Delirium
(First posted August 26, 2007)
Rating:  G.
Disclaimer:  No ownership, no profit.  Written purely for fun … and because the Youses Muses Gang held a
pulse pistol to my head.  I offer the most profound apologies to you, the readers; to the Henson Company; and
to MGM, for what I am about to do.
Time Frame/Spoilers:  Your choice.  Most likely some time after PKWars, but that isn’t definite.  No spoilers.
Test Driver:  PKLibrarian took the story for a quick spin ahead of time, but I have to take full responsibility for
this one.  It was written quickly, and received a pretty abysmal level of editing.

Genesis:  Written for the 3rd Annual Terra Firma Beach Bash ‘Lost Weekend’ Challenge.  I hadn’t intended to
write anything, due primarily to a lack of interest on the part of the Youses Muses.  But then I was playing with
some screen captures, and the Youses Muses Gang, in a display of their often warped sense of humor,
decided they wanted to tell a story.  

*  *  *  *  *

John eased through the doors to the cell one cautious step at a time.  He stood just inside them, listening for
several microts, before whispering, “Aeryn?  You awake?”   

The motionless hump under the thermal sheet let out an extended mumble.  John decided that the
conglomeration of syllables might have been “Leave me alone”.  On the other hand, it could have just as easily
been “Let me die” … or “Frell off”, for that matter.  He grinned, relieved that Aeryn was finally awake even if she
didn’t sound like she wanted his company, and crossed the distance to the bed without any of his previous
attempts at stealth.

“Welcome back,” he said.  “Can you sit up and drink something?”

A wild snarl of dark hair appeared from underneath the covers.  Bleary eyes surveyed the cell, stared at John
for several microts without much in the way of comprehension, and finally focused on the large drinking flask in
his hand.  “I think so.”  When he made a move to help her sit up, she did not try to avoid it, as she so frequently
did.  She went so far as to grab on to his shoulders, and then allowed him do the rest of the work.  “How long
has it been?”

He edged one hip onto the bed, using his own body to provide a stable backrest for her weaving body.  Once
he had her propped up, he guided the container into her trembling hands.  “Best part of three solar days.”

“Three days.  It felt like an arn or two.”  She leaned to one side and turned her head to check on his
expression, very nearly losing her balance in the process.  “You must have been worried.”

“Worried doesn’t begin to describe it.  You scared the living hell out of me, woman.  All I could concentrate on
was how you told me that you never get sick.”

“That was when I was getting regular inoculations.  This must have been a disease new to the Peacekeepers in
the last few cycles.”  

“Well, don’t do that again,” he said, giving her a gentle hug.  “I was about ready to have Pilot start searching for
a Peacekeeper ship or planetary installation.  If your fever hadn’t broken last night, you’d be looking at big
turkeys on the wall by now.”  

Aeryn took several sips from the flask, paused long enough to make sure her stomach wasn’t going to rebel,
and then sucked down the remainder.  “More,” she said, thrusting it into his hands.  

He got up in stages, stopping frequently to make sure she wasn’t going to topple over.  “Don’t fall on the floor.”  

“As if I would.”

“You weren’t around to see yourself the last few days.”  He remained where he was, poised by the side of the
bed, until he was certain she wasn’t going to lose her balance, and then made the short trek to get more water.

“You could have found a diagnosan,” she said once he had returned and had his arms around her again.  

“Not when it comes to your health,” he said, putting the emphasis on ‘your’.  “The Peacekeepers know more
about what modifications have been made to your body and how to keep your engine tuned and running
smooth than anyone else at this end of the galaxy.  You’re Formula One technology, Aeryn, you need top notch
attention.  There’s no way I’d void the warrantee on your chassis by taking you to the nearest backyard grease
monkey.”  

Aeryn’s response was to let her head rest on his shoulder, and to lean back into his embrace.  The silence
stretched out.  Neither of them felt compelled to break it.  Aeryn had emptied the flask a second time and
handed it to John for another refill before anyone spoke.  “Have you had any sleep?” she asked.

“A few hours this morning.  Until then, I was too worried about you,” he confessed.  “You were out of your mind
from the fever.  Wherever you went, it must have been a wild trip though.  You were spouting the strangest stuff
I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth.”  

Aeryn let out a small guttural exclamation and rocked her head back and forth against his shoulder.

“Not wild?  Or no dreams?” he asked.

“Different than wild.  Strange dreams.  Very strange dreams.  I was on Earth, in a military command of some
sort.”  

“Soldier.  That makes sense,” John said.  

“I wasn’t a soldier.”  Aeryn shuffled forward to put some space between them, and then turned so she could
watch his reaction.  “It’s very muddled, but I believe I was a goddess of some sort, or” -- she went silent for
several microts -- “or an ex-goddess.  I was also a thief, if that makes any sense.  Or I might have been a tralk.  
The way I was throwing myself at some of the men was more the way a tralk would behave.  You were there.  
You were an officer in your military.  You were still a pilot, but you were very stuffy, very” -- she drew herself up
very straight and went rigid, demonstrating what she was trying to express -- “with your hair up to here.”  She
used both hands to push the hair on the sides of John’s head upward so he looked as though he had shaved it
off to above his ears.  “It was confusing.  We were explorers, except we were at war part of the time.  I must
have been thinking about you because there were wormholes that weren’t really wormholes, and whenever we
went through one of the not-wormholes, everyone we met died.”

“Sounds frightening,” he said.  

“Mostly it was boring.  Whoever we were fighting did not frighten me.  I remember thinking that they didn’t seem
real.  The entire situation made less and less sense the longer it continued.  You weren’t interested in any of
the women.  As far as I could tell, you weren’t interested in sex at all.”  

“Okay, now you’re describing a horrible nightmare.”  

She smiled at him, and went on.  “I was interested in -- What is that word you use for someone with glasses who
is only interested in books?”

“Geek?” John said.

“That’s the word!  I was interested in a geek.  I thought he was terribly sexy and exciting.”  

“You may not have thought this was frightening, but you’re scaring the crap out of me,” John said.

Aeryn examined the smile and the relaxed body half-sprawled beside her, and then turned around so she could
sit with his arms around her again.  He gathered her in without needing to be told that was what she wanted.  
“So how did it end?” he asked.

She shrugged against him.  “It just did.  The last thing I remember about the dream was wanting to use one of
the fake wormhole things to get home to you.”    

“You must have found one.  You’re here.”  He kissed the side of her forehead.  “And you don’t have a fever any
more, which makes me extremely happy.”

Aeryn caught one of his hands in both of hers, turned it palm up, and kissed it.  “What would make me very
happy right now are a shower and a dentic.  I must have spent most of those three days sweating.  I’m sticky
and I smell.”  She accepted a guiding hand while she got to her feet, stood still for a moment to make sure she
had her balance, and then made her way slowly to the doorway leading into the waste alcove.  She paused
there, one hand on the wall, and watched him.  

“What?” John asked when it became apparent that she was waiting for something.  

“I was thinking that I’ve been ill.  I believe it would be wise to have someone in the shower with me in case I
suffer a relapse.”  

Crichton bounded off the bed, stumbled in his haste, and still managed to shed most of his clothes and make it
into the shower before her.  

“I have been sick,” Aeryn said, laughing at him.  “I doubt I’m up to anything more than a shower before going
back to bed.  All I want is someone to wash my back and to be there if I lose my balance.”  

John lobbed the last of his clothing out the door before helping her out of her loose shirt and shorts.  “Can I lust
after your body while I wash your back?”

“Certainly,” she said, and then added, “Your sex drive seems to be intact.”  

“Don’t confuse me with that wimp in your dream.  I’m a red-blooded American male.  Ready for action 24 hours
a day.”  

Aeryn stepped close, waited until he put his arms around her, and then put all of her strength into hugging him.  
“It’s good to know I am home.”  


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