Aeryn dropped another tin of nearly powdered leaves and made a face of sheer annoyance as she glanced around the med bay. "This cannot be true," she growled, still in a foul mood from nervousness and pain. "We cannot have run out of everything." Intent on blaming someone for this negligence, Aeryn turned around and focused on Chiana. "Why is the med-bay not restocked?" she demanded.

Chiana, who had been searching along with her, stopped short and pulled her head out of one of the compartments she had been checking. "Since when is it my frelling business to restock anything?" she countered a little aggressively.

"Well, I haven't exactly been here, have I?" Aeryn said and propped her hands on her hips.

"So? I'm not a frelling medic, am I?" Chiana shot back. "Besides, who the frell died and made you captain of Moya? D'Argo's the captain. Take this up with him."

Aeryn frowned. "Captain of Moya? Moya doesn't need a frelling captain. She has Pilot. That should be enough. Who the frell came up with that crazy idea?"

Chiana wrinkled her nose. "Pilot did. He was tired of all of us telling him what to do all the time, so he made us elect a captain. We all chose D'Argo," she countered.

"Oh." Aeryn pursed her lips thoughtfully. "Well, that does make sense." A quick glance toward the clamshell verified that Pilot at least wasn't watching them. Aeryn had no doubts about him listening to them, though. "D'Argo?" she called, more than eager to change the subject.

"Yes, Aeryn," came the reply at once.

"Why the frell hasn't the med-bay been restocked? We don't have anything here. What if one of us needs serious treatment?" she asked. For a moment, nothing answered her but silence. Then she heard John mutter something in the background.

"Uh ... we haven't had time," D'Argo tried.

With a snort, Aeryn glanced back at Chiana, who in turn looked miffed. "You haven't had time?" she asked and sighed. "I'm out of it for a cycle and everything goes to Hezman." With a light shake of the head, she glanced up at all the dead or dying plants. "You didn't have any water either? You couldn't have watered the frelling plants?"

"Uh ..." was all the response she got from D'Argo.

"We didn't have time," Chiana inserted.

Aeryn rolled her eyes. "Right," she grumbled. "And now John has a splitting headache and we have nothing to frelling give him against it. For the love of Cholok. Do I have to do everything around here?"

This was, to Aeryn's immediate surprise, answered by a chuckle from John. She sent a frown up toward the ceiling. "What the frell are you laughing about?" she demanded.

"You sound like my mother," came the hoarse reply.

One glance at Chiana made her realize that the others were having fun at her expense. Well, she would have nothing of it. "I'll take that as a compliment," she stated. "Are you all right for now?"

"Oh yeah. Apart from the fact that my head is about to go nova and D'Argo won't let me lie on the floor," John replied.

Even after this long, Aeryn had to admit that she did not understand his reasoning. "Why the frell would you want to lie on the floor?" she asked.

"That's exactly what I asked him. He claims it makes his head feel better," D'Argo replied.

Well, that did sound plausible. "Well, then let him lie on the frelling floor if he wants to, D'Argo. It's not your call anyway," she countered.

"But I ..." the Luxan began, but Aeryn saw fit to cut him off.

"Just let him do whatever he wants. And who are you to dispute that it does make him feel better? Just because you don't like the cold," she said. That obviously made D'Argo think better of discussing this with her further because he didn't reply.

"Thanks, Aeryn," John replied instead.

"Rest and revitalize. And try to keep your frelling memories in one place if you can," she said and made a face. "Pilot, I take it there are no commerce planets out here?"

"Not what we have detected, no," Pilot replied. "I am fairly confident, though, that the Peacekeepers have not followed us here."

"They wouldn't, would they?" Aeryn muttered. "Frightening concept for a Peacekeeper, leaving known space behind. Fekkiks."

Chiana chuckled at her monologue and she gave her a snide grin in return. "I hope Crichton can cope without any painkillers," she said.

"I'm sure he can. He sounds better already," Aeryn replied and sighed. "This running away dren is really starting to get on my ner ..." She broke off in mid-sentence because she suddenly realized that they were not the only ones in the med-bay. Sikozu was there as well and she was obviously in the process of mixing something together. "What the frell are you up to now, Kalish?" Aeryn demanded.

Sikozu glanced at her, gave her the once over and snorted with contempt. "Since none of you seem capable of the exceedingly simple task of concocting a painkiller from the abundance of dried herbs your Delvian has left behind, I will do it," she replied and returned her attention to what she was doing.

"If you think I will allow you to give anything you've concocted to John, you've got another thing coming," Aeryn countered aggressively.

"Hey, calm down, Ms. ex-Peacekeeper," Chiana inserted a little aggressively. "Why would Sikozu try to hurt him? She's helped him several times."

"Stay out of this, Chiana," Aeryn warned and glared at the Kalish.

Sikozu turned around and gave her a challenging glare back. "Why do we not leave this decision up to Crichton? He is not a child. He can make decisions for himself."

"Yeah, I can," John replied from his quarters, his voice a little slurred.

Sikozu made a face. "Do you want me to make you something to take the pain away, Crichton?" she asked.

"Yes, please," he replied instantly.

Aeryn sighed. "Do you trust her with your life, John?" she asked.

"Yes. Right now I do. Because it's either this or death and I'd rather not die if I can avoid it. Been there done that."

With her arms folded over her chest and her expression stuck somewhere between anger and concern, Aeryn merely settled for staring at Sikozu. "You better not aggravate his condition," she growled.

Skikozu sneered, turned her back on her and continued to work on her concoction. Aeryn decided to stay close so she could monitor anything that frelling Kalish did. All in all, it wasn't the fact that Sikozu was a Kalish; or for that matter that she was annoying like Hezmana. It was mainly that Sikozu had spent time with Scorpius and seemed to have had a thing for him. And emotions, Aeryn knew, overruled common sense in some instances. If Sikozu was still in – as John called it – cahoots with Scorpius, there was no telling what she would be capable of.

***

The second D'Argo left him alone, John slipped off the bed again and settled back down on the cool floor. He nearly sighed with contentment when the chill of the floor plates seeped into his skin and once again asserted itself throughout his body by cooling down his blood and causing a to him remarkable decrease in the headache.

He closed his eyes gratefully and allowed his mind to go blank. The calmness that followed in the wake of the chill spreading through him had barely asserted itself when hands grabbed him and started to haul him away from the comforting floor. Focused only on keeping the headache at bay, he didn't care who it might be. All he could think of was that he did not want to return to bed. "Oh, for pity's sake. Can't you people leave me alone even for a moment?" he snapped and ripped out of the grip that was forcing him away from the floor. He slid backward a bit and bumped into the edge of the bed before he managed to focus on Aeryn and Sikozu.

"A moment?" Aeryn countered with a frown. "You've been asleep on that frelling floor for almost an arn."

"Have not," he countered unsteadily, groaned and grabbed his head with both hands. "Man, I'm gonna kill whoever did this to me," he added.

"Nobody did this to you," Aeryn countered and hunkered down in front of him. "Unless you want to blame this on Scorpius and his obvious need for vengeance."

"Scorpius did not attack out of vengeance," Sikozu said.

Aeryn glanced back at her and even John found it in him to give her a light frown for her trouble. "Don't you frelling start to stand up for him again," Aeryn warned, her tone dangerous.

"I am not standing up for him," Sikozu snapped, obviously as annoyed with Aeryn as Aeryn was with her. "I am merely telling you what I know. Though why I brother I do not know."

John focused on the bottle she held in her hand and the sewage-like liquid within. "What's that?" he asked, ignoring the obvious hostility between the females in the hope that one of them had something that might kill the headache, or at least decrease it.

"This is a ... tea that will help the pain in your head," Sikozu said and gave the bottle a dubious look.

Whatever that look was about left John completely cold. The mere thought that the sludge in that bottle might make him feel better was enough for him to literally lash out for it. Sikozu gave it up willingly and gave Aeryn a triumphant smile. Obviously, Aeryn hadn't believed he would willingly drink that stuff.

He didn't even pause to smell it or even taste it. He leaned his head back and upended the bottle into his mouth without thought for such trivialities and gulped the liquid down as fast as he could. It was a bit syrupy in consistency and the taste of it barely registered on his pallet because he gulped it down so quickly.

When the bottle was empty, he lowered it and raised his head again, slowly and carefully, and believed that it already felt better. He blinked and tried to estimate how much – if at all – the pain had decreased, and had to admit that he had probably been a little optimistic in his first assessment. His head was still throbbing away with a pulse of its own.

"How fast does this stuff work?" he asked and focused painfully on Sikozu, who he now saw was watching him with a stunned expression on her face.

"You were not supposed to drink it all. It took me nearly one frelling arn to create that much of it," she said, obviously annoyed now that he had not taken the time to ask for instructions first.

"How fast does it work?" he repeated.

"I do not know," she countered tersely.

Aeryn sighed. "Frell, I wish Zhaan was here. We need a frelling medic on board with you being so disaster-prone." She glanced up at Sikozu and that look did not bode well. "If that dren makes him sicker than he is already, I'm going to take both your arms off and I'll make sure they're not re-attachable," she promised and rose.

"Stop bickering," John growled, closed his eyes and rubbed his brow pensively. Then he froze for a moment and then opened his eyes again. He blinked a few times while searching for and not finding the pain. "It's gone," he said and looked up at the two of them standing there.

They both focused on him, temporarily forgetting about their dispute. "Completely?" Aeryn asked.

John nodded. "It's like it was never there," he confirmed, dropped the bottle and hauled himself up on the edge of the bed. "I'm tired as all hell, of course," he added and frowned lightly. "But there's no pain."

"I knew it would work," Sikozu said, her tone triumphant.

That put a grin on John's lips. "Oh yeah, it sure as hell did, Sputnik. You go, girl," he said. Now that the pain was gone, he felt so tired he was ready to drop. "You think it's gonna last?" he asked and looked back up at her.

Sikozu folded her arms over her chest and eyed him for a moment. "Considering the amount you drank I believe it will last for awhile. If you take care of yourself in the meantime and sleep as much as possible, it is quite likely that the pain may have subsided to a tolerable level once the tea stops working again."

He nodded lightly. "Good idea," he agreed. "Can you make some more of it in the meantime? Just in case?"

"Of course," she said, grabbed the bottle and left his quarters.

Aeryn stood still with her thumbs hooked into her belt and watched him with a slight frown. "Why the frell do you trust her?" she finally asked.

John rubbed his brow again. "You didn't see her on that command carrier, Aeryn. She was terrified," he said and looked up to meet her eyes. "I trust her because she appears to be as scared of Scorpy now as I am. That makes her an ally. So stop treating her like the enemy, okay? She's as deep in shit as the rest of us now."

Aeryn made a face, but then finally nodded. "All right, but I retain the right to keep an eye on her," she countered. "Unlike you, John, I don't trust her. I have a gut instinct about people like her." She stepped forward and hunkered down in front of him, supporting herself by putting her hands on his knees. "But never mind that now. You need all the rest you can get. Lie down. Sleep. That's an order."

Despite her words, her tone was mellow and even soothing and he couldn't help grinning at her. "This is frelled, isn't it?" he asked and she nodded. More than willing to let go for awhile, he sank down on the bed as she rose again and pulled the covers over him. "I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life," he admitted.

"Pain is tiring," Aeryn confirmed and sat down on the edge of his bed. She brushed her fingers through his hair and sighed slightly. "You are frelling disaster-prone, John. We are going to have to change that somehow."

His eyelids became too heavy for him to keep open and he drifted off with the feel of her cool hand against the side of his face and the comforting sensation of her near him.

***

He remembered everything. Now that the headache was gone, his mind had become far clearer and the memories that had overwhelmed him previously now threatened to suffocate him with all the things he had done that he shouldn't have and all the things he hadn't done that he should have. So much pain and so much confusion. He had threatened Aeryn with a gun, set on getting out there so he could kill Scorpius; a crazy endeavor at best. He did believe that the universe as a whole would be better off without Scorpius, but he also knew that if anybody killed Scorpius, it wouldn't be him. He was too accident-prone to even consider an idea like that.

With a light sigh he rolled over on his back and draped an arm over his face. He had controversial feelings about the whole stay on that damned station. He had decided to go for it and have the chip removed and in essence he thought he might be better off without it, but all the crap that had happened since then hadn't really been worth it. The thing that stood out the clearest in all the muddled experiences was the fact that he had pulled a gun on Aeryn. "Never again," he whispered under his breath. From now on, he would do whatever he could to stay away from trouble. The mere thought that he might harm Aeryn again made him feel cold inside. To hell with heroics and to hell with Scorpius and his twisted agenda.

Although it was an effort, he slowly sat up. He knew he had to test the waters to make sure his head didn't explode like an overripe melon, but for now the pain seemed to be a distant memory only. That of course did not stop his muscles from being fatigued or his scalp from being damaged. He gingerly prodded the makeshift bandage covering the gash on the back of his head. Whenever this miracle medicine that Sikozu had invented wore off, he knew that this was going to hurt. He just hoped that the headache that had accompanied and overshadowed it previously wouldn't return too.

He pulled his legs over the edge of the bed and set his feet down on the floor. Fatigue was his greatest enemy right now and he was slightly dizzy too, which he attributed to the obvious concussion he had. But as long as he could, he needed to do his share. He'd been too much of a burden for the others.

"You should not get up."

The tone of her voice was oddly different from what he remembered. John looked up and met Sikozu's brilliant eyes. "Maybe not, but I've been lying around too much lately," he countered and gave her a tentative smile.

Sikozu's expression, as always, remained disturbingly immobile. "You are not doing yourself any favors, Crichton," she said and stepped into his quarters.

He arched an eyebrow and flinched. The headache might be gone, but the general sensation of pain from his torn skin wasn't. "I never do," he said and sighed. Aeryn thought he should stay in bed. Chiana thought he should stay in bed and now Sikozu joined them? What chance did he stand against that? "All right already," he added and settled back down. "I'll stay in bed. Happy?"

"I do not care if you stay in bed or not. It is not a favor I am asking of you," she replied, but the normally biting tone to her voice was oddly absent. "I do think it would be best for your general health, though," she added.

John eyed her for a moment. "What is it in your life that makes you think others are inferior to you?" He knew that she probably had no answer to a question like that, but that didn't mean he would leave it unasked. "Why can't you treat others with the respect they deserve?"

"Because I have all my life been taught that others are inferior. As has Aeryn. I am certain that she did not accept you as her equal right away," she said and stopped a few feet from the bed. She had one arm in a sling and was supporting it with the other. "It is hard for me to shed these ... ingrown prejudices against others."

"Obviously," John agreed. "Look, Sikozu, there's no doubt in my mind that you're one smart cookie and you deserve all the respect you can get. But try to lighten up a little, will ya?"

"I did try that," she countered. "With Scorpius. I put aside my prejudice of his obviously flawed background because he is such a brilliant creature. And look what that brought me."

"Experience in how to deal with others," John said with a vague smile. "Don't stop trying just because you burnt your fingers once. My dad always said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So consider yourself strengthened."

She pursed her lips and glanced down at the floor for a moment. When she looked up again, there was a slight smile playing around her lips. "For an inferior species, you do appear to be quite clever," she said quietly.

"And for such a smartass, you can be immensely dim sometimes," he countered and grinned to take any edge off his words. "Thanks for saving my hide back there, by the way. I owe you."

"You owe me nothing," she said, gave him a mixture between a smile and a grimace and left again.

"The year of wonders and miracles," John muttered to himself and shifted to get more comfortable; not that his comfort mattered much any more. What he kept coming back to was what he had done, what a danger he had been to the people he loved, and in essences this meant that he would have to take steps to ensure it didn't happen again.

***

Pilot was busy running scans left and right and had fairly little time left over to check up on his and Moya's passengers as well. He assumed they would keep an eye on each other, but for some reason he could not readily explain he felt more than compelled to check up on Crichton several times.

The first few times he had checked on the Human, Crichton had been either asleep or had been talking to the others. But the next time Pilot checked up on him, he was gone from his quarters.

In general, that should not have worried him. Crichton was not one to sit around idly, no matter how bad he felt. But even so Pilot started scanning various tiers and rooms in search of him.

When one of the DRDs caught him moving slowly down one of the corridors, another scan Pilot had been running yielded a result as well.

Briefly torn between what he thought was happening and the result of the scan, Pilot hesitated for a split microt and then made a decision. "Could everybody please come to my den? I believe I have found out where the tracking device is," he said after having activated the comm-system.

"Where is it, Pilot?" Aeryn asked at once.

"I would rather tell all of you in person," Pilot replied, his attention never diverging from the view of Crichton.

All the others left what they were doing and headed toward his den except for Crichton. The Commander remained where he was, quite obviously uncertain about how to respond. Pilot had been sure that he would be interested in this news as well, but right now it looked like he had other things on his mind; things that had been punctuated by where he had been going before Pilot had made his announcement.

For a microt longer, Pilot watched from the DRDs point of view. Then he switched over to the private comm and deactivated the general system. "Commander, please join us," he said.

For a long moment, all Crichton did was stand there. But then he finally turned around and began to head toward Pilot's den as well. Pilot sighed lightly, but kept an eye on the Commander most of the way.

Aeryn, Chiana and that annoying Kalish arrived together. Ka D'Argo came second and Rygel third. After a few microts, Crichton stepped through the door as well and walked slowly across the bridge.

Aeryn stepped up to him. "Are you all right? You look like dren," she said quietly.

He gave her a pale smile and then glanced over at Pilot. Pilot merely gazed back at him. He knew beyond the shadow of a doubt what Crichton had been in the process of doing and he had been ready to seal off all doors on Moya to prevent it from happening. The look in the Human's eyes – so much more easily read than any other species Pilot had ever come across – revealed to him now that the danger was over. At least for now.

"So?" Ka D'Argo asked and folded his arms over his chest. "Where is it?"

Pilot glanced around at them all and wished he had different news for them. "In one of you," he said without hesitation.

Aeryn's response was instantaneous. She turned her attention toward Sikozu, who met her eyes with an angry glare. "I knew it," Aeryn growled.

"But not in the one you might think would be the most obvious," Pilot inserted, which brought everybody to a complete standstill.

Predictably, everybody – Sikozu included – turned their attention toward John. At first he didn't get the implication, but then his expression changed radically. "What? Me?" he asked and looked over at Pilot with dread in his eyes.

"No," Pilot confirmed after checking the read-outs again. "It is shielded and therefore hard to distinguish when you are all standing so close together," he added. He did not need to say more. They all spread out over his den.

Chiana climbed up on his console on one side, Rygel zipped over to the other side. Sikozu stepped backwards onto the bridge while Ka D'Argo stepped off to one side and Crichton took the opposite side. Aeryn remained where she was.

"Well?" D'Argo demanded. "Who is it?"

For a long moment all Pilot did was stare at his readouts. Then he raised his head slowly and focused on the one who carried the tacking device.

***

John felt himself pale as he followed Pilot's line of sight. There was no doubt who the shellhead was looking at and it made him feel sick to his stomach. How far would the others go to protect themselves? What would they do now that they knew?

Aeryn stood very still, back ramrod straight, her eyes on Pilot. But the response he had more or less expected – which was straight out denial – didn't come. She just stood there. "Me?" she finally asked quietly.

"I am sorry, Aeryn, but yes. The signal is very clear now. There is no doubt," Pilot replied.

John glanced around at the others, from Chiana's expression of surprise to D'Argo's look of dread to Sikozu's narrowed eyes to Rygel's calculating look. "No," he finally said and stepped forward. "No, the equipment must be faulty. How should that have happened? I mean, come on, guys."

"Scorpius had her in his custody for a cycle," Sikozu said and stepped forward. "It is quite likely."

"But ..." John tried, but Aeryn raised a hand, palm out, stopping him.

"She's right, John," she said quietly. "Scorpius has had ample opportunity. Now all we have to do is find out where it is and cut it out of me."

"That will unfortunately not be so easy," Pilot said. "If it is of the design I assume it may be, it is not only shielded, but also secured. Removing it ourselves would probably kill you."

"Well, be that as it may," Aeryn said, her tone hard and cold. "We cannot reenter known space while I have this dren stuck inside of me. The bio scanner should be able to tell us where it's located now that we know what we're looking for."

"It most likely will not," Pilot disagreed. "That is part of the shielding. It will not show up on a normal bio scan. And without knowing the implant's exact location, it will be impossible to remove it."

Aeryn closed her eyes and pressed her lips together for a moment. Then she nodded once as if agreeing with herself about something. "Fine," she said and opened her eyes again. "I will leave Moya so the rest of you can return to the Uncharted Territories."

"No way," John exclaimed and took a step closer.

"Yeah, no frelling way," Chiana chimed in.

"That is not a solution any of us can live with," D'Argo agreed.

"I can," Rygel intoned and pulled back a bit when everybody stared daggers at him.

Aeryn looked around at them, obviously moved, then settled her gaze on John. "I'm a danger to you all, to Moya and Pilot too. If I stay, we can never return to the Uncharted Territories. And how is anyone supposed to go home from here?" She was literally pleading with him to understand that she had to leave, but John would have nothing of it.

"No, no and no," he insisted. "No way are you leaving. We'll find a way to get that crap out of you. We're not leaving you out here to fend for yourself when there's nowhere to go. And even if there was, I wouldn't ... I couldn't ..."

Aeryn cupped a hand against his cheek. "John, calm down," she said quietly. "You're in no condition to get this worked up about this."

He grabbed her hands in his. "I'm not losing you again over something like this, okay? No way, no how. We'll find a way to deal with this. You're staying put. Right, guys?"

"I agree," D'Argo said.

"Yeah, like we'll let a little thing like that stop us," Chiana said with a grin.

"Oh, very well. I have nothing to say anyway," Rygel growled from the far side of the den.

"Of course you should not leave, Aeryn," Pilot agreed. "Neither Moya or I will hear of it."

"That's settled then," John said. The first tendrils of pain had started to rise in his head and he knew it would take fairly little time before the headache was back to drive him insane. A little panicky at the mere thought, he turned his attention to Sikozu, who stood away from the rest of them.

The Kalish met his eyes dead on and hers were as unreadable as ever. Then she titled her head to the right a little, nodded once and left without saying a word.

Aeryn glanced over her shoulder to watch her go and then turned her attention to John. "Where is she going?"

He grimaced. "The headache's coming back," he said. He suddenly felt very exhausted and dizzy again. "I think I'd better get back to bed."

Aeryn eyed him and not for the first time since they had met did he get the feeling that she was seeing right through him. "I really do think it would be better if I left," she tried once more.

John clapped a hand over her mouth and shook his head lightly. "No. There is no way I'm letting you walk off because of something like this. And you heard the others. They don't want that either. So, don't even think about it, okay?"

Her expression was tense, her eyes full of worry. She wanted to do the honorable thing, the Peacekeeper thing, but he wouldn't let her. Not again, not now, not ever. For a moment, she seemed to waver, but then she sighed and nodded once. "All right. I'll stay," she promised.

"Good," John said and smirked, then glanced over at Pilot. "Good work on finding it, Pilot," he said and gave the big shellhead a thumbs-up. "You're the man, Pilot."

Pilot blinked rapidly a few times, but had nothing to say to that. Even after this long, Pilot still had not gotten used to John's peculiar phrases. But he did look relieved that Aeryn had changed her mind about leaving. "Commander, could I have a word with you alone?" he suddenly asked.

John frowned lightly, but nodded. "Sure, purple dude," he agreed.

Aeryn, reluctant to leave him alone right now, lingered after the others had left, but one look from Pilot sent her out of the den at least. John waited until the door had closed behind her and then walked over to the console and leaned one hip against it. "What's up, Pilot?"

"Are you feeling better?" Pilot asked in a tone of voice that made John wonder what he knew.

"Well, apart from the headache coming back, I'm feeling ... better." He knew what this was about, but was reluctant to acknowledge that Pilot apparently knew about his previous decision to spare his friends more misery because of him.

"There will be no more need for me to keep an eye on things, as you say?" Pilot asked.

John just stood there and felt his pain-sense reawakening. It was not a pleasant sensation, but in a strange way it made him feel more alive. "No, Pilot, trust me. I've got other priorities now," he finally said.

"That is good to hear, Commander," Pilot said. "Neither Moya nor I would like to see either Officer Sun or you leave."

Pilot had to be congratulated on being subtle about things. For some obscure reason, he remembered his imaginary conversation with the Pilot in his mind way back when D'Argo had knocked him out and he had nearly died. "You are very wise, Pilot," he said aloud and wondered if he had read this being right.

Pilot smiled. "Well, I do not get out much, do I?" he countered.

John couldn't help himself. He snorted with laughter. "No, you don't, do you," he agreed and blinked a few times. His eyes were starting to feel gummy. "Pilot, I'd better get back to bed before I lose it completely. It would be rather depressing if I were to fall off the bridge into the neural cluster after our little talk here."

"Aeryn is waiting outside. Shall I call her?" Pilot asked.

For a split second John thought about saying no, but then he nodded once. "Might be a good idea. I'm a bit dizzy," he consented.

The door to the den opened again and Aeryn stepped back inside. "Let's get you back to bed, hoo-man," she said with a vague smile.

John glanced back at Pilot. "Keep an eye on her while I'm out, okay? I don't want her trying to be the hero here."

"Not to worry," Pilot promised. "I shall keep an eye on everybody."

"Good. As I said, you're the man, Pilot," John said, draped an arm around Aeryn's shoulders and allowed her to guide him out of there.

***