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Hurt

Part 1

Author: Farscape Maniac (FarscapeManiac@hotmail.com)

Summary: Four years since John's arrival to the Uncharted Territories, he tells his pain to a friend. Is forgiveness the key?

~~~*~~*~~*~~~

Being punched-hurts

Being shot-hurts

Being hit-hurts

Being in love-hurts the most

~*~

He enters the bar with caution. He looks around as if he is taking in every detail. He walks straight to the back of the bar. A table in the shadows, a table where all can be seen with a turn of the head. I have no choice but to follow.

Once we sit down a waitress comes. I place our orders.

"The usual."

It is the same everyday since things have calmed. Sleep, wake, eat, morn, bar, drink, sleep and so the process continues. Sometimes a little unexpected surprise drop into his 'schedule' but he gets over it and continues.

He came back to us. His body did but his heart, his heart lies some place else. A place I have never visited or seen, a place that he mourns over everyday of the week, every hour of that day and every second of a minute. He says he doesn't miss it but I can tell he is lying. He misses things from his time up there. Another lifetime it seems. "A lifetime of hurt, regrets and torture." He told me.

~*~

He had been gone almost four years. I spent that much time going over everything. Every possible theory that might have led John to another world and away from our side. But every time I presented something new to IASA they would dismiss it. John was as good as dead to them.

He stepped out of his module, our module, Farscape One. I noticed he wore nothing but black. Black leather coat, black leather pants, black shoes. His vest was red but it made no difference. He wore a 'pulse rifle', as he calls it, on his right thigh and one at his hip. A weapon? When did he ever wear a weapon? He made one request before landing and that was to see Jack. They let him. Jack cried but John, John showed no emotion. He said the words and he meant it but he showed no emotion even in his eyes. His blue eyes were duller than I remembered. His eyes use to draw attention but now they showed nothing. It was like the sun had died in him.

The officials did tests on him, made sure he was 'our' John. He said, "don't be too scared to find creatures crawling around the base of my skull or the fact that there's a large chunk of alien tissue in my brain."{ He said it calmly as if it was an everyday thing. The doctors were shocked despite the warning. Whatever John had warned them about was true, he wasn't joking and he didn't exaggerate. All he did was laugh when the scientists looked at him. A laugh that was lost, forced and at a point frightening. It sent shivers down my spine. I never remember him laughing like that. I remember a laugh that was boyish, comfortable and made everyone laugh with him. Now it was cold.

He was asked questions.

"How did you survive? Is there intelligent life? Is there danger?"

And so the list went on. He answered the first three.

"I didn't survive, 'Intelligent' life? It depends on what you mean. They have technology like no other." He pulled out the weapon from his hip, this made the officials and guards flinch not knowing what to expect. John on the other hand didn't seem to care and I think his mouth even twitched a little as if to form a smile but not really reaching that point. He aimed it at the ceiling and fired it. It was nothing I had ever seen, no bullet, nothing. It startled the officials. "See." Was all he said as he put the gun back onto his hip. "Now for 'intelligent life'," he stopped as if thinking how to rearranging his sentences. "No. I wouldn't call it intelligent'. There are things, creatures, enemies out there that want nothing more than power. That is not intelligent. As for danger. Look at me and see for yourself. I have wounds that you don't want to hear about, I had wounds that would have killed me. I carry a weapon, weapons for security, tell me now, is there danger. You answer that question."

There were murmurs. Then whispered conversations. I looked at John from the back of the room. He had not seen me yet. His face still said nothing, his eyes said nothing. He sat patiently but his hand never far from his weapon as if it was out of habit. I didn't understand, what did he mean when he says he didn't survive, and enemies?

It wasn't enough for the officials. They gave him a lie detector test. He aced it. No lies. He told them the whole story but I knew he was keeping things back, he had been tortured and had been hunted down. They kept him in custody for a week. He didn't show any signs of mental disorder, nothing like that. He ate, he slept. It reminded me of the military had John become more like a soldier than the scientist he was when he left? The only time when he showed any emotion was when they wanted to take his pulse rifles. He refused and almost lashed out in anger. Somehow he calmed himself down and told them no. He was allowed to keep them.

They let him go home after that. Jack and him had missed four years, but it seemed more to them. When Jack asked for the full story John said he already told it. Jack didn't buy it. I had confronted Jack with what I thought and he agreed. Despite the pain and the torture he had received there was more to it. Something I couldn't quiet pinpoint, I left it at that though. He was back and that was all I cared.

After the media and the chaos of everyone wanting to meet the famous John Crichton he asked for something that I thought was strange. He asked to be taken to his grave. I looked at him confused but took him there. I stood by the car while he stepped forward in front of his grave, staring at his death bed, literally. He asked to be alone and I obeyed. I didn't hear his words but he said something, something that made him cry. It pained his heart, I could see it in his features. After that day he did nothing but sit around. The first couple of weeks he ate whenever possible, junk found I could think of. Pizza, beer and chocolate just to name the few. Those weeks were the only weeks I noticed he missed Earth luxuries. After that he became cold and distant.

I asked Jack how he was at home. He said he was also isolated and bitter. The only emotions he saw was when Jack made a joke about John and underwear in the Uncharted Territories. Jack told me he saw him smile slightly to himself at some kind of private joke. The only other time was when jack heard him crying silently to himself in his room late one night. He was holding something in his hand but Jack never saw what it was. He never confronted John about it and neither did I.

I tried to help him return to the old John. Took him to childhood places but getting no reaction from him. He just looked up at the sky. I then decided he needed a date and took him out on a double date. I didn't tell him, it was a surprise and he didn't like it. I learned quickly he had a short fuse. So I didn't try that approach again. He kept like that for months

~*~

However tonight is different.

He has already had four bottles of beer. When did he learn to drink so much and yet keep quite sober?

"DK?"

"Yeah?"

"I didn't tell IASA or anyone the full story."

"I know John." I say plainly.

He looks up and smiles. A smile. A genuine smile. This I remember. "I know, that's why I'm going to tell you it now."

I'm shocked at his statement but I nod my head. Curiosity gets the better of me.

"Everything about Moya, Dargo, Chiana, Zhann, Rygel, Stark, Jool, Pilot, Crais, Talyn, Scorpius and all the close encounters are true." I notice he says it with ease, names familiar to him but alien to me. "Aeryn however is an exception." He smiles a little to himself but then his face darkens again.

"Aeryn?"

"I was in love DK." In love? He never said that before, I've heard him say it when he was serious about Alex but never with that much heart. His words were happy, sad and plain all at the same time.

"In love?" I prompt him.

"Aeryn is your standard Peacekeeper when we met. She kicked my ass the first time we met." He smiles at the memory. He never said anything about that! "She basically hated my guts the first time we meet, I dragged her away from her 'home' with four simple words. 'You can be more'. She learned to trust the crew and vice versa. I never thought we were a couple. But throughout time things changed. There was the definite attraction. I made the moves and showed I was interested. She on the other hand never experienced emotion before and so it was her move that actually counted. We kissed at desperate times but after the life threatening dangers were over she would deny everything and I would have to be forced to agree upon it. So many times she pushed me away and so many times it hurt. I was forever on the receiving end and it hurt. It hurt to be played with like that. She would make a move and then dismiss it, like it was nothing, like I was a toy."

I watch the emotions play on his face. For the first time back his eyes finally have a sparkle in them. I noticed it when he mentioned Aeryn's name the first time. His face turned form love to pain. How can one women hurt John so much? He was disappointed when Alex rejected him but now...it was beyond that. There was more to it I could tell. And so I waited.

"It is true I killed Aeryn when the neurochip took over my brain, I almost died at the thought that my guiding star was no longer guiding. But out of friendship a friend turned her life around and brought Aeryn alive. Zhann was dying. Before she plunged into the cold depths of the lake she freely admitted her love to me and I didn't even hear it. I didn't even hear the three words I had waited to hear for three frelling years! She came back from the dead and she remained distant. She pushed me away again. Momens went by and nothing happened. I got twined."

He stops at that and lets it sink into my head. He got twined? He sees the surprise on my face. He never mentioned it before.

"I got twinned. Both alike, same memories, same DNA, same everything. I didn't tell IASA, I didn't see the point. Firstly because they would have liked to dissected me and found out for themselves and secondly because they won't accept me as John but as the copy, just like Aeryn."

He painfully said the last bit.

"What happened about * me* on Moya is true. But the other John, he got lucky. Aeryn and him loved each other. They were happy from what I heard. 'They were lovers'. But the universe wasn't happy. John stopped the Scarrans from having one step forward for the wormhole technology. The radiation killed him. The universe now had only one John again. Remember when I asked you to take me to my grave?"

I nod

"It wasn't me I was looking at. It was my twin. He died heroically and me? I'm still here like a frelling fool. Aeryn came back to Moya, I was an idiot, grinning like a dupe when she boarded. I didn't realize it until later that I missed that dance with her. I tried talking to her but she got angry with me. I was the copy to her. So I was pushed away again. I killed my enemy, Scorpius and she was the first to volunteer. At first I thought it was a glimpse of hope she might not hate me but later I found the thought she was doing this was to stop me from dying again of to have revenge hit me like a punch in the face. It was the truth and I faced it. We succeeded as I said before. Everyone left and so did she."

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out coin.

"This was the coin that made that decision. If she left or if she stayed. I told her fate would bring us together. I didn't believe it but now I wish upon it more than anything. My twin told me to give her time and I did. Sometimes I wonder if I did give her too much time. Out of all the things I wished I'd listen to myself say this was not one of them. When do I listen to myself? Huh? And yet when it came down to this I listened. Wrong timing. Wrong everything! She's pregnant with his child, she's alone. I didn't go and find her after that. Time, I gave it too her. Fate, I'm waiting to see."

He drinks his fifth bottle of beer. I digest everything he has said to me. He was, no, still in love with Aeryn and he had regrets. Now I understand his answer: "A lifetime of hurt, regrets and torture." It didn't apply to Scorpius but to Aeryn. He had this pain in him for almost two years now. He never said a word.

"Why didn't you say anything John?"

He just shrugs his shoulders. He is drunk I can tell, so goes another night, something new but yet again I drag him out of the bar and back to his bed.

~*~

I go a see him the next morning but he is not there. Jack didn't hear him go out. I look on the dressing table and find a disk of some sort. A note beside it: instructions on how to use it. I activate it. Jack and I sit and watch the message. I never got a chance to tell Jack about last night but it doesn't matter anyway. John tells the whole story of his trip into the Uncharted Territories. Every detail, nothing missed. We sit for an hour watching the message.

"DK, Dad. This message is the last I'm leaving you with. I never say 'good-byes' I leaned never to do that. Aeryn and I never use to do that, until the last time. I'm going back up there. I'm going to follow my heart. It's too painful to sit here and think of her. Everything reminds me of her and it is too hard for me. I see the pain I have caused in you, I'm sorry. Maybe one day I will be back but for now this is it. I guess stubbornness finally got to me because I'm going to find her and no one will stop me. Wish me luck and hope I don't get kicked across the galaxy," he laughs weakly. "I love you Dad. I will be back. Thank you DK for everything. You are no doubt the bestest friend anyone can wish for. I'll miss you guys."

That is the end. I sit outside and look out at the stars that night. What did he see in those stars? Aeryn? Life? Love? I don't know but all I see as I sit here is John. Goodnight John, find Aeryn.

That is all I have to say, John has guts, he follows his heart, and now he is once again running after that even though his wish for coming back home has been granted.

I turn to Jack.

"He isn't coming back."

Jack simply nods.

~*~

Being punched-hurts

Being shot-hurts

Being hit-hurts

Being in love-hurts the most

~*~

Part 2 >>

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