Disclaimer: The characters and situations of 'Farscape' depicted in this story are legal property of Rockne S. O'Bannon, Brian Henson, Jim Henson Corp., Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, The SciFi Channel, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Spoiler: Set after Won't Get Fooled Again, John takes time out from life aboard Moya and when Aeryn comes for an unexpected visit they realise they can be more ...


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Una Fritz

John felt at peace for once in a very long time, in fact ever since he had been stranded on this side of the galaxy. For monens he had not felt so calm, peaceful and all around sane, as for the five days he had stayed here on Shariinye. The planet reminded him of Earth, even the woods and lakes were very much like Earth's.

Ever since they had come across this peaceful planet, which was very much like a cross between Earth and Acquara, John Crichton, human, astronaut and fugitive, had found some peace of mind. For five days and nights he had not experienced any visions of Scorpius and the only things he had dreamed about were ... Ummm, better not go there, John thought. Re-living the explicit X-rated material featuring my favourite Ex Peacekeeper isn't getting me anywhere.

He recalled an incident on the first day of his stay here. Pan'tio, the clan-chief of the Shaa-rii, had welcomed him and without further ado presented one of his daughters as his procreational partner. As much sex-starved as this human might have been, John had declined, telling him he had a permanent mate back on Moya. When more females had offered their services during the last few days, he had exaggerated his tale, telling one and all about his wife, the radiant Aeryn Sun.

Crichton grinned and sat down on the beach. He recalled the events that had brought him here. John was grateful that Zhaan had intervened when he had told his crewmates that he was taking a trip down to the planet, alone in his module. D'Argo and Aeryn had been adamantly refusing it, but Zhaan had told them they were staying for at least a weeken to replenish their much needed supplies. Digging his bare toes into the soft sun-kissed sand, Crichton laid back and closed his eyes.

The woman stood in the shadows of the trees that bordered the small beach around the lake. She had been watching Crichton for quite some time now. Not sure what to do ... she had a squeasy feeling in her stomach, something John would refer to as rattlers. She shivered even though it was quite warm, almost too warm for her liking. Zhaan had been against her taking the prowler down to Shariinye but still she had to make sure John was all right. She wanted to confirm that John Crichton, human, partner, friend ... and perhaps more, was safe and not haunted by the vision of his nemesis, Scorpius.

She moved slightly when John walked out of her sight and she crept closer to his module. A twig snapped beneath her boot and she cursed under her breath. She had never intended to come this close, had told herself that she just wanted to take a short glimpse of him to make sure he was well, but now she felt drawn to him. She could not take her eyes off him.

Aeryn sighed softly, when she watched him lying down and then she slowly turned. He is well, she thought and for a moment a warm feeling of gratefulness and relief washed over her.

She slowly crept further away, circling him and was trying to make her way back to the prowler. She had almost reached it when she saw Zhaan standing beside it, with D'Argo, Chiana and Rygel close by.

"Aeryn, did you find John?" The Delvian asked with a smile, and Aeryn's face became the typical Peacekeeper mask again.

"So now we have all the pods down here?" she asked in a cold voice, ignoring Zhaan's question.

D'Argo stepped closer to her prowler. "No, I picked her up as the clan-chief of the Shaa-rii invited us all for a feast tonight." As an afterthought he added, "You are invited too, Aeryn."

Aeryn snorted and walked over to her prowler, brushing past D'Argo. She was about to climb into the cockpit when natives arrived on the clearing, amongst them John, deeply in conversation with someone who was obviously the clan chief.

"Oh frell," Aeryn murmured, and swung a leg into the pit, determined to return to Moya. At this moment John looked up and spotted her. Even over the distance of the whole clearing, their eyes locked.

It seemed to both of them that microts stretched into arns as they looked at each other. As if by their own accord they both started forward, Aeryn almost stumbling out of her prowler. D'Argo had the peace of mind to catch her when her foot slipped from the rung of the ladder and flashed Zhaan an amused smile when the Peacekeeper did not even notice the mishap.

Crichton let his eyes travel over her figure and the closer he got he took in more details. She looked tired and somewhat shocked and his heart missed a beat. When they reached each other, pausing and their bodies almost touching, he was almost tempted to reach out to touch her beloved face.

"Aeryn," John breathed and he thought he grinned like a loon. Aeryn looked into his face, saw the stupid grin and felt her own lips curve up.

"Crichton ..." she whispered and after she had cleared her throat, she added: "You look well."

"Crichton, why don't you introduce your mate," Pan'tio had approached them and was now gently smiling into Aeryn's face. She frowned - Mate? she asked herself coldly, her smile vanishing. Crichton, what have you been up to again?

John had noticed her faltering smile. Without thinking about the consequences, he crossed the small gap between their bodies and embraced Aeryn.

"Gawd, I missed you, Aeryn!" he stated loudly and whispered, "Play along, Aeryn. Please. You can kick my ass back on Moya, but whatever you do, appear as if you're happy to see me."

Aeryn slowly raised her arms and embraced John. "If this is another example of your human bizarreness, Crichton, I will wipe the floor of the maintenance bay with your eema," she whispered but even she noticed that her heart was not in these words. Her mind was spinning ever since she was aware of John's body. The heat emanating from his body could have brought on the Heat Delirium if her own body hadn't been basking in the warmth, shivering.

"I missed you too, John," she said more loudly, turning her head and searching his face. She raised her hand, slightly brushing over his brow and smiled. "You look very well, Crichton," she said and before she knew what happened, she leant over and kissed him.

John groaned when he felt her lips on his. Tightening his arms around her, he delved his tongue into the soft hollow of her mouth, losing himself in the kiss. Gawd, I've dreamt about this, he told himself and drew her even closer. Deeply inhaling her scent, feeling her soft skin beneath his fingertips, he didn't care if he was dead or alive or that Aeryn would make him pay for it later - he would die a happy man anyway.

Pan'tio and his court looked on embarrassed until one of the elders chuckled.

"We should give them a bit of privacy," someone said.

Zhaan and D'Argo had come over and the Luxan snorted. "Crichton!" he hollered, and when the bearer of the name did not respond he grabbed John's arms and pushed him and Aeryn apart. "Crichton! Aeryn!" he hollered again and shook John like an unruly pup.

Clearing the daze in his head, John stared at D'Argo, then at Aeryn and back at D'Argo.

"Oh come on, big guy, gimme a break," he started, then noticed that they had company. Grinning again he raised his arms in defeat. "I got it, D'Argo, let me go."

Embarrassed that they had made a spectacle out of themselves, Aeryn and Crichton drew apart, flanking both Zhaan and D'Argo. On their way to the village, Zhaan and Aeryn fell back a little and Zhaan watched the Peacekeeper with sideways glances. When Aeryn noticed it she stopped in midstride and turned towards the Delvian.

"What?" she asked in a growl and Zhaan declined her head.

"Obviously, you seem happy that John is well," Zhaan said and smiled. Aeryn creased her brows and shook her head.

"Glad that he seems fine and not disturbed by Scorpius, yes. As should you and the others..." Aeryn said, her face the familiar Peacekeeper mask again.

Zhaan shook her head at that and held up her hands when Aeryn wanted to follow the others.

"Aeryn, there is no shame if you show your true feelings...," Zhaan started but was interrupted by Aeryn.

"Zhaan, he told me to play along. I just did ... as would have you if he had asked you," Aeryn said and started to follow the others.

"But it was you he mentioned to the Shaa'rii, not me, Aeryn," Zhaan said slowly, and Aeryn thought she had heard a twinge of jealousy in the Delvian Pa'u's voice.

"I don't care, Zhaan. Perhaps he used me because I look similarly human, or perhaps he respects you for being a Priest. I don't know. I helped him, the villagers are happy and that is it!"

Zhaan watched Aeryn. The Peacekeeper had reasoned fine but there was this faint blush to her skin and the Delvian was sure Aeryn's lower lip would sport a nice looking lovebite the next day.

"Whatever you say, dear," Zhaan whispered and prepared herself for the snide remark. Aeryn watched Zhaan, then snorted and stopped dead in her tracks.

"Okay, Zhaan this has to stop. If you want Crichton, take him, he is none of my business. If you don't want him, that's fine as well. But whatever you do, I'm not the right person to divulge in," Aeryn growled and looked like she would choke Zhaan when the Delvian began to chuckle.

"Aeryn, John is a sweet man, but compared to me he is but a child. You and John are such a lovely couple and it would be a shame ..."

"With whom I procreate is none of your business, Delvian," Aeryn hissed, her face only inches away from the blue, serene face of the Pa'u. "Crichton is human, not Sebacean. Even if he was the only male on this side of the universe, procreation is out of the question. The Sebacean bloodlines have to be kept pure. It is what little I've left from my breeding and my old life."

Zhaan watched as the young woman walked off to the village then she sighed. It was no good trying to change the Peacekeeper's mind, she reminded herself. But she also knew that Aeryn was a very passionate woman, a female who harboured great emotions inside her, emotions that were suppressed by her Peacekeeper training.

For what seemed like arns the villagers had been celebrating and feasting and Aeryn felt the strain of the days without John taking its toll on her. Despite her Peacekeeper training she caught herself several times nodding off, and every time her head snapped back into an upright jolt she cursed herself and her weakness under her breath.

John had noticed Aeryn's drowsiness and when her chin slumped down on her chest for the fourth time in as many microts, he moved closer to her. Slowly, as if he wanted to test her, he put his arm around her and drew her closer. She did not as much as protest, but cuddled sleepily deeper into the embrace, and John had to smile.

Must be a good day, he thought as he pushed Aeryn's head down onto his shoulder. He was surprised that she even brought her arms around his waist but he did not mind - on the contrary, he hugged her closer and buried his face in her hair. Definitely a good day.

Fires had been lit when the sun went down and John moved farther away from the bonfire, cradling Aeryn in his arms. He had laughed at first when she had drowsily climbed into his lap, sighing contentedly after she had wriggled her behind long microts until she had been settled comfortably, by then leaving John groaning and in a very aroused state.

Crichton still tried to ignore the feeling of Aeryn in his arms, trying to suppress the feeling of arousal in his body, when D'Argo came over, squatting beside him.

"Crichton, his royal Lowness doesn't feel too well, the little guzzlegut has stuffed himself, so Zhaan takes him back to Moya," the Luxan said and watched the sleeping Sebacean in John's arm. "I thought about taking back the Prowler, together with Chiana. You two can get the supplies ready tomorrow before I'll return with the pod again."

"Yeah, big guy. Take the Prowler, I don't think Aeryn is in any fit state to go flying anywhere tonight," John replied.

"It's scary," D'Argo commented all of a sudden and John watched his ally in surprise.

"What is?" he asked.

"During the last five solar days Zhaan had to prepare any imaginable sleeping potion for Aeryn which didn't help at all and once she's with you - snap - she is sleeping peacefully ..." the Luxan let his voice trail away.

"Women, huh?" Crichton said and the two males exchanged a crooked grin. The human watched as D'Argo bid his final good bye and when he had retreated into the darkness beyond the light of the bonfire, then John stretched slightly.

Aeryn stirred and after a few microts opened her eyes. Drowsily, she rose her head and looked around, almost knocking her head into John's jaw.

"Hey, careful, Sundance," he whispered and hugged her closer. Aeryn let out a sigh and for a moment revelled in the warmth of his embrace, then she straightened herself. John suppressed a groan when she brushed against her arousal, silently praying she wouldn't notice.

Aeryn turned to face him, still too sleepy to comprehend her surroundings fully. "Can we go now?" she inquired, stifling a yawn.

"Ah, Aeryn, D'Argo took the prowler we have to stay here, it is too dark to get the minnow ready," John's voice trailed away and prepared for the inevitable rant. From guarded eyes he watched her but she just sat quietly in his lap, studying her hands in the half light of the bonfire.

"I'm really tired, Crichton ..." she said and slowly rose her head to watch him. "Why did D'Argo take my prowler?" she asked suddenly, more awake than before.

John sighed. Here we go, he told himself. Exit Miss sweet, sexy wriggly Aeryn, Enter bad ass Peacekeeper Sun. "Rygel overstuffed himself and got sick. D'Argo wanted to return with the pod in the morning ..."

To that, Aeryn simply nodded and cuddled back into his arms. John sat there dumfounded. This was it? he asked himself. No ranting?

"Hey, let's get you fixed up for the night, okay?" he nudged her awake again and groaned when she crouched to her feet and the circulation rushed into his legs again. Aeryn watched him, her face obscured by the dark mass of her hair. She felt so incredibly happy and tired at the same time.

How come I can let myself go so completely in his arms that I fall asleep? she asked herself as she watched him rise to his feet. I couldn't even sleep more than a microt the last five solar days, and now I just need to touch him and all I do is just cuddle up into his warmth and sleep. She was brought out of her reverie, when John bent down and helped her up.

"Come on, Aeryn, time for the bed bugs," he grinned when she gave him one of her more human nonsense looks. God, I love these looks! he told himself silently and stirred her into the general direction of his module.

Night had not advanced far, when John sat up on his makeshift pallet and eased out of Aeryn's arms. He had tried to sleep but Aeryn's close proximity had definitely the contrary effect on him. Longingly, he looked down into her face, but cursed beneath his breath when he felt the first stirrings in his groin. Standing up, he strolled down to the beach and without a second thought stripped bare and plunged himself into the cold lake.

"Hoo-Yah!" he exclaimed when the cold water hit him and put a definite lid on his boiling emotions. For several microts he just lay on his back, letting himself float when he heard his name called from the beach. With a sigh he stood in the water and waved at Aeryn. He watched her as she waved back and made his way towards the beach again. When the water got more shallow he was becoming very well aware of the fact that he had discarded all his clothes for his skinny dipping.

"I thought you were fast asleep," John commented and tried to look casual, crossing his arms across his naked chest, while the lower half of his body stood in the waist deep freezing water.

"I woke because someone yelled," Aeryn said non-commitently. I woke because I missed your warmth, she added silently and lowered her eyes to his clothes lying on the sand. With the tip of her boot, she moved the garments as if they were some sort of critter. "Don't you think it is a bit late for a bath?" she asked non-commitently.

John groaned. "Well nothing better than taking a midnight swim ..." he trailed off when he watched her sitting down on the warm sand. "Aeryn, why don't you go back to the minnow, I'll come in a microt."

Aeryn watched him, then her gaze was riveted back to the pile of clothes lying beside her. One pair of Calvins prominently sticking out. She smiled.

"Is nudity a taboo in your society, Crichton?" she asked and John was sure there was mirth in her voice.

"Yes, I mean, no ... it depends... when all people are naked it isn't ..." he challenged her then sighed. "Okay Aeryn you win, just hand me the clothes. I'd rather freeze to death in wet bottoms than freezing my bottom off in here!" he waited for a witty response but all he could see in the dim starlight were Aeryn's lips that curved into a brilliant smile. There was no telling anymore that she had been dead tired only a few arns ago.

"So you wouldn't be embarrassed if I undressed?" she asked and John could make out her raised eyebrow. Crichton groaned. This is not happening, he told himself. John, you are dreaming and you'll wake up! But he didn't, in fact the scene in front of him ensured he was wide awake.

Aeryn had felt sweaty from the humid day on planet and watching Crichton taking a swim in the lake seemed to be a welcome change. She had only basic knowledge of swimming, but she knew that she was safe as long as she stayed in the shallow water. Slowly, she unclasped her boots, struggling with them a bit until they plopped down on the sand. She then rose to her feet and zipped open her vest, revealing the grey tank top underneath. The Sebacean looked up when she heard water splashing and she just saw John retreating deeper into the lake, with his back to her.

There was definitely a taboo on his planet, she thought and shook her head. Aeryn had been accustomed to co-ed showers and sleeping quarters all her life so she didn't find it strange to strip. Though she had to admit, stripping in front of Crichton made her skin tingling all over and it didn't feel like the necessary task she had performed almost daily in the last twenty or so cycles.

Gingerly, Aeryn stepped out of her PK underwear and into the water, relishing the cold. She walked deeper into the lake till the water reached her collarbone. She watched Crichton as he expertly cut through the waves in strong tractions, heading her way. When he stopped only a few inches in front of her, she smiled.

"You are good at whatever you did just now," she commented and John looked at her as if he had not heard her right.

"That's called swimming - doing the crawl ... you don't know how to swim?"

"Well, yes, I mean no ... I know how to keep my head above the water, but what you did ..." she gestured vaguely. "Peacekeeper are not required to know how to swim."

John cocked his head, then laughed. "How about I teach you how to swim tomorrow? After we'll have packed the pod with supplies I'll teach you rudimentary swimming, okay?"

"Fine," Aeryn agreed and wanted to turn when she noticed that she was in the same predicament as John earlier. Where he had felt embarrassed being naked in front of her dressed self, she found it now difficult to get out of the water with him so close by, with nothing but his warm, wonderful skin on him. She hesitated, looking back over her shoulder and then towards the beach again.

"Aeryn," she heard a definite chuckle in John's voice. "Is there a taboo concerning nudity in Sebacean society?" He had to throw it back at me, sure he had to! Aeryn thought and her anger flared up. She whirled around and before John knew what she was doing she was splashing him with water.

John laughed when Aeryn jumped him, trying to dunk his head under the water. The couple wrestled for a few microts until John evened the odds against him and caught her arms between his chest and Aeryn's body.

"Will you behave now?" he growled but the smile in his voice was evident, even with the near darkness surrounding them.

Aeryn struggled again, trying to get her arms free but when she couldn't, she took another turn. In a lithe movement she jumped up, circling her legs around John's waist. She wriggled against him, trying to use his body as leverage to free her, until a sensation rippled through her body, drowning out the happy mood and replacing it with something else - desire and need.

"Aeryn, stop it!" she heard John groan and she kept still. She closed her eyes and exhaled softly, concentrating on the emotions racing through her body. She could feel the intimate touch of John's manhood against her feminity.

By the love of Kilchak, Aeryn thought and fought the urge to move. But her body betrayed her thoughts and Aeryn's hip brushed against the evident arousal. He wants me - even after so many monens, she thought and a smile broadened on her lips. When the realisation came that she would not mind, she moved her hips tentatively again, rotating softly.

"Aeryn, don't ..." John breathed and leant forward, resting his brow against her forehead. He swore beneath his breath when he felt Aeryn moving against him again, gyrating her hips.

The Peacekeeper side in her growled in frustration, tried to keep her hips from moving, but the softer, the female side of her wanted to feel him. Slowly she moved again, feeling his length more fully now and she frowned.

"You are big," she whispered near his ear and John shuddered at the throaty breathiness of her voice.

"Just mediocre size, honey," he breathed, trying to focus on her words rather than the feelings her actions evoked in him. "You didn't comment on it the last time ..." his voice trailed away, images of their last time they had been intimately together pushing to the surface of his consciousness. Only once so far.

"Not for a Sebacean male," Aeryn replied and at last she could free her hands. "Last time I didn't ... I ...we ...", her voice trailed away and softly, she encircled her arms around his neck and pulled herself up. Slowly, John let go of her as she eased herself down to her feet, regretting the fact that he had tried to keep her from moving. When Aeryn turned away from him, he let out a soft sigh.

Aeryn Sun made a decision there and then. I want him and he wants me, she thought and turning around she held out her hand as silent invitation. John stared at her. He had never thought she would actually do this kind of thing, not after she had so adamantly refused to even talk about their last time together, back at the safe house in that simulation.

Afterwards, John never knew how they had gotten out of the water and underneath the wing of Farscape One and the makeshift pallet. All he could feel and see and touch and smell and taste was Aeryn. Truly, simply, whole - in one word Aeryn.

She had led the way, her superior eye sight leading both of them securely to the module. Upon reaching the shelter, she turned. John grew all of a sudden shy, he yearned for her, yearned for her touch but he hesitated.

"Aeryn, are you su..." he stopped when she claimed his lips, diving her tongue deeply into the warm hollow of his mouth. Everything broke then for John. It had been too long, too long since he had made love to her way back on the false Earth. Where they had been gentle with each other then, they now turned onto each other with fierce determination.

Aeryn groaned when John almost brutally shoved her down on his sleeping pallet, but she welcomed the rough handling by the human. She wanted it - she wanted this - she wanted ... John. She let go of all pretence to be shy or coy, all she wanted was to feel him inside of her again, like the one night on the false Earth.

Drawing him frantically down onto her, she wrapped her arms and legs around him. With kisses and licks she urged him on, drawing him closer, guiding him into her but when she could feel him touching her feminity, John stopped. Aeryn growled in frustration and looked up and saw the hesitation, the fear and confusion in his eyes.

John had never been too keen on casual sex, in fact every time he had bed a woman he had taken his heart right with him, facing the consequences of rejection and pain later. This time he wanted it to be different. He needed Aeryn in a way that surpassed the physical. She was his guiding light, the one thing that kept him sane and the memory of her and their night on the false Earth had kept him from giving in to Scorpius' demands. He needed her as much as air to breathe and food to nourish him, and he wanted more than a quick tumble beneath the wings of Farscape One. He wanted her whole, not only her body, but her heart and her soul.

I want you all or not all at, Aeryn Sun, the thought flashed through John's mind and he groaned. At one time he would have been happy to take what she was able to offer, but not anymore. He wanted all, or none of it. I want to make love to you, show you how much I love you, John thought and closed his eyes. Words I can never tell you.

Aeryn felt him withdrawing and she moaned. Why, John? she asked herself silently as she watched him roll off her in the dim light. Her whole body ached when he removed his weight off her and the whimper that escaped her lips sounded strange in her ears, there was so much raw emotion in it.

Breathless, they laid on the makeshift pallet side by side, their bodies merely touching. Aeryn felt a great lump rising in her throat and before she could mask her emotions, she silently started to cry. She felt so alone, so deserted, unwanted - something she had not even felt when she had been on the false Earth or when the others had found out about her part in killing Moya's original pilot. Curling up into a tight ball, she turned away from John's still figure and she tried her best to hide her choking sobs.

John listened to her silent crying, he knew that she was weeping because over the last two cycles he had grown accustomed to her breathing. Propping himself up on his elbow he looked down on her still form. He felt her pain like his own but he could not bring himself to procreate with her without a deeper meaning - it might not mean as much to Aeryn, but to him it meant everything.

Slowly, he touched the soft skin on her back, massaging the tensed muscles, drawing as much comfort from the gesture as he gave in return. He could feel Aeryn tensing underneath his hand, then the shuddering of her shoulders, as the sobs wrecked her body more profusely.

"John ..." she choked and before her hurt pride could stop her she had turned around, seeking comfort in John's arms.

"I'm sorry, Sunshine," John whispered into her hair and, hugging her tighter to himself, he draped a blanket around them. He held her like that, two star-crossed lovers, both yearning each other's touch but both unsure of how they felt or what to do. John closed his eyes and hugged her closer while she wept. He had seen her weeping before but this time it was a silent crying, coming deeply from within, more painful than anything.

The Sebacean's sobs died down after a while and Aeryn felt spend and worn out. She noticed John's arms around her, could feel his feathery touches on her shoulders, as he caressed her and yet she could not will herself to face her lover.
Lover? she asked herself. Where did this come from? Velorek and I were lovers, at least we had spend 22 solar days and sleep cycles together. Crichton ... John, is not my lover, is he? We've only been together once...

Sitting up and hugging her knees to herself, Aeryn closed her eyes. Did Velorek and I make love? she asked and flashes of their encounters appeared in her mind. No, it was gentle at times but there was no love, not like with John ... With Velorek it had been procreation, first assigned then voluntary but never had he touched me as deeply as John had. I had not forgotten my oath as a Peacekeeper over Velorek, I had turned him in as it had been my duty. With John it was different. Most times he was annoying, testing what little patience I have but even if I'm mad at him, close to throttling him, he is constantly on my mind - accompanying me wherever I go. Strange how this alien can affect me - You can be more - yes, I've learned over the past two cycles that there was more to me than my former Peacekeeper agenda. I've learned to be a tech - by force not by choice, she added silently. But after a while I felt keen on learning new things, keen on learning them from the human. Carefully, she looked back over her shoulder, watching the subject of her thoughts under guarded lids. John had sat up as well, his hand still resting on the small of her back, slowly rubbing the tensed muscles while she had been deeply engrossed in her thoughts.

Aeryn could not imagine living a day without his presence. The last five solar days had been stressful. Not so much due to the transportation of their supplies but the lull in between had gotten on her nerves. Normally, there was always John's incessant chatter about, his indiscernible human sayings or his calming presence when they shared a mutual silence on the terrace, but in the last five days she had missed all that and more. She had missed him, had missed his breathing when he held her, his smell that was uniquely John, she had missed his soul, simple as that.

"I missed you," she whispered and watched as John rose his head to meet her gaze. Two pair of blue eyes watched intently, a silent battle ensuing on who would look away first, both intent on not giving in. Aeryn shifted her sitting position slightly, still unaware of her undressed state, and rose her hand to softly cup his face. "I .. don't know what you want from me, Crichton, but I missed you - I don't feel like myself when you are not there ... When you smile at me it is as if my whole world opens up. Nothing really matters, I forget that I'm a Peacekeeper," she stopped and added as an after thought. "Ex Peacekeeper. It is dangerous. I cannot fully function if my mind is preoccupied with ... with these feelings. They confuse me and I'm not sure what I feel anymore. In former times everything was clear cut, there was black and white, they gave me orders and I followed them, no questions asked, no feelings of doubt. But now ... now I'm full of doubts and it makes me ..." Her voice trailed away and she ducked her head to hide her embarrassment.

John stared at her in disbelief. Could that be it? he asked himself in shock. Could she ... at least a little bit? He moved closer, bridging the distance between them till she sat between his legs.

"Aeryn, what do you feel?" he asked hoarsely and watched as she closed her eyes, knitting her brows together.

"I ... I don't know ... you once asked me if I loved this man ... Velorek. We were lovers for lack of a better word but I did not feel for him anything remotely similar to ... I did not feel the things I feel for ... you ..." she drew in a shuddering breath, her voice still hoarse from the spent tears earlier, but she continued, "Love ... Emotions have no place in Peacekeeper society, we are conditioned not to feel anything. We are physically and mentally ....," she paused and swallowed. "... altered not to feel anything, nothing should impair with a mission at hand. I didn't know what it feels like to love or to be loved ... and I don't know if it was love between me and Velorek ... not until ... not until I had these confusing emotions about you ... you are the only referential point I have, John, and it scares me. It scares me to give in and then lose you. I don't want that to happen ..." She fell silent, spent from her confession, and John watched her in awe.

She had not said the words, he wanted so desperately to hear, but that was inconsequential. She had at last confessed that she was feeling something for him, and John was pretty sure it was love. He smiled. Aeryn loves me, he thought and the revelation of these three little words let his own heart roar high.

Slowly, as not to scare her, he hugged her. "I know," he whispered into her ear, feeling her shudder. "I don't want to lose you as well, Aeryn. You know how I feel about you ... or better I think you guess how I feel about you but this is nothing to be scared of. It makes you stronger, makes us stronger. We are living in one hell of a crazy universe and ... and if we don't take chances like this, we'll always be on the run ... from Crais, from Scorpius and from ourselves ..." He softly let out his breath and put a soft kiss on her temple. "Maybe this will work, maybe we'll be at each other's throats in no time, but we can but try ..."

John watched Aeryn in the dim star light and when she nodded, he felt as if a weight was lifted off his chest.

"Yes," Aeryn whispered and looked up at him. They gazed at each other for a long time, taking in every curve of each other's faces, making sure not to miss one single detail. Slowly, they moved in unison, overcome with their emotions.

Soon, looking was not an option anymore and both wanted to place their hands where their eyes had roamed freely before. They moved in perfect unison, turning on each other with love and gentle admiration, nothing like the frantic tumble that had brought them here, underneath the wings of Farscape One.

Time stopped for the both of them. Loosing themselves in their kisses, they slowly, deliberately explored each other's bodies, kissing, tasting and revelling in the sensations that coursed through their bodies, touching their souls, leaving them devastated, broken, only to be reborn again, whole.

John felt Aeryn shivering underneath his touch and he knew she was ready. Recalling their one night on the false Earth he knew how to give her pleasure, knew what she liked but this time he wanted to start anew. This was more important, what they were doing was more than just making love, it was opening up all new possibilities. Their night back on the false Earth had grown out of desperation, both sure they were going to die the next day, this time it seemed that their whole future was lying before them, waiting to be grasped by them both.

Slowly, he eased himself on top of her, ignoring his own burning desire to bury himself deeply into her warm, soft depth. He propped himself up on his elbows, gazing down on her face. Even in the dim starlight he could still see how flushed she looked, her eyes were glowing with a deep fire and her lips were swollen with their shared kisses. He bent down his head and ravished those very lips, his kiss almost a violation if she had not so eagerly participated.

They both gasped for air, when the kiss ended and John sensed more than heard the whimper and the restless movement underneath him. He slowly, deliberately, eased himself between her athletic legs, savouring the feel of them around his hips as she drew him closer towards her, into her.

I'm home, the thought flashed briefly through his mind as he entered her with ease. After that all broke and they succumbed to each other's desires. Both knew that this was only a respite from their fugitives' life, but they did not care. All they could care for right now, were those feelings for each other, and perhaps through them they could fight all odds fate and the universe put up against them ... they could but try.

The End