A Farscape Short Story by Tina Price
During a painful moment Crichton makes a shocking discovery and
finds that company eases misery.
Alert: "The Way We Weren't" and "DNA Mad Scientist"
Farscape, all characters and images therein, as well as story
elements put forth in the series are the property of Hallmark Entertainment,
Henson Productions and Nine West.
notes: This is a stand alone story which occurs shortly after
the events witnessed in "The Way We Weren't" Once again, many thanks
go out to my Beta reader, Janet Spruill White. You can drop
her a line, at this address: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The above image is the property of Hallmark
Entertainment, Henson Productions and Nine West Australia.
The name escapes me,
despite my resolve to be strong - to allow her to do what she feels
She pauses in her rapid
march towards the shuttle bay. For a moment she seems indecisive
and then she drops her gear and turns towards me. In just a microt
she's in my arms, kissing me, holding me so tightly that I feel
Finally she tears her
mouth away. "We've already done this," she whispers, pain evident
in her lowered voice. "Please, John... let me go."
With a nod, my arms fall
to my sides. They feel as heavy as lead. She's right. This has to
be done and she's the one to do it. We've already said our good-byes
many times over. I have to make this easier for both of us.
Swallowing the lump in
my throat, I manage to make eye contact again and am surprised by
the tears forming in her eyes. She does love me, I know. I'd be
a fool not to see the misery written all over her, threatening to
bow her over - to break her.
With a shaky smile I
sigh. "You'll come back to me," I manage to choke out. "I know you
will. Just be careful. Don't take chances. Without you..."
Here my voice fails me
and trails off. I know I can't risk even one word more.
"However long this takes,
I promise you I'll be back John," she vows. "But I also swear that
Talyn will be with me when I return."
I nod and hold out my
hand. She takes it and starts to back away.
Our fingers slip apart
and then she has snatched her gear and broken into a run, vanishing
around the curved corridor in just seconds... er, microts.
It is only after I have
made my way back to my chamber that I realize that she wasn't headed
directly for the cargo bay.
I watch as she approaches me and despite myself, my hearts skip
She's crying, her grief
erupting in torrents of salty fluid which leaks from her blue-gray
Only once before have
I seen her in such a state and the knowledge that she has actually
come to me in torment and grief fills me with an elation which also
How can I, of all creatures,
be worthy of such an honor? What does she see in me which allows
her to open herself to me?
It doesn't matter. I
find myself quivering as I hold two of my arms out to her...
In just a moment, she
has thrown herself against the console which surrounds me and I
lift her effortlessly over it, pressing her to my side.
She is so small, so frail
compared to my kind and I find myself trembling even as her small,
smooth hands cling to me and she begins sobbing loudly.
"Aeryn... Aeryn..." I
whisper, trying to console her. I rock her slowly and speak in my
own tongue. I know she cannot understand what I say, but the tone
of my voice is what matters.
It soothes her even as
her presence here soothes me.
After a while, her crying
ceases and she gulps repeatedly as her body attempts to calm itself.
Soon she lies still against me and for a few moments I believe she
has fallen asleep.
I find myself filled
with a tenderness which astounds me.
I, who have traveled
the stars for three cycles...
I, who have known the
joy and rapture of living as a part, an extension of Moya, a living
I, who should be content
with what I have...
I... I have never known
such joy and peace as I feel whilst embracing this female of a completely
We both carry such pain
within us - such scars and guilt...
Even if she did not accidentally
share some of my genetic code, we would be drawn to one another.
I know it!
As my thoughts run amuck,
she stirs and lifts a hand to stroke my cheek.
Ah... that I could hold
her here against me forever!
"Pilot?" she asks in
a quavering voice.
"Yes?" Mine is just as
"I never noticed before,
but you're so warm... Not at all like the bugs I used to fish out
of my sleeping gear on the really run down ships."
I snort with amusement.
"I'm a bug then, am I?"
She sniffs, and though
her face is hidden from my view, I can imagine the smile which has
appeared upon it.
"No! Of course not!"
she protests. "I just never noticed..."
"That my flesh is warm?"
She raps against my chest
with her fist and the hard chitin which encases me makes a sharp,
loud sound within my chamber.
"Flesh?" she whispers.
"It is a trivial thing,"
I reply. "We are not so different, you and I."
She tightens her grip
on me for a moment and then slowly pushes away.
With a pang of regret,
I realize that our time together is drawing to a close. Mindful
to ensure that she will not slide down my side to the deck so far
below, I carefully place her upon my console.
"The others are inquiring
after you," I inform her. "They are becoming worried by the delay
in your departure."
This threatens to spill
new tears, which she angrily wipes away with her fingers.
"What is this about,
Aeryn?" I ask. "It is Crichton, isn't it?"
She sighs and finally
meets my eyes. "I don't want to leave him... What's wrong with me?
I've never felt this way before!" She stands upon the console and
begins kicking at it.
I know that she cannot
damage it and so I allow her to vent her anger. In just a short
while she forcefully exhales and settles back down.
"You love him." It is
not a question, but a statement.
Her eyes turn to me,
wide and utterly devoid of pretense. "I don't know how to love,"
she whispers. "I can't... I shouldn't!"
Her words echo loudly,
defiantly throughout my chamber as tears again track down her cheeks.
Again I pull her to me.
"If a pilot can come to love the Peacekeeper who killed his predecessor,
then why cannot a Peacekeeper come to love a human?"
"Love? You love me?"
She sniffs and draws back, staring at me with wordless shock.
"Yes," I say, somehow
setting us both free by speaking of it. "No two beings aboard this
ship are as alike as you and I. We were not prisoners, enslaved
by others, but rather, prisoners of our own fears and ignorance.
We have clawed our way out of the mental prisons which held us and
found a new life - a new reason for living. We are not who we once
were, Aeryn. We are on our way to becoming something much bigger,
much better... And we have done so only with the love and support
of those around us."
"And each other," she
whispers, stroking my cheek again.
I close my eyes and shudder.
"Yessss...." My voice trails off for a moment. "You love Crichton
and it is plain to everyone aboard Moya that he loves you." I lift
a claw and stroke her cheek in return. "What happened between you
and Valorek was tragic, but, as I said, you are not who you once
She cuts me off, her
voice breaking as she attempts to speak. "I killed him, Pilot! I
loved him and yet I betrayed him just so that I could fly again!"
She pushes my claw away and turns from me. "It would be best if
I die before I can return," she whispers.
"Aeryn!" I turn her gently
back to face me. "I understand the all-consuming need to fly which
you once felt. Do you think I know nothing of desire? To my eternal
shame, I myself traded the life of the pilot who once sat here in
the hope that my own desires would be fulfilled". I gently brush
her hair back from her face as I continue, "I know what you are
feeling because I have felt it and feel it still. It is regret,
Aeryn and it is a bitter thing. However, we cannot undo what we
have done. We can only learn from it and hope never to do such a
She turns away from me
once more and whispers, "That's just it, Pilot, I don't trust myself.
Next time it could be John who is tortured and killed because of
"You have risked your
life time and again for John - for all of us!" I protest. "Over
and over, you have dropped your own plans in favor of his. D'Argo
has told me of the times you secretly bartered your own gear in
order to purchase for him a food which was similar to his own native
fare. How can you even think that you would betray him now? Why
can't you trust yourself as we all trust you?"
"Because at heart I am
still a Peacekeeper," she snaps, as she spins around to face me.
"It is a way of life that has been so deeply engrained into me that
I do not know if I can ever truly be free of it. I cannot even trust
myself! How can I ask any of you to trust me?"
I grasp her upper arms
and pull her forward so that we are staring into each other's eyes.
"Aeryn, you WERE a Peacekeeper. Now you are one of us. We trust
you. I trust you... It is time that you begin to trust yourself."
She looks startled at
first, then her eyes shut and a sigh escapes her.
"It is what you do from
this point forward that matters," I continue, as I gently nudge
her away from me, then lift her down to the deck before my console.
"Crichton is approaching. The others want to know what is wrong.
It is time for you to go now."
She leans forward and
strokes my cheek one more time. "I'll see you soon," she promises
and it is apparent to me that she had meant to say something else.
"Your genetic tie to
me will always allow you to find your way back to Moya," I say brusquely,
knowing that I am now close to tears. "Go on Aeryn Sun - find Talyn
and then return to us."
Her smile is dazzling.
Both her hands come up
to frame my face. With an unexpected tug, she pulls my head towards
her and leaning forward, kisses me on the cheek. In the next moment,
she is running for the hatchway.
Again my hearts flip
flop and then they do it once more as I spy Crichton himself emerging
from one of the access conduits. I had been sufficiently distracted
from my DRD's not to note that he had chosen to make his entrance
He had to have seen and
heard at least some of what transpired.
"So, Pilot, are you going to fill me in on what's going on?" I ask,
as I approach the big lug. He seems suddenly very busy, his four
arms moving fluidly as he manipulates his console. Still, he spares
me a glance.
"Eavesdropping does not
become you, Crichton."
I move in closer and
duck around the back of the console to stand right next to him.
Looking down so that I won't lose my footing on the narrow ledge,
I catch a glimpse of his lower limbs twitching an entire deck below
me and I'm reminded of just how huge Pilot really is.
That's the thing about
him - he's normally so gentle and giving that you forget that his
head is about as big as your own torso, let alone that he takes
up two tiers. If he wanted to, he could easily make mincemeat out
When I look back up,
I find him regarding me with some interest.
"What?" I ask.
"Why do you not go with
"Because she won't allow
me to," I sigh. Unable to help myself, I curl my hands into fists.
With an effort, I release them and instead cross my arms before
He sighs as well. "I
should have guessed. She is more than capable of taking care of
herself, though. She will return to us soon."
"Sometimes even the strongest
amongst us need someone else to shoulder their burdens for a while...
or at least someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on..."
Pilot nods. "Yes. I understand
I place a hand on his
back, between two of the huge armored plates near the base of what
might be called a neck and he finally meets my eyes. "I know you
do," I reply. "Pilot, I know that you and Aeryn share a bond, that
you have ever since Namtar injected her with your genetic material.
I just want you to know that I'm glad - for both of you."
Is that relief I see
in his expression? In any case, the corners of his mouth seem to
be tugging upwards ever so slightly.
"I am glad that you approve,"
he says, ducking his head down a bit so that our eyes are more on
a level. "You have no cause for concern with regard to my relationship
with Ms. Sun," he reassures me. "After all, she and I are most likely
My mouth gapes open as
I take it in. Is Pilot making a "funny"? With some effort I manage
to close my mouth. No, the big guy is serious. He apparently feels
that I have reason to be concerned about him and Aeryn.
"Are you telling me that
you love her - as in 'LOVE' her?" I ask, disbelief entering my voice.
His eyes continue to
hold my own. "Is it so hard for you to believe that one such as
I might aspire to such an emotion?"
"Well, no... Yeah..."
I stammer and stutter, trying to put together a coherent sentence.
"It's just that I never thought of you having any strong emotion
about anything other than your bond to Moya."
He seems to slump then,
his breath hissing out in another sigh. then his eyes turn back
to me. "You must understand that nothing will ever surpass the wonder
of being a part of Moya," he admits. "And yet, there is another
life I have left behind in order to embrace this one. In my current
state, I shall never know the tender touch of a mate, nor the love
of children, but that does not mean that I cannot long for such
things... and my bond with Moya is lacking the intensity that I
was led to believe such a bond should have. I suspect that no pilot
will ever share with Moya what she once had with her former pilot."
I find myself ignoring
most of the information I have just been given. "Then you really
do love Aeryn - as in 'LOVE'," I state, feeling an unexpected surge
of sadness well up within me.
"Yes, I love Aeryn Sun,"
He admits, pulling himself back up to his full, majestic height.
"When I talk with her, I am talking to an equal - someone whose
inner scars parallel my own. I feel a great tenderness, a great
affection for her. I wish to protect her, to hold her safe..."
"And to have her touch
you as well," I whisper. "This is more than the love one has for
His eyes close and his
arms still. For a moment I believe that he has completely shut down,
but then his arms drop in defeat and his eyes open.
They are full of emotion.
"Yessss...." he finally
admits. "If it were not for the wonders I see as Moya's pilot, I
would be perfectly content to live out my life as you."
"Trust me here - you
don't want to be me," I choke out. Then, despite my shock over Pilot's
revelation, I throw my arms about him and give him an awkward hug.
My head is bumping up against the carapace which covers his head
and I whisper close to his face, "We'll both look out for her then."
He nods carefully, probably
afraid of braining me.
"Besides," I quip, "I'm
not about compete with you for her. With my luck I'd lose!"
He gently pushes me away
and gives me a strange look. "How can you think such a thing?" he
asks. "She is a Peacekeeper and no more able to love me than she
could a pill bug."
I nearly fall through
the deck as I take a step backwards. "Pill bug? Where did you...?"
"Aeryn once told me of
the insects upon your world called pill bugs. I believe that you
told her I reminded you of one?"
"Uh... I said that way
back - after our first meeting in the flesh, so to speak," I explain.
"Believe me, you don't really look very much like a pill bug. Besides
- Aeryn is an ex-Peacekeeper. Consorting with aliens no longer freaks
"Never mind that. It's
just an Earth phrase. What I'm trying to say is that she sees you
for WHO you are. She cares for you in a way which can and does make
me jealous, Pilot, so you'd better not go breaking her heart or
I'll have to whomp your ass. Wherever that might be located..."
The big guy looked both
confused, concerned and downright panicked. "She what?" he asked.
"In her own way, she
Drawing himself up even
taller, he gestures at himself. "Look at me!" he says, derisively.
"There's no way that she could..."
I cut him off. "We humans
have another saying... Actually, we have thousands of sayings, but
this is one which you can bet Aeryn has already learned; It's what's
inside that counts. Don't ever forget that Pilot."
With that said, I turn
and head for the hatchway out, unwilling to draw the conversation
out any longer. Truly, I'm jealous of the tenderness Aeryn shows
the big lug, but I figure that I'm still getting the best part of
her. I know very well how she feels about me, and that is good enough.
As for Pilot - I figure he needs some time to come to terms with
the precious gift he has found.
Call it the ultimate
in friendship, call it an odd synchronicity, or simply call it unconditional
love. Either way, he comes up as a big winner.
And so do I. Pilot will
protect her in ways I can't. Think of it - his duty is to Moya first
and foremost, but then it is to us and most important on his list
Would you dare to go
head to head with a Leviathan protecting its Pilot's interests?
Nah. Didn't think so.
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