The Other Sheridan
In a different universe John Sheridan had another sister, Keisha. They're destinies were strangely similar even though they were very different and quite volatile. This is her story. No, don't own them.
I had a dream. I stood in a circle with a bright light shining down upon me. I was surrounded by people I couldn't understand and who could barely understand me. They approached me with a glowing triangle and muttered words that I knew later to be, "She is the one."
-Julie Saunders, Letters to My Daughters
I suppose I should have known that we would have a show-down. Johnny and I were too much alike. We argued frequently, and when I graduated from Medical School at sixteen, it got even worse. You see, the Earth-Minbari War had just ended, and we were in very different places in our lives. I suppose my departure was inevitable. None of us could foresee that years would pass before I saw any of my family again. Well, except for Delenn, how was I supposed to know she would become my sister?
-Keisha Julie Sheridan, Excerpts from Her Journals
Sarah Sheridan looked out in the backyard at her youngest, and admittedly most precocious child. She had started reading at age two. She entered high school at age eight, and now, as her brother prepared to come home from war, she was graduating from medical school. Now, three hours before said graduation, she was up to her elbows in the sandbox with her nephews and niece. Her coppery red hair shone brightly in the sun. The untidy curls draped next to her cheeks.
Sarah felt an arm wind its way around her waist, she looked over to look into the laughing eyes of her husband, David. She laid a hand on his and put her head on his shoulder, "I still wonder where she gets the hair."
"You're going to have to get her out of there if she wants to get there on time," he murmured.
Sarah gave him a shove as she pulled off her apron. This child had not really had a childhood. Keisha had left all her friends at school behind, and even the ones she'd managed to keep track of mostly couldn't keep up with her. She still had two friends, Leah and Stacy, who were excitedly bouncing around the kitchen. There had been so few reasons for celebration the last few years. Now they had two. She only hoped John made it in time. She glanced over at Anna and Elizabeth. Anna was Lizzie's, there middle child's, best friend. Elizabeth Lochley was his ex-wife. Somehow she'd managed to retain a friendship with the family in spite of the strained divorce.
Sarah walked out to the four children. Startled, green eyes met her mother's brown as she cleared her throat, "Kei, you're going to have to get dressed if we're going to get to the ceremony on time."
"All right, Mom," came the exaggerated sigh. Keisha patted Melanie on the head as she rose to her feet and gracefully brushed her sandy hands off on her jeans. She made the futile effort to brush her jeans off and gave up walking into the house and up the stairs. Her horse, a bay Quarter Horse mare named Jenny, nickered at her from a nearby pasture.
The Sheridan Farm sat on three acres of rolling land. Trees dotted the hillsides in the distant pastures. Lizzie came over with a sigh, futilely attempting to brush sand from her daughter's hair. The moo of cows could be heard from another pasture. They only had three horses, two cows, a pig, and a handful of chickens and roosters. The barn stood on its own little hillside west of the house. It was what you would picture when it came to barns: big and red.
They had inherited the family farm from Sarah's father, a bred to the land farmer. Unfortunately, he was a diplomat, not a farmer, and the corn crops this year were looking decidedly stumpy. His wife took better care of the cows than David did the decidedly stubby looking corn crops. Kei and the grand-kids took care of the horses and cows. The farmhouse was a rambling affair. The detached summer kitchen harkened back to the early days of the twentieth century in the southern United States before the advent of air conditioning. David now used it for wood carving. The back door led to the main kitchen and dining room. A swinging door led to the living room set up for entertainment and a game room off another door. The master bedroom faced the western sun. Three more bedrooms, one occupied by their youngest child, were found up the staircase.
Keisha headed upstairs to change for this momentous day. She'd told her parents that she was considering traveling the galaxy, she'd learned Centauri and Narn physiology while in Med School, itwould be easy for her to find a berth on a liner. David's graduation present had been cash, enough to cover any expenses for that trip if she chose to take it. Her mother's had been a gold necklace with a gold pendant on it. Lizzie and Anna had given her the one thing she treasure the most, an old-fashioned photo-album with everyone's picture in it, just in case. Keisha went upstairs and when everyone saw her again, her lavender dress was concealed by her black graduation robes and doctoral candidate's sash over her shoulders. Her lavender pumps made clacking noises on the wooden floor as she carried her motor board in her hands. John stood at the foot of the stairs smiling up at her. She threw herself into his arms giving a huge hug that would have made most women jealous if they had not known their relationship.
"When did you get back?! It's so good to see you!" she exclaimed.
"Just now," he said with a rakish smile. He took her hand, "I got here just in time!" He touched her hair, it had been bound in the back by a silver clip, "You've gotten so tall!"
"It's been three years since you left!" she replied softly. She cocked her head as she heard their mother calling her name, "Come on, you know how Mom gets when we're going to be late!" He laughed as she grabbed his hand and they ran toward the waiting car.
"Keisha Julie Sheridan!" the announcement rang across the auditorium as she walked across the stage, grinning from ear to ear. The motorboard had been securely fastened to her hair with bobby pins. Cheers rang from the small, but enthusiastic crowd, that made up her friends and family. The party afterwards showered many gifts on the new graduate as she prepared to step into her new life. Keisha turned a corner just in time to see John present Anna with a diamond ring. Both of them were surprised when their kiss was rudely interrupted by Keisha's enthusiastic jump onto her brother's back. Her dress managed to hike itself up over her knees in the process giving everyone a view of her long and shapely legs. Laughter and congratulations along with handshakes and kisses as the young couple's engagement became quickly apparent.
As Elizabeth left she noticed a heated discussion between John and Keisha. Their tempers were tempestuous at best, seeing them fighting was not uncommon. She left with a grin on her face as she wondered if John was trying to get her to join the military again. It apparently didn't matter that she was too young.
It was a dark and stormy night. Elizabeth heard knocking on the door of her apartment. The rain came down in sheets as she opened the door and found Keisha standing there. Her wet hair was plastered straight to her to her body. The jeans and t-shirt that she had changed into after the party were sopping wet. The water caused her normally shoulder length hair to plunge halfway down her back. "I need a place to stay, Bessie. Johnny and I had a big blow out and I can't go back home right now," she blurted out. She carried a small bag in with her carrying some clothes and nothing else.
"Did you walk all the way here?" Bessie asked incredulously. She ushered the girl in and gestured toward the bathroom. "Answer that after you've had a hot bath." She grabbed the wet clothes and threw them into the washer, unable to miss the sobbing issuing from the bathroom. "What was it this time?" Bessie asked as Keisha exited the room rubbing a dry towel over her we hair. The effort was rewarded with curly and even frizzier hair than the rain had caused.
Bessie watched as Keisha flopped down on her couch, "He's convinced that I'm a telepath, and that I should join the Psi-corps."
"I thought the testing they did on your family was inconclusive," Bessie replied, handing her a cup of hot tea. "Two sugars, right?" Keisha nodded.
"Trust me, what was his name, Bester? Well, Mr. Bester was very thorough. Of course I was only nine at the time and many latent telepaths don't emerge until after puberty which hadn't happened yet, but Johnny wanted me to be retested."
"How should I know? I'll go home in a few days, this whole thing will blow over and maybe I'll even go on that cruise. That Centauri cruiser isn't leaving for a few days."
"You can stay here as long as you need. Hey, if nothing else, you can watch the cat after I ship out," Lochley said with a smile as a large Siamese cat landed lightly in Keisha's lap. "Hello Thomas," she said with a smile as the young cat started butting her chin with his forehead. She scratched behind his ears as he curled up on her lap, purring, "He likes you, you know."
Keisha reached over and stroked his cheek with a finger, he promptly leaned against the finger and started moving his head sideways, "Yeah, he likes everybody. I've always noticed that there are two kinds of Siamese: very possessive and mean or the most laid back cat in the world. You've managed to land the latter."
The next morning Bessie found both Thomas and Keisha curled up on the couch. Thomas had curled around Keisha's hair and made an absolute mess of it with his paws. He was an absolute menace to the girl's hair which he had apparently fallen in love with. After breakfast, and bribing her cat with bacon, she left the apartment for the base. She knew that Keisha would veg out on the couch for the next two days before returning home and enjoying her mother's homemade cookies and milk. Still the two hours Keisha'd spend untangling her hair would've been highly entertaining if she'd stuck around.
She came home to dinner and a neat and clean house and left to the girl asleep on the couch for three days, and wasn't surprised when she came home after the third day and found Keisha gone. What she didn't expect was for Keisha's mother to call three days later, frantically asking if she'd seen her daughter, "Well, when she wasn't here when I got back I thought she'd returned home."
"None of us have seen her since the party. Johnny thinks she's gone off-planet. She wouldn't do that without telling us!" Sarah's panicked voice sounded over the phone.
"If I hear from her I'll let you know. Maybe she went off on that Centauri Liner without telling anyone," Bessie answered optimistically, not really believing the words as they fell from her mouth.
Keisha managed passage on that Centauri Liner, not really sure where it was headed. Her ticket was paid with her ability to back up the physician on the ship. She wasn't the only human on the ship but she was the youngest, and exotic as far as the Centauri were considered. Her red curly hair had men staring and women turning green. She acquired an odd guardian during her travels who escorted her to the various social events that occurred: Londo Mollari. He was travelling home to visit his wives on Centauri Prime and took a liking to the young human. He was also the soul of civility. He even bought her some dresses to go to the dances.
"Londo, as pretty as these dresses are, they're so…old fashioned. I feel like I should be shouting 'Huzzah' while watching Anne Boleyn get her head cut off," she said looking at the decidedly Centauri fashion. Her hair kept getting caught in the ruff at the back of the dress. She walked over to the dressing room and pulled the curtain closed so she could pull off the dress.
"What did you say your name was?" Londo asked curiously.
"Julie Saunders, I wonder where our next stop will be?" she asked evading any further questions.
"Tuzinor, it's on Minbar. You might want to stay on the ship." The grunt that issued from the curtain sounded like an agreement. He dismissed the subject from his mind and enjoyed the rest of the journey. He left the ship to conduct business in the Minbari city and never noticed her leaving the ship behind.
Keisha strolled around the city, she hadn't brought anything with her, not counting on staying on the planet. People stopped and stared, while they had met many different species living next to a spaceport, but humans had not made their way to Minbar, until then. As she wandered the streets it seemed oddly familiar. She kept to the main thoroughfare, and a small child ran up to her and stared up at her. She knelt in front of the little girl and smiled as tiny fingers reached out and touched her hair. The little girl ran away after touching the silky substance as her mother called her name. "Bye," she called, waving at the little girl's back.
A tall building loomed nearby as she looked down a side street. Cautiously, she approached it and peered up at a large statue. The Minbari looked almost human. She shook her head in bemusement as she entered the building and looked around. The room she had entered looked like a temple. Many rooms led off the big room that held many benches. Several Minbari in dark robes and wearing blue pendants. All conversations stopped as they watched her sit down and stared at her hands. She glanced up as someone touched her shoulder, "May I help you Miss?" The young Minbari asked in English.
Startled she looked into his brown eyes, "Adya unjdi Anla'shok."
Startled, the man stood and stumbled backwards in apparent shock. He hurried away. He returned quickly with several others who took her to another part of the building. She found herself being poked, prodded, but never questioned. Finally, she found herself in a dark room in the middle of a bright light. She held her hand up in front of her eyes in confusion as a figure in a grey cloak approached her. A small rectangular device was held up in front of her and it glowed. "She is the one," a voice pronounced.
Voices murmured, a strident one joined in argument, "But she is not even Minbari."
"Valen said to look for one with a head of fire," a female voice joined in. A hand reached out to touch her hair, "I believe this qualifies. What is your name?"
Keisha instantly understood then that giving her real name, Sheridan, the Star Killer, would be a bad idea, so, she lied, "Dr. Julie Saunders."
"Doctor? All right, I am Delenn," the woman continued pulling back the hood of her cloak. "Welcome to Tuzinor."
If any of you have been on the Sailor Moon Romance website (no longer exists, regretfully) you may recognize bits of this story. It's from a much earlier one that I wrote as a crossover between B5 and Sailor Moon. I didn't really like that story, and I am now attempting to rewrite it. It may turn into a crossover, but not with Sailor Moon. Let me know if you like what you see!