A Little Bit Mad

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farscape fanfiction, john/aeryn, mostly aeryn - we have not touched the stars.
gen: book and glasses.
recycledstars wrote in alittlebitmad
we have not touched the stars
note: one day I woke up and this happened. basically this is a very violent babyfic, written for meg after she prompted me on tumblr with what if Aeryn couldn't rescue Crichton and D'Argo at the end of season 1? (So yeah, character death?) Obligatory link to title source.

Aeryn doesn’t know the word for grief but she knows what it means to fail and at first she confuses the two. Her exile is self-imposed; she leaves Moya just before the others (the survivors) starburst away, to safety.

Pilot is the only one of the crew to see her cry.

“I hope we meet again,” he says. “Aeryn Sun.”

She can’t answer him, so she presses her cheek to his and nods.



Crais offers to take her with him and she accepts. But Talyn isn’t Moya and Crais isn’t John and this will never be her home.

She leaves in the prowler.

Leaving is becoming a habit, but it’s the only way she can think of to avoid loss. His was too great. There can be no others.



She learns that the worst part is not being able to tell him things she now has words for when before there were none. Her greatest tragedy will always be that: that before there was time but not words and now there is no more time. She wants to tell him that though love is a foreign word, she thinks she knows what it means now, that it’s not fair to have that knowledge only now that he is gone. She has felt sick in her stomach for half a cycle now and she wants to ask him when it’s going to end.

(The answer is it doesn’t end, it fades. One day she forgets to notice it.)



Aeryn is angry. She takes it out on the enemy of the highest bidder but she doesn’t consider herself a mercenary; violence is what she knows and it makes her feel better but she’s discerning in the jobs she takes.

Some people deserve to die.

He didn’t, but some people do.



On Valdun someone else’s adversary which she has made her own for currency uses a Seer to torment her with flashes of how her life might have been.

(They are in his module then up against one of Moya’s walls then in a room full of flowers, he kisses her or she kisses him.

They are in Pilot’s den and he is holding her, head resting by his lips against her shoulder.

They are lying in bed and he is teaching her to read and his head is resting against her hip and his hand is idle on her thigh.

They are in a boat on a planet with a brilliant sun and she has said something to make him so very happy.)

Aeryn rarely enjoys the killing: the challenge of hunting down a mark, the planning and careful execution of a hit, yes, but murder itself, no. She’s a soldier not a psychopath.

This time she leaves a mess of blood, slowly drawn with her combat knife. The kill is prolonged and she ensures that it is painful and she enjoys it.

Still, her cruelty is small compared to the torture of being forced to confront unrealised possibilities.



She finds the breakaway colonies that she was taught by the Peacekeepers couldn’t possibly exist. It grows increasingly hard to believe the things she has been told. The job she takes is on the royal planet, ensuring their prince does not ascend the throne. There are reasons, she doesn’t care. They sound good enough and she’s paid well enough that she doesn’t ask questions.

It should be simple; the only complication is his Scarran bodyguard or keeper, she can’t tell which.

The heat torture affects her far more than she would expect. After she kills the Scarran, which she just barely manages, she has to lie with her knees curled toward her chest for nearly four arns before she can move. Scarran torture is new to her, so she thinks maybe what she knows of its effects are just more lies told by high command. But it takes her a full day to recover and the empress, her employer, insists she see the palace doctor as soon as the job is done.

(Which it is, at no great length; thankfully disposing of the prince is easy.)

The doctor runs only one cursory test to confirm his suspicions and then he hands down the sentence like it’s good news, asks her if she would like to see what the child would look like. She says no, sharply, and leaves.

Later though, after two drinks and far too many attempts by the planet’s inhabitants to test the compatibility of their DNA with hers, she goes back.

(It was only once. They are different species. But the thought occurs to her that their DNA might have been compatible and she has to know.)

The doctor shows her a baby first, useless. It has blue eyes. She tries not to notice that. At her demand, the child grows into a boy and it’s him, smiling back at her.

She feels sick all over again.



Scorpius finds her on a commerce planet. She’s negotiating a deal for a job when she sees him in the back corner of the bar which reeks of sleaze almost more than it reeks of old alcohol.

The meeting ends abruptly and she takes a lower price than she is worth because the call of revenge is too great.

They meet underground, in a storage room beneath the bar that smells of dead things and is illuminated by the green glow of a vat of bubbling acid in the centre of the room.

“Crichton is dead,” she tells him.

The look on his face at this revelation is pure rage but it doesn’t scare her; it’s not even close to her own anger at the fact. He throws the first punch but she ducks, lands the second, fists furious and she has him against the wall in seconds.

“I am going to kill you,” she says, a promise.

“I am not entirely to blame for Crichton’s death Officer Sun.” He sounds sadistically pleased. “We share that responsibility.”

It shouldn’t get to her, not after so long, but it does. She is once again reminded that she is the reason D'Argo will never see his son again. She is the reason Crichton will never find earth. Her grip loosens, he shirks it.

They’re fairly matched until she fights dirty, and he ends up on the ground with her boot against his throat.

“At least I can take comfort in the fact that you never got what you wanted from him.”

Scorpius leers.

“Crichton is dead.” She lets her foot crush his neck. He doesn’t have time to choke on his last breath. “And now so are you.”

Since he has a habit of surviving things he shouldn’t, she severs his head. She tosses it into the vat of acid as she walks away.



A child. It distracts her at odd moments. He would have wanted it. They had talked enough in abstract terms for her to know that.

(But would he have wanted her? That question haunts her still.)

Aeryn never would have thought to want it before.

And it’s inconvenient to want it now just because it’s the closest thing she’ll ever have to him. That’s an unfair burden to place on a child. And the things she does, they are much too dangerous, perhaps too violent.

(Her own childhood was filled with violence, but she would want better for her – for their – son.)

Besides, the embryo is in stasis. She only knows enough of her biology to know that, not enough to help anyone release it.

It’s a silly idea.

But she can’t give it up entirely.

Her free hand, the one not wielding a pulse pistol, finds her stomach sometimes, to remind her.



Crichton is still in her head. No matter where she goes, no matter what she does (who she kills), he is a voice in her ear.

You’re more than this.

She swallows it, shame, shoots her target between the eyes.

Later, as she inspects her bloody knuckles in front of the bathroom sink in a dingy room she’s renting by the hour:

Come on Aeryn, how long until you give this up?

The next day, as she accepts yet another contract killing:

This is not the life I would have wanted for you; I would have hated to see you miserable. I want you to be happy Aeryn.

“Frell you then,” she says aloud. “Nobody gets what they frelling want.”

Because she didn’t want this. And nothing could make her happy like he did, and she doesn’t deserve to be happy for letting him die.



She dreams, still smelling of explosives.

(She’s just incited yet another rebellion on yet another nameless planet and she’s back in the prowler so she doesn’t have to see the death and destruction of the aftermath.)

They have had this conversation in many ways in her dreams:

No matter what happens, you have worked your way into my heart.

And you have shown me that I have one.

I love you.

She says it back, because while she is sleeping the admission is easy, and his nose brushes hers and he’s close enough that she can kiss him. She tries, but he turns into Scorpius while her eyes are closed; in this dream world she can see it anyway.

She wakes in a panic, adrift in space.

Perhaps it’s time to put an end to these nightmares.



She visits the medicine woman with that intent: forget John Crichton, forget Moya and everyone on her, forget everything that has happened since Crais declared her irreversibly contaminated. The woman promises her it is possible, but the procedure cannot be performed with the embryo inside of her.

“Then get rid of it,” she says.

“Are you sure, child? The decision is irreversible.”

“I won’t have any memory of it?”


“Then do it.”

But her arms won’t unfold from where they shield her torso and she realises she cannot destroy this last evidence of him any more than she can surrender her memories.

She cries.

The medicine woman presses a small drawstring bag into her palm: “You can take these, if you choose to have the child. If you want to make a different choice, come back to me.”
Aeryn makes a fist around the bag. The herbs smell, but she ignores her instinct to throw them away.

(They taste just as bad but there’s not a lot she can’t swallow these days.)



She goes in search of Moya. She knows she can’t do it alone and it is time to end her nightmares; the only other way she can think of is to find home.

The Leviathan is beautiful. She hesitates for a moment before answering Pilot’s signal, watches her in awe. Her eyes well and Moya blurs.

“Hello Pilot,” she says.

“Officer Sun. Aeryn. We are so glad to hear your voice.”

“So are we.”

Her hand is on her stomach.



They are all taken aback when they see her, she can tell, but at least they’re too polite to ask. There will be a time to explain, but it is not now. Chiana hugs her, Zhaan takes her by the elbow and her hand runs down her arm until their hands are clasped together. The Delvian squeezes once then lets her go. Rygel looks on and says nothing, has no derisive remark for her. That is a welcome home in and of itself.



Actually Pilot is the first to ask. (She was betting on Chiana and her complete lack of tact). He broaches the subject cautiously, after they are reacquainted. Her hand is still resting on one of his arms.

“Officer Sun.” He looks uncertain. “Moya has noticed - as have I - that you have … grown, in your absence.”

“Yes Pilot. It’s okay. You can say it. I’m pregnant.”

“Moya is very pleased for you, as a mother herself she wants you to know that bearing offspring is very rewarding.”

“So everyone says. And you, Pilot?”

“I am wondering … if you are pleased.”

“Yes.” She sits beside him, watches him adjust the life support systems to decrease the temperature slightly which she knows is for her benefit. She smiles. “It was my choice. I am pleased.”

“I have missed you.”

Aeryn leans her shoulder into him. “I’ve missed you too. And I’m sorry that my leaving was necessary. But being here, it reminded me too much of him, of how I had failed them both.”

“I understand.” Pilot turns to her. “You did not fail them, Officer Sun. They agreed to the plan, knowing the risks.”

“I still miss them.”

“I - we all - still miss Ka D’Argo and Commander Crichton.”

“It’s his child Pilot, John’s. That’s why I came back.”

He is silent for a moment and his answer is considered and sincere: “Then I am very pleased for you too.”



Zhaan offers to take some of her pain during the birth, but she refuses. She regrets it, arns later, when the frelling thing is still not out of her.

“Something has got to be wrong,” she manages, through gritted teeth. “It shouldn’t take this long. And no one ever mentioned it hurting this much. This has got to be why high command was so strict on keeping the bloodlines pure.”

“Patience, my dear.”

Zhaan’s voice is calming which is one of her least favourite Delvian tricks. She would very much like to be angry right now. It hurts and she is tired and she never wanted a frelling baby in the first place. John Crichton ruins her life even in death.

She regrets that thought when the baby cries moments later, and she doesn’t feel like her life is ruined. In fact she feels quite fond of this thing that is still a stranger to her. Illogical, she doesn’t understand, but the emotion is there in spite of all reason.

Chiana sounds vaguely nauseous, but she grins just as she normally does. “Well it doesn’t look too pretty now but at least I can see his face. And once we clear off this dren I’m sure you’ll have a normal looking kid.”

“Yes, thank you Chiana. Could you just do that please?”

Zhaan’s smile is serene and she places a gentle blue hand on Aeryn’s forehead. “You can rest now.”
“No I’m fine, I -” She struggles to sit up. “I would just like everything to go back to normal.”

(Pregnancy has kept her a hostage and she is absolutely ready to have her body back from that parasite. Her son. She will forgive him, one day.)

Rygel glides through the door with his hands over his eyes. “Is it safe to look yet?” He can’t wait for an answer and makes a noise of disgust at the scene. “Obviously not, but at least I don’t have to see more of you than I ever wanted to Aeryn. Where is the little runt?”

She glares. “Insult my child again Rygel and I will force feed you your own tail.”

“Good to see you’re recovering.”

The Hynerian moves to look over Chiana’s shoulder and coos.

They all stare and he coughs, embarrassed. “What? It’s probably the least offensive example of your species I’ve ever seen.”

Chiana pushes him out of the way. “Yeah, yeah, you big softie. He is cute though Aeryn. Look.”

She is handed the baby and at first she holds it away from her body, trembling a little with what she hopes they will all think is exhaustion but what is really fear. She can kill a man ten ways with her bare hands and yet this, nurturing a life. Well. She has always only ever been good at killing.

But Zhaan encourages it toward her chest and he instantly stops wailing when his blue eyes find hers.

Aeryn is too scared to move.

The baby turns his face into her chest and sucks on her shirt. She thinks it’s probably her imagination, a delusion brought on by exhaustion, but he looks like his father.

To her, he always will.



“I am not sure,” she tells him in a dream, “That I can do this without you.”

“But you’re going to try anyway?”

“You sound surprised.”

“You always surprised me. You’re remarkable, Aeryn, I don’t doubt that you can do this.”

“At first I was doing it for you. But now I think – maybe I want it too.”

“You can do this.”

She wakes to the baby’s cry. He is so small and it still scares her to be so responsible for another life. But she loves him, this tiny thing they have made; she can do this.



She still hears his voice every time she sees echoes of him in the baby.

I would have wanted you both.

“I know,” she answers, watching their son trying to roll over on the floor of Pilot’s den.

(Pilot knows she isn’t talking to herself; doesn’t interrupt.)

I would have loved you both.

“I know.”

You’re happy?

“I am.”

And she is because she has found a way to love both of her ghosts: the sweet voice in her ear and the one that grows every day, so quickly.

The baby rolls from his stomach onto his back for the very first time.

In her head, Crichton smiles.

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This was great. I really liked all the echoes of canon throughout Aeryn's exploits. The character interactions back on Moya were super, especially Aeryn/Pilot and Aeryn/Rygel. I have a big soft spot for Aeryn/Rygel - in the show they're so snarky and hostile most of the time, to the point of physical violence, that it really highlights the odd moments when they're supportive of each other. Their exchange here after the baby is born is brilliant. This was a real emotional rollercoaster - I lol'd at Chiana's reassurance that the baby would *probably* be normal-looking once they cleaned him up, and I got misty-eyed at the last scene in Pilot's den.

If this is how 'violent babyfic' goes, it should totally be a genre. ;)

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