He held her tight, she clung to him even tighter. After what they had just been through, neither was willing to be separated by even a
molecule of air. It was over, it was finally going to be all right. For the first time in weeks they were able to relax and look forward to a new day dawning.
Neither one spoke at first. They were too busy saying silent prayers and thank you to God and Valen. At that moment no spoken words were necessary. Their silent embrace said it all as tears of joy streamed down their faces. The crisis was over. A miracle had occurred and the son they cherished, once again had a future.
Finally breaking the embrace, Delenn looked into John's eyes and
couldn't help reflecting his smile. She remembered how looking in those amazing hazel eyes the last few weeks had brought her comfort and pain in equal measure. Comfort in the love and support she found in them. John's eyes had implored her to have faith that their child would be alright. Pain, not just in the helplessness she saw each time they received another disappointing prognosis, but also because David's eyes were identical to his fathers. It was already to much for her, knowing in a few years, she would see the light fade from her beloved husband's eyes. Delenn couldn't bear the thought, that she would see the light fade from her son's identical eyes, also. That they had escaped that horrible fate, was slowly starting to sink in. Still her glistening eyes flew from her husbands eyes, to the bed where her son lay. She had to reassure herself that her mind wasn't playing tricks on her, that her little boy was truly, finally, firmly on the road to recovery.
Taking her hand, John led Delenn back over to the bed where their little boy David lay. John understood her need to reassure herself, their little guy was going to be fine because he felt the same overwhelming urge himself. They both reached out to touch David with a free hand. Relief shown upon their faces as the realization dawned on them that for the first time in over forty eight standard hours, their son's skin was not pale, cold and clammy. He, David, had been in Medlab off and on for the last three months. David's condition had been getting progressively worse. He had been readmitted into Medlab two days ago, when he all of a sudden stopped breathing. At the time, his condition had appeared at the time to be terminal. It was now two days later and the parents of young David Sheridan had just been given the news that their son was going to live.
Earlier that day, Stephen Franklin and his dedicated staff were doing
everything they could, yet nothing seemed to be working. Dr. Franklin
hated when a medical mystery stumped him. He hated this situation even
more. A child's life was hanging in the balance this time. Not just any
child. His best friends' child. His Godson. How, Stephen wondered to himself, can I go over to that room, look John and Delenn in the eyes and tell them there is nothing I can do. How do I tell them, I can't save the son that means more to them than life itself. Because they deserve to know, his conscience supplied. With a heavy heart, Franklin exited his office, to deliver to his friends the news that he knew would beak their hearts.
Dr. Franklin stood outside of the Isolab and observed his young
patient's parents through the plexiglass as they continued their
bedside vigil. Eventually he would have to go in and give them the news that he knew would devastate them. Stephen mentally berated himself for putting off the task. He was a doctor. He had performed this odious task more than he cared to reflect on. So why was it so hard for him to cycle the door and walk into that Isolab? Because it was David Sheridan lying in that bed, wasting away and he loved that little boy as if he was his own flesh and blood.
Stephen hadn't noticed Susan Ivanova walk up next to him as he stood there fortifying his heart, against the pain of informing John and Delenn, their son was dying. When he felt the touch of her hand on his shoulder, he turned to look at her. It was Susan's silent steady stream of tears, that clued him in, that his face had unknowingly told the whole story. Still she hoped she had misread his statement. She implored him with her gaze and voice to tell her she had
misinterpreted his look of abject misery. Stephen avoided her eyes as he shook his head and whispered, "There's nothing I can do Susan." He knew she would take the news hard, she loved David as much as he did, so he wasn't surprised when she started uttering, "O God, no" over and over again.
Seeing how distraught his friend was, Stephen led her back to his
office. He wasn't concerned about her public display of emotion, what he was worried about was John or Delenn seeing Susan emotional state and guessing the cause before her had a chance to break the news to them gently. Not that anything could or would make this news easier to receive. It was just that he wanted to try and prepare them first.
Once inside the privacy of Dr. Franklin's office, Susan Ivanova, the
strong, stubborn, iron willed, Captain of Babylon 5 fell into her
friend's arms and gave free reign to her emotions, as she and Stephen wept for a little boy that had brought so much joy into their lonely lives.
Once their tears were spent, Stephen and Susan felt a little awkward
because they were the kind of people who hated for anyone, even close friends, to see them so vulnerable. It was silly really, because it wasn't the first time they had grieved together, nether one of them
would ever forget the night they comforted each other over Marcus'
death. Leaning on each other, had helped them get through that terrible time. That same support system would have to see them through this nightmare. They had to be strong, not just for themselves, but more importantly, for John and Delenn.
When they walked out of Stephen's office, Susan and Stephen had once again donned their masks of professionalism. Ivanova made her way back to C and C. Stephen headed back to the Isolab.
Taking a deep breath Stephen, opened the door and entered the solemn Medlab. He noticed that John and Delenn were still in the same exact position they were in when he observed them earlier. With an air of professionalism that would have made Hippocrates proud, Dr. Franklin, explained to David's parents that the latest test results had shown that his condition was continuing to decline. There was little hope of survival. Stephen didn't want to cause his friends more heartache but he refused to lie to them, by giving them false hope. When Stephen finished speaking he asked the parents if they had any questions or if there was anything he could do to help make this time easier for them. When John and Delenn were finally able to speak, they informed Stephen that all he could do for them at the moment was to continue to try to save their son.
With leadened feet, Franklin made his way back to his office. He was glad for once no one stopped him with a medical emergency, because he needed a few quiet moments alone to deal with his emotions. To say that he was exhausted would have been an understatement. Once he had closed his office door behind him, Stephen walked over to his desk and sank into his comfortable leather office chair. His mind began to wander as he laid his weary head upon the desk. It seemed to him lately that if he was being rated, his scorecard would have more marks in the loss column than the save column. "Dammit!" he swore as he slammed his hand down on his desk in frustration. Why, he wondered, couldn't he find some way to do what he became a doctor to do, save lives. Sitting there wallowing in his misery, wouldn't solve anything. Stephen reached for the file at the top of his desk, marked David Sheridan. With a sigh he opened it, and began to pore over the information contained within. In the back of his mind was the nagging feeling that he was missing something..
While Dr. Franklin sat in his office reading young David's medical records, the patient's parents continued their vigil at his bedside. John picked up his son's favorite book, Space Dog's Martian Vacation and began to read. Even though David was still in a light coma, Dr. Franklin had advised John and Delenn to read, talk and sing to him. When Delenn asked if Stephen thought it would help David's condition, he told her that even when a person is unresponsive, most medical professionals believe they can hear outside stimulus and that it can make a difference to the patient's recovery. Just as John read the last sentence of the book, Stephen hurried into the room. The sudden nosy interruption, startled the rooms two conscious occupants, who had been lulled into a semi-relaxed state by the smooth, even tones of John's voice as he read.
When Stephen began to apologize for startling them, Delenn silenced him, telling him it was unnecessary for him to apologize and asked him if he had some good news. She wanted to know what he was so anxious to tell them when he came in. The good doctor began to explain his current theory about the treatment he was asking them to allow him to administer to their son. He was reluctant to make them any promises, because the truth of the matter was that he wasn't sure it would work, but they had tried everything else. John being well versed at reading between the lines after serving as Captain of Babylon 5 for four years and currently having served as President of the Interstellar alliance for 4 years, immediately asked Stephen what he was holding back. Delenn looked up at Stephen an implored him to tell them all the details of the procedure, what could possibly go wrong and the worse case scenario. After Doctor Franklin finished explaining the relevant information, he excused himself from the room for a few minutes, so that the Sheridan's could talk over their options privately. Ten minutes later, John opened the door and beckoned the doctor back into the room. The decision was made. They really didn't have a choice. If they didn't allow Stephen to try the procedure, David would die. There was no way John and Delenn could sit back and let that happen, without exhausting every possibility to save their child. Stephen had said he was cautiously optimistic that this treatment would work. All John and Delenn Sheridan could do at the moment was pray that the doctor was right.
Three hours later, John and Delenn were standing outside of the room where David was being treated when they found out their prayers had been answered. A weary Stephen Franklin, exited the room and greeted John and Delenn with a big smile and the news that David was already showing signs of improvement. The excited parents wanted to immediately rush in and see their son, but Stephen told them they would have to wait another half an hour until David was out of recovery and back in his own room.. Franklin preempted any protest by explaining that he wanted to continue to monitor David's condition during that time without him becoming over stimulated by his parents emotions seeping into his subconscious..It was hard for John and Delenn not to rush right into the room to see their son, but they loved him enough not to do anything that would have an adverse effect on his condition. It's only a half an hour and David's going to be okay, that's what's most important, they told themselves as they made their way back to his room to await their son's return.
To pass the time, John and Delenn meditated, while David was in the recovery room. It was the first time either of them had been able to do it properly since their little boy had been sick. They had just finished their meditations when the orderlies wheeled David back into his room. Delenn and John were at his bedside in an instant. David was still unconscious, but his color was returning to normal.
A few hours later, John closed his eyes and sat back and listened as his wife Delenn sang their son's favorite bedtime lullaby. He thought back over the many times he'd watched her rock their son to sleep as she sang that tune. The name of the song was Safe In Mama's Arms. I'd give up every credit I have, thought John, to be able to see, David smiling in her arms again, as his mother sings and rocks him to sleep. John's thoughts were interrupted by one word, but it was an interruption he didn't mind because it was his son's voice.
Had she heard it or imagined it. She had been wishing for him to wake up and say it for so long that Delenn wasn't sure that she hadn't imagined it. No he had really said it. David had uttered the word, Mom.. At that moment, that simple one syllable word, was the greatest word John and Delenn had ever heard. Their eyes filled with tears of happiness and in a choked up voice Delenn responded to her son. David next wanted to know if his Dad was there. When he found out both his parents were in the room with him, all the fear left his voice. A few seconds later, John and Delenn were treated to the wonderful sight of their son's hazel eyes looking at them. After they had both hugged and kissed their son, John put his arms around his wife and enveloped her into a hug. He held her tight, she clung to him even tighter. After what they had just been through, neither was willing to be separated by even a molecule of air. It was over, it was finally going to be all right. For the first time in weeks they were able to relax and look forward to a new day dawning.
This is a Babylon 5 story with a subject matter that to my knowledge hasn't been tackled before. It is not my story, I am just the person the B5 characters chose to tell their story. I do not own these characters, they belong to JMS and all the other wonderful creative minds behind Babylon 5. There seems to be a shortage of Babylon 5 fanfic being written lately. In my opinion that is a shame. So this is my little contribution to keeping the memory of a great show alive.