Author's Notes: The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the ending wasn't right for this story. I've never done an alternate ending for one of my stories before, but for this one, for my own piece of mind, I had to write it the way I should have to begin with . . .
"Why shouldn't I kill her?" Aeryn whispered. "I've killed people for less before. Why shouldn't I do it?"
"Because Crichton would have stopped you," Rygel said quietly, in a moment of depth Aeryn wouldn't have believed him capable of.
The gun almost slipped from her hands then, because she knew how right he was. John would never have let her do this. He wouldn't have stopped her to save Furlow, he would have stopped her to save her.
But her grip on the gun didn't slip. Not even a fraction. Because it didn't matter now what John would want. He was dead. He had been the hero again, and this time he had paid for it with his life and left her all alone.
The one person in the universe that she had ever needed was gone, and she realized now, that she didn't care what happened to her. All that mattered now was making sure John hadn't died for nothing, that this pain she didn't think would ever go away was not for nothing.
She had underestimated Furlow before, believed she had her figured out. But Furlow had betrayed them all to save herself, and she would do it again. Leaving her here was reckless. Furlow would survive. And then she would cash in on the knowledge she had taken from John.
She heard Rygel sigh behind her. He realized now, as she did, that this wasn't really a choice at all. He had come down here to save Aeryn, but she wasn't Aeryn. Aeryn belonged to John and he was gone, and all that was left was ex-Officer Sun.
"I had to try," Rygel said, and it didn't take long for the words to register in Furlow's mind, for her to realize he had known before she did that he had failed. That the ex-Peacekeeper had not lowered the weapon in her hands.
"Thank you," the soldier said, and her voice had lost all inflection. "For trying."
Rygel didn't even wince when she fired.