Disclaimer: Ummm, not mine of course. No money was made from this and no copyright infringement is intended. Any similarity to any other ficlit not my own is coincidence.
Title: How Can I Not Love You?
Genre: Farscape ficlit; John/Aeryn angst
Rating: PG; rated for mild language
Timeline: During the time when Aeryn has come back, a little before "Twice Shy"
Cannot touch...Cannot hold...Cannot be together...Cannot love...Cannot kiss...Cannot have each other...Must be strong, and we must let go...Cannot say what our hearts must know...
How can I not love you?...What do I tell my heart?...When do I not want you here in my arms?...How does one waltz away from all of the memories?...How do I not miss you when you are gone?...
Cannot dream...Cannot share sweet and tender moments...Cannot feel how we feel...Must pretend it's over...Must be brave, and we must go on...Must not say what we've known all along...
"How Can I not Love You?" Anna and the King; Joy Enriquez; 1999
John watched Aeryn from the doorway of the hanger as she worked on her Prowler. His eye traced every inch of her, noticing the way that some curling strands of her dark hair had come loose from her braid to fall across her cheek. He watched as one finely made hand reached up to brush the strands away from her face, and felt his own fingertips tingle with the thought of being the one to brush back that hair. He clenched his fist tight, willing away the sensation.
Suddenly, Aeryn hissed softly in pain and John found himself taking an involuntary step in her direction. When she brought her finger to her mouth to suck at the small burn, he found himself nearly undone by the sight. A flash of memory echoed through his thoughts and he lost himself in recalling the moments that he and Aeryn had shared in passion. With aching clarity, John could remember every time he and Officer Sun had ever kissed or touched one another. He felt an almost visceral need to be near Aeryn, and from the depths of his soul came a cry urging him to go to her now and take her in his arms, never to let go.
Fiercely, John shook his head, as if by doing so, he could dislodge all thoughts of the Sebacean woman. With a note of desperation, he brought another lakka bulb to his nostril and inhaled. "Not enough," he thought, almost wildly, and brought yet another bulb to his nostril. With the second dose of the drug, he felt a numbness finally begin to seep through his veins. But even with this drug induced calm, John could sense that the very thin wall that kept his feelings at bay was crumbling day by day. And that, he could not let happen for one reason: Scorpius.
"John?" Aeryn asked as she noticed him across the hanger bay. "John, could you help me here a moment?"
"Uh, sure Aeryn. What’cha need?" John asked, putting aside his distraction.
"I need you to hold this coupling in place while I get this inducer attached." John made his way over to where Aeryn was. He had no reasonable sounding excuse for not helping. "Better to just get it over and done with," he thought, "then I can get outta here."
Carefully, he stepped up to the Prowler and reached for the coupling that Aeryn held. His fingers brushed hers as he got his hands in place and he willed away the pleasurable sensation that, that caused.
"Do you have it?" Aeryn asked.
"Got it," he responded.
It's important that you don't move the connection, Crichton. You have to keep it steady. Are you certain that you have it?"
"I got it Aeryn; I got it," John replied, his answer coming out clipped as he tried to not notice the couple of inches of flesh that showed at Aeryn's midriff because she was reaching upward.
Aeryn's only response to his tone was a slight raising of her eyebrow as she went to grab the inducer from the workbench.
Inducer in hand, Aeryn gracefully ducked under Crichton's arm and proceeded to maneuver the new part into place. This put Aeryn with her back to John as she stood between his outstretched arms. By necessity, she stood pressing lightly against him so that she had enough room to work in the Prowler's engine. And John had to maintain his stance so that he could hold the coupling in place properly. It was torture for the human.
He found himself unable to ignore Aeryn's nearness. John could smell the soft scent that Aeryn had used in her hair. He was very aware of her slim form as it pressed lightly against him. His ear seemed tuned to every small sound she made as she worked. His eye was drawn again to that one loose strand of her dark hair that was once again brushing her cheek.
"Aeryn," he practically whispered.
"Almost done, John."
He held back the urge to bend his head forward the mere inches it would take for his lips to reach her neck. Desperately, he ignored the desire to nuzzle the creamy skin.
"Twinkle twinkle little star," he began to sing in desperation, anything to ignore what he was really thinking.
"John?" Aeryn asked, her voice sounding somewhat bemused.
"How I wonder what you are," he continued, trying to keep any hint of strain from his voice.
John heard a small 'snap' as the inducer slid home and Aeryn turned in his arms to face him.
"What are you saying?" The former Peacekeeper asked, her voice amused and carrying that underlying tone of 'what is this crazy human doing now?'
Instead of answering her question, John asked, "Are we done?"
Aeryn nodded slightly and tried to blow the hair back from her face with a small pursing of her lips.
Before he could stop himself, John reached over to brush the hair back behind Aeryn's ear. His fingers lingered there by her ear before he lightly ran them in a caressing motion over her cheek and to her lips. Gently, John brushed his thumb over Aeryn's full lips. Aeryn responded by very lightly nipping at it, smiling softly.
Suddenly, John stepped back as quickly as if he had been burned.
Aeryn's voice echoed the surprise on her face as she asked, "John?"
"Aeryn," he said, his voice strained, "It's over."
She said nothing as she watched his face.
"We can't do this Aeryn. It's over. I'm moving on," he said coldly, forcing himself to go numb; forcing himself to hurt her.
"You won the coin toss, remember?" He said, cringing inwardly as he saw Aeryn's face, tears unshed in her eyes. Outwardly, he forced himself to step obviously back, making it clear that he wanted distance from her.
"It's over, Aeryn," he said once more and walked away, making himself ignore the soft sound of Aeryn's distress. He forced himself to not look back, knowing that she was silently shaking with suppressed tears.
He maintained his control long enough to get away from the hanger bay and to a small alcove out of sight. With his back to the wall he slid down it to the floor and brought his knees to his chest.
"Damn you, Scorpius," he hissed too quietly for the comms to pick up before he bent his head down to his knees.
A strangled sob finally escaped his lips, his aching heart in his voice, "Aeryn, oh god, Aeryn…