To Become... One

ONE

Frell!!

It was too dark. Too quiet.

Never had a room with both of them in it been as quiet as this one was now.
He wasn't moving, he was barely breathing.

It was happening again. Despite all her efforts, despite everything she'd
done and gone through to prevent it, he was leaving her once more. If only
it didn't feel as if she'd been the one doing the leaving this time.

She knew every inch of the body lying in front of her. Intimate, would be a
better word. Every cell of her body cried out for him, to hold him, and not
let go. But that would have meant admitting He was still here.

Damn his logic! She hadn't asked for this, hadn't asked for the changes he'd
brought into her life just by being there. She didn't want these feelings,
didn't want the doubts, could not handle the pain.

What she wanted was Him. She wanted him back. And she could have him --
maybe. But she'd have to choose. She'd have to care.

Frell!!

In the end, pushing him away from her hadn't helped at all. He was still
John. He still loved her. And she... oh dren!!

When he announced his harebrained (now, where had that come from? oh.) plan
to destroy Scorpius' research facility, she'd stood by his side on the
grounds that it would have been something He'd have done. At least, that's
what she told herself. Truth of the matter was she just could not bear for
him to face danger on his own. She couldn't bear for him to go alone,
period.

/I'll protect him,/ she'd thought. It'd come back to haunt her as she faced
her oldest friend and the pulse pistol in her hand. Chance, luck, the fates
or a random accident had saved her life in that corridor, as the whole base
fell to pieces around them.

She'd been pretending. Life had thrown her/him/them a - what did he call
it?- a 'curve ball' and she had coped with it the best she could. It'd been
unfair. It'd been beautiful. It'd ended up horribly.

John was fond of repeating an old Earth saying (actually to the point of
driving anyone fahrbot, but she'd thought it was cute. Then.) "Here's to
history repeating itself." It meant hope for second chances. Another go at
something, someone. Well, she'd had her own miracle at the tip of her
fingers. History had indeed repeated itself for her; she only needed to take
the next step. Which she'd already done once.

Only this time she didn't.

***

Choosing to ignore all that she'd learned by his side, closing up on herself
and reverting to an extreme version of her old self, she turned him away.
And in that same instant, her pain reached a level totally unknown to her.
During the following weeks, as she avoided his presence, gave him the silent
treatment and played at pretending he wasn't Him, her 'mourning' became an
exercise in self-inflicted pain which would have made any Scarran
interrogator lick his ugly lips.

It became a vicious circle. One she was unable to break, even though, with
each passing day she questioned her resolve more and more. He was there.
Everywhere. Around her. Inside her. She started spying on him. Watched him
talk to himself, play and tie. The same eyes, different pains. One heart.
And her at its center.

/We will finish Scorpius,/ she told herself. She was becoming very good at
this. /and then, we'll see./

Only it hadn't gone as she had expected.

No, it never did, did it?

Talyn and Crais had died saving them all, and had taken the whole base with
them in the process. John ... John had arrived to Moya a different man. He
fell silent. The human who wouldn't stop talking after the Aurora Chair,
after Maldis and Scorpius, after a Scarran mind-frell of epic proportions,
after the neuro-chip and Harvey. The human who'd become even more vocal if
possible after being twinned and doubting of his own self. The human who
wouldn't be quiet even when he was : choke : dying.

He just -- stopped. Well, not entirely. He did keep repeating two phrases
into the empty air: "Just like him. No better."

And his eyes, his beautiful blue eyes, always shining with that spark that
was uniquely Crichton. His eyes went dead.

None of the others thought it would last long. Granted, the operation had
ended the lives of several thousands of Peacekeepers. Maybe tens of
thousands. But it was war. And at least many other thousands of PKs had
managed to escape, which was far more than PK Command had allowed their
victims on many different worlds. He'd get over it.

She, on the other hand, had been too hurt to care.

Ironic, wasn't it? After weeks of pushing him away and watching the hurt
become deeper with every rejection, she had been hurt by his refusal to let
her join him on his module so they could escape Scorpius' base together.
Which he probably had done so as not to put her in even more danger. Always
the thoughtful 'southern gent'.

So when they all arrived aboard Moya, she headed straight for her quarters.
And didn't see him again. Two days later she finally asked for him, and only
got blank stares for an answer. Two days later, she asked again, and before
D'Argo could silence her, Chiana retorted with a question of her own: "Do
you care, now?"

It hit her like an out of control dive into a type 6 atmosphere, the way she
said it. "Please, tell me," was all she could answer.

So they did.

John Crichton, friend to all of them, lay on his bed, unmoving, two days
hence. No one knew what was the matter with him. He had not been injured. He
was not sick.

It took two more days for them to figure out what the problem was, and two
more to find a viable solution. That was yesterday. Today, she was afraid to
feel, to think.

She got up, undecided between the door and the bed where he lay. Damn it!!!
This wasn't the time for doubt. There was a choice to be made. This time she
couldn't count on any of the others to drag her into it. This time he wasn't
around to reason it out. This time, it was not about going in and shooting
and killing someone. This time she was all she had if she wanted to retain
anything of her happiness.

If ...

There was only one John Crichton, she knew that. She'd always known, just
hadn't been willing to accept it. They had been happy once. They could be
happy anew.

She was going to bring John back.

***

(Moya - six solar days ago)

"John, c'mon, open the door." D'Argo had been on his way to the mess hall.
He, as every other member of Moya's crew, was feeling surprisingly positive
after ridding themselves of Scorpius. Well, maybe with the exception of
Aeryn. But the former Peacekeeper had never been a paradigm of gaiety. And
having the man she loved die in her arms only to find him traipsing around
her own home, believing him to be unaware of the pain she'd gone through
because of him, was not something to send anyone cart wheeling. Still,
maybe with time...

This was stupid. He'd been standing in front of Crichton's door for the past
quarter arn trying to cajole him into joining him and the others for the mid
day meal, and he hadn't even bothered to answer. What was wrong with the
human? Of all of them, he should be the one feeling the happiest, what with
his history with that misbegotten piece-of-dren hybrid. But they had been
back half a day already, and they hadn't seen him even smile. Whatever
problems he and Aeryn had with each other, their current situation was proof
sufficient that anything could be overcome. Frell this! His friend was going
to enjoy himself, even if he had to force him to. With that thought, he
waved his hand over the opening panel and literally burst into the room,
ready to pull John away from whatever self-pitying, brooding exercise he had
enmeshed himself in.

"John Crichton! Stop behaving like a romantic yotz!! I swear you are bigger
pain in the eema than a k^g'osh-tentacled youngster before his tattooing
day! Now come out of..." D'Argo stopped in mid-sentence as his eyes took
in the scene in front of him. " What the frell?!! John, have you been
drinking?" But even as he said it, he knew that was not it. There was no
scent of intoxicants anywhere in the cell. However, Crichton was lying on
his bed completely unmoving. His eyes were wide open. Too wide. The human's
chest barely moved, and that was not good. When one breathes, his chest
moves. If it doesn't, or not enough... He quickly activated his comm badge
"Jool. Jool!! Come to Crichton's chambers. Run!!" /John, oh John, can't you
be fine for once?/ His friend was not well at all, and he couldn't do a
frelling thing. "Jool!!! You frelling Interion trelk. Where are you?!!"

Ten microts later, John's cell was crowded not only with the ship's resident
uppity physician, but with Chiana and Rygel as well, a look of concern on
their faces.

"What is it? What's wrong with him? Can you cure him? Is he awake? Well,
princess, answer already. Are you going to help John, are you..."

"Chiana, be quiet!!" D'Argo was not in the mood for one of the females'
fights. Subduing his shaking voice, he turned to Jool. "How is he, Jool?"

The beautiful Interion's nervousness was betrayed by the bright red hue of
her curls. She could see the mixture of concern and helplessness in the
Luxan's eyes, feelings she had trouble reconciling with his warrior's
character. "I don't know what to tell you, D'Argo. Physically he's fine.
There's no sign of infection, and he wasn't wounded. Everything reads
normal, everything." She gave a small cry of exasperation, which had the
others instinctively backing away from her, checking all their metallic
possessions. Jool was not used to ignorance. Her only constants in this new
life she'd been awakened to were her superior intellect and her reasoning
prowess; if she did not take into account all of the fear and pain, taht is.
But she couldn't fathom Crichton's condition and thus, was unable to help
the only being of this dysfunctional gathering who recognized her talent and
treated her with a minimum of respect.

***

(Moya-six solar days ago)

They had been standing there for almost an arn. Jool's expression said it
all. She could not do a frelling thing, and John was... well, he was not
moving and that wasn't normal.

If only Zhaan was with them. She could have helped John.

She was a bit baffled. They'd shared so many things over the past three
cycles, both good and bad. More bad than good, actually. But all of it,
every single experience, had brought them closer to each other.

So how was it that none of the others could see what was wrong with
Crichton, when it was so clear to her?

Ever since she'd come aboard Moya, there'd been an affinity between her and
the stranded "astro-nut". Although the human had shown definite interest in
her attributes, nothing had and probably never would have happened between
the two of them. Specially since Ms. Ice-for-blood had mellowed out and
allowed John to become closer with her.

But she and Crichton had developed a sibling-like rapport, and she had to
admit she enjoyed their silly bickering and his overprotective attitude. It
reminded her of the way it had been with Nerri.

Maybe their peculiar relationship was the reason she somewhat instinctively
knew what was wrong with Crichton. She was no Zhaan, but you had to be blind
not to see the obvious.

They had to tell her. They couldn't keep this from her. And besides, it'd do
more damage than good if she was kept in the dark about John's condition.
And if none of her obtuse companions was going to, she would. Someone had to
look out for John.

"Right." she said as she headed for the door. "I'm going to tell Aeryn."

D'Argo put his arm across her chest, sending slight shivers up her spine as
he made contact with her breasts (ooookay, now was not the time for this)
and shook his head. "No, Chiana. Aeryn mustn't hear about John yet." He
looked into her eyes, and held her gaze.

She could see the pain in them. For John. For Aeryn. Maybe even... for her?
But, Hezmana! He didn't know!!

"Not until we know what is wrong with him."

She looked up at him and bit back an acid remark, which would have only
started another stupid argument between them. And they had no time for that.
No matter how rewarding it could have been.

"And when will that be, Ka D'Argo?" She saw him flinch imperceptibly at her
formal use of his name. "How long will it take, princess?" she said turning
to Jool. "Are the three of you willing to keep Aeryn in the dark, at the
risk of losing both? I don't think so!" She ducked under D'Argo's arm and
reached once more for the door. "If you'll excuse me," she called back over
her shoulder "I've got me an ex- peacekeeper to find." Frell them if they
thought she was going to allow their shortsightedness to...

"STOP!! TURN AROUND!" She was unable to stop herself from obeying the
authority that permeated from the voice calling her back.

Chiana did indeed turn around, only to find her jaw had gone completely
slack as she realized it had been Rygel who'd ordered her around. If she
caught the mirroring looks of amazement on Jool's and D'Argo's faces, the
irony was lost on her.

With a deep, sadness-laden sigh, the Hynerian continued.

"Child, you will not tell Aeryn anything concerning Crichton's condition.
Not for the time being."

This was not the Rygel she knew. What was going on?

"I understand your concern, but you were not aboard Talyn. You did not watch
John die. I did. I also saw what waiting for him to die did to Aeryn. And I
will rot in Hezmana before I have to witness that again. I couldn't bear it.
And I can't imagine how she could."

Was Rygel getting emotional? Was that even possible?

The little Dominar's head shook as if trying to dispel a particularly
unpleasant memory. "So, until we know whether we are going to subject Aeryn
to that emotional torture again, please refrain from saying anything to
her."

Rygel had said "please"? Unbidden? This was too weird.

So befuddled was she, that she barely heard Rygel's last words.

"She has suffered enough."

As Rygel hovered in his throne, downcast, Chiana just stood there. She was
speechless. The former Dominar was the last of her formerly reluctant
companions she'd have expected to speak on a former Peacekeeper's behalf,
much less in such an obviously caring manner.


Apparently, both D'Argo and the Interion debutante were equally stunned by
the former Dominar's speech. The human had the strangest effect on everyone
he ran into, but having to die to elicit that kind of loyalty from a
Hynerian...

Chiana was aware of all three of her crewmates looking at her expectantly.
She nodded her assent. "I won't tell Aeryn anything." She said. "For now."
She added, making sure they understood she wasn't going to wait too long.

Jool smiled at her. "We understand. That is all we are asking for."


***

(Moya ñ five solar days ago)

The past few days had not been good. As commander Crichton would say, that
was the understatement of the... "century", was it?

Aaah, Commander Crichton. What with her son's demise and the current state
John Crichton was in, with the subsequent effects on her crew, Moya was
overcome with grief. The sadness she felt impregnated Pilot thoroughly. As
aware as he was of all the goings-on within Moya, the Commander's sudden
ailment had caught him completely by surprise. True, he and Moya had been
otherwise preoccupied, but he couldn't stop thinking that maybe if he'd been
a little more alert, he'd have noticed the human's peculiar behavior on time
and the rest of his shipmates might have been able to help him, instead of
just standing over him, puzzled and hurt, as they were doing now.

Joolushko had insisted she could do nothing more for Crichton (not that she
had actually achieved any results), not without his help. Now he was
wondering if she had in fact meant his help or the human's ñ if she
suspected the problem was not physical in its origin, but mental. Pilot had
to admit that with all the unwanted intrusion upon his psyche that John had
had to endure, it was surprising his sanity had not become unhinged a long
time ago. But then again, he'd had something to live for before. Whereas
now...

Whatever the reasons for the Commander's collapse, he and Moya were in
agreement to help the human return to his former self. They would rather be
pestered by his infuriating Erpisms than seeing the suffering in his
friends' eyes. Besides, John Crichton would have, had done nothing less for
both of them. For all of them.

* * *

After two days of trying to wake him up or at least determine what was wrong
with him, Jool had decided to push further in her research and try and check
Crichton's psyche. Considering the amount of mind-frelling he'd been
subjected to in the past three cycles, it was not impossible that his
current bout with death was a physical reaction to a deeper problem. Goddess
knew that with the Scorpius clone (Harvey, was it?) gallivanting inside the
human's brain and the vestiges of Scarran interrogation, plus watching
himself steal his lover away and then die, only to be pushed aside at her
return like last week's foodcubes... if all of that didn't constitute enough
of a cause for a total synaptic breakdown, well, they might as well let
Chiana at him. The little tralk seemed to think she could do so much better
than her at curing John. Why, only an arn ago she had returned to her...
Zhaan's... oh frell, THE med lab only to remind her it had already been two
solar days and she hadn't woken Crichton up. As if she didn't know!!!

Arrrgh, but that grey piece of Nebari gutter-eema was infuriating. Even more
so when she was right. She had to find a way. Anything. /Come on Joolushko,
think outside the frelling quaalduur. You used to do it enough in school./
Every problem had an exponential number of answers for every different angle
it presented. It was only a matter of finding that one piece of information
that connected them. She was a graduate in seven different scientific
fields. She had boasted her intellectual superiority to this human enough
times. She was not going to fail him now. /Think it through./ She continued
berating herself. /Find the connection. There's a common link to this, there
has to... wait./ She almost had it, she could feel it. /What did Chiana say?
What was it that Crichton held above everything else, his one constant.?/

Oh dren. It was so obvious. Why hadn't she thought of it before? She'd been
so obsessed with finding a logical reason for the human's condition. She
should already know there was nothing logical or normal where ever John was
concerned. "Pilot," she said tapping her comms to life. " I need your help."

***

(Moya- four solar days ago)

"... so what I need is for you to convince her. Do you think you can do
that?"

Chiana looked the little scientist-turned-courtesan-turned-physician over
once more. "Are you absolutely sure about this? I mean, it sounds farfetched
even to me." She couldn't help it. She liked the Interion well enough, but
as far as she was concerned Jool still needed to prove herself to all of
them. "Look princess, what you're saying is extreme even by our frelled up
standards. Not to mention the fact it's just sooo much like all of our
favourite acquaintances' torture methods when it comes to John it's scary."
/How in Hezmana can I stay so drad?/ She kept on. "You can see why I worry,
don't you?"

The unruly mass of bright red locks populating the Interon's head rose and
fell at the rythm of her slow, deep breaths. Chiana was convinced she'd see
smoke coming out from in between the crimson curls soon enough. She was
obviously trying very hard to control herself; if John's situation had not
been as serious as it was, the Nebari would have found the argument very
entertaining. As it was, though, she just wanted to understand what Jool
wanted to do and why.

"Look Chiana, as far as I can discern, Crichton's current predicament is of
his own doing. And don't even pretend to argue with me because unless I am
wrong, you were the first and only one to notice what took me the better
part of three solar days to grasp." This was it really. Her last ploy to
assure the little tralk's cooperation. Appealing to her ego. She couldn't
blame her for being overprotective of those two, particularly of John, but
he just didn't have the time for all of his friends to second guess each
other. Second guess her (she couldn't keep some bitterness from creeping
into her thoughts). And if John was running out of time, so was the other
member of their reel^tal`een crew. The only one who truly mattered out of
all of them, because in the end she might just be the cure for his ailment;
but she was definitely the cause.

The young Nebari had a very un-Nebari look of concentration on her face as
she sized her up. But with a mixture of resignation and... could that be
trust in her eyes? She keyed her comms and raised her voice to call "Aeryn,
could you join me in Pilot's chamber in thirty microts? I need your help
with something." Letting the strap of her bodice fall back on her shoulder
she leveled her eyes with Jool's. "For their sake, princess, I really hope
you know what you're doing." Chiana turned to head towards the most surreal
moment in her life. "Oh, and D'Argo?" She called over her shoulder. "If you
even think I am going to face Aeryn alone you are sadly mistaken. Come on,
big boy." To her credit, she didn't turn to watch the play of emotions
crossing her former lover's face. Such a pity, though. A very afraid Luxan
is something very rare to behold.


(Pilot's chamber ñ two and a half arns later)

Pilot's chamber looked even more subdued than usual, if that was possible.
And what an amazing feat it was, taking into account the amount of decidedly
hostile DRDs currently within the cavernous room, the dejected looking
peacekeeper slumped on the floor and her three very upset friends standing
by her.

To say the least, their conversation had not gone well. But then again, that
came as no suprise to D'Argo.

When he and Chiana had gotten to Pilot's, Aeryn was already waiting for
them. They both had steeled themselves for the upcoming conversation. It was
going to become heated very fast. What neither of them had been ready for,
were the Sebacean's first words. "Where is Crichton?"

Maybe it was the halfhearted tone of her question. It may have been the
stress of the past few days. Perhaps it was just some damn female thing he
had no clue about. Whatever the reason, and before he could do anything
about it, Chiana openned her mouth and started her own little version of
Hezmana. In John's words: the dren hit the pan.

***

You could hear the sarcasm drip from her as the young Nebari faced Officer
Sun, her voice on a constant rise. "Oh, is it Crichton now? It was John two
solar days ago? What did he do to you now, Officer? Did he not leave you
alone enough? Should he leave Moya altogether? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM
HIM!!!?".

I have to say I have never seen Officer Sun as pale as at that moment, as
she rcoiled from Chiana's words. But even so she asked again, her question
barely escaping from inbetween gritted teeth. "Chiana. Where. Is. John.?"

It was a very much subdued Nebari which answered her. "Do you care?" She
said looking into Officer Sun's eyes.

"Chiana... please." And with that one word, two cycles of animosity,
distrust and jealousy melted away, leaving only two females hurting for one
they cared very much about. I sometimes wonder if I will ever understand...

***

TBC

To Become...One continues with part 2 >>

Contact RedLoque/Manny


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To Become... One

By RedLoque/Manny

Disclaimer: Don't own Farscape. It's Rockne , Kemper & Co. who do. If I did
own it, Claudia and Ben would be traipsing around fulfilling every shippers
dreams. And we would have a 5th season.

Summary: AU. Aeryn comes to terms with her feelings for John. Now she only
has deal with his... if she can.

Rating: PG. Although as we get more into the story it'll become much darker.
So make it PG-13.

Credit: It should go where it's due. The idea is all mine, but the
inspiration was provided by Chris Claremont, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank
Herbert, our own Yen Rug and Alan Moore.

Shout outs: Major shout outs to my two beautiful betas: Amy and Kelly. You
two ladies are the best.





 
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