Title: All I Want For Christmas
Rating: PG (basically if you can watch the show, you can read this)
Spoilers: Small ones for Seasons 1-4
Setting: Post BT, then AU (approx. 4 cycles after BT)
Disclaimer: Henson and Company own Farscape, I'm just borrowing their characters.
Summary: John and Aeryn exchange Christmas presents.
Author's Notes: This is a Post-BT story. Then it becomes AU. PKWars never happened. I just didn't like it that D'Argo and Jool died. It was really that simple. This story takes place in the same universe as my story 'Luck of the Draw', it can be found here:
You don't need to read that story to understand this one, but if you want to know what's happened with our heroes between 'Bad Timing' and now, that fic explains everything.
Special thanks to my beta Chaz for all her input. You're the best!
Warning: Pure fluff! So sweet, you might get a cavity!
A part of Aeryn still couldn't believe that she was on Earth with John and their son, enjoying Christmas Eve. That was despite the fact that everything around her was proof that she was.
She and John were snuggled against each other in front of the fireplace in the family cabin that John's father had allowed them to use. There were three stockings that hung on the fireplace with each of their names on it. There was mistletoe on almost every doorway in the cabin. That was John's idea. There was also a lovely Christmas tree that John, Little Jack and Aeryn decorated almost a weeken ago when they first arrived.
The last time Aeryn was on Earth, she could only watch as the Crichtons decorated their tree, unsure of the tradition. However, this time she took part, enjoying it tremendously. John was right about Christmas. It carried a certain magic to it that made the time you spent with family all the more special.
It was a complete accident, really, the fact that they had made it to Earth. Two weekens ago, John was testing out the new thrusters in his module. Jack and Aeryn had remained on Moya and were watching him from Command. It was then that a wormhole opened up out of nowhere and John couldn't maneuver his module out of the way in time and ended up flying right into it. Thinking back, Aeryn wondered how in Hezmana did John not sense that wormhole?! But at the time, the thought hadn't even crossed her mind. Actually, all she could remember was the panic she felt. The last time she felt fear like that was when John fell through the wormhole that led them to Earth that first time. The real Earth.
The worst part of the whole thing was the feeling of helplessness that they all had on Moya during that time. None of them were familiar with wormholes. And unless the wormhole that swallowed John opened up again, there was really nothing any of them could do. D'Argo, Jool and Aeryn were ready to take off in Lo'La for when, or at the time, if the wormhole reopened. Chiana stayed on Moya to look after Jack. She had wanted to come, but they needed Jool in case John was hurt.
It turned out they didn't need to go after John in the wormhole because eight arns later, he reappeared when the wormhole reopened. Aeryn had been so relieved and overjoyed to see that he was alright that it wasn't until the next solar day that she gave him Hezmana for scaring the dren out of her for being so careless.
John explained to the crew that the other end of the wormhole had opened up next to a planet that John found very familiar. He said that it looked strikingly like a planet his people called 'Yoo-ray-nus'. He believed that the wormhole led to his solar system. Not as close to Earth as the other wormhole, but close enough that if Moya went through it, she could easily make the trip to Earth. Sure enough, John had been right.
So now there they were. The rest of the crew remained on Moya. There was just no way that they wouldn't have attracted attention, especially after the media coverage that they garnered during their last stay on Earth.
John, Jack and Aeryn spent the first few solar days with John's family. A reunion of sorts. The boys spent some time together going to sports arenas and such. Olivia and Aeryn went shopping for old time's sake. But afterwards, John had asked his father for some time alone with his wife and son. John's father offered them the cabin and it turned out to be perfect. Aeryn couldn't help but feel that John was trying to make up for the dismal time they had the last time they were on Earth.
"Hey, Jack, c'mon, buddy, open this one!"
"Dere's mo' pwesents fo' me?!"
"Of course, pal! C'mon, get back to that one later," John said, encouraging Jack to let go of his remote-control-operated vehicle for a microt. "Okay, now open this one," John said as he pulled out a very long present that was taller than Jack was.
Jack excitedly unwrapped the present and his eyes lit up when he saw that it was a replica of Luke Skywalker's light saber. It came complete with the light-up effect and the sound. John and Aeryn had known it was the perfect present the moment they saw it in that electronics store. John and Jack had seen all the Star Wars movies together a dozen times, and Jack always found the light sabers the most fascinating part of the movie.
"Wow, a light sabe'! It's g'ween!"
"Yes, now you can be like your favorite character, Luke Skywalker," Aeryn said, giving her son a hug.
"Yeah, and you know what, Jack, I bought myself a red light saber so we can play with them together," John said.
John had insisted on buying the red one, too. He said, what was Luke without Vader? He had bought a purple one for Aeryn, too, just so each of them had one. Aeryn couldn't help but laugh. Aside from her son, only John could ever make her play with toys. He also bought a blue saber. He told Aeryn that it was for their next child. Aeryn chuckled to herself, thinking that their next child would be coming a lot sooner than he thought. She planned on telling him after Jack went to sleep.
"Luke… I am your father *hiss*," John's impression of Darth Vader interrupted Aeryn's thoughts. Soon she was sitting on the couch alone watching the two men in her life put on a Christmas play for her. The Empire Strikes Back from the looks of it. She was giggling the whole way through.
After over an arn of opening his presents and playing with them, the excitement of the day finally caught up to Jack, and his mother caught him stifling a yawn two or three times.
"Okay, Jack, let's go clean your teeth and change your clothes. It's time for bed," Aeryn said.
"Aww, Mommy, but ah not s'eepy," Jack argued half-heartedly.
"Oh, but I think you are. You can't fool me, I'm your mother, remember?"
Jack kissed his father good night and took the Teddy Bear that Aeryn had bought for him up the stairs with them. After cleaning Jack up and tucking him to bed, Aeryn was back downstairs with John. Usually, they both tucked Jack into bed, but John wanted to get their presents ready. She wanted to ask him if maybe they could open their gifts tomorrow since she was feeling a little tired, but one look at John's childlike eagerness and the thought left her mind as quickly as it had crossed it.
"Hey, hon, what took you so long?" John asked.
"I see someone's excited."
Aeryn couldn't help but notice how much John looked like his son, or vice versa. Since their arrival on Earth, John had dyed his hair dark, just to be a little less noticeable. Now with his dark hair… Well, let's just say Aeryn didn't think it was possible for Jack to look any more similar to his father than he already was. She stood corrected.
John smiled at his wife sheepishly. "I guess I am a little eager. But I mean, this is our first Christmas together here on Earth…er…I mean together as in…well – "
"It's ok, John. I know what you mean," Aeryn said, interrupting John. The last time they were on Earth, during the same holiday season, they were barely talking to each other. Or rather, he was barely talking to her.
"No, Aer, it's not ok. I mean, it is. It's great between you and me now. I just mean, how things were back then between us. I'll regret that forever," John said and sighed. "I wasted so much time."
"Don't, John. It's over. What was that you always liked to say? All's well that ends well?" she reminded him, caressing his face.
John's features turned serious for a moment. Aeryn certainly didn't want his thoughts to be occupied by that time in their lives, so she quickly brought him back to the present.
"So, old man," she said, using Chi's nickname for John. "Where are those presents you've been hiding from me this whole weeken?"
"Old man?! I'll show you who's an old man."
John surprised Aeryn by picking her up and putting her on the couch. He climbed on top of her and began trailing kisses down her neck. His hands were soon under her shirt, and she realized that hers were instinctively unbuckling his belt. Aeryn quickly stopped, realizing where this was leading.
"John, wait. I think we should save this part for after we open our presents."
John groaned in frustration, knowing she was right. "You're right, darlin'. If we start this now, we'll never get to our presents. Why do you always have to be right?"
"Because I'm a woman," she simply answered.
John and Aeryn headed towards the Christmas tree where she had placed her presents for him. She had no idea where John had hidden her presents during their entire stay there, but they were now under the tree with Aeryn's presents for John.
"Ok, babe, here, open this one first," John said, handing her a relatively small box.
She unwrapped the present slowly, savoring the anticipation. At first she wasn't sure what she was looking at, and then she realized that it was a DVD box set. It was the Sesame Street Collection. She was speechless for a second. How did he even know she had watched Sesame Street? As if reading her thoughts…
"Livvy told me how you would always watch Sesame Street. You would always tell her that it was only so that you could improve your English. But she told me that she could tell you enjoyed it."
"Oh, John, this is wonderful! I could even watch it with Jack, I'm sure he'll love it! I kind of regretted that I never brought any DVDs of Sesame Street back when we were here last. Thanks so much!" she said, kissing her husband.
"Ok, well, here's your first present, John," Aeryn said, handing him a present in blue wrapping with snowmen on it.
Unlike Aeryn, John ripped his present with gusto, and it was opened in one microt flat.
"Whoa, it's a chess set. Thanks, honey!"
"An electronic chess set, John. You can play against the computer. That way, you won't always have to play for both sides like you always do."
John had tried to teach the entire crew how to play chess, Aeryn, D'Argo, Chiana, Jool, Jack, and even Rygel. Jack was the only one that found it interesting, but he wasn't even four cycles old and simply wasn't enough of a challenge to John. Aeryn knew he'd love it and she bought it the moment she saw it at the shopping center.
"Baby, this is terrific! You know me so well!" John said. He then grabbed for another present under the tree and handed it to her. "Ok, now it's my turn again. Here, baby, open this one."
She opened the present John handed to her. A little faster this time, too. When she realized what it was, she burst out laughing. They were Calvins.
"So you can stop taking mine," John said, chuckling. "Plus these are smaller than the ones I own so you should be snuggled in them quite comfortably."
"I never took your underwear, John!"
"After all these cycles and you're still denying it!"
She realized the present was more of a joke kind of gift. It was a kind of an inside joke between the two of them about her having stolen his underwear on a regular basis during his first cycle on Moya. She hugged John, completely touched that he went out of his way to make her laugh and reminisce.
After that, Aeryn handed John another present from her. It was a sports Jersey. Olivia had told her that John was a fan of any Florida sports team. She had chosen the uniform of the Florida Panthers. The uniform was the most attractive in the whole store. It had a cat-like animal on the front. It was a sports team that wielded sticks on the ice like weapons. She'd caught him watching such a game a time or two during their last stay there. She'd had 'Crichton' embroidered on the back of the jersey. It had the number '3' on the back as well.
"Baby, I love it! Thanks so much! You know, I seriously thought about being a hockey player back in the day."
"Oh, really? What stopped you?"
"I couldn't skate!" John and Aeryn both laughed at the image of him constantly slipping and falling on a patch of ice.
"Well, I'm glad you didn't become a hockey player. I would never have met you."
"So, Aer, why the number three?"
"Oh, I don't know… Just a subtle reminder I suppose…a symbol that I no longer think that three's such a scary number. Or any number more than that."
Perhaps it was her imagination, but she thought she saw John's eyes moisten ever so slightly. He took her hand in his and said, "Baby, you have become so much more. I'm so proud of you."
"It's all because of you, John," she said as she let him hold her.
They stopped opening presents for about a half-arn. There were still two more presents left under the tree. But they were so comfy wrapped around each other that they left them there for a while. Finally, John let go of Aeryn briefly and reached for his last present under the tree.
"Here, babe, this is the last one for the night," John said, handing her a tiny box, no bigger than the size of her palm.
"For the night?" she asked.
"I still have a surprise or two left for when we get back to the city."
She slowly unwrapped the tiny box. She knew this last present was special. John always saved the best or most important for last. When she finished unwrapping it, she realized it was a black box.
"Go ahead, baby. Open it."
She did as he told her and opened it. Inside were two rings, one slightly larger than the other. They were gold with no design on them. The rings didn't look fancy at all, not like the one she had on that John gave her when he proposed.
She noticed there was something engraved on the inside of the smaller one. 'Beyond hope' it said.
"They're wedding bands, babe. See," John said, putting the smaller ring on her finger and the larger one on his, "they represent that we belong to each other. An unbroken circle of love, with no beginning and no end. And that's how I love you."
Aeryn couldn't stop the tears from coming. She didn't know what to say.
"John… I –"
"It's always bothered me that we've been married this long and all we had to show for it was an engagement ring."
"It never bothered me. I was so happy when you gave me your mother's ring that I never wished for more. But this wedding band, what it signifies is perfect."
Perhaps there was a time in which John would have never thought that Aeryn would associate the word "perfect" with him. Perhaps it seemed to him like it was a word that would forever belong with another. Aeryn was glad he no longer thought that.
After a while of admiring her very late wedding gift, she remembered that she had one more present to give to John.
"Here's my last present, John. I hope you like it," she said as she handed John the last gift under the tree.
John opened it and saw that there were three picture frames inside. The first one was a picture of John's family. It was a very old picture and his mother was still alive in it. From the looks of it, John was in his early twenties. Aeryn had had it professionally restored and it looked new.
"I've always loved that picture of you and your family. I wanted you to take it home with us."
"I forgot we had this picture. Thanks, Aer."
The next picture frame had a portrait of them as a family. They hadn't posed for it. They were all sitting on a couch watching television. Jack was on Aeryn's lap and John had his arms around both of them, a silly grin on his face. They weren't aware that someone was taking a photo of them. When John's nephew Bobby showed it to Aeryn, she took it to have it enlarged and then framed it.
"Now, this has got to be my new favorite picture," John said, looking at their family photo. "Who took this photo, honey?"
"Oh, Bobby did, while we were watching that Ebenezer Grinch movie," she answered.
"Scrooge, darling. The Grinch was the one that kinda looked like Rygel, only taller," John said laughing. She had to laugh, too. He did kind of look like Rygel.
John finally got to the last picture frame.
"Hey, honey, this picture frame's empty," John said, stating the obvious and looking puzzled.
"I know. We'll fill it with a family picture in a few monens."
"Why not now?" John asked.
"Because our latest member won't be here for a few monens still," Aeryn said rather casually, her demeanor contradicting the excitement she felt.
"For a few monens… Oh, my God…Aeryn…are you…are we…?"
She quickly got up and covered his mouth with her hand, remembering his reaction on the boat that day she'd told him that Jack was his son. The last thing she wanted was for John to wake up their little boy upstairs.
"Yes," she said, a huge smile on her face. "You can say it, John, just don't wake Jack up."
She slowly removed her hand from his mouth, uncovering a big grin in its wake.
John whispered as loudly as he could, "We're having a baby!"
"I take it you're happy."
"Hell, yeah!" John answered. "Now aren't you glad I bought that fourth light saber?"
Aeryn laughed. She always found it so endearing when John tried so hard to show her he was right. Aeryn knew that this was the best Christmas gift she could have ever given him. She had a feeling they were not going to get much sleep that night.