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[personal profile] tanaquiljall
Title: Family Reunion
Fandom: Farscape
Rating: General
Word Count: 1000 words
Summary: Olivia Crichton is very happy to have her brother back home after more than three years away—but it soon becomes apparent that his time in space has changed him.
Disclaimer: This story is a transformative work based on the Jim Henson Company/Nine Network/Hallmark Entertainment/A&E series Farscape. It was written for entertainment only; the author does not profit from it.
Author's Notes:Written for the [community profile] fic_promptly prompt Author's choice, author's choice, family reunion and the additional challenge of writing a fill of 1000 words. Thanks to [personal profile] scribblesinink for the beta.

oOo


Olivia skipped across the floor and threw herself into John's arms, holding him tightly. "You're alive!"

"Hey, sis." He hugged her back just as fiercely, before they drew apart enough that Olivia could take a good look at his face. He didn't look much different than when she'd last seen him. Except for his eyes. His eyes were older.

"We didn't give up hope, you know. When you disappeared." She gripped his shoulders a little more tightly, still not quite believing he wasn't going to vanish again.

"I know." He smiled back at her, the smile not quite reaching those old, old eyes.

"So what was it like out—?" she began.

John pushed her away slightly, cutting off her question. "Livvy, this is Aeryn." He swung Olivia around to face the tall, dark-haired woman standing a couple of feet away. "Aeryn, this is my sister, Olivia."

Aeryn gave Olivia a cautious smile.

Before Olivia could do more than smile back, John spoke again, in that hasty way that meant for sure he was trying to change the topic. "Aeryn's a pilot too. That's her ship, next to my pile of junk." He pointed to the sleek black plane parked beside to his battered module.

"John!" A familiar voice called across from the far side of the group gathered in the hangar, demanding his presence.

"Uh-oh!" John looked over Olivia's shoulder, his forehead creasing into a frown. "The old man wants me. Catch up with you later?"

Planting a quick kiss on her cheek, he set off through the crowd to where Dad was beckoning impatiently. Olivia watched him for a moment, before turning back to Aeryn. She was watching John, too. Then she gave herself a little shake and switched her attention over to Olivia. "Have you had the translator microbes?" she asked.

"Not yet. I—." Olivia stopped, blinking in surprise. "You're speaking English!" With only a trace of an accent and, apparently, quite fluently.

Aeryn flushed slightly. "John taught me."

Olivia narrowed her eyes, putting two and two together. Like that, huh? Guess she needed to get to know this Aeryn properly, then. Drawing in a deep breath, she said carefully, "John said you're a pilot. Are you an astronaut, too?"

Aeryn hesitated for a moment and then gave Olivia a slightly forced smile. "Military. We don't really have astronauts."

"Right." Olivia laughed ruefully. "Of course. You already spend all your time in space. I guess spaceships are just like cars to you."

"Yes, I suppose they are." Aeryn was once more watching John over Olivia's shoulder. Glancing behind her, Olivia saw he'd turn his head a little to check on Aeryn, his expression softening when he caught sight of her. Aeryn added in an absent tone, bringing her focus back to Olivia, "I was born on a spaceship."

"Wow!" The image of a city-sized spaceship from some sci-fi movie—she couldn't even remember which—popped into Olivia's mind. For a moment, she couldn't think of anything else to say.

"And you? Are you an astronaut, too? Part of this?" Aeryn made a circle with her hand to indicate the gathering around them.

"God, no." Olivia laughed. "I...." She hesitated, wondering how to describe what she did. Would the words management consultancy mean anything to Aeryn? "I work for a company that helps other companies."

"I see." Aeryn sounded very much like she didn't. After a moment, she added, "And John has another sister, also, I think?"

"Susan? Yeah." Olivia regarded Aeryn thoughtfully. Hadn't John spent the past three years or more traveling through space with her? "I guess John didn't talk about his family much."

"Not really." Aeryn softened the remark with a smile. "But I know he missed you all. I'm sure he's very happy to be home."

Olivia wasn't nearly as sure about that—and Aeryn's tone suggested she wasn't either. Looking across at John talking to Dad again, Olivia realized she was reminded of nothing so much as when John had come back home for the holidays after he first went away to college. He'd been to new places and met new people and done new things, and it had changed him a little—and then he'd come home to find everyone, especially Dad, expected him to be the same.

Shaking off the thought, she turned back to Aeryn. "So, do you have family? Out there?" She waved a hand vaguely upward.

Aeryn gave her a tight smile. "Not any more."

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Olivia mentally kicked herself.

Aeryn gave a self-deprecating shrug. "Peacekeepers often live apart from their parents. I was born on a spaceship and raised with others of my own age. I never met my father at all and my mother... only a few times."

"Oh, I see." The way Aeryn spoke made it sound quite bleak.

Aeryn was watching John again. "I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have a family, like John."

"Come to Sunday dinner." The invitation burst out of Olivia quite unexpectedly, but as soon as she'd spoken, she was glad she'd made it.

Aeryn turned and regarded her carefully. "Sunday dinner? This is a gathering for the family, yes?"

"Yes, but...." Olivia wanted to tell Aeryn she was family too, now—but John hadn't actually introduced her as his girlfriend. It might be presuming too much.

"I wouldn't want to intrude." Aeryn took a half pace back.

"You wouldn't be," Olivia reassured her. Across the hangar, she could see John had lifted his hands a little defensively, while Dad was shaking his head; though she couldn't hear what they were saying, she could tell both had raised their voices. "You'd be helping make sure the two of them are on their best behavior."

"I would?" Aeryn had directed her attention back to the other side of the hangar. "Oh, yes, I see."

"They love each other, really." Olivia rolled her eyes. "But family's complicated."

Aeryn nodded. "Love is complicated," she remarked, almost to herself.

Olivia couldn't help laughing. "Yeah. That too."
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