Title: Celebration

Author: Iocane

E-mail: iocane@crosswinds.net

Summary: It's a special day for John.

Rating: NC-17

Series/sequel: Part fifteen of "Dreams of Silence" This is the final part.

Disclaimer: Galen, John, the Excalibur, and all related names, places, and people belong to JMS and many
other people.  The story itself is mine.

Archiving: CDC, WWOBM, Selena's Galen Page, Lady May's Slash Archive, DM's Place, and the Crusade
Fic Archive all have ongoing permission. Anyone else, please ask.

Warnings: This story contains explicit M/M sex.

Notes: First and foremost, thanks to Antoinette for her expert beta'ing, comments, suggestions, motivations,
and generally beating me over the head until I finished it. :)

Second, the following notations are used throughout the series

Single brackets [] around text indicate personal thoughts.
Double brackets [[]] around words indicate telepathy.

The character of Jessica Saunders is entirely my creation.

Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. This is my first planned out story of this scope, so any
suggestions you have would be wonderful.


John sighed and snuggled closer to the warm body next to him, not wanting to wake up yet. Galen's arms
tightened around him and he felt himself being rolled gently onto his back. Galen's body covered his as John
slid his hands around his neck. Their lips met in a slow kiss and John began to wake up, responding to Galen's
gently probing tongue.

After several minutes, Galen pulled away, leaning down to nuzzle John's neck. John sighed softly. "Good
morning ..."

Galen lifted his head and smiled. "Very good morning ... Do you remember what day it is?"

John's brow furrowed. Something was happening today, if he could just shake the sleep off his mind and
remember. "Tuesday." he replied, his brown eyes twinkling.

"Very good ..." Galen teased. "Now, are you going to wake all the way up, or do I have to do it myself?"

"You do it." John grinned, remembering what day it was. He felt like being bossy all of a sudden. He closed
his eyes and lay back, pretending to be asleep.

Galen smiled, he knew John had remembered, but enjoyed the game. "All right ... if you insist ..." Moving
slowly, he kissed his way down John's chest. His tongue flicked over one of his nipples. Glancing upwards, he
asked "Awake?"

John didn't respond, but Galen could feel his pleasure. Sliding a hand down John's stomach, he stroked the
other man's crotch through the sheets. Galen's teeth closed lightly around one of John's nipples at the same
time and John moaned softly, arching from the bed, but his face remained impassive.

Looking again at John's face, Galen moved his hand under the sheet, his strong fingers wrapping around
John's cock. Stroking slowly, it grew to full hardness in Galen's hand. Shifting down on the bed, he breathed on
the swollen tip, enjoying the shiver of pleasure he felt from his lover.

In keeping with "being asleep", John tried to keep his face expressionless as Galen tormented him. His body,
however, was unable to remain still. Arching upwards, he bucked lightly into Galen's mouth as he exploded, his
eyes flying open.

Sitting up, Galen licked his lips, looking like a satisfied cat. "Awake now?" At John's nod, Galen devoured his
mouth in a kiss that was both tender and brutal. John moaned into his lover's mouth, tasting himself on his lips
and tongue.

Pulling away, Galen lay beside his lover, gazing down at him. "Happy birthday." He smiled.

"Thanks ..." John sighed. "Why is it that that doesn't thrill me like it used to?"

"Because ... You're getting older. Soon you'll be a decrepit old man, and I'll have to trade you in for a newer
model." He ran his hand lightly over John's chest, his eyes fixed on John's face. He grinned as John slapped
him playfully.

John chuckled, turning to face Galen. "You're older than I am." he pointed out.

Galen opened his mouth as though to protest, then closed it. "You know, you're right." He reached for John
and pulled him closer. "I guess I get to keep you then." He murmured, before giving his lover a deep, slow

Galen pulled away after a moment, laying on his back, John snuggled beside him. John rested a hand on
Galen's chest, content to simply lay there, basking in the presence of his lover.

A faint beep came from the floor, amidst a pile of John's clothes on the floor. Groaning, John rolled over onto
his stomach, reaching for his link bracelet. "Matheson here."

"John, look, I know it's your day off, but there's an emergency and we need you on the bridge."

"All right." John deactivated the link and dropped it to the floor. Pressing his face into the mattress, he
groaned loudly.

He felt Galen's hands caressing his thighs, moving up to massage his back lightly. His lips slid up John's back,
kissing the base of his neck. Galen's breath was hot on John's ear as he spoke, laying partially on top of him.
"Come on John ... Let's get you dressed ..."


Gideon stuck his head out of his office "He's on his way!"

At the captain's cue, the bridge staff, plus a few extras, hurried to their places. Max, Dureena, and Dr. Sarah
Chambers, were on hand for the special occasion. Saunders, with her subtle skill, had seen to it that all of
Matheson's friends were scheduled for bridge duty this shift. A few non-bridge crew had been invited as well.
John had acquired a large group of friends in his time on the ship.

The bridge was decorated festively, with streamers and balloons all over, and a bright banner proclaiming
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY." Thankfully they were rather far from anywhere, so there would be plenty of time to
remove the decorations before they had to show the bridge to anyone.

The doors of the bridge hissed open, revealing Lieutenant Matheson.

The young man was visibly touched at the party his friends had planned. Galen was clearly not surprised and
John knew he'd been in on the secret.

Over the next few hours, he was piled high with gifts and cards. Galen was present, but not active for the
party. Everyone knew that this was simply his way, and a few winked that *he* would be giving John his
present later on. Or had already, one ensign suggested with a friendly smirk that turned the nearby
lieutenant's ears an interesting shade of pink.

Dureena gave him a small box, telling him he couldn't open it until he got to his quarters. "Galen can tell you
more about them." John saw her smile across the room at Max, who was chatting quietly with Saunders, Dr.
Chambers, and a young ensign. "It's from both of us." Dureena said, her eyes shining. The archeologist
returned her smile and gave John a small wave.

"Thank you Dureena." He smiled warmly at the woman.

Finally Gideon said it was time to wrap it up. John wanted to help take down the decorations, but Gideon
wouldn't let him. He gave John a heavy package and sent him on his way. Thankfully Galen was there to help
with the presents, otherwise he never would have made it back to his quarters in one trip.

Back in his rooms, John went over the presents like a child at Christmas. At Galen's insistence, he took of his
uniform top and tried on the shirt Chambers had given him.

At first glance, it seemed to be an ordinary black shirt. When he picked it up, however, John could barely feel
the fabric against his skin. Galen ran his hands over John's chest, confirming that it was one of the finest silk
blends he'd ever seen. It writhed around John's upper body like a shimmering snake skin.

Saunders had given him a plain data crystal, saying that she thought he would like the contents. Sliding it into
the viewer, they were surprised to hear an ethereal music fill the quarters. For a moment they were
mesmerized. [[It's beautiful.]] John said, not wanting to interrupt the music.

[[Quite. I've never heard anything like it.]]

The package from Gideon revealed an ancient hardcover book - the complete Shakespeare. John set it on his
shelf in a place of honor.

The only package yet unopened was the one from Max and Dureena. "She said you would tell me what was in
here." He sat on the couch, turning to lean against Galen when the other man joined him.

Galen wrapped one hand around John's shoulder, resting a hand lightly on his chest, his chin resting on John's
hair. He watched John undo the delicate white paper with a care he hadn't demonstrated on the other gifts.

"Oh, just rip it already will you?" Galen teased.

"No. There's something special about this one, I could tell by the way she gave it to me. I'm being careful this

Galen nodded and watched as John finally slid the paper off, revealing a box. Neatly separating the tape, he
lifted the lid, revealing two small, carved stone figurines nestled in white tissue paper. John heard Galen let
out a small sigh.

"What are they?"

"They're a Tokar pair."

"That's helpful."

"Well ... You know it's very rare for people to find each other without help. Often there is someone, or several
someones who conspire to help fate; knowingly or unknowingly. Sometimes it's a simple introduction, and
sometimes it's a more definite push."

"All right." He lifted one of the figurines, which Galen promptly plucked from his fingers for a closer look.
Chuckling, he picked up the other one. "But what does that have to do with these?" The figurine in his hand
was almost identical to the one Galen was now holding. Both were small, about the length of his thumb and half
the width of his palm. They were vaguely shaped, though whether that was deliberate, or the result of aging
John couldn't tell. Idly he wondered how Dureena - or Max - had come across them.

"Among Dureena's people, when two people find each other, they often know who it was who ... started it, shall
we say." Galen paused and John could feel his quiet surprise, and his happiness. "I think that Max and
Dureena have finally found each other." Galen handed John back the figurine, watching as the young man
reverently replaced it and the other figurine and closed the box. "And they know they have you to thank. Now,
to ensure a long and happy joining on their parts, you must keep the pair close to each other."

"I'm glad they found each other. They deserve it. Both of them." John stood and walked around his room,
looking for a place to display the figurines. Finally settling on the patch of shelf beside Gideon's Shakespeare,
John set them together and turned to find Galen vanished. "Just like a technomage." He muttered, moving to
straighten up his quarters. After finishing, he stood in the center of the living area, once again mesmerized by
the music from Saunders' crystal. It was truly beautiful, unlike anything he'd ever heard. He couldn't even
identify the instruments used. John made a mental note to check with the young woman on the music's origins.

John was still standing, his eyes closed, listening to the music when he felt a pair of strong arms around his
waist. Sighing happily, he leaned back against Galen's broad chest. Stepping away, Galen led him gently to the

Sitting in the center of the bed, Galen pulled John to sit in front of him, and slid forward, wrapping his arms
around John's waist. Even through their clothes, John could feel Galen's heartbeat against this back. He
rested his elbows on Galen's legs just as he heard him whisper "Close your eyes, John."

John closed his eyes and a moment later he felt a light breeze on his face. Opening his eyes, he gasped.
Before him lay forever. They were back on the rock on the nameless planet where Galen had first spoken his
love aloud. Unable to speak, he leaned back against Galen, tilting his head to look at his lover's face.

Galen smiled warmly at him, his lips brushing John's lightly in a brief kiss.

John looked back at the endless, cracked horizon and felt Galen's hands moving slightly. He glanced down to
see a small crimson box in Galen's hand. He was speechless, his heart in his throat. After staring at the box
for a moment, he heard Galen whisper in his ear. "Happy birthday, my love." he whispered. John let out a long
sigh. He never doubted Galen's love, but hearing it confirmed in words always sent tiny shivers throughout his
body. "Open it." Galen whispered, nestling his chin against John's neck.

With trembling fingers, John slowly opened the small box. Sitting inside was a small silver colored ring, etched
with impossibly intricate designs that John suspected was writing. Setting the box down, he studied the ring,
noting the way the metal glinted in a way that John was sure involved magic. It was a simple ring, save for the
etchings. A simple silver band. His voice was full of awe as he sensed his lover's unspoken meaning behind the
gift. "Galen ..."

John felt Galen's hands cover his own, gently plucking the ring from his fingers. Galen placed the ring tenderly
onto the third finger of John's left hand. "I love you." He said softly, running his thumb over the delicate
engravings. "This is why I was away so long that time." Galen confessed. "I couldn't tell you at the time ..."

"You made this?" John was in awe. The silver metal was warm on his skin, and felt as though it had been
there all his life.

"Yes. For you."

Again, the young man was speechless. He could fell Galen's emotions as surely as if they were his own. Truly,
John didn't know where his soul stopped and Galen's began. He wasn't even sure there was a line between
them at all. His mouth formed words, but his throat refused to make sounds. [[What does it say?]]

Galen's voice was quiet as he spoke, his breath light against John's skin, his strong arms tight around the
younger man.
"Within you I lose myself
Without you I find myself
Wanting to be lost again."