Author's Notes: I really probably shouldn't take up another chapter story at the moment, but I've had this idea for awhile, and couldn't resist starting it. Updates might take awhile, depending on homework and how much CSI I'm writing…
Warning: Set almost directly after The Peacekeeper Wars.
He could hear Aeryn behind him, laughing softly at D'Argo as he played with her hair, but he didn't turn to look at them—he wanted to, but he was drawn inexplicably away from them instead, a feeling inside of him, something, something familiar, tugging him inevitably towards the window as he watched the empty space.
Chiana turned to follow his movements, her new eyes shadowed and all but lifeless, before she turned away again, unconcerned. Rygel was on his thronesled, writing off John's strange movements as mere human madness.
"Quatro," John whispered into the silence, and everyone froze. They turned to look at him with disbelief. Chiana rose to a crouch. "Tres, dos…uno…"
A wormhole flashed in front of them, Pilot yelling incoherently from his den as Moya turned frantic away. John watched the wormhole carefully, and all the others watched him.
"John," Aeryn whispered disbelievingly. "How did you do that?"
He kept his gaze fixed on the wormhole. "I don't know."
"So it's all still there," Chiana demanded.
"No," John said tiredly. "None of its here. It's all gone, the equations, the knowledge—it's just gone."
"But you knew there would be a wormhole," Chiana snapped. "You asked us to come here, Crichton, and you said you didn't know why."
"I didn't know why," he snapped. "And then I did, but I don't know how I knew. I just did."
"You just did," she echoed, reaching out to grab him and pull him closer. "And that means not everything is gone. That means you can still predict them, navigate them . . . Crichton, you could—"
He pulled away. "Don't ask me that, Pip," he pleaded. "I can't, we can't—too much is at stake."
"You can save him," Chiana said, her voice filled with pure determination.
Aeryn stood silently behind them, watching. D'Argo was asleep in her arms. She would let John handle it for now.
"You can go back," Chiana said. "Back to before he was hit, and you could stop it."
"You can't go back in a wormhole before the time you last left," he whispered. "It's too dangerous. The timeline—"
"Frell the timeline," Chiana shouted, before trapping his face between her hands. "You could save him."
"Maybe," John admitted reluctantly. "But maybe I do it, maybe I save him, and we lose everything else."
"Who cares about anything else?" Chiana growled, but John wasn't watching her any longer, his eyes had slid in the direction of his wife and his son.
"I do," he whispered. Chiana followed his line of sight, and her hands fell away as she backed up.
"He'd do it for you," she said quietly, so much pain in her voice that John couldn't bear to meet her eyes. "You know he would."
"He did," John whispered. "He already did, Chiana. He already gave up everything for me."
"So get it back," she said fiercely. "You never give anything up without a fight, Crichton, don't start now." Her eyes had more fire in them now than he'd seen since they had left D'Argo behind, and as much as he wanted to keep it there, he couldn't do what she was asking. They had played with time once already, and almost lost everything.
"That's right, John, don't even consider it. The Nebari lets emotion cloud her thinking, don't be so foolish yourself."
The voice snapped his head up, and he stumbled back, the fire in Chiana's eyes lit instead to concern and Aeryn stepped forward calling his name, but he couldn't hear her…he could only hear him.
Harvey wearing his old I.A.S.A. uniform and his trademark smirk, as he sat perched on one of Moya's consoles. "You're dead," he whispered. "You deleted yourself."
"John, who are you talking to?" Aeryn's voice, from his left, her fingers gripping the sleeve of his shirt, trying to pull him back, but he couldn't go to her. Couldn't, because Harvey was staring at him with those eyes that still had Scorpius staring out of them, and he couldn't move.
"Did you honestly think I would not leave behind a back up?" Harvey asked coyly. "I thought you knew me better."
John shook his head, pressing the palm of his hand against the center of his forehead as though to block him out, but it had never worked before, and it wasn't working now.
"You live an interesting life, John, Scorpius did not believe you would go off simply to live some dull life with your wife and half breed child. He thought you might stumble upon something useful again, and it appears he was right."
John's hand fell to his side, he pulled away from Aeryn, backed away from them both. "No," he said. "Nothing's changed. Go away."
"John," Aeryn yelled. "Look at me."
He almost did, but he still couldn't pry his eyes from Harvey's gaze. "Go away," he said again.
Harvey pretended not to hear him. "This is fascinating, really. The actual knowledge is gone, but the instinct remains, an invisible blueprint on your soul. Not even the ancients, powerful as they are, could take that from you."
John was trying not to get caught up in fascination himself. He'd had his obsessive kick, it had gotten him nothing but trouble. He wondered if Harvey was right, if there was no way to be rid of it. He wondered if the ancients knew the legacy they had left him.
"Doubtful," Harvey said, in answer to his unspoken question. "Einstein, as you call him, underestimates you. Not like Jack, now he saw your potential. Just as I do."
He heard Aeryn shouting at Chiana to get Noranti, and he thought he heard Rygel mumble something that sounded like fahrbot human, but couldn't be sure. The room around him was spinning, and only Harvey, at the center, remained unmoving.
"You've told Scorpius," John whispered. "You're communicating with him, and you told him I can still predict wormholes."
He could feel Aeryn's cool hand against his cheek, his forehead, his whispered name against his ear. Harvey smiled, slyly, slowly, and then glanced up, looking at the vast ceiling of the living ship. "Of course," he said simply, and with the words, the ground beneath John's feet melted away to nothing, and he slid from Aeryn's grasp to the floor.