It had been a while since John had passed, but Delenn had doubted that there would ever be enough time to heal that wound, as she already had a 20 year head-start. She sat in her garden, trying to find peace with herself. It's not my fault John died. It's not my fault John died. She kept repeating the phrase until her jaw hurt and her mouth ran dry. Delenn wasn't one to cry when she was sad or afraid. She cried when she was frustrated. She knew who she needed. She needed David as much as David needed her. Fortunately, that's when he had appeared with a half-smile across his clearly distraught face. Delenn stood, with her arms extended towards her son. The garden was of decent size, but it felt so much larger when they embraced, as if the universe had turned against them.
David didn't come home immediately, but he did come as soon as minbarily/humanly possible. Ranger training had taken much out of him, his mother noticed. A few cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Delenn pulled back from their hug and asked him if he was alright.
"Yes, mother, I am fine. I assure you," he said with a sigh, "You've always been one to worry. Remember the first time Dad let go of my bike and I fell?"
"It was horrifying, I'll admit. To see you hurt has always brought me pain."
"I know, but do you remember what Dad told you?"
"Feeling pain, whether physical or otherwise, is the most human thing there is, because without pain, there is no way to measure happiness," they said in unison.
"Humans have a very strange sense of optimism," she said. Delenn sighed and sat back down on the bench. "Please sit with me."
He did as was instructed by his mother and Entil' Zha. He put his head on his mother's shoulder and whispered to himself "I live for The One, I die for The One."
"You will do no such thing."
"And why is that?"
"There's something I have to show you."
She brought him inside the house and had him sit down on the floor. He sat with unexpected patience as his mother looked through cabinets until she found a disk and inserted it into a screen that she had turned on with her voice.
"David, do you remember your father talking about Commander Ivanova?" Delenn sat next to her almost fully grown son.
"I remember him saying that she had died for his mistakes, but other than that, I really don't remember much. She was Jewish and did her best to keep Dad in line while you were away from him. That's all I've got." David shrugged and wondered why his mother would ask a question like that, but often her motives were unclear to him until her actions had already taken place.
"Commander Ivanova was a wonderful woman. She was brave, intelligent, ambitious, and loyal. I think she would have liked you. She was the first person I turned to after altering myself. She told me the truth and taught me what I would need to know when Dr. Franklin wouldn't. For that, I am forever grateful. Valen knows how your father would have reacted if I had asked him." Delenn shared a laugh with her son and continued. "She was never the most emotionally warm person, however she was very good at expressing that she cared about other people. She also knew how your father and I felt about each other long before anyone else did, with the exception of Leinnier. She had given this recording to me on the Babylon. She packaged it in a bag that had 'for any future spawn(s)' on it's side. When I showed it to your father, he laughed quite a bit, but didn't explain it to me until you were born. She recorded this video for you to watch when you were older, and I think now might be a good time for that." She turned to the monitor and had it play Susan's video.
Susan appeared on the screen after a few moments of static, looking slightly frazzled but managing to pull herself together. She took a deep breath and started her monologue.
"Hello. My name is Susan Ivanova. I am the second-in-command of the Babylon 5. If you're watching this, then your father, Captain John Sheridan, has died. It's not easy for anyone to think about, I assure you. In all my time on the Babylon 5, your father has made me feel so many different ways, including anger, sadness, respect, trust, hope, and a fun one called how much more stubborn can one person become? It's been quite the time. I also remember your mother very well, the more well-balanced and centered of the two. I hope you've gained her sense of patience and compassion. However, I also trust that you're incredibly stubborn. You get that from both of your parents, trust me." At this, David smiled and looked at his mother. She returned the smile as they turned to resume watching the recording. "I trust that your parents raised you to best the best you could be. I know that you must be feeling a jumble of emotions right now, and everyone else who knew your father feels the same way. He was a man of bravery, tenacity, and according to your mother, charm." At this, Delenn's cheeks gave a slightly pink hue, but David pretended to not notice. "This is quite a challenge for everyone. My people have a long tradition of sitting Shiva. It's a ritual, so I can assume your mother won't have too much of a problem with it, should you choose to take part in it. It's a seven Earth day process. We all sit together as a family and embrace our sadness. We eat dairy and eggs as a symbol of the circle of life. At times we eat the deceased's favorite food. To put it candidly, we eat our feelings with those whom we care about for a week straight. There's also a candle to be lit, as the light emitted from it is a representation of the soul of the loved one whom we have lost. I also feel confident your mother has many candles in her home. This is a dark time for all of us, but only in darkness will light shine clearly. I leave you with the knowledge that you are more capable than you know and that no matter what, you'll always be loved."
The recoding ended and Delenn asked David if he'd like to sit Shiva. He didn't notice her leave where she was sitting, or her grabbing a candle, and he found that most odd, that a Ranger couldn't notice the most obvious change in their surroundings.
"David? I asked you a question," Delenn said, "Would you like to sit Shiva with me?"
"Yes, I think I'd like that very much." David stood up and made his way to the tray his mother was holding. He saw a large candle and a match.
"Why don't you light the candle, Mother? Not only did you set each other's home planets on fire, you were also the perfect match." Delenn lit the candle and gave her son a very scorching look, but not for long. In some ways, she didn't lose John. He and David had the same sense of humor, same voice, and same charming eyes.
"Only you and your father would think that statement to be funny," said Delenn. David looked her in the eyes and chuckled. In some ways, he didn't lose his father. His parents both were stubborn, decisive, and filled with compassion, although they had two different understandings of the word.
As they ate, they embraced, talked, and watched the candle slowly shrink. But for now, they were sitting in the light.