Here's a snip of 2 Johns, now I need to get my butt on the ball tomorrow and work on it.
Talyn's gentle hum lulled the two sleeping figures wrapped around one another. The peace was suddenly shattered by the sound of Johnny's voice laughing over the comm as he played with his DRD.
John let out a soft moan, burying his face in Aeryn's hair, he mumbled, "Please go back to sleep."
Aeryn turned over, uncovering his face. "Do you really think that will happen?" she asked. Her eyes remained closed as she allowed her head to roll to the side and rest against John's own.
"No, but a guy can hope." Sitting up in bed, John dropped the blanket back over Aeryn. “Try and catch a little more sleep. I’ll get him cleaned up before first meal.”
Aeryn didn’t move as she watched him dress. “Are you sure? I’ve told you that you don’t have to do this alone.”
“You got up to take him to the refresher last night didn’t you?” John gave her a smile. “Didn’t think I would notice, did you? You helped. Now, you sleep.”
Tucking his shirt into his pants, he could tell Aeryn had decided not to fight his suggestion when she yawned, her voice groggy as she spoke, “Comm me if you need me…”
“I will,” he said just before closing the door to their quarters.
Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, John went over the list of things he had to do over the course of the day. Which, thankfully, wasn’t that much. It only took him a few microts to reach Johnny’s quarters and key in the sequence to unlock the door.
They all hated the fact they had to keep Johnny’s door locked when he was inside, but found it to be the only safety precaution to work with certainty during the sleep cycle. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know how to open the doors. After he had almost accidentally spaced himself, they were taking no chances. When awake, the only doors left open and accessible to Johnny were his own quarters and the galley.
Searching through the tools in the wall closet and not finding the right size spanner, John turned and watched as Johnny wrapped up his ‘doggie’ in his blanket. He could see that the DRD didn’t seem to care much for it as it spun it’s wheels trying to escape the cloth.
“Be still or you can’t go to the store with me and daddy in a little bit,” Johnny said, petting the covered droid.
“Hey, Johnny, I have to go down the hall for a few minutes to get something. You say here and I’ll be right back.”
Johnny didn’t look up as the DRD suddenly seemed to put on a burst of speed and came out from beneath his hand. It quickly swerved several obstacles that lay around the man sitting on the floor and went under one of the worktables.
Putting his hands on his hips, he asked, “Johnny, did you hear me?”
“I said for you to stay here and I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
“Okay. I’m thirsty. Can I have a soda?”
“In a little bit, we’ll go have lunch and I’ll get you something then.”
“Okie dokie.” Johnny smiled and crawled to the table where the DRD hid.
John’s stomach growled, and he knew that even if he didn’t get the fitting in place within next half arn, he would stop and get them something to eat. Swiftly walking down the corridor to the hangar, John couldn’t help but give the maintenance bay a quick look. For some reason, he had a feeling he shouldn’t leave Johnny alone for too long. There were a lot of things in the room that he could inadvertently hurt himself on.
Having quickly found the correct size spanner he needed, John rushed back to the maintenance bay and scanned the room. He didn’t see or hear Johnny anywhere inside.
“Johnny, where are you? You better not be playing hide and seek on me,” he shouted.
Waking across the room, he put down the tool on the worktable where he had seen the other man crawling towards and looked under it. The only thing beneath it was the DRD and a ripped piece of shirt with Johnny’s comm hanging off of it.
“Dammit, I knew I shouldn’t have left him alone!”
“Crichton, where are you? Your ‘brother’ has just initiated the emergency decompression sequence in hangar two.”
“What?! I’m on my way there now!” Running out of the room and turning toward the hangars, John found Aeryn running towards him.
“How the hell did he start that sequence, Crais? Doesn’t Talyn have something set up so this won’t happen?”
“He does, but it seems that Johnny somehow destroyed the console that operates that function. Talyn is trying to end it before it reaches the final phase.”
“I thought Johnny was watching you work? How did he get in here?” Aeryn asked as they came upon the hangar doors, and she swiped her hand in front of the control. The doors remained shut.
“I only left him alone for thirty microts to go get a tool I needed. Crais, this door isn’t budging. Get it open. Now!”
“Talyn is trying, but locking down that door is part of the sequence before the outer doors open.”
John’s hand fell over the door control as Crais’ voice informed them, “It has just entered the final phase.” The ex-Peacekeeper’s voice was harsh and on edge, making vocal how each of them felt as John imagined the outer hangar door opening and sweeping Johnny out into space.
Suddenly the door in front of them opened. The force of the air being drawn in almost pulling both he and Aeryn into the opening before it was wide enough to allow even one of them through.
John could see the doors on the opposite side closing, but that did not stop the fury of the wind that raced around the room knocking over crates. He could see the two modules side-by-side rocking under the forces, but there was no sign of his twin anywhere.
Cupping his hand beside his mouth, John screamed, “Johnny!” He didn’t really expect an answer over the noise, but he still hoped to see some movement. John knew the man would be terrified at the moment, and trying to get out of the room. His only fear was that he hadn’t already been swept away.
“Crais, have Talyn check for any biological signs outside,” Aeryn said voicing his fears.
“His scan shows nothing, but he has disabled the decompression sequence. I am still trying to get the door open further to allow you entrance.”
“All we need is a few more denches, Crais, and we can squeeze through.”
As the words fell from his mouth, John saw the doors do just that and he immediately began wiggling his body through the opening. The idea that the doors might start closing again didn’t enter his mind until he was completely free of them and moving boxes around and yelling Johnny’s name repeatedly.
“John, over here!”
Rushing over to where Aeryn was trying to move a container, he saw Johnny’s feet sticking out from behind several crates. One of which had fallen on top of the man.
‘Oh, fuck…’ “Help me with this,” John said as he tried to move the box. Thankfully, one corner of it had hit the wall, preventing its full weight from landing on top of the man.
As it tipped over, John saw a small splash of blood on the floor and quickly fell to his knees and crawled into the small area between the wall and crates.
Johnny lay on his side, curled up in a fetal position around his favorite blanket, his bloody hands clasped firmly over his ears and crying. His breath was coming in such short, fast gasps that John was afraid that he would start to hyperventilate and they would never get him calmed down if that happened.
Placing his hands over Johnny’s, he tried to pull them away from his head in order for the other man to hear him. “Johnny, come on buddy, it’s over. You need to calm down.” The only response was a quick shake of the other man’s head, his sobs becoming even louder.
“Shhh…calm down. You’re a big boy… Remember? I need to see where you’re cut.”
Slowly, Johnny took away his hands and his crying began to ease up. John saw that the blood came from small cuts on both of the man’s hand fingers.
“These aren’t bad, in fact they’ll probably be gone a couple days.”
“How is he,” Aeryn asked through the opening.
”He’s fine, Aeryn. We’ll be out in a few microts.”
“They will?” Johnny’s tear streaked face looked up at him.
“Yeah, I promise they will. Now let’s get out of here, this is killing my knees.”
Climbing out, John saw Aeryn over by the hanger doors and examining the fried circuitry that controlled the functions for the outer hangar doors. As he grabbed Johnny’s arm to help him up, Aeryn walked back over to them.
“What did you think you were doing, Johnny? You could have been killed,” she said harshly. When Johnny tried to step behind him, she took him by the arm, stopping him. “No, you will answer me. What were you doing in here?”
John could tell that she was doing her best not to shout at the other man, and didn’t stop her questioning.
“You better answer her, Johnny. I want to know too.”
“I wanted to go play in the park outside.”
Aeryn looked at him in confusion. “Park? What is he talking about, John?”
“A park is a place where children go to play outside.” Turning to face Johnny, he said, “There is no park outside. We’re in space. Come here.” Placing his hand on Johnny’s back he took him to the portal. “Look. What do you see? Nothing but stars right?”
Johnny smiled and pointed out the window and said, “I see a slide, and a swing set. It’s not raining today, it’s pretty out. Can I go play in the sandbox?”
“There is no park, Johnny…”
“John, stop. He doesn’t see it the same way we do,” Aeryn said sadly. Her hands touched both of their shoulders and turned them away from the portal. “We need to get his hands cleaned up.”
Opening the door to Johnny’s quarters, John saw the light from the DRD shining through the dark red blanket as Johnny whispered something unintelligible and giggled.
“Johnny, you ready to get up?”
He watched as the man quickly scrambled up onto his feet, letting the blanket drop from his body. Pushing his already tousled hair away from his eyes, he looked at John and gave him a toothy grin. “Uh huh…I’m hungry.”
“Well, you have to get dressed first. As cute as you are, I don’t think Crais wants to see you in your skivvies.” John grabbed a clean set of clothes off the shelf.
“Wearing what you said. I got underwears on.”
Laughing, John said as he handed over the clothing, “It’s just another way to say underwear.”
He watched as Johnny pulled on the loose fitting beige weave shirt over his head and sit down to pull on the similarly made pants. Looking around the floor, John shifted through the roughly made toy soldiers, dolls, and cars they had bought, with his feet. “Where are your shoes?”
“I don’t know,” Johnny said as he fell backwards, sliding the bottoms of the pants over his feet.
John spotted them beneath the edge of Johnny’s bedding on the floor. Picking them up, he knelt down in front of Johnny. “Hold up your foot.”
Doing as he was told, Johnny asked, “Can I tie my shoes?”
The routine had become commonplace to John over the past eight monens. After dressing, Johnny would ask if he could tie his own shoes. John would watch for half an arn as Johnny struggled to get his fingers to cooperate, soon he would get angry almost to the point of tears and John would take over and finish the task. He had tried after the first couple times to just do it himself, but Johnny had thrown a tantrum, finally he gave in and let him try on his own.
Standing, John held out his hand and helped Johnny to his feet. They were several motras down the corridor when Johnny shouted he had forgotten his blanky and ran back to the room. When he returned soon afterwards, Johnny was wrapping the small piece of cloth around his arm and smiling.
After a few microts they entered the almost completed quarters that Talyn was growing, that would soon be Johnny’s new room.
John pulled the lone chair in the refresher close to the sink and Johnny climbed onto it. John didn’t say anything as he turned on the water in the basin, pinching gel he used for shaving into his hand, he began to spread it on his face. Rinsing off his hand, John picked up the straight razor and glanced at his twin.
Johnny was turned away, chewing on his bottom lip and staring off into space. Touching his arm, John said, “Look at me while I’m doing this.”
Nodding his head excitedly, Johnny wiggled in his seat as John took the razor and began to slowly bring the edge across his own skin. Taking his time, he slightly exaggerated his movements in order for Johnny to see what he was doing, John continued until the last of the gel was gone.
Rinsing off his face and turning to Johnny. “Your turn buddy,” he said smiling.
Johnny hopped off of the chair, and began to try and copy John’s earlier movements with the gel.
John pushed the chair closer to the basin and said, “Sit back down.” He then wrapped a towel over the other’s shoulders and chest. “Now, carefully, pick up the razor.”
Johnny did as he was instructed, and John placed his own hand over Johnny’s.
“Make sure you watch carefully so you don’t cut yourself.”
“Moving as if one person, John allowed Johnny a slight amount of control as he himself kept tight reign on the pressure applied with the blade.
Johnny didn’t move or say a word, but kept his eyes on the mirror in front of him. As the last of the gel was removed, Johnny laughed and said, “I look like my daddy.”
Each time Johnny said those words, John’s stomach clenched slightly with hope, but the feeling quickly faded away. After the first time, John left him alone long enough to tell Aeryn that the doctors were wrong. She followed John back to their quarters where he had left Johnny, only to find the man standing in the same spot, staring at his reflection and having a conversation. Pretending or believing, John couldn’t tell, that he was his own father.
John had felt what little hope he had been feeling suddenly shatter, leaving him feeling as if he were struggling for air. Watching his brother, the delusion of helpless became more than mere reality in a split second and it felt as if he were falling apart along with that shattered hope.