The Beat of His Heart PG
| Posted: August 22, 2007 |
| Spoilers DMD |
Author's Notes This scene had to written. This is my take on what happened after Aeryn's death.
His hands never shook. They were steady. Still and waiting for whatever command he gave them. They were always under his control. His to use and wield when he wanted, but not today. They shook just slightly. Not enough for anyone else to notice, but he knew. It wasn?t from the cold. Although that would explain his hands and the slow climbing chills that ran up his spine every couple of microts. It was from fear. Fear of a snow white room that radiated innocent light. His left hand was currently on the door control. Had been for awhile, but he didn?t move to open it. He just stood there as still as possible. There was no sound. But it was one of those moments when you were so quiet and still that you could hear and feel your heart beating. It was rhythmic and predictable. One beat after another and a constant reminder of the emptiness and pain he felt. He wished it would stop. Beat its last beat and leave him in peace. But logic told him that wouldn?t happen. Not today anyway.
?John.? It was just above a whisper, but the voice was recognizable.
John turned his head just slightly and looked back at his friend. D'Argo stood against the wall with his arms folded. Tall and broad, Dee was a guy you didn?t want to tick off. He had shown his might and strength on many occasions. Dee could be one of the scariest people John had ever met, but today his friend showed nothing of his violent side. Only sadness. John felt sorry for him. There were no hugs between them or empty words of encouragement. That wasn?t them and D?argo was not standing behind him as support. He was only doing what had to be done and John understood that.
?You don?t have a lot of time left.? Dee continued.
He was right. There was little time and John was wasting it in the hallway. He turned back to the door and the fear that screamed at him to stay where he was. His shaking hand waved over the door control and it opened. His eyes met the floor not willing to look in. D'Argo should come in with him, but he knew his friend too well. They both understood and made a silent agreement that John would walk in alone.
He willed his feet to move and stepped into the room. He heard the door slide shut behind him. He was alone now or he should have been, but he became very aware of another presence.
?It wasn?t your fault you know.?
His eyes slowly left the floor and he turned to his left. Aeryn stood not far from him. Exactly how he had left her just arns ago. ?I?ve heard better.?
?Better what?? She turned her head to look at him. She feigned surprise at his answer.
?Lies from you.?
?What did you expect me to say?? Her eyes turned back to stare ahead of her, but his eyes stayed on her.
Her raven hair was loose now. Not in the ponytail she had been braiding it into lately. He knew if he walked up to her he could smell it. Not flowery. Aeryn was not the flowery type, but the sweet fragrance of the oils she had been using for almost half a cycle permeated his nostrils even now. Though from memory and not from actually being close to her.
?I didn?t expect you to say anything. I didn?t expect you to be here.?
?Where else would I be??
Silence fell over the room and again he could feel his heart beating. It hurt more now. From being in the room or listening to Aeryn he didn?t know, but the stabbing pain was too much and he found himself speaking again. It didn?t really matter what he said. As long as he broke the silence and took his mind away from his heart.
?Why are you here?? His tone was accusing, more than he intended it to be.
?The same reason you are. To say goodbye.?
?We don?t say goodbyes.?
?I wasn?t the one who decided we needed to, John.?
?That why you're here? To put this in my face. A guilt trip isn?t needed Aeryn. I don?t need you to remind me. I only have to look at their faces for that. Not that I need them to remind me either.?
?I didn?t come because I?m angry at you.?
?Maybe it would be better if you had.?
?Would that change anything??
Again she hit him below the belt with her words, but he believed her when he said she hadn't come for that. Still, it hurt and her presence wasn?t helping.
?So say goodbye and go, Aeryn.?
?I want an answer first. You never answered me before.?
?I don?t remember you asking me anything.?
?Now, who?s lying?? It wasn?t playful. Not like their usual banter. Her eyes just looked on staring at what he couldn?t bring himself to look upon.
?Aeryn you have to get out of the damn chair.?
?No.? He said it out loud, though it was to himself. His hand flew to his face, the palm of his hand smacking against his forehead. He didn?t want to think about it, but the words and pictures were there. Her chair falling through the air.
?Do you think it?s easy for me?? She watched him standing there torturing himself. She didn?t want to hurt him, but neither of them could change what had happened then. They could only move on now.
?I don?t have any options!?
?What?s done is done, John.?
?And what about this. You, me, us.? Both hands were covering his eyes now. Not that that helped. He could still see her falling inside his mind.
?We?ll deal with what we have to.?
?Come on please do something. Do something.?
?You still haven?t answered my question.?
?What question?? He was only half paying attention to her as he willed his thoughts away.
?I don?t have any options.?
?My question. I just want an answer.?
?Whatever it is, does it really matter now??
?Baby you?re not going to die like this. You are not going to die like this.?
?Just answer it and I?ll go.?
?Aeryn! I don?t know what you want me to say. I don?t remember a question.? His hands dropped to his side and he walked over to her. Tired of her cryptic answers.
?Well, it really wasn?t a question, John, but I think I deserve to hear your side.?
?I hope you meant what you said in the neural cluster...I did.?
And then he understood. She had asked a question and in her dying moments she had begged for an answer he never gave her. He turned from her now. He forgot the Aeryn beside him for a moment and turned toward where her eyes stared on. The fear was still there as he finally looked up at the table. It was dripping. He hadn?t noticed before, but there was a steady drip of water that fell over the table?s edge. He slowly stepped forward, feeling the chills run up his spine again. The goose bumps on his arms made his hair stand on end as he neared it. His shaking hands reached out and touched the wet cold metal as his fingers reached out and touched her skin. Her hair was a mess. Loose and flowing over the table, it dripping as well. He pulled himself up and sat beside her. His hands pulled her limp body up onto his lap. Her head fell back and her hair draped over his legs in awkward ways. Where it wasn?t damp, it was frozen. Stiff and rigid from when she had been pulled out of the lake into the cold air. He ran his hands through it, breaking the ice. So cold. Water ran down his hands as he did so. They would go numb if he did it long enough. Not that he cared. His other hand touched her cheek. It was a light shade of blue. In a room of white walls and floor she was blue. He felt the emotion build up inside him and, as if he had held it in for so long, he cried out and pulled her to him. He rocked back and forth, feeling the water seep through his shirt. She was gone. Her last words had been his name and then she was gone.
He hadn?t been there when they pulled her out. He had been immediately brought back, his hands and feet chained together. For their protection, for protection from himself. It made it awkward to hold her. The cuffs on his wrists didn?t allow a lot of movement, but his wrists were already numb from the water that was still coming off her. But they still shook.
His hands never shook. They were steady. Still and waiting for whatever command he gave them. They were always under his control. His to use and wield when he wanted, but not today. Today he had watched someone else take control of him. He watched from inside himself as his hands were used to kill someone he cared about deeply. And now they were cuffed. His hands were no longer his own.
?It wasn?t your fault you know.? The other Aeryn spoke again.
?And you?re not real.?
?And she is? That?s just a shell, John. She?s not there anymore.?
He looked up at the other Aeryn, what his Aeryn had looked like. She was so beautiful. Probably warm to the touch, dry and safe from him. Now he looked back at what was in his arms. Nothing. She was gone. Her eyes were closed, but he knew they had no color anymore. There was no life here. ?I?m sorry, for what it's worth.?
?We know that.?
He was finding it hard to speak. The pain and sadness he felt was unbearable. The hot tears that ran down his cheeks and fell onto hers would not bring her warmth back. ?If I could...?
?We know...if you could take it back you would, but that wouldn?t do us any good now would it? One of you had to go. If not her, then it would be your body in her arms. She might be alive, but she would feel the pain you feel now.?
?I know, but I would give my life for hers, always.?
?It doesn?t change anything. What happened happened, but we are curious to your answer.?
John bent down and kissed the top of his Aeryn?s head. She had loved him. He had waited long to hear those words from her. To finally know he had her heart just to be the one to silence its own beat would be something he would never forget or get over.
?You mean did I say those things or did the chip?
?Yes, that is what I mean.?
He let out a deep breath. He remembered. Every word, how she felt, the soft touch of her nose against his and the fluttering excitement he felt every time they were so close. Her presence always made him feel like a kid on Christmas morning. He had always sat behind his door, dying a little inside, until his parents got up. Waiting for that perfection, that wonderful, once in a lifetime moment. That was Aeryn for him. That would always be Aeryn for him.
And that was something he had never told her. Never would, but he could tell her what she had begged from him in her last moments.? I meant every word.?
He looked back at the other Aeryn who had come up behind him. She had a slight smile on her face, one he could not mirror, but he knew what it meant.
?But then again, you already knew that too, didn?t you??
?We?ve always known-? she put out her hand and touched his cheek.
He could feel her. He let his head rest in her hand as her thumb wiped away his tears. Much like he had done for her once.
?-she just wanted to hear you say it.?
And then she was gone. He felt her hand disappear and he was alone. Like the one in his arms, the love of his life, she was not meant to stay. He pulled her body up against his chest so that his chin rested on her head.
?I hope you meant what you said in the neural cluster...I did.?
?Listen, baby.? Silence again. And the beat of his heart once more came into his mind. ?That?s for you, Aeryn, it's always beat for you.?
He held her there, more at peace than when he had walked in. This would hurt, more then he felt he could bear. But someone had once said the greatest thing in life was to love and be loved in return. In that he had won. She had died loving him and he would die someday still loving her. It was all he had now. The pain would end, but his heart would always beat for her. Just for her.