth, lips red and swollen, and after everything, that was what brought it all home.
He flashed her a smile and carefully pushed her back until she was half-lying on the couch, half-leaning against the cushions, and crawled closer. She mirrored his grin, and he pushed all remaining thoughts of work and responsibilities firmly to the back of his mind. Those things would be there later still. Tonight, he would spend learning everything there was to learn about the Minbari ambassador.