Title: My Kingdom
Author:   Karolyn Gray <kmgray3@aol.com>
ScifiBB/Chat Handle: Gray3
Rating: PG-13 (for subject matter covered, namely: suicide)
Synopsis: Crichton receives help from an unlikely source.
Spoilers: Possibly for the last four episodes of season 1
Archiving: Yes
Disclaimers: All Farscape names, characters and other related indicia are the property of
Jim Henson Productions, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, the Scifi Channel and
all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.
Note: I wasn't sure whether I should actually write this story but it kept bothering me
through out the night after reading rumors about the final four episodes of the season
while listening to The Future Sound of London's "My Kingdom" and  "Deep Into Your
Subconscious I Slide" as well as Spectrum's "Pulse Drone" and Steve Fisk's "Express
God".

My Kingdom

He swallowed hard, trying to muffle the sobs that wracked him. It didn't work. Like
before. It hurt too much. Everything hurt too much The tears flowed anew. He curled
himself even tighter, crying out as the pain once again became to much to hold inside. No
one would hear. Not in this place. Not now. He'd made sure of that.

He couldn't go on like this any more. It hurt. God it hurt.

He opened his eyes, taking in the view of empty space that surrounded him through
blurry, water filled eyes. Darkness. Emptiness. The stars cold, unforgiving, uncaring.
Like the world, the universe he lived in. His body spasmed again as more tears came. 

The pain was too much.

His right hand curled around the blaster. The cool smooth feel of it felt oddly reassuring
as he lifted it from the floor beside him. He wiped the moisture from his eyes with his
other hand and stared at the item in his hand. So simple and elegant looking, beautiful in
its own way. And so very lethal.

It would be so easy. It had to be. Anything was easier than this pain he felt.

He lifted the gun, slowly, deliberately pointing at his temple. He closed his eyes for  a
moment, suddenly feeling far more calm than he had felt in days. At peace in spite of the
pain. He opened his eyes, watching the stars. Still so cold and empty. And yet so simple.
Beautiful now.

It was wrong. He knew that. He was running away. Taking he easy way out, his Dad
would have sad. Coward, D'argo would have labeled him. Maybe even Aeryn. He teared
up again. But it hurt so much.

The dreams has been terrible. He couldn't sleep. Always Crais was there. The pain was
there. Different each time, but there none the less. And worse still, the same. The shame
of what had happened. What he had done, been willing to do in the end.

This mornings flashback he remembered had been even worse. Zhaan had been waiting
outside the environmental access tube as he worked to remove the Peace Keeper device.
He'd been removing the last of the wires connecting it to Moya. Nothing had been amiss. 

Then he'd smelled something. There had been a flash, a discharge from the device as it
was finally separated from the bio-mechanoid ship. And he was no longer on Moya. Back
with Crais, the darkness, the pain. He had cried out, screaming for Zhaan, for any of
them. Begging for their help.

And just as suddenly, he was back in the tube. Back on Moya. He was shaking and
sweating, the phantom pains from his ordeal back in full force. He had slowly climbed
out of the tube. Zhaan had seemed normal enough, just her usual concern for him since
he'd gotten back. He hadn't cried out loud then, much to his relief. 

But he couldn't face her. Or the others. He passed her the device and fled. Had run for he
knew not how long until he found and empty place on one of the unused lower tiers. A
quiet, empty place. He had turned of his communicator and just sat there. Trying not to
think. Not to be.

He had remained there for a long time. Long enough for Pilot to actually send a DRD to
locate him. Whether of his own accord or at the behest of the others it didn't matter. The
sight of the little yellow machine's almost inquisitive look had been somehow reassuring.
He had slowly gotten up and went to the main galley to eat.

The others were there, already munching away on some of the foodstuffs they'd acquired
at the last commerce planet they'd visited. He nodded and smiled half heartedly at their
greeting, trying to keep up the facade that he was perfectly all right. Somehow the sight
and smell of the food sickened him and he's settled for a few tasteless brown food cubes,
leaving before he'd even finished half of them. No one had stopped him.

He'd gone to his quarters and simply lay there, the pain, the doubt, the self recrimination
eating away at him.

Hours later Aeryn had come to him. He'd tried to get her to leave claiming he was tired.
She had simply sat next to him on the bed with a calm expression and stated she would
wait. He'd then verbally lashed out at her, scorned her for coming to him. For caring
about a weak, pathetic, inferior primitive. 

She'd simply smiled at that and kissed him gently, wordlessly conveying her comfort to
him. A comfort he had tried to push away. She hadn't let him, holding him even tighter as
she kissed him again. He'd felt surprised the sudden need for her. Their embrace had
quickly turned into more than a simple kiss.

She let him control the pace between them, giving him all that he wanted, needed. Even
more. A life affirming moment that left him laughing and crying and loving her so much
that he hadn't been able to contain it any longer as he had cried himself to sleep in her
arms.

The nightmare had been worse than before. This time not only Crais was there. But all of
them. Zhaan. D'argo. Rygel. Chiana. Aeryn. Even Pilot. Mocking him. Berating him.
Hurting him. He awoken with a start, sweat pouring off him and the scream in his throat
coming out as strangled groan. Aeryn was sleeping beside him, an arm resting lightly
against his chest. So peaceful, contented. The guilt had washed over him again, the all
too real nightmare of what had happened becoming unbearable.

He had carefully extricated himself from her embrace, tossed on a shirt and boxers and
fled. Unable to deal with the conflicting emotions. He'd run. Trying to run away from it
all. Crais' torture, the nightmares, the guilt, Aeryn, everything.  He had stopped by the
weapons locker, grabbing one of the Peace Keeper pistols before continuing his flight. He
had kept running until he'd found himself on  the terrace.

He locked the door mechanism and then collapsed onto the darkened floor, crying out in
despair.

And now he stared at the stars, the weapon in his hand shaking dangerously in his
unsteady hands. He couldn't do it. And that knowledge only added to his anguish. Slowly
he lowered the weapon, gently placing on the floor beside him. Tears streaming down his
face once more as he unknowing rocked himself back and forth.

After a time the tears finally stopped and he stared out into space, feeling as empty as the
darkness before him.

"Quite a view, isn't it?"

John blinked, uncertain if it had been his imagination until he her the soft hum of Rygel's
hoverchair settle beside him.

"What?" John asked quietly, not looking over to the deposed monarch. He couldn't deal
with another of Rygel's arrogant moods right now.

"The view. Breath taking in its own way. No?" The Hynerian gestured before them as he
settled next to the distraught human.

"Yeah." John replied numbly.

"You know, I used to hate places like this. It seemed so harsh. So empty and unforgiving.
So cruel." The Hynerian continued after a moment. "It was too representative of my
imprisonment, I suppose. Now. Now, I find this place quite... enlightening, if you will."

John turned a curious gaze to the small royal. "Why?" He asked.

"Because it changes everyday and yet remains the same. As dark as your day may seem,
you can be assured that tomorrow will bring something new, perhaps something even
better. It's like a kingdom. It is only as good as what you bring to it." Rygel replied with a
small smile. "My mother used to tell me that when I was younger."

"And has it gotten better for you since.....since your...imprisonment?" The human asked,
returning his gaze to the stars.

"Since I've come to Moya-yes. I've earned my freedom and met beings the likes of which
I had never imagined. It hasn't been all good, but it is getting better. I find I even like you
and the others." Rygel actually chuckled. "I'll deny that should you repeat it, of course."

A half smile came to John's face for a moment. He looked down uncertainly. "H-how did
you deal with....with..."

"With Durka?" 

John nodded. "And the...torture."

Rygel sighed, unpleasant memories surfacing at the mere mention of the Peace Keeper
Captain's name. "I didn't. Not for a long time. I was alone. No one to share my pain with.
No one to understand or care. I nearly committed suicide on several occasions."

"Why didn't you?" John asked, raising his eyes to meet those of the Hynerian.

"I don't know." Rygel admitted in all honesty. "I had nothing worth living for except my
revenge."

"But that can't have been enough to sustain you all this time." John noted miserably.

Rygel shook his head. "No. It wasn't. I'm alive thanks to another alien, a Devaran female.
She had no reason to concern herself with me. She was tortured as badly as I. Perhaps
even worse, in some ways. But she never seemed to loose her optimism. I hated her for
that."

"One night I escaped from my cell and found a place not unlike this once. I was hurting,
in pain, no longer wanting to continue on with my life. And then she appeared to me
there, mere moments before I was prepared to end it all. She spoke to me of the stars, of
life, and it's continuity. It's connectedness. That each day had to be better than the last."

Rygel wiped what appeared to be a tear from his eye. The sadness in the Hynerian's eye
brought a lump to Johns own throat.

"So you decided to try to live for one more day?" John asked.

"Yes." Rygel replied after a long moment of silence. "It didn't seem to work at first. But
then....one day things changed. I was transferred from the Zelbinion. the tortures ended."

"What happened to the Devaran?"

"She was killed the morning after our talk." The Hynerian made some gesture that
impressed  John as being of some religious importance. "I never even knew her name."

"I'm sorry." John looked back the stars quietly. "She sounds like she was a wonderful
person."

"I believe she was." The Hynerian stood slowly, straitening his robes. A thoughtful look
on his face. "And so are you John Crichton."

The Hynerian patted John's shoulder reassuringly.  "Your kingdom is only what you make
it."

John remained silent at that, considering the Hynerian's words silently as the small being
scooped up the blaster beside him and settled into his chair, powering it up. John
suddenly stood, and turned to watch the Hynerian float to the now open doorway to the
terrace.

"Rygel?"

The Hynerian  turned to look at the human.

"Thanks. For everything."

Rygel smiled and nodded once before hovering from the room.

John turned back the stars once more They didn't seem so empty any more. Strangely,
neither did he. The pain was still there, but Rygel was right. It was his life. His choice.
Allow Crais to haunt him forever or to wait and see what the next day offered. It wouldn't
always be better, but it didn't have to always be worse.

"John? Are you all right?"

He turned to see Aeryn beside him, looking sleepy eyes and concerned. He felt the
darkness around him fall away. He smiled, feeling truly happy for the first time since he
had gotten away from Crais. 

"Yeah. I think I'm gonna be OK." He said as he brushed a lock of hair behind her ear.

"Well, then come back to bed." She said, uncertainty in her eyes at his words.

He pulled her close, kissing her once before hugging her tightly. After the barest of
hesitation she returned his embrace wondering if she heard him correctly when he
whispered two words.

"My Kingdom."

It had to have been an incorrect interpretation from her translator microbes.

--------------------

The following morning John and Aeryn strolled into the galley together. Aeryn started to
pull her hand from his only to have him squeeze it once before finally relenting. The
others either didn't notice or chose to ignore the gesture.

"Good morning, John. Aeryn." Zhaan greeted them.

"Good morning." John replied back with a genuine smile as he sat down next to Rygel.
Aeryn settled in beside him, nodding a silent greeting to D'argo who, like the others, had
already started eating.

The human and the sebacean quickly dug into the remains of the morning meal the others
had left, John surprising them all as he ate like a starving man. Aeryn just smiled and
shook her head at their looks.

"So how are you this morning?" Rygel asked John suddenly.

Everyone around the table froze in stunned silence at the Hynerian's unexpected inquiry.
Everyone except for John who finished swallowing before leaning back and smiling.

"I'm getting better." He finally said, raising his glass to the Hynerian's own. "Thanks to
the wisdom of friends long past and friends that remain."

Rygel clinked his glass with the human's own, the pair gulping down the rest of their
drinks.

Seeing the others staring at them in open mouth shock, John looked at Aeryn's plate with
a small grin. "You gonna eat that verdorii sausage?" He asked, slowly reaching for it.

Aeryn slapped his hand away, flushed in embarrassment to have gawked at John and
Rygel's toast.. "Get your own, human." 

Her action prompted the others to return to their own food. John just chuckled and dug
back into his breakfast.

Things were getting better, after all.