itsallovernow: (Aeryn/Homer - SL)
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Written for the Reunion Drabblethon

Fandom and Prompt (if applicable):Farscape, Aeryn & Prowler, adjusting the straps
Title: Volare
Author: Thea
LJ Name: [livejournal.com profile] thassalia
Spoilers: Spoilers through Terra Firma


Volare

She makes the decision to leave in the moments between flying free of the imploding Carrier and the slight shake of Moya's docking web snagging her Prowler.

No.

The prowler.

Her ship is an afterthought of debris over a planet of ice. This is a stolen vessel. This is a lifeboat. A new life.

(It is not the prospect of a child, those indefinite cells frozen in her body, that sparks her urge to find the renegades. Not the larger prospect of parenthood. It is the smell and feel of a combat ship, of canvas webbing and thrust, carbon and oil, and musty seats. It is the sense of coming home, of purpose. Behind the controls, she has always been at ease, always knew just who and what she was. Even after John…, well, her whole universe has come down to a series of After John's…ruined her life, went mad, killed her, loved her, died…).

This ship is newer, lists to the right, was in the midst of maintenance (a basic overhaul, her eye tells her, routine, and she's still a little astonished by that knowledge) when she took it and it's for that reason that she doesn't step into it and disappear. She'd scouted her options, a soldier eye resources, and the maintenance bay was safer than the hangar, closer. Aeryn knew what chances to take in taking a ship. She doesn't believe in entitlement, but she believes that perhaps this is owed. Aeryn will never not have a map of a carrier in her brain, never not know the number of steps from quarters to the docking bay. She will always know what means safety and what means death on a ship.

John is waiting at the edge of Moya's bay when she pops the canopy, gives her a tiny salute when she steps down and she hates him because she can read his eyes, read the fear there, the knowledge that she was prepared to never come back. His mouth is bruised, cheekbone swollen under his eye. He may be a copy, but he's real – he's battered, and bloody, and afraid, alive, in front of her. (And copy is the same. Means duplicate. Exact. She understands that, even if he doesn't. It's the real she's coming to terms with).

She should have flown free. It would have been better to go that way, but she's not stupid. Not … suicidal. Not now. The ship needs work first. She needs … resolution. (She is selfish and she knows it and she had to see him with his feet against Moya's solid, warm floors. Had to see the bruises. Had to see his eyes. She can leave now.)

And I can't watch the one thing I love fly away in a crappy little ship.

But that's what he does, what they both do.

Aeryn's no coward, but some things hurt enough to change one's very nature.

The Prowler smells different and exactly the same as every Prowler she's ever flown, the controls worn in the same spots, the seats vaguely uncomfortable and perfectly familiar. She rubs her thumb over the fuel gauge. Her ship had a nick there, a vague leftover reminder of the first time she'd managed to jam herself, a human and a Luxan inside the small frame. She'd been pissy and resentful for days (monens, cycles) afterwards - lost, abandoned, betrayed by her own instincts, trying to figure out how to make it perfect again, (if she can fix her ship, she can fix her life. The damage could be mitigated. An afterthought, to be shoved aside. Except everything was after. Her whole life was... after.)

She'd almost punched John (he was Crichton then. Not even that. He was the human. He was… undefineable, even then)when he'd grinned and suggested that it gave the ship character.

She gives a hollow laugh as the steering adjusts with a snick and her expert guidance and wonders what becoming part of the landscape would be called? Character assassination?

A weeken before Zhaan's death, they stop for supplies, docking the pod in a busy yard and Aeryn steps onto the ground, her gut clenching at the sight of an array of ships. She'd been quiet for the trip, knew Crichton was watching her, ignored him. She didn't understand what was happening to her.

He came to her room late in the sleep cycle, meeting her after her watch, and she'd been tempted, so frelling tempted, to forget her bargain with herself, with the universe, to pull him tight, seek his scent and his solid solace.

Aeryn isn't weak, except for when she is.

He'd sat at her table offering tea and conversation, and when he'd kissed her (later, he'd kissed her later because neither of them could quite help themselves late, and in the near dark, so close and so still), he'd been gentle with her, knowing, perhaps that she wanted some rage, wanted fierceness, but would regret drawing blood.

John's always given her what she needs, which is not the same as what she wants.

But first, he'd talked about vehicles, vague stories that she didn't understand about someone named Betty. When she'd figured out she was transport, Aeryn wanted to throw the tea at him. Naming his weapon, naming his things, inanimate objects that he'd give weight to. He kept talking though, about rebuilding and repair until she'd barked at him to stop, that she didn't understand, didn't care. It was a lie, but she needed (Need, not just Want) him to stop. (It was then that he'd kissed her, hands hot around her wrists as she prepared to evict him. Hands banding against her arms with surprising strength, surprising will, and then his mouth that soft, effortless thing, and she'd had tears in the corners of her eyes – rage and frustration and loss). He'd left her flustered and a little furious, left behind a tiny folded thing that looked, from certain angles, like a Prowler.

She gets back her control, puts it under wraps and brings him the tiny object.

"A totem," he says, looks embarrassed, tips of his ears pink, the flush spreading down his chest. (He's half dressed, surprised at her presence, and now all she can think of is the taste of salt at the base of his throat, the way his hands fist in her hair, the way that he can make her feel giddy, dizzy like her first combat flight).

"I took away something of yours, and I can't give it back," he says, and she knows, KNOWS, that it's another layered metaphor like the vehicle with the woman's name, like the gun and the pistol puns he uses when he really means his sex. Word play. And she is wordless.

"It's just flimsy and epoxy," he says, and comes over, touches the tiny ship, touches her cheek. "A model."

So many words for a wordless gesture. She puts her hand on his chest, and they don't need to speak much after that. Later, she'll pluck the model from the pile of their clothes and take it back to her quarters with her.

Aeryn doesn't break her promises, except when they're to herself.

She thinks of that tiny ship as she buckles herself into the seat, debris falling around her. Aside from the chaos, this could be any routine mission. The prowler feels like home – comfortable if ill-fitting. (If I close my eyes, she says to Crais, you could be someone else She looks at John and he is that someone else. She looks at herself and doesn't know what she's seeing.) Just like home, just like this place falling down around her.

She exits into space, the speed and rush of the prowler's launch a kick as powerful as sex, as laughter, as love. She should escape, but she goes to Moya instead.

Nearly a cycle past – a different person yet again – she runs a routine diagnostic on the ship as Moya hovers over a real Earth. She refuses John's offer of help, but holds her breath when he reaches into the cockpit, fingers gentle against the battered model that's slipped in between two dials.

"Didn't think you'd keep it," he says, low like she can't hear, but his mutterings have always been in her range. "Guess it kept you safe," he says, more to himself.

"Brought me home," she thinks, and says to him, "Just safe enough."

Date: 2007-04-17 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pellucid.livejournal.com
*adores*

So many layers here! I need to re-read it two or three times before I can be more coherent. Gorgeous and painful, and god, Aeryn!

Date: 2007-04-17 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Awwww. Thank you. And dude, yeah. Aeryn always breaks my heart.

Date: 2007-04-17 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
holy bat dren, this is just astounding. the edges of their relationship(s) shine through with poignant reality. just incredible.

Date: 2007-04-17 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Ah, thanks honey. Aeryn + Prowler = Heartbreak and much love from me:)

Date: 2007-04-17 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlev.livejournal.com
a perfect equation. she really is quite something. :::happy farscape sigh:::

Date: 2007-04-18 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] midnightsjane.livejournal.com
This is so achingly beautiful, so like the Aeryn I love so much.
I love the image of the little battered model ship, symbol of their relationship, that survives against all the odds..

Date: 2007-04-18 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Thank you so much.

Date: 2007-04-18 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danceswithwords.livejournal.com
I really like the imagery of the model, and Aeryn--who is not sentimental or superstitious on her own--carrying that part of John with her when they were apart.

Date: 2007-04-18 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Thank you. I liked so much that idea of Aeryn taking something of her own, something intimately connected to a thing that was taken from her.

Date: 2007-04-18 11:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annakarrennina.livejournal.com
This is stunning. Sparce and painful with so many layers interweaving. It's perfectly, heartbreakingly Aeryn.

Date: 2007-04-18 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2007-04-20 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladycallie.livejournal.com
God, those two! Together or apart, are amazing. This was amazing. Savingsavingsaving!

Date: 2007-04-20 05:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Thank you!! So glad you enjoyed it.

Date: 2007-05-16 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] projectcyborg.livejournal.com
this might be the best possible reunion. it's an epic in this tiny space.

Date: 2007-05-16 06:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thassalia.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!!

Date: 2010-08-08 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mfirefly10.livejournal.com
I know you wrote this a long time ago but I've only just discovered Farscape and the utter awesomness that is Aeryn Sun. You've captured her so brilliantly here. What a fantastic character study!

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