Synopsis: A brief moment where John almost slips up while Scorpy is watching and listening and Aeryn is wondering what's wrong.

Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing. I'll put'em back when I'm done.

Rating: PG-13


The atmosphere was, in want of a better word, smoldering. The heat was not physical, and yet it was there, evident in the long looks and hidden glances, the swift appearance of a tongue tip quickly run over dry lips, the careful stretching of the lower lip between teeth while furtive eyes only halfway managed to mask their interest. Distance might make the heart grow fonder, but it also stoked the fires within, raising core temperatures and sending otherwise levelheaded individuals into sexual overdrive. Breath became harder, heavier, faster, deeper. Cheeks began to glow with internal heat. Lips dried out and hands became restless.

He shifted on the bench, pressed his lips together into a thin line and tried to focus on something else. But what else was there? She was seductive even when she looked worse for wear. She was hotter than a furnace even though her body temperature was below his. A quick shift, a short sway of her hips, the stretch of her back, the rise of her shoulders that pulled her vest up and exposed otherwise innocent looking skin did things to him he had no words for. When had he become this taken with her again? He had promised himself that he would not let his urges take over and drive him insane. He'd had enough of insanity to last him a life time.

But when she stood like that, stretching to reach something on the upper shelves, barefoot and leather-clad, he found it hard to think of anything else but the heat she emanated and the throbbing in his groin. He was glad for the cover of the table over his lap when he closed his eyes to ban her from his mind. But even through closed eyes, he could sense her. The leather creaked when she moved and he could almost read its language, thereby knowing what she was doing. A scraping sound followed by a slight clatter and she had retrieved what she was after. She was probably standing straight, feet splayed, her hair caressing her back all the way to the lower edge of her vest where a mere smudge of skin could barely be seen; so tantalizing, so beckoning.

He swallowed hard, opened his eyes and forced them onto the cup he was reaching for. But his hand was shivering and instead of grabbing the cup in a firm grip, he stumped it with his fingertips and tipped it over. Water exploded out onto the table surface, soaking all in its path as it spread rapidly in all directions, reached the edge and started dripping down on his thighs.

Even through the heavy leather of his pants could he feel every single droplet hitting the black skin covering his own and even that managed to rouse him even more. And all he could think of doing was to sit there, hands on the tabletop, while the water dripped, dripped, dripped into his lap.

"What the frell are you doing?"

Her voice was throaty, a bit hoarse. She sounded somewhat surprised, but even her voice was another spark to the flame that was roaring inside him. Over-sensitized by the lack of the drug that had so far kept his emotions at bay, he could focus on her only with his eyes. Any chance of speech was long gone. If he opened his mouth, he would tell her how he felt. If he moved, he would take her right here, right now.

She cocked her head to the left while a slow frown started spreading over her brow. "John?"

Oh, why did she had to go and say his name? Didn't she know how he felt? Couldn't she tell how she was affecting him? "Uhm ..." He hesitated, testing the waters, hoping against hope that he wouldn't lose it and confess, that he wouldn't give in and give up and just forgive her all her trespasses so he could have her for himself.

"Are you all right?"

She moved closer, the quiet pat of her feet on the floor the only sound apart from the roaring of the blood in his veins. His heart was pounding away in his throat, giving the impression of wanting to break out of his body to beat more freely.

A sudden thought made him glance sideways at the clamshell. Pilot's image flickered off at that very same second as the door to the center chamber slid shut and the soft click indicated that the lock was in place. Another soft click from the comm-badge stuck to his t-shirt told him that communications was now off.

His gaze turned back to her, to the slow shift of her hips, the rise and fall of her chest and the barely noticed skin swelling beneath the blackness of her vest. The thought of her skin, white and soft, that subtle scent of cinnamon that seemed to be a part of her rather than an added ingredient stirred his senses, induced a state similar to rigor mortis in him. He couldn't move, wouldn't move. Any move would give away the state he was in and as of yet he did not know how she would feel about his sudden change of mind.


She leaned forward, placed her hands on the tabletop across from him to support her weight as she leaned in over the table, her gaze scrutinizing, an air of concern around her, and all he could do was stare into the shadowy confines of her cleavage, at the breasts protected by her vest, while his pants became uncomfortably tight and his breath stuck in his throat.

Her concern changed character when she realized what he was staring at. She glanced down herself, then up again to meet his eyes, then over her shoulder at the closed and sealed door, and without further ado, she straightened up, unzipped her vest and pushed it off her shoulders. It hit the floor with a wet-sounding slap, a faraway sound he barely registered because his eyes were locked on her bare breasts, her impossibly white skin, perfect and unmarked. And all he could think of was how much he wanted to run his hands over that skin, feel the life underneath, the subtle warmth in her. And still he could not move.

As was common for her kind, she took matters into her own hands. In mere seconds, she had stripped off her pants and then climbed up on the table, making her way slowly across the suddenly vast-seeming expanse toward him, toward his hungry eyes and his now utterly dry lips.

When she was so close that their noses almost touched, she turned her head a little to the left and black hair spilled off her shoulders, obscuring her breasts from his view. He instantly reached up to brush it away, to push it back up on her shoulders while his eyes saw nothing but the tantalizing skin, the subtle pink of her nipples, and all he heard was the thudding of his own heart combined with the throbbing in his groin. There were no coherent thoughts left in his head; they had all gone south with the majority of his blood and all that was left was basic animal instinct. And still he did not move.

Dizzy with her presence, he realized he wasn't breathing and expelled whatever air was left in his lungs in a hiss before pulling in a new lung-full of air that was scented with her nearness, heady and sweet and so much stronger than any drug in the universe.

His hand had taken on a life of its own when he touched her, his fingertips gracing over her face in a stiff, jerky manner. He wanted her so much it was painful. She smiled, a soft curving of her lips, a slight puckering that made him want to kiss her more than anything.

He closed his eyes and exhaled in short, controlled bursts.


Her voice sounded too far away. He opened his eyes and found her standing by the counter at the opposite side of the center chamber, fully dressed and with a box of whatever in her hands, her expression one of surprise.

Oh, curse his vivid imagination. He licked his lips, then grabbed the magically full cup and took a quick drink. It had all been in his mind, his imagination going into overdrive, and all he could suddenly feel was the pressure of the bulbs in his pocket, the heaviness of the drug that kept his emotions in check and his passions cooled.

His hand slipped into the pocket, his fingers covered the three bulbs, and he felt reassured by their presence. If she came any closer, his imagination would get the better of him and it just wasn't advisable to show the enemy where to hit him. He couldn't allow his needs to become reality. Not now. Not while 'he' was on Moya.

A deep breath and another sip of water calmed his libido down somewhat. But then she moved. The creak of the leather, the soft shift of her body, and he was back where the notch had risen to 'inferno'. Without paying attention to the fact that she was standing there, watching him, he pulled out a bulb, cracked it and inhaled the powder within through his nose.

Images of them together flashed through his mind, image after agonizing image, and then it was gone. The need to grab her and ravage her right here on this table disappeared as if it had never been. His core temperature plummeted from 'inferno' to 'fridge' and he exhaled a slow, measured breath, took another sip of water and then focused on her.

"What?" he asked, his tone dead, his demeanor indifferent.

Aeryn just stared at him, the obvious disbelief in her eyes overwhelming. Then she shook her head lightly, put the box down on the counter and left the center chamber without another word.

She knew now, knew what he was doing to forget her, to forget his feelings for her, and he was convinced this would come up at some point. He just couldn't find it in himself to care right now.

The End