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I am in love with John Creighton. I have been ever since the third or fourth episode I saw him in: the way he puts his head on his arms when he is sad or worried; the hysterical edge to his laugh when the universe has kicked him a little too hard (again); the color of his eyes. "When he's cut, I bleed." (-Lois McMaster Bujold.) When he's down and out — and oh, they do love to abuse him on that show — I can hardly contain my urge to reach through the screen and comfort him.

But it can never be, because he loves Aeryn, and he always will. He will never love me. So it took me a long time to work out exactly how we could be together. I finally got it: I am a new crew member, rescued like a lost puppy on some mission or other, adopted, taken in, accepted. John and I become friends. And I fall in love with him, because there's just no way around that, but I know, I always know. But Aeryn is away, on a long mission, it's been a month or two, and he misses her, but he's spending time with me, we've become close, we're friends. And it's one of those times that the universe has kicked him a little too hard, and he's curled up on his bed, recovering — maybe he's bruised, or maybe it's all emotional — and I am sitting by his bed and my heart is full of wanting him not to hurt, of wanting to take it all away. And I take his hand and he leans into me, and I put an arm around him and it's just natural, it makes sense for me to crawl into the bed next to him to hold him better. And we lie like that for a little while.

And then he looks up at me, because he is lying with his head against my shoulder, and says, "It's funny for you to have your head above mine — it's like you're taller than me," and he slides up so his head is above mine, and he's looking into my eyes and then he's kissing me. I let it go on a minute, but then I stop him and say, "This couldn't last — you love her," and I don't have to say who I mean. He tells me, "I love her. But right now I need you." There is a long silence. And I say, "Say it again." He says it again, but the inflection is different this time, he says, "I need you," and this time I kiss him, and slide my hands around his shoulders. It can't last forever, but it can last a little while.

There was a long time, ended just last week, when Farscape was off the air, and in that sad and lonely and desperate time I am ashamed to say I had a brief dalliance with Noel. I was a visiting friend of Felicity's — well, it didn't take much construction, people are wandering into and out of their universe all the time. That's what college is all about. But I came to my senses pretty rapidly. Noel's too nice for me. He's too eager to please. He doesn't have any fire in him.

Though it's funny, it was when Willow started really standing up for herself, started showing her fire, that my desperate love for her started to bank a little. Oh, Willow. I had it bad. I never did make up any stories about her and me — it seemed sort of wrong, her being in high school and me being in my mid-twenties and all. But I did have a dream, an honest-to-goodness sleeping dream, about her, once. She came to me for comfort after someone had hurt her badly. We curled up together in my papasan chair and I held her spooned tight against my belly while she sobbed. The dream had a sweet taste that lingered for several minutes after I woke. I always wanted to be the one to help Willow realize her potential. But she realized it without me, and by the time she had also realized that she liked girls and I thought I had a chance after all, well, it had been too long, it was too late, these things are all about timing. Can we still be friends, Will?

My first fan crush must have been on Data, but then we all loved Data just like the generation before us all loved Spock: the lure of the unattainable. But oddly enough I ended up with an enduring thing for Riker. Riker! — the overconfident, annoying idiot who somehow won me over with his neverending good humor and straightforward sluttiness. I was an ambassador being transported on the Enterprise to a special assignment to bring peace to warring peoples, or factions, or something; I was half Betazed, so that I could be (as a telepath) an impressive ambassador, but I was also half Vulcan, so that I could have the ears. I did not, however, I am pleased to report, have either red hair or violet (or even green) eyes. My hair was brown and my eyes were grey, just like in the world I inhabit from day to day. (It has always bemused me that while my hair in this universe has not been its natural brown for six years, nevertheless it is always a dark mud color in fantasy universes, where rightly it would be much easier to modify.) Riker of course immediately tried to seduce me, but I was disinterested. So we became friends. But over the course of the Enterprise's trip — and subsequent stay in orbit around the planet where I had that nebulous job to do — he eventually fell in love. And one day he told me. And that was when I realized I loved him too. (I had to use the same strategy to get past the defences of Berg, of Two Guys and a Girl, who, like Riker, tended to womanize and not commit.)

Today I'm crushless. I cheer on the Jack Bristow angst on Alias, but I can't imagine actually trusting him enough to kiss him. I chew on my lip indecisively as Carter is an ass to Abbey: could he shape up and treat me decently? I can't seem to believe that he could. I watch Tru Davies run with enthusiasm but no real affection. I figure I'd sleep with Duncan MacLeod if he asked me to, but that just makes me human. I'm waiting for the next crush. It will come.