A/N: I only started watching Lost in Space recently, but I'm in love. I adore the imagination, the larger than life characters, the amount of plot crammed into one hour, and what they can do with such simple special effects. Well, I watched the last episode of season 1 most recently… "Follow the Leader". And this is how I imagine John must have felt in the days following. I love John. And not just because he's also Zorro and Will Cartwright.
He's standing tall against the cliff, not afraid of anything though he's overlooking the end of a world – straight down into the center of the plane, that rift goes—straight down. But he is not worried, because he will not fall down there. He is invincible.
But the small thing before him, the young boy – young even by his own standards – that boy is not invincible. He is simply human. And he is helpless. And he is a threat.
So he must dispose of the boy.
The thought is a pleasing one; he is reasserting power, and isn't that what he likes to do? He's invincible, but what good is it if he never proves it?
He reaches out and takes the boy's shoulders gently, like a fatherly touch, and repositions the boy so he is directly before the taller man, his back to the nearly endless cliff.
The boy is smart, and knows who to trust, but he has the eyes of a small animal. The eyes of someone who trusts implicitly in good people and things, and he looks up at the man before him.
"Dad?" he says, like it's a question. "Dad?"
He stands there, tall, unafraid, powerful, and looks down at the equally unafraid youngster, and he nods.
"I love you, Dad," says the boy—trusting eyes. He has trusting eyes.
He puts his hands on the boy's shoulders again, his touch comforting and solid.
And then he pushes.
The boy falls away. But somehow those eyes don't seem to move, still stare up at him like they are the exact moment when he pushes the boy over the edge.
The boy falls, the name of his father – the man before him – still on his lips, but then as gravity takes over, it turns into a scream.
The boy screams loudly, with the terror of one facing his worst nightmare and unable to wake up, all the way down. And it's a long way down. In the end, it isn't hitting the center of the planet that makes the boy go silent; he is simply so far away that the man can no longer hear him.
He stands tall against the cliff without emotion or regret.
Professor John Robinson wakes up in a sweat, breath hitching through his grinding teeth as his body wrenches against the sheets of his small bed. His eyes are thrown open wide and he stares at the plain wall of his room, but the new sight does not help him.
He can still see the eyes.
Where's Will? He wonders, because he cannot see his son—and for the moment, if he cannot see his son, than his son no longer exists. Rather, he has been torn from life by a push… A push of a man whose hands should always be helping, lifting, teaching.
The hands of a father should not hurt his son. That was wrong.
And he cannot see Will, so he is convinced that he has hurt Will—hurt him irreparably. Dead. Was he dead? He was supposed to be dead, but Will was smart, and if he was dead, then the world wouldn't still be turning around.
He is so sleepy, he just doesn't know.
So he tears himself up from the bed, his son's eyes still in front of him, and immediately he remembers. Will is alive. It's the monster, the man who took over John's body; he's gone. The power of love chased him off, and he can no longer order John to push defenseless, dry-eyed children off of cliffs to ensure that the plan is not ruined.
John knows it, but he is not convinced.
Still sweating like mad, he opens the sliding door to his room and quickly crosses to where Will is, opening the door after glancing around guiltily, half-expecting Dr. Smith or that ever-present Robot to be watching him. He steps inside, just one step, enough to see the light from the main room leaking in onto his son's feathery hair.
Will is sleeping, his face cherubic in slumber, pressed against the pillow. He doesn't awaken. He's deeply asleep—no nightmares for him.
John clenches his fists. Perhaps Will was really never worried at all. Perhaps he had honestly known that his father could not push him to his death. John would rather have leapt off himself; perhaps the boy sensed it in his own innocent way and hadn't been worried.
But he'd said goodbye. He'd asked to see his father's face behind the mask and…
"I love you, Dad."
John nearly breaks down in tears right there. He doesn't understand. How can Will be past it already?
Perhaps he'd thought he would die. Maybe that's why he wasn't worried. Maybe he'd accepted his own death – he is too young to be accepting death! Why isn't he playing ball games like other boys, instead of watching his own father be possessed? But maybe Will had. Maybe because it was easier to be the person falling from the cliff and dying than it was to be the person pushing your loved one away to his death, unable to stop yourself because something evil inside you was wrapped around your head and heart…
John gasps in the night air, and then he can't stand it anymore. He's seen Will. Will is alive. He steps back and closes the door.
Dr. Smith had insisted while John was being possessed that it was some sort of mental breakdown. John gives a short, barking laugh, and then grows quiet for fear of waking the others. It was funny, just a little bit, that Dr. Smith was closer to being right after the alien was gone.
His mind had been whole and unconcerned then.
It was only now that he shakes with terror like an earthquake when he thinks how he could have crushed his family.
He shakes the thought away. What can he do but shake it away and try not to cry and promise himself it will be better in the morning? And then, he goes back to bed to try to sleep dreamlessly.
I love you too, Will.