Location, Location, Location. (PG)
Aeryn and John go house-hunting. Aeryn takes her gun along.
In the first FS comic John and Aeryn were briefly looking for a new place to live. When I read the Beach Bash Challenge, this was the third (and by far the most amusing) thing which came to mind. Sorry to non-Brits, who may briefly wonder who the 'other couple' are. Don't worry, I don't watch the show concerned either, so you should catch on quickly enough and it shouldn't matter. Basically, two (real) estate agents look for places for people to live. I understand that many people watch this sort of thing.
Setting and spoilers: Soon after PKW. References to FS in general and Crackers Don't Matter, Look At The Princess, Eat Me, John Quixote, PKW and The Beginning of The End of The Beginning in particular.
Warnings: Liberal use of FS made-up swear words, but otherwise pretty tame.
Thanks: Many thanks to pdsldl who gave me a lightning-fast beta read: Last Friday morning, I hadn't even read the challenge.
Disclaimer: Not mine, not for profit etc. Apologies to Rygel, the innocent party in all this.
Location, Location, Location
"Tonight on Location, Location, Location," an oleaginous male estate agent purred into the camera, "Kirsty and I are looking for a home for newlyweds John and Aeryn. John is an unemployed rocket scientist whilst Aeryn is a retired military pilot and homemaker."
"And as soon as they were married, along came baby D'Argo," chimed in the woman sitting beside him.
"Sort of a shot-gun wedding then?" said the male, with an exaggerated, contrived smirk.
"Exactly, Phil," his unbearably smug co-presenter replied with an equally contrived, exaggerated nod. "And the new baby has upset their happy living arrangements," twittered his amply-proportioned female co-presenter. "You see, John and Aeryn have been sharing a place with their friends for the last few years."
"And nothing tests a friendship more than a screaming baby, eh Kirsty?" chirped Phil with false bonhomie.
"Exactly," confirmed Kirsty with another too-large nod.
The scene cut to an interview with a black-clad, earnest looking couple, who sat pressed together on a sofa, a new-born baby cuddled quietly on the man's lap. In the background the large, alien-looking and golden-walled vaulted chamber in which they sat could be made out. They looked a little uncomfortable about talking to the camera, especially the woman, who was sitting as though she were at attention and was nervously twisting her hands together.
"Well, all the night feedings are starting to put a strain on our friends. They wouldn't say anything…" the woman began.
"They wouldn't dare, not to you," teased the man. She turned her head and glowered darkly at him for a moment before turning back to the camera.
"And besides, John thought it was time we got our own place. A new start…"
"The last few years have been pretty stressful for both of us: All the running around with our jobs, and then the whole pregnancy thing…" he continued, whilst she nodded beside him.
The show cut back to Kirsty and Phil in the studio.
"It's fair to say that the first place we found for them to look at, they didn't like at all…" Kirsty said, addressing the camera as though to imply that only a fool wouldn't like one of their house choices.
"And not just the first place…." Mugged Phil before the camera shot cut to a room a little like the one where John and Aeryn had been interviewed, although this one was larger, dilapidated and much darker. Debris was strewn everywhere and distant, crazed, animalistic shrieks filled the air.
"Rovhu is a Leviathan, much like where Aeryn and John are living right now," Phil said in silky voiceover as the camera pulled back to show a nervous Aeryn, clutching the baby protectively to her chest, and a clearly angry John hovering protectively.
"What the frell were you thinking, bringing us here?" fumed John.
"I know it's a bit of a fixer-upper. It's a probate sale, after all, but you'll be getting something just like home, and at a bargain price," Kirsty tried to explain, coming into shot.
"With loads of room for your growing family," put in Phil, still off camera.
"No, no, no!" shouted John as a group of feral, but somehow near-human creatures whooped their way into view, travelling on all fours. They stopped in the background, staring towards the camera and jostling each other from time to time as though they were struggling amongst themselves to stay in the shot.
"Don't worry about the sitting tenants, they'll be gone by the time you take possession," soothed Phil, coming into shot, edging closer to Aeryn for protection and trying not to show that he was warily eyeing the nearby creatures.
"What is the matter with you people? Are you completely Fahrbot?" John shouted.
"Look, I know the neighbourhood is a bit rough, but just think of all the space…." Kirsty replied, undaunted, the horror around them failing to penetrate her armour of misplaced self-confidence.
"John, is this where I think it is?" Aeryn asked with calm anger. He nodded.
"Frelling Drannits!" she hissed, glaring daggers at Kirsty and Phil before turning on her heel and heading straight back up the nearby steps into their transport. "Are you coming John?" She called without looking back.
"Right behind you, babe!" he confirmed, taking the transport steps three at a time.
The camera cut back to Kirsty and Phil, back in the studio.
"The next place that we took them was a little more upmarket," smirked Phil.
"Just a little," put in Kirsty with a chuckle as the camera cut to a palatial corridor down which Kirsty and Phil were leading Aeryn and John. Aeryn was muttering something which the viewer could not hear into John's ear. They passed through an elaborate set of double doors into a large, opulently furnished bed-chamber with a huge round bed dominating the centre. John nodded in agreement to whatever Aeryn had been saying, his expression dark.
Phil swept his arm around the enormous room, "You could live like a Princess here. Just imagine," he purred at Aeryn.
"Actually, I can imagine quite well," Aeryn snapped back, clearly unimpressed by something.
"And Dominar Rygel has agreed to let you have the place for free: Nothing but the best for his adopted daughter and his godson…." Put in Kirsty.
"I'd be expected to go around looking like some over-made-up tralk," Aeryn resumed, glancing at Kirsty. "And be polite to a bunch of…" she continued darkly.
"Look, we don't really care how little it costs. It'd drive us both crazy, living cheek by jowl with the in-laws," broke in John with a nervous laugh, trying to head off Aeryn before she said something on camera which later they both might wish she hadn't. "It's not that we don't appreciate Sparky's offer…."
"But what sort of life would it be if your only challenge was to try not to kill some unctuous little probacto or other?" Aeryn put in, staring pointedly at Phil. Phil laughed nervously, not entirely convinced she was joking.
"But…" Kirsty tried.
"No means no," John said flatly.
"But…!" Phil scowled and Kirsty looked most put out, seemingly stamping her foot petulantly.
"Look, we are not living on Hyneria, and that is final!" John insisted.
The camera cut back to the studio.
"So, next up," Phil sighed, "We tried something a bit more modern." The scene cut to some bijou, futuristic and sterile quarters, decorated throughout in red, white and black.
"John is about to be offered a new job, and it comes with its own accommodation," said Kirsty, trying to sound as though the viewer should find that impressive. She was ever so pleased with herself that they had made all the arrangements without telling him.
"This place has recently been built and comes with all the latest mod cons," Phil explained to John and the camera as they walked into shot. "Food cube cold store, food cube dispenser, food cube heater, food cube disposal chute…. And a cracker-maker!" Phil said triumphantly, ticking things off on his fingers. John seemed distracted, as though he were trying to formulate a reply. He muttered something which Phil didn't catch. "Sorry?" asked the agents.
"Doesn't matter," replied John with a shake of his head.
"Imagine," Kirsty said to Aeryn, as the camera panned around to show the two women. "No long commute to the office for John. And you'll have all your old friends, from when you were growing up, all right to hand," Both John and Aeryn were looking shifty and nervous by this time, shooting each other meaningful looks. "You could have all the gang round to talk about old times!"
"And I know, if he takes the job, John's new boss is so looking forward to working with him again," Phil added. That did it. As John turned white, Aeryn swept her long, black leather coat open, giving a very telegenic flash of its scarlet lining, and pulled a large, black pistol from the holster on her thigh. She levelled the gun at Kirsty's head in single motion.
"That's it! We are leaving NOW!" Aeryn barked. The scene faded out to cut back to Kirsty and John back in the studio.
"John decided not to take the job," scowled Kirsty disapprovingly.
"And, all things considered, John and Aeryn decided to stay in their current accommodation and work things out with their friends," Phil said with resignation.
"But they can't say we didn't try," wheedled Kirsty brightly.
"That's right, Kirsty. But, as we all know, some people can be just too fussy when they're house-hunting…" Phil rambled on as the scene faded to show Aeryn and John, back on the sofa on Moya, but this time with John feeding a bottle to D'Argo.
"You know, I think maybe we should stick it out here, baby," John said to Aeryn. "It's not so bad."
"Fine. Agreed." Aeryn said with a decisive nod, standing and walking behind the sofa. She paused and turned back towards the camera. "Would you like a Fellip nectar, John?"
"Love one." He replied. "And stick the TV on, while you're up, hon."
"Why?" she asked, genuinely curious. "We must be a million light years from Erp. There's never anything on…."