David Sheridan toyed absently with the folds of his uniform vest as he said his piece, his solemn, earnest voice only a tone or two higher than that of his late father. Susan had to bite back a fond smile; it was unusual to see her normally calm, composed godson quite so fidgety. But nervous as he was, his innate politeness held good; there were a dozen random bits of crystal scattered across Susan's desk, all gifts from Delenn at various times over the past several months, but David had not even attempted to touch them. He had always been very considerate of other people's possessions.
"You're going to wear a hole in your uniform, if you're not careful," Susan grinned. "You should learn to use a Worker's prayer cord. Very centering and saves your clothes from wear and tear."
"David, I've known you since were in diapers. In fact, I put you in diapers, or whatever the Minbari call those little baby butt kimono things. I may be Ranger One now, but you can still call me 'Aunt Susan' when the door's closed."
The young man blushed a little, but he smiled. "Aunt Susan, I really hope you don't think I'm, well, out of line with this."
"Oh, you are."
"But I appreciate it. And it's cute, so you're not in trouble this time. Just don't try it again, okay?"
A more dejected-looking boy, Susan had never seen. "I was only trying to help. Truly. It's been a few year's since Dad... well, I hate to see Mom alone."
Susan swallowed another smile. "I understand. But you trying to set me up on a date with your mother—"
"I know! I know, it was inappropriate..."
"It was clumsy, too." Susan rose from her chair; automatically, David rose as well, almost snapping to attention before he remembered that this was an informal meeting. "David, your dad was like my brother. And your mother is... well, she's the best friend I've got. And you and her are my family." She gripped her godson's shoulders gently. "But we're grown women. If anything's going to happen between us, it's got to happen in its own time."
His face lit up. "So you're not ruling out the possibility?"
Susan rolled her eyes. "I'd have to be dead to rule out the possibility." She thumped David's shoulder. "Anyway, no more match-making."
"Hey, that's a time-honored Minbari tradition!"
"Look, find a woman of your own first before you try helping me out, okay?"
"Yes'm." But David was laughing as he bowed to his commanding officer, his pale eyes, so like Delenn's, dancing.
He left, and Susan sat down heavily on the edge of her desk, grateful to have dodged the falling blow so narrowly. She drummed her fingers on the smooth stone surface for a few moments, then sent a message to the President, asking her to come to Ranger One's office as soon as convenient.
"You know how you've been worried about David's reaction to us getting together?" Susan said without preamble, once Delenn had arrived and carefully closed the door. "Somehow, I don't think he'll mind."
Delenn tensed. "Why do you say that?"
"Because he just tried to set us up on a date."
The President of the Interstellar Alliance, Entil'zha and child of Valen, let out a relieved sigh. "He and John were so very close. I wasn't sure what he would think."
"He's worried about you being alone." Susan took Delenn's hand in hers, tracing the bones with her fingertips. "I wanted to tell him, but I put him off. You said you wanted to tell him yourself."
"I do. And now, I shall."
"Good." Susan pressed Delenn's hand to her lips. "And you might want to do it soon. The longer you wait, the longer you risk him finding out some other way."
"Yes, I know... He was planning on coming home for supper last night, but I told him I needed to work late."
"Well, that's one way of putting it..." Susan grinned. "But I can understand why you wouldn't want your son to accidentally walk into the dining room and see me fucking his mother with a species-specific strap-on."
Though Delenn flushed hotly and grimaced, it was not the reference that irked her. "Such vulgarity, ah'melierlia," she chided, grasping the back of Susan's neck and pulling her down for a firm kiss. "And such inaccuracy."
"If I'm not mistaken," said Delenn, favoring Susan with an impish, devilish smile, "you got the subject and the object of that sentence very much reversed. At least if we are talking about last night."
As she spoke, Delenn's hands gathered up the disparate crystal pieces scattered over Susan's desk, swiftly fitting them together until she had constructed, of all things, a well-endowed and elegantly-shaped Human penis.
Susan took it mutely, blinking. It was smooth to the touch and amazingly, as soft as silk, as soft as the filmy shifts that Delenn wore to bed each night--solely, Susan was convinced, to tease her, since the garments rarely stayed on for more than ten minutes. "Delenn."
"You've been giving me these bits and pieces for months. They've been sitting on my desk where everyone could see them. And now you're telling me that I've been casually displaying a beautifully-crafted, disassembled dildo?"
Delenn was either blissfully unaware of Susan's mounting horror or simply thought it misplaced. "I have a similar collection on my desk."
Susan muscled down her embarrassment and leveled a steady look at her lover. "Just for the hell of it?"
"Mmm. Just in case."
"And it doesn't bother you that some subordinate might glance down during a debriefing and see a sex toy on Entil'zha's desk? You know that's not the kind of thing that flies in Human circles."
Delenn sighed, a woeful little sound that Susan had learned was her favorite way of expressing her disappointment in the backward ways of Humans. "As you know, sex among the Minbari is much more... accepted and expected."
"So you've mentioned. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that our relationship isn't considered a conflict of interest. But still... sex toys? Seriously?"
"Quite seriously. The joining of two bodies in the act of love-making is highly respected by my people, even worshiped in some places. Deep in the southern mountains, there is a temple dedicated to the highest ideals of sexual pleasure, and they have a collection of holy artifacts very much like this."
"A temple. Dedicated to sex. With a collection of holy dildos." Susan thought for a moment. "Do the keepers of the temple... use these artifacts? Like, for their original purpose?"
"Of course. But only in the most sacred of rituals."
"And precisely why have we never made a pilgrimage to this temple?"
Delenn smirked deeply. "For the simple reason that, once there, I know I would never convince either of us to leave."
Susan blinked once or twice, then blushed. "That," she muttered, "is very probably true." She gently tossed the oblong piece of fitted crystal back and forth in her hands, considering how best she might use it on Delenn... or how she might ask Delenn to use it on her. "So the one on your desk is modeled on a Minbari."
Delenn nodded, smirk still firmly in place. "This way, we each have what we prefer."
"Why? You think I wouldn't like things Minbari-style for a change?"
"I make no such assumptions, Susochka."
Susan shivered. "Damn you," she growled, pulling Delenn close, "you know it gets me hot when you speak Russian."
"Smartass," Susan grumbled, and kissed her.