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never inconvenienced by the sun

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Susan had just changed into her nightgown and rolled back the covers when the door chimed. She considered not answering. The day had been far too long as it was, and if the Minbari were attacking, someone would have paged her.

The chime sounded again, and she swore softly to herself and pulled on a robe. Whoever it was, they didn't seem to be going away.

Susan immediately regretted the first thing she said when the hatch opened, which was, "Delenn! What the hell happened to you?" Then she shook her head and stepped away from the door. "I mean come in. Sit down. Have some tea. Explain."

Delenn, what Susan could of see her at least, was actually blue. Rather, the natural flush of her skin had faded to bone white and the natural blue mottling stood out in contrast. The rest of her was wrapped in a hooded white robe, which seemed to have several layers of blankets under it.

Susan tried to take her robe as she came in the door, but Delenn clung to it, pulling Susan around after her as she glided toward the couch. Susan let go, hand falling to her side, and watched as Delenn folded onto the loveseat, legs pulled up against her chest. She looked like a pile of bed linen with a nose poking out.

It only took a minute for the kettle to boil, and finding two mugs and a couple of elderly tea bags took up most of that time. Delenn's hands crept out from under the robe enough to take the mug, then retreated again, tea and all.

When she spoke, her voice was rock steady. Minbari, Susan remembered, didn't shiver. "I woke up and my quarters were freezing. Your maintenance people told it would take time to fix, something to do with cooling ducts and the Brakiri embassy, I believe."

"Didn't they offer you commercial quarters?"

"They did, but," Delenn hesitated, "I decided that I would prefer to be with you." Her head shifted under the robe, chin lifting. "If it is an imposition, I can–"

"No!" Susan was on her feet again. She stood for a moment, caught, unsure what she'd intended, half reaching across the space between them. She never could tell what Delenn meant when she said things like that, how many layers deep the true sentiment lay. She pulled the belt of her robe tighter. "I mean, of course you can stay. Here, I have some heat packs somewhere."

She had a hot water bottle too, which disappeared under the robe with the tea. Tea that had so far gone unsipped. "You should put these under your arms," said Susan as the packs warmed in her hands. "Probably." Assuming Minbari biology was that close to Human. The principal seemed sound. "Here, I'll help you."

Delenn loosened her hold on the blankets and allowed Susan to reach into the rapidly warming cocoon and place the heat packs. She wanted to bury her hands in the fur-soft warmth of the blankets. The brush of her fingers against Delenn's arm felt shockingly cold. "Are you sure you shouldn't talk to Dr. Kyle?" Susan asked, withdrawing her hands.

"I will be fine. This is not dangerously cold for a Minbari, merely inconvenient."

"If you say so." Susan dropped to her haunches in front of Delenn. It took a few pats to find her ankles under all the layers, but when she did, she squeezed lightly. "It looks like hypothermia to me."

"You need not worry so," Delenn insisted, but she extended a hand to pat Susan's shoulder. Susan could feel the cold right through her satin robe. "I will come to no harm."

Susan rested for a moment, each touching the other. They'd been so damn cautious around each other since Delenn had settled on the station. They may have agreed to give their working relationship a chance, but that had meant a great many formal, and inevitably chaperoned encounters, where Delenn called her "Lieutenant Commander Ivanova" in a coy way that made Susan want grab her by the shoulders and kiss the formality out of her. Not that that had ever worked before. Yet, now Delenn had come to her, in the middle of the night. She'd showed up, and Susan had let her in and offered tea and comfort.

Susan squeezed Delenn's ankle again. "Medically speaking," she said, her voice serious, but her face tilted so that she was looking up at Delenn through her eyelashes, "the fastest way to warm up is sharing body heat with someone else."

Delenn tilted her head, considering the offer. "That is not a Minbari practice," she said, and Susan felt her chest tighten painfully at the rejection and she had to look down. More fool she, for having offered. "Yet," Delenn continued, "part of my role as Ambassador is to acquaint myself with alien customs. Perhaps you ought to tell me more."

"Uh," Susan said, whatever the next line was having vanished from her mind. She didn't know if she could manage the static charge building up between them, or if she wanted to, despite her offer. They'd been here before, all those years ago, and found themselves lost. Yet, surely they were both older and wiser, were they not? And anyway, when the hell had she gotten so cautious? She ignored that the answer to that was sitting in front of her, still touching her shoulder, and said, "First thing we need is more blankets."

"Would these be in your bedroom?" Delenn asked. Under the shadow of her hood, Susan could see her mouth turning up.

"You bet they are." Rising, Susan set aside both mugs of tea, then held out both hands to draw Delenn to her feet. God, her skin was cold. The first part of this might not be as fun as it sounded. "Now," she said when they were through to her room, "you have to take off all your clothes, then I'll take off mine, and..." She worked at the clasp at Delenn's throat, loosening the robe, "Well, we'll go from there."

Delenn had lifted her hands to cover Susan's, and now she took the corners of her robe and drew them apart. Her hood fell back revealing the elegant curve of her bone crest, and Susan ran her fingertips along it, like she'd wanted to do since Delenn had arrived on the station. Delenn was shrugging out of her blankets and heating pads as well, letting them fall to the floor around her, until she stood in a shimmering sleeveless nightgown, and shoes and socks.

"Sit," Susan told her, pushing her towards the unmade bed. She shrugged off her own robe before she knelt, and slid off Delenn's silky slippers, then slid her hands up her calves to tug down her high socks. Her skin still felt cold, but seemed a little warmer than before. She bent to kiss each ankle as she bared it. When she ran her hands up past Delenn's knees, pushing up the nightgown as she went, Delenn moaned a little, then lifted her hips so that Susan could lift the cloth off of her.

When Susan shrugged out of her own nightie, letting it fall past her hips, Delenn asked, "So where do we go from here, Lieutenant Commander?"

Susan laughed. She'd known that Delenn had been playing that card on purpose, just to drive her wild. Instead of answering, she pushed Delenn onto the bed and fell on top of her. She had to bite her lip to keep from gasping at the cold. She'd been right: this was going to be a whole lot more fun once Delenn had actually warmed up. To that end, she dragged a couple of the blankets and all of the heating pads into bed with them.

"I am beginning to understand," Delenn said as Susan built a nest for them, curling around her from behind while piling all the warm things in front of them. Delenn was so damn skinny, no wonder she'd almost frozen. But she snuggled back into Susan as she brought up her knees to shape against Delenn's, then lifted Susan's hand from her ribs and placed it on her breast. When Susan kissed the back of her neck, right below the bone crest, she said, "I have heard that humans are also able to generate heat by means of vigorous exertion."

"We could give it a go," Susan said, laughing against her shoulder. She could feel her own body heat pouring into Delenn, and if she didn't move soon, she had a feeling that she'd be the one who needed to call Dr. Kyle.

Not that she needed the incentive. Just having Delenn in her arms started a glow in her belly that had nothing to do with heat. Tentatively, she stroked Delenn's hip, sliding over the flawlessly smooth skin. When that got a little hum of approval, she stroked again, this time curving her hand so her fingers trailed between Delenn's thighs. She kept her movements slow, teasing, but at the same time kissed Delenn's shoulder then her neck, then her tiny ear. Her other hand still cupped Delenn's breast, and she squeezed lightly. The kiss to the ear moved Delenn the most, making her shiver against Susan the way the cold never could.

"You like that?" Susan asked, and traced the curve of Delenn's ear with the tip of her tongue. This time Delenn moaned low in her throat, the sound vibrating through both of them, feeding Susan's own desire. She kissed Delenn again, and slid her hand down between her legs. She didn't move, but cupped her, knowing that even the lightest contact would spark Delenn's arousal.

It was almost electric, touching a Minbari. She only had to slide her fingers so that they just touched her closed entrance and already she was writhing against Susan. Delenn's ass pressed back hard, and Susan rolled her hips against it, building the charge between them. Delenn's hand came down to cover Susan's guiding it down a bit, and urging her on.

"More?" Susan asked, only half teasing. Delenn still felt too cold, but she nodded, so Susan played her fingers against the place where she knew that Delenn could open up to her. She waited, stroking lightly, kissing Delenn's shoulder again, stroking her breast. The pressure building between her own legs wanted her to let go and start touching herself, but there would be time for that later.

Or, as it turned out now. Delenn rolled in her arms, sliding her knee between Susan's legs as she did so then shifting her hips until she was lying half on top of Susan with the inside of her thigh pressing against Susan's clit. When she rolled her hips, Susan gasped and tossed her head on the pillow. Susan ran her hand up and down Delenn's back like she was trying to warm it, but soon settled on her ass. She tried to pull Delenn closer at the same time as Delenn's entrance finally opened under her fingers and she slid inside.

There, Delenn still felt warm, shockingly so against Susan's fingers, and Delenn also gasped as Susan entered her. But she rolled her hips again, pushing Susan further in, and again lighting up Susan up with ripples of pleasure. She leaned down to take Susan's lower lip between her teeth, sucking at it just as Susan had always liked. Their breasts pushed together, bare skin against bare skin, making Susan shiver.

She was starting to feel warm now, and wanted more: more heat, more touch, more Delenn.

"I missed this," Delenn said against her ear, and that was hotter than anything else she was doing. "I thought about it each night, for all the years between us."

Susan wanted to say that she had too, but Delenn kissed her then, hard and passionate, and at the same time shimmied her thigh up and down, sweeping away all Susan's words and most of her thoughts.

She tried to remember how Delenn liked her touch, while experimentally curling her fingers inside her and squeezing her ass. She'd always liked the little noises she'd been able to drag out of Delenn, seemingly the only concessions she could get at the time, and now they were less restrained, more freely given, and that was even better. Delenn moaned and writhed and cried out under Susan's touch; she panted into her kisses and tried to return each touch with one of her own, but soon her hands fall away, overcome.

When Susan wriggled down the bed so that Delenn's thighs lay on either side of her face, and licked between them, Delenn threw her head back and screamed. She was just starting, Susan knew, and sucked the lips of her entrance between her teeth, not biting, but holding pressure, and at the same time trying to hold her hips steady between both hands. She couldn't really hold back Minbari strength, but the solid grip seemed to steady them both. She licked again, circling the edge of her entrance, a Minbari woman's most sensitive place, and breathing in the sharp, citrusy musk of her arousal.

The smell touched something deep inside Susan, pulling her back through time to the bitter intensity of their first year together. She sucked harder, almost too hard, and felt sharp satisfaction as Delenn cried out again. She could make her feel things that no one else in the galaxy had, and Delenn was hers hers hers. She thrust her tongue into Delenn, and held her hips so hard a human would bruise, but Delenn just bucked and moaned, then screamed with each touch. She became a wild creature against Susan's mouth, and that only made Susan want to possess her more.

Then, finally, Delenn went still. Her whole body stiffened, and she seemed almost to stop breathing. She had crested, but Susan knew that she would not fall yet. She would not find release until Susan had touched her softly and gently, and stroked her sides and whispered in her ear. She let Delenn fall insensibly against the bed, laying her on her back where she stared up, eyes wide, while Susan kissed her way up her body. She stoked her hip and outer thigh as she had at first, then run her hands up Delenn's ribs and cradled her face between her hands as she kissed her mouth at last.

Finally Delenn let out a long slow breath, and started to respond to Susan. Her movements had become lazy, almost sleepy, but she lifted her leg to slide back between Susan's and held her ground as Susan rubbed against it. She was soft and pliant under Susan's touch, and Susan remembered this too, how much Delenn would have had to trust her just to let her into her bed. The younger, angrier, stupider Susan had not understood that until too late, and now she felt a regret still sharp after all these years.

Susan kissed Delenn again, tracing the shape of her lips, then letting her bite at her tongue. She could feel her heart pounding, each beat intensifying the pleasure building in her. She knew that she didn't need much now.

Susan slid her hand down to rub her clit, squeezing it lightly between two fingers. She came swiftly and almost silently, and fell into Delenn's embrace.

"I missed you too," she said when she regained her breath. "I just wish..." There was no way to finish that sentence, so she let it go. Delenn wrapped her arms around Susan and let her rest her head on her shoulder. Her skin still felt a little cool, but it always had. "I wish you'd stay," Susan said in the end.

"Of course," Delenn told her. "I was never the one who left."

Susan felt like there was one of those damned backwards Minbari logical omissions in that, but was too tired to care. It had been a hell of a day, for all that it had ended better than she could have hoped. "You going to be warm enough?"

"Yes," Delenn said, and kissed her hair. "I believe I will."