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swiftly to the other side of the van he saw the other security guard
talking to the driver and his companion. Crichton realized a surprise
attack was out of the question in this case, so waited a microt
while the guard finished talking and moved towards the back of the
vehicle. At his footsteps, John rounded the corner pulse pistol
raised at the man's face.
he whispered firmly.
man's eyes widened, then his lips curled into an arrogant smirk
as he reached for his own rifle. Crichton had no other choice.
man before him crumpled as the pulse blast hit him square in his
flitted through John's mind as he immediately sped towards the open
window. He'd killed a man. A human. His own kind. What had happened
to him? When had he become a killer? But his mind immediately solved
it's own question as he pictured Aeryn sitting captive mere inches
away from him. The image drove all doubt from his mind. He reached
the door just as the driver leaned out in response to the shot.
Crichton shoved the muzzle of his primed pistol into the man's face.
don't move!" he cried as the two men regarded him in fear.
"Pass me your weapons." Crichton demanded. He received
the two rifles immediately and flung them into the nearby shrubbery.
he hissed through clenched teeth "Now don't move or I swear
I'll fill you so full of holes they'll be able to market you as
that he ran swiftly to the back of the van. Stepping over the unconscious
guard, he silently prayed he'd find Aeryn inside, alive and able
to fight. After a moment's hesitation he raised the pulse pistol
and fired at the heavy lock. It shattered and the doors swung open.
As his eyes adjusted to the gloomy interior Crichton could make
out the tense figure of his Sebacean crewmate.
he whispered breathlessly, happiness brushing over him like a warm
breeze. Then a little louder added "Ready to go?"
sat frozen in the corner disbelief and gratitude clouding her beautiful
blue eyes. He felt her doubt and fear bore into him mixed with a
complex impression of gratitude and joy. Then the moment snapped
and she shot from the van like a caged animal. Reaching out she
took John's outstretched hand and gripped it tightly like a life
belt. Both parties reveled in the warmth of the shared contact.
the blissful reunion was suddenly shattered as Crichton heard the
crackle of static followed by the sudden noise of alarms and sirens
whining from every building in the complex.
he cried "Radios!"
Aeryn could translate the remark, shouts and running footsteps made
the situation crystal clear. John extended to her the butt of her
own pulse pistol and she grabbed it readily. In a microt she had
jumped from the van and was at his side. Without words they both
set off at a run, towards the shelter of the forest surrounding
the base, as the whine of bullets filled the air around them.
bastards are shooting at us!" cried Crichton venomously as
his feet pounded the muddy ground.
worry John, we'll make it." Aeryn replied.
rain still beat down almost blinding them both.
saw the edge of the forest looming closer. Their escape was so near.
stopped immediately and span to see Aeryn frozen where she stood.
Her face was twisted into a grimace of pain and shock. Her eyes
told him everything. He didn't need to see the gun slip from her
fingers, her body twist in agony.. the red stain steadily seeping
through her shirt. He just watched as her lips opened, closed and
finally opened again to form a single pleading word
she crumbled slowly to the ground.
he cried, his voice dripping with anger and fear. His own pulse
pistol fell to the ground forgotten and the oncoming soldiers became
a blurred backdrop as he ran, on numb legs, towards the mocking
movie scene which was dragging him in. He reached his wounded partner
and collapsed heavily to his knees in the mud by her side. He gathered
her quickly into his arms and cradled her there. Crichton's own
body began to shake with chocked sobs as Aeryn contorted in his
arms, trembling in agony. Her eyes were wide and unfocused and she
okay baby, I'm here." he whispered as tears streamed down his
cheeks hidden by the rain. "You'll be okay. I'm here."
looked deeply into his eyes and he watched the spark of recognition
as she saw him there for the first time. Her pale lips contorted
again as she forced a question to form there.
did they...." He interrupted,
shot you Aeryn. Those damn bastards shot you!"
raised his head to see the oncoming soldiers slow to a stop as they
watched the scene play out before them. The sirens stopped. They
kept their distance. It didn't matter now.
attention returned to the woman in his arms. She shook more violently
now and tears tore down her cheeks, mixing with her beloved rain,
as she whimpered softly like a child in unbearable pain.
How?" she whispered between laboured gasps.
A bullet Aeryn. A god damn run-of-the-mill metal bullet. Everything
we've survived and all it took .." He broke off, trying desperately
to hold together his resolve, for fear of collapsing completely
in front of her. His voice strained with tears as he managed to
I'm so sorry."
suddenly convulsed beneath him and a cry screamed from her tortured
is it?" he cried frantically, his heart bleeding too desperate
to understand her pain " Aeryn, tell me, please, what's wrong?!"
hurts.," she suddenly sobbed as she writhed below him, desperately
attempting to shake off the pain
much...it..hurts more. Not like this. Pulse blast not like this.
This hurts. Please.. It hurts. ..hurts..."
ragged words stopped but she still mumbled relentlessly as her movements
gradually became slow and sluggish. But her eyes still held his,
flashing wildly. Crichton didn't know what to do. He was helpless.
Always so eager to talk John now found himself lost for something
to say. He couldn't comfort her with soothing words. He couldn't
take away this alien pain which seemed to be ravaging her Sebacean
body. So he simply held her, rocking her back and forth, kissing
her soaking hair, as her words burrowed deep in his heart.
after what seemed an eternity, her trembling subsided and she became
still. Exhausted and numb with pain and fear her body had simply
stopped reacting. All that remained was the shallow movement of
her labouring chest. He looked into her face and was surprised at
the lucid expression which now replaced the rabid look of before.
realized it was time. But still he didn't know what to say.
he finally whispered.
the sound of his voice her lips curved slowly into a beautiful serene
smile as she brought her heavy lidded eyes up to meet his. Their
gaze locked and held. Finally she whispered
told you I wouldn't be recaptured...John."
breath ended. Her body relaxed in his arms. Completely.
stared down at her lifeless figure, the blood now dripping from
her sodden shirt. He licked his lips subconsciously, and tasted
her still. Then he threw back his head and howled in despair.
is it? What's the matter? John?!"
rain had stopped.
lit up the space behind his closed eyes. He tried to force himself
back into the inky blackness he had just come from. It was safer
there, no worry, no pain.. no loss.
it? Could it be? His eyelids shot back with a fierce desperation
and his gaze immediately collided with heaven.
Are you alright?"
sat bolt upright, almost knocking the woman before him off the bed.
His breathing became short and sharp and his heart pounded in his
ears like an angry drummer. With anxious fingers, he reached out
and tentatively touched her cheek.
Sebacean smiled back at his gesture.
else?" she said simply.
smiled too, a broad grin which split his face like a toothy scar.
But he continued to trace the contours of her face with the tenderness
of a nervous child. She patiently allowed him to continue his explorations
as she reiterated her earlier question.
what's wrong? You were thrashing about. I thought you'd hurt yourself.
stopped his confirmations and removed his hand, instead laying it
over the centre of her chest. His eyes were still glazed in wonder
blood." he whispered almost silently.
looked deeply into the eyes opposite him once again and his heart
leapt at the flicker of life still burning brightly in the blue/grey
he answered finally, "I'm fine."
Aeryn's skeptical look he continued
that's all. I had a bad dream. Really. I'm fine."
eyes fell to the hand still laid delicately on her breastbone. She
reached out and took it in her comforting grip, as she reached out
and softly caressed his brow. John leaned into her hand, wallowing
in the warmth and life radiating from her touch.
sure?" she asked finally.
nodded warmly, the paused, smiling.
there is one thing." he reached up, took her face in his hands
and softly kissed her lips. At first she froze under his touch,
but slowly she relinquished and returned the kiss to it's owner.
he finally broke away, John's heart glowed at the small smile gracing
her lips. He regarded her intently with wonder, relief and happiness
spilling from his eyes.
what is it?" Aeryn asked lightly.
I have to tell you something. Right now, before..before I lose the
ignored the puzzled look this elicited in her and continued
realized something. Last night. I realized just how much I..."
heads turned instantly towards the white door.