ADDITIONAL A/N:Okay, so anyone who knows this movie as 'intimately' as I do, knows that the next scene would be the 'silhouette' scene. Actually, when I first conceived this idea, this was going to be the part I had the most fun with… but now, being a complete coward, I'm backing out. My theory is, John knows this movie rather well, too, and is not going to be too thrilled if Crais N Furter *grin* tries to 'recreate' that particular scene (pardon my awful punning.) So, he's going to try his damnedest to stop it happening… and that means it's time for the compulsory shippy/angsty scene. Random, I know, but I have to write something shippy before I explode. Therefore, my 'unconventional conventionists', enjoy!
PS: For anyone who doesn't like the angst/shippiness of this, I've sectioned it between two of these: "~*~" so it's more easily avoidable…
The fiasco in Crais' 'lab' appeared to be at an end. Stark was wandering aimlessly around the Apothecary, wordlessly exploring and apparently still in awe of his surroundings. Rygel lay unconscious near the far wall, with an irate Chiana hovering over him and occasionally shooting dagger looks at the room in general. Jool and D'Argo were standing by the empty bed, deep in hushed conversation. The last of them, Crais, was watching his new 'creation' with wonder. Suddenly, he snapped out of it.
"D'Argo?" he asked, abruptly. The Luxan looked briefly annoyed, shared a look with Jool, then forced a helpful expression onto his face.
"Please, escort these two to their rooms."
In the amount of time it took for D'Argo to amble over to them, John ran a series of pictures through his head, occasionally glancing between Crais and Aeryn. He cringed, and then grabbed Aeryn by the hand. He began to back away slowly.
"Y'know, Crais, I think we can find our own way…"
With that, he quickly turned and ran, dragging a very bewildered Aeryn after him. Crais cursed briefly, scaring Stark, and then went over to comfort him. D'Argo ignored his order now it was no longer relevant, and walked back over to Jool. They both threw a disdainful glance at Crais' back…
A few tiers away, John and Aeryn rounded corner after corner, before finally reaching his quarters. He opened the door, checking in both directions constantly, and gestured for her to enter ahead of him. She didn't move.
"Aeryn, just get in there."
"Not until you tell me what's going on, and why it's so important we don't get separated."
"I'll explain inside," he said, becoming frustrated and persevering nonetheless.
"John…" She was getting irritated. It wasn't a good sign. Then, there was an even worse sign, as a muffled "Find them…" echoed around the corridor, and the unmistakable sound of D'Argo's footsteps approached. He shoved Aeryn into the room, closed the door, and secured it. She opened her mouth to speak, but he silenced her with a gesture of his hand and put his ear to the door. When he was certain the footsteps were passed, he visibly relaxed, and walked past her to sit on the bed.
"Right," she said. "Now do I get some information?"
"I really don't think you'd believe me," he said, truthfully. "Just trust me on this, you do not want to know the outcome if we have separate rooms tonight."
She seemed to concede defeat. "Well, your intuition seems to have been correct so far." She sat on a chair opposite him. "And you're about the only sane one here… even though I doubt that most of the time."
John grinned. "Okay, we do not open that door, no matter who wants in. Got that?" She nodded. "Good. It's gonna be a loooong night."
"You're not saying we stay awake?"
"Yeah, at least until it's safe. Halfway through the sleep cycle oughta do it, they'll have given up by then."
Aeryn blinked incredulously. "And what are we supposed to do until then?" The look on her face that indicated he would probably get slapped stopped John from saying what he was going to say. Instead, he offered:
"Concentrate on not falling asleep." After a pause, he added, cautiously. "Plus, uh… there's stuff we have to discuss. Our conversation in the Prowler never finished, you know."
Aeryn sighed and examined the suddenly very interesting floor. "I was hoping you'd forgotten about that."
"Sorry, no can do." There was silence. After thinking carefully, now similarly looking down to examine his hands, John said. "I meant it, you know. What I asked."
They both looked up, simultaneously.
"I know… but I still can't answer."
"Can I assume that's a 'no'?"
"No… it's… I don't know what it is."
He watched as she got up and moved to Moya's oval window, staring out with her back to the room. The longer tail of Talyn was just visible, a little further ahead near the front of his mother.
John had learnt to read the signs, and knew something was bothering her. The fact that she hadn't accepted wasn't too unexpected; it was that she hadn't entirely refused either. She was undecided, and that worried him.
Moving slowly, he rose from the bed, walked over to stand near her, and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Aeryn…" She turned slightly in his direction. A microt later, they were in each other's arms, and that was when he knew something was definitely wrong. "C'mon. Talk to me. If you make me understand, I can try to help."
He felt rather than saw her nod. "All right," she said, a little choked. "I'll tell you." She extricated herself from John's arms and stood back slightly, looking at him, ascertaining how to go about the task ahead. "Where do you want to start?"
"Let's start by sitting down…"
She nodded again, and they both walked back to the middle of the room, sitting side by side on the end of the bed. Aeryn began to examine her hands again.
"John… I've been thinking a lot about what you're asking. I had a feeling you might soon, and I was almost hoping you wouldn't." He allowed her to continue and explain herself. Aeryn realised she'd started on the wrong foot entirely and backed up a little, attempting to sort it out for herself at the same time. "It's not that I'm not happy… Being with you, this… us… nothing's ever felt so right in my life before. It's perfect. Sometimes it seems too perfect. I keep waiting for something to go wrong… and that's why I knew, at some point, you were bound to ask me to marry you, and… and right up until the moment you did, until the moment those stupid natives decided to make us engaged, I probably would have said 'yes'…"
John couldn't help feeling slightly better, even though he could sense there was a huge 'but' coming. When she didn't carry on, he said, "And now…?"
"Now… now, it's different. Now I've had time to really think about what it all means. Time to think about how much I frelling need you." She stopped. "I've never needed anyone before, never; not even the Peacekeepers… not like I need you. It scares me, John, it makes me feel weak. I'm not supposed to feel weak, I'm meant to be the strong one… and if I marry you, I feel like it's just another bond to you, and I'll end up needing you even more…" She trailed off, uncertain if he understood.
John lifted the hand nearest to her and stroked her hair comfortingly. "Aeryn… need isn't a weakness. If anything, it makes you stronger."
"I don't see how."
"Okay, uh…" He thought about it. "Okay, if it makes you feel any better, I probably need you a heck of a lot more than you need me. I need you to be there for me, to save my life, even kick my ass sometimes… you are what keeps me going out here. Needing you is what keeps me strong."
"I think I understand," she admitted.
"But it still scares you?" Relieved that he understood, she nodded.
"I know it's important to you. I just can't see why."
"I don't think I can explain it," he said. "Maybe it's just and Earth thing… or maybe it's a me thing, I dunno."
"It's probably a you thing."
He smiled. "I guess so." He knew that she wanted something in the way of explanation, but he wasn't sure if he could provide one. He thought carefully, and then decided it might be easier just to go with it and see where he ended up. "I don't know why it's so important to me, either. I've never really thought about it that much. All I do know for certain is what I've always known, right from the start – you were the only one I was meant to be with. I know you're not used to this, Aeryn, and I try so hard not to push you… but I love you so much it hurts sometimes… and I know it's selfish, but I want more. It's completely crazy out here; you keep me sane, and all I want is to lead a normal life. With you."
He got up, then, unsure of the outcome of his confession. Aeryn stayed silent for a while as she processed the information, and spoke slowly, remaining where she was. "When you said I could be more, I didn't believe you. Now… look, you were right. You gave me that much more – friendship, laughter… love. I feel… obligated, somehow, to return that and give you 'more'… but I don't know if I can." All of her carefully formed plans about not being over-emotional failed her; her voice began to crack. "As Peacekeepers, we are born into service; we are trained to be soldiers, by soldiers. We know nothing of childhood or parents, you know that. We're not trained to deal with love, or family, or any of it. I don't know how to do this, John. I want to, I really do, but I can't."
John moved to crouch in front of her, so they were at approximately the same level. Noticing the trail of tears, he pulled her into an embrace, rocking slightly.
"Oh, God, I'm so sorry. I didn't realise…" Neither of them said anything after that, just remained in the same position for several minutes. It was John who eventually broke the silence again. "Well… today's certainly been a riot, hasn't it?"
He felt her smile as they released each other. "Please tell me it doesn't get any stranger."
"Sorry, I'd be lying if I did." He added, "but we're already halfway through this, if it helps."
Aeryn yawned, absently. "That reminds me. I think it's already way beyond halfway through the sleep cycle."
"Yeah. How's about we forget this ever happened?"
"Sounds like a good idea."
Having ascertained that the coast was thoroughly clear, John soon relaxed, but made sure to keep the door secured, just in case. He was now lying in the dark with Aeryn asleep in his arms, staring at the ceiling. He remembered their conversation, beginning to wish he'd never asked her the Question, and was still cursing himself for doing so.
In an attempt to distract himself, he turned to more productive thoughts – how to stop Crais (or at least, get him off Moya) for one, and how to stay at least one step ahead of him. He hoped they'd all come out of this unscathed physically, if not mentally.
Just as he was drifting off to sleep again, he heard someone trying to get in – the unmistakable sound of one of the controls being palmed, unsuccessfully. He ignored it. Then, the knocking started and he grunted. Briefly, it stopped, then began again, louder. This time, it woke Aeryn up as well, and that was the last straw.
"Doesn't matter, I got it." He got up and wandered over, opening the door partway to see the one thing he'd been dreading.
Crais was standing in the corridor outside, wearing a fixed smile. "Ah. Crichton."
"What do you want? Do you know what time it is?"
"Yes. My apologies." It was then that John noticed the rather desperate look Crais was failing to conceal on his face. The last thing he needed was a rampant captain with his libido through the roof hanging around outside his quarters. John tried to stop grinning and failed horribly.
"Anything I can… uh… do for you?"
"Is… is Officer Sun in there?"
"Oh, good, could I-"
"Oh. I don't suppose you-"
With that, he shut the door very hastily and secured it again, then burst out laughing. As he meandered back over to Aeryn, she asked:
"What was all that about?"
A/N:There ya go, I sorta did something resembling a silhouette scene without the silhouettes at the end there… Anyway. You know the drill. Reviews, in theory, get you chapter 9. At least, they will when I've figured out how that'll work… And keep guessing who Dr. Scott's gonna be =)