John looked up when D'Argo marched into the examination room and he knew something was up the moment he laid eyes on the big guy. "D?"

"Peacekeepers," D'Argo replied and snorted, his eyes on the medic who had just put the finishing touches on the gash in John's left leg.

"Where?" Aeryn asked. "Here?"

"I saw four marauders on a landing vector," D'Argo said. "And I'm claiming this fekkik called them."

"Called who?" the medic asked, surprised.

D'Argo didn't wait for an affirmative. He grabbed the man by the throat and raised him off the floor. "When did you call them? When we called you for help?"

"Called who?" the medic rasped, barely able to speak. "I haven't called anyone."

"D'Argo," Aeryn tried, but John pushed between her and the Luxan, cutting her off.

"D, we don't have time for this. If the PKs are coming, we gotta split. As in right now," he stressed.

D'Argo huffed angrily. "And let this fekkik get away with it?" he growled.

"Doesn't matter. What matters is us, making ourselves scarce. As fast as possible," John urged him, putting a hand on D'Argo's arm.

For a moment, it looked like D'Argo was going to ignore him, but then he dropped the medic. "Just hope our paths never cross again," he growled, turned and strode out the door.

"Thanks, bro. It always warms my heart when I get turned in to the Peacekeepers," John added angrily. "What is it with you people? Don't you have any decency?"

The medic picked himself up off the floor where he had landed after D'Argo had released him. "I have no idea what you're talking about. I haven't called anyone. Why should I?" he countered, looking confused and upset.

Aeryn grabbed John's shoulders and pushed him toward the door. "Never mind them. They're paranoid," she said and pushed John out the door. "What the frell is wrong with you two? It is quite likely that the Peacekeepers aren't even looking for us any more."

"I'm not taking the chance," D'Argo growled as they caught up to him halfway down the corridor.

"Neither am I," John agreed, hot on his heels.

Aeryn sighed and rolled her eyes. "Males," she growled under her breath and followed them to the levelrisers.


They took a detour back to the space port and found the pod untouched and not a Peacekeeper in sight. The marauders were there, but without guards. Aeryn made a face, but decided not to get into this right now. All she wanted was to get back to Moya to be with her son.

As the pod took off, there was no indication that anybody had anything against that and that confirmed Aeryn's suspicion. Whatever the Peacekeepers were doing on this world, they weren't here for them. "That's what I thought," she muttered as she watched the planet shrink on the rear view screen without any sign of pursuers. "You two are so frelling paranoid when you're together."

"Better safe than sorry," John countered and gave her a grin. "How are you feeling?"

She gave him a sour look and forced herself to focus on the now. "I'm fine. I've told you repeatedly. You'll worry yourself into an early grave, John," she replied tersely.

"Perhaps you should listen to him," D'Argo suggested quietly. "Aeryn, you have been through a very traumatic experience. It is bound to leave a mark."

"Not you too," Aeryn sighed and smoothed both hands over her hair in frustration. "How many frelling times do I have to tell you two that I'm fine?"

John and D'Argo glanced at each other, a saying look passing between them, and Aeryn swore to herself that if she even had an inkling of a panic attack on top of all this dren, she would have it in private. There was no way in Hezmana that she would allow either of them to witness it.

Instead of acknowledging their concern, she folded her arms over her chest and hissed with malcontent. "Males," she growled and refused to speak to either of them for the remainder of the trip back to Moya.


Chiana, Sikozu, D'Argo and John were all in favor of Aeryn opening up to her feelings to let out whatever was troubling her and she herself was in favor of them all shutting up. The more they pushed, the more she shut down on them. Eventually, she grabbed her son and left them in the center chamber.

In their quarters, she settled down on the bed and propped little D'Argo up on her knee. The baby was blissfully oblivious to all the dren that had happened over the past many days and she was grateful for small favors. Right now, the boy was blubbering away while trying ardently to reach her hair, which he loved to pull at. Aeryn watched him struggle for a moment and then his attention turned elsewhere. How easily deterred he was, she thought. "I wish your father was like that," she said and pulled him close so he could get what he wanted.

His nimble little fingers immediately grabbed onto a strand of her hair and started pulling at it. "There's nothing wrong with me. I don't need to 'open up'. Fekkiks. The whole lot of them," she growled under her breath.

After spending some quality time with her son, Aeryn put him down for the night cycle and decided to turn in herself. It had been a stressing few days and she needed the rest. Her legs still felt a little wobbly.

It was first when she stretched out on the bed that she realized how worn out she really was. Without thinking about it, she rubbed the line where the wounds had been on her stomach and made a face. There were certain things she should leave in the past and this was one of them. "I won't think of it again," she promised herself, rolled over on her side and closed her eyes.


John was sitting on the table in the center chamber, his feet resting on the bench, while he stared ahead of himself with slight annoyance and a good portion of concern.

"Why don't you go to her?" D'Argo asked for the umpteenth time, pressing a topic John had already deemed off limits.

"Because she takes time," he countered.

"Frell time," Chiana inserted. "Think about your narl. What if she has a meltdown in the middle of everything? She can't look after him if she does."

"Little D is in no danger. Aeryn is a very dedicated mother," John growled. "Besides, you heard her. She's fine. There's nothing to worry about."

D'Argo, who was sitting beside him on the bench, rested his elbow on John's thigh and looked up at him. "Then why are you worried?" he asked.

John made a face and avoided looking at him. "I'm not," he lied.

"Oh, my friend," D'Argo sighed and patted his knee in an almost fatherly fashion. "I dread to think what would have happened to you two if I hadn't come back."

Chiana slipped up on the table behind John and grabbed his shoulders. "You'd be frelled," she agreed.

"We get along just fine. Every relationship has its ups and downs. We've had more downs than ups, so I think it's time for a little up-time now," John countered. "I'll go check up on her. She's probably gone to bed already. It's been a tough couple of days." But he made no move to get up.

Chiana wrapped her arms around him from behind and pressed her cheek against his shoulder. "You are frelled, Crichton," she said with a small laugh.

"Very," D'Argo agreed.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys," John countered with a cynical smirk on his lips. "I'm trying to dump human emotions on Aeryn and that's just not how she works. If she says she's fine, she's fine. What can I do? Hound her until she rips my head off? Because that's more likely to happen than her having a mental breakdown. She's a tough cookie."

D'Argo exchanged looks with Chiana, then smiled vaguely. "Who are you trying to convince, John? Us or yourself?"

"I'm not trying to convince anyone. You know Aeryn almost as well as I do. She's tough," John countered with slight annoyance. They were feeding the flame of insecurity and it made him feel very antsy.

"Right," D'Argo agreed, his tone sarcastic. "Next you'll probably tell me that Scorpius is through with you."

That one hit a nerve and John gave him a dark glare. "He is," he confirmed. "Why would he bother me any more? I don't have what he wants. The death of that damned neural clone is more than evidence enough."

"John, my friend, you should know by now that someone like Scorpius doesn't give up that easily. He is a man obsessed with wormhole technology and ... how should he know you don't have it any more?" D'Argo asked.

"Because that damned clone must have informed him somehow," John countered stubbornly. "Besides, none of this is about Scorpy. This is about Aeryn. And she's not going to have a breakdown any time soon. If it ever comes, she'll probably hide it." That said, he finally pulled himself together and got up. He stepped off the bench, then turned around to face Chiana and D'Argo. "Where's Rygel?" he asked.

"Moping around somewhere because Aeryn took back her narl," Chiana suggested with a grin.

"Probably," John agreed. "What about Ms. Britannica?"

"I don't know and I don't give a frell. She's a frelling pain in the eema," Chiana replied.

"Not the most ... upbeat of people," John said with a nod. "Well, guys, I'm beat. I need some sleep. See you in the morning."

Suppressing a yawn, John left the center chamber, uncertain of what the future might hold. One thing he knew though. If Aeryn should have a reaction to all of this – and he would be very surprised if she didn't – he would have to handle it in a mature manner. No teasing. She was touchy right now.

When he reached their quarters, he found both Little D and Aeryn fast asleep, both of them resting peacefully. He grinned vaguely and leaned down to kiss his son good-night. The baby stirred and embedded his thumb in his mouth. "Sweet dreams, buddy," John whispered and then turned to his sleeping wife.

She was taking up the entire bed, sprawled across it like a ragdoll that had been thrown carelessly onto it. He couldn't help grinning. She was tougher than nails, this one, and sometimes he did consider that it might be her nature to be so tough and not just something she had learned. But then there were the moments when she held her son and showed him the stars Moya passed by and it became evident that there was a very beautiful being hiding under all the rules and regulations. A soft, pliable being.

He kicked his boots off, shimmied out of his pants, pulled his t-shirt over his head and then sat down on the edge of the bed. "Scoot over," he said to her.

Aeryn grumbled something under her breath and shifted out of the way in her sleep. John slipped under the covers, then turned toward her and propped his arm under his head. "You're some piece of work, lady," he whispered, then leaned in to kiss her on the cheek.

She shifted a little, turned her head away from him and continued sleeping. John shook his head lightly and drifted off to sleep himself.


Aeryn woke up because she couldn't breathe. Smoothly, she reared up in bed, grabbing her throat while she tried to shed the confusion of sleep and focus on what exactly it was that caused this.

The microt her mind touched on the reason, the constriction disappeared and she could draw in a deep breath. Her thoughts were muddled and she was icy cold. "Frell," she rasped and pushed the covers aside to get up.

The floor beneath her feet was freezing and her hands were shaking so badly, she found it nearly impossible to grab her t-shirt and pull it on. But that piece of clothing did nothing for her.

A quick glance at John told her he was still deeply asleep, which made her wonder if she was getting sick. If he didn't feel the cold, there had to be something wrong with her. She grabbed her coat and pulled it on and still the chill in her body lingered. On almost numb feet, she patted over to Little D's cot and eyed her peacefully sleeping son. The baby did not appear to feel the cold either.

To avoid waking up both of them, she slipped out of their quarters and headed off in a random direction, walking quickly, while the shaking of her hands increased and the cold in her body reached a new low. At the same time, her skin was crawling and she felt like someone was watching her. A lot of someones.

She pulled the coat tighter around her, but could not get warm, and at the same time she felt the unbending need to cry. Her whole body was shivering at this point, every nerve alive with phantom pains. Her breath came in shaky little gasps as she came to a sudden stop in the middle of the corridor and hunkered down on the spot, trying desperately to find some shred of warmth inside of herself.

"Pilot, why is it so frelling cold?" she called, pushing aside any other explanation for her present condition for the time being.

"It is optimum plus one, Aeryn," Pilot replied. "Ka D'Argo and the Commander requested a bit more warmth earlier. Are you all right?"

"No, I'm frelling freezing," Aeryn countered and rose again. Her legs were wobbly beneath her and all she wanted was to curl up somewhere warm, but if the temperatures on Moya were optimum plus one, she was the one with the problem.

"Should I called the Commander?" Pilot asked, concern lacing his voice.

"No, don't. I don't want him to worry," she countered quickly, shivering so badly by now that her teeth were chattering.

A quick glance around told her that she was close to the center chamber and she made her way there quickly, thinking that if she had something warm to drink it might help her get warm again. But when she got there, she couldn't even muster the steadiness it demanded to hold a cup steady.

Frustrated and still shivering, she made her way over to one of the window alcoves and slipped into it. The curving wall behind her was too cold to lean against, so instead she just settled in the middle of it, pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms hard around them. "What the frell is wrong with me?" she whispered.

Somewhere deep down she knew what the cause of this could be, but she wouldn't acknowledge it. And she had no intention of sharing it with anyone either.


John woke up with a feeling that something was wrong. It took him a moment to realize that Aeryn wasn't in bed beside him. With a groan, he pushed up on his elbows and squinted around the cell, but there was no sign of her anywhere. Except for the fact that her coat was missing. John let himself drop back down on the bed and briefly closed his eyes. Then he rolled over on his back and got up. "Pilot, where's Aeryn?"

"In the center chamber, Commander," Pilot replied at once.

"Thanks," John muttered, barely awake. He grabbed his t-shirt and pulled it over his head, then grabbed a pair of sweatpants he'd brought from home and pulled them on. On his way to the center chamber he stopped by Chiana's quarters to ask her to keep an eye on Little D and then walked on, fighting one yawn after another with little luck.

In his sleep-muddled mind, there were two ways this could go. Either Aeryn was just up for a mid-night snack and would give him hell for worrying about her or she was having a meltdown and had gone somewhere private to deal with it. "Would be just like her," he muttered and ruffled his hair with one hand.

Moments later he rounded a corner and stepped into the center chamber. At first glance he couldn't see her anywhere. Then he spotted the huddled-up figure in the window alcove at the furthest end of the center chamber. He took a moment to assess the situation and to wake up a little more, then he closed the distance to her and slid in behind her. With one leg on either side of her, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. She was ice-cold to the touch and shivering on account of it.

She was whispering under her breath, her brow pressed against the top of her knees, and her whole body was so tense she felt like a rock in his arms. He just held her and tried to pick up on what she was whispering and after a moment it became clearer, louder. "I can't. I can't give in. I can't break down," she kept whispering.

John was mostly inclined to make a joke out of this, but knew that it could have a devastating effect on her fragile state of mind right now. Instead he opted to keep his mouth shut and just hold her, to be there for her when and if she decided to let loose.

Suddenly, she leaned forcefully back against him, bringing her head up fast enough to nearly deck him. He barely moved his head out of the way. "I'm so cold," she rasped.

"I know," he replied.

"What's wrong with me? Why am I so cold?" she whispered, leaning her head back against his shoulder.

"You're in shock, Aeryn," he whispered back. "It's a natural response to what you've been through. Just let it out. Allow yourself to be scared."

He was afraid that she would do the opposite, would fight it down and lock it away until it ripped her apart, but then the shivers running through her changed character and he knew she was crying even though she made no sound. He just held onto her and tried to lend her some of his warmth.

She didn't scream, didn't break down in essence, but she did cry for a long time. Her temperature slowly rose again while he held her and the shivering slowly decreased. At some point she shifted around and he leaned back against the curving wall so she was lying on him rather.

After the tears stopped, she was quiet for a long time and John was beginning to wonder if she'd fallen asleep when she finally stirred and opened her eyes. For a moment, she watched the stars glide by out there, then sniffed. "I feel foolish," she muttered.

"You're not, though," he countered and smoothed a hand over her hair.

He could make out her reflection in the viewport and noted her vague smile. "You don't think I'm foolish for not giving in to this sooner?" she whispered.

"No," he said with a smile of his own. "Are you feeling any better?"

"I'm not cold any more," she replied. "But I'm scared."

He shifted a little to get more comfortable. "Of what exactly?"

She frowned lightly. "The feeling of those larvae," she admitted. "The loss of control over what was happening to me."

"Loss of control sucks," he agreed. "One thing I've learned in the cycles I've been out here, Aeryn, is that you can't bottle it up. Trust me when I tell you, I would love to do that most of the time. I would love to be able to push it all aside and go on like nothing happened. But I don't think that living, breathing beings with even the slightest level of intelligence can do that without it backfiring."

She snorted. "I've known you for so long now and I still don't understand you sometimes," she replied and raised her head to look at him. "If I had shown a reaction like this among Peacekeepers, they would have sent me to psych-evaluation. I would have been given drugs to suppress it. It is not commonly acceptable to be weak out here, John."

"You're not weak, Aeryn. Having a reaction to a traumatic experience like this isn't weakness. It only shows that you feel, that you're able to connect. If you don't respond to something like this – well, if you were Human, that is – it would mean that you're emotionally stunted. And where I come from, that sort of thing is considered to be bad." He smiled vaguely. "In my opinion, you're not weak. It takes strength to own up to your emotions, to feel and know how to handle it. It's a hell of a lot tricker than just pushing it aside and refusing to deal with it."

Aeryn sat up, shifted around to face him and leaned back against the opposite curve of the rounded window alcove. "But it is weakness. I have been trained to deal with situations like this from the day I was born. I was not bred to be a feeling being. I was bred to be a soldier. Before I met you, the highest thing I aspired to was to become a pilot and join the ranks of the elite. Live fast, die young. Peacekeepers do not expect to live long. They expect to die with glory, protecting their fellow Peacekeepers and the Sebacean ideals." She sighed deeply. "The only thing is, the Sebacean ideals are not worth fighting for. Protecting other Peacekeepers is not worth the effort. I thought my world crumbled when Crais deemed me irreversibly contaminated. It was the first time that I realized I didn't want to die." She hugged herself and glanced out at the stars. "I never stopped to look around. You changed all that. You frelled up my life and it made me realize that there was more out there. Better things." She smiled wistfully. "The day Crais deemed me irreversibly contaminated was the day my life began."

John grinned. "You give me too much credit, Aeryn. All that stuff wasn't my doing. You already had it in you," he said. "Sure, I may have helped a little, but – Aeryn, babe – when I said you could be so much more, I meant it. And I still mean it. You have so much potential. The galaxy would be a poorer place without you in it."

She let out a small laugh, but kept looking out at the stars. "For every frelled-up thing that has happened to me since I met you, I've changed my perspective on life a little more," she countered and finally looked at him. "I want to grow old with you," she added.

"I'd like that very much," he replied.

She sat up and leaned forward a little. "Now, would you please tell me what the frell possessed you to go up against the Nur'dur?"

John made a face. "I needed to get you back. No matter how. And you know me when I go for something I want back," he replied.

"Yes, I know you," she agreed. "You could have gotten yourself killed," she added.

"So could you," he countered and sat up too, folding his arms on top of his drawn-up knees. "Maybe we should just avoid populated places from now on."

"And exactly how long do you think you could stand that?" she asked. "You're incapable of staying still for too long. So am I. We would wither and die if we had to be cooped up on Moya for all eternity. That's no life."

"No, I guess it isn't," he agreed reluctantly. "I just would like to be able to go shopping without getting attacked by something stupid like oversized bugs." He dropped his head and pressed his brow against his folded arms. "Maybe Chiana is right. Maybe we are cursed."

"And maybe we've just been unlucky," Aeryn countered. "Chiana is wise in many ways, but she is also young. She doesn't know everything yet. Besides, our luck may be changing. We got D'Argo back." She reached out to touch his hair, to weave her fingers into it. "I would like to avoid further trouble, though," she added quietly.

"Yeah, we should make a shopping list for things we want to happen. Like avoiding trouble and having fun. Stuff like that," he said, raised his head and eyed her thoughtfully for a moment. "Are you okay?"

She smiled vaguely. "Yes, I'm fine now. And this time I mean it," she said. "I can't, of course, promise that I won't have bad dreams, but I think I'm over the worst of it."

"Good to hear," he said, grabbed her hand and kissed her palm. "The best of both worlds," he added and figured he should elaborate when she gave him a slight frown in return. "Our kid. He's the best of both worlds. He'll be great. He'll have his mother's tenacity and his father's good looks."

"Of course," she agreed and returned her attention to the stars outside.

John watched her for a while and hoped she would be okay. She was tough and it gave him hope that she would get over this incident unscathed. He would be keeping an eye on her for a while though; discreetly, of course, to not annoy her or alarm her.


After a few days, it became clear to everyone on Moya that Aeryn – despite some recurring nightmares that made it hard for her to get any decent rest – was on the mend and getting stronger every day. She had no further panic attacks, a fact John hadn't shared with the others for obvious reasons, and despite the bad dreams she did not oppose sleep.

Little D benefitted from his mother's sole attention over the next weeken and Aeryn seemed to recover faster the more time she spent with her child. John kept an eye on things for a few days and eventually decided there was nothing to worry about.

To give Aeryn a rest from being watched as well as giving himself permission to focus on something else for a while, John had retreated to the bay where his module rested and was working on a few modifications when he suddenly became aware that he was no longer alone.

Glancing back over one shoulder, he spotted Sikozu, who was loitering around by the door, watching him. He frowned, but returned to fiddling with his module until the feel of her stare started to annoy him. "Yo, Sputnik. Could you find another pastime than watching the dumb old human?"

"Aeryn is all right, is she not?" she countered and came closer.

"Yeah, she's fine and dandy. Thanks for caring," John replied, decided he wouldn't get any more work done while she was here, and turned around to face her. "Why do you care?"

"Is it a crime to care?" she countered.

"Do you have to answer every question with a question?" He eyed her and knew she wanted something. He just didn't know what. "You know, Sikozu, I kinda get the feeling that you're up to something, that you expect some kind of reward for giving me the head's up on the bug-situation. So why don't you just spill it?"

"Spill ... it?" she asked back. "What does that mean?"

John frowned. "Are you leaking intelligence or something?" he asked, then sighed. "Okay, this twenty questions dren isn't getting us anywhere. Why don't you just tell me what's on your mind?"

"I was hoping that by helping you with the information I could provide, you would help me in return," she said.

John eyed her, trying to guess what she wanted. He assumed it had something to do with the Kalish resistence or perhaps the Scarrans in general, but her demeanor – as usual – disclosed nothing. "You seem generally unhappy about being here," he stated, "so I assume you'd like me to help you quickly?"

"Yes, that would be nice," she agreed, picked up a tool from the workbench and fiddled with it for a moment. "I need your help to get back at Scorpius."

He froze. "Scorpius?" he asked. "I thought you were done with him. I was under the impression that you'd realized your mistake and moved on. Why do you want to get back at Scorpius all of a sudden?"

"Because he is dangerous," she replied with a sneer. "I ... may have told him things I should not have. I believed us to be soul mates."

"Stupid," John said. "Scorpy's only got one soul mate. Himself. Don't for even a microt believe that he'd look out for you if he could see the benefit of shafting you."

"I know," she growled and dropped the tool. "But he knows too much about the Kalish. He will use it against them."

"He's just as pissed off at the Scarrans as you are, sugarlips. I doubt he'll undermine the only race that could potentially bring them down," John countered and folded his arms over his chest. "Besides, what do you want me to do? Scorpy's not interested in me any more. And I'm counting my blessings here. There's no way in Hell or Hezmana or elsewhere that I'll willingly get in his way again."

"You could offer him the wormhole weapons," she said, the look she gave him making him shudder inside.

"He knows I don't have the technology any more, Sputnik. Besides, even if I still had it and the knowledge what to do with it, I wouldn't offer it to him. And he knows that," John said. "Scorp may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them."

"It is only a matter of time before Staleek finds out that you do no longer possess the ability to create wormhole weapons. And there is Grayza as well. Neither of them like you very much after you forced them into a truce, Crichton. Your life is forfeit if you ever run into either of them again and they learn that you cannot defend yourself," Sikozu said, obviously enjoying the impact this had on him if her tentative smile was anything to go by.

"Sputnik, you have the manners of a rampaging rhino in a shop full of crystal," he growled. "With the danger of sounding like a broken record here, though, Scorpy knows I don't have it any more. Even if I would entertain the idea of seeking him out for assistance in this case, he would either kill me where I stand or have me sent to prison for the rest of my miserable life. I have nothing to offer him and that means I'm worthless to him. What makes you think it would make any difference?"

"Because Scorpius is easily blinded by power," she countered. "If you can somehow convince him that you still retain the technology, the Peacekeepers might even be inclined to offer you amnesty."

"Only if I give them wormhole weapons and I can't do that. Even if I still had the blasted technology, I wouldn't give it to the Peacekeepers and most certainly not to Scorpy. But this topic is moot anyway, because – as I keep saying – I don't have the technology any more. Scorpy can tell when I'm lying. He would know at once." John was getting a little tired of repeating himself and wondered if her bioloid brain had short-circuited or something.

Sikozu stared at him, her peculiar eyes wide with what John interpreted as anger. "I want him dead," she pressed out through clenched teeth. "He is a spy for the Scarrans as well as for the Peacekeepers. He will sacrifice my people for his twisted needs. I cannot allow that to happen. And you are my ticket to get close enough to him."

"No," he countered in no uncertain terms. "I'm not getting involved with him again. I appreciate the information you gave me, Sputnik, but I'm not going after Scorpy to say thank you. You'll have to settle for food and board and a trip to wherever you want to go."

"Aeryn's life is not worth this?" she asked, her voice steely now. "I helped you save your mate. Is that worth nothing to you?" She took a step forward, her expression so tense he was afraid she'd split a seam. "I gave you the medic's name who could save her. Is that worth nothing?"

"A medic who, for all we know, turned us in to the Peacekeepers," John countered angrily. "Your help has been a little half-hearted here. You risked nothing by helping me get Aeryn back. I risked my frigging life. I'd gladly pay with my life to save her, but you're not getting a frigging medal just for offering a few helpful hints on how to overcome this menace."

Sikozu glared at him. "Is this the way you treat those that help you?" she hissed. "Or is it just because you do not like me that you refuse to help?"

"This isn't about helping, Ms. Britannica. This is suicide. And I've got a pretty good stab at happiness right now. My wife, my kid, my friends. We deserve some damned peace. I'm not going to stir up trouble just because you feel shafted by your freakish lover. If you want to deal with Scorpy, do it on your own. I've got better things to do with my life."

Angered by her self-righteousness as well as the fact that he firmly believed in repaying those that helped him, John stalked out of the bay, leaving her behind to fume alone. For the first time in nearly five years he and his little family had a chance at peace and now this overgrown doll had to come along and spoil his fun. "Screw that," he growled as he strode back toward the center chamber, all hot and bothered.

"You owe me, Crichton," Sikozu's voice rang from the comm pinned to his t-shirt.

He sneered and switched it off. "Not that much, redhead," he disagreed heatedly.