Aeryn looked up when John strode into the center chamber and she eyed him thoughtfully while feeding her son. Pilot had seen fit to allow John's conversation with Sikozu to be heard by all on Moya and Aeryn could only agree with his assessment. This was not something they should get involved in. The problem was John's integrity right now. He was getting very worked up about this because Sikozu had helped and he felt he did owe her, no matter what he said.

"John," she said and waved him over.

He had stopped dead halfway between her and the door and looked as if he'd rather hide than talk to her right now. "Uh ... I'm ... I didn't mean to come bursting in like this," he finally managed. "Sorry. I'm just a little ..."

He was trying to explain himself and Aeryn merely smiled. "I heard," she said. "We all heard. And there is nothing to discuss. Sikozu has helped save me, yes, but that does not give her the right to request this of you. We are not going near Scorpius for any reason ever again."

The air seemed to go out of him at her words and he settled a little bonelessly on the bench next to her. "I just feel ..." he tried, but trailed off, obviously uncertain about how to feel right now.

"You don't owe her anything, John. As you said, she risked nothing. We have no interest in the Kalish or the Scarrans or the Peacekeepers. We just want to be left alone. And contacting Scorpius with such an obvious lie is out of the question," she said and took his hand firmly in hers. "He would know at once and you have nothing to offer him, nothing to keep you safe. There's no need to get upset about this."

John nodded, but looked unconvinced. Aeryn knew she would have to work on him a little to get him to see things her way, but it shouldn't be too hard since he was already halfway there.

"Sikozu is leaving," Pilot suddenly announced. "She has taken a pod."

"Let her leave," Aeryn countered. "Track her so we know where to retrieve the pod from."

"Yes, Aeryn," Pilot replied.

Aeryn turned her attention back to her distressed mate and smiled vaguely. "She's gone, John. She is not around to pester you with this ridiculous request any more. Let her exact her own vengeance. It has nothing to do with us any more."

John drew in a deep breath, held it for a moment and then let the air out slowly. "You're right," he agreed, still a tad hesitant. "And when you're right, you're right."

"Of course I am," she said, still smiling, and slipped a hand behind his neck, pulling him close so she could rest her brow against his. "Promise me one thing, though," she added quietly.

"Anything," he replied.

"Don't you even think about laying down your life for me. I would never forgive you," she countered, then planted a kiss on his brow. "Let's get the frell away from this part of the Uncharted Territories. We need a vacation."

That at least made him grin stupidly and Aeryn had hope that their immediate future would not be so bleak any more.

"It's time for a change in our luck," he agreed.

Aeryn glanced over at the door. D'Argo, Chiana and Rygel came in, one after another, all curious about what came next. "It already has changed," she said to John. "D'Argo is a good omen."

The Luxan smiled ruefully and Chiana chuckled. Even Rygel was inclined to join in the amusement. "A good omen indeed," he agreed. "Let's eat."

The End