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

Rating: G

Synopsis: How does one say goodbye?

Author's note: This is a sad thing, so keep your tissues ready. I listened to Elton John's The Last Song (hence the title) and this story sprung for that. So blame it on Elton.

Jack Crichton glanced at his watch and then sent a lingering look out the window. Once again an age-old phrase went through his head and caused him to sigh heavily. 'I'm too old for this!' Briefly, he closed his eyes and tried to dispel the images crowding in his head, the memories he would have been happy to die without. The smell of disinfectants hung heavy in the air, reminding him of another time when he had spent far too many hours in hospital corridors. Why was it that he was once again in the process of losing another of the people he loved the most? What had he done wrong in life to deserve this much agony?

He blinked furiously, forced the tears back. It wasn't time for this kind of weakness yet. He could do that later, when it was over. Having gathered his strength yet again, he turned around and headed back to room 1013. The door looked like any other on this corridor and yet it seemed darker, evil because of the secret it hid.

He took another moment to compose himself before he pushed it open and stepped inside. The gloom of twilight had settled on the room and none of the lights were on. One single bed occupied the room and there was a softly beeping machine sitting next it. 'Beep-beep-beep' He thought he could hear a slowing of the sound, that it wasn't as fast as it had been when he had left the room half an hour ago and it mostly felt as if someone had reached into his chest and was squeezing his heart.

The man lying on the bed was a shadow of his former self; his only son, his oldest child. And all Jack could do was stand by and watch him waste away from the same disease that had claimed his mother's life. The doctors stood helpless. It was a new form of cancer, aggressive and unresponsive to treatment.

Jack stopped right inside the door and after closing it quietly behind him, he turned his attention to the frail-looking creature on that bed. No more than two months ago, John Crichton had returned to Earth; sick and sorry. He had told the world of his adventure, but had told Jack the truth behind his five year absence from the world as late as this morning.

John thought that his father would believe his actions to be unforgivable. Jack had seen the pain in his son's dying eyes as he had relayed the whole sorry tale he had lived for five years. He had seen the brief glimmer of hope while John told him about that kind of a woman Aeryn had been, alien and yet so much like a human. And the friends he'd made out there. They were all gone, dead, killed by the one John had named Scorpius.

With a silent sigh, Jack pushed away from the door and walked slowly over to the bed. As he got closer, John's breathing became more audible, labored as it was. He was staring out the window, at the darkening sky and stars he was now familiar with. The cancer was eating him alive, killing him fast and mercilessly. Jack had raged against this, had told the doctors what they could do with themselves if they couldn't even save his son, but no threat or plea had helped them find the cure. And now it was too late. All Jack had to do was look as his son to know that this was a fact. He was dying, fading away right here, right now, and no connections Jack had would ever be enough to save his boy's life.

Slowly, painfully, John turned his head and caught sight of him. He smiled wistfully, a shadow of his boyish grin. "Hey, dad," he whispered. He barely had enough voice left to speak. His tale of woe had worn him out.

"Son," Jack replied and stepped up to the side of the bed. He grabbed John's hand, careful not to disturb the drop-line going into his vein there.

"Thought you'd gone," John confessed and gave up on smiling. It was too much of an effort now.

"Why would I go?" Jack asked, stoic and strong as always.

"Done some pretty bad things," John whispered and briefly closed his eyes.

"I believe that whatever you did, son, you did it to survive. I cannot blame you for that. Nor do I want to," Jack said and gave John's hand a light squeeze.

John stared at him for a moment, but then turned his head so he could look out the window again. "Dropped a nuclear bomb in a field of flowers," he said hoarsely. "I've killed people."

"I don't claim to understand what you've been through, John," Jack said and sighed, "but it's not my place to judge you. I wasn't there. I don't know the circumstances. I'm just sorry that you've had to suffer so much."

John smiled briefly. "I've done some good things too," he said quietly. "I've had good times. With Aeryn."

Jack nodded. "So I understand," he agreed.

"I'm sorry you never got to know her. Or the others," John continued and looked back at Jack briefly.

"Don't be. I feel I know them well from meeting them and from what you have told me about them," Jack said and reached out to brush flimsy hair away from his son's brow. "Don't be sorry. You have nothing to be sorry for," he added, not wanting his son to leave this life with sadness in his heart.

"I was my own kind of hero," John whispered and blinked at the window. "Not yet," he added and the corner of his lips twitched briefly.

"Not yet what?" Jack asked and frowned. John was fixedly staring at a spot on the window.

John returned his attention to his father and smiled. "I'm proud of my life," he whispered.

For the first time ever, Jack had to struggle against the tears. His eyes welled up and a single tear trickled down his face. He made no effort to wipe it away. "I'm proud of you, John. You've done some pretty amazing things. You've seen so much more than anyone on this planet has and perhaps ever will."

John nodded weakly. "Yeah, I have," he agreed. "I love you, dad," he added and managed another smile.

"I love you too, son," Jack replied, his own voice hoarse now with emotion. He leaned in and kiss his son's brow, then pulled back a little and cupped a hand against his cheek. "Let go, John," he said quietly. "It's okay to let go. I couldn't tell your mother that when it was her time, but I'm telling you now, John. Don't keep fighting. It's not worth it. You deserve the peace."

For a moment, John just looked into his eyes and then he smiled a little before the light in his eyes died. Jack just sat there and looked back into his eyes for a moment longer before he closed his son's eyes for the last time and allowed himself to grieve openly over the loss.

"Whatever you think you've done wrong, son, I forgive you. I'm sure you've made up for it ten fold," he whispered, kissed John's brow one more time and straightened up again. He glanced at the window and sighed deeply. "Take care of him, Leslie," he muttered, shook his head sadly, turned around and left the hospital room behind.