By Leonard Dickens
Copyright 1999

Takes place after "A Bug's Life."

It was late. John Crichton moved quietly down the hall towards Aeryn's room. He did not know why, but he knew that right now, he did not want to run into anyone. Was there danger? Opportunity? He didn't know. Both. He could feel it. He wished the others were not on Moya. But they were, and so, quietly. Coming to her door, he paused. It was closed. He felt the desire to go in, but also something else. In the back of his mind, there was a small voice saying no. But he stilled his doubts, and palmed the door.

Aeryn was there, standing at her workbench, with a look of concentration. She obviously heard the door, as she half-turned for long enough to see it was him. But then she returned to what she was doing. This was good, he thought. She should be distracted. He stepped into the room; the door closed automatically. He thought they needed some privacy.

Aeryn was working on her pulse rifle. She said something about it, something about repair. He was not interested, though he knew he should respond in some appropriate manner. And in some part of his mind, he knew he was interested in the repair of pulse rifles -- but not now. Now, he was interested in more immediate things. He could see the line of her leg as she stood there in his calvins, and the way her hair lay on her shoulder, and the curve of her breast. He walked over to her.

He lightly touched her hair, then her shoulder, and she turned to face him. She looked deep into his eyes for a moment, then they locked into a passionate kiss. He felt his heart thud, the rate increasing for action... and the rush of adrenaline sweeping him, the strength of it, and the ending of all doubt. He pulled her against him with his right arm, reaching out with the other.

He knew Aeryn was strong, but she seemed as weak as a little girl when he pulled back from their kiss and pushed her down on the workbench. Then he lifted his arm, and he was holding a crowbar, and she began to say something. And he was smashing the crowbar down, smashing it into her head. Her scalp tore, and he saw the brilliant red of blood and the brilliant white of bone, and her head was turned at an odd angle, and her arms fell, and he lifted the crowbar and he hit her again. He could hear her screaming; no, not her, it was him, screaming in pain and fury, for he knew he had to kill her and he could not do it. But he was! He could feel it was wrong, that it was not happening, but then he hit her a third time. He released her neck, and her body slid to the floor in a heap.

John awoke and bolted up in his bed. It was late. He was in his own room. His heart was still racing. It was a dream! This was real. It was a dream. It was a dream.