Author: Lady Sirinial
Summary: Comfort sought, comfort found…
Disclaimer: Own not. Profit not. Sue not.
A/N: I know there's lots of Kansas/Terra Firma episode fillers out there, but I couldn't help myself. Here's my contribution.
John Crichton stood on the threshold, his hand hovering over the doorknob uncertainly. The battle in his mind grew so intense that he started to shake with indecision. The lakka called its siren call, offering him relief.
But the lakka was the problem to begin with.
It was keeping him awake now, like a caffeine buzz but worse. He wasn't hyper, or antsy. He was miserable.
Lakka did a wonderful job reigning in his stampeding emotions, specifically when it came to a certain dark haired ex-peacekeeper. It fortified his walls with solid logic and cold reasoning.
Just call me Spock…
The trouble was logic, cold hard math, kept him from feeling anything.
Then the nightmares started.
In truth they weren't nightmares, they were memories, but they were memories without emotions.
He watched Aeryn drown and felt nothing, didn't shed a tear. He remembered his emotions, the raw agony of watching the woman you love drown, but he now dismissed them as pointless. Death, after all, was natural.
Zhaan's death, completely logical. Why did he try to stop her? Why hadn't he suggested it? It was after all the right choice. She was already dying, why sacrifice a healthy crewmate for a dying one?
Thus the Priestess's choice to bring Aeryn back to life made no sense. It smacked against his reasoning. A soldier for a healer? What kind of trade was that?
John shuddered at the memory of watching all his worst moments in the Uncharted Territories like a machine. His brain picked apart the moments and told him what he'd done wrong. Why his compassion was wrong, why his anger was unjustified.
Told him that love was meaningless… Aeryn was meaningless.
He couldn't take it anymore.
Warning: Side effects may include complete detachment of all things that make you human…
He couldn't sleep, he couldn't eat, and he couldn't look at Aeryn. This, yes, was what he wanted, but also what he desperately didn't want.
The pain in her eyes, the look of loss that reminded him of her return to Moya after the other one's death.
He made his decision on the heels of that last thought and dropped his hand onto the knob twisting it firmly.
It was incredibly early in the morning, the entire mansion was out cold, and he had no doubt that the being behind the door was passed out. Still he opened the door cautiously, slipping inside without even a rustle of clothing.
Getting passed the security was child's play; he'd been trained by Aeryn Sun, peacekeeper/badass extraordinaire. Compared to her the men in black were like five year olds with nerf guns.
He was intensely proud of himself nevertheless, especially considering his wardrobe was a far cry from the Bond tux.
He'd nearly frozen sneaking around in his pajama pants and clingy gray t-shirt.
None of it mattered though; nothing mattered anymore except the shape of the woman sleeping in the queen-sized bed.
Aeryn Sun was indeed asleep, and for that Crichton was thankful. He didn't know how he was going to explain his indulgence to her. But he figured she might be more receptive in the morning when he was already there then if she had woken up to see him standing in her room.
He felt his mouth soften at the corners, recognizing what Liv had identified as his 'tell'.
She was facing away from him, asleep on her stomach, hands resting on either side of her head. She'd pushed the quilt down to the end of the bed, leaving only the sheet outlining her lithe form. Her long black hair shone in the moonlight filtering through the blinds.
His heart gave a painful tug in his chest as he noticed how stiff she seemed. He could see the tenseness in her shoulders and back, the way her fists were clutched tight to the mattress.
John Crichton you are a bastard he thought sullenly, blaming himself for her discomfort. His fingers itched for a lakka bulb, his hand automatically moving to his chest to reach in the vest pocket.
But he wasn't wearing his vest, and he didn't have any lakka in his pants pockets either.
John Crichton, astronaut, scientist, explorer, wanted to sleep in peace, if even for just one night. He wanted to be comforted and there was only one place where he could find what he was looking for.
You're like a kid and his favorite teddy bear
He found himself sitting on the side of the bed, still looking down on Aeryn expecting her to wake up and pantak jab him.
Or maybe she'd just shoot him and put him out of his misery…
He watched in slow motion as his own hand reached out and gently settled on her shoulder. Her skin had always been soothingly cool to the touch, and tonight was no different. He moved his hand from skin to the back of the (unbelievably pink) tank top shirt she was wearing. Even the cotton was cool beneath his fingers as he rubbed her back like one would a sleeping baby.
Aeryn's head shifted a little on her pillow, she whimpered something softly against the forgiving cloth before falling still again. He pulled his hand off of her back and watched her muscles tense up again. He frowned in concern, wondering how many knots that pale skin hid.
He realized belatedly he should be more perturbed by the fact that she hadn't woken up. She had been a peacekeeper, and more recently an assassin. To his knowledge assassins didn't fall asleep so deeply.
Meaning something had to be wrong for her to be so frelling exhausted.
Guilt pulled at him again, making him shift uncomfortably.
Emotional stress can be more draining than physical stress, remember? Yes he remembered.
John swallowed hard, feeling the familiar lump.
I can't keep doing this to her, to us, it's running her dry He reached for her again, his hand finding the silkiness of her hair and pulling it away from her face. He leaned over her body to see what he'd uncovered.
Dark circles gleamed under her eyes accusingly, her face half buried in the white lump of her pillow, lips parted just enough for her breathing to be audible.
He couldn't have helped himself had he wanted to, he was drawn to her like a magnet, his lips found her temple and gently caressed the soft skin. When he pulled back he saw a brief smile twitch at the corner of her mouth.
Her mouth was almost as inviting, but he wisely resisted that urge and gave into a different kind.
He peeled back the sheet and carefully slithered into the cooler side of the bed. He froze as soon as he settled, watching for a reaction.
Aeryn continued to sleep.
John continued to breathe.
He rested on one elbow and peered over at her face one last time. His lips softened again and he inwardly cursed his weakness when it came to this woman.
He moved closer to her and carefully arranged his body around hers. He put an arm around her, tangled their fingers together, allowed his chest to rest against her back, snuggled one leg between hers and pressed his nose into the back of her neck.
The warm scent of Aeryn filled his senses as he tuned himself to her. He listened to her breathing and the steady tempo of her heart. Remarkably he then felt her ease into him, every tense muscle he'd previously observed relaxing against his body. She sighed and whispered what he thought might have been his name. Her supple body melted into his until he thought they'd become one entity for sure.
He pulled her closer, her cool skin against the warmth of his, and kissed the back of her neck tenderly.
He felt his own body slowly winding down, his limbs growing heavier as his eyes drooped.
He sighed into her skin and let his eyes fall, let his mind wander, his senses full of Aeryn Sun.
And cuddled into her, his comforter, he finally found his peace.