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Dreamscape
by Shelley Robinson, E-mail: SShelleyr35@aol.com

About Dreamscape

Disclaimer: I do not own part of Farscape or the characters there in. I am simply an avid fan and enthusiasts of this incredible series.

Summary: This is set post Fractures. The crew of Moya have found and destroyed Scorpius' Gammak research base. Since returning to Moya, Aeryn has kept her emotions under control. She had to help John deal with Scorpius but now that this has been done her grief is threatening to overwhelm her and she has found an alternative way of dealing with it.


Tapped Energy

Since the destruction of Scorpius' research facility the crew of Moya have had a lull. It is a welcome switch from the grind they are used to. They were all pushed to the limit during their last mission.

When they are not on watch in command each of them have their own agendas. D'Argo is completely obsessed with his ship, constantly learning more and more about its functions. Jool has thrown herself into creating potions and becoming more efficient with the powders, liquids, etc. left behind by Zhaan. Rygel and Chiana are up to their usual tricks every time they reach a commerce planet. They have a routine between the two of them that has netted them a pretty good haul. The wormhole knowledge in Crichton's head is opening at a maddening pace with each passing day and he is absorbing it all. He is constantly writing in his notebook and making star charts and graphs. The one person who has been conspicuously absent from all of this has been Aeryn Sun. Pilot has noticed that when she is around she is easily distracted and often times very irritable. When he has tried to speak with her regarding her behavior, she has blown off his concern by simply stating, ‘I am fine Pilot'.

John's watch in command was just about up. He was waiting for Chiana to relieve him.

Pilot: (image appearing in the clamshell) "Commander Crichton, I would like to speak with you while you are alone."
John: "Sure Pilot. What is it? Is there a problem?"
Pilot: "I am not sure."
John: "Spill it."

Pilot's eyebrow did a dip inward with confusion.

John: (grinning slightly) "Tell me what is on your mind."
Pilot: "I am concerned for Officer Sun. She has not been herself lately."
John: (lowering his voice) "Tell me about it."
Pilot: "Commander?"
John: "I know Pilot but we have all been under a lot of strain over the last half of cycle. Aeryn more than most. I am sure she will be fine."
Pilot: "I wish I could be as sure. She has been acting very strangely. She has been keeping to herself a great deal and is often sleeping for long periods of time, which as you know is not like her."

John thought for a microt. He has noticed that Aeryn has been dragging around lately.

John: (concern in his voice) "It is not like her to sleep more than 4 arns during the sleep period."
Pilot: "I am aware so you understand my concern."

Chiana came strolling into command.

Chiana: "I am here to relieve you old man."
John: "Pilot, where is Officer Sun now?"
Pilot: "She is in her chambers."
Chiana: "What's up? Is something wrong with Aeryn?"
John: (heading toward the door) "I am not sure yet."

He rushed out.

******
When John reached Aeryn's chamber the door was closed. He knocked and called her name out. There was no answer. He tapped his com.

John: "Pilot, are you sure Aeryn is in her chambers?"
Pilot: "Yes."

He pushed the door open slowly unsure of what he was walking in on.

John: "Aeryn?"

The chamber was very dimly lit but he could make out a form lying on the bed. He slipped inside and passed his hand over the light control. As the lights came up he walked over to the bed.

John: "Aeryn?"

Again, no response. John moved closer. He leaned over the bed. He reached out and touched her arm. He did not want to startle this sleeping PK soldier and be within striking distance but he had to risk it.

John: "Aeryn?"

When that didn't arouse her, he knew something was wrong. Aeryn is trained to practically sleep with one eye opened for the enemy. He sat on the bed beside her. He laid his hands on her cheeks. She was cold to the touch.

John: "Aer…"

He laid his head against her chest. Her heartbeat was steady but it was faint and her breathing was shallow.

John: "Jool, I need you in Aeryn's chamber right now!"
Jool: "On my way."

John looked in her face.

John: "Aeryn?!"

He slipped his arms under her and pulled her up close to him. Her body was limp. Her head fell back. He cradled it with his hand.

Jool came rushing in and was soon followed by D'Argo, Rygel, and Chiana. They heard the urgency in John's voice over the com. Pilot's image appeared in the clamshell.

Pilot: "Is everything all right?"
Jool: "Crichton, you have to put her down so I can examine her."

John looked at Jool and slowly lowered Aeryn to the bed. He stood up. Chiana walked up beside John. She laid her hand on his arm.

Chiana: "Come on John. Let Jool work."

John took a couple of steps back. His eyes looked pained and frightened. He and Aeryn haven't talked much (the way they used to before the whole twin thing happened) since her return to Moya but he figured time and patience would change that and now he felt like the time was slipping away.

Jool: "I need her taken to the medical bay. Outwardly I cannot find anything wrong with her. I need to draw some blood and use the scan to see if there is some internal damage."

John moved back over to the bed. He slipped his arms under Aeryn's legs and back. He scooped her up into his strong grip. Her body fell against him with no resistance. Her head was nestled against his shoulder with her arm dangling down limply. Chiana picked up her arm and laid it across her stomach.

John: "I will go with Jool to the medical bay. Chiana, you get back to command."
Chiana: "I want to go. I want to make sure Aeryn is all right."
Pilot: "Don't worry about command. Moya and I will take care of it. Take care of Officer Sun."

All of them went to the medical bay.

*****

Jool spent over an arn examining Aeryn and studying her blood samples. D'Argo had to pull John out into the corridor because he was constantly asking questions and getting in the way. John leaned against the wall and slid to the floor. D'Argo stood near him leaning on a bulkhead.

John: "I keep playing everything over and over in my mind. Could she have been injured and we missed it?"
D'Argo: "She seemed fine. Worn out like the rest of us but I didn't detect any damage."
John: "May be it is like when Larraq stabbed her and her peripheral nerve was damaged. Something that can't be seen."
D'Argo: "Jool will find out what it is and she will fix it. Aeryn will be fine."
John: (voice cracking) "She has to be."

D'Argo looked down at John. John was staring at Aeryn lying on the exam table. She looked so still but peaceful. Rygel flew his throne sled over to the door.

Rygel: "Jool says you can come back in now."

John jumped up. D'Argo followed him inside. John went right over to the table. He laid his hand on Aeryn's arm.

John: "Well did you find anything?"
Jool: "Nothing physical but look at her readings. Her breathing and heart rate are dangerously low and look at her brain waves."
John: "They are off the charts. How is that possible?"
Chiana: "What does that mean? That whatever is happening to Aeryn is happening in her mind?"
Jool: "There is no other explanation for it."

John looked down at Aeryn.

Rygel: "What the frell are you talking about? How can a thought kill you? You must be completely farbot. Obviously you have missed something."

Jool shot him a dirty look. John looked up at D'Argo.

John: "Scorpy did it to me. He stopped my brain function cold from inside my mind."
Chiana: "You think this is Scorpius' doing?"
D'Argo: "But you had a neural chip, Aeryn doesn't have anything like that."
John: "Something is happening in there D'Argo. Look at her. She is dying."
Rygel: "Too bad Stark is not here. This is where his talents would come in handy."

John got a strange look on his face.

John: "Stark! You are a genius Buckwheat."
Rygel: "Of this I am aware but what did I say."
John: "I will be right back. I think I know how to help Aeryn."

John ran out of the medical bay. Strange looks passed between everyone. D'Argo walked over to the bed and laid his hand on Aeryn's forehead.

*****

John was back within 80 microts. He was holding Stark's mask.

Chiana: "What are you going to do with that?"
Rygel: "That is pretty useless without Stark isn't it?"
John: "I thought that at first too. I thought Stark just used it to pass the message from the other John to me."
D'Argo: "You found another use for it?"

John turned his back to them all and looked down at the mask.

Jool: "Crichton?"

He took a deep breath and turned back. John gripped Stark's mask in his hand and scanned their faces.

John: "I was fooling around with Astro's mask one day just to see if it had any other uses."

D'Argo got a skeptical look on his face.

D'Argo: "And?"
John: "And I put it on."
D'Argo: "Are we going to have to pull every word out of you?"
Chiana: "What happened when you put it on?"

John started pacing back and forth from side to side, not making eye contact with anyone.

John: "I found that if I concentrated really hard I could project."
Jool: "Project what?"
John: "My mind."

Chiana stepped forward.

Chiana: "Are you saying you could move from one place to another?"
John: "Not exactly Chi. I can go into another's mind. It is like watching a television show. But I can participate or stay in the background and not make my presence known."
Rygel: "Have you used your little trick on us?"

John cleared his throat and looked towards the floor.

D'Argo: "You have been going into our minds."
John: (snickering) "Let me just say if you think some sick stuff comes out, or goes into, Rygel's mouth, you should see what is on his mind."
Rygel: (with royal indignation) "Unacceptable."
Chiana: "Have you done it to all of us?"

John looked over at her.

John: "Not often and not for long periods of time and I leave before anything too personal happens. Besides it is quite draining physically and mentally to sustain it for a long time."

Everyone was staring at him.

John: "I know what you are all thinking…(he grinned). I didn't mean that literally. Well, I did but not at this microt."
Jool: "When do you use that?"
John: "It seems to work best when the host (gesturing toward them) is in a sleep state. There is little resistance."

John looked at Jool then at D'Argo then back to Jool. Jool looked away.

Jool: "I don't believe this."
D'Argo: "What?"

John chuckled softly.

John: "Nothing ‘D'."

Jool's hard was turning a rich red.

John: "Look the point is I can use this to go into Aeryn's mind."
Rygel: "But you said it drains you and you can't sustain it for a long time."
John: "I have to give it a shot. Look at the alternative…"

They all looked at Aeryn.

D'Argo: "She will die."
Chiana: "I think we all agree that whatever is killing Aeryn from the inside out has to be pretty powerful. What if it kills you?"
John: "I am willing to risk it Chi. I can't just standby and watch her die."
Jool: "Tell us how we can help."
John: "I need Jool to keep monitoring us both. If it seems like I am getting into deep dren then pull me back, which usually just involves me taking off the mask, when I am doing it alone."

Jool acknowledged his request.

D'Argo: "Are you sure about this John?"
John: "What other choice is there? I am not going to let Aeryn die without at least trying."
Jool: "How long should I wait if you get into trouble before I pull you back?"

D'Argo and John were moving an exam table close to Aeryn's position.

John: "When my levels reach dangerous territory, then pull me back. Hopefully that will give me enough time to figure out what is going on in there."
Chiana: "What can we do?"
John: "I need you guys to leave. I need to be able to concentrate on just Aeryn and if you guys are here my mind might wander, so to speak."
Jool: "I will return once you are under."
John: "Okay."

Everyone walked toward the door as John slid on the table. D'Argo looked back at him. Jool, Chiana, and Rygel left the medical bay.

D'Argo: "What if you can't bring her back?"

John looked over at Aeryn then back at D'Argo.

John: "I won't leave her alone wherever she is."

D'Argo lowered his eyes and walked out. John got situated on the table. He looked over at Aeryn before putting the mask on. He reached over and took her hand in his.

John: "I am not going to let you leave me behind again."

Fantasy Life

John put on Stark's mask and relaxed his body completely. He had to clear his mind and not permit his own emotions interfere. He has tried to go into Aeryn's mind on several occasions but has always been kicked out because he reacted strongly to whatever he was seeing. John felt that familiar floating sensation.

When John's eyes opened he was in a dimly lit hallway. He shook his head trying to shake the cobwebs from his mind.

John: (grinning to himself) "That has got to be what an acid trip feels like."
Harvey: "Where are we John?"

Harvey appeared wearing a smoking jacket and holding a pipe. John looked at him up and down.

John: "What is with the outfit?"
Harvey: "I like to look good."
John: "What are you doing here? I didn't summon you."
Harvey: "I felt your mind traveling. I thought I would come along encase you needed me."
John: "This is a private party, Harv."
Harvey: "A party!"
John: (angrily) "Oh no Harv. This is not a party that you are invited to."
Harvey: "If this is anything like that red head's party, I wouldn't miss it for the world."
John: (authoritatively) "Out or back to the dumpster."
Harvey: "Fine I will leave but if you need me all you have to do is call."
John: "I won't."
Harvey: "Before I go just let me warn you…when a person doesn't want their thoughts invaded they often put up blocks. Just remember that these blocks are not real they are a defense mechanism, to use your Fraud's language."

John looked at him.

John: "What does that mean?"

Harvey disappeared.

John turned back to head toward the door at the end of the hall and was struck across the face by a Scarran.

John: "Ugh!"

He laid his hand on his cheek.

John: "That sure as hell felt real."

The Scarran grabbed him and threw him against the wall. He looked at the Scarran grabbing for his pulse pistol. The pistol wasn't there. John was filled with panic until he remembered what Harvey told him about blocks. He collected his thoughts and focused. He stared at the Scarran. Telling himself over and over again that he was not real. He is just a figment of Aeryn's imagination. He cannot stop me. He is not real. John closed his eyes repeating the phrase to himself. When John's eyes opened slowly he was standing at the door to Aeryn's mind. He looked behind him. The Scarran was gone.

John: (smiling) "Thanks Harv, I owe you one."

John laid his hand on the doorknob. He took a deep breath and opened the door.

******

Jool was in the med bay monitoring John and Aeryn. She had seen the increase in John's heart rate but it went back to normal within microts.

When John opened the door the bright light assaulted his eyes. He blocked his eyes and stepped through the door. As his eyes adjusted he realized that it was sunlight. He lowered his hand and looked around. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

There was lush green grass under his feet and a bright blue sky over his head. He held his arms out to the side and turned around in a circle staring up at the sky. He fell back in the grass laughing. He laid there for a few microts. He suddenly bolted upright and looked around. He started to take it all in and realized where he was. He stood up and started to run down the dirt road. As he made his way around the bend, there it was the cabin in Maine where he and his dad used to go fishing.

John: (confused) "What the hell?!"

Everything was as he remembered it from the last time he was there. He walked down and stood beside the lake. He looked around and saw the leaky fishing boat tied to the rickety old docks. John couldn't believe what he was seeing. He started to wonder if he had gone into Aeryn's mind or deeper into his own. He kneeled down and picked up a few pebbles that were at the edge of the water. He skipped one across the surface of the water and smiled.

John: "I still got it."

He heard laughter coming from the direction of the house. Although he hadn't heard the sound in what seemed like forever, he recognized it as Aeryn. John walked toward the house slowly.

*****

Aeryn was sitting on the porch swing with John. He was telling her a tale about the 150-lb trout that got away. She had her feet up on the swing with her back against John's chest. His strong arms were wrapped around her. She was wearing a flowing white sundress and her thick mane of hair was loose flowing in the gentle breeze. Her features were soft and radiant. She had the most amazing smile on her face.

John stood there watching the scene trying to process what he was seeing. He realized that Aeryn had created an alternate reality for herself where she and John (the other John) are happy and obviously back on Earth. He turned away when he felt the sting of tears in his eyes. He had to keep his emotions under control or he wouldn't be able to hold on to his concentration.

John (Talyn): "I have been expecting you John."

John wiped around. The other John was standing against the railing of the porch looking down at him. He wiped his tears away. He looked behind him. Aeryn was gone.

John (Moya): (inquisitively) "You can see me?"
John (Talyn): "Yes."

He came down the stairs. He was wearing a pair of tan pants and a navy blue t-shirt.

John (Moya): "Where is Aeryn? Does she know I am here?"
John (Talyn): "No, she can't sense you, yet."
John (Moya)): "Yet? This is her mind. Why is that she can't and you can?"
John (Talyn): "I thought we should talk first."

John (T) walked passed him. He gestured for John (M) to follow him. John (M) looked back at the house and then turned and followed him down to the lake.

They stood by the water's edge in silence for several microts.

John (M): "Aeryn invented this fantasy world to get away from me and all of the pain she was in, right?"

His eyes lowered as he took in the pain of knowing that she would rather live in this dream world rather than in the real world with him.

John (T): (smiling) "Not a bad replica is it? She remembered almost every detail we told her about it."

John (M) head snapped up quickly.

John (M): (voice sounding agitated) "What? Do you understand what is happening here? Aeryn is retreating into this world while her body is dying in reality."
John (T): "She is happy here."
John (M): "She is dying."

They looked at each other. John (T) smile faded.

John (T): "That is why you are here John, to help her."
John (M): "I have been trying. She doesn't want my help. The more I try to help her the further away she seems to be."
John (T): "You have been trying to help her for your sake. You love her and you want her back. But what have you been doing to help her for her sake."
John (M): (voice rising) "I don't have to listen to this."

John (M) turned away from him.

John (T): "Do you want her to die in your world?"
John (M): "No, of course not."
John (T): "Then you have to use your love help her."
John (M): "All my love seems to do is cause her more pain."

John (T) laid his hand on John (M) shoulder.

John (T): "It is not your love that is causing her pain. It is the fear that is causing her pain."
John (M): "Fear?"

He lowered his hand and stood closer to the water's edge staring out. John (M) moved beside him and looked out at the water and the sky. John (T) pointed to the scenery.

John (T): "Look around John, what do you see?"
John (M): "Paradise. I know you were planning to take her back with you to Earth before you were killed."
John (T): "Do you know what I see? I see the back of Dad's closet."
John (M): "What?"

John (T) turned to him.

John (T): "Don't you remember what we used to do when dad was away and we had a nightmare…"

A look of realization came to John (M) face.

John (M): ‘Take our pillow and blanket and sleep in the back of Dad's closet."
John (T): "It felt like the safest place in the world."
John (M): (smirking) "At least to an 8-year-old kid."
John (T): "Welcome to Aeryn's closet."
John (M): "How do I help her?"
John (T): "You have to convince her to leave and go back."

John (M) let out one of his ‘you have got to be kidding me' laughs and looked skyward.

John (M): "Why don't you just ask me to lasso the sun out of the sky…it would be easier."
John (T): "Never said it was going to be easy. But then what has been easy since we came to this strange universe."
John (M): "You have a point. Why don't you convince her to go back?"
John (T): "I exist here through Aeryn's imagination. You exist in her reality."
John (M): (looking out at the lake) "You are the one she loves. You are the one she misses. You are the one she is mourning."
John (T): "You are the one who has a future with her, if you are willing to fight for it."
John (M): "I have been trying to."
John (T): "I am a dream, John. You are reality. You have to convince Aeryn to live."
John (M): "How?"

John (T) laid his hand over John (M) heart.

John (T): "We both live in her heart and that is where you have to reach her. She has put up a block much like that Scarran you encountered on your way in. You have to find a way to get through to her before…"
John (M): "Before she dies."

They stared into each other's eyes.

John (M): "You could have her with you forever here. Why would you want me to take her away?"
John (T): "The same reason you would, if you were in my position, because I love her beyond hope. I don't want her to die because I died. I want her to live."

They smiled at each other.

John (T): "One more thing."

John (M) raised his fist. John (T) grinned and raised his. They threw out and both threw out scissors. They laughed softly.

John (T) looked toward the house. Aeryn had come back out on the porch.

John (T): "Go to her John."
John (M): "Your not coming with me?"
John (T): "It will be easier for her to hear you if she is only listening to one voice."
John (M): "Don't you want to say goodbye?"

John (T) looked at him.

John (T): "I said goodbye to her once in my lifetime. I don't think I could do that again."

John (M) looked up at Aeryn on the porch.

John (M): "Is she going to know that I am here?"

He looked back and John (T) was gone. He looked around. He was alone by the lake. He heard a whisper.

John (T): "Take care of her John or you will answer to me!"

To Live or not to live

Aeryn sat on the porch swing looking out at the field of grass. John approached the stairs. As he stepped up on the first step, she acknowledged his presence.

Aeryn: (coldly) "How did you get here Crichton?"

He looked up at her. She was staring at him with her infamous PK glare.

John: "It is a long story."
Aeryn: "You can't stay. John will be back soon."
John: "I will take my chances."

Her glare watched him as he stepped up on the porch. He walked to the opposite end of the porch and sat on the railing. He crossed his arms and looked out at the scenery.

John: "This was one of my favorite places on Earth. I had some great times here with my dad."

Aeryn looked away.

Aeryn: "Crichton, why are you here?"
John: (distant look in his eyes) "You are dying Aeryn. Your body is dying on Moya. I came in to get you to come back before it is too late."
Aeryn: "What if I don't want to go back?"

John's gazed snapped toward her. He slipped off the railing and walked toward her.

John: (voice rising in anger) "Is that what you want? You want to die."

She didn't answer him.

John: "Why don't you just put a pulse pistol to your head or do a kamikaze in your prowler? Why take this easy way out?"
Aeryn: "You think this is easy?"
John: (sarcastically) "Sitting in the sun next to a beautiful lake with your dead lover by your side, oh yeah that is really tough Aeryn."

She stood up and tried to go back in the house. He blocked the door. She refused to make eye contact with him.

John: "I have never known you to be a quitter, not Ms. Bad ass Peacekeeper Soldier. When did you become such a coward?"
Aeryn: (shouting) "Go away and leave me alone."
John: "You mean let you die, don't you? That is what you want. You want me to leave you alone and let you die, right?"

She turned on her heels and ran down the porch stairs. John went after her. He grabbed her from behind. She fought him. He took a couple of shots from her but he got the upper hand. He pinned her to the ground beneath him. He held her arms over her head.

Aeryn: "Leave me alone."
John: "Not until you say it. Tell me that you too much of a coward to live so you have chosen to die."
Aeryn: (shouting) "Let go of me. I hate you."

The words stung John to his core but he was not going to let them distract him.

John: "Then hate me but I am not going to let you die Aeryn. Because if you die, you will surely take me with you."

She turned her head to the side so she didn't have to look at him.

John: "When you lose someone you love Aeryn giving up is easy, finding a way to go on is the hard part."

She swallowed hard. He felt the tension from her struggling easing up slightly. At least she was listening.

John: "I know you are afraid."
Aeryn: (staring up at him) "I am not afraid. I am a soldier. I have faced death many times."
John: "Really? How did it feel?"
Aeryn: "What?"
John: "How did it feel sitting next to me while my life slipped away knowing that there was nothing that you could do? I was going to die no matter how badly you wanted, needed me to live."
Aeryn: (anger filled her) "You bastard."

She fought to push him off of her. She was crying but she was fighting him. She finally got him off of her. She stood up. John was on his knees looking up at her. She was shouting.

Aeryn: "You promised! You promised you wouldn't leave me behind but you did!"

Her tears were flowing. She was staring down at John.

John: "It hurts to be mad at him, doesn't it?"

She was silent.

John: "He left you behind and you are furious with him. You left me behind and now you are doing it again."

She dropped to her knees in front of him. They stared into each other's eyes.

John: "When you left on Talyn with him, I missed you so much and the only thing that kept me going from day to day was my love for you. I wouldn't let myself think about the possibility of you and he…"

John lowered his eyes. She reached out and laid her hand on top of his head. He looked up at her.

John: "When I found out Talyn was coming back all I could think about was seeing that face again…(he reached up and gently stroked her cheek)…that beautiful face."

He stood up. Aeryn looked up at him.

John: "Do you know what it does to me to know that you would rather live in this make believe world with a ghost, a figment of your imagination, instead of with me in the real world? May be you would have been happier if I had been the one to die."

He turned his back to her. A single tear ran down her cheek. Aeryn stood up and walked up behind him. She slowly reached her hand out and gently stroked John's back. He stiffened at her touch but he didn't turn around.

Aeryn: (tears streaming down her face) "I didn't mean what I said. I don't hate you."
John: "You know I didn't ask to be dropped into this crazy Universe of yours. But I am here and I am finding my way but only with the help of my friends and …"

He turned around and faced her.

John: "And you. You are my guide. The one constant in my life that makes everything else bearable."

The sound of those words coming from this John as they did from the other John touched her heart. John stepped closer to her. He stared into her eyes.

John: "I don't know how to convince you to live Aeryn, except to say that I love you. And if any part of you still loves me, you have to fight for me because I am fighting like hell for you."

He leaned in and laid his forehead against hers. He looked in her eyes and laid his hand against her cheek wiping away her tears.

John: "It is your choice Aeryn."

He moved passed her and walked away. She turned and watched him go. She swallowed hard as if forcing her emotions down and turned back towards the house.

Awakening

Jool was there when John began to awaken. She went over to the tableside.

Jool: "John, are you all right?"
John: (weakened voice) "I am fine. How long was I out?"
Jool: "Only about 300 microts."

John looked over at Aeryn.

John: "How is she?"
Jool: "No change."

John sat up slowly with Jool's help.

Jool: "You should take it easy Crichton."
John: "I am okay Jool. (Staring at Aeryn) Just give me a microt."

She let his hand go. She looked over at Aeryn.

Jool: "Did it work? Were you able to reach her?"
John: "I don't know. Only time will tell. It is up to Aeryn now."

John slipped off the table slowly. He weakly walked over to the table where Aeryn's body was lying. He reached out and touched her silky raven hair. He leaned down and kissed her forehead. He whispered in her ear.

John: "Fight Aeryn. I love you. Fight for me. Fight for us."

He walked toward the door holding the mask. He looked back over his shoulder.

John: "Stay with her. Let me know if there is any change."
Jool: (confused) "I will."

John walked out of the med bay looking defeated.

******

D'Argo stopped by John's chambers after Jool told him he had left the med bay over an arn earlier. John wasn't there but Stark's mask was sitting on the bed.

D'Argo: "Pilot, where is Crichton?"
Pilot: "He is on the terrace."

D'Argo went to find him.

John was standing in the middle of the terrace staring out at the stars. He heard the door open but did not acknowledge it.

D'Argo: "John, I have been looking for you."
John: "I know. I heard you talking to Pilot."
D'Argo: "Are you all right?"

D'Argo walked up and stood beside him.

D'Argo: "What did you see when you went inside Aeryn's mind?"
John: "Nirvana."
D'Argo: (looking confused) "What is that?"
John: "She has designed this perfect world with the dead John back on Earth. A world with no critters, no Scorpius, no peacekeepers…"
D'Argo: "A world without you."

John looked at him with such hurt in his eyes.

John: "I tried to convince her to come back. I told her I loved her and I needed her in this world with me but I don't know if I reached her."
D'Argo: "Sometimes the best thing we can do for those we love is to let them go."
John: "This is not the same as your situation with Jothee, D'Argo. Jothee left Moya but he is alive. If Aeryn just wanted to leave Moya, it would hurt like hell but I could do it if it meant she could heal but we are talking about letting her die. I don't know if I can do that ‘D'."

D'Argo laid his hand on John's shoulder.

D'Argo: "You might not have a choice, my friend."

*****

John (T) was sitting on the rickety dock by the lake with his fishing pole dangling in the water. His bare feet were skimming across the top of the chilly lake. He heard Aeryn's footsteps behind him. It was a heavy sound. He turned when they stopped and saw her peacekeeper boots. He followed the length of her body with his eyes up to her face. He smiled at her.

John (T): "You looked beautiful in that dress but I have always thought that black leather was made for you."

She smiled slightly.

John (T): "You have decided?"
Aeryn: (softly) "Yes. (Playful tone) You know how much trouble he gets into when I am not around to help him."

John smiled. He stood up slowly. He stared at Aeryn. Their smiles faded away replaced with deep reflection.

Aeryn: "You will always have a special place in my heart."
John (T): "I know and you in mine."

She couldn't say goodbye to him. He could see how she struggled.

John (T): "He loves you, Aeryn, almost as much as I do. Don't be afraid of that love."

Aeryn's eyes shined with unshed tears. He stepped toward her.

John (T): "Don't worry about me. I am at peace."
Aeryn: "I needed to know that."
John (T): "It is time for you to go home now Baby. Take care of yourself and take care of John Crichton."

She smiled at him and wiped away the single tear that had rolled down her cheek.

Aeryn: "No goodbyes."
John (T): "No goodbyes."

She stepped up to him and kissed him gently on the lips. His eyes closed. He slipped his arms around her. As they embraced the scenery around them began to dissipate. The house, the trees, the grass….

Back in the med bay Jool looked over at Aeryn. Aeryn's arms were wrapped around herself as if she was hugging herself. Jool touched her com.

Jool: "John?"
John: "Jool, is something wrong?"
Jool: "I think you should come to the med bay."
John: (sounding anxious) "I am on my way."

Healing Hearts

When John and D'Argo entered the med bay, Rygel and Chiana were all ready there with Jool. Everyone turned to look at John. He stopped in his tracks with D'Argo beside him.

John: "What is it? What happened? Is she gone?"

Jool was blocking his view of the table. He lowered his eyes to the floor. D'Argo stepped up to support him. Jool stepped back from the table.

D'Argo: "John, look."

John looked up and was shocked to find Aeryn looking at him. Her incredible eyes wide open. She spoke softly and with a slight smile on her face.

Aeryn: "Hey."
John: (his heart pounding against his chest) "Hey yourself."

He was frozen willing his body to move. D'Argo smiled.

D'Argo: "Come on everyone lets give them some time."

Rygel flew his throne sled over beside the table and looked down at Aeryn. She looked at him.

Aeryn: "Put everything back or you will answer to me."

Rygel smiled slightly and flew off. Chiana stepped up.

Chiana: "I will make sure he does. Welcome back Aeryn."
Aeryn: "Thanks Chiana."

Chiana smiled at her and followed Rygel out. D'Argo walked over to the table and touched Aeryn's hair. He didn't say a word. He just smiled and bowed his head slightly. She acknowledged him by laying her hand on top of his. He walked out. Jool looked at her then at Crichton.

Jool: "I will be back to check on her later."
John: "Thanks Jool."
Aeryn: "Yes, thank you."

Jool left. John was finally able to pry his feet out of the invisible concrete that seemed to be holding him in the one spot. He pulled up a stool and sat down. Aeryn was staring at him. She held her hand out to him. He took her hand in his.

John: "How you doing?"
Aeryn: "I am better now."

He gently rubbed the back of her hand with his free hand.

Aeryn: "Was I dreaming? Were you really there with me?"
John: "Yes."
Aeryn: "How?"
John: "With some help from Stark."
Aeryn: "Stark?"
John: "I will explain later. I think you should get some real rest. We can talk later."

He stood up and leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. She closed her eyes. He lifted up slowly. Her eyes opened and her grip on his hand tightened.

Aeryn: "Stay with me, John."
John: "Baby, I am not going anywhere."
Aeryn: (smiling at him) "Neither am I."

He smiled and kissed her hand.

Aeryn: "John, I am sorry."
John: "For what?"
Aeryn: "I never wished it was you that died. I am sorry if I ever made you feel that way."

He lowered his eyes. She touched his cheek with her free hand. He looked up at her.

Aeryn: "Time and patience."
John: (grinning) "Time and patience."

He leaned over and softly kissed her lips. She laid her hand on his chest.

John: "Rest."

She closed her eyes. John sat there watching her sleep. She came back to him. A single tear brimmed his eyelash. He had reached her and she listened. She had come back to be with him. He knew it would take time to build things between them again but at least they now had that time.

John suddenly felt drained. The effects of using the mask had finally started to hit him now that his adrenalin levels were returning to normal. He laid his head down on Aeryn's stomach. It didn't take long for him to drift off into a deep sleep.

Aeryn's eyes opened slowly. She saw him lying there sleeping. His arm was draped across her stomach. She began to lovingly stroke his hair as she has done so many times in the past. She stared at his peaceful sleeping face with a half smile on her face.

Jool had entered the med bay. Aeryn placed her finger on her lips indicating for Jool to keep quiet. She spoke in a whisper.

Aeryn: "Quiet. You will wake him."

Jool smiled and picked up the sheet off of the other table and covered John with it. Aeryn winked at her. She turned to leave. Aeryn reach and pulled the sheet up so John's shoulders were covered. She whispered.

Aeryn: "I love you John Crichton."
John: (without opening his eyes) "I love you too."
Aeryn: "I thought you were sleeping."
John: "If this is a dream please don't wake me."

Aeryn pinched him on the arm.

John: "Ouch! What was that for?"
Aeryn: "I guess you're not dreaming."

He looked at her. They started laughing. He climbed on the table and lay beside her. He snuggled close to her and wrapped his arm across her midsection holding her close to him. His head was resting on her chest. She lifted up and kissed the top of his head. A sweet smile came to his face. She gently stroked his hair. Aeryn looked up at the ceiling. A single tear rolled from the corner of her eye. A deep cleansing breath released as her eyes closed.


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