Note: this story was written prior to "Rhapsody in Blue," and is thus the author's view on what Zhaan's crime may have been at the time she wrote it.
John looked out at the planet from the Terrace as Moya left orbit. It looks so much like Earth, he thought. Especially from space.
"Crichton?" Aeryn's voice summoned over the comm.
"Yeah?" he answered.
"Where are you?"
"Zhaan's been looking for you."
John sighed, and left, taking one last look at the planet they were departing from. That may be as close as I ever get to home again, he thought with grim humor. Walking slowly, he made his way to the Lab. When he got there, he knocked on the doorway. Zhaan looked up.
"Hello John," she said.
"Hey," he said, and started helping her pick up. "What's up?"
Zhaan looked above her. "I don't see anything."
John rolled his eyes. "Aeryn said you were looking for me."
"Yes. I need to talk to you."
"Are you all right?"
"Who, me?" he asked. "Never better."
"Are you sure? You seemed a bit melancholy when we came back to Moya, and you went straight to the Terrace as soon as you stepped off the transport."
"Oh, that. It's nothing, just..." John sighed, frustrated.
Zhaan put her hand on John's shoulder. "It reminds you of home, doesn't it?"
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah, when we were down there, I could've sworn I was back on Earth. And coming back to Moya was like being in the shuttle orbiting her again. It just looked so much like home."
"John, don't think about it. Would you rather be home or a place that looks like home?"
"Home. Definitely," he said without hesitancy.
"Then think about that next time we come to a planet that looks like your home."
"That's some damn good advice, Zhaan."
"Not advice, experience."
"Zhaan?" D'Argo said over the comm.
"Yes?" she answered.
"We're getting a transmission from another ship. Another Delvian ship."
"Another Delvian ship?" she said, shocked.
"Yes. He said his name is... T'Keen."
"T'Keen," she whispered. "Starburst out of here now!" she yelled.
"Zhaan, what's-" John started.
"Why?" D'Argo asked.
"DO IT NOW!!!" she yelled.
"Pilot, prepare Moya to Starburst," D'Argo over the comm.
"Preparing to Starburst," Pilot said in the background. "Claw on to something everyone."
John looked at Zhaan and raised an eyebrow as he grabbed on to a console for Starburst. She acknowledged that she'd explain with a single, short nod.
Suddenly, the ship lurched forward as they starburst, and then was normal again a minute later.
"Okay Zhaan, you wanna explain why we just---"
"In Command," she said, interrupting John.
"Well then, after you," he said, walking to the door.
Aeryn looked behind her as she heard the door open.
"Zhaan, what the-" she started.
"T'Keen," she said. "Before I became a Delvian P'au, when I was still savage, T'Keen tried to reach to me. He was only a level 7 P'au then, but he tried. He did everything he could to show me how different and better my life could be. But I didn't want him to." Zhaan started sniffling, then began to cry. John stepped towards her, but she waved him off. "I- I didn't mean to do what I did. All I wanted was for T'Keen to leave me alone. S- So I went to his sister's house. All I wanted to do was injure her so T'Keen would get the message. Maybe break an arm or a leg, but I---" Zhaan grew hysterical. After a minute, when she calmed down, and she continued.
"I killed her. I killed T'Keen's sister. I was imprisoned. While I was, I thought about what T'Keen had told me. So, I decided to become a P'au. But, no matter how hard I tried, I could never face T'Keen again. I'm too scared," she finished, becoming hysterical again. Everyone was silent for a moment, Zhaan's crying the only sound on the ship. But D'Argo was the first to find his voice.
"No," she cut him off harshly, still sobbing. "No D'Argo, don't you dare. Don't anyone of you dare say it. I don't deserve sympathy. Not after what I did."
"But Zhaan," Pilot said, "it must have been so long ago."
Zhaan sighed. "Ah, but don't you understand? It doesn't matter how long ago it was. I killed someone. I took another Delvian life for my own selfish purposes."
"Yes, but---" Rygel started.
"Stop! Don't try to comfort me Rygle. Don't anyone try to comfort me or sympathize for me. I nor want it or deserve it." Zhaan left Command after another minute of silence.
"Whoa," John said. "She needs help."
"I agree, but you heard her. She doesn't want help," Aeryn said.
"To hell with what she said. Zhaan needs our help now."
"She could become violent," Rygel said. "What if we all approached her, together, in 2 arns," Aeryn said.
"Nice plan, but make it 1hour, I mean, 1 arn," John said.
"Too soon," D'Argo said.
"All right, a compromise. An arn and a half," Rygel said.
"Okay Spanky. Arn and a half," John said. "Agreed?"
"Agreed," Aeryn and D'Argo said together.
"You may not have an arn and a half," Pilot said. "Incoming transmission. It's from T'Keen's ship."
"Huh? How the hell did he get here?" John asked.
"He is also on a Leviathan. He Starburst right after we did."
"Uh-oh," Rygel said.
Aeryn tapped her comm. "Zhaan?"
Zhaan answered, voice quivering. "Yes?"
"T'Keen's ship is here. He's---"
"STARBURST NOW!" she yelled.
"We can't," John said. "Moya's gotta restore her energy, and T'Keen could just starburst after us anyway. You've gotta talk to him Zhaan."
"I can't," she sobbed over the comm. "Please John. Stall until Moya can Starburst. Please."
"Okay. Fine." Aeryn and D'Argo turned their heads to give John a surprised look. He ignored them. "All right. If that's what you wanna do, we'll stall him for a little while."
"Thank you John," Zhaan said before breaking off their conversation.
"Crichton, I hope you have a damn good reason for---"
"Not a reason D'Argo, a plan. You guys just stall T'Keen for a little while," John instructed.
"Do you want to fill us in on your 'plan' Crichton?" Aeryn said.
"No time to explain. Just stall T'Keen. I'm goin' to talk to Zhaan. If my plan works, Zhaan should come back with me."
"But Crichton-" D'Argo started, but got cut off when John left the room.
I hope my plan works, John thought while walking to Zhaan's quarters. I really hope this works.
At her quarters, John knocked on the doorway. Zhaan had been meditating, but this was one time John didn't care if he interrupted her.
Zhaan stopped chanting and turned her head.
"Hey Zhaan, can I talk to you?"
"John, this is a bad time. Maybe if you could---"
"I don't give a damn if it's a good time or not. I need to talk to you."
Zhaan sighed. "All right. Just a minute." She quickly got dressed, then let John in.
"What do you need to talk about?"
"You," John said, sitting down. "You've gotta talk to T'Keen."
Zhaan stood up and walked towards the door with her arms crossed. "I told you, I can't," she said beginning to sob again.
John laid his hand on her shoulder. "Zhaan, if you don't talk to him, this thing'll haunt you forever. Everyone's got demons. You have to face them sometime. And who knows? T'Keen may even be some what happy that his sister's death wasn't in vain."
Zhaan stopped crying. "You're right John. No matter what T'Keen thinks or says, I must talk to him. D'Argo?" she said tapping her comm.
"Yes?" D'Argo said.
"Give T'Keen's ship permission to dock and come aboard. Tell him I'll meet him."
"Okay," D'Argo said.
"Do you want me to come with you?" John asked.
Zhaan's breath got heavier, and she nearly began to cry again as she approached T'Keen's docked transport. "Please stay here," she instructed John at the doorway. She continued to walk to where T'Keen was standing.
"Zhaan, how are you my dear?" T'Keen asked.
"Fine. And you?"
"Much better since the last time we spoke. I've been looking for you for a long time."
"I know. I've been avoiding you."
"Ah. That explains why I struggled to find you."
"T'Keen," she said, "I am so sorry - "
"Shhh. All is forgiven Zhaan. I used to think when I saw you, I'd be angry and ask you why you would, how you could do such a horrible thing. But now I understand. And I couldn't be prouder of what you've become as a result."
A solitary tear ran down Zhaan's cheek. "Thank you," she whispered.
T'Keen embraced her with open arms. "Good - bye Zhaan," he said and returned to his transport and left Moya.
Zhaan walked to John. "H- He forgave me," she said happily, her solitary tear now being followed by a few others. "He really forgave me. And he's proud of me."
John smiled at Zhaan as they walked back up to Command together.