Loosen Up

Note: This was one of my first Farscape fics that I had kind of forgotten about, written when I was still getting a feel for the characters. When I found it I thought I might as well post...

"ReMair--most sought after vacation planet of the Uncharted Territories. More dancing clubs than LoMo," Chiana said happily, juggling four tall glasses of Fellip nectar as she moved to their table. "Oh, I think I like it here."

Chiana placed the glasses down, and motioned for her three friends to help themselves.

Aeryn eyed the glasses suspiciously. "No, we can't drink these," she said. "We must remain alert."

She turned to get support of this statement from John, only to find him leaning backwards in his chair, with his glass tilted back and nearly empty already. "Huh?" he asked, setting the glass back down.

Aeryn eyed him wryly. "Some of us must remain alert."

"Don't be such a drag, Aeryn," Chiana said. She turned to D'Argo. "Aren't you going to have any?"

D'Argo shook his head. "Aeryn's right. At least two of us should have our bearings, in case we come under attack."

Chiana's mouth fell open. "Under attack?" She turned to John. "Do you hear this? Under attack?"

He raised an eyebrow and grinned, before returning to his drink.

"We're on ReMair, D'Argo. No guns allowed. The biggest problem here is drug abuse, which really, I don't see as that much of a problem."

D'Argo glared at her.

"Oh, fine," she said. "Stay here, the both of you. I'm having fun. Crichton!"

He looked up.

"Dance with me." Without waiting for a response, she grabbed his hand and pulled him after her—towards the center of the floor.

Aeryn and D'Argo watched them go with barely masked exasperation.

"I suppose maybe we should loosen up a bit," D'Argo said.

Aeryn glanced at him sideways. "Loosen up?" she asked.

"John," D'Argo said simply.

Aeryn nodded. That was explanation enough. "We need to be on our guard," she protested. "We can't go anywhere without trouble, and we won't be able to fight off Peacekeepers if we're so hammered we can't stand."

"Hammered?" D'Argo asked.

"John," Aeryn told him impatiently.

D'Argo nodded towards the dance floor. "We won't be able to fight off Peacekeepers if we have to carry them, either."

Aeryn followed his gaze.

John and Chiana had quickly become the center of attention. John had somewhere between the table and the dance floor lost his jacket, and Chiana was wrapped around him, running one of her hands along his bare arm. Aeryn glared. "They will be coming back, won't they?"

"Yes, of course they will," D'Argo said, though he sounded doubtful. "They do seem to be enjoying themselves."

"Extremely so."

"Well, they've been through a lot. We should let them have some fun." D'Argo did not sound at all like he really believed this was a good idea, and when Aeryn replied with a clipped "Definitely," neither did she.

She watched them for another moment, eyes narrowing when Chiana placed her arms around John's neck and started rubbing against him. "You don't think..." she started. "I mean...nothing would ever happen between them, right?"

D'Argo, idly spinning one of their tiles on the counter, responded, "Don't be ridiculous. They're too much like brother and sister."

Aeryn raised an eyebrow and glanced over at them. D'Argo followed her gaze, and saw Chiana and John had moved to the bar to get themselves both another drink. Chiana was straddling John on a bar stool, nibbling on his ear.

He winced. "Okay. Not brother and sister exactly."

"Mm hmm...should we worry?"

"No--" D'Argo said.

"Oh god!" This comes from John, across the room, as he loses his balance against the bar counter and Chiana pushes in closer.

D'Argo's eyes narrow, and just as he was getting ready to go over there—John took Chiana's hands gently in his and pulled them away from wherever they had traveled, and then with a grin led her back to the dance floor. D'Argo leaned back in his chair in relief.

"They're just drunk," he said with certainty.

"Right," Aeryn agreed.

Chiana and John had started the dancing and touching again—their barely audible laughter mixing with the loud music as the lights flashed red and then blue. Aeryn idly toyed with the material on her pants where her holster should have been.

"Maybe we should take them back to the transport," she suggested. "John has obviously had too much to drink. This is not normal behavior for him."

D'Argo raised an eyebrow. "I wasn't aware John had normal behavior."

Aeryn glared. "He does. He usually has the sense to put off Chiana's many advances."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"She falls all over him, D'Argo. Don't act like you haven't noticed."

"That's just Chiana's way of expressing her feelings," D'Argo snapped defensively.

"Lovely," Aeryn snapped back, crossing her arms and leaning back in the chair. "Let's hope then, that she never starts to like me."

"I don't think you have to worry about that," D'Argo said wryly.

Aeryn turned to glare at him, before returning her irritated gaze to the dance floor.

Chiana was leaning back against John now, her head tilted back over his shoulder, and he had his hands around her waist. Aeryn ground her teeth together, and averted her gaze up towards the lights.

"They comin' over yet, Pip?"

Chiana looked over at the table, as she placed her hands over John's to keep them in place. "Nope."

"I thought you said they'd come over," he whispered.

"I thought they would." She paused. "I'm sure they will."

"Right," John said disbelievingly, as Chiana turned in his arms so she could see him face to face.

"D'Argo is usually more jealous than this, even since we're not together anymore," Chiana said bemused. "He must really trust you. Either that, or he knows Aeryn would kill him if he touched you."

"Well, Aeryn doesn't get jealous. Believe me. I've tried before."

"Hah! Recall, if you will, the Royal planet. Aeryn was ready to kill every female that came near you—starting with Katralla and that Peacekeeper-in-disguise."

"Jena?" Crichton said, sounding strained. "She doesn't know about that, does she?"

Chiana laughed delightedly. "There's something to know?"

John did his best impression of someone innocent. "Of course not. She just saved my life."

Chiana grinned widely. "And I'm sure you were very grateful. Maybe I ought to save your life."

"Chiana, you can't keep yourself out of trouble," he laughed.

"I always get out of trouble," she said.

"But do you always have to get into it?" John asked exasperatedly.

"Oh, look who's talking—'Mr. Most Wanted' himself."

"Point well taken."

"Thought it might be. Now shut-up and dance, we're starting to lose everyone's attention."

John eyed the people around him with trepidation, having previously been unaware they had their attention. "Hey, where did my jacket go?"

"Do you really care?" Chiana asked, a gleam in her eyes as she let her fingers dance along his skin.

"No, not really," he admitted mischievously.

"Didn't think you would."

"This is getting ridiculous," Aeryn said harshly. "We should drag them back to Moya."

"We should leave them alone," D'Argo said, albeit reluctantly. "It isn't like we really have a claim on either of them anyway," he said sadly. "They can do what they want. Besides, they're just having fun. It's nothing." This would have been more convincing, had D'Argo not had his hand gripping one of their tiles with nearly enough force to snap it in two.

Aeryn pressed her lips into a thin line. She had to admit that D'Argo was technically correct. Chiana and D'Argo had not been together for monens, and whatever she had going with John, it was nothing that had been defined—nothing she could use as leverage to keep him from someone else.

However much she might want to.

She began to tap her fingers along the table. She eyed the Fellip nectar that stood untouched by her hand, and it was looking better all the time.

"Hey, Pip? Is it me, or is it getting hot in here?" John asked, sounding out of breath.

She leaned into him. "Not you. Definitely hot."

She grabbed onto his arm as the room spun, and nearly sent them both to the floor.

"Ugh," John moaned. "Chiana?"


"That was just Fellip nectar you gave me, wasn't it?"

"Uh huh. Fellip nectar surprise," she whispered.

John stumbled back a step, before catching his balance and holding Chiana up. "Surprise?" he asked. "What the hell's the surprise?"

"I don't know," she said. "But I think I like it."

"Oh god," he moaned. "It was spiked. Chiana, it was spiked!"

"You don't know that," she said, her voice sounding uncharacteristically reasonable. "Maybe the surprise was the pretty little stir sticks that came in the glass. I was very surprised they had those."

The lights around him flared outwards, seeming to meld together then pull apart again—leaving him disoriented and unsteady. "Oh, I really don't think it was the stir sticks..."

"D'Argo," Aeryn said tensely. "Something's wrong."

D'Argo looked over at their friends and saw them hanging off of each other—less for enjoyment now than for simple support. They both looked near collapse.

"Just how much did they have to drink?" he growled.

"Only two," Aeryn said. "I was watching—two glasses of Fellip nectar wouldn't do this."

D'Argo placed his head in his hands. "It's never easy."

Aeryn spared him a glance. "You sound like John."

"Don't tell me that," D'Argo said. "I don't want to know that."

"Shall we go get them now?" Aeryn asked impatiently.

D'Argo nodded and they both stood and made their way over to them. Aeryn found John's leather jacket thrown over a bar stool on the way there, and picked it up as she passed.

They reached them and pulled them apart—which wasn't easy—Aeryn pulled John's arm over her shoulders and placed hers around his waist, while D'Argo did the same to Chiana.

"Aeryn, baby, there's something wrong with my legs," he whispered in her ear, like it was a secret, and then grabbed onto her jacket to keep himself from sliding to the floor. He laughed. "Chiana got us spiked drinks."

"I guessed," Aeryn said unenthusiastically.

"Isn't that funny?" he asked.

"Not in the least." She turned to D'Argo. "Do you think whatever was in their drinks could be dangerous?"

D'Argo eyed Chiana speculatively, as she pulled on his braids. "I wouldn't think so. It looks like it just makes them stupid."

"Hey!" Chiana and John protested together, before sharing a glance and laughing.

Aeryn rolled her eyes and started pulling John towards the door. "Right. Enough. We're going back to Moya."

"But we're having fun!" John protested.

Chiana nodded her head in eager support. "There's probably tons more surprises to discover on this world!" she shouted. John burst out laughing. D'Argo and Aeryn looked at them both like they'd gone mad, which, of course, they both had.

"To the transport," D'Argo said.

"To the transport," Aeryn agreed.

They both began pulling their reluctant charges from the club.

"Hey, Chi!" John shouted behind him.

"Yeah, old man?"

"Should we take some stir sticks as souvenirs?"

Chiana laughed, reached over and grabbed one from a startled Delvian's glass, and allowed D'Argo to continue pulling her away.

"I have a feeling you aren't going to want any reminders of this," Aeryn said to John.

"Why not?" John asked, lifting an eyebrow. "I've ended up exactly where I planned."

Aeryn eyed him with suspicion. He spun his finger around and then tapped her nose, before promptly losing his balance and falling to the ground.

Aeryn let her eyes drift upwards, wishing for patience, and helped pull him back to his feet. "Are you alright?" she demanded.

"I fell down," he said helpfully.

"Do it again!" Chiana encouraged.

D'Argo sighed. "Should I just tongue them both and put them out of their misery? And ours?"

Aeryn looked very tempted. "No. We should keep them awake until whatever is in their system starts to die down—just to be safe."

"Come on, baby," John said. "Why you always got to play it safe?"

"Do you want to be tongued?" Aeryn demanded.

"No," John said at once.

"Then shut-up."

"Yes, boss."

Chiana giggled. "Yes, boss," she echoed.

"This is better than the mushrooms, isn't it, Pip?" John asked in awe—his promise of silence already forgotten.

"Definitely better than the mushrooms," Chiana agreed. "The mushrooms only made the room spin. This makes the room spin—and it makes everything funny. D'Argo—did you know you were funny? I never really noticed before, but you are. Good for you."

"D'Argo," Aeryn said conversationally. "I suggest we never let these two out on their own again, what do you think?"

"I think it's the only sane thing to do," D'Argo growled, tugging Chiana along behind him.

"Uh oh," John said. "We're in trouble."

"Don't worry—I'll give D'Argo my stir stick. He'll forget all about this." Chiana held the stir stick out to D'Argo hopefully.

D'Argo, for his part, wondered why these things were always happening to him.

When they finally reached the transport, both D'Argo and Aeryn disgustedly dropped their charges to the floor and went to run a pre-flight check. They wasted no time heading back towards Moya.

As they flew the transport, they could hear their two friends giggling insanely on the floor of the transport behind them. Chiana was on John's lap, whispering something to him they were probably better off not hearing. They had thought it might be best to keep them apart—but eventually decided against it. At least they kept themselves occupied and awake when they were together.

Jool was waiting for them when they entered the cargo bay, and when Chiana and John stumbled from the pod holding onto each other and laughing drunkenly, she eyed them with something between concern and disbelief. "What happened to them?"

"It's a surprise," John said solemnly, straightening out at once and trying his best to look serious.

Jool raised her eyebrows, the disbelief now outweighing the concern.

"Very surprising," Chiana said gleefully. She grabbed John's wrist and started to pull him off.

Her progress was stalled when D'Argo grabbed John's other arm to hold them both back.

"Let go of him," she purred. "There's something I want to show him in my quarters."

"You two are not going anywhere alone," D'Argo said firmly.

Chiana grinned widely. "Well, you're welcome to chaperone."

D'Argo turned to look at Aeryn. "We should lock them both in separate cells until they come to their senses."

"I'm keeping John with me. I want to make sure whatever's in his system doesn't make him sick. You do what you want with Chiana," Aeryn said.

"Your concern for me," Chiana purred. "Is heart-warming."

D'Argo sighed. "Fine. I'll take care of her."

Chiana ran a hand along his face. "Promise?" she asked with a giggle.

Aeryn rolled her eyes, grabbed John and pulled him towards his quarters. He started to play with her hair.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

"Somewhere you can rest," Aeryn said tiredly.

"Can I have another one of those drinks?"

"Absolutely not," she snapped.

They reached John's quarters and Aeryn allowed him to fall backwards onto the bed. His hands fell out to the sides, and he stared at the ceiling.

"Why is Moya spinning?" he asked. "Is she dancing to the music?"

"There is no music, John. And we're not spinning."


Aeryn pulled off his boots, then threw his legs up on the bed. "How do you feel?"

"Like I'm floating."

"That doesn't sound good," Aeryn said worriedly.

"It's actually a quite interesting sensation. You should try it sometime."

"I don't think so," Aeryn said with a laugh. "I don't want to act like you are."

"Live a little, babe."

Aeryn crossed her arms, eyeing him as he lay unmoving on his bed—about ready to pass out. "Oh yes. You're living it up right now."

"You should see the disco in my head."

Not sure what a disco was, and sure his head was the last place she would ever want to be, Aeryn just shook her head. She arranged John more comfortably on the bed, as he seemed to have lost the ability—or desire—to move.

"My drink was spiked," he said.



"John? Hey," Aeryn trapped his face between her hands. "Feeling any more like yourself?"

"Well, the room has stopped spinning."

"That's good. Try to stay focused."

"On you?" he asked hopefully.

"On whatever you'd like," she said hesitantly.

He wrapped his fingers around her hair, watching it twist between his fingers before allowing his hand to fall limply to his side and turning his head. "You should go. I'm not myself."

"That's why I'm staying," she said firmly. "I want to make sure you're alright."

John threw a hand over his eyes and groaned. Bright lights danced behind his eyelids. "I just have to sleep it off. I'll be fine."

Aeryn reached over to feel his pulse. She knew his heartbeat well, and it sounded closer to normal now than before. She decided sleep was probably the best thing. "Okay," she said. "Sleep."

John nodded and curled on his side away from her, hiding his eyes in his pillow. She watched him for a moment, then slipped onto the bed beside him.

He turned to glance at her surprised. "What are you doing?"

"I want to be here in case anything goes wrong—" she said.

He hesitated, the drug probably telling him to kiss her, his heart probably telling him to move away because he wasn't himself and come tomorrow it was doubtful he would remember any of this anyway. He settled for something in-between, turning over on his back and lying beside her. "Okay," he said. He was silent for awhile, before asking quietly, "I'm going to have one hell of a hang-over in the morning, huh?"

"Without a doubt."

"Do me a favor. If I ever accept something to drink from Pip again, shoot me."

Aeryn reached around and ran a hand through his hair, pulling him towards her. "With pleasure."

John laughed and buried his face in her neck, content for once—if only until morning came.

The End.