The Zocalo was extremely quiet tonight. Lennier, G'Kar, Londo, Marcus and Garibaldi sat boredly observing the limited activity around them. In the far corner, two human men were engaging in a particularly passionate encounter. Inexorably they watched, as these humans moved on from tender kissing to open passion.
"Do you really think we should be watching?" Marcus asked with a little discomfort.
"They're the ones doing it in public," Garibaldi replied
"Ahhhrrghhh, it still makes my flesh crawl," G'Kar shuddered.
"That's because you are a godless reptile from a race of passionless ground crawlers," Londo hissed, "Pleasure is pleasure," he grinned with lusty appreciation.
"It is a practice almost as old as time its self, G'Kar," Marcus chipped in.
"Only between 'humans'," he said with distaste.
"What primitive nonesense," Londo sneered, "Are you trying to tell us that there is never any same gender mating on Narn?"
"Absolutely *not*!" G'Kar boomed.
The two humans paused…..then continued unabashed.
"What lies you Narn tell," Londo spat.
"How dare you …you Centauri slug," The two men faced up to each other angrily.
"Hey..hey..guys. This is supposed to be a quiet drink together.. remember?" Garibaldi wagged his finger, "You boys start a fight, and I'll be forced to send you home."
Reluctantly they sat back down.
"Anyway, we came here to have a quiet drink,…unwind, and enjoy one another's company. So just relax."
"How can we when we are subjected to this obscenity," G'Kar huffed.
"What exactly is your problem with this?" Garibaldi asked.
"It's unnatural! Disgusting!" G'Kar ran out of suitable phrases, "And where do they…..How do they?" he puzzled.
The other men laughed.
"So your real objection, is that you just don't know how to 'do it'?" Marcus giggled.
"Are you telling me that you approve?" He looked questioningly at Garibaldi.
"It's not a matter of approval."
"Would you do it?"
"Hey,..count me out of this one, guys, I just don't knock what I've never tried," Garibaldi held up his hands in surrender.
"You surprise me, Mr Garibaldi. I had you down for one of the 'not in a million years' and 'string 'em up by their genitals' variety" Marcus commented.
Garibaldi eyed him suspiciously.
"No. It's a free universe," he said with caution.,"Of course, that wasn't an invitation or anything."
"Oh no…no..no!" Marcus exclaimed nervously
"So what is your view on this subject, Mr Lennier?" Londo asked. "So far you've remained very tight lipped on the subject."
Lennier regarded the other men with his usual calm.
"It has long been an accepted practice on Minbar, so unlike the human worlds, where it still carries a stigma," his soft voice enthralled the listeners, " Minbari have never quite understood the hatred directed towards another purely because they find pleasure with their own gender. The joining of souls is always the most precious of bonds, and sharing this with one of your own gender can be very…… spiritual. The touch of another man must surely be as passionate and fulfilling as that of a woman. The joining of bodies and minds, the touch of flesh upon flesh, the sharing of moments of such intensity cannot possibly be considered wrong," Lennier paused.
The silence was deafening. The other four men sat unmoving, transfixed . All idle chatter in the Zocalo had ceased.
"Well…that is …my opinion," he said suddenly feeling a little awkward.
As the spell broke, there was a general clearing of throats. Without conscious thought, Garibaldi leaned away from Lennier, his chair tipped depositing him in Marcus's lap. He glared at the Ranger dangerously. Marcus was in the process of trying to loosen his collar, which had inexplicably become tight in the last few moments.
Garibaldi scrabbled to his feet. "You…you've lived on Minbar, haven't you?" he asked, his eyes narrowing.
"I only trained there," Marcus gasped.
"And you do have very long hair."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I think that's called envy, Ranger Cole," Londo chuckled. Garibaldi glared. "Do you suppose that all races in the universe partake of this particular pleasure?" Londo puzzled. G'Kar coughed. "Oh, except for the NARN of course, who do not have the imagination for such things."
"I imagine so," Marcus pondered, "Though I should think that it's more difficult for some than others. The Cerisee for example."
"Oooh, all those spines," Londo winced.
"Yeah, their women have built in 'body armour', how the hell would they do it?" Garibaldi's face contorted with the thought.
"Very carefully," Marcus and Londo spoke together.
The men laughed, even G'Kar, who's temper was being sweetened by the large volume of Brachere wine he was drinking.
"The Assente males achieve a spiritual oneness by physically 'glueing' themselves together," Lennier said suddenly. All eyes were once more upon him.
"What kind of glue do they use?" Marcus' curiosity peaked, " Is it the standard stuff you'd stick the sole of your boot back on with, or what?"
"I am not sure, though I doubt that. I believe it is a natural resin secreted in the skin, as the skin heats, the resin becomes sticky, and then of course as the flesh touches…they become….stuck."
"What if they want to go to the john?" Garibaldi asked.
"I do not know, Mr Garibaldi."
"Mr Lennier, you are a constant revelation to me. I thought Minbari were so boring….until I met you," Londo grinned. Lennier smiled that enigmatic smile and bowed his head slightly.
The panting from the corner was becoming more fervent, all attention was once more upon the humans.
"They do appear to have a great deal of energy," G'Kar was becoming very intoxicated.
"Yeah, I wonder which section they're with……they're obviously not working them hard enough," Garibaldi grumbled. "I wish I got off work feeling that frisky."
"Maybe you're lacking in something?" Marcus suggested.
"Could have told you that," Garibaldi sighed wistfully
"No I mean a vitamin supplement?"
…….panting….urgent panting and moaning……….
Garibaldi watched. "Nope. Nothing to do with vitamins."
……deeply urgent moans……barely audible pleas……….
"I do wish they would get on with it, I have a meeting in the morning," Londo complained.
……strangled cries…….faster breathing……
"They have shown incredible staying power…….for humans," Lennier noted
" The one on top is very like Sheriden isn't he?" Marcus commented. Garibaldi shot him another seriously suspicious look, but then took a moment to look a little closer.
"Sssdissgustinggg!" G'Kar slurred, peering to get a better view.
….oh my god….please…oh..
"Hey," Ivanova's voice rang out suddenly, "What's everyone doing in here at two in the morning?" The men glanced at each other furtively. Ivanova frowned. "What?" Suddenly she heard a noise emanating from the corner. Her eyebrows raised into her hairline. "You've been watching two men making out?" she gasped. Crimson faces turned away, muttering incoherently. "You've actually been watching?"
"Not exac.. well.." Garibaldi gestured wildly with his hands, the other men shrugged and shook their heads. Even the usually eloquent Marcus was reduced to a shy smile. Open mouthed she looked at each man in turn, taking intense pleasure from their squirming attempts to avoid her gaze.
"If you'll excuse me Commander, I have an early start in the morning," Londo found his voice at last.
"Yeah me too." Garibaldi added, scuttling away. Moments later, and with an expression of immense satisfaction, Ivanova sat back, watching the men melt away into the shadows.
Lennier completed his meditation, he took a sip of herbal tea, and prepared himself for sleep. The door chime suddenly pierced the silence.
"Lennier. Am I disturbing you?"
"Not at all, how can I help you?" Lennier's face softened into a smile.
"About what you were saying earlier,…..could we….talk?.".................