It was unexpected, and like most things in their life, untimely.
John paced the floors of the ice cold room, checking on her every few microts, wishing vehemently the others would return faster. Each time his comm to Pilot only brought about the same tired and worried reply. Occasionally, John's gentle friend would ask if he needed the room to be even cooler.
Hearing a weak whimper coming from his and Aeryn's bed, John rushed over, picking up a bowl of ice cold water that was regularly replaced by one of the DRDs.
Sitting down on the bed and adjusting his body, John cradled the sweat covered head and wondered for perhaps the hundredth time how this fever could have come on so quickly. There had been no sign of what was to come.
Glazed eyes looked up at him, an unspoken plea screaming out to him of the pain she continued to feel even while deriving comfort from his arms.
All he could do was rock her in his arms, unable to think of anything to say. He sat there quietly for half an arn more before words he had long ago foregotten fell from his lips.
"Hush, little baby, don't say a word.
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird."
Turning her head upward slightly, she smiled up at him. And he continued to rock and sing.
"And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring."
And he rocked.
"And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass."
Her eyes began to grow heavy and soon closed. And John continued to rock.
"And if that looking glass gets broke,
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat."
"And if that billy goat won't pull,
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull."
John felt a shudder go through her body. Quickly taking off his gloves, he pressed his hands to her forehead. The fever had finally broken, and he sent up a prayer to the universe in thanks. And he continued to rock her in his arms.
"And if that cart and bull fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town."
His voice trailed off, breaking into a weak sob of thanksgiving as Pilot's voice broke the new silence and announced the arrival of the transport pod.
Leaning down, John kissed the cooling cheek beneath his hand, and whispered, "Mommy's home now, Sweetheart."