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The Talyn Suite, II: The Space Between
by Robyn Bender, E-mail: robynbender@yahoo.com

About The Talyn Suite, II: The Space Between

Category: Romance / Drama (J/A)

Disclaimers & Notices: Farscape is the intellectual property of the Jim Henson Company, Nine Network Australia, and Hallmark Entertainment, but, "Art, like sex, is too important to leave to the professionals." (Robert Shaw). This original work of fan fiction is protected in the USA by the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976 because I do not intend to sell it at any price. All rights reserved.

Spoilers: Set immediately after the episode "Green-Eyed Monster" and "Talyn Suite 1: Where You Should Be" [hyperlink it] (and this works better if you've read that one first).

In which... nothing goes quite as John expects, because, after all, this is Farscape, dammit.

Rating: NC-17 for explicit sex.


When John opened his eyes he saw her lying there, watching him quietly. What an upgrade from yesterday, day before, day before that. "Hey," he said softly. Hey, you, it's the morning. Hell of a beautiful morning.

"Hey," she said.

Just the sound of her voice made him smile. Unbelievable. Here. "You sure look good. You made it all night!"

She shrugged it off. "How did you sleep?"

"Really well. You may have magical powers." He snuggled closer, pulling her into his arms, still a little bit clumsy from sleep. Felt warm and drowsy and right where he wanted to be. Her hip was pressed against his shorts, so his cock pushed hard against her. Hard, for sure. "You seem recovered," she said, and nudged him right back. The contact made him catch his breath, and she laughed. He muffled her laughter with his mouth, and she kissed back aggressively, grinding against him. Wow. He was instantly charged, fully loaded, all systems GO.

"Oh, baby," he gasped, clutching her blindly, and now their kiss was rough, open-mouthed and deep. His body demanded her, needed her bad. He was out on the ragged edge already, cock as hard as he'd ever been. Take it easy, Flash. He hadn't planned to just wake up and jump her, go off like that. Uh, why the hell not? his body asked. But... no. Had to do it justice. He tried to ease back.

"Aeryn," he said, and pulled back to look at her, tracing the line of her jaw with his thumb. God, look at you. Her eyes were luminous. He remembered how she had sounded last night, how she'd come to him, and that thought made it harder to breathe, made him kiss her again. His hand found its way up under her shirt, around her side, back around to her breast, skimming her nipple. It was hard and distinct, jutting out from her breast, her skin pulling taut, her aureole pebbled. She was straining toward him, squirming, wrapping herself around his thigh. Nothing gentle about those moves -- insistent, demanding. Almost lost it right there, overwhelmed by that pressure, her presence, her body. Christmas morning. All his good intentions falling away, barely able to keep his head, so amazed that he didn't know what to do first. Not how he wanted to be, right now, but hot damn... "You'll make me forget my manners," he gasped. "We need --"

Her comm went off. Damn. Damn. Crais' voice came through, sounding worn and weary. "Officer Sun."

She instantly rolled to the edge of the bunk and reached down to the floor. John stifled a groan and flopped to his back. Shit. Go away. Nobody's home. She grabbed the comm and sat up, shoving back her hair where it had been coming loose. "Is there a problem?" she asked.

"We are still running checks. But--"

John reached out, running his palm down her back, feeling the bumps of her spine through her shirt. He crooked his hand just above her waist, gripping her lightly. She barely acknowledged his touch. Baby, come back. Just wanted to slow down a little. Don't stop.

"I am still fatigued," came Crais' voice. "I find I am not alert. Could you stay with Talyn?"

"I have it, Crais. On my way." She was already dressing efficiently, pulling her pants on as she spoke.

He caught her shoulder. "I wish you could stay," he said urgently, softly.

She paused in lacing her boots, and he couldn't read her expression. "There's a door on my quarters." Very off-hand. "We could sleep there. After."

After what? His brain whipped around. She was bailing on him -- but now she was asking him over? "What?" he asked.

"Come to my quarters, after our shifts." She spoke slowly, clearly, making sure that he got it.

"Uh, sure," he said awkwardly. "Sure. I could do that." As his brain caught up, he broke into a grin. "You bet. Tonight? I'm there." Oh, yeah. Screw Crais. Life is good.

Was she amused? "You have work to do?"

"Yeah, Talyn has to have taken some wear. I'll probably be pulling wires all day. Just comm if you need me."

"I will." Still not quite smiling, she turned and strode down the passage.

"Uh, right." He climbed out of bed, still not at his best. What the hell just happened? He shook his head, trying to get less stupid. Yeah, might not be such a bad idea to wait a few hours. He looked down at his hard-on, bemused. Time for one of those showers. Talyn's special, just for the human, cold as a witch's tit. That should cool his jets.

But when he turned on the spray the water was steaming. Too many shocks before breakfast. Talyn, you little tin-plated prick. Are you backing off? Am I back on the team? Man, I woke up in a whole new world. Walking around here, planning what could be some actual sex. Premeditation. Mutual intent. A date.

He had a date. And death wasn't even part of the deal. Didn't expect to be locked up, strapped down, brain-frelled, or statue-ized. Not today, not tomorrow. Be a big honking first, this side of the wormhole. Just do what we're wanting to do, and enjoy it. Those few times, since he left earth -- they'd all been so driven, so jacked on adrenaline. It'd been years since he'd had sex sober.

And before that, back home -- Never been with a woman who'd saved my life. Let alone with one who could kill him bare-handed. Had there ever been someone he wanted this bad? Aeryn Sun. Be a helluva thing, to make love with a woman like that.

Just hope nothing kills me before tonight.

==========================

By the end of the day, his neck was stiff. He'd been bending and reaching, checking connections, cutting, splicing. One conduit after another, working his way from room to room, hour after hour. Talyn had taken some wear, all right. The kid was at such an awkward age, the wiring couldn't keep up with his growth. Junior High was hell for us all. Too prone to overload, any old thing could fry you. Well, he wasn't going to finish today. Keep the DRD's on it, come back in the morning, go after it then. He had things to do.

He went back to his bunk and dug through his duffel, then stripped and pulled on his shorts. Time to run. Past time. He jogged to a utility tier, warming up. Then he ran around and around through Talyn's curves, enjoying the steady pace, the exertion. He could feel the weight of his cock, hanging heavy, pressing between his shorts and his thigh. Ready and waiting, and full of bad thoughts. Just like high school, walking around with a woody all day. Ready for takeoff. God, it felt good to have plans.

And good to have time. Time to get used to this. Time to get his head around stuff. You got the girl. Must be the frelling hero, man, you got the girl. He was breathing in rhythm, swinging his arms. Finding the groove. Come a long way from yesterday. Potentially naked woman, here. Meeting him. Soon, very soon. His cock twitched, thinking it. Be feeling her under him, nothing between them -- God, her body, her naked skin, him plunging into her body. He would be buried, abandoned, carried away.

He was picking up speed. He had things to burn. Nervous energy. Shit from yesterday. Good to be breathing. His body had always been good to him. Felt great to be moving, steady, pumping it, motion felt good. He loved to move. Couldn't move in the Chair. Strapped tight, locked down. More kinds of pain than you'd ever have words for. Red pain, white pain. Nasty bright green pain, retching after you'd puked out your guts. Couldn't stop. Couldn't stop it. Blood in your airway, bile in your throat. Awful noises, screams in your ears, scream like a baby. Helpless, pathetic. Pissing yourself, body leaking in every direction, snot and tears all over your face. Stink of the filthy floor of that cell, mouth gaping open, too tired to close it. Just wanted it over. Head in Stark's lap, that golden light, so cool, so quiet. That ocean of light. That ocean of pain, those endless waves. Burning, grinding, slashing at you. Things past words. Things past screaming. Ocean of darkness crushing your body, crushing your --

HEY! Get a grip, get a grip.

He'd been running like Scorpius was right on his back, fleeing, desperate. Easy, easy. Heart's too fast. Get back in the zone. That was then, this is now. Now is good. Gotta breathe. Take your time. Nothing bad, nothing ugly here. Good things going to happen. Soon. Good things. Easy. Pace it. Easy. Good to just move. You got the girl, man. The one who blew into that cell and hauled your ass out. Man, she kept doing that. Did it yesterday. Sure turned Talyn around, or Crais, God only knows what happened there. Got you back on the boat before it all blew, that's what matters. And then she slept over, and that sure wasn't a Peacekeeper thing. Might have freaked her, a little. You gotta remember, she's working off different rules. This woman's from way the hell out there.

Hey, there had to be something he brought to the party, the way she kept coming to save him. Just let things unfold. Tonight he could bring his best game. Stay light on his feet, try to roll with the punches. Stick with those frelling miracles, son.

He was pouring sweat. This had emptied him out. He was steady again. He felt loose and light. Enough for one day. Where the hell was he? He slowed to a jog, looking for landmarks. Time to hit the showers. Got somewhere to be. Somebody to be with. Got a date tonight.

==========================

Walking up, he saw that the door to her quarters stood open. A door they could shut. A bed to stretch out on. One luxury after another, compared to his bunk in the passage. He paused in the doorway, and caught sight of Aeryn sitting on the bed in her underwear. She was doing something to her gun. He was caught by surprise, almost like he hadn't expected to see her, maybe expected a challenge -- he didn't know what he'd expected. It seemed odd, somehow -- he wasn't used to seeing her just... waiting. He was overwhelmed at the simple sight of her sitting there, only herself, no show, no production. Waiting for him. God, waiting for him.

"Your offer still stand?" he asked.

"Yes--what kept you?" Her voice was deadpan, but her eyes lit with anticipation as she laid the gun aside.

"Just honest work. Your day go all right?" He felt his mouth quirk up in an answering smile.

She was moving toward him. "Talyn seems less upset." It was pure pleasure to look at her, the soft curve of her neck rising out of her sleeveless shirt, her hair pulled back and tied loosely.

"Yeah, seemed like," he said.

"Your repairs must have helped." She smiled -- was she flirting with him? Wow.

"Can't take much credit for that," he said, distracted. "But it's nice he's in a good mood for a change." Went all day without trying to kill me. Aeryn stepped closer, her lips parted in a way that made him want to lick them. He felt the tension between them flare -- her eyes held amusement, and challenge, and something else -- Is she nervous? Was he? Sure, but they knew this dance, at least. You've had years to get ready. You know what to do.

He reached out to her and ran his palms down her side to her waist, letting them rest low on her back as he pulled her hips against his. She tipped back her head to look up at his face. She's shorter than me, was all he could think, and that seemed like a funny thing. And then her body was molding against him and they were kissing, a rhythm escalating between them, no more words needed, no barriers left.

Clothes were coming off fast, dropped on the floor as they fell onto the bed together, still kissing. His skin felt electric, swept with sensation, even where he wasn't naked yet. No body had ever pulled him like hers. Just touching her made him feel high. She took off her shirt, and that stopped him cold--he had to look at her, take it all in. Such a powerful blend of muscles and curves. Her skin was so pale, translucent, unmarked by the sun. Her nipples were barely colored, the softest pink. He had to drop everything, kiss them that second, taste that paleness. He was trying to look and kiss all at once. His senses were flooded, and he wanted more. He flung himself back, grinning, delighted, grasping her hand and swinging it over his head. Let's run down the checklist and floor this sucker. Drive off the cliff.

"Oh, babe." He was breathing hard. He kissed her hand, squeezed it. "Just fill me in -- birth control -- how do we do that?"

"What?" She was busy taking off her underwear, which didn't exactly help him focus. He sat up, trying to jump-start his brain.

"Um, what do we do to not... procreate?"

"We're not procreating. We're just having sex."

"So, uh, we're covered? You've got some kind of... protection?" She looked at him oddly. Need a frelling thesaurus here. "Prevention? Precaution? What do you use?"

She seemed surprised by the question. "Me?"

"Or... does the guy take care of it?" Uh, not much in my emergency kit...

"No, the medtechs." Now she looked confused.

"You don't know what it is?" Holy shit. She's never needed to know the details. "Uh, what did they teach you in Health class?"

"Arteries, hemorrhage. Burns. Heat dementia. Battlefield dressings. Kill shots --"

Of course they did. That's the stuff a soldier needs. Command oversees the rest. "Okay. So the techs took care of... whatever. But you've been gone for a while. What if your... protection's worn off?"

She was getting impatient. "Why would it wear off? I've been on detached assignments before. Long ones. More than a cycle."

"But you don't know how long the treatments last -- hell, you don't even know how they work..."

Her brow furrowed, but she tried again. "John, it must work. I've never conceived." He knew that deliberately reasonable tone; she'd allow for his ignorance, cut him some slack. Before he realized what she was doing, she'd taken his hand and put it between her legs, and was looking at him. "We can talk later."

He froze. "God, you're --" so wet, so -- Think! Gotta think. He pulled his hand back. "Babe, if I did that -- Be the worst kind of jerk. Low-down. Trashy. Somebody should smite my sorry ass."

"What are you talking about?"

"Aeryn--" Look, just spell it out. "If we don't deal with this, we could make a child. That's a very big thing. There's nothing more serious, nothing, not ever. I just can't risk that."

Her expression was priceless. Except that it scared him so bad. "Are you telling me that you don't want sex?"

"No. That's not what I'm saying. I want you. So much. It's just -- " A kid -- his kid and her kid -- too much to think about. Powerful shit. Baby, I'd run to the drugstore, right now. Barefoot and naked. If they had one around here, open all night.

She was watching him, waiting, still gripping his hand. Must not be sounds coming out of my mouth. "Uh, Aeryn, it's just --" Hell, yes, I want sex. Forwards, backwards, up and down, sideways. "There's just this one... act we've been calling 'sex.'" Make sense, make sense. He took a breath and plunged onward. "Frelling -- you know, the old in-and-out --" She must think I sound like a total spaz. "That's what we can't do. Just that one thing."

He was watching her eyes, trying to read her. She still didn't look thrilled. But she hadn't kicked his ass out of bed. "Look, I've got two hands, and a mouth, and a brain full of bad thoughts -- I think I can make this worth your while. What I want..." God, what he wanted. He wanted to kiss her breasts, this minute. He wanted to see her coming, right now. He wanted a smile, so bad. He'd take a smile.

Something was making it through, because after a moment she leaned in to kiss him. She'd give him a chance. "The minute we lose this Retrieval Squad, we'll find out where we stand. Before we run out of stuff to do. A long time before. I swear." He pulled her close again, lacing his fingers through her hair, cradling her skull, kissing her, kissing. This can still work. He was so glad to be here. Just make her glad, too.

She never said 'yes,' but pretty soon there were no clothes left. They were kissing, touching, all kinds of touching, he was almost back to where they'd left off. He was back in the game, and her breasts were still frelling amazing. He'd been touching around her clit, her lips. Now he eased a finger into her pussy, testing, exploring. So easy to do, she was wet and swollen, oh, she'd been building up steam. What a luscious place. He slipped back out and went for her clit. She moaned, "Don't stop -- my cunt --'

It actually shocked him, hearing that in bed, from her. Hey, who knows what she really said? He was flustered, kissing her belly to hide his reaction. She's a soldier, stupid. What kind of words you expect her to use? Here's John Crichton, Junior, playing the part of the bruised magnolia, sleeping with soldiers, easily shocked. He shook his head and kept touching, stroking, plunging back into her. Don't worry, baby, we won't be leaving anything out. A little gasp, she swallowed it back. Okay, that's good, keep that up. That spot right there, put that on the maps.

"I love you so much," he murmured, lips on her face. Her eyes were closed, a small frown beginning, oh, her intensity, that concentration, that look on her face. An answering thrust from her hips. That's right. Let me take you there. Focused and forceful, nothing too fancy. He pressed his other hand over her mound, made circles over the flesh around her clit. Ratchet things up, stroke there, roll his fingers here. All the while he kept thrusting his hand, keeping that bass line going. Now her body was arching to meet him. There it is, baby. He flung his leg over hers, pressing against her, felt her thighs tensing. He kept at it, steady, faster, looked for her rhythm. She tensed all over, her jaw getting tight, her lips pressed together. Her eyes squeezed tighter, her pelvis bucked. A few contractions -- quick and decisive -- short, sharp shocks. She flung her head back and exhaled with a huff.

Yes. Oh, yes. He kissed her exuberantly, dropped down beside her, kissing her throat, her neck, the curve of her breast. So relieved, he felt like laughing. "I've thought about that for so long."

"What?" she asked.

He kissed her again. "Watching you coming. Seeing your face."

She flushed bright red. "You thought about watching my face?" Startled. Appalled.

"Uh, I'm a guy," he said. "Guys like looking. Is that... different?"

"That's very... personal. Wanting to watch a moment of weakness. Why would that --"

"I didn't mean --" Shit. Trust you to gross a Peacekeeper out.

She lay there, silent, looking away. He was trying to think of something to say, when her voice came again. "We knew we'd be different." She said it so flatly, it made him flinch.

"You're right. But --" Try not to let me run you off? "Would you please keep telling me? If -- When I bother you? Help me learn."

She looked at the ceiling and sighed. "What do you want from me, John?"

"I don't know, but it's not -- You're not --" Just try not to sound like a dick, okay? "Look, I've recreated, myself, before. But here, with you, I'm --" Words jammed in his throat. Out of your depth, man. Severely, profoundly, without any hope of parole. He stumbled on. "I'm -- With. You. I can't switch that off, not anymore." Not even if I wanted to. "You know I could drain my fluids, myself. That's not why I'm here."

She glanced at his swollen cock. "You can take care of yourself?" Her lips curved. "You've said that before." Was that a dare? His hand dropped down to stroke himself. Look casual. Up the shaft, once around the head. He felt funny, doing that, feeling her eyes on his hand. His face felt hot. Was he blushing? Oh, hell, just brazen it out. Hardly the first time. Sure, honey, I do this on all my dates. Don't you? She watched him -- half curious, half amused -- but at least he had her attention. That much seemed good.

"You touch yourself... often?"

Compared to what? "Just when I want to. Is that strange?" he asked.

"On a Carrier -- there's always someone. It's not often you need to. Mostly, to finish. Males -- hardly ever." She looked away. "It really is... different, where you're from --" Said it slowly, softly, like it was just sinking in. Like something she'd never really believed, as well as she knew the theory.

This was getting awkward. So, pilgrim, where do you go from here? Seemed weird to just stop. He licked his palm to wet it and moved his hand lightly, catching her eye again.

"Uh, you're making me act pretty forward, ma'am. You could help me out." Please, he thought. He saw the ghost of a frown, and he held his breath. But then she reached out and mimicked his stroke.

He shivered and smiled. Part relief, part pleasure, a rush either way. "See," he said, "the exact same thing -- it's a lot more fun when your hand does it." She was eyeing him closely. "Things look okay to you, there?"

"It's just... not quite what I'm used to seeing." Aeryn, trying to be diplomatic. Man, there's a thought to sober you up.

"Uh, how different are we talking?"

"Sebacean men are more... discreet. Until it's needed. Not so exposed."

He was working pictures around in his head. It wasn't quite clicking. "It changes, you know. Looks different when I'm not so --"

"Of course," she said.

Wonder how government issue looks? Never caught Crais with his britches down. "So, uh, what would you see?"

"There's less, uh, dangling." He raised his eyebrows. She gestured down below his cock.

"Oh, the boys?" Okay, pop quiz, Xeno-Morphology -- "My body can get pretty warm, inside. So they need to be out. That is less... discreet, I guess."

She nodded, and swept her hand up his shaft to the tip. "And, here, there would be a... sheath." She was choosing her words. "This would be less... naked." Oh, no way I'm explaining that, tonight. She cut him a sidelong look, checking how he was taking the news.

Well. Great. So he had some aesthetic drawbacks, too, on top of everything else. One more thing to get past. "We are different creatures, aren't we?" he asked. She nodded. "You've got the controls, there. Why don't you see how it handles?" She gave him a squeeze, checking, testing. And she looked at his face while she did it, too. What a bad, bad girl! He gave her a grin as he caught his breath. Go ahead, baby, watch me. See what you can do to me. Fly a few patterns and see how it feels.

Her hand was so cool, so strong. She ran her fingers over his crown, and he seemed to go instantly wet, so primed. Oh, he'd been wanting her, wanting that touch, her naked touch. He groaned. "That's good." She swiped across the tip with her palm, and he jerked in response. Talk about pent-up demand. "Wow," he managed. Her hand was almost too much. "Oh, baby." Every stroke felt so intense. Hot-wired, oh, hot damn. "Oh, God," he gasped. He was going, going, off like a rocket, gone in a flash. He heard noises, howling, he lay there panting, her hand still on him. She leaned down and he grabbed her and kissed her, hard.

==========================

She lay there, relieved. They had made it through.

He rolled them both so she lay under him, his body pressing against her. She let her hand stray up his back, enjoying his warmth, the pressure, his skin. Not even Velorek had felt like this -- like he had been made to fit her. He even smelled... right.

He lowered his head and began to kiss her throat, her neck. She could feel her own heartbeat, pulsing steady against his lips. Then he thrust his hand between her legs, sliding up her thighs, caressing her flesh where she was tender and slick.

"What are you doing?" she asked, surprised. "I thought you finished."

"I want to touch you some more," he said. "You're not sleepy, are you?"

She considered a moment. "Not really," she said.

"Then let's fool around," he said, voice in her ear. And do what? she wondered. But he was kissing her thoroughly, slowly, hot and -- the kind of kiss that made her thirsty. Why did he have to kiss so well? Even when she knew better, he pulled her along.

She settled back with a sigh.

==========================

He slid himself downward, kissed his way south. Paused with his lips on her breast as his hands reached down, stroking around and around her clit. What a sight. He kissed her small nipples, and then opened wide, mouthed as much as he could. He was feeling her with his lips, his tongue, his cheek. Her skin was so smooth, her belly so muscular under those curves and that rich, rich skin.

He ran his fingertips down and around, exploring, testing. Things seemed pretty familiar down there. He just needed to learn her, to find out what was too little, too much, find out what she liked. Stroke her pussy, her lips, coax that warmth to her clit. He saw her coloring, slightly at first and then fuller, deeper. So much to watch, it drew him closer. Her skin was so pale that the change was dramatic, no way to miss it. Her smells were growing spicier, richer. He had to taste her, he needed to try it all.

The hood on her clit had been slipping back. That little pink pearl was easing out, showing more of its curve, wanting attention. He let his lips, his tongue, slip gently across it, cautiously, wetly, press more around it, mouthing the roots of it, barely brushing her clit itself. Keep that moist and light, use that vanishing touch. Make her want more, don't short things out. He was proud of his skill, he got good reviews. He'd always been able to make women happy, and he wanted her happy. He wanted to send her out of her mind, make her come for hours, make her fall asleep in exhaustion, still coming. Make her wake up wanting. Make her come back.

He could see her from here, could glimpse her face while he tasted her, smelled her. His hands gripped her waist, the curve of her hip. He was into her, with her, so happy to be where he was. But slowly he realized that something was wrong. She was holding too still. Her body had stiffened, and when she moved, it had no pattern, no rhythm. He was floundering, searching. Come on, Aeryn, show me, please, come on, baby, give me a clue. She was feeling his touch, any bozo could see that. A lot had been happening in her body, but now something seemed to be shutting her down. He raised his head to look more closely. She watched him warily, biting her lip. No. Not again. They'd made it, this time. What did she need, to let go? He moved up toward her.

"Aeryn. Roll over. Lie on your belly." That startled her, caught her off balance. "C'mon, baby, humor me. Try it." A very long silence, before she complied. She lay tensely, braced, watching him warily, keeping her face expressionless. He touched her mouth with his fingertips. "Turn your head away, the other way."

He lay against her, draped partly over her body. "You know what, Aeryn? I can't see your face." He touched her while she thought about that, closing his eyes as he whispered against her hair. "Can't see it at all. If you don't want to me to see it, it's not my business." His lips were brushing the back of her neck. "If that's not enough, we can kill the lights. Hell, I can put a blindfold on." Baby, I'll do whatever it takes. He kissed the small of her back. "This okay?"

He saw her nod and murmured, "Just relax." He reached past her waist to grab her buttocks. Those sleek, compact curves. Ran his hands further, swept around her thighs. One hand came up to rest just above the cleft of her ass. The other slipped down, between her legs, then under her, upward, to cup her mound. Held his palm there. Stroke her back, up and down, around and around. Go with her breathing, then go a touch slower. Ease her deeper. Kiss her shoulder blades, one, the other.

He slid one hand around the edge of her breast. The other curled gently, just at her clit. Just feel her, feel her, you don't need to see. His hand was exploring between her legs, just grazing her skin. "Your skin is so wonderful. Feels so good." She moved a bit, squirming into the bed. She was trying it, testing, letting him lead. Wordless noise from the pillow. "Baby, you know, you can let it all go." This was nice, reaching up. If she wanted more pressure, she could press for herself. That could happen, could happen soon. He kissed her back, lay his cheek on her skin. Whatever you want. I love it all.

==========================

She felt so uneasy. Her lips felt dry. Her jaw was tight. She told herself, Give him a chance. At least he was trying, trying to give her some privacy, even while he did these strange things. She clenched her teeth and rolled her head, tried to stretch out the kinks in her neck. She felt the cool sheet on her arm, her cheek. So strange to lie still and have things done. Too much to feel, when you had nothing to do. But he still felt so good, with his lips on her neck, his body against her. She felt his cock stiffen, against her hip. This excites him, to do this. To do this to me.

She felt his eyelashes brushing her skin. "Take a breath. Just breathe." He was talking, talking, instead of just having sex. So disturbing. Others could hear this -- anyone in the next bunk, someone behind that bulkhead or out in the passage. His voice was insistent. His hands didn't stop. As if he was building her tension, on purpose. It seemed backwards, not the natural way. Sex was so simple, and this was so strange. He kept interfering, shifting, surprising her. Touching all those extraneous places. Places that weren't important for sex. He was taking so long. What was he thinking of, all this time?

She couldn't focus. She felt things that were diffuse, unfamiliar. There were quivers, down in her belly. Her throat felt tight, too full. She heard herself moaning. Her pelvis pressed down, her back arched upward. She felt that firm pressure over her spine. The sex was still building. This felt bizarre, this went in a whole new direction. What happened next? It couldn't be good. He wanted to build something higher, deeper, to flood her somehow. To take her over. He wanted her different, emotional, weak. He wanted to see her out of control. She could hear her own heart. Blood pulsed past her eardrum. When a body explodes, it goes all at once, from whole to fragments. A flash. Bloody spray on the screen. Was that how it was, when you gave up control? He could be so naive. Did he have the least idea how this felt?

Crackling. Buzzing. Too many nerves. A piece of grit on the sheet. Too much coming in. She felt it all, she couldn't contain it. She could feel a film of sweat on her forehead, a callus on the pad of his thumb. Then something, some part of her, pulled away. It went distant, critical, taking in every detail. The rest of her was clumsy and fumbling, dreading whatever came next. She had to do something.

He kept pushing, pushing. He wouldn't shut up. "Just let it roll through you. Just let it go." This is absurd.

She was gritting her teeth. I don't have what you want. Whatever he did, it made her squirm. Ticklish. Too light. Too pointless. Too... something. She flinched away. "Stop... playing with me!" She rolled to her back.

"What's wrong? " he asked.

Frell, he never stops. Her anger surged. "No more. I can't stand it. It bores me," she snapped. Saying that brought a wave of relief. She lay glaring at him. For once he said nothing. He drew his hands back. "Crichton, you bastard -- You think --"

He shifted backward, giving her room. "Aeryn, what's going on?"

"This makes me sick. What are you doing?" Her voice was cracking. Her cheeks were burning, her eyes -- she was not going to cry. "You! This is -- What do you want?" Her heart was pounding.

She could see him work to contain himself. No counter-attack. He rolled to his back, rubbed his palms on his temples. She felt his tension, like vibrating waves. Her words hung in the air between them.

She -- What did she mean? What had she said? An impulse swept her, to reach over, touch him. But she was frozen, dizzy. How can you let him need you? The anger had drained and she felt hung over, left with a bitter wash in her throat. She was so confused, so frelling confused. Why should she be afraid? She felt exhausted. She closed her eyes.

He lay silent and still. Very far away. Two people, alone, sharing only the air in the room.

He will make me insane.

She sighed, and rolled toward him. Buried her face in his shoulder. Just two bodies. No words.

A few breaths later, she felt his hand on her back. His lips brushed her hair.

After a while he dimmed the lights. He held her in silence a little while, before untangling himself. He turned on his side, facing away, with his body barely grazing hers.

She moved to fit herself against him, and felt him shift to accommodate her. His hand found hers.

All right. She could guard him another night. Time enough later to think what to say. Maybe they needed the sleep.

How had she gotten here? She still couldn't see the path clearly. But something had lifted when she lashed out. And something else changed, when she went to touch him

She sank into sleep with no answers.

==========================

She was in her Prowler, still wired from the scramble. She settled herself, Prowler and pilot, one smooth unit, poised and ready, fingertips light on the triggers.

Out of the carrier, flying free in a loose formation. Peel out from the pack to work her vector. Pure speed shooting through her, metallic tang in her mouth. Scan the display, sweep the field, time slowing to that perfect crawl. Enemy craft! Very strange design, nothing she knew. Friend of the prisoners? Frell! It clipped the lead Prowler and flashed. She locked on without thinking, took out the pilot. There's your death, bastard. It was brilliant, intense, controlled ferocity, everything she had been made to do. Half a microt and she had re-armed, alert for more hostiles, ready to fire again. It took almost no time to secure the Leviathan. She heard the command, "Break off, back to base," and was already turning. The brilliance drained. The buzz would last for a while.

She snapped awake. Chilled and frantic, soaking with sweat. In bed. On Talyn. She looked around wildly. There he was, next to her, sleeping quietly. The bed beneath her held his warmth. She was shivering, trembling, couldn't control it.

It's one thing to need release, she thought. But to need a person?

Continued in Part 3: Sauce

==========================

Acknowledgements: Thanks to TennesseeStiff and Wiscaper. Special thanks to RydraWong and Cassandra for aiding and abetting in the first degree.
Feedback? I'd love some, thank you. Just name one thing you enjoyed (or didn't) and press SEND. If you wonder what's next, watch for "Sauce," in which John's attempts to straighten things out take him beyond his usual second-date repertoire.


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