Kaz (kazbaby) wrote,

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New and improved with Beta-Power™!

Notes: Edited from the original posting. This is for farscapefriday's Leonard Cohen song title challenge. I haven't read the lyrics to the song, but the title made this pop in my head. It decided to grow a bit. *g* 1,095 words. Thanks to thehallway for the beta.

Setting: Futurefic. Minor spoiler for PKWars.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

Coming Back To You

“Crichton’s don’t cry,” you’d told him, breathing him in as the little voice that was all your own in the back of your head silently counted every finger and toe and thanked Aeryn that your son was perfect. “Often. Or for very long.”

You’d never grown tired of telling her. You’d made sure Aeryn knew you loved her. Too many missed opportunities had taught you both a valuable lesson.

You meant it then. Believed it now. The truth was written plainly on your face when you stared in the mirror each morning to shave, and in the smile that always felt just below the surface when your family walked into the room.

Some things have never changed over the cycles. You worked when Moya needed it, and ran if the need appeared. Such was your life, and you wouldn’t have had it any differently. Well, a few things, such as the nightmares that continued to wake you from a sound sleep.

You love, and loved, your family. Made love to your wife. Cared without condition for your son, whose blond hair would darken over time, a living portrait of when you were a boy.

You mourned your two best friends, lifting a glass in each direction in toast to the two men that knew you best in both worlds and said thank you.

You’d only come here to check out a minor power drain, and the answer was a punch to the gut. Hard and fast, stealing away your breath.

You were John Crichton. The one and only..

You kept telling yourself that as you stared down at the body in the glass enclosure, the sound of machinery barely audible above Moya’s hum in the cold room.

The same room that, once upon a time, had saved Aeryn’s life. It reminded you of a deep freezer then, and it still did. Only now, its resemblance was more closely linked to a morgue or terminal waiting room.

Sterile to the eye and soul.

Something niggled at the back of your mind for an instant, and you knew that she was behind you. Knew that her silence was shifting quickly from surprise to acceptance.



”I’ll ask again. Who?”

You held your breath as you angled your body slightly, just enough to see her. To see misery written in her eyes as she leaned her head against the doorway, shivering, from the cold or your discovery, you couldn't tell. Not at that moment.

Secrets were supposed to be in the past and you felt as if you didn’t know her.

“Is it…” you began, stopping immediately at the absurdity of the aborted question. You waved away the idea of even thinking it.

“No, it’s not.” The answer was firm, unhesitating. Maybe you did know her because you allowed yourself to believe it.

“I know. I know, it’s just…”

Cautiously crossing the room, Aeryn reacted to the fear that was making you jumpy. Her close presence gave you something else to focus on, and you searched her face for some reason behind the body lying to your right.

“This is you, John. Has been since you stopped the war. I just couldn’t…” she reached out and took your hand from the top of the glass, placed it onto your chest. “You were still in there, trapped. It was no different than the living death, and I couldn’t end it. End us. End our family.”

You’re surprised to see that there was no shame behind the admission.

“What am I then?” You pulled out of her hand, but closed the distance between you both. “What did you do?”

You didn’t want to really hear the words as you rested your hands on her shoulders, trying to fight against the chill of her skin, of your heart growing as frigid as the room.

But you listened anyway. Heard her tell you of your endless sleep and calling on your enemy for help – again.

To keep the peace.

To keep war from resurfacing its malformed head.

To have you come back to her a final time.

You wanted to scream and tell her that you weren’t what she claimed, that this was another nasty dream and that you wanted – and would – wake up. Any second now. Any second.

She made you see the truth for what it was. That you were nothing more than bioloid, at least physically. You were still unique, your consciousness streamed into this body.

Your thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams continued to belong to John Crichton.

Falling to your knees, you faced the man lying wrapped in glass.

He appeared faded, older.

Maybe if you touched him he’d crumble to dust beneath your fingertips, and you could go back to being you again. Being at peace again.

Back to being a real live boy.

Aeryn mimicked you on the floor, and together you knelt in silence, in prayer, for a man not really dead.

Not really alive.

She gave you two options.

Your arm snaked around her shoulders, your hand falling against the back of her head, fingers twining through dark strands, to pull her closer and crush her lips to yours. Wanting to believe that what you tasted is a real memory.

Parting, she closed her eyes as you told her to end it, to turn off the machine and end him. She’d made you – him – promise that cycles ago if the same fate were to fall on her. It was the least she could do now.

You didn’t notice how much you were shaking when you whispered how much you loved her, your son, when she opened the side panel to Sleeping Beauty’s glass coffin. Watched her push a few buttons while releasing her pulse pistol from her holster…

“Crichton’s don’t cry,” you’d told him, breathing him in as the little voice that was all your own in the back of your head silently counted every finger and toe and thanked Aeryn that your son was perfect. “Often. Or for very long.”

You slipped out from your daze and looked up from where you were sitting on the bed, surprised to find Aeryn standing in front of you.

“Are you all right, John?”

You smiled, and nodded your head. “I’m fine, just zoning a bit. Thinking about how lucky I am to have you two in my life.”

She sat down next to you, rested her head against your shoulder. “We’re lucky that we have you too, John.”

It didn’t occur to you to ask why she sounded so sad.
Tags: fic
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