|cozzybob (cozzybob) wrote in cozzybabbles,|
@ 2008-02-25 04:26:00
|Entry tags:||farscape, john crichton, stark|
[Farscape] Out Here
Pair: mentions of J/A and S/Z
Warning: death, dying-ness, depression, angst, some adult language. Err. lame?
Note: Sorta jumped on me. Spoilers for everything up to the Infinate Possibilities eps in s3.
Summary: After the disaster at Dam Ba Da, John faces his demons with the help of Stark.
Jack was not his father. Jack was a God Like Alien from Who The Frell Knew Where that was essentially responsible for almost every major hell that John Crichton had suffered for the last three years. Jack was not human. Jack wasn't even sabacean. In fact, nobody really knew what Jack was--Jack was just Ancient. Jack was Jack.
Jack was not his father.
Like his father had been.
Not his fucking father.
John Crichton of Talyn--the one that had made John of Moya very happy by dying of radiation poisoning--stared at the floor as he lay wasted, slumped over the edge of the bed, his body shaking with a growing ache. Jack the Ancient. Dead. And John knew that Furlow had killed him, looking back. She killed the Jack that wasn't his father, killed him with a pulse pistol... killed him like a mere mortal.
It would have pissed him off, if he wasn't so focused on dying. Jack was supposed to have been God Like. He was supposed to have been an Ancient. He was supposed to be able to dodge bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound, but a fat bitch like Furlow had killed him with nothing more vicious than a quick aim and loaded pulse pistol.
He'd killed the scarrans for Jack, and they had been innocent. Well no, not innocent. But not guilty, merely in the wrong place, at the wrong time. John had no ill will against the scarrans other than those repeated attempts to kill him, capture him, and mind frell him into insanity, but even they did not deserve... that. That thing that John did to the wormhole, that thing that could destroy planets, solar systems, galaxies, the universe. Name it, and John could kill it.
John did. For Jack. And they didn't even deserve it. Nothing deserved that, except maybe Furlow. Except maybe Furlow, and John Crichton, for believing for the slightest second that he could wield it. Thousands, gone in the time that it took to cook up a wormhole bomb.
And now John had the five stages of death to keep him company while the slow agony built in his veins.
He snorted, running a hand through his hair, the back of his neck prickled with a cold sweat.
Jack. Dead. And now he was, too. The John that wasn't his son.
It was stupid. Stupid to remember that body lying there on the floor and seeing his father. It was stupid to think about Jack, the Jack who wasn't his father, and believing for the slightest microt that... that that was him. His father. Dead like his mother. Dead like the John Crichton on Talyn. Dead like everyone else, even Aeryn, for a time.
He trembled, but he wasn't sure it was fear. There was nothing to fear, knowing that he was going to die. He wasn't afraid to die, because he would see his mother again, and he would see Jack. He would see Gelina. Zhaan. Others.
He wasn't afraid. He missed them, was looking forward to seeing them.
He wasn't afraid. He just wasn't ready.
Stark entered, silent and sane as he'd only managed to ever be around the dying, and he unbuckled his mask without comment, removing it completely. Light bathed John, and he sat back against the wall, enjoying the euphoria that Stark's light gave him.
That cold mask was pressed into his open hands. John's slack, dying hands.
In the light, Stark stared.
"A message for the other," the banik said.
The other John. The other John had to know.
John of Talyn looked down at the half mask in his hands, and then back up at Stark. Stark's single eye beyond the light was wet and red, held with a kind of detached emotional agony that he'd only ever shown after Zhaan's death. Stark was prepared to cry for him--Stark, who'd suffered more pain and death than anyone John had or would ever meet in his fucked up and severely shortened lifetime, was in sympathy for his old Gammak base prison mate. The one who'd gotten Zhaan killed with his frelling wormholes and Scorpius, the one that Stark should and probably did still hate, if only for circumstance. Stark mourned John.
It was another one that John had killed. John had killed whatever remained of Stark's heart.
Or he'd thought he had. But Stark was mourning him, and he was humbled in his misery.
A message. The other one had to know. The other one, the him that wasn't going to die out here, trillions of light years away from his family grave site. The other one had to know what happened. The other one needed to take care of the things this one was going to leave behind.
John couldn't bring himself to speak, didn't know where to start or what to do. He looked away from Stark, from the mask in his hands, from the light, from the sorrow and the sanity and the reality of his situation.
Stark said nothing. He stood, naked in his own light, and he waited.
The dying John looked back at him again, and he sighed. The light was comforting. He could tell Stark anything in this light, and the light would guide him through his fears.
He let it go.
"Jack died," he said.
Stark nodded, a jerky movement. He had not known Jack well, had not cared for him like he did Zhaan or John or the others. But he knew of injustice and betrayal among death. He knew that Jack had died badly.
"Furlow killed him."
"Yes," Stark whispered.
And there it was. A wall of tears, the physical translation of the incredible pain in his heart and soul. The human was not at peace. Not yet. John Crichton still mourning his losses.
Stark approached the bed and sat down. Normally, he was not a tactile being, but Stark was different around the dead and the dying. For the dead, Stark was gentle.
The banik brushed sweat-soaked bangs from John's eyes and rest his hand on the human's shoulder. Stark's light was nice, like a blanket that warmed John of the cold fears that clenched his weakened heart. Misery was still there, lingering like Harvey after the worst surgery of his life, but Stark shared it with him. He wasn't alone. He knew that. John might have been trillions of light years away from Earth and all that he knew, but he wasn't alone. He'd never let himself be alone. He couldn't bare that. He couldn't bare abandonment more than anything.
He sighed again, and looked down at the mask.
He still remembered Jack. The Jack who was not his father.
And the Jack who was, back home.
"Da--Jack--" John grit his teeth, and rubbed the tears away with the pad of his thumb, a thumb more calloused than he remembered. He bit at it nervously, tasting his salt, and then glanced up at Stark yet again. Stark, ever silent, compassionate, sad. It was in this moment that John knew what Zhaan saw in him... the peace she'd needed to crossover to her Goddess.
He shook his head, the wetness in his eyes again. If he blinked, they would burst.
He did not blink.
"He wasn't my father," John muttered, "But he looked like him, acted like him. Went by his name. And working with him... building that... that..." John couldn't say it, so he didn't. "We had problems. Dad and me. My real dad, I mean. And I didn't realize, until..." The wetness, burning through his corneas. He didn't blink. He wouldn't.
He wouldn't cry. Not like this.
The light calmed him again, and he breathed it in, soaking what last shred of peace he could cling to. Stark's hand slid down his arm and took a fist, uncurling it even before John knew that he'd done so. Warm banik fingers interlocked his own, holding his hand in a firm grasp of support. Stark. Sane, silent, listening to the stories of a new ghost. Strong in his duty. Confident.
Zhaan had been wise to choose this one.
Another breath. Shallow, but calm now. In the waves, John did not blink.
"I never spoke to him before I left," he said. "We had our moments--on the pier, at the shuttle, in the hospital... mom's... resting place..." He drifted for a minute, then shook his head. "But I never... never really... never really spoke to him, until... after the wormhole. Until after I got here, and I realized..." Bitten lip, pain. "Until I realized what I took for granted."
The hand in his fist held tighter, then relaxed. Stark's expression was still intense with sorrow, but it was softened by careful thought. For all of his inane ramblings, the banik had always listened to John. He'd always seemed to understand, or at least make an attempt to, from that first hellish day they'd met and onward.
It made John wonder why he hadn't noticed earlier. There were a lot of things about Stark that John didn't realize until he was dying, and Stark was his stykera. There were a lot of things... a lot of things that he hadn't realized, until...
He shook his head again.
He looked at Stark, at the blinding, heavenly light.
He looked down at the mask.
And he closed his eyes. The tear, only one, slid down his face.
"I don't want to die out here. I want to go home. I want to go home and hug my father and tell him that I love him. I want to apologize, I just..." Another tear. Only two.
He stifled that quick inhalation, the borderline of a sob. He would not cry. He would not.
"I just can't believe that I never told him that."
But it hurt.
At least Aeryn would have the other John. He knew the other John would fuck it up and there'd be problems, there were always problems, they'd had problems on Talyn, they would have them on Moya. But the other John would get her. John was John, he knew. The other John would not abandon her, and at least Aeryn had the other John.
But his father... his father had neither, because John wasn't going home. This John, or that one. John was going to die. He knew they were both going to die, out here, even if they weren't alone. Even if the other John wasn't dead yet. He would die eventually. They both would. Out here.
Out here. Here in the stars, here in the place he'd been wanting to be his entire life. Out here, because even if the other him did manage to find his way back, he'd never stay. He'd never belong. He'd never dare, not with the universe stalking him around like the bad remix of that old Police song. Out here, surrounded by stars, and planets, and alien life forms.
Out here, where he was going to die, a long, long way from home.
Bringing him back again. He felt the light, felt it brush against his fading soul, and he inhaled deeply, savoring the crash of a spiritual high akin to Born Again Christians and Baptists on the way to the river of forgiveness.
And forgive me, he thought, but to whom, he did not know.
Stark spoke nothing else, but he nudged the mask with his free hand.
You need to tell him, Stark's motions said. You need to tell the other you about your death, your life, and your love. Make peace before you die, John Crichton.
"I killed thousands today, Astro... people who kill thousands in most religions on my planet go to hell. Even if you mean well. Even if it was for the benefit of the universe."
"You will go where you belong," Stark said, so calmly.
That hand, back in his hair, sifting through the sweat. Stark sounded so sure. Stark would know, wouldn't he?
"How do you know?"
The banik didn't answer. He just smiled slightly, a quirk of the lips--not amused, but knowing. Knowing, almost like Zhaan had been those last few weekens before she went away.
John frowned. "And if I die out here, will I be... will my ghost be... here?"
"Your spirit will go where it belongs. Distance here and distance there have no meaning."
"I want to go home."
"And I can guide you there, if that is where you belong."
Did he belong there? Did he belong anywhere, anymore?
Alive, John could never go back.
Could he go back dead?
"I want... I want to go home."
God. He'd never believed in God. But he was willing to pray to anyone, anything, any it, any who... any.... everything. He was willing to pray to go home.
"I'm dying, Stark. I'm not going anywhere."
"You are. You will. I'll take you." Confident, only in this. Stark knew death. He knew it better than he knew breathing.
John looked out the view port.
He saw a bright one, the one he'd named Aeryn. And Huey, Dewy and Lewie. Thousands of others, and Aeryn too.
He wasn't alone. Not out here. Not with Aeryn, who was still in shock in the other room, waiting for Stark's approval that she could return. Not with Craise, who somehow forgave what John couldn't have helped, not with Rygel, not with Talyn, not with Stark.
He knew this wasn't a bad way to die.
This John Crichton had died a hero. Maybe that wouldn't make Moya's John so happy, after all. Maybe Moya's John wouldn't be nearly as lucky. Talyn's John, when he thought about it, had a lot to be thankful for.
With another sigh, he picked up the mask, and set it on the floor before him, staring at it.
Stark said nothing, but his presence spoke volumes.
And John began to speak.