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Revised Ending to my story

Thank you unwritten_words and dekotaskye and cathy1967 for looking over my story and making suggestions. Here is the revised ending. I'm much happier now. The complete story is posted on Kansas and Cathy's Basement Forum

John winced at the strain but turned his head and stared at Chiana. He couldn't believe that the mud and guts and pain actually happened, but like most things in this twisted up part of the galaxy, it surely had. He felt drained and light as if he had lived those fifty or sixty years and had been reborn somehow. Hollow yet fulfilled. It was a weird feeling sort of like rattlers but without the dread. He closed his eyes to assess the location of his ghoul, but Harvey was quiescent. He hoped that his "rider" would stay that way for awhile. He needed the time. Time. It seemed from what Chiana said that he had time now. He grinned and then chortled and then couldn't hold the sick mirth inside.

“Oh, this is just choice. Pip, the next time I get a mid-life crisis, for god's sake just get me a Nehru jacket and beads or that jag I'd looked at once—the the one with the leather interior. I didn't need this dren. Harvey's on my back and Scorpy is probably spilling the beans and I'm sitting here in my birthday suit feeling like shit, as usual and smelling, oh mama I smell. But, on the other hand, what else is new?"

Chiana looked down at the pod's control rod and then back up at John's face which was now covered with the tears of his rant. Yup, she was right, he couldn't stay calm. Hezmana! This was only a mud bath and some chanting and look what it got him. She decided to say nothing and let him get all his dren out.

"Pip, as much as I really appreciate the birthday present, I don’t’ remember anything about the party. What happened after we entered the Seven Dwarf’s house and I sat on the chairs that were too small? I figure you owe me a big one. You, my dear pest, get to tell our warriors why I am persona non-gratta. D'Argo is going to be able to smell me a parsec away. I semll worse than granny. You get to play tiddly winks with our resident mom and dad while I rest, bathe, and revitalize.”

John tried to shrug and groaned as he felt the full force of the wound in his stomach as well as the nausea that rose up and almost engulfed him. “On second thought, I need about twelve liters of blood and a couple of Tylenol. Signal the witch and then you play hide and seek with Aeryn.”

Chiana felt awful for the dren she had caused for John. As usual, what sounded liked a great plan when south. Well, then it went north. She sucked up her guilt and stated “Sounds like, like fun, old man. I’m just glad you’re back.” She would take the penalty and just be glad that Crichton saw the sick humor in the situation. Now, if she could just get rid of the smell and the rash she would be okay.

"Chiana, I hope you have John in that pod with you. You both are in big dren!" Aeryn's voice echoed in the pod. John and Chiana looked at each other and couldn't contain themselves.

"Oh dren!"

Chiana tapped the comms and took a deep breath to contain herself, "Hi Aeryn. Yes, John's with me but we've run into some trouble and need D'Argo to come and help us." She figured her normal kick, kiss, and cry routine would be the best tactic. John looked at her and said nothing but his eyes continued to smile.

When Chiana bounded down the steep stairs from the pod she was confronted with two very annoyed Moyans. "He- hey, D'Argo, Aeryn. John needs some help. He can't mo-move so well at the moment."

D'Argo snorted and stormed up the stairs with Aeryn following close behind. "Chiana," she said, "We WILL have words about this later."

Inside the pod, they found John leaning into the straps that still held him in the chair. He had fallen asleep. His arms and hands crossed his abdomen but when Aeryn released him from the webbing, they fell to his side revealing the bloody mess. Aeryn hissed and tried to pick him up but with her current debilitation from the Scarren bed, she lacked the strength. "Oh, my blazma's knees, he reeks!" D'Argo backed up away from the unconscious man.

He then sucked up his nausea at the unbelieveable smells eminating from the chair and pushed Aeryn aside. Turning his head away, he picked his friend up gently. At the bottom of the stairs he grunted at Chiana and stormed out of the hanger with his prize. Aeryn followed him out of the pod but halted at the bottom of the stairs.

Chiana turned to follow D'Argo and John to the infirmery but Aeryn motioned the Nebari to stay. "I have a few words to say, Chiana."

"I, um, I kinda figured you did, Aeryn." Chiana mumbled and chewed on a piece of hair that had fallen into her face.

"You had no right to let John give in to his fears. You two are a disaster together. You are a plague. You have no brains, just impulse. What in Cholak's name where you thinking? He doesn't need to get stinking drunk right now. What happened down there?"

"Aeryn, I know you have been through hezmana. I can't begin to comprehend what it was like. We were so scared and lost while you were gone. John, well John just held it together barely. All he would do was stare at a stupid vid that Pilot captured and drink and zone. He wouldn't sleep. He wouldn't eat. He wouldn't talk. Hezmana! He offered wormhole tech to Scorpy to get you free. He gave his soul for you! And I watched and couldn't help help at all. Just hold his hand and give Sikozou dren and watch some more. So, I- I felt we needed some play time. Some, some adventure. Yeah, you know me, I wouldn't let John get hurt on purpose. But he was feeling so worn and old. He kept it all quiet, at usual, but I knew."

Aeryn looked down and rubbed her stomach where the healing sores still ached. She sighed and pursed her lips at Chiana's words. "I understand the need, Chiana, but to give in to it, that's another thing. What went on down there? How did John get wounded?"

"Well, we were drinking, um, a lot, and I- I caught up with a local who said he knew of a place where you could get young again. You know, add on the cycles of life. I- I wanted Crichton to see his kid grow up. I - I wanted you guys to have a long life together. So, I- I sorta dragged John along and before I knew it, those frelling Koteshi had him in this muddy dren drinking this sludge stuff and then they cut him and here we are."

"Yes, here you are. Chiana, John might die from that wound and then where will I be? Scorpius is in the hands of the Scarrens. War is about to break out and you take John into danger again. I know he only went with you to keep you safe. You are so so," Aeryn paused. She had no words to encompass her anger, fear, and yes, outrage. "It is going to take a lot of time before I trust you again." Aeryn stormed out of the hanger leaving Chiana staring at the floor. She stood there a long time.

*****

John sat in the Center Chamber nursing a cup of water. His skin was reddened and he itched from rashes on top of rashes. He was tired of lying in his quarters staring at the ceiling while waiting for the aching pulsing to subside in his gut. So he had pulled himself off the bed and pushed himself to dress and shave. But he had startled himself earlier when he looked in the mirror. He had that innocent look back that he hadn’t seen in himself since DK surprised him a few months before his trip in the Minnow with an official over-age drinking card. John never had looked his age, but these past few years had made him feel them. He needed to live.

So here he was, somehow young again with a future ahead of him. He sighed and swallowed some more water. Man, he was thirsty. He continued his ruminating. This past few weeks while he was chasing down Aeryn had depleted the dregs of his energy and he had felt at least 100 years old. But now, for some reason, now he felt like he did that fateful day on that tiny ship. He smiled and then grimaced at the lousy taste in his mouth. He could still fell the mud.

Cool arms encircled him from behind and a luscious flow of black-brown hair tumbled over his shoulder. He leaned back and caught the lips of his lover in his own while she reached down. He shivered and jumped slightly as her hands touched the bandage that encircled him from diaphragm to crotch. “Careful there, this old man’s got some wounds, babe.”

“Don’t old man me, you deficient Human. You still haven’t heard the last of your little field trip. But I will tell you this. You are no more an old man than Chiana is a virgin. Come here and I’ll prove it to you.”

“Gently, Aeryn, gently,” he said as he allowed himself to be lead out of the chamber. They could forget their troubles for awhile and he thought that maybe, maybe for the first time he did have a long future with his warrior princess.

Comments

Wonderful! I love it. :)
I like the new addion. Wonderful