Author's Note: This is another in the Coffee Shop series. If you haven't read the original story, go read it so you know what this place is all about! Plus it would make me very happy! :-)
This takes place during the time in December when the Scifi channel wasn't showing ANY Farscape...the Long Dark Farscape Time for the Soul...
Disclaimer: I don't own ANY of these characters! I'm not even leasing them! But I will return them all unharmed...I am a SACCer ya know. Please don't sue me? I DO own the idea of the Coffee Shop and J.L. though, so if you want to use them please ask me first!
Special Thanks To: My friends/beta readers (Ceallaig, In2Scifi, ArtistStudio and Kieriahn...LOVE YOU!!), to SACC for putting up with their obsessive leader, and to Amanda, my best friend of 10 years, for being a good beta reader and a great friend!
Television schedules, like life, constantly change. Sometimes one may turn on the TV to discover several new programs all airing at the same time, and sometimes no matter how many channels there are, nothing is watchable. While the Summer can be a dead time for television, Sweeps weeks are the busiest for those involved in broadcasting.
J.L. Baird, owner and bartender of the Character Null Void Coffee Shop, is bored.
Sitting on an overturned bucket, with a rag in one hand and a bottle of window cleaner in the other, J.L. painstakingly washes one of the large windows that look out on the vast starfield outside. The shop behind him is silent, all the TV's are off, all the dishes are washed, and all the patrons are busy in their shows. *It's sweeps week, no one has time to relax.*
Hearing footsteps coming towards the main entrance, J.L amends his last thought *Well ALMOST no one.* He stands, stretches a sore back, and heads towards the counter just as the double doors open to allow a raven haired former Peacekeeper access.
"Hey Aeryn, welcome back." J.L. greets her as she approaches the counter. She looks nervous, her eye dart frequently to the entrance she just passed through, but a small smile is playing across her face.
"J.L." She greets the owner with a nod as she takes a stool. "I don't have time to talk, I just want a coffee."
Grabbing a cup to fill, J.L. asks "Not even for a few moments? I haven't had anyone to talk to in days since sweeps week started!"
"I'm in a hurry." Aeryn insists.
J.L. hands Aeryn the cup of black coffee, and watches amazed as she downs the cup in a few gulps. "Hey go easy on that! You know how hyper the caffeine makes you."
The Sebacean shrugs as she hands back the cup and stands up, "I need the energy."
"I said I'm in a hurry."
"Not to be harsh, but you guys don't have a new episode until January. What could you possibly be in such a hurry for?" J.L. smiles slyly. "Got a hot fanfic?"
Aeryn shakes her head, "Not quite. I just need some time to myself. Thanks for the coffee." And with a small wave the Sebacean exits the coffee shop, leaving J.L. with one dirty coffee cup and one puzzled expression.
Shrugging, J.L. washes out the cup, places it on a drying rack, and then returns to the window to continue washing. He barely has time to sit back down on the bucket when the double doors fly open and in practically runs John Crichton.
"Where is she?" the human asks as J.L stands to return behind the counter.
"Who?" J.L. asks.
"Aeryn. I know she was here. Listen, I've got the Farscape idling outside so I don't have time for lunch, I just need to know where she went."
Stunned and a bit confused, J.L. replies "Well she came in for a cup of coffee, downed it in a few gulps, made some vague comment about wanting to be alone, and left about two minutes ago." The owner looks over Crichton, "What is going on with you guys?"
"Cabin Fever gone horribly wrong that's what!" Crichton says with a small laugh. "We were all going nuts without a new show, and everyone was starting to get on everyone else's nerves. I made the mistake of suggesting to Aeryn we play a small practical joke, something to relieve the tension."
"And?" J.L. prompts.
"And...well it kind of got out of hand, so I don't have time to talk. I'll be back later for some pie!" And with that cryptic comment the human leaves.
J.L. stands behind his counter for a few more moments, pondering this latest bit of information. Just as he is about to shrug off the odd conversation the double doors once again open, and the slow moving figure of Dominar Rygel XVI can be seen entering. What makes him slow moving is the fact that the Hynerian is sans his usual hover chair and instead is walking. It takes him a few moments to reach the counter, and with a few climbing maneuvers more agile than one would think his body could allow, he sits down on one of the stools.
"Rygel, what can I do for you?" J.L. asks pleasantly.
"Just some information and then I will be going." Rygel says, "I'm in a bit of a hurry."
"You and half the galaxy." J.L. snorts.
Rygel pauses in thought for a moment, "Actually I could use some of those things you had on the counter before...Crichton called then Bare Nuts?"
"Beer Nuts." J.L. corrects as he pulls out a bowl to snack on. Normally he tries to hide the free counter snacks from Rygel for fear the Hynerian would eat him out of business, but J.L. figures as long as Rygel is devouring beer nuts he can get some information.
"So where is he?" Rygel asks suddenly.
"Who?" J.L. asks even as he suspects who.
"That frelling human!" Rygel says, his voice rising in anger as he mentions Crichton, "I know he came here. Where did he go?"
"I don't know." J.L. says honestly, "Aeryn stopped by first, then Crichton, both in a hurry. Rygel, what's going on?"
"Crichton and his impractical jokes, that's what is going on!" Rygel says as he stuffs another handful of the beer nuts into his mouth.
"Don't you mean PRACTICAL jokes?" J.L. corrects again.
"Well these weren't very practical." Rygel snorts, "He damaged my hoverchair!"
"Damaged? What do you mean?"
Rygel sighs, then says "He changed the wiring on the directional controls, and set up a random generator to change the input each direction caused. In essence, every time I tried to pilot the thing it would go in a different direction!"
J.L. finds himself smiling, and holding back a laugh asks, "Why would he do that?"
"Frell if I know why that human does anything! All I know is now D'Argo is ready to rip apart Moya piece by piece unless I can give him Crichton!"
"D'Argo?" J.L. asks, confused. But before he can elaborate the Hynerian jumps down from his stool.
"And speaking of that Luxan, I have lingered too long here." Rygel says as he heads for the door, "If you see Crichton tell him to give himself up, it will be easier for all of us!" after a pause he adds under his breath "Well, me anyway." And with that he leaves.
Now very confused, J.L. stands behind his counter trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle in front of him. After several minutes he slowly puts the beer nuts away, makes himself a cup of coffee, and sits down to relax a bit.
A good fifteen minutes go by before the next interruption. It's Crichton again, and he looks exasperated. Without a word he walks over and takes a seat next to J.L.
"Have you ever had one of *those* days?" Crichton asks.
"I'm having one right now." J.L. admits.
Crichton chuckles, then says "I lost the trail. Aeryn's much better at this space pilot thing than I am. I've got the Farscape hidden behind some garbage carriers, so I have some time for a bit of pie if you don't mind."
"Sure thing!" J.L. says, "All I have is apple right now."
As J.L. opens the refrigerator to cut a piece of pie, he says "You just missed Rygel. He was in here looking for you."
"Rygel?" Crichton looks surprised, then wary, "What did he say?"
"Well he talked about the practical joke you played on his hover chair. And then mentioned something about D'Argo being out for you. What's all this about?"
Crichton grabs a fork and digs into the pie, and he enjoys a few huge bites before he responds, "First off as much as everyone thinks it's all MY fault they should know..."
He's cut off by the sound of a transport pod flying so close to the building the windows rattle. Crichton turns and swears under his breath "D'Argo!" He turns back to J.L. "Listen, I gotta hide! He'll be inside any minute!"
"Hide? I thought he was your friend?"
"It's a long story! Ya got ANYWHERE? It's gotta be good, he can smell me a mile away!"
J.L. sighs, takes one glance at the pleading look on Crichton's face, and then says "All right come on." He walks to one corner of the Shop, but instead of going through the door marked "EMPLOYEES ONLY" he pulls a small remote control out of his pocket and presses one of the large red buttons. From the ceiling an opening appears and a ladder quickly drops to the floor.
Responding to the odd look Crichton is giving him, J.L. explains "I need SOMEWHERE to live don't I? Go on up...just don't touch anything! And no playing with the stereo!"
Crichton grins, "I owe you big time!" and he starts to scramble up the ladder.
"Just promise to explain all of this to me sometime." J.L. calls up.
Just as Crichton reaches the top he looks back down and shouts out "Oh, and by the way! Whatever you do DON'T call D'Argo a Smurf!" And with that strange comment he disappears into the loft apartment. J.L. punches another button and the ladder and entrance disappear.
It's not a moment too soon, seconds later the enraged Luxan bursts through the main entrance. His Qualta Blade is gripped tightly in his hands, and there is an angry scowl on his face.
A face that is bright blue from the forehead to the tentacles.
J.L. grips the side of the counter as D'Argo approaches, holding back the laughter that threatens to turn the Luxan's hyper-rage on the owner. D'Argo walks right up to J.L. with only the slim counter separating the two. J.L. has a few tense moments to get a close up view of the bright blue face of the Luxan. It looks like someone dipped his face into a vat of cerulean. D'Argo simply looks back for those few seconds, then growls out in a low voice "Don't ask."
"OK." J.L. says simply. After an uncomfortable pause he continues "What can I get for you?"
D'Argo looks slowly around the empty Coffee Shop, then as he turns back around his gaze falls down to the half-eaten apple pie sitting on the counter. Looking back up into J.L.'s eyes he asks in a dangerous voice, "Where is he?"
"Who?" J.L. asks as innocently as possible, thinking he's beginning to sound like an owl.
His voice still a low monotone that makes J.L. wish he could run faster than the Luxan, D'Argo says "Crichton. I know he is here. His smell is still here."
"Well he was *just* here." J.L. says slowly as he skims the edge of the truth, "He ran out the instant he saw your pod arrive."
D'Argo breaths in slowly, his eyes still focused on J.L. Finally he breaks the gaze and looks around the empty shop. As he slowly studies every inch he asks "Where did he go?"
"He was talking about trying to find Aeryn before he left." J.L. says as D'Argo slowly moves towards the corner of the shop where the ladder to the loft had dropped, his manner like a lion hunting in tall grass, "He...uh...appeared a bit scared when you arrived, so I'd guess he just flew off as quick as he could. If you're looking to catch him you may want to get going..."
D'Argo now stands directly below the loft entrance, sniffing the air, a hard look of concentration on his sky blue face. J.L. holds his breath, fearing any moment that the Luxan will realize the scent disappears because it goes up.
Before either can do anything the main entrance opens up. J.L. turns, wondering who from Moya will be appearing to torment him now, but is surprised to find a grizzled man in a long brown trenchcoat and well worn cloths enter. He scratches the bit of stubble on his face and then waves to J.L. as he goes to take a seat at the counter.
"Zeke!" J.L. almost laughs in relief at the sight of the ex-cop, "How are you doing! What can I get you?"
"The biggest club sandwich you have, and some coffee." Ezekiel Stone says as he sits at one of the stools. As J.L. turns to pour the coffee Zeke turns to find D'Argo now piercing him with a stone cold look. "What?" He asks flatly.
"You." D'Argo growls out, all his anger now focusing on the human before him. "You took our time slot."
"You guys were on hiatus anyway." Zeke waves D'Argo off as if it's no big deal.
Obviously thinking otherwise, D'Argo starts to advance on the ex-cop. "Because you took our slot!"
Turning to the Luxan, Zeke sighs and says "Look, I'm only on for a few weeks, and then you guys get to go nuts again OK? Nothing to get all messed up about." He pauses to consider D'Argo for a moment, then asks "Hey, how come your face is blue? You look like a Smurf."
With a scream of rage D'Argo suddenly lifts his Qualta Blade to sever Ezekiel Stone's head from his body. Stone ducks quickly out of the way, jumps off the stool in time to avoid another swipe with the blade, and rolls on the floor to avoid the stun tongue attack. D'Argo begins to curse in his own language viscously as the pleads from J.L. to calm down fall on deaf ears. Zeke quickly realizes to stay in the building is to invite impalement, and so with a quick curse of his own turns and bolts out the door.
"Come back here you piece of Pa'tak!" D'Argo screams as he begins to run after the cop. Within seconds the two are gone and the Coffee Shop is quiet.
J.L. stays shaking behind the counter for another five minutes, both because that's the amount of time he needs to calm his nerves and also to be absolutely sure the Luxan will not return. Finally feeling safer, J.L. walks to the side of the store and presses the button to open the hatch to his loft. Crichton's head immediately appears in the opening.
"What the hezmana was all that yelling about?" Crichton asks as he slowly climbs down the ladder.
"Why do you guys have to be so damn possessive of your time slots?!" J.L. angrily counters with another question.
Crichton jumps off the last few rungs of the ladder, lands gracefully on the floor and heads for the pie he left on the counter as the ladder retracts. After devouring the rest in a few bites he finally answers "It's the closest thing we have to a home. Our time slot is where everyone can come and find us. It'd be like if you came home and your landlord said that for the next month he was renting out your apartment to someone else, and that you'd just have to find another place to stay until then."
"Well D'Argo certainly takes it to the extreme. I guess it's a good thing though, he would have found you if Zeke hadn't walked in and distracted him."
"Wait, Zeke Stone?"
Crichton starts laughing, "Wow...teach him never to steal our slot again!" He pushes the empty plate back to J.L. and stands to leave "I'd better scram before someone else finds me!"
"Wait, you promised you'd explain what's going on!"
"And I will! When I have the time! Scouts Honor!" And with a wave the astronaut is gone.
As the doors close J.L. looks towards the ceiling, sending a silent prayer for help to whatever gods control his fate. When no sign comes, he simply sighs and picks up the plate Crichton left behind and walks to the sink to wash it.
He is so wrapped up in his thoughts that when a sultry voice behind him starts to speak he jumps, "Well, looks like you've had an exciting day."
J.L. whirls around, wet plate still grasped in wet hands, and says "Chiana! Geez, you nearly scared the hair off my head!"
The young Nebari smiles, taking that as a compliment, then says "I just missed D'Argo running out of here. He was screaming words that made even me blush."
"Well he was very angry."
"I gathered. But I was surprised to find Crichton run out *after* him." Chiana chuckles a bit, "Until that happened I figured D'Argo was screaming at that human."
"He got...uh...distracted." J.L. says simply, "Can I get you anything Chiana?"
"I don't think you can get me *anything*...unless you're hiding some rather spectacular talents."
J.L. sighs again, then asks "Are you here for food, for information on where your friends have gone, or just to play word games with me?"
"All three." Chiana grins, "Can you get me one of those chocolate things, like I had last time?"
"Chocolate sundae? Sure." J.L. nods and turns to make the dessert as the Nebari squeals in delight.
"I hope D'Argo doesn't kill John, that human certainly has a lot of wonderful things to offer!" Chiana leans over the counter, giving J.L. a flattering look almost straight down the front of the young woman's shirt. She reaches out and dips a finger into the chocolate fudge J.L. is pouring on her sundae, then licks her finger with a low moan of enjoyment. "Especially this."
As J.L. places the sundae down in front of the Nebari he asks "So what is going on with your crew? Everyone's looking for someone while trying to avoid everyone else!"
Chiana rolls her eyes as she scoops another spoonful of chocolate into her mouth, "Well it all started with Crichton. According to Rygel he reprogrammed that floating throne so the little worm couldn't control it." she chuckles a bit, "That was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time, Rygel insisted on trying to fly the thing but he kept swerving and dipping and crashing into things." she pauses to enjoy a large spoonful of dripping chocolate ice-cream before finishing, "Like D'Argo."
"D'Argo?" J.L. asks in surprise.
"Yea, we were all in the mess hall. Zhaan was experimenting with the mixture that is used to make the food cubes we eat, hoping a few spices might make those things have SOME kind of decent taste. D'Argo was arguing with her over it." Chiana shakes her head in exasperation, "He felt it was a waste of time and resources. As if we had anything BETTER to do, and it was Zhaan's own spices." She stops to sample more of her sundae, leaving J.L. hanging for a moment.
"And so Rygel comes flying in?" J.L. prompts.
Chiana begins to giggle as she remembers the incident. She places her spoon against the bowl of her sundae with its head sticking up and says "Rygel came so fast, and D'Argo was so focused on Zhaan. When Rygel hit him right in the back D'Argo's face when straight into the mixture!" For emphasis Chiana lets the head of the spoon fall flat into the ice cream as she is overcome with laughter. Even J.L. can't help but smile.
"So why is he still blue?" J.L. asks.
"That's the best part!" Chiana says, still giggling, "One of the spices Zhaan used has some kind of permanent coloring agent. D'Argo didn't wash it off in time, and now his face is going to be blue for at least 40 arns!" the young woman settles down a bit and says "Well unless Zhaan catches him first, then she may smack that blue off his face!"
"Zhaan?" J.L. asks in shock as Chiana hands him her empty bowl, "I thought she liked D'Argo!"
"Not after what he said before he went storming after Crichton!" Chiana's face grew dark, "I never thought I'd hear such language come out of that human! I can't believe where he picked up that word. Probably Rygel if I was to guess."
"Oh, so Crichton called D'Argo a Sm...that?" J.L. asks carefully.
"Yeah, that." Chiana nods thoughtfully, "He just started laughing, until D'Argo almost chopped his head off with that big sword of his." Rising to her feet she says "Well I'd better get a move on or else I'll miss the rest of the chase! Thanks for the chocolate sundae."
Figuring it would be no use to try and stop her to get more information, J.L. simply waves and says "Have fun. Stay out of trouble!"
As Chiana reaches the door, she turns and says slyly, "For once, I'm not the one in trouble!" With a laugh that echoes in the empty shop, she leaves.
Now with a clearer picture of what happened on that strange ship, J.L. turns and cleans out the ice cream bowl. As he switches off the water and grabs a dishrag to wipe his wet hands on, he hears the sound of his transmitter beeping. Suppressing a groan, J.L. finishes drying his hands and squats under the counter to pick up a small device resembling a television screen connected to part of an airplane console. A red light is flashing, and J.L. pushes the button to activate the transmission. After a moment of snow the image clears to reveal the interior of Moya, specifically Pilot's chamber. The blue being himself looks up into the screen and nods to the owner "Greetings J.L."
"Hey Pilot. I haven't seen you in a while." J.L. returns the greeting, "Can I bring you out something?"
"Thank you, but no." Pilot says, "I am currently searching for Crichton, you wouldn't happen to have seen him or know where he is?"
J.L. can't help but laugh, "Why, what did Crichton do to you?"
"He has done nothing to me, however I need his assistance in fixing the DRD's."
"What's wrong with the DRD's?"
"Well actually I need him to fix the machinery that creates the DRD's." Pilot almost growls, "They are clogged with coloring!"
"Coloring?" J.L. asks, now very confused again.
"Well see for yourself!" Pilot says, suddenly very angry. He looks down a moment, and the view switches to a corridor in Moya. J.L. doesn't recognize the hallway, but from what's in the hallway he figures that doesn't matter. Scooting around the corridor are 3 DRD's, their eyestalks waving around as they beep and buzz and do whatever it is DRD's do.
The only difference is instead of their normal bright yellow, they are all tie-dyed blue.
J.L. can't help but laugh at the little swirls of blue coloring over the yellow body. Each DRD appears to have it's own distinct pattern, as if J.L. was watching a bunch of VW Beetles that got painted by some dead-heads. And now that he's paying closer attention he can see that the DRD's are moving in slow circles or repeatidly bumping into doors, walls, other DRD's, anything they can. As the owner continues to laugh the scene switches back to Pilot, who looks angry. "I'm happy our problems can cause you such amusement." he says sarcastically.
"Problems?" J.L. says as he controls his laughter, "So your DRD's are a bit more colorful than usual! What's the problem?"
"You don't understand." Pilot says with a sigh, "The DRD's are incredibly sophisticated pieces of equipment. They perform thousands of different tasks, are intelligent enough to adapt to a wide variety of situations, and can communicate on a simple level with Moya and myself. But in other less important ways they are very simple devices. For instance, all the DRD's are yellow in color so they can not only be spotted easily by other beings so they are not trampled on, but also so they can distinguish one another. Of course it is not the only way they identify each other, but it is a primary factor. When a DRD is a different color, it not only is unrecognizable by other DRD's but it doesn't recognize itself."
"It has an identity crisis?" J.L. exclaims.
Pilot pauses in thought, "That would be an accurate description."
"How can something this sophisticated have such a simple flaw?"
"There is no reason for a DRD to be manufactured any other color other than yellow, so they are programmed to recognize this. They understand that not everything that is yellow is a DRD, but they believe every DRD is yellow. While having this...identity crisis as you call it, they wander around aimlessly unable to communicate and confused as to who they are and what they should be doing."
Now understanding some of the problem, J.L. asks, "How many DRD's are tie-dyed?"
"Approximately 52." Pilot growls again, "And until the assembly machine is cleaned they will continue to appear this...tie-dyed color. And will malfunction."
"How..." J.L. begins to ask, but is cut off.
"I am sorry I cannot explain further, but the longer it takes to find Crichton the longer the problem will persist. And the more DRD's he will have to fix." Pilot says, "Do you know where he is?"
"No, he ran out of here a while ago searching for Aeryn." J.L. says.
Pilot nods towards J.L. "Then I will continue my search. Thank you."
"Hope he can fix the DRD problem!" J.L. waves to Pilot as the connection is terminated.
J.L. takes a moment to laugh at the thought of a DRD talking to a shrink about an identity crisis, laughing as he picks up the transmitter and returns it to its slot under the counter. Still chuckling, he cleans the counter and then finally returns to the large windows he had been cleaning before the interruptions started.
But before he can get going again, Zhaan herself enters the Coffee Shop and stands in the doorway scanning the interior with her eyes. She looks at J.L. and smiles "J.L. it is good to see you again."
"Zhaan!" J.L. greets her back, then stands again to meet her at the counter. Quickly he continues in a pleading voice "You've got to help me here!"
"Curious, I was just about to ask you for help." Zhaan smiles as she takes a seat on a stool at the counter.
"Every single one of your shipmates has stooped by recently." J.L. begins, "All of them looking for Crichton, all of them talking about some kind of practical joke. What is going on with your ship?"
Zhaan sighs heavily, "I hope we haven't disturbed you too much with our problems. This would never have begun if Crichton didn't decide to play that childish joke on Rygel."
"The hover-chair thing."
"Rygel told me about that. He said he came flying into the mess hall and hit D'Argo."
Zhaan's face darkens a bit, "Yes, we were arguing over my attempts to change the mixture used to make the food cubes to something more palatable. When Rygel hit him, he fell forward and his face became covered in one of my attempts. The kareul root I was using has a pleasant taste, but unfortunately is also a powerful coloring agent. D'Argo's face is now blue until his skin regenerates."
J.L. nods, "I saw him. What happened next?"
"Well Crichton and Aeryn entered, and Crichton nearly fell over laughing at the sight of D'Argo."
"Is that why D'Argo is trying to kill him?"
"No, that alone would not cause the hyper-rage." Zhaan says, her face looking thoughtful. "He called D'Argo a term that I cannot understand how he picked up. It's the worst Luxan insult I know, and no civilized species would utter it unless they were ready to kill."
"Wow." J.L. says, "That's one mean curse!"
Zhaan nods, then continues "I think the only reason Crichton is alive is D'Argo was too shocked at first to kill him. Then to make matters worse D'Argo insisted on saying some very unpleasant things about being blue." a frown crossed Zhaan's features, "He had just said something about Crichton's mother being a blue, dren covered piece of..." she stops, "Well something very bad anyway. I had enough of his disrespect for my species chosen color, and did something I fear was a bit rash. I threw the entire bowl of kareul at him to try and cover him with the color."
J.L. gives the priest a shocked look, "Well I guess you missed, the only blue I saw on D'Argo was his face."
Zhaan nodded, "He sidestepped my throw and the coloring went down an air vent."
"Well that explains the DRD's." J.L. exclaims.
The Pa'u gives J.L. a curious look, "How did you know about the malfunctioning DRD's?"
"Never mind." J.L. says, "So that's when D'Argo took off after Crichton?"
"Yes. We've all been chasing him since. More for his own protection, if D'Argo catches him before his hyper-rage has settled I fear for his safety."
"Well if he comes back I'll tell him." J.L. says, "Can I get you anything."
Zhaan smiles and stands up, "No thank you. Actually, telling the story has helped me focus my thoughts and calm my nerves a bit. Thank you."
"No problem. Come back anytime!"
Zhaan nods at the offer, then turns and leaves the Shop. J.L. watches her go, a smile on his face. *Sometimes I'm very glad I'm not actually on any of these shows!* He comes around the counter and heads for the main entrance, intent on going outside for a few moments to get some air. But the doors open suddenly, almost hitting him, and two figures enter in the middle of an argument.
"... that I'm going to go back there without you then you're crazy!" Crichton snaps.
"You can't come running to me every time you have a problem Crichton!" Aeryn answers back with a smile as the two head for the counter.
"It's only my problem because it's your fault!"
"It was your idea!"
"But I was just joking! I wasn't actually going to DO it!"
"If you didn't plan on going ahead with the idea, why mention it in the first place?"
"Because it was a funny idea, and I just wanted to have a good laugh."
"Wait a minute!" J.L. holds up his hands, stopping the two from arguing any further. He puts a few more pieces of the puzzle together and turns to Aeryn, "Do you mean to say that it was YOU who reprogrammed Rygel's chair?"
Aeryn falters a bit, her face almost a smile while her eyes look a bit worried, and says slowly "I was the one who actually did the reprogramming." Then she adds quickly "But it was Crichton's idea!"
"Oh no!" Crichton holds up a hand to stop her, "D'Argo is running around ready to kill me because he thinks *I* pulled the joke on Rygel. He doesn't care who came up with the idea, just who did the dirty deed! You're coming back with me and tell him!"
Aeryn places her hands defiantly on her hips, "And how exactly will you force me to return? I don't remember you being able to defeat me in a fight yet."
Now it's Crichton's turn to smile, "I don't have to fight you Aeryn. But be warned that before D'Argo sticks his Qualta Blade where the sun doesn't shine, I intend to tell him that I'm not the ONLY one you've stolen underwear from!"
Aeryn's eyes widen in horror, "How do you know about that?!"
"Rygel's not the only sneaky one on Moya!" Crichton's smile turns extra nasty, "What's it going to be Aeryn? You wanna come and face the music like a good little solider, or are you going to become a fugitive of the fugitives?"
As J.L. finally gives in and falls over laughing, Aeryn almost growls at her human companion. "Fine. Let's go." She grabs Crichton by the arm and hauls him towards the exit.
Through the tears of laughter, J.L. can faintly hear Crichton ask "So what does Luxan underwear feel like?" before the two are gone.
J.L. finally gets control of his laughter, and walks over to the windows to watch Crichton in Farscape 1 and Aeryn in her Prowler take off and head out into uncharted space. *Good luck you two* J.L. sends a silent prayer their way, *If Crais doesn't kill you, you're going to drive each other crazy...and take me with you!*