Disclaimer on punctuation and spacing: Fanfiction.net seems to take some out!

Disclaimer: "Farscape" is a protected trademark and we're just borrowing the characters. We promise to give them back once we have used them, hopefully more or less intact.

The following is the result of a Round-Robin story, better known as Storyline #2, between GitonCrais and NotASebacean. To GitonCrais befell the honour of choosing the title. Enjoy reading the full story.

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Title: A Stitch In Time

Authors: GitonCrais and NotASebecean

Rating: General/Humour

Spoilers: None

Keywords: Round Robin with Crais and the Moya crew

Summary: Things are not quite as it seems to Crais and it is all very confusing...

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A Stitch In Time

GitonCrais and NotASebacean

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Although the planetary alignments appeared correct, Crais suspected something was not right. The ships trafficking the commerce lanes looked familiar, yet they did not belong in this sector. Their transmissions sounded *off*. In spite of this, as soon as Talyn emerged from StarBurst, he made it his first priority to determine their location and plot a course away from Peacekeeper controlled territories. Talyn's shields had protected them, exactly as he had anticipated. The worst damage consisted of slightly scorched stabilizer fins, hardly more than discoloration, which should not require treatment. As before, correcting Talyn's mental instability remained the primary undertaking; however, the ever-efficient Lt. Larrell had done her job. This time, he knew what to do.

Encountering Moya had been completely unforeseen. His plan was to be free of them once and for all. Still, a good plan required flexibility, and it was quite possible that Moya and Aeryn could prove helpful in controlling Talyn during the repair process.

Yet, the microt he set foot on Moya's landing bay, his suspicions were confirmed. Ka D'Argo greeted him warmly with a smile and a handshake. The Luxan's thick arm was curled around Officer Aeryn Sun's shoulder, and she in turn had hers wrapped tightly around his waist. Her dress and manner seemed out of character, and her long, dark locks were shorn close to her head. The couple chattered at length about his being late. They had been worried. John had been worried.

As he formulated his response, Crichton burst through the hatch and raced toward them. Crais had no idea what to expect. He knew he had to play along with the scenario until he could determine what was going on.

Ka D'Argo's reaction to seeing him had puzzled Crais, and when he saw Aeryn cosy up to the big Luxan, he raised a questioning frown. Maybe he was missing something.

To his dismay, Crichton wrapped his arms around his shoulders and embraced him, a gesture that he hesitantly returned before stepping back and offering a tight-lipped grin in response to the other man's wide smile. And then, without warning, the human reached over, pulled his head forward, and did the unthinkable...

If Crichton's embrace had shocked Crais, the kiss that followed was totally unexpected and totally unforgivable.

Crais stepped back in abhorrence, his face drained of all colour and his eyebrow arched dangerously. "Crichton, what is the meaning of this display? Have you completely lost your mind?"

Crais communicated silently with Talyn. ~Talyn, I want you to check on any anomalies in the vector. Something isn't quite right. Aeryn behaves as if she and Ka D'Argo are a couple and Crichton just... kissed me!~

It was obvious through the link that Crais was disgusted by the concept.

He could hear Talyn chuckle. ~Crais, you might find this hard to believe, but such a physical show of affection may indicate nothing more than camaraderie and friendship, or even just a sense that all is well in the world. Even if it demonstrates a feeling of affection, it might still be perfectly innocent. Whenever Aeryn used to caress me, she certainly didn't mean it any other way.

~Maybe we have both gone too long without physical contact. You at least could visit a pleasure planet. I... I wish I could find another leviathan, a young, female one. Why have we never found one, father?

~I don't even have a Pilot. Not a real one, anyway. Remember that madman who travelled with us? He joined with me, physically, not just the way you're joined with me. It felt different, it felt... more. I want that.

~Still, you are right. Something is very different here~

Crais nodded. ~I agree, Talyn. Still, if Crichton even thinks of caressing me, whether out of camaraderie or friendship, he had better watch his mivonks~

Crais' face had darkened.

~I don't know why we have never found a female Leviathan for you, Talyn, at least not one closer to your age, but you are still very young. Don't lose hope. Keep scanning~

Crais' eyes focused again and he watched the little group in the Hangar Bay.

"Talking to Talyn again, Crais? You should get more of a social life. It's not healthy to only talk to Boy Wonder." Crichton stepped closer and Crais stepped back. He didn't want to find out whether Crichton was feeling friendly or feeling... 'friendly'.

"What am I late for?" Crais asked evasively and looked at Ka D'Argo. He found it disconcerting, the way Aeryn and Ka D'Argo caressed each other.

Ka D'Argo beamed at him, "We thought you wouldn't make it to the big celebration!"

"What big celebration?" asked Crais with suspicion. His eyes darted around the room and finally rested back on the group before him. Celebration on Moya normally bode ill for him.

"Don't be so jittery, Crais, there is nothing to worry about," Crichton walked over to Crais and draped an arm over his shoulder.

Crais resisted the urge to push Crichton away from him. His voice was dark and deep. "What celebration, Crichton?"

Crichton grinned at him. "Don't tell me you forgot? How can you forget? It is the best thing that's happened to this crazy crew of cohorts in a Vorc's age. How could you have forgotten? We thought that's why you and Talyn suddenly showed up just in time. We'd thought for sure that you were going to miss the big occasion."

"Big occasion? Crichton, will you please try to make more sense than usual? What 'big occasion' are you referring to?"

Crichton looked at him sheepishly, "Are you claiming temporary insanity, Crais? You know it doesn't work. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt."

Crais' dark brow arched in confusion, "I have no idea what you are talking about, Crichton, but that is not something new. I am not insane, just confused."

Crais took a deep breath and tried to stay calm; his voice was almost amicable. "Just for the sake of argument, enlighten me." He inclined his head in pleasant conversation, although his eyes were smouldering.

"Okay, Crais, if you want to play it that way. You remember that three monens ago..."

D'Argo laughed and said, "You know, Crais, there was a time that I would not have believed you would welcome this day! We have all travelled a long road since the day Crichton entered our lives."

Crais was by now not only confused but suspicious as well about the possible outcome. In a tight voice he asked Ka D'Argo, "Why would I welcome this day? I am not aware that I should be more happy today than on any other day."

Crichton walked over and put a comforting arm over Crais' shoulder, totally unperturbed that Crais was trying to shy away from him, "Crais, you can be such a barrel of laughs sometimes."

"Crichton, I don't think..." Crais started to say.

"Yes, yes, still trying to be funny. We knew you were unpredictable but this is really something. And then pleading ignorance! It won't work, Crais," Crichton grinned broadly at him.

The others grinned happily at Crichton's remark. Crais was really getting worried now.

"Crichton, I don't have time to play your mind games and..."

"I'm playing mind games? That's rich coming from you, Crais. If only you stopped to think about how much we miss you, how much we worry about you and Talyn when you two go your merry way..."

At this point, Talyn broke in, 'saying' to Crais, ~See, we should link up with them more often. I miss talking with Moya, and even the others aren't so bad when you get to know them. I especially miss Aeryn. Can she come visit us? I'll bet she'd be surprised to see how much I've grown!

~We never get to visit with other leviathans. I get so lonely. My mom worries about me too. She tells me so every time we return. She tries to tell me what it will be like when we finally meet up with other leviathans, and how I should behave when we finally do.

~She says that sometimes they even travel in something she calls 'pods' when they are young and haven't found a pilot of their own yet.

~When we leave again, I want to try to find some other leviathans~

Crais could not believe this double-barrelled assault. He 'spoke' with Talyn. ~I am sorry my friend. I had not realised how much you crave company, especially of your own kind. I know I prefer solitude but I have to admit joining with the Moya-crew... from time to time... does have its merits. I promise, once we are back in space we will look for other Leviathans for you to interact with~

He could feel that Talyn was warming to the idea.

Crais turned his attention back to the others, "It still doesn't explain why I am considered to be on time. On time for what?" Being left in the dark didn't do much to stop the irritation of not knowing and a dark scowl threatened to appear as his brows knit together.

This time it was Ka D'Argo who stepped forward, and Crais held his ground. He was not going to hug him too, was he?

Ka D'Argo let out a boisterous laugh, "Why, Crais, have you started to change your mind? After all, it was your idea to meet here with us, and you're just on time! I must admit, I did have my doubts, especially as this day came closer and closer. We had a wager going as to whether you were really going to show up on time."

The big Luxan laughed again, slapping him playfully on the back, "But if anyone keeps their commitments, we know it's you!"

Crais nearly buckled under the 'friendly' slap on his shoulders. He was nowhere near knowing what the occasion was supposed to be. "And I suggested it?"

The others laughed heartily. "Didn't I tell you he was going to pretend he forgot?" Crichton said merrily.

Crais' frown deepened.

Crichton turned back to him, his joviality not at all gone. "Crais, we knew you had a sense of humour, but it is just so predictable. We knew you would pretend to have forgotten the contest. We know how much you love to be with us, and we made it."

"Contest?" The confusion on Crais' face drove the others to further peals of laughter.

"Come on, Crais, enough is enough," Crichton wiped the tears of laughter from his face. "Pity it is not a comedy contest. You would knock them dead. Well, Ka D'Argo and Aeryn made it through and so did you. What is this, fishing for compliments? Or have you gotten cold feet?"

Crais had no idea what they were talking about. He shot a covert glance towards his boots.

Crichton grinned when he saw how Crais was trying not to look conspicuous. "You are all in the semi finals of one of the most prestigious contests in this part of Tormented Space. It really is an honour, you know. We expected Aeryn and D'Argo to do well, but your performance was a complete surprise. My grandma always used to say that you never could know everything about a person, and I guess you've proved her right again."

The Luxan chuckled and said, "Well, we'd better get ready. We don't want to be late for this! I will return shortly... I cannot go unarmed into combat."

D'Argo slapped him on the back again, and turned to leave the room. Crais looked at the others and tried to hide his confusion this time. He did not like being referred to as a comical person.

He thought deeply, trying to work it out. So, he had proposed to enter a contest? Had he been drunk? No, he wouldn't have suggested it; he would never get this drunk in front of them. And what weapons would he have to bring? Probably different ones than Ka D'Argo's or Aeryn's, since their skills were different. His weaponry skills were with blades of various kinds. Which one had he chosen?

He tried to bluff. "Apart from the concealed knives I carry on me, I have left my other blades on Talyn. Maybe I should get them first."

Crichton looked at him curiously. "Crais, you don't need your blades."

"I don't?"

"No, of course not," Crichton's grin was back in place, "It wouldn't do for you to have weapons at the contest. What would they think if you did?"

"I am going to go into battle unarmed while Ka D'Argo gets his weapons," thought Crais, "not very likely."

Aeryn moved over to him and linked arms; her voice was almost a purr. "No, Crais, you don't need weapons. You bring your own power with you. It's hard to believe that you won't win. We might have to change your style of dress a bit, so the judges won't be too biased. But other than that, you only have to show off your natural talent and abilities. You would never have advanced so far if you did not have an excellent chance to win. You certainly surprised us, and I doubt that anyone else had any better awareness of your hidden talents."

Crais did not find his confusion diminished any by this encouragement.

As he began to feel the warning signs of a massive headache, he once again heard the insistent voice of Talyn, ~Crais, Mom says that I'm different from all other Leviathans. She says that maybe that's why we've never met up with any others. She thinks they would still know that I'm one of them, but that maybe they're afraid of my massive weaponry. Maybe they're avoiding us. Father, I wouldn't hurt another Leviathan. Not unless it was threatening Moya. How can I make them like me? I don't want to live my whole life like this, always alone~

~I don't know how we can make the other Leviathans like you more, Talyn, but if there is a way, we will find it, together. I don't want you to be alone for the rest of your life. We will find a solution~

Talyn was silent for the moment and Crais turned his attention back to the others. The headache that had been only a small warning was growing into reality and he pinched the bridge of his nose. That he wasn't getting any straight answers was not helping him and he knew from experience that the stronger the headache became, the less control he had over his temper.