Wanting a Good Bye
Disclaimer: Farscape does not belong to me no matter how much I wish it did ;)
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Summary: When faced with a way home, the crew is hesitant to leave.
Authors note: Thanx Tony, for your help! I appreciate it. All mistakes are my own and I apologize in advance.
There it was- sitting before them like it knew exactly what they wanted and why. Dim lighting and the firm belief that this whole ordeal was just a dream made it seem that much more surreal. Yet, there it was, all the same, seeming to glow with a radiance and power that immediately caught their attention.
Their eyes stared down at it with anger, each of them wanting to scream profanities at it, yet also wanting to pick it up and hide it away just for themselves. It had cheated them out of their homes, their lives, their souls. And yet it had given them a new kind of faith as well- a new, twisted love that they did not know how to use or accept, but which they had grown to respect.
No one would believe that this was it- no one wanted to. They had grown so used to disappointment, anger, and fear, that this little revelation could not be believed. It waited patiently for someone to make a move, almost smiling, as though it knew each of them so well, knew each of them well enough to predict what they would do next. It was mocking them.
"Good bye." Someone wanted to whisper, sending the words out into the open air in hopeful prayer that good bye really would be all they had hoped it would. But 'wanting' didn't seem to get much done. 'Wanting' clung to their bodies like a second skin that made their muscles ache with its extra weight. They all imagined their wants finally becoming reality, and shivered with unexpected fear and distrust. Nothing could be that great, that awesome. Yet . . . they had to try and believe, had to put their faith in something other than themselves if they ever wanted to remove that veil of wanting. At least, that's what they thought.
"Well?" It almost seemed to say, unconsciously pushing at them to step forward and see just how real things were becoming. Did they dare to question its motives when it offered such sweet rewards to those who gave it their faith?
"Yes." Someone wanted to say in answer to the question they were all thinking. They needed to question; it was all they could do, the only part of the situation that they had any control over. Blindly following that which could stir such tremendous emotions inside of them went past the thin line that they had drawn so long ago. It seemed like long ago, any way. They couldn't just step across that line without knowing what it might bring, without thinking of the consequences.
It seemed to smile curiously at them. It seemed to be trying to make itself more friendly in appearance, more inviting, knowing that someone would overcome their fear and hate eventually. Some one had to realize that there was more to life then the illusion of hope and a thick skin of wanting.
Finally, someone did.
The others watched in horror as reasoning left and someone took a small step forward. Sitting, motionless, it waited for them to give their blessing to the arrangement. Their blessing was important. That was how things worked, and it would not go about things any other way.
They all nodded their heads in a state of shock and sadness. Something was ending. Something great and long was coming to an abrupt end that was a little too abrupt for any of their tastes. But what could they do? They always knew it would end, because everything does.
Sadness washed over each of them. They could not believe they could feel this way about something so hateful and forced, but they did. No one had wanted this odd little reality, which they had been given, but now that it was being taken away, they had trouble remembering a time without it.
Each of them reached out their fear and wishful thinking in a desperate attempt to save that part of themselves that they hadn't known existed. They never would have thought that desperation could be achieved in such a state of purgatory.
The one in front now turned his head back and stared deeply into each of the others eyes, hoping they would understand. They did. And they knew what he was feeling, what he was trying to remember. They were each trying to remember as well.
They all felt a silent goodbye pass between them.
"I want to see my son." Some one wanted to say, but didn't have to. The thing seemed to move and their friend was gone.
Their eyes widened in faint surprise, then closed for a moment as they tried to think of what to do next. One of them had already left the group. One of them had already gone, voluntarily giving up his shattered life for the chance to attain the unattainable and go home. He had been, perhaps, the one they thought would not leave until the end, but now that thought was turned away. He was gone and soon some one else would leave in the same manner, trying to think of what it was that had been so wonderful before this life. Was it happiness? Love? Prosperity? Family? None of them could quite put their fingers on it, but they knew there had been something. That skin of wanting never let them forget it.
"I want peace." Some one wanted to sing, letting the notes fill the space around her like another step on the path to enlightenment. She had no words for what she wanted, for the home that she vaguely recalled, but she didn't need any.
It seemed to move yet again, but they had trouble believing that this thing could give them everything they wanted AND move of its own volition.
There had been no good-byes, and they imagined there wouldn't be for the rest of them. Good-byes would only complicate things, and things were already complicated enough. They would all find something to do, someplace to go, even if it wasn't really what they wanted or needed and they would not say goodbye. Who knew? Perhaps, one day, their paths would cross again.
After a short time, there were only two left. Two who had no idea how to give up the sick little one-eyed doll they each carried around and half-heartedly called a way of life. The girl had been difficult when her turn came, not able to remember anything to want. Her skin had found its peace a long time ago. She insisted that she was where she wanted to be. But they had, at last, through her tears and sour words, convinced her that endings were not always endings, they could be beginnings too. Perhaps this time they'd each find a better toy, a more acceptable love, a life that was not torn and battered.
And so, in time, there were only two left. They searched their minds for something to rely upon; something that they could use to satisfy that wanting that had never really left. But all they found was each other. It seemed to grin in expectation; with a confidence that they would eventually see it's side of things and give in. Every one always did.
They looked to each other, then to it, not knowing how they were going to solve the situation. They were under the impression that they still had some sort of control over what was left of their lives.
"I have no place to go." One of them wanted to say, but didn't because she didn't have to. He knew.
"Come with me." He wanted to plead, his eyes fading into the shadows of doubt, his feelings about to break apart right in front of her. But he did not speak, because she knew what he was going to say. They wondered for a split second whether the thing- the 'it'- was allowing them to read each other's minds. They would have believed it, not knowing why. Perhaps it was finally winning them over, gaining their trust.
"I can't." She almost said, but then stopped, the look in his eyes telling her he knew the answer to his question. Shaking his head as despair swirled around him in a horrid, yet familiar way, he silently cursed fate's cruel sense of humor. There had to be something they could do. She shook her head at the thought, and they both stared at each other, knowing it was for the last time, knowing it was time to shed their warped desires.
"Where will you go?" He wanted to ask, worry filling him almost as fast as the sadness. She didn't answer the thought, wanting to shrug or comment on the different possibilities that were open to her. She would think of something. He nodded and wanted to kiss her, but the want would have to be enough.
"I want to go home." He didn't dare hope for this, but it took the unspoken request as though he had. He was returning to the life that he had asked for, the life that had been unfairly taken from him. But in the process another life was being ripped from his being, and he couldn't tell which was worse.
Then he was gone. She was alone.
"I want . . ." She didn't finish her thought, not knowing what to want. Perhaps she could just wish for death.
It really did move this time, as though curious about such a concept. That someone could want death was an entirely new and intriguing idea to it. But that was not how the game was played. That was not how things were done, and it settled down in acceptance, seeming to glare at her.
It was daring her to want the impossible, the life that had never really existed, because none of them had thought of it as a life in the truest sense. It was promising her that things would be all right, that this was how things were supposed to be. But she couldn't and wouldn't want that. She could not bear to tear the others away from their newfound happiness. She would be stronger then that.
"Go ahead. Want it. Everything will be all right; everything will be as it should. Promise." It seemed to whisper encouragingly to her. Whatever voice she imagined it might have resonated through her and she could not tell where she ended and it began.
"But . . ." She wanted to question. It seemed to stare at her, telling her that this was the way it worked, promising her that she would be happy. Her thoughts merged with its so that she could not tell if it was herself that was refusing to want, or the thing in front of her. Shaking her head, slowly, painfully, she tried to identify her own thoughts and feelings, but failed.
"You will be happy. This is right." It seemed to say, seemed to think, and suddenly it was her thought too.
"I want that twisted life. I want it all back." She almost sighed, but didn't, too afraid of the consequences. The thing seemed to smile at her, but she did not return the expression. Slowly, she was becoming conscious again, and realization of what she had just done set in. Her eyes went upward and she wondered if it had been telling the truth. If this was really how it was supposed to be. If she would be happy.
She let a tear fall.
"Aeryn." Someone called her name. No, it had only been her imagination.
"Aeryn." There it was again. It couldn't just be in her head. She looked up and saw him walking towards her. A smile played over his lips at the sight of her and she wanted to smile back, but couldn't. He frowned at the expression on her face, glancing about the command of Moya for some clue as to why she looked so distressed.
"What's wrong? Did D'Argo just pull another 'I'm a big Luxan so I'm in charge' on ya?" He grinned and she tried to as well, but again failed. She could not meet his eyes. He was there because of her. They were all there, again running for their lives, again wishing for the home that remained elusive, because of her. She saw now what she hadn't seen before. The thing had been wrong. It had lied to her. Things were not as they should be and she could feel it in her bones.
She looked down at her hands, which seemed years older, somehow. It had stolen a piece of her, a piece she didn't think she could ever get back.
There was no strength left. No emotion but regret and shame.
John took her hand and held it in his own, so afraid of the emptiness he saw in her eyes- the emptiness that had replaced the fire he had known by heart. He wanted to help her, wanted to try to understand why she had been so quiet and miserable for the past two days. But wanting would get him nowhere.
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