Title: FarScape: Choices
Characters: Chiana, John Crichton
Spoilers: 1.15 "Durka Returns"
Summary: John loves Aeryn, but he can't deny his attraction to Chiana
John Crichton has barely slept for the past two weekens. What fleeting, restless slumber he's been able to find is haunted by phantoms both menacing and entrancing. Ever since he almost succeeded in killing Crais during Maldis' deception and abandoned the demented PeaceKeeper Captain Durka to the machinations of the emotionless, sinister Nebari nothing's been the same for him. Slowly but surely Earth is becoming a distant memory, and his goal to reach it again palls just a little bit more with the passing of each solar day. As he looks at his life aboard the sentient ship, he begins to suspect that his entrapment and experiences in the Uncharted Territories are leading up to the unwelcome discovery that his future may not hold a return to Earth. It's quite possible that he will never walk on the widely varied but always beautiful terrain of his home world again.
He knows that he's changing, and that doesn't surprise him considering his manipulation at the hands of the rogue Delvians on the New Moon of Delvia, not to mention the coldly calculated torture and violation of his mind by Maldis. But it's starting to terrify him in a quiet, desperate manner...now more than before. Going home doesn't seem to matter nearly as much anymore, and he's afraid that his recent behavior only proves that he'll never really be able to go back, even if he is able to re-create a wormhole. He's afraid that on a fundamental level he's become something more (or perhaps less) than the man he once was and will never truly fit in with the rest of humanity again.
And of course there's Aeryn. John knows that he loves her, there's no doubt in his mind about that. His heart belongs to a dark haired, green eyed warrior who goes nowhere without a weapon, can knock him across the room with ease and fly circles around his Farscape module in her Prowler. She's stubborn, opinionated and often confrontational, but she once set him ablaze with a searing, passionate kiss that forever changed his view of her from that of a soldier to a warm, desirable woman. He'd fallen for her, and fallen hard.
However, things have changed subtly since the young Nebari criminal came aboard Moya, and he's not sure he wants to look too closely at why that might be. Chiana... elusive, sensual, exotic. Seductive, mysterious...erotic. When he first saw her trudging dejectedly down the corridor with her head hanging low in defeat, shackled with cuffs and control collar, he was torn between suspicion and pity. Then she'd raised her head and gazed at him from beneath shaggy bangs with pleading ebony eyes and he'd felt like someone had just punched him in the solar plexus, the instantaneous attraction to her was so strong.
Now, liberated of her chains, she's decided to join the crew. For a while at least, for as long as it suits her. He doesn't know where he stands with her, what emotions she brings out in him. There's something about her that he's irresistibly drawn to...a force that pulses strongly just beneath the surface of it all. Perhaps it's the similarity of her situation to his own. He knows that, like him, she can't return home. She's an outsider amongst most of the crew, just as he is. Her home world's territory is on the ass- end of the universe, and he hasn't got the slightest clue where to start looking for his.
But it's more than just their similar situations, he thinks. He can't keep denying that he feels something for Chiana, and it frustrates him that he can't define exactly what it is. He can't categorize it and file it away in a neat little pigeonhole in his brain. At times she seems so young and vulnerable that she reminds him painfully of his sisters back home. Her impish features, girlish giggle, mischievous sparkle and devil-may-care attitude sometimes make him want to get her in a head lock and ruffle the bejeezus out of her fluffy, silver-white hair.
Then it changes without warning and the giggle becomes a husky chuckle. The bottomless, inky eyes smolder with hidden promises and every motion of her slender, lithe body projects a blatant sexuality. It all adds up to a silent invitation to get closer, and he always seems to find himself responding helplessly before pulling himself up short each time he realizes that he's straying into dangerous territory again. Maybe, if he wasn't so hung up on Aeryn...
He shies violently away from the thought. "Hell... Goddammit!"
John bolts upright in his bed and flings the covers aside, finally giving up the pretense of being able to fall back into an uneasy sleep. Roughly scrubbing his fingers through already mussed hair, he swings out of bed, drags on his clothes and plops back down to don his boots. He groggily makes his way over to the small, inverted indentation protruding from the wall and splashes his face with the tepid water collected there. It was very accommodating of Moya to grow this "sink" for him, he thinks. He dries his face on the tail of his shirt and reaches for a dentic but pauses, running his tongue experimentally over his teeth. Nah, okay for now. Maybe later. He shivers and makes a face. He knows that the dentics do a knock- down job of dental hygiene and all, but he still hasn't gotten over his revulsion at the idea of stuffing a live grub in his mouth and letting it crawl around in there munching on any leftover food particles it can find. Bleccchh.
Ablutions complete, John heads down the corridor, its gently curving walls and rounded ceiling giving it the appearance of a tunnel, which it actually is. A tunnel through the body of the ship, so that her passengers can move to and fro without disrupting the delicate physiology of the huge Leviathan. He traces gentle fingers along the wall as he goes, thinking about how much he's come to think of this gentle giant they're all inhabiting as home. He ducks into the galley area. Chiana and Aeryn are sitting across the table from each other, conversing quietly. They look up at his approach, and his first impulse is to bolt, but he finds that he's frozen in place like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Pinned by two pairs of eyes, one sparkling emerald, one smoky onyx.
Good God, what a thing to do to a guy. The only saving grace is that they're not aware they're doing anything. At least Aeryn isn't, but he's not so sure about Chiana...there's a tiny smile tugging at one corner of her full, charcoal colored lips. He swallows with difficulty because his throat's gone suddenly dry, and takes refuge in humor, mustering up a Southern boy drawl.
"Mornin' there ladies...how're the food cubes today? Any chance I can get' em over easy?" he jokes.
"What do you mean 'how are they?' They're food cubes. And why would you want to throw them over something?" Aeryn asks with a "What the frell is he blathering about this time?" expression on her face.
On the positive side, her literal question seems to have unglued his feet from the floor. He strolls over to the food dispenser and grabs a tray. Chiana chuckles and shakes her head, obviously filing his comment away as just another oblique Earth reference. Odd, how she seems to know where he's coming from when the others don't. He carries his tray over and is confronted with a dilemma...where to sit? He wants to sit across from
Aeryn because he likes to watch her face while they talk, but in order to do that he has to sit next to Chiana and take the full brunt of her considerable allure.
He doesn't trust himself when he's around Chiana. But the occasional flashes of emotion that make it past Aeryn's stoic PeaceKeeper upbringing are the only real barometer he has of her feelings, and he treasures the rare glimpses he gets of the person behind the wall. He takes the plunge and sits next to Chiana. He stares morosely down at the murky squares of goop that are the crew's only source of nutrition at the moment. Green Jell- O. Muddy, tasteless green Jell-O. He knows that Moya produces them from recycled organic matter as a byproduct of her metabolic process, and that's all he wants to know about them. He pops one in his mouth, hastily chews and swallows. They really need to find a commerce planet and buy, trade for or steal some real food.
"So Crichton, you sleeping okay? You sounded kinda restless in there last rest cycle" Chiana comments. He feels the limber warmth of her thigh slide against his beneath the table as she casually picks up her cup and takes a dainty sip, not looking directly at him. His gaze is riveted momentarily to the rim of the cup where her lips touch it, wondering if the contact is accidental or not...