Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put'em back when I'm done.

Rating: G

Synopsis: The future as it could be and should be.

"Come on. It's time to get up."

"Aw, can't I sleep a little longer? I'm so frelling tired."

"Watch your language. And no, you can't. A solider doesn't sleep in. Get up. Now!"

"All right, all right. I'm coming."

He awoke to those voices as he did most mornings. But unlike most mornings where he decided to roll over on the other side and go back to sleep, he found himself to be oddly awake.

He sat up, yawned heartily, ruffled his hair with both hands and then stretched languidly for a moment. He rolled his head from side to side, as much felt as heard the vertebra in his neck crack, and sighed.

Now that he was awake he might as well make the best of it. He pulled his legs over the edge of the bed and planted his bare feet on the floor. It wasn't so cold any more and it made him smile. He discovered changes by and by; not so much in his surroundings as in himself. He was adjusting, becoming a part of this galaxy he had come to so many cycles ago.

"About damn time too," he muttered, rose and arched his back again. Life in space became him. It had a beneficial effect on him in the sense that he aged slower than normal humans. That didn't mean that he wasn't going grey, of course.

He walked over to the mirror which was a permanent fixture in all the cells on Moya and eyed his reflection for a moment. Grey? Yeah, he was going grey all right. He brushed his fingers through his hair, running them through the grey streaks that Aeryn liked so much. She said they gave him character. The thought put a grin on his lips.

"Character," he muttered, shook his head and left the cell they shared on bare feet. He was dressed only in a tank top and loose-fitting grey flannel-like pants.

Moya was silent at this time and yet not. There was always some sense of life around them while they were on Moya. How could anyone ever feel lonely in the belly of this giant leviathan, he wondered and idly ran his finger tips along her walls as he walked.

The walk to the training area didn't take long and he came to a stop at the door, leaned one shoulder against the frame and folded his arms over his chest. He liked to watch them practice. There was something calming and reassuring in that.

They moved in unison, movements perfected to a tee over many mornings of unrelenting sessions. She always took the lead and he followed, mimicking her as if he were her shadow.

The boy was tall now, lanky, his body build resembling his mother's more than it did John's. He had a serious disposition, that kid, quite and strong, part Aeryn, part grandpa Jack. His hair was John's and so were his eyes. His quirky sense of humor too. His fierce loyalty to friends and family they both ascribed to his namesake, though.

Aeryn and Dargo – without the apostrophe - moved silently, fluently, in what John called their Tai Chi training session. Aeryn had taught the boy everything she knew and that was quite a bit. Dargo was a fast learner – a trait he had obviously inherited from his mother – and he improved with every session.

Like most teens John had ever heard of, Dargo rumbled against the sessions, wanted to copy his father by sleeping in, but Aeryn was relentless and strict. She had raised him with love and unbending boundaries and John respected her views enough to let her do things her way. Once she had gotten a grip on the task of being a mother, she had proven to be a natural. And Dargo had never been a problem child. He didn't test the boundaries because there was nothing there to test. They didn't give. They were solid steel. What Aeryn said was that way and that was it.

At times, John had wanted to cut the boy some slack, let him run off with other kids when they made landfall somewhere, but all Aeryn had to do was remind him of the dangers of letting the boy out of their reach for too long and John had been forced to reel him in again, to keep him close at all times.

Aeryn believed in complete honesty, which meant that Dargo knew why he was being reigned in like that. He knew the responsibility of being John Crichton's son and the dangers inherent in that title.

Mother and son moved with steadfast concentration and what had previously been a mimicry from the boy's side had now turned into completely unified movements. It was like watching an odd sort of dance by two deadly weapons.

The smile on John's lips faded a little. He knew that Aeryn had taught the boy to defend himself – to the death if need be – and he knew it was necessary, but he wasn't fond of the idea that his kid, no more than thirteen cycles old, could turn into a killer at the spur of a moment.

They had discussed it at length, with Aeryn gently yet firmly trying to convince him, and John fighting her every step of the way. But in the end she had won. She had more patience than him and, no matter how much he disliked the idea of her teaching their son which strikes could kill a fully grown man, he also saw the necessity of it.

But where Aeryn stood for the training of the warrior, John stood for the training of his heart and mind. He had, in every way he knew how, tried to instill respect for other life forms in his son. He had taught him to admire before hating, of giving someone the benefit of the doubt before striking out at them. He had tried to teach Dargo to think before acting, but also to heed his instincts.

Mother and son came to a fluid stop, backs straight, feet together, both warm enough to sweat from their workout. Aeryn smiled, ruffled Dargo's unruly hair and pressed a kiss onto his temple. Then she met John's eyes and her smile widened.

Dargo glanced over at him too and John saw the twinkle in the boy's eyes. "Why doesn't dad ever participate in this?" he asked without looking back at Aeryn.

Aeryn chuckled. "Because he doesn't believe in this Tai Chi-dren," she replied and slapped Dargo's behind. "Hit the shower and get yourself to the center chamber. We'll arrive on Hyneria soon."

The boy took off at run, hitting John's raised hand in passing, and disappeared down the corridor with a catlike grace John would formerly have attributed to a girl rather than a boy. But there was nothing feminine about Dargo's grace. It made him that more efficient in evading anyone who might want to hurt him for being who he was.

Aeryn bent over and picked up her towel, which she had dropped at the edge of the training mats, straightened up again and mopped the sweat off her brow. "There was a message from Rygel," she said and stopped in front of John.

He remained where he was, a smile on his lips. "And what did his Royal Pain have to say?"

Aeryn's smile faltered a little. "Chiana has left. She's no longer on Hyneria," she said and sighed. "Seems that she wasn't cut out to be a wine-farmer after all."

John pushed away from the frame and slipped his arms around her. "Pip only did it to honor D'Argo's memory," he said quietly. Anything else he had intended to say caught in his throat. Even after thirteen cycles, the memory of D'Argo's death still brought out the tears.

Aeryn wrapped her hands around his face. "And we named our son after him," she replied just as quietly and leaned in to press her brow against his. "And he would do D'Argo honor, John. He is a proud boy, a strong boy, a kind-hearted boy. He is everything D'Argo was. Our friend lives on in our son."

He kissed her gently and nodded. "Yeah, I know." He sighed, shook his head and then grinned. "And he would ream my hide for being such a sap," he added.

"Yes, he would," Aeryn agreed with a grin of her own. "Let's get something to eat. Who knows when we will see food again. We will be on a whole planet full of Hynerians for the better part of a monan." She kissed him back, then released his face and stepped back.

John nodded. "Yup, you're right there. It's a good thing we filled that storage room with food cubes," he replied. He took her hand and together they headed toward the center chamber for breakfast. All in all, it was a good life he had out here; rich in experience, excitement and love. What more could a man want from life?

The End