Title: To Die In Your Arms

Author: Catherine Bruce

Summary: Its That scene.

Spoilers: Infinite Possibilities, Part 2: Icarus Abides.

Rating: PG

Beta: This wasn't read over by anyone, though I did run it through MWord's SpellChecker... Sorry Sarah.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. The Henson Company owns Farscape. The Military owns me.

Author's Note: I told myself I'd never write about this, but I did. Damn my eyes, anyway.

Author's Question: Would this, by length, be considered a drabble?

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Slowly the muted light of Talyn dimmed further around him. He was too weak to try to focus, couldn't even call up the strength to turn his head to look at Aeryn, to try to ease her in his passing.

Of all the things he regretted, perhaps his greatest was leaving her alone. Not for his sake, but for hers. He knew the grief that came with losing a loved one, had experienced it twice himself in his life; once when his mother finally passed, and then again when he had rammed Aeryn's Prowler. Each time the pain had been raw, a searing through his soul so intense that no mere motorcycle accident or Aurora Chair could come close to matching.

He prayed to the goddess, to Cholak, even to the God of his own home world that she would not retreat back to her militaristic way of dealing with things and would instead remain the warm and loving woman he had come to know these past few monens onboard Talyn. She had by far proven him right in his early claim that she could be more.

He thought then of the other one, the man who wore his face. In the clarity that came with the fog, he saw him for what he really was. The same. He knew that if Aeryn went back to Moya things would be confusing between the remaining human and the grieving Sebacean.

Sudden pain wracked his body, the radiation in him ripping through every cell at an increased rate. Distantly he wondered if this was how cancer patients felt - his mother had felt - as they tried to prolong their ending lives.

Before the pain consumed him, he felt a warm calloused hand, too large to be Aeryn's, rest lightly on his forehead, and the a warm golden light washed over and through him, taking away the pain. In its place, an image that tore through his heart as it soothed his soul played through his mind. It was a mockery of now, with him on a bed and Aeryn by his side, though this was so much more.

Aeryn was there, her face that of a gracefully aged woman in her late forties, fine lines just beginning to appear around her soft eyes and strands of gray hair weaving through that of brown. He himself had aged as well, though time had been less kind to the human. His hair was a light steel gray and his frame was a great deal smaller, somehow he knew his age just a couple cycles past a hundred.

As she looked at him, gently running a finger across an old scar on his eyebrow, he knew she saw him as he had once been. Never had she seen his aging and thought him weakened. Physically not as strong, yes, mentally destabilizing of course, but then he had always been destabilizing. She saw through his weathered features and knew him still to be John Crichton.

Surrounding the bed were people. How many he did not know, but knew that they were his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren. They were all there with their spouses and children, having come back together after many cycles to see a man end his long journey. Mothers and daughters held each other as they cried while fathers and sons clasped each other's shoulders, offering silent support, all paying their respects to the patriarch of a large proud family, father to many of today's freedoms that they so enjoyed. Later they would console the grieving matriarch that had stood at his side as he did hers, together equal in what they had accomplished.

The wave of family - the beautiful blending of many alien cultures - parted to let through a young woman carrying a small bundle. She held it as though it was the finest glass, the purest gem, and to all there it was. She smiled warmly at him when she reached his side, memories of him bouncing her on his knees and giving several 'piggy-back rides' when she was just a young child running still fresh through her mind. Tears shone in her eyes, and she looked so much like his Aeryn that he felt his weakening heart clench. Carefully she held the bundle to him and he took it, gazing down into the beautiful face of his first great great grandchild.

A tear fell down his cheek and the bundle was soon removed. His wife brought the blanket up around him before she curled into his side, arms around him and head on his shoulder. The newer generations watched on, proud to have come from such undying love and perseverance, something many others considered pure fairy-tale at best.

And it was in this way he passed, surrounded by the only thing that had ever meant anything to him, the only thing in life he had come to care about.

Family.

Slowly he came back to himself on Talyn, still surrounded by the only thing he cared about. The hand began to move away, but he clutched at it with his own, needing a message to be sent. Slowly he released, assured by a kind eye that it would be delivered.

His heart tightened then at the unfairness of life, of having seen a future that could never be. He would not know the love of a child, would never get to hold close to him something that had come from their love.

He tried to apologize, wanting her to know that he wished more than anything that things had played out that way, that she would spend her life in his arms, but he couldn't. His throat constricted and as he began, instead voicing the regret that he would never get to meet her father, or she his. The real Jack Crichton would have loved Aeryn.

They continued to speak softly to one another, murmuring words of love and lost chances, and then her mouth was on his. On her lips, her tongue, her teeth, he tasted the saltiness of her tears, her unique sweet flavor, and a breaking heart of lost tomorrows and too few yesterdays. He tried to prolong this kiss for as long as his radiation-battered body would allow, but it betrayed him, betrayed his heart.

As he felt himself drift further into the waiting arms of Lady Death, a flash of his clone - no, his other - crossed his mind once more. It was in that instant he knew, that moment when he realized what the vision had been.

Aeryn would find a long life in the arms of John Crichton, and though he knew she would grieve in whatever way she could, she would love. Selfishly he thanked Cholnak and God and whoever else was listening, happy that no man other than John Crichton would ever possess her heart.

She would be happy. He had seen it. This alone filled the places of his body that life had already left with a joy he thought he should not be able to feel at the moment.

The image played itself in front of his fading eyesight once more, and he clung to it.

"Don't worry about me. I've never felt better."

End

16 June 2004