Part Two: Electric (Gilina)
Summary: And all her dreams spun slowly away.
They had stories like his. Not in the Peacekeepers, of course, because Peacekeepers were not allowed to take such indulgences. Her home, though, the one she had been forced to leave--they had stories there like his.
Stories of love, and of sacrifice.
As a young girl she had been fascinated by them. She had been fascinated by so much. She had taken apart her father's communicator, and put it back together before he had gotten home four times before her mother had caught her. It did not take long, when she had been taken from her home and placed on a command carrier, for them to move her from combat training to tech.
She had missed her family, but she had loved her job. She could create weapons of great power, and rewire anything to respond to her, and it was so thrilling as long as she didn't think too hard on what they were for. And it didn't matter how good she got, no one cared. Crais sneered at her in the halls if he looked at her at all, and her expertise was taken for granted.
She didn't mind that much. She liked it best when she could move through the halls unnoticed, but there was something missing from her life, and she could not figure out what it was. Late at night the answer would come in the form of stories, playing through her unconscious mind, sweeping her off her feet.
Then he showed up, and everything she had dreamed seemed suddenly so real.
He had actually cared about her. He did not even know her, and he did more to protect her than people she had known almost her whole life would have done on Crais's command carrier. When he touched her it was not brutal, not like any of the few commandos she had been with in the past. He touched her like she was something that mattered, he touched her the way she touched her control panels and wires, her consoles and keys.
When he touched her it was electric. Like a shock from an overloading system, running through her skin, pulling her apart and keeping her grounded and changing her life.
He would have taken her with him, and she would have gone. But duty held them apart on both sides and she had remained behind, let slip away the only thing that had ever filled what was missing in her. She went back to her life, back to her cold walls and systems and she slept little. She spent her nights curled in small access ports, studying them, making them better the way she could not make herself better. And all her dreams spun slowly away.
There were times she was not certain he was real at all. She could almost believe she had only imagined him. That on the Zelbinian, as she repaired what systems she could and mourned the loss of her team, she had thought up a hero--someone to save her.
Then she would remember his touch, the electric, and it became so real it was almost as though he was there with her again, and she did not understand how she could ever have doubted they had met.
And of course, there were the stories.
Whispers of John Crichton were growing louder through the halls. This obsession of their Captain, the man no one could catch. When she was alone, she thought of the stories and smiled, prayed no one ever would. Even if that meant she never would, either.
Being transferred to the Gammak base was almost a relief, even though she had heard stories of the commander there as well, and they were no more reassuring than the ones being spoken of her former Captain.
At least no one there spoke of John Crichton, and she would be able to immerse herself inside an access port for days without being reminded of what she had lost. What she had never really had to begin with.
She raised him up so much higher everyday they were apart, and she knew no one would ever measure up, perhaps not even him, even had Peacekeepers been allowed such simple things--like the right to love. It became clear that this was what her life was, and she would not be getting a happy ending. Her story was of those few that, as a child, had made her cry.
Then she heard his voice behind her, saw him with a Nebari at the bar, looking as though he had every right to be where he was--though she knew the truth, how different he was from all of them. Not as different as he had been before, she had noted sadly before she slipped away to ensure no one else learned his secret. But really, even then, she had known it changed nothing.
He would leave, and even if she convinced herself it was possible to go with him, she wondered how long it could last. He had obviously not been so preoccupied with thoughts of her, not the way he had been haunting her. That brief spark of hope that he had come to find her had faded when he told her why he was there. She would help him save Officer Sun anyway, because she would do anything for him.
And she would not be caught, because she was the last one that would ever be suspected of sabotage. She was quiet, unassuming, and no one believed she had it in her to betray. But she had learned something after her first encounter with John Crichton. Deception was easy, often easier than truth, and she was very good at it.
No one had ever doubted her story, no one had ever thought to question her twice. She could see the thoughts in their eyes--the poor girl was practically shaking, she would not have ever thought to lie. And when the doors to her quarters had closed behind her, she had allowed herself a smile because she had fooled them all.
She did not think twice about betraying everything she knew for him now. She could see he meant more than this life she had, that he was more important somehow, than anything else. He tried to protect her, but he was the one that had to stay out of sight--she was the one needed to protect him.
He was foolish coming here. But she knew she would have done it for him, had their places been reversed. She also knew what that meant in regards to his feelings for Officer Sun, but she did not think too hard about that.
When Aeryn Sun showed up, still sick, for him, it became harder not to think about. Harder to ignore what was between them, that electric that seemed to pass like lightening between them any time they were close. She had asked, tried to find the truth, tried one last time to see if there was hope for her.
She knew then that she had only tricked herself into believing she could go with him, and so she tricked herself again--into thinking she could go back to the life she knew. But there was nothing in either direction for her.
Maybe techs were not meant to be brave, maybe they were not soldiers, but she knew she would die for him. Like a story, she would die for her love, and there would be no regrets so long as he got the happy ending that was not meant for her. It was enough to make her fearless, and a kind of calm stole over her, even as her heart beat three times too fast.
She climbed the stairs to the surface, two at a time, and swung out of the doors into the dull sunlight. A commando lay dead not far away and she kneeled beside him, recognized the face, but did not touch him as she pulled the weapon from his pale hands to hers.
John Crichton had to make it away. He needed to escape or it had all been for nothing. She knew he did not love her the way she did him, but she thought part of him might still love her, and the thought pulled her to her feet again.
Maybe he only came to save Aeryn Sun, but that did not matter, because she was going to be the one to save him.