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After "The Choice" on their way back to Moya from Valldon

By Greenmistress

Aeryn Sun sat sprawled on her bed aboard Talyn, looking out at the stars. She felt the lack of warmth beside her and hugged herself. She turned her head and closed her eyes as if the stars outside were her loss and pain and she could escape them by turning away. Slowly a tear rolled down her hollowed cheek from beneath her closed eyelids; soon she was weeping silently. 'How can I possibly go on?' she sobbed. 'John!' she cried and collapsed on her bed wracked with sobs of grief. She lay there weeping 'til she fell into an uneasy sleep.

Aeryn opened her eyes. It was mid-day and she should have gotten up arns ago and checked in with Crais on Talyn's condition, but she lay in bed looking at the ceiling. 'I can't get up John' she said as if he were standing in the room. 'I can't think, I can't function. My training has completely abandoned me,' she said, still staring at the ceiling, 'or maybe I abandoned it.........When we first met you said I could be more than my training. Well I was more, for a few monens at most and now I am so much less. I can not breathe, but I think of you. You've ruined my life John, you showed me perfection then you let it slip away. How could you be so cruel to me? How could you die?! Where are you John!' This last was shouted in anguish as she rolled over tangling herself in the blanket, trying to forget or dull the pain. She picked up Winona running her hand along the barrel of the pistol, 'John,' she whispered 'where are you? How do I face Crichton? He'll want Winona and your things, how can I give them up? You are mine...you were mine. How can I look at your face again and know it's not you?'

'It is me though.'

Aeryn looked up at Commander John Crichton, standing in her room. Eyes red from her weeping she turned away, 'not another one' she whispered to herself. If Zhaan were alive I'd make her give me a sedative. God she couldn't take another hallucination. 'You're not real, you're a hallucination of my deteriorating mind.'

'You're right Aeryn, I am a hallucination,' he said walking forward to sit on the bed, 'I'm your subconscious.'

'Can I touch you?' she whispered desperately.

'You tell me.'

Aeryn reached out to touch his hand and passed right through it to the bed. She collapsed again crying.

'Aeryn, I am a drug-induced vision intended to help you listen to yourself. Crichton is me, we are one and the came, though we have different memories after the twinning, we have the same DNA, the same parents, the same memories of when I first met you. He is me, you need to see him as such, he is our chance at a second chance. Take him Aeryn, he loves you just as much as I do, it is the same love that I have for you, and I do Aeryn, I love you more than life itself, which is evident. My life was a small price to pay for yours. You are special Aeryn, you are more unique and more valuable to me than anyone else in the universe.'

'My subconscious would never talk to me like that, or say those things, or use those words. What are you? Some backlash of my grief...have the Ancients come to play with me now?'

The vision paused.

'I'm not here to hurt you Aeryn.' He paused, 'I'm real, well in a way, I couldn't go when they called me, I don't know when or if I'll ever be called again, but I couldn't leave you.' He paused again; 'You know when we were caught in the flax?' Aeryn nodded. 'We talked about what happens after you die, well it's not like anything we ever thought...never mind, that's not really important, just think of me as not-yet-an-angel. I love you so much; I wanted you to believe what I was saying before because it's all true, but I am real. This isn't Ripley's Believe It Or Not, I'm real, I'm here, and I'll be here until I know you've moved on and you're happy.'

Aeryn's face was streaked with tears; she was in despair, grieving deeply for her loss, and didn't know what to think. 'I'm supposed to believe you're some sort of spirit?'

'If you want to think of it that way.'

'I don't want to think about it, I know you're not real, even if you're saying things I would never think, you're not real.'

'Aeryn I'm always here, call for me when you're ready, I will be waiting.'

She looked up, straight in his glowing face, 'No John, I will not call for you. I couldn't bear to see you and never touch you. I miss you, I miss you so much. You are the only one I ever loved.'

He nodded, then slowly the vision faded away into a shadow, the shadow drew back and Aeryn was left alone again. She fell back on the bed, then sat up suddenly. 'What's Ripe Leaves believe it or not? No hallucination of mine would ever say that.' She shook her head, clenched her teeth, then Aeryn Sun got up out of bed and walked out of the room. When she got to Command, Crais turned, 'You're up. We didn't want to wake you.'

'How long 'til we reach Moya?'

'Ready to return? Crichton will be there.'

'Yes. Exactly. How long?'

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