And I wrote you a fic cuz it's your birthday!
Beta'd by jennem, written by me, and inspired by Farscape, the Best Show, like, Ever. *g*
Happy birthday, have a fantastic day tomorrow.
Fic: Fantasy, in Technicolor
Author: Regala Electra
Summary: Inside and out, we are what we were.
Warnings: Sexual situations, violence, disturbing imagery.
Author’s Note: For Jen.
(edited to add: Spoilers are for "We're so Screwed: Fetal Attraction")
The black and the white, and the red, white, and blue.
They match the tone, the pitch, the hint of worry and concern is exact. Except one is real and one is not, one is here and one is…
There, John, I’ll always be there for you.
He says it and she winces.
Lies get us nowhere John. Now give us a kiss.
Pushes away and he stands on unsteady legs. His knees want to buckle but he can’t let it happen. Not in front of her.
She bites her lip and shakes her head. “Sometimes I still think I’m there.”
She doesn’t think she’s left yet. So much for brave heroics.
The superhero cape is torn and tattered, the black and the white, and the red, white and blue. Some hero.
He sees a crypt overwhelmed with light; nuclear winter’s sunnier than he’d thought. Harvey stands in front of the open window, he disdainfully holds a bible in one hand, a cross in another.
Truly John, you give so much meaning to these things. And yet, I feel nothing.
He wants to tell him that soulless neural clones feel nothing but then Harvey turns, the bullet hole is wide and he can see the greenish glow of the rod shot through his head.
“Where are you?”
He can feel the tension in his face, he’s sure he must be grimacing by now. Easy assurances don’t come to his mind, and he doesn’t want to lie.
“Can we talk about it later?”
She nods and he dares to touch her skin. She hasn’t slept since the first solar day back on Moya. He had listened to her screaming and he couldn’t help.
Well John, you could always share Scarren torture stories. Or ask her to do that thing with her tongue…you remember it, right? Most delightful.
The coffin lid shatters, Harvey watches it break from a distance.
I’ve told you John, he says, voice exasperated, You don’t control me anymore. Now kiss the girl, and let me have my fun.
Drowning voices caught in the undertow. He sucks in hard breaths that rack his body and is sucked underneath. There is nothing but pressure in his lung; choking, choking, salt water burns in his throat. There is no struggle, no will; he remembers he should be outraged at this. He has nothing, no choice, nothing left.
There’s a baby and a future and wormholes. Always wormholes.
He can’t remember them.
Claws sharpen and his suit is torn apart, black and white clothes rip, piece by piece. Blood stains wash away in the water, and salt burns the fresh wounds. The red fades into the blue, and it’s a blank, like a white noise sounding its horrific beauty. He doesn’t open his eyes because that’s a bad idea. If he sees, then the colors would make sense.
“Wake up, wake up! John!”
The plan is simple.
I won’t do it.
John, you don’t have to be so difficult. This isn’t going to hurt Aeryn or the baby, and if we rescue Scorpius in time, the wormholes will be safe and sound.
Tuck the key under the doormat and wait for someone to find it.
He could spin the revolver and play the deadliest game of spin the bottle (it’s roulette, John, Harvey reminds with a grim smile), and leave the universe to someone else. The problem could be someone else’s.
No. I won’t leave her.
Admirable man. Harvey claps soundly, once, twice. Twice, once. Three times and he’s out. Safe.
Gasps and the water’s gone. The sleek burnt copper colors of Moya’s walls come into focus. He finds himself lying on Aeryn’s bed and finds a need to question how he got there.
“Aeryn, I’m must have…I blacked out.” He doesn’t bother to sit up or play dead. Harvey creeps out from behind him; claws graze the back of his neck.
These horror movie vampires really are fascinating, John.
You don’t stop to converse with the victim, Harvey. Well…unless you’re on Buffy.
Fascinating. Now do I say, I want to suck your blood? It sounds so…pedestrian.
I’ve come to steal your wormholes.
Harvey pauses, wrinkled and dark mouth forming a bitter frown. He finally replies cheerfully, Anger gets you nowhere.
“Is the baby okay?” He brings his hand to her stomach, it’s healed and he won’t ever let anyone hurt her ever again. He can’t lose her, not again. Again, again, again, he doesn’t want tomorrow to come because he fears failing her.
Give it a few years, Harvey remarks. Don’t worry about it. She’ll never feel better.
Echo, echo, better, better.
She’ll never feel.
He doesn’t listen. He cups Aeryn’s face, there’s a coldness there, lack of sleep circling under her eyes, but she’s still the same, she’s still Aeryn. And the first kiss (that first and most vital kiss) nearly quiets Harvey.
Oh, good form, Harvey remarks. But your best moves were in the back of trucks. Or was it a four-by-four?
Go away, he roars inside his head and the sound echoes across empty mindscapes. Harvey is nowhere and everywhere and John wishes that he wasn’t secretly happy that he’s not alone anymore; there’s someone there to listen to him.
I told you I’d always be with you, John.
Promises, promises, sat on a wall. Promises, promises, had a great fall.
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put wormholes together again.
Don’t finish my thoughts, Harv. We’re not that close.
“Where are you?” she murmurs, “John, where are you going? To-”
She cuts herself off, eyes locking onto something else. She looks through him and sees nothing.
“No. No, not again.” She shoves away, pushes herself off the bed and back as far as she can from John. “I will not be tricked again. This isn’t real.”
“Aeryn, no, you have to listen to me.” He slides off the bed and crouches towards her cowering body, her armed folded protectively over her stomach. “I’m here. You’re not back there. We’re on Moya. Aeryn, I am real. Look at me.”
Harvey’s eye roll is possibly the most dramatic John has ever seen. If he’s seeing it. John, you can’t really be the judge of reality, now can you? Or, at least, let’s get an impartial judge.
Gray skin and white hair: the black and the white are blended together. She stares from dead eyes. Dark, dark, she bleeds and can no longer hide her wounds.
Harvey grins wide. Now, she can certainly attest. She’s lovely when she’s gray all over, and it was your hand that ended her life.
That wasn’t real.
Oh, it is real, John, it all is. As long as you wish upon a star…is that how the song goes?
But you’ll never be a real boy.
Semantics, John. Pinocchio metaphors.
Maybe you should stop acting like you’re my own personal Jiminy Cricket and I wouldn’t have to resort to the Disney arsenal.
Harvey grins and procures a stake from nothingness. Just take one stake in the heart and call me in the morning.
Arms wrap around him, he’s nearly forgotten what’s really happening. Her body is hardened, too tight to be able to let go; the fear is unspoken even when she tries to explain.
“Shhh, it’s okay. I’m here. Baby, I’m here.”
Indulge her, John. Those delightful nicknames will certainly do the trick.
I’ll never leave.
“I keep on hearing things. I keep on remembering.” She looks up at him. “This will stop, won’t it?”
Lies will make her certainly more…pliable, John. Now, why is it that vampires only come out at night? I don’t quite get it.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
Whose soul do you pray for now, John?
“It’ll stop, Aeryn. Everything will be okay.”
She kisses him, hard and brutal, he doesn’t want to let her, but he has to give her something.
Loosens and removes clothes, no tearing, no ripping, he tempers her pace, slows her with kisses along her jaw. Moves down her body and presses a soft, reverent kiss to the lower curve of her belly.
Does the sork really drop babies down chimneys? What a strange folk tale.
Storks, Harvey. And Santa comes down the chimney.
Ah. Storks drops Santas down the chimney. And he keeps the babies in the bag. Merry Christmas. What did you get me this year?
Glint of Aeryn’s eyes as he settles between long, white legs.
I let you stay in my head rent-free.
“John,” she gasps out. “I love you.”
“Love you too.”
Harvey sits on an upturned milk crate and kicks the ground. Dust flies up and settles on the both of them.
This isn’t a good time, Harvey.
She has a lovely white neck, doesn’t she?
John doesn’t dare let his eyes linger anywhere, save her eyes.
You’d just have to grasp the throat ever so.
“Ah…John…yes…” she bucks harder and a moan escapes his throat unintentionally. The pace goes from sweet and slow to fast and punishing and he knows bruises are forming, on him, on her, but he doesn’t chance looking anywhere except her eyes, now shut in ecstasy.
A little more, just a twist here and this will drown out Harvey. And carry his threats out to the ocean.
Harvey reclines on a beach chair, margarita clutched in black-gloved hands. His shirt is, as always, loud and impossibly cheerful.
You can make it so fast; she won’t even feel a thing. You could always salvage the baby.
He grabs him by the ridiculous shirt-
Aeryn clutches the back of his head by his hair, mouth fusing onto his, the other bringing his body even closer-
You don’t hurt Aeryn-
“John…ohhh…John!” Her body twists upwards to meet him-
I believe you’re the one who’s hurt her, John-
And he comes, hard, and gasps out one word, “…no.”
His head rests on her breast when the world comes back to him, the shapes and sounds familiar and unknown, real and imagined, inside and outside.
“Something’s wrong,” she says, bringing his head up with a finger tilting up his chin.
I’m not a dream, John. I don’t die.
Still, I have time.
Yours ran out a long time ago. Tick, tock, tick tock, the mouse ran up the-
“Stop.” Aeryn looks at him, puzzled. He manages the words while Harvey sings his little rhymes, “You have to rest. You have to get better.”
“John…tell me, what’s wrong? I know there’s something else.”
Officer Sun is nothing if not persistent. Wonder how long it took to completely break her. Tick, tock.
“Just seen some things. I’m worried.”
She brushes sweat from his brow, her smile isn’t there but it could be. “I’m here, John.” She kisses him softly.
He could, he could, he could, if only because he should.
Tick. Harvey hisses, the red, and the white, and the blue cape stretched over the black and the white. The crescendo comes to a full bloom and the music’s dark and foreboding.
Tock. Stuff a sock in it, Harv, I don’t have to listen.
“I thought you saved me,” she says, looking off in the distance. “You always came. And then you left. I didn’t want you to leave me behind.”
Keep her with you forever. Make her one of the Undead. Like me. And her.
The grey one sits propped up in a corner, the accusation and horror permanent on her face.
I’m nothing like you or Scorpius.
You have tasted blood. You’re one as well. We’re all the same. Rub a dub dub, three men in a tub.
The butcher, the faker…
And the wormhole maker.
John listens to Aeryn’s heartbeat: steady, a pleasant thudding noise. He could fall asleep to it and be free of dreams.
“Let’s move to the bed. I need my rest.”
She offers an admittance of her weariness, and John manages something that’s hopefully a smile.
Now John, I need help filling out this crossword puzzle. What’s another word for cursed?
If you do or you don’t. Lovely saying.
Take off the cape, Harv. There aren’t any heroes here.
I beg to differ. Besides, I think I look quite dashing. You think that disguises hide what’s truly beneath us?
They settle in the bed, the least amount of clothes comfortable on their bodies, John nestles behind Aeryn, tense until he feels the telltale signs of Aeryn falling into a deep, peaceful slumber.
I have to hope that we can become the masks. Or that the cape fits the person.
Quite superficial. Explains why you don’t pray anymore.
Pray for us.
I’d do anything for them.
And you have. You’ve done so much. Now finish your duty. A hero’s day is never finished.
I am not a hero.
Sadly John, you’ve put too much into the façade. Watch it come crumbling down.
Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Yeah I know. No rest for the wicked.
Cheer up John.
Aeryn makes a soft noise as she sleeps and John is briefly broken out of his fantasies. Harvey waits for him, Harvey, the superhero, the vampire, the cheat and the liar, and John’s missed his advice.
Even the little things he took for granted: Harvey waiting to advise him, Aeryn in his arms, a peaceful moment in the midst of chaos, it’s all been things he didn’t think he’d ever get back.
And now he has.
He’s made his bed and now he had to lie in it.
In the black and white darkness, all he sees is the wisps of the red, and the tatters of the white, drowning in the blue.