Title: Simple Things

Author: Auna

Setting: Terra Firma filler

Summary:  John puts on his jeans for the first time

Beta:  ScaperRed… thank you!

Author's Note: I'm sick.  Miserable.  Yesterday, as I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself and moaning to the walls, unable to sleep because I took Dayquil, this came to me.  I couldn't peel myself out of bed to actually write it down until today.  Hopefully, it's not fuzzy, but ScaperRed assures me that it's coherent.  Please be nice, I'm sick and will play that card for all it's worth.


Slowly, he opened the dresser drawer.  Neatly folded in precise rows were his clothes from a bygone era.  Someone had stored them all this time, and had put enough effort into washing them and putting them back in here for him.  Olivia.

His hand reached out and caressed the soft denim fabric of his favorite pair of jeans.  It had taken him three years to break them in, and no other pair ever quite fit him just as perfectly.

He glanced up at the mirror hanging on the wall and saw his form in his leather pants, his long duster, his shin high boots.  Before, he would have considered it "The Biker Look."  Now it was simply what was useful and available, what helped him to blend in.  Not anymore. 

Drawing his gaze away from the mirror, he lifted the jeans in to his hand, bringing the material to his nose, closing his eyes as he breathed in deeply.  Downy, with a hint of Tide.  It was a far cry from Moya's amnexis fluid.

Grabbing the waistband, he let the legs of the jeans fall, holding the pair in front of him as he inspected the long familiar rip in one pocket, a small paint splatter near the left knee.

Olivia used to tell him he needed to trash them, but he had merely laughed and told her he'd never get rid of them.  And she'd kept them for him, even when she wasn't sure he was ever going to come back.

He tossed them on the bed and peeled off his black clothes and boots, anxious to have something from home around him.  The clothes off, he sat on the bed in his underwear and pulled the jeans in front of him, once again holding them by the waistband.  He'd thought about changing his underwear, but he was too anxious to get in to the jeans

One foot slid through and he felt the material glide over his leg as he lifted them.  Heaven.  The only thing he could ever remember feeling better was Aeryn sliding… don't go there, man.

The other foot followed and he stood, pulling the jeans up around his waist, zipping them, buttoning them.  They were a little looser than he remembered, and the fit around the thighs was a little tighter than he remembered.  Huh.

When was the last time he'd worn a pair of his own jeans?  He didn't count the 501's he wore a few days ago, they weren't his.  They weren't formed for three years against his own shape.  Technically, there was the last time he died, but he didn't think that really counted; it had been in his mind.  Another bad trip with Harvey.  How many times had he died, anyway?  It depended, he guessed; if you counted the other guy's… don't go there either.

He went back to the drawer and found his old flannel fishing shirt.  He smiled widely.  Thank you sis.  He pulled it out and snapped the material holding the shirt by the shoulders in front of him.  Just as raggedy and comfortable looking as he remembered.

Anxiously, he slid his arms in and carefully buttoned each button.  Finally, he had his own stuff on.  He breathed in deeply, clearing his mind reveling in the scent of home, of the Downy, of the soft fabric nestled against his skin.  Home.

He opened his eyes and glanced over at the mirror, stopping cold.  He was home.  So why did he feel so alien?