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By: Blue

Spoilers: Lairs, Guns, & Money Pt 3

Disclaimer: I don't own Aeryn, Talyn, or Crais (wish I did, though)

Feedback: Pretty please…

Note: This is a missing scene from Liars, Guns, & Money (pt 3). I wrote it right after I saw the episode for the first time, but never got around to publishing it before. This is my conceptualization of what happened after Aeryn offered herself to Crais if he would save Crichton, and of why her attitude towards him changed so dramatically in such a short time after that.

(If I recall correctly, I was right that Crais did not take her up on her offer, so this might be pretty close to how it actually went down. Enjoy.)

"Aeryn Sun. Are you... offering yourself?"

"Take what you want. I will not stop you." Aeryn announced, resigned.

As he eyed her thoughtfully,  she braced herself, unsure if she should expect tenderness or a rough hand. Maybe he would decide to punish her for her past rejections of him. Perhaps his attraction would prompt him to be gentle. She had no way of knowing.

"Talyn, privacy please." Crais requested, disconnecting his uplink. He approached Aeryn slowly. "You must care for Chricton very much." he repeated, tracing the outline of her face with his index finger.

"I wouldn't be here if I did not." Aeryn replied quietly, reaching to unzip her vest.

"Don't!" Crais muttered, covering her hand with his own. There was a look in his eye that Aeryn did not recognize.

"Do you want to do it?" she whispered, fighting tears. She was infuriated with herself for her weakness and not a little confused to realize that she was afraid. What is wrong with you? How many hundreds of times have you done this before? Why should this one be any different for you?

Crais took her face in his hands. "You have changed so very much, Aeryn Sun." He kissed her throat. "But you are no less beautiful." He slid his hands around her waist.

Aeryn whimpered, but did not pull away. She closed her eyes tightly as she leaned into his grip, ready to comply. To her amazement and anger, tears slid down  her face.

He jerked her away with a sigh. "You're afraid..."

"No!" Aeryn protested firmly. "I'm… I'm sorry. I'll do better."

"No." He kissed her again, a tender, almost fatherly gesture. "You don't care for him..." he whispered, not bothering to hide his own tears.  "You love him."

Aeryn bowed her head. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be." He hesitated. "Did you know that my parents were married?"

"No." Aeryn shook her head., not sure why he was telling her this.

"They loved each other very much, Aeryn Sun, and in consequence I admire the trait in others. You've grown..."

"I don't understand..." Aeryn began.

He took her hand and kissed her fingertips gently. "I can not force myself upon you."

No, he's going to leave! "You wouldn't be! I... I won't fight it. I swear."

"But you will regret it."

"He'll die if I don't!"

Crais sighed. "Aeryn... I can't take you like this. It would be wrong."

"But I have no other way to pay you!"

"Did it never occur to you that I might be willing to help without reimbursement?"

"No." Aeryn replied honestly. "Scorpious..."

"I must think on this, Aeryn Sun." Crais informed her. "Long and hard. But be assured: if I do decide to help you, to help Crichton, there will be no expectation of recompense." He reattached his neural uplink. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I must check on Moya again."

"Crais..." Aeryn began, but found herself unable to continue.

"I understand, Aeryn Sun." He touched her cheek gently, regretfully, then turned and walked away.

Aeryn stood alone on Talyn's Command, trembling. She suddenly experienced an emotion that she had never expected to experience in regards to Crais. Respect.