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Hybrid (1/x)
Writing
misaditas wrote in misaditas_fic
Characters: Bialar Crais, Aeryn Sun
Setting: Season 4. AU
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Aeryn leaves Moya and John, heads off into the unknown. But passing the site of the Carrier's destruction she receives a signal that should not be possible...


She makes no conscious decision in her heading, just flies the Prowler away from Moya, from Crichton, from everything. Running from the pain that threatens to suffocate her until her blurring focus fixes on the skeleton of managed metal that is the remains of the Command Carrier. Her mouth goes dry.

All the times I have endangered your life...”

The memory returns with enough force that she jerks away, her body slamming into the back of her seat. She closes her eyes, but all she can see are his – dark and haunted – and snaps them open again with a gasp.

That was the beginning of my life.”

A tear escapes and slides down her cheek at what her life has become – the man she loves is dead, his copy ghosting on Moya, and Talyn is in pieces, shattered beyond recognition. She knows she has focused on the loss of the ship to avoid thinking about his loss, the sacrifice that still stuns her.

She told John that her mother’s death severed the last of her Peacekeeper ties, believed that until the Carrier had shaken violently as the energy of Starburst had blow a hole in its side. Talyn, to a degree, was already dead – she had been a part of his decommission. His captain though… she felt his cheek under her palm, warm and vibrant, the rub of his beard against the heel of her hand and… Her hands tighten on the control until she can no longer feel the itch on the right.

All the times I have lied to you, hurt you.”

She did not consider how much it would hurt, still does. She has laid Talyn to rest but he… there is nothing left for her to mourn over. She, the only one that would, has not. Talyn touched them all, one way or another. Chiana, who oversaw his delivery, was almost catatonic with grief. Pilot, tethered to Moya, sharing a mother’s grief for her child.

Aeryn shakes her head. D’Argo was the only one that mentioned Crais’ name. She had ignored it, ignored the jolt inside her. Focused on Talyn because… because no one would have understood. She is not sure she truly understands herself. Because she would never consciously to come back here, to the site of his – their – demise. Joined to the last, and why did that thought make her feel worse rather than better? Why did she experience a pang of guilt?

“Stupid,” she muttered to herself. “Emotional and stupid.”

Perhaps. But as she yanks on the controls to pull the Prowler around, there is a soft blip. Aeryn freezes, her eyes flicking down. Cold sweeps over her as she recognises a life sign. Faint, so very faint, but there. It has to be impossible. There is no way he could have survived… could there? She does not know and she does not think, just wrenches the controls round and accelerates hard for the position.

Half an arn later, she sits on the ground of an unknown planet. The sky overhead is a pale, cloudless blue but it could have been orange or striped for all the attention she gives it. Her eyes are on one thing and one thing only – Bialar Crais, late of the Peacekeepers, barely recognisable, barely breathing as he lies motionless where she had laid him. She has no idea what to do, her thoughts in freefall as she takes in the blackened skin.

He is burnt, horribly by the looks of it, his clothing little more than shreds wrapped around him. Her stomach churns at the sight of him. How the frell has he survived? How is it that he is still breathing? She doesn’t know, can only sit in stunned shock as she watches how his eyes flicker beneath the closed eyelids.

The stench is appalling. She knows it goes beyond Heat Delirium and straight to the Living Death. She cannot believe that anything of the man he had been can remain. Given the choice, she knows he would prefer death, but she has mourned him once. She isn’t sure she can do what he would require of her.

Aeryn reaches out to touch his cheek. Recoils in shock and horror. His skin is cold, hard, almost… metallic. Then, to her utter disbelief, the eyelids open. The once brown eyes are a liquid black that includes the sclera and the blank look they hold is not remotely Sebacean. She gasps and it rings loud in the clearing.

He blinks once, mechanically, and turns his head towards her. Frowns slightly. “Aeryn?” It is harsh, ragged and… layered, somehow. She realises she has scooted away from him.

“B-Bialar?” she whispers. “Is… Is that really you?”

“I…” He pauses and runs a hand over his face. Freezes himself and then lifts his hand to stare at it. Horror washes over his face and Aeryn moves, grabs his hand. The chill of it bites into her skin, but she holds on as he clearly needs the reassurance. “What… happened?” he asks roughly.

Aeryn huffs out a breath of air. “I was hoping that you could tell me,” she says wryly. “I did not… I didn’t expect you… to survive.”

His eyes close, and she tries not to be relieved, and he sighs. “Neither did I.” There is a pause and then he adds, “Talyn is gone.” A world of loss is in those three words and tears of sympathy burn Aeryn’s eyes.

“I know,” she manages. “We… we laid his remains to rest.”

“Thank you.” It is a sigh and he says nothing more.

Aeryn suspects he has lost consciousness; hardly surprising given his condition. What she doesn’t know is what she should do now. He obviously needs medical help, but where can she take him? He is still a wanted man. Though, she thinks as she stares down, it is unlikely anyone would recognise him. She hardly does herself.

One thing is certain – she does not have the knowledge of how to treat him herself. She has to risk it, because the other choice is to let him die and she is not willing to do that. She wishes now that she left Moya under better circumstances, but even as that thought occurs to her she dismisses it – it is better that they do not know Crais has survived, better that they believe him to have died alongside Talyn. Crichton would be distrustful at best at his miraculous survival… if the state he is in could ever be described as that.

She rises to her feet and digs in the Prowler for her supplies. She has not got much, but what she does have she is willing to share. There is a flask of water and she rather suspects he will need most of that. Her eyes skit across his scorched skin and she shudders. Uncapping the flask, she takes a quick mouthful to help swallow the burn of bile. She reaches out, pulls back, debates if she can – should – touch him and then settles for shouting at him.

“Crais!”

Dry, cracked lips surrounded by the charred remains of his beard part and work soundlessly. The eyelids flutter and open. She flinches again as that black gaze falls on her.

“Aeryn,” he whispers and sounds… different. Uncertain and afraid, younger somehow. “Where am I?”

“I… it’s a planet, near where the Carrier… went down. It’s safe – there’s no one here other than us.”

“Carrier… did it… did we?”

“Yes. There is little left of it.”

“That is… something. I was scared that it would not… work. That it would… not be worth it but he said there was no choice. There was not… was there?” Liquid black eyes stare at her entreatingly. “No choice other than what we did?”

“No,” she replies softly. “I don’t think there was.” Then something else occurs to her and she tilts her head quizzically. “He said? Who is he?”

He blinks once, expression incredulous. “Why Bialar of course.”

It makes no sense, but there is only one possible explanation. Aeryn stares at the black skin and radically altered eyes in shock.

Talyn?”

?

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