by sugargroupie

PG, 405 words

Summary: His kiss was cold, and her world fell away.

Disclaimer: Not mine; O'Bannon, Henson, Kemper, et. al.

Notes: Beta-free. Post ITLD Pt. 2 AU, written for Shannon, who wanted some season three Aeryn angst. Like she hasn't suffered enough. Why you ask me for fanfic when you know I can't write it, I'll never understand...

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Ten microts and still no movement from the module since it'd been pulled into the hangar by the docking web.

Ten microts of Chiana's nervous shifting on her left, and D'Argo's snarling on her right--

And five microts too many standing around doing nothing.

Aeryn tightened her grip on her gun and approached Crichton's ship, motioned the others to stay back and released the canopy.

He was bent over the controls, probably unconscious. She pulled him back with shaking hands, and nearly choked on a fast exhalation of air.

No. Hands at his neck as she searched for some sign of life...

"Cri-", she moistened her throat and tried again, "Crichton." His skin was still warm, still stretched under the pressure of her hands. Yes, that was it. She just needed to try harder to find a pulse. Aeryn climbed inside the module, straddled his hips and commenced the search. Her fingers skimmed his face, traced the bruises, dipped in blood.

"Don't, don't you do this to me." She stared at him, willing him to hear her commands. She wanted to force the life back into his veins and walk away with the knowledge that he was battered but alive, but she wasn't even allowed that much.

Aeryn never wanted to close her lover's eyes in death, but that's exactly what she's had to do one time too many.

She thought about his final moments on Talyn, his last breath flowing into her lungs as she kissed him goodbye. She'd never fully acknowledged this Crichton, and now she can't bring herself to let him go.

The declining warmth of his skin barely registered as she leaned into his body and pressed her cheek against his. She closed her eyes for a moment, grazed her mouth down his nose and over his lips, and she crushed her mouth against his.

His kiss was cold, and her world fell away.

Aeryn finally tore her eyes from Crichton... John-- He's dead now, it's okay to call him John-- when D'Argo called her name.

"How is John? Do you need any help?"

"Can you bring him back, D'Argo?" She murmured the question with a hesitant shake of her head, not really expecting an answer. She touched her face, glared at her fingertips smeared with tears and blood--

And she laughed. Laughed until the sobs ripped from her throat, and she was finally allowed to revel in her grief.


e n d