Once Upon A Microt
(First posted December 9, 2002)
Other stories in this series:  
Birthright, Tough Love, Guy Stuff, and Ruminations
Rating:  G
Disclaimer:  Not mine, no profit.
Time Frame/Spoilers:  Not much.  Takes place sometime in the future

Note to the reader:  This was written in response to a challenge to come up with a tale about either John or
Aeryn telling their child a bedtime story, but based on something that had happened in their past.  I had never
done a “kiddy” fic before, but this was just too much to resist, although it took me a few hours of drifting through
their adventures to come up with the right episode to use for the story.  

*  *  *  *  *

“Are you sure I can’t just tell you the one about the princess and the ogre?” John Crichton sighed.  It had been
a very long day and he wasn’t feeling particularly imaginative.  

“No!” insisted his four cycle old son.  “And not that stupid one about the bears, or the one about the pigs, or the
dragon either, Dad.  Something new, something about you and Mom.  Pleeease.”  Ian managed to bounce up
and down while still sitting, something John had never quite figured out how he accomplished.  

“Pleeeease,” Aeryn’s voice mimicked quietly from behind him.  John turned quickly, surprised by her arrival.  
She’d been working on the Prowler and he hadn’t expected her to get up here in time to help put their son to
bed.  She’d had time to loosen her hair from the tight braid she was favoring lately, the sheets of glossy hair
falling in wavy disorder around her shoulders.  

“Feel free to hop right in,” he invited her, gesturing for her to sit next to him.  

“It’s your turn tonight.  We agreed.”  She veered across the cell and settled into a chair in the corner, holding
up grease-smeared hands as an explanation.  He nodded in understanding, watching as she began working
them clean with a rag.  

“Daaaaad,” Ian insisted, dragging him back to his commitment.  “A story about you and Mom.”    

“Okay.  Let me think for a microt.”  John drummed his fingers on his knee, his mind an absolute blank.  

“Daaaaad,” Aeryn recreated the plea after he’d been silent for ten microts, sending Ian into giggles.  John
glared at her, still at a loss for a story.  She smiled benignly at him and began unfastening her boots.    

“Once upon a time,” he began, just to get started.  

“Yuck,” pronounced his young son, recognizing the beginning of most of the Earth style bedtime stories.  

“Once upon a microt,” John tried again, “there was a …”  

“No mushy stuff,” Ian warned him.  

“You’re really narrowing my options here, kiddo,” John complained, and started over.  “Once upon a microt
there was a …”  

“Lots of mushy stuff,” Aeryn suggested.  John dropped his head into his hands and began to shake it from side
to side.  “Sorry, I’ll just sit and listen,” she apologized, sounding far from contrite.  

“Once upon …”

“You said that already!” the small heckler interrupted.  

“Lie down under the covers,” John ordered, trying to regain some small measure of control over the situation.  
Ian obediently dove beneath the fluffy spread, popping out again to get comfortable with his head on the pillow.  

“So there was this damsel, see,” John launched in again.

“Wath she a printheth?” Aeryn lisped at him.

“Do you want to make up this story?” John challenged her over Ian’s peals of laughter at his mother’s silly

“Sorry.  I’ll just sit and listen.”  Aeryn smiled coolly at him as he snorted his disbelief.  John turned back toward
his son.  

“No girlie stuff, Dad.  Tell me about monsters.”  John glanced briefly toward the source of a strangled laugh
coming from the corner of the room and tried to focus on the task at hand.  

“Monsters,” he mused, thinking back.  “We gotchyer bone crunchin’ monsters, people shrinkin’ monsters,
mutatin’ monsters, fire belching monsters, parasitic takin’ over Uncle Rygel monsters --”

“What happened to Rygel?” Ian burst in.  John glanced more seriously at Aeryn, checking to make sure she
didn’t mind if he related the tale.  He received a nod of approval and tried to formulate a child’s story out of the

“Once upon a microt there was this incredibly handsome young hero and his equally beautiful and talented …
lady friend,” John added the last two words lamely.  Aeryn batted her eyelashes at him, unaffected by the
description.  “They were walking inside Moya one day when they noticed that there was a rotisserie chicken
running around the ship.”  Ian sat up, appearing more alert than when the process had begun.  “Lie down,”
John ordered, hoping that a sleeping child would end his storytelling torment before he had to formulate an

“About this time Uncle D’Argo and Aunt Chiana came back from a quick jaunt to the Pet Supply Warehouse,
bringing home a cute little pet named Lassie.”  

“Cute,” Aeryn interjected in disbelief.  

“Adorable,” John said forcefully.  

“It did that thing to my leg,” she insisted.   

“I thought you were going to listen.”  

Aeryn settled back in the chair and went back to removing the grease stains from her palms.  “Adorable,” she

“Where’s Rygel?” Ian asked.  

“I’m getting to that part,” John stalled.

“Eating,” mumbled the spectator in the corner.  

“So the handsome hero and the beautiful, voluptuous heroine discover that there’s an evil monster lurking
about the ship and with the help of their faithful friend Lassie, they begin hunting for it, risking life and limb.”  

“Risking stepping in something,” was added.  John glared at Aeryn but she was examining what appeared to be
a spotlessly clean palm.  

“The valiant D’Argo cornered the hideous creature in the cargo bay, only to be attacked and bitten by the

“--toad,” Aeryn interjected.

“The lovely blue priest tried to save the dying warrior while the strong, wise, brave --”


“--hero,” John ignored Aeryn’s addition, “continued searching for the pernicious perdue and the mysterious
parasite, aided of course by the lovely and charming lady.”  

“Yuck,” Ian offered.  “He’s not going to kiss her at the end, is he?”  

“No,” John and Aeryn agreed together.  

“About this time our heroic dynamic duo determined that their pet, Lassie, and the kabuki chicken are one in
the same -- a form shifting, parasite sniffing, invader destroying wonder of shape shifting capabilities.”  

“Unfortunately someone shot it.”  

“Would you like to finish this story?”  

“Sorry.  I’ll just sit over here and listen.”  Another disgusted snort from John yielded the same calm smile from

“What about Rygel?” Ian asked again.  

“I’m getting to that part,” John assured him, still wondering how he was going to work that part into the story.  
“Much to the dismay of our heroes, their faithful pet is mortally wounded, placing itself in danger to preserve
their lives.”  John pointed at Aeryn, freezing her before her next comment could be delivered.  “They now knew

“--less than when they started.”  

“Next time I’ll just read him War and Peace.  At least that way he’ll get to sleep eventually,” John griped.  

“Please go on,” Aeryn suggested.  “You have me on the edge of my seat with suspense.”  

“They now knew that they’d been searching for the wrong evil creature all this time.  In a dazzling leap of
deductive reasoning they figured out that the invading parasite had made itself look like Rygel, and was about
to infect more of the ship’s inhabitants.”  John pulled the covers up over the small body, tucking them in around
Ian’s shoulders.  “They rushed to the medical bay and together vanquished the hideous … itty bitty little

“How’d you vanish the critters, Dad?”  

“We freeze dried ‘em to a crackly crunch, and then we squished ‘em.”  


“Yeah, very neat-o.  Go to sleep.”  John backed out of the way so Aeryn could move closer to give Ian a quick
goodnight-kiss.  Their son let out an enormous yawn, and was suddenly asleep.  

“Inspired storytelling,” Aeyrn mocked him in a whisper as John stepped to the corner to retrieve her boots.  
“Riveting plot, lyrical descriptions, realistic account.”  

“Ssshhh,” he cautioned her as Ian moved slightly.  “I suppose you could do better?”  

“We’ll find out tomorrow night.”  They dimmed the lights and walked across the corridor to their own quarters,
leaving both sets of doors open, a concession they’d been forced to make once they’d decided Ian was old
enough for his own room.  

“Maybe I could do better tonight,” John suggested as he finished undressing.  “Can I have a second chance?”  

“What sort of story would this be?” Aeryn asked, sliding into bed next to him.  

“Lots of mushy stuff,” he said as he pulled the covers over their heads, enveloping them completely.  

“Yuck.  Mushy stuff.”  And then they both laughed.  

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