The goal of most authors is to create a character so complete that it can take on a life of its own. When this happens, the character can seem like a real person to us. So what happens to them when they aren't on screen or in fanfic? Since Einstein says matter and energy cannot be destroyed, they have to go somewhere!
Enter my best friend Amanda. After lots of debating, we came up with the Character Null Void, a kind of Character Purgatory/Waiting Room where creations who are not on screen or in a fanfiction stay. Since we can't have them just floating around in space we created a coffee shop for them to hang out in. Why a coffee shop? Because we couldn't picture them in a Biker Bar.
So thats the setup. Confused? That's ok...if you don't understand who some of the non-Farscape characters are you should still get the story, you may just miss a few in-jokes. Oh, and bragging rights to the first person who can guess who J.L. is in real life. :-)
Special Thanks To: Kitsah, Johneice, Scifi_chic9, and goulagirl for reading this and telling me it's funny no matter how many times I asked; and also to SACC for putting up with thier obsessive leader! :-)
Legal Stuff: This is all done with tongue planted FIRMLY in cheek, and takes some character liberties. I don't own ANY of these characters except for J.L. and the idea...so DON'T SUE ME PLEASE!! All rights reserved, void where prohibited, do not taunt happy fun ball.
Far out on the very edge of space, right at the end of the universe, Douglas Addams said that there was a lovely five-star restaurant. This restaurant catered to the rich and famous, and served only the finest cuisine to it's discriminating patrons. Visitors came and went as they pleased, and always had a pleasant stay.
But just off to the right side of the edge of the universe, down a stellar path a bit thick with debris, there is a small coffee shop. The outside looks a great deal like a pit stop truckers on I-90 use at 4am. Vehicles of all sizes, shapes and color are parked randomly around it, illuminated by bright red neon letters on the front proclaiming this place to be "The Character Null Void Coffee Shop."
The main entrance is a set of well worn 2-way doors, with a small hand-painted sign hanging crooked from an old nail that says "No shirt, no show, no service." Through those doors is a well used yet not run down coffee shop that looks a lot smaller at first glance then it really is. On one side is a long counter, and the rest of the room is dotted with tables, chairs and booths as varied as the ships outside. Behind the counter is a slightly pudgy gentleman in a clean pair of blue jeans and a white T-shirt. He is wearing a white apron that has his name monogrammed in small, red letters: J.L. Baird. J.L. is the creator, owner, and manager of the coffee shop, and has been since day one.
Next to him is an old fashioned cash register, the manual kind without the high tech lazer scanners and electronic eyes. Above and all around him are coffee mugs, grinders and mixers, espresso machines, and a few blackboards listing the prices and specials of the day. A small rectangular window about chest high looks into a backroom where someone is washing dishes, and from that window a hand appears to deposit a plate with a club sandwich and fries on it. J.L. turns to grab the plate, and then fills up a coffee cup.
"Club and black?" J.L. calls out.
A tall figure in a long brown trench coat and a camera in his hands gets up from a table by the corner and walks over. With a smile he says "That's mine."
As J.L. hands over the food he asks "You've been here quite a while Chance. Shouldn't you be in re-runs or something? At least some fanfic?"
Chance just sighs, "We'll see. For now, I guess I'll just keep enjoying my vacation." He looks like he is about to say more but he is cut off by a cheer from the only other people in the Void, a rowdy group of characters all huddled over a TV in another corner. With a shrug Chance returns to his table to watch "Early Edition".
For a while the Coffee Shop is quiet except for the background drone of the TV's dotted around and the sound of washing dishes floating up from the back room. Then the double doors open and in walk six figures, all drastically different species and yet also obviously together as a group. They quickly move to take stools at the counter.
"What can I get you?" J.L. asks with a smile.
"You have any beer yet?" the human in the bright orange spacesuit asks.
"Nope. I told you, I don't have a liquor license." J.L. says, "We're a coffee shop, not a bar."
"Crichton could really use a drink." The short Hynerian says with a laugh.
"Crichton *always* needs a drink." The Nebari next to him retorts.
"Yea, well if you got smacked around as much as I do Chiana, you'd need a drink just as often!" Crichton says.
J.L. starts to get impatient, "Are you folks gonna argue or order?"
"I'll just take some water." The Luxian says as he adjusts his Qualta Blade, "And...what was that thing that Pilot wanted?"
"Iced Cappichino." Chiana supplies.
"Right, one of those things too."
"I want a medium rare cheeseburger with fries, a side order of onion rings, and a chocolate milkshake." Chiana rattles off.
"Dren, that sounds good." The Sebation says under her breath, then turns to J.L "Give me the same thing!"
"Why Aeryn how unoriginal!" Chiana giggles.
"I'll just have a latte thanks." Rygel says as he settled on his stool.
J.L. nodded, his pen still trying to catch up as he turns to Crichton, "So?"
"All right..." Crichton muses as he looks over the blackboards. "Give me some cherry pie a la mode." He then raises his voice a bit "And tell your buddy back there I don't want it flying at my face this time!"
J.L grins and turns to the blue Pa'u sitting on the end, "And what can I get for the beautiful young lady?"
The Delvian gives a modest smile and says "Nothing for me thanks." As J.L. goes to call out the orders the Pa'u reaches into one of the folds in her dress and pulls out a small pack of Morley's. She removes a slender cigarette and begins to pat her pockets. With a frown she says "Oh frell I must have left my lighter on Moya."
D'Argo gives Zhaan a disapproving look, "You really should quit Zhaan. Those things are bad for you."
"What can I say, I got a bit more from Tahleen than I bargained for." Zhaan shrugs. She looks about to give up when an older gentleman in a distinguished suit and tie walks over and offers her a lit lighter. "Thanks" she says with a warm smile as she lights the cigarette.
"My pleasure." the Smoking Man says with an oily grin, then closes the lighter and returns to the rowdy crowd in the corner just as a enthusiastic yell goes up.
"Must be watching football." Crichton muses wistfully, "I hope the Bills are doing well."
"So what's are we doing later?" Rygel asks as he munches from the bowl of beer nuts.
"I got the day off...again!" Chiana whines, "Nobody knows *what* to do with me!"
"I'll trade you any day Pip!" Crichton says "I've got a fic where I get killed, and another where I get shot!"
"I thought we had *three* fanfiction pieces lined up for today." D'Argo says with surprise.
Aeryn grins and slides a seductive arm around Crichton's shoulders, "His day isn't *all* bad."
Everyone gives the two knowing looks that make Crichton blush, "Yea...well...gotta love those romantic fic's."
Rygel rolls his eyes, "Another? Crichton all you do is get beaten up or laid! When do *I* get a romantic love scene?"
Before anyone can come up with a smart remark, J.L. appears with the orders. As he places the food and drink down he give Zhaan a disapproving look similar to the one she just received from D'Argo, "Zhaan, I told you no smoking in here! Even the Smoking Man can't light up inside."
"Oh all right!" Zhaan says, "Here, I'll bring Pilot his drink." She grabs the Iced Cappichino and walks out the double doors.
As the ladies dive into their full meals, D'Argo grabs his water and says softly "You may be upset with your role in these fics and in the episodes, but at least your the main character in most of them."
Crichton looks about to reply when another loud roar comes up from the crowd in the corner. Aeryn calls out around a mouthful of cheeseburger "Hey J.L. what in Hezmanna is going on over there?"
"They're watching the latest X-File." J.L replies, "I guess they have a bet going or something."
D'Argo gets up with his Avion and walks over, curious. He tries to pear around the crowd but can't see the TV. Finally he taps a young man in a black leather jacket on his shoulder and asks "What's all the yelling about?"
The man turns around to look at D'Argo, "The script calls for Mulder to kiss Scully at the end of the show, but they hate each other so much some of us bet they will back off at the last second...like always!"
"Krycek, they'll do what the script says or Chris will *kill* them!" A bald man in the front calls out.
"Don't count on it Skinner!" Krycek shoots back, turning away from D'Argo and back to the television, "Remember the movie?"
D'Argo shakes his head and returns to the counter. When everyone gives him expectant looks he just shrugs and says "Fox shows."
Everyone gives understanding nods and returns to their food. After they enjoy a few moments of quiet, the double doors once again opened up to let in four men and a woman all dressed in the same bright uniform. They stop just inside the Coffee Shop and look around, and when the leader's eyes fell on the group from Moya he points them out. The five walk over and the leader taps Crichton on the shoulder.
Crichton spins around to say hi but is interrupted with an angry finger in his face. "You!" The Captain says, "You and your...band of... misfits have taken over....OUR time...slot!"
Crichton gives the Captain a surprised look, then says evenly "It's just for the week, it's part of that whole Chain Reaction thing."
"But thats....our slot!" The Captain says angrily, "We were... having this very nice....COMEBACK and then *BAM*...bumped for... Muppets meets Lost In Space!"
"Muppet!" Rygel sputters as he turns around, "The only Muppet in this room is the creature on your head you call a hairpiece!"
The older man in the blue uniform shakes his head sadly, "Oh you've done it now. NEVER make fun of Jim's hairpiece!"
"Bones!" The Captain says angrily "It's not....a hairpiece this is my...real...hair."
"Sure Jim." McCoy says reassuringly as he pats the Captain's arm.
"Enough!" Kirk says, shaking off the arm and moving just inches from Crichton's face, "I want...my timeslot back! Give it to me now!"
"Listen buddy," Crichton says, his face getting hot as he grows angry "I'm not in charge of programming. If your unhappy that your 20 year old show got moved for something new then take it up with Scifi!"
"Or perhaps we should just remove the competition." The man with the Scottish accent says as he pulls a phaser from his side. This makes Aeryn and D'Argo reach for their weapons, and within a moment the two sides are facing each other with weapons drawn. The tension is thick enough that even the rowdy X-Files crowd turn from their show to watch.
"Now I don't want any violence..." J.L. said as he ducks behind the counter.
Chiana and the black woman start hissing and snapping at each other.
"Blue freak!" the human says viciously.
"Old crone!" Chiana snaps back.
"So I hear you boldly get beaten up wherever you go." the man with the Russian accent says to Crichton as he raises his fists, "Care to learn a few pointers?"
"Oh that's it you're going DOWN!" Crichton explodes.
The two groups look ready to tear each other apart when two voices from the entrance call out "STOP!"
Both groups turn to see who would call out. The crew of the Enterprise stop in shock, "Spock?"
The crew of Moya freeze as well, "Zhaan?"
In the doorways stands the Delvian and the Vulcan. Zhaan has her head nestled on Spock's shoulder and a content smile on her face. The Vulcan looks as pleased as a Vulcan can look.
"Zhaan what are you doing?" D'Argo growls out as he grips his Qualta Blade tightly.
"Spock here was nice enough to share Unity with me and remove the smoking part of Tahleen from my mind." Zhaan says happily.
"It is called a mind meld." Spock corrects matter of factly.
"You shared Unity with HIM?" D'Argo asks in shock.
"Spock!" Kirk calls out in outrage, "How could you...abandon your....own...crew...for....these BEINGS?"
"It was not a logical decision." Spock says, "But the idea was... intriguing, and defiantly worth it."
As both groups process what has just happened, they slowly put away their weapons. J.L. takes this as a cue to re-appear from behind the counter and says gently "Why don't I seat the Enterprise crew now. Over here. WAY over here..." He grabs a few menus and motions for the crew to follow him to the farthest corner of the coffee shop.
As Kirk and his crew are lead away, the Captain pauses to throw one more remark in Crichton's face "It's a good thing...this happened. I am a...MASTER at...hand to hand combat!"
"Yea, I'd like to see you try without the writers help!" Crichton shoots back as the Star Trek personal are taken away.
Before Spock can join his companions Zhaan leans over and plants a gentle kiss on his cheek. "I am grateful for the chance to experience such a well ordered mind."
"The experience was mutual." Spock says, then turns to re-join his crew. After a few moments of shocked silence Zhaan does the same, and the crew from Moya re-take their stools at the counter.
"Pilot says thank you for the drink." Zhaan says as if nothing had happened.
Crichton is now grinning, "So Zhaan, Unity with a Vulcan? What do you think he got from it?"
"A personality." Rygel says with a snort of laughter.
"We will have to see." Zhaan replies with an interesting smile.
Crichton looks up to check the time, and then gets up after finishing off the pie with one more bite. "Opps, I gotta go. Fanfiction calls." He turns to Aeryn, "Are you coming Aeryn?"
Chiana opens his mouth to say something but a glare from J.L. shuts her up. "We're a PG establishment Chiana!" The owner says.
Chiana simply grins, "Later then."
"You go on ahead John." Aeryn says as she continues to work on her French fries, "I'm not needed until the third section anyway, and I wana finish these fries." She gives him an evil grin, "And you don't need my help getting killed anyway, you can do that all by yourself."
"Thanks." Crichton says sarcastically.
Zhaan looks at the human with a bit of pity, "If it helps John, nobody does a better death scene then you do."
Chiana laughs and then starts to chant "John! John! John! John!" She is joined by the rest of the crew as Crichton laughs and bows.
"Thanks guys. Welp, off to die then!" And then the human walks out the doors.
There is a short pause, then Zhaan turns to Rygel and says "Rygel, don't you need to go with him?"
There is a moment of thought, and then surprise comes over the Hynerian's face, "Oh dren! Crichton wait up!" He floats up in his chair and halfway towards the door before turning around to ask "Aren't you going to cheer for me as I leave?"
Chiana rolls her eyes and says "Oh all right. Toad! Toad! Toad! Toad!"
Rygel simply sighs and floats out the door as D'Argo, Aeryn, Chiana and Zhaan laugh. The four settle in for a few more minutes of quiet, enjoying the chance to really relax before each sets off for some work. Once Aeryn finally finishes her fries they get up to leave. J.L. comes over to clean up and asks "Put in on the Scifi Channel's tab?"
"As always." D'Argo chuckles, "I expect to run up a large bill."
"See ya later then." J.L. waves as the remaining Moya crewmembers leave. Just as they exit a huge sigh comes from the corner containing all the X-Files characters. "So what happened?" J.L. calls out.
"I knew it!" Krycek calls out in glee, "Skinner, Melissa, you owe me fifty bucks!"
J.L. doesn't have time to find out the particulars, a new cast is coming in the door for some rest and relaxation, and he has coffee to make.