Disclaimer in ch 1
Iknow, I KNOW I said that ch 2 would be it... but this had to be written and I wanted to finish it before working on anything else.
So... I mean it this time. Last chapter.
All was quiet on Moya. The only movement throughout the ship was made by the DRD’s scooting about their business. A few of the units had gathered in the doorway of John’s room but they scattered at his hoarse shout of outrage.
“Aww, Man! Can’t you see it’s not Faith? Come on Giles! Buffy knew it was you when you were a Fyarl.” John threw Moya’s version of popcorn at the viewing image while D’Argo leaned over and whispered a question in Aeryn’s ear.
“Why does he talk to the data image as if they can interact with him?”
Aeryn cut her eyes from the screen to glare at him incredulously. “You’re asking me? I’m a Peacekeeper D’Argo, not human. I truly do not understand what he’s saying most of the time, despite the translator microbes.”
The room filled with a sudden pressure that disbursed with a loud crack; causing everyone to jump and Pilot to belatedly alerted the crew to a presence on board. A strange odor permeated the room and John’s head whipped around to the source of it sitting on the table by the far wall. There was a stack of white boxes there that hadn’t been before and when John saw them he whooped loud enough to startle everyone again and then leapt over the back of the lounger; reaching the table in three strides.
Long before Willow dropped into their lives for that brief moment, John had reconciled himself to the fact that he wouldn’t be going home. And after recent developments between him and Aeryn, he wasn’t sure that he would if he could. This little reminder of home Willow provided him with had become a weekenly event. Chiana had been the worst when it came to waiting. She wanted to watch the data disc in one sitting and John had had to enlist Pilot’s help in restricting access so no one could spoil the next weeken’s episode. They were currently watching Giles run around town as a Fyarl demon and although enjoying the entertainment, John wondered if he should have left well enough alone. His homesickness was worse now than ever before. He was seriously thinking about going to bed early when a loud crack sounded through the room. Pilot came on the comm, telling them there had been a foreign presence onboard when John smelled something so heavenly, he thought he just might cry.
Whipping his head around, John saw a stack of white boxes sitting on a side table. “Hot Damn!” He jumped over the back of the lounger and made it across the room almost without touching the floor. There was a note written on the surface of the topmost box and John forced himself to slow down and read it.John,
Sorry it took so long to contact you again, but you know how busy it can get during Apocalypse season. I’m sorry to tell you, but there doesn’t seem to be a way for me to get you home. I have no way to trace back to your Earth from where I am. Through trial and error, we discovered that only organic things can come through. Which would explain why some things on my person were left behind when I came through before. Don’t ask, I’m not saying what.
Oh! By the way, we found your double here. Different name, but he’s in the military too. Used to be a fighter pilot but now he’s stationed in Colorado Springs. Buffy met him while on patrol one night and I think they’re dating ‘cause she’s being all avoidy about it.
I hope you like the pizza! There are two with everything, two pepperoni, one sausage and one cheese. We’ll try to send you things when we can. Tell everyone hi for me and let Zhaan know I thought of sending her something, but nothing seemed appropriate. What do you give a sentient plant humanoid shaped Priestess of Enlightenment?
Blessings to you!
John was touched that Willow took the time to try to help him and he opened the lid of the first box with shaking hands to reveal the most gorgeous pizza he’d ever seen. No way was this Dominoes. Had to be from some specialty joint. It was heaped with ingredients and there was no way to eat a slice with out a fork. Everyone crowded around to see what John was moaning about. Chiana thoughtfully brought plates and John gave each a slice to taste. Who knows what Earth food would do to his friends? Then again, he managed to choke down their version of food on a daily basis and he was still breathing. They all watched him take a bite and Aeryn’s mouth dropped open in shock when he moaned in ecstasy. They watched him eat the first piece and when it didn’t kill him, each one in turn took a small bite. Rygel’s bite was small in comparison to what he usually did, which was to swallow things whole. John was halfway through his second piece, taking the time to actually savor it when he noticed Zhaan tentatively taking a bite. A astonished look flashed across her face and she consumed it quickly. It was a slice of pepperoni, not the cheese, which was surprising.
She looked up at John with an expression of such bliss, he got a little nervous. She walked up to him and embraced him, pressing her ear to his.
The resulting jolt of sexual energy she released into him sent him to his knees and he barely heard the other’s laughter as he watched Zhaan grab two more slices of pizza on her way out of his room. John caught movement out of the corner of his eye and saw Rygel trying to make off with an entire box.
“Drop it, you sorry excuse for a toad! If you think I’m gonna let you snurch my pizza, you better make your funeral arrangements now.” The glare John sent his way prompted Rygel to drop the box and move back a few feet. John gained his feet again and stood slowly, continuing to pin Rygel with his glare of death. He pulled out four slices out of the box the Hynerian tried to make off with and handed them to the little worm.
“Here. Now beat it.”
Rygel attempted dignity as he floated from the room and ignored John as he yelled out, “And don’t say I never gave you anything!”
John looked up at Aeryn curiously. “Do you think Pilot would like some?”
“Most likely. Just be careful. The last time you gave him something new it gave him gas and the whole ship smelled for a week.”
John laughed at the twinkle in her eye and asked, “You want to help?” She nodded and he handed her a few boxes, leaving enough behind for both Chiana and D’Argo. Chiana had rewound the data stream and had started watching Buffy and her crew from the beginning. She did that in between the weeken showings since John had made it impossible for her to skip ahead.
As they walked together in companionable silence, John glanced at Aeryn and smiled.
“What? Do I have that red stuff on my face?”
He laughed and said, “No you have ‘something’ face.” Her confusion was plain and he explained. “You look like you want to either say something or ask me something… so, ‘something’ face.”
“Ah, yes well…” Her face scrunched in concentration and it was all John could do to resist touching her. He never knew when it would be accepted or when he would get knocked on his ass.
“Are you disappointed?” Her voice was flat and controlled and John responded to it as he usually did when she was being overly serious.
“With what? The pizza? Heck no. Best thing I’ve eaten in cycles! But... that’s not what you meant is it?”
“No.” She wouldn’t meet his gaze and John had the feeling Aeryn had read the note Willow wrote on the box.
“Ah, you mean disappointed that Willow couldn’t find a way to get me back to Earth?” She nodded and he stopped walking. She took one more step before realizing he hadn’t continued and turned back to him. He met her eyes and set his boxes down on the floor. Continuing to hold her gaze, he took her box and set it on his before straightening. He crossed the short space between them and carefully took hold of her shoulders, keeping his grip gentle so she could move away if she felt the need. He leaned in slowly, keeping eye contact and stopped a hair’s breath from covering her mouth with his. Her dark eyes dilated and he had to bite back a smile before answering.
His breath caressed her mouth and her lips parted in anticipation of a kiss that he knew was promised in his gaze. He thought to tease her, but after shocks of Zhaan’s bliss sharing hit him and he gave in; kissing her waiting mouth with the pent up desire he dealt with on a daily basis. Her mouth was surprisingly pliant and the spices from the pizza only added to his pleasure as she encouraged his questing tongue with her own. He dipped into her warm mouth over and over again until her knees were weak and breathing became an issue. They broke apart and she laid her head on his chest with a show of vulnerability that clenched at his heart.
“I’m glad.” Her voice was quiet and John laid his cheek on the crown of her head, enjoying this rare moment of tenderness.
A sound, whisper quiet broke into his thoughts and he bellowed, “Sparky, If you’ve made off with more of my pizza, I’ll ‘ave your guts for garters!” The sound of a box dropping back to the floor was followed quickly by Rygel’s throne sled speeding away. The pair laughed at the Dominar’s hasty retreat. “Who would have thought Spike would be an effective deterrent against greedy toads?”
Really, I mean it this time.