By Bob Hutchinson (UCSBDad)
Copyright 2001

Disclaimer: This is for the Shipscat-UCSBdad Fanfic Challenge. No offense intended, DK. Time: Between now and then. Rating: Aeryn in a mini-skirt? Archiving: Right there with the rest, okay?

You may remember the "Shipscat-UCSBdad Aeryn in a Short White Skirt Fanfic Challenge". Ships and I were over at the Queen of the Damned BB and were talking about Claudia Black in a New Zealand TV show a few years back called City Life. Her Claudianess played Angela Kostapas, a glamorous and GORGEOUS lawyer in Auckland, NZ. Our Lady of Perpetual Leather is rarely made up or dressed up to be REALLY gotgeous when she's playing Aeryn. Aeryn isn't that kind of character. Ships and I wondered what it would be like to see Aeryn in a very short white that Claudia Black wore as Angela. And have Aeryn flatten poor John as she did in Premiere. As it happened, Ships had apparently tried writing something along those lines, but her computer ate her homework. So, this is my try at it. This is actually best if you read it to the sound of "Legs" by Z Z Topp.

"Camp Dah-Vid?" I asked.

John smiled at me. "Long A, Honey. Camp David. Presidents rest and relax here. They make peace here and entertain foreign dignitaries of all sorts. And now it hosts Earth's first and most beautiful extraterrestrial visitor." He leaned over and kissed me lightly on the cheek. I looked around me. We had the left the rather strange ground vehicle that had brought us here and were headed for a large wooden structure. All around us were humans carrying antique weapons, communicators and computers. I relaxed. They were obviously organized to protect us, unlike the armed humans I had dealt with on the Ancient's false Earth.

"This'll be our home for a while, Honey. What do you think?"

The building was made of logs and had large windows covered with some clear substance. It was not what I was used to. "I'd feel better, John, if they had force fields covering those openings. It looks likeÖ." I was uncertain what to say.

"Like something a deficient human would build?" John teased.

"It looks like a very romantic place." I finished.

Before John could reply, James Thurmond called to us from the doorway. James Thurmond worked for the President of John's country. Excuse me, the President of our country. He was a spin-doctor, and John had explained what that was to me at least three times. I still wasn't sure what he did.

"Mr. and Mrs. Crichton? Can you join Colonel Crichton, Mr. Welles and I inside?"

When we were inside, I saw that the first floor was mostly one large room. There was something hidden by doors at the rear of the house and I assumed that the sleeping quarters were upstairs. The furniture seemed to be made from wood and some sort of natural fiber cloth and looked comfortable. The three humans were seated around a table by a window. On the other side of the room, several other humans performed some sort of incomprehensible tasks with their antique machines.

Jack waved at me. "Aeryn, sit by me. I need to get to know my daughter a lot better."

"Typical fighter jock, hogging the beautiful women." John smiled, so I knew he wasn't upset at how much attention Jack Crichton paid to me.

Mr. Thurmond broke in. "I've been going over the numbers. The President's approval ratings have made a sustained gain of eight percent across the board. Interestingly, his ratings among women sixty and overÖ."

Mr. Welles broke in. "Fine. Fine. I think I can summarize, Jim." He glanced at the other man. Welles was the President's Chief of Staff and, according to Jack was the most powerful person dealing with us. Welles leaned back and smiled at us all. "Both the Congress and the public are taking Mrs. Crichton's arrival, and your friends still in orbit, quite well. The speech to the Joint Session of Congress was very well received. Not that it's that hard to get a favorable reaction from a beautiful woman on the Hill." He toned down the smile. I wondered if that meant bad news was next. I'd ask John later about "body English". "The press conference in the Rose Garden was excellent except for the problems you all know of. Officially, Europe is happy to share whatever information Commander Crichton has gathered for IASA, and happy to leave Aeryn's knowledge to us. Unofficially, they'd like more. The Russians, Chinese and Indians are talking about a bloc to protest the exclusion of non-IASA countries, but they're already starting to approach us separately about a deal. And there are the usual suspects. There was an anarchist riot in Rio de Janeiro protesting any use of alien technology. Several Islamic militant groups have declared Mrs. Crichton to be un-Islamic. A rather obvious statement, I'd say."

John leaned forward. "Is Aeryn in any danger? I've never been happy about giving up our weapons and I know Aeryn hates it."

Strangely, I was the one who spoke up for remaining unarmed. "John, if any Earth government was hostile, D'Argo would flatten them from orbit. Any terrorist group would be too small to get past our security here. We're better off showing that we just want to be ordinary citizens by handing over our weapons."

Welles smiled. "Anything you'd like added to the security, Commander ? More troops on the perimeter? Armor? Gunships? More combat air patrols? More Secret Service for close in protection? Even your own weapons back?"

John shook his head and then leaned over to me. "Your problem is that you're thinking like a soldier, Aeryn. I'm thinking like a husband." He whispered in my ear.

Welles waited for a few microts until he was sure there were no more objections. "Tonight will be a little different. This is a little social affair for a few of the President's closest friends and allies. It wonít be scripted for Aeryn like the speeches she's made so far. Is Aeryn's English up to the task?"

I looked at John and silently asked a question. John smiled at us all. "Aeryn and her English are up for anything, including lunch. Is there a kitchen around here?"

Welles called towards the back. "Chief Habermann. Can you come out here?"

A large man dressed in a white suit walked out of the back. "Yes, sir?"

"John, Chief Habermann is the chef here. What would you like."

John's face lit up in a huge smile. "Do you have the makings for a sandwich, Chief?"

"Yes, sir. Virginia ham and Swiss cheese? Italian salami and provolone? Chicken breast? Chicken salad? Tuna?"

John put his arms up. "Whoa! How about one of each?"

Welles spoke up. "I think a tray of assorted sandwiches are in order. Mrs. Crichton, do you have any favorites?"

I thought for a second and looked at John. Should I have a favorite? I had discovered that human culture had many do's and don'ts concerning food.

John laughed. "Anything that doesn't have food cubes in it will be fine for both of us." John turned and looked towards the floor above us. "What's up there?"

Welles glanced at Chief Habermann who was apparently still waiting to see if I had a favorite sandwich.

Habermann scratched his head. "Master bedroom, sir. Nice and large. The rest of the floor is an office. Brand new computer and peripherals. And an entertainment center. Satellite TV, DVD player, the works."

John looked at me and then at Welles and Thurmond. "We'll be awfully busy, Chief."

Habermann laughed. "Too bad, sir. We get all of the baseball games by satellite. Some nice pennant races on now."

John looked at me with a pained expression on his face. I sighed and turned to Chief Habermann. "Pennant races? How interesting. Can you tell me more?"

John grinned, took my hand and we headed upstairs.

Shortly thereafter, we were all sitting upstairs in front of some sort of visual communications device. Welles, Chief Habermann and Thurmond were explaining to John changes in the incomprehensible game being played. The discussion was all about lineups, stats and other human words that didnít translate. We had a plate of sandwiches, which I found were quite good. Most human food was tastier than the Peacekeeper rations I had been raised on.

"Soft drink, Mrs. Crichton?" Asked Chief Habermann. He was offering me some sort of cylindrical container. Presumably it had liquid in it. I took it and examined it closely. I rapped it sharply on the table. "Soft drink?" I asked.

"It means it has no alcohol, Aeryn." Jack told me. "Don't ask me why that's so."

I leaned over to Jack, carefully checking that Welles and Thurmond were involved in the game on the visual device. "Jack, what exactly is happening tonight?"

Jack leaned over to me. "It's a private social gathering, strictly unofficial and non-political. Of course, nothing the President does isn't political or official on some level. But it's a chance for him and some very important people to get to know you and John without having to invite all of the other important people on the planet. The President will be here, of course and the First lady. Er, that's his wife. Prime Minister Keith will be here, of course. Keith and the President are practically joined at the hip in normal times, but this is hardly normal. Half a dozen people from our legislature who are old friends of the President and happen to be in powerful positions."

We spent half of the rest of the afternoon discussing who would be there that night and what would be expected of me. Then John decided I needed to learn about baseball. I suppose that was necessary to my learning about Earth, too.

That evening, I stared at myself in the mirror in the bathroom off of our bedroom. "John, there'll be human women here tonight, right?"

"Sure, Hon. Some wives. Two senators. A couple of high-powered media types. Why?"

"Do you think I look all right?" I had on a black tee and my leather pants and boots.

"You're not going to ask me if that outfit makes you look fat, are you?" John asked. I looked at him and decided he was teasing me.

"I have been paying attention, you know. Human women donít dress like I do. I just want to know if I should change so I donít stand out so much." I turned slightly so I could see over my shoulder at my back. It looked fine to me.

John walked over and put his arms around me. "You'll always stand out, Aeryn."

I kissed him lightly. "Well, some new clothes might be a good idea. You can help me shop." For some reason, that got an odd look from John.

Two arns, no hours, later, we were standing down stairs waiting for the President. Most of the people with us were our guards, but a few guests had arrived early. A dozen or so humans were looking at the front door and trying to pretend they weren't. More human culture questions to ask John. Then we heard a commotion outside and one of our guards opened the door. The President and the First Lady walked in followed by another dozen or so humans. Immediately, everyone converged on the President. John and I were the only ones to hang back. Then I noticed a woman with reddish brown hair smiling at us and heading for John and I. Was this a friend of John's? She stopped a few feet a way and smiled broadly at John, ignoring me.

"Hello, Commander Crichton. Since you've been spending so much time with plain, skinny, flat-chested aliens, I thought you'd like to see what a real woman looks like again." With that, she reached up to the shoulder of her dress and pulled something. The dress fell off and she stood there, wearing only a smile.

I had spent so much time trying to appear non-threatening to the humans, that my training failed me for a few microts. By the time I stepped towards the trelk, John had grabbed me around the waist and pulled me away. . All around me was pandemonium. John was screaming to our guards, who had now grabbed the trelk and were hauling her off. Someone picked up her dress and headed off after her. John grabbed his father and told him to take me back into the kitchen. He headed off after the guards. Jack put his hand on my shoulder and led me into the back. I badly wanted to hit someone, but not Jack or John.

In a few more microts we could hear John outside the kitchen door, arguing loudly with someone. I looked questioningly at Jack. He just smiled and headed back out of the kitchen with me right behind him.

"I want to know who the hell she is and how she got here." John was yelling at a strange man in a dark blue suit.

Blue suit looked worried. "We're trying, Commander. It'll take a while. Fortunately, nothing bad has happened."

Welles arrived just as blue suit made that comment. "Except for Mrs. Crichton being insulted in front of the President." Welles said acidly. "Are we supposed to be happy she didn't shoot Mrs. Crichton?"

Several of our guards came back inside and converged on the man in the blue suit and started to pull him away. Welles stopped them. "Reynoso, what happened?" he asked.

Reynoso glanced at the man in the blue suit, who I assumed was her boss and then back to Welles. She must have decided that Welles was the one she had to worry about.

"Sir, she's Jane "Randy" Randall. Reporter for Shriek magazine. They cover music, mostly. She's best known for sleeping with rock stars and reporting the results in the magazine. I guess she set her sights higher than the latest boy band, this time."

"How did she get in here?" John broke in.

"Our fault, Sir. She was at the media compound outside the perimeter. She stole one of the network anchor's ID in the ladies room. The President stopped by the media center to say hello. When he left, she tagged along. Everybody thought she was supposed to be there." She turned to John and me. "Our apologies, Sir, Ma'am."

The rest of the evening was a strain. John glared at everyone and tried to stay between me and anyone approaching us. I was glad when the party broke up and we went back upstairs.

John caught me looking in the mirror at myself as we got ready for bed.. "You're gorgeous, Aeryn. That woman was just jealous that you have me and she doesn't."

I smiled at John and then turned and looked at myself sideways. I inhaled and held it for a few microts. "She called me flat-chested. Compared to her, I am. Are most Earth woman soÖlarge?"

John laughed. At least he wasn't angry any more. "Aeryn, silicone is a most over rated commodity."

I sighed at yet another incomprehensible human cultural reference. What could a simple chemical have to do with our discussion?

John put his arms around me. "Perhaps I should explain what I meant by that last line, Honey. Better yet, perhaps I can show you."

It could be so rewarding learning about human customs.

I woke up the next morning when I felt John get out of bed. I looked up questioningly at him.

"Sorry, Honey. IASA wants to talk to me. And the US government does not want Aeryn Sun Crichton to be part of the deal with IASA, so you have to stay. "

"Frell!" I stretched, carefully letting the blanket fall off of me.

John leaned over and kissed me. "Good idea, but I have work to do. Remember what we said before we got here? Work before pleasure. You can watch TV and surf the Internet while I'm gone. You'll learn more about Earth."

"Hmph!" I grumped. "Watch TV and the Internet?"

As it happened, I watched TV for three arns and then spent most of the rest of the day on the Internet. When John returned in the evening, I was ready. I heard him call to me as he came up the stairs to our bedroom. "Aeryn, get dressed, Hon. We have a dinner date with the head of NASA."

John walked through the door and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me. He stared at me for a few microts and then said, "Lucy, you in a lot of trouble."

I smiled at him. "Donít you think I look nice in white, John?"

"Nice? How could I tell, Aeryn? There isn't enough cloth there to tell. What the frell do you think you're doing?"

"I think you said we were going out to dinner, John." I replied calmly.

"Not dressed like that, we're not." John walked over to get a better look. "Aeryn, you can see right through that blouse and there's nothing but you under it. My God! I can see the scar where than damned Scarren broke one of your ribs. Frell! What am I talking about? I can see everything."

"The skirt is not see-through." I said reasonably.

"No it isnít. And as long as you donít move, no one will see anything, so you will not move, Aeryn. Where did you ever get the idea to dress like that?"

"I watched television today. That woman was on." I didn't need to tell John which woman that was. "She said I was physically unattractive. She also said that I was unpleasant and rude. She also said you were a loser if I was the best you could do. And the audience agreed with her."

"Audience? What show was she on, Aer?"

"Walter Butler. Sixty two percent of his audience thoughtÖ" I didn't get to complete that.

"Walter Butler?" John roared. "Walter Butler! Aeryn, sixty two percent of his audience consists of cross-dressing neo-Nazi's in prison. Sixty two percent of his audience thinks it's okay to have an affair with a houseplant. Sixty two percent of his audience thinks the Constitution protects the right to arm bears. Sixty two percent of his audience is frelling brain dead, Aeryn."

I wasn't at all sure what John had just said, but I was determined. "Carolyn Shay on America at Large said she thought the outlaw biker look was overdone and that my hair in a pigtail, whatever that is, was unbecoming. She's a major network news person, isnít she?"

I started to the door, but John got there first. "You are not going out dressed like that, Aeryn." I feinted to the left, then the right and then the left. As usual John took the wrong feint and a pushed past him. For once he wasn't totally faked out and he grabbed my arm. I pushed against him and he fell with me on top of him, sitting on his chest, with my knees on his shoulders.

John glared up at me. "You'd better hit me a lot harder if you think you're going out dressed in that."

The anger went out of me and I started to get up off of John. He pulled me back down on top of him, instead.

"I frelled up, didnít I" No real need to ask. I knew I had.

"Your heart's in the right place, Aeryn." John put his arms around me and held me.

"Frell! Can you see that, too?"

We lay there for a while. "I'm sorry, John. I was angry that they insulted me, but I could have accepted that. They said horrible things about you and I admit I lost my temper. Am I forgiven."

"No." John said quietly. "First you have to punch a certain woman in the nose. Then youíre forgiven."

I glared at John, but couldnít hold it. I giggled.

"You're right, though, Honey. You do need some Earth clothes. We'll go shopping tomorrow. My treat."

I kissed John. "Actually, I did buy some other clothes on the Internet. I just thought the white outfit was what I wanted."

John looked at me suspiciously. "Did you buy some blouses that you can't see through?"

I nodded.

"Skirts that you could sit down while wearing? Maybe bend over a little?"

I nodded again.

"Well, let's get you dressed, Mrs. Crichton. We have a dinner to go to."

I started unbuttoning my blouse. "You'll have to help me out of these clothes and into my new ones. How much time do we have?"

John sighed. "Not that much time, Aeryn."

But he started helping with the buttons.