Disclaimer: Someone, I'm sure, actually owns them. It isn't me. Though, those leather pants... *cough*. Anyway. No money is being made from this.

Spoilers: Er. Up to 'Promises', season 4.

Notes: I've forgotten Granny. Oh well. She doesn't really touch this, anyway. My exposure to Farscape has been: first four episodes of season one; 'Crackers Don't Matter'; and first five episodes of season four. If I've forgotten something of great importance, sorry.

Give and Take
by Ana Lyssie Cotton

The heartbeat of a living ship is so very difficult to describe. It can start with the soft twitterings and whistles of the drds as they work on a small bit of maintenance. Or maybe it's the sound of John Crichton's boots as he paces around his module muttering archaic equations under his breath. Chiana hears the gentle squelching of fluid pumping through Pilot as she talks of nothing to him.

D'argo and Aeryn are working on hand-to-hand combat techniques, each trading their experience for falls to the mat. Each strike and parry is fluid and near-graceful. The sound of fist hitting flesh, or body slamming into mat. These mark the time of a heartbeat.

Buried deep inside the core of Moya, Shanu can hear the huge vessel breathe. So gentle and slow, she begins to echo it and feels a sense of peace. Wondrous, in a way. She's coming to appreciate that sound.

It means she's still alive.

For Harvey, it's the sound of his own heart. That's all he can hear, anyway. Just the shunts of an ephemeral mockery of Reality. He'd been such a good font of advice. And what did the whelp do? Dump him. Leave him stuck and drifting in a hermetically sealed test tube.

Scorpius sometimes flicked the tube. As if irritated.

Perhaps he was. The neural clone hadn't done anything useful for him. Finding the disabled Aeryn Sun had been far more profitable.

A smile touched his thin lips. Yes. She was proving a most useful find. The little redheaded traitor was also of use. For the time would come when he'd make his move.

There's a shift in perspective and Scorpius finds himself standing in a bar. People and beings chatter around him, drinking, enjoying life. He grimaces.

"Now, now, Scorpy. None of that. Smile."

The voice of John Crichton shouldn't startle him. But it does and he looks towards the bar. Clad in only a g-string, the human prances and shakes his groove thang atop the slab of metal and wood.

"You do not belong here," Scorpius observes.

"Probably." Crichton turns and looks down behind himself. "Do you think this makes my ass look fat?"

Unable to resist the answer, Scorpius shrugs. "Possibly."

"Now, see, that's the honesty I've come to know and love from you, Scorpy."

"I was not being honest." Unwillingly, he answers.

"Exactly." Crichton hops off the bar and strides towards him, his clothing shifting to dark blue trousers and a white shirt. "You never are."

One of the women reaches out and touches Scorpius. "Hello." Aeryn Sun says, her face laughing, her eyes bright with drugs and alcohol. "Wanna dance?"

"No, darlin', he doesn't." Crichton catches Scorpius, wrapping a hand around his arm.

"John, what's the rush?" There was heat somewhere nearby, the almost unbearable furnace beginning to touch his already lifeless skin. "I'm sure we can accomodate her."

"No." Not allowing the halfbreed to disengage himself, the human tugs. "Now come with me. There's much to discusss."

"I think not." Scorpius closes his eyes and concentrates. "You don't belong here."

"Like hell I do! What, you think you can do this to me, and not have it come back on you? Thinking wrong there, puppy."

"You are merely a figment of my imagination."

"Oh, like you have one."

"Be gone."

Crichton sighs. "I'll go, poopsie, but I'll be back."

"And take your inane pet names with you."

"But of course, snuggly-woogums."

Scorpius shuddered and stared around his cell. This was... a less pleasant side effect than he'd expected.

"I love you, too."

"You are not real." He said softly, firmly.

The voice didn't answer this time.


He turned and looked out through the slats. Young Shanu was standing there, her head tilted to the side as if watching something she was uncertain about. He considered luring her in and killing her. If she thought him mad--but he might have need of her.

"Come to inspect the prisoner?"

"I leave that to Crichton." She turned away, "I just thought..."

"Yes?" A favor owed, after all...

"What did it mean?"



"I cannot tell you."

Disappointment shone in her eyes for a moment, then she shrugged. "As you will."

He continued as she turned. "For now. In the future, you may have need to know."

She looked at him. "That is all I can hope for, then."

"And in return, you can help me."


After she had left, Scorpius settled down to think. Plans don't just appear, after all.

Sikuzo Shanu considers life aboard the Leviathon. There's a give and a take to it. Crichton seems to lead, the others seem to follow. Explosions happen. And life goes on.

That, after all, is the heartbeat of a living ship. The people aboard, and the ship itself, working together.


Final notes: During 'Promises', there was one camera angle which had John off-screen. It... made me think Scorpy had a John of his very own. Well. Now he does.