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Part VI-Home Sweet Home

When they were shot out of the wormhole, it took John a moment to get control of the ship. He pulled his com out.

John: "Here goes nothing. Pilot? This is John can you read me."

There was nothing but space and stars.

John: "Pilot? D'Argo, Chiana, can anybody read me?"

Still silence. John took Aeryn's helmet off. He checked her breathing. It was shallow but steady. Her skin was warmer to the touch.  She was on her way back.

John: "Come back to me, Baby."

John cradled her head. He took his helmet off and leaned his head back. His eyes closed slowly.

John didn't know how long he was out but he was awakened by the sound of D'Argo's voice over his com. He lifted his head up slowly.

John: "D'Argo?"

D'Argo: "John, are you and Aeryn all right? Moya picked up your ship on her scanner about three arns ago but we just got into com range."

John looked down at Aeryn. He checked her breathing. It was relaxed and steady. She was sleeping off the effects of the drug.

John: "We are fine. How soon can you guys bring us abroad?"

Pilot: "Moya will release her docking web in less then 100 microts."

John smiled. He leaned down and kissed Aeryn softly on the forehead.

John: "We are home, baby! We are home."

John looked out the window. Seeing Moya's massive frame felt like the first time he saw the "real" Earth at the end of the wormhole.

Moya pulled the module abroad. D'Argo helped John take Aeryn out of the module. He brought her to the med chamber so that Zhann could check her over and make sure she really was okay. D'Argo and John stood off to the side while Zhann examined her. Chiana and Rygel came in. Chiana grabbed John around the neck.

Chiana: "Welcome back! How was it?"

Before Crichton could say anything Zhann let out a gasp at the sight of the bruises on Aeryn's arms, hand, and torso. D'Argo looked at him with anger in his eyes.

Zhann: "By the goddess, what has happened to her?"

D'Argo: "What in the hezzmana happened to her in your home world?"

John walked over to the table where Aeryn was lying. He softly stroked her silky hair.

John: "Lets just say until those humans become more advanced in their thinking, Aeryn and I can never make a future together there."

Zhann finished examining her. She seemed fine but she wouldn't really know until Aeryn woke up. John explained about the shot that Alex gave her to simulate death and the fact that Aeryn wasn't sleeping or eating. Zhann said for all of them to go and just let her rest and she would let them know when she was awake.

******

John got showered and changed into his trademark black leather pants, black t-shirt and vast. He picked up Winonna.

John: "Now this feels familiar."

He stuck his gun in his holster. He tapped his com.

John:  "Zhann, how is Aeryn? Is there any sign that she is waking up yet?"

Zhann: "Not yet John but her vital signs are very nearly at their normal levels. She should be waking up soon.  I will let you know."

John: "Thanks."

D'Argo went to command to relieve Chiana and found John there. He was sitting in command just staring into space.

D'Argo: "John? What are you doing here? I thought you would be resting."

John: "Hey 'D'."

He said without looking back at D'Argo. D'Argo went over and stood beside him. D'Argo sighed and lowered his eyes.

D'Argo: "It was the 'false' Earth scenario come true, wasn't it?"

John: "Worse."

D'Argo: "Aeryn will be all right. She is a warrior. Her peacekeeper training put her through worse things than this."

John: "I betrayed her 'D'. When she needed me the most, I let her down."

D'Argo: "Your not talking about the bruises anymore, are you?"

John lowered his eyes. He just started talking.

John: "Alexandra was my first real love. You know I actually was going to propose to her before I got into the space program."

He looked up at D'Argo.

D'Argo: "I heard you speak of her."

John: "She was the lead researcher in charge of ..."

D'Argo: "Aeryn?!"

John: "Yes but if it wasn't for her, I don't think Aeryn would have left there alive."

John looked out at the stars.

John: "I don't know what it was. Seeing her again after all this time or just being back on Earth with so many possibilities laid out in front of me...we were together."

D'Argo: "Together?"

John: "In the physical sense."

D'Argo: "Oh, I see. And you told Aeryn?"

John: "Not exactly but she found out. What is worse is while I was with Alex a guard had tried to physically assault Aeryn and she went into peacekeeper mode. Alex and I were still together when the guards came to get her."

D'Argo lowered his head.

D'Argo: "I understand."

John: "How am I going to make this up to her? If it wasn't for me showing off and creating that wormhole, none of this would have happened."

D'Argo: "It sounds like you have given up a great deal to bring Aeryn back to Moya.  May be that will be enough."

John: "What do you mean?"

D'Argo: "You were home. Back on your home world and you walked away from that not knowing if you could ever return."

John: "Aeryn is my home, D'Argo. If I didn't realize that before, I realize it now. I only hope it is not too late."

John had a melancholy look in his eyes. He was searching for an answer. D'Argo looked at him.

D'Argo: "I don't have any advice my friend. This is something you and Aeryn are going to have to work out yourselves. But let me say this, Aeryn is one of the strongest people I know. I respect her as a warrior and as a woman, which is not easy for a Luxan to say about a peacekeeper. She will put this behind her eventually."

John: "I know she will. She is the most resilient person I know. I just don't want to lose what we were beginning to build in the process."

Zhann's voice came over the com.

Zhann: "John, D'Argo, Aeryn is starting to awaken."

John looked at D'Argo. D'Argo patted him on the shoulder. John tapped his chest. They jogged out of command together.

*****

Aeryn was lying on the table with Chiana and Rygel buzzing around her. John and D'Argo appeared in the door. She looked over and saw him there.

Aeryn: "Hey."

John smiled slightly.

John: "Hey."

D'Argo: "Chiana, Rygel, Zhann out. Let them talk."

Chiana: "Oh frell! I wanted to hear about what happened."

Aeryn spoke softly.

Aeryn: "Another time Chiana."

Chiana: "Promise?"

Aeryn: "Promise."

Chiana walked out passed D'Argo. Rygel flew his throne sled over to Aeryn.

Rygel: "I am glad you are back but keep in mind I wasn't expecting you back so if anything is missing..."

D'Argo pulled his throne sled away from the table.

D'Argo: "Look your rectal eminence you will return all of Aeryn and John's possesses. I will see to it. Zhann and I will help you put back everything you and Chi swiped from their chambers."

D'Argo looked down at Aeryn. He laid his hand on her shoulder and smiled down at her. She smiled slightly. He left with Zhann and Rygel. On the way he gave John a little shove toward Aeryn.

Aeryn: "Don't be afraid I won't bite."

John smiled slightly. He walked over to her.

John: "How are you feeling?"

Aeryn: "Weak, what did she give me?"

John: "Something similar to your kill shot."

Aeryn looked up at the ceiling.

Aeryn: "Oh."

John stared at her for a microt.

John: "Forgive me Aeryn."

She looked at him.

John: "I laid you like a lamb to the slaughter."

Her eyebrows crinkled in confusion at his terminology.

John: "I didn't protect you from those humans."

Aeryn: "Not all humans are bad. If it wasn't for your friends and your father, I would have surely died down there."

John looked away and spoke softly.

John: "If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't have been there in the first place."

Aeryn pulled her hand out from under the cooper colored sheet. She laid it on top of John's hand which was resting on the side of the table. He looked at her.

Aeryn: "I am not going to say that what happened down there hasn't changed things or changed me in some ways."

John cut her off apologizing profusely.

John: "I know and if I could take it all back and I mean all of it, I would..."

Aeryn reached up and laid her fingers on his mouth.

Aeryn: "That is one frelling problem with you, human, you never know when to shut up."

John stopped talking. She lowered her hand.

Aeryn: "I told you before I do not like being ambushed."

John: "Your not talking about the scientists, are you?"

She shook her head. John lowered his eyes.

John: "I could try to explain why it happened but if the roles were reverse knowing wouldn't make me feel any better. Just know that it was one night with an old friend. It was a terrible mistake. I know that now."

Aeryn: "That is not what I was referring to."

John looked at her confused.

Aeryn: "Since the day I met you all you have talked about is wormholes and finding your way home. You were there with the chance of having a normal life. No Crais, no Scorpius, no Sheyangs...you were home with your people under your sun. Why give that up not knowing whether you will ever make it back there again? You could have had some normalcy to your life."

John took a microt. He laughed softly.

John: "Normalcy what is that?"

She just looked at him. His smile faded.

John: "You are right. There would be no Crais, no Scorpy, no critters trying to fry, freeze, or eat me but there would also be no Moya or Pilot, no D'Argo, no Zhann or Chi..."

He chuckled slightly.

John: "And no Rygel. But especially there would be no you."

She looked into his eyes.

John: "While we were in the module and I had time to think about it. Figuring out why I was so excited about going home."

Aeryn: "What did you come up with?"

John: "You. It was all the things I wanted to show you. Things that I have seen all my life that I wanted to see anew through your innocent eyes. Things that gave me joy. Until I realized it was you that gives me joy in everything I do. Whether it is fighting critters or arguing about who is the superior species. It really was so simple and I just didn't see it. It is you, Aeryn. I kept telling myself that Earth was home and I had to get back there no matter what. But being back there with you seeing how it almost destroyed you, made me realize that Earth is were I was born. It is were I lived the majority of my life but my home is wherever you are."

A single tear rolled from the corner of her eye. John reached up and gently wiped it away. He leaned over her.

John: "I don't expect you to forgive or forget right away. I know it is going to take time but I am willing to wait for as long as you need me to."

Aeryn laid her hand on his chest. He leaned down slowly and kissed her forehead.  She smiled.

John: "You get some rest."

She closed her eyes slowly. John laid his forehead against hers for a microt. He kissed her again and stood up. He took her hand in his and gently kissed the back of it before slipping back under the cover.

John: "We have all the time in the Universe, Baby."

Contact Shelley Robinson

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