Disclaimer: Farscape is the property of the Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Entertainment and Channel Nine. This is just for fun.

A/N: This fic takes place over approximately 40 cycles. Although it is divided into five chapters I have posted it as one, as this is how I originally wrote it. This fic was never beta-read, so please forgive any small mistakes.


You Are My Life


Chapter 1: Aeryn


Crais couldn't stop himself from thinking how ironic it was. Here he was, preparing to watch the woman he had once wanted for himself being bonded to the man he had sworn to kill. In fact not even just watch, but actually help. Crichton was determined to incorporate some human traditions into their bonding ceremony, which meant roping everyone else in to help. D'Argo had agreed to be Crichton's best man (once Crichton had explained that the duties were rather different from what D'Argo had assumed the last time he'd asked), Jool and Chiana were bridesmaids, which left to Crais the honour of giving the bride away. Crais suspected that there was more to it than simple elimination. Crichton's explanation had made one thing perfectly clear - it was his duty to surrender all claim to the bride and give her to her husband. Aeryn belonged to Crichton, and Crais would formally accept in public what he had done in private many monens ago.

Crais knocked at the door of Aeryn's quarters.

"Aeryn, it's time." He said, raising his voice to be heard through the door.

The door swished open and Crais entered, to be confronted by a vision in white. He stood for a moment just looking at her.

"You think I look silly." Aeryn said.

Crais shook his head.

"No." He said, no trace of bitterness in his voice. "I think that Crichton is a very lucky man."

A smile lit Aeryn's face.

"I suggest we leave now." Crais said. "Or he may also be a very worried man."

Crais offered Aeryn his arm as she walked towards him. Aeryn looked at him strangely.

"It's another of Crichton's traditions." Crais explained, feeling silly.

"And I am going to marry this strange human." Aeryn said, shaking her head.

Crais chuckled.

"It is perhaps a bit late to change your mind now." He said. "Besides, you do not really want to."

Aeryn met his eyes for a moment.

"No." She said. "You're right - I don't."

She didn't take his arm. Instead, the two ex-Peacekeepers - one in uniform, one in a wedding dress - marched down the corridor shoulder to shoulder. Comrades at last.

***

Crais stood, watching Aeryn who was working at a console on Talyn. There was something.......he couldn't put his finger on it, but there was something different about her. This was the first time he'd seen her since she and Crichton had left on their 'honeymoon'. That was one tradition he didn't need to be human to understand the purpose of. As his presence had no longer been required (or indeed, with both Crichton and Aeryn gone, wanted) he and Talyn had parted company from Moya and had just returned. Aeryn had insisted on coming over to see how Talyn was progressing. And ever since she had come on board, Crais had been wondering.......

She didn't appear unwell. On the contrary, she looked wonderful as always. There was simply something different. Crais assumed that her marriage to Crichton must have been the cause of it. As it happened, he was half right. In fact, the blame belonged to the honeymoon.

"There were good times." Aeryn said, suddenly.

"What?" Crais asked.

"When I was growing up, with the Peacekeepers. There were many things I missed out on but.......there were good times."

Crais remained silent, unsure of how to respond.

"When you were young," Aeryn said, "before you were conscripted......."

"Yes?" Crais asked.

"Do you believe that that life was preferable to the one you had as a Peacekeeper?" Aeryn asked.

Crais moved to stand beside her.

"That is a difficult question to answer." He said. "I was not allowed to experience much of that life. I doubt very much if a farmer's life would have suited me. In many ways, my life as a Peacekeeper was preferable. However, in other ways, the simple life I had as a child had much to recommend it."

"Would you have preferred to have been raised by your parents?" Aeryn asked, abruptly.

"If I had been given the choice, I would have, yes." Crais replied.

Aeryn gave no response. Crais regarded her, a seed of understanding growing in his mind.

"Is there any reason for your enquiry?" He asked.

She turned and met his eyes, and he knew his suspicion was correct.

"It's ironic isn't it?" Aeryn asked.

"That you, who were born a Peacekeeper and educated to believe strongly in irreversible contamination and to despise half-breeds, would choose a non-sebacean as your mate and......the father of your children." Crais replied, in complete understanding.

"Sometimes I wonder if it has all been a dream."

"If it has." Crais said, with a smile. "I suggest that both of us remain asleep."

"A few cycles ago, I would never have believed that I would be here - in this life."

"A few cycles ago, neither of us would have wanted this life."

"And now we embrace it." Aeryn said, a half-smile on her lips.

"I have always believed that I could control my future, but I am beginning to doubt that we can control fate. My life is so far from what I once wanted." Crais said "And I no longer resent that."

"And all because of a strange human." Aeryn said, looking sideways at Crais.

Crais smiled.

"He destroyed your life, and now you thank him for it." He said.

"And he destroyed yours, and you are also grateful."

"No." Crais said. "He did not destroy my life. I destroyed my own. I once believed that he was the reason, but in fact he was only the excuse."

"Tell me something." Aeryn said. "Do you believe that we are exceptions among Peacekeepers? Or that every Peacekeeper would be happier outside the military?"

"Undoubtedly there are some who prefer that life." Crais replied. "But I suspect that there are many like us."

There was silence between them, but it was no longer strained.

"I wish to teach my child about some of the Peacekeeper values, and about military tactics. I want it to understand some of the life I had and pass on anything of value that I have learned. I.......would like your help with that."

Crais raised an eyebrow.

"What is Crichton's opinion on that?" He asked.

"I have not informed him." Aeryn said. "I imagine it will be......forceful."

Crais chuckled.

"But I will convince him." Aeryn said. "You will be an asset in its life."

"Are you certain of that?" Crais asked.

"You have been one to Talyn in many ways." Aeryn said. "There is much you can teach it."

Crais put a hand on her shoulder. A gesture of friendship.

"I will give whatever assistance is in my power." He replied.


Chapter 2: Annallyse


"Sebacean, female, no serious injuries." Jool said.

"No &!%# Sherlock. I meant, can anyone tell anything *useful* about her. Like, is she going to stab us in the back if we keep her on board?" Crichton said.

"She dresses like a Peacekeeper." D'Argo said.

"So do I." Crichton replied. "And if she is a PK chick, what's she doing way out here alone?"

"A good question my friend, and one that I cannot answer." D'Argo answered.

"So we keep her, she wakes up, we do the twenty-questions thing. What do we do if she's still a Peacekeeper?"

"We either lock her in a holding cell.....or we shoot her." Aeryn replied.

"No shooting." Crichton said. "At least.......not unless it's necessary."

"Fine." Aeryn said. "But when she wakes up, we put her into a holding cell until she tells us the truth."

"Agreed." D'Argo said. "We do not need to have more Peacekeeper patrols after us."

***

"Where the frell am I?"

"You are on board a leviathan." Crais stated.

"And who the hezmana are you?" The woman said.

"I am Bialar Crais."

Her eyes narrowed.

"The renegade."

"Indeed."

"Are you going to shoot me?"

"Should I?" Crais asked, raising his pulse pistol.

"It depends." She answered.

"Are you a Peacekeeper?" Crais asked.

"No." She said. "Like you, I am one no longer."

"And your loyalties now lie where?"

She smiled, arching an eyebrow.

"With myself of course, where else?"

Crais grunted.

"Come along with me." He said, unlocking the cell door.

"You're just going to let me go?"

"No." He said. "I am taking you to the others."

"Can't you handle me alone?" She asked, stepping out.

"Do not tempt me." Crais said.

Crais led the way through the corridor. The woman followed closely behind. She raised her hands to strike him. Crais caught her hand a moment before it hit.

"I said." He said. "Do not tempt me."

***

"Annallyse Hyderne, late of Peacekeeper special services, Cyranian company."

"What are you doing here?" Aeryn asked, still pointing her pulse pistol at her.

"You brought me on board. Why don't you tell me?"

"What we mean is, why are you no longer a Peacekeeper?" Crichton asked.

"Like you, I was deemed irreversibly contaminated." She said, indicating Crais and Aeryn.

"And you escaped the death penalty?" Crais asked.

"You don't spend as many cycles as I did in the Peacekeeper SS without learning how to watch your back."

"You were lucky." Aeryn said.

"I was good." Annallyse said. "Luck will only get you so far. After that, you need skill to survive."

"Your prowler was badly damaged and drifting, you were unconscious. I would say that your skills aren't as good as you think." Aeryn said.

"I escaped from the Peacekeepers alone. Could you have done that?" She said, eyeing Aeryn in dislike.

"As fascinating as this conversation is." Crichton said. "Can we get back to the issue? Where were you headed and what are we going to do with you?"

"I was headed towards the commerce planet Tulvaane Prime. I suggest you take me there, I can fix my prowler on the way."

"You wouldn't be interested in joining us?" Crichton asked, reasoning that another ex-PK could be useful to them.

"No." Annallyse and Aeryn said together, then shared another narrow-eyed look.

"I am going to survive." Annallyse said. "And shutting myself up with two renegade ex - Peacekeepers on the run does not sound like the way to do that."

"OK, we drop you off there. What will you do then?" Crichton asked.

"None of your frelling business!"

That was the only response he got.

***

"What do you want?" Crais asked, looking up from his seated position.

"Well that isn't very polite is it?" Annallyse replied.

Crais shot her a look of short-tempered irritation.

"If you have a purpose here, tell me. If not, leave. Your *company*....stimulating though it is.....is not something I desire."

"You're angry because I tried to kill you." She said, coming closer.

"I expected you to try to kill me." Crais said. "But , curiously enough, that does not mean that I wish to spend time with you voluntarily."

"Maybe you'll change your mind when you find out why I'm here." She said, a smile pulling at her mouth corners.

"There is nothing you could possibly say or do that would make me wish you to stay." Crais said, returning his gaze to the infopad he had been studying.

"Oh? Are you quite sure about that?"

Annallyse approached him. Crais didn't look up. She put one hand on his shoulder and straddled him. Then Crais looked at her.

"What are you doing?" Crais asked, in a voice exhausted by irritation.

"I think I need a little......recreation." She replied smoothly.

"I see." Crais said, part of him wanting to laugh. "And you have chosen me because.........?"

"I want a man." She said, smiling . "One who knows what he's doing."

"I thought you hated me." Crais said, shifting his position slightly.

"I do." She replied without hesitation. "You're a deserter...."

"As are you."

"......and you abused your command." She continued, ignoring his interruption. "But that is not the issue here. I want you....to frell me dead. Neither of us needs to like the other for that."

Only a flick of Crais' eyelids indicated any surprise at that statement. He reached out one hand and let it trail down her cheek. She looked at him in contempt.

One hard shove and she fell off him and hit the floor.

"Get out." Crais said. "I strongly advise you never to return."

She picked herself up with as much dignity as she could muster.

"What's the matter?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. "Don't tell me you no longer like females......"

Crais' face was a thundercloud.

"I do not," he said, stressing every word, "wish to be used for your convenience."

Suddenly, she began to laugh.

"What is so funny?" Crais asked, his mouth tight.

"You." She said. "You don't wish to be used. How many women have you given that choice to?"

Crais' face got even darker.

"I," he said, definitely, "have *never*..."

"Bialar, you're a smart man. I know that, you know that. You can't honestly be so naive."

She moved back towards him, cupping his chin and lifting it to her face so that their eyes met.

"What Peacekeeper," she said, dangerously, "whether looking for promotion....or just to stay alive....is going to turn down her Captain's advances?"

She turned abruptly and walked out, stopping briefly at the door.

"When you change your mind, give me a shout. If you're lucky, I won't have changed mine."

The door closed behind her.

And Crais put his head in his hands.

***

"I wish to speak to you. Now."

"Don't tell me you've changed your mind so fast?" Annallyse said, a smug smile on her face.

"You know exactly why I am here." Crais said, fighting the temptation to shake her.

"I told you something you already knew and now you wish to dispute it in a futile attempt to convince yourself that it is not true."

Crais approached her, his face thunderous.

"You will listen to me." He said, threateningly. "I did many unconscionable things as a Peacekeeper, but I have *never* forced myself upon any woman. If any of the woman under my command were foolish enough to believe that they could gain promotion in that manner then that was their mistake and not mine."

"Believe yourself yet?"

"And, even if it was not, I am no longer a Peacekeeper. I do not live by the same rules as I did then. I do not care to 'recreate' with a woman simply because she is available."

Annallyse rose and came over.

"Crais, I don't care about you and I won't pretend to. And I know you'd just as soon shoot me as frell me. All I'm saying is, so long as we both *know* that it's just for fun, where's the harm in it? Whatever your new morals are, you're not exactly going to hurt my feelings. I want you, you want me, frell the rest!"

"I do not remember ever saying that I wanted you." Crais said, raising an eyebrow.

She smiled wickedly.

"I don't go by words Bialar. I prefer body language. I find it far more reliable."

"And your observations of my body language inform you that I am attracted to you."

"I know where to look." She said, running one hand down his body.

Crais smiled.

"As you said, I could just shoot you right now."

"Frell first, shoot afterwards. That's just good sense."

"I cannot fault your logic."

She smiled.

"You won't fault anything else either." She said, sliding her hands beneath his tunic.

***

They had arrived at Tulvaane Prime. Annallyse had completed the repairs to her prowler. Crichton had insisted that they give her some food cubes as well, despite Aeryn's objections. Crais walked into the bay.

"What do you want?" She asked.

Crais smiled, it was exactly as he had expected.

"I thought I would come to say goodbye." He said.

She raised an eyebrow.

"Goodbye." She said.

She regarded him for several microts.

"Is there any reason you're still here?"

Crais forcibly held back a laugh.

"None whatsoever." He said, turning to leave.

"You think we'll ever bump into each other again?" Annallyse said.

"It is not impossible." Crais replied.

She considered this for a microt.

"I hope we don't." She said.

"As do I." Crais said.

She left without another word to anyone.

***

"Glad she went?" Crichton asked.

"Yes. Having her here would have been.....unsettling."

"Life is always unsettled here."

"Yours is almost settled now." Crais replied.

"Nothing's ever settled out here." Crichton said. "I don't know what the hell is going to happen tomorrow, let alone next week or next year. But I've got Aeryn......and now I've got Jack....and that's the one tiny part of my life that keeps me together.


Chapter 3: Talyn


"Yes Talyn, we will both......miss her."

Crais stood in Talyn's command. It had been half an arn since Crichton's face had disappeared from the viewscreen, but he could still see his eyes in front of him. The eyes of a man who has just lost his mate for the second time - and knew that there was no-one to bring her back to him.

"No Talyn!" Crais said, actually alarmed by the thoughts that were flowing into him. "This is not Crichton's fault! It was an accident and he could do nothing to stop it."

He paused for a moment, trying to process the surge of emotions that Talyn was feeding him.

"I know that you are angry. You are a soldier - you want to attack. But Talyn, there is no-one for you to attack. Do you understand that? You must find.....another way to deal with your feelings."

"I understand your feelings, but you must not... Talyn, are you listening to me? You will remain calm. Do not take any action. I am ordering you not only as your pilot, but also as your friend. There is nothing to be done."

"Let me feel everything, I will share your pain."

The already almost overwhelming flow of emotions doubled in intensity. The avalanche of gut-wrenching pain and anger almost buried Crais' own mind before it knocked him unconscious.

***

It took over two arns for Crais to wake up. Talyn had stopped his feed, allowing Crais to take back control. He seemed calmer and Crais gingerly relaxed his mind. His head was pounding and his whole body felt drained as though he'd just run a marathon. The cybernetic bleedback he had suffered from on many occasions was nothing compared to what he had just experienced. That had been physical, but this was emotional - his entire psyche being overwhelmed by Talyn's.

It confirmed what he had known for some time, but hadn't wanted to admit. He could no longer remain as Talyn's captain and pilot. If he did, he risked being completely taken over by Talyn. Something had to be done.

***

The Pilot's home world was incredible. There didn't seem to be any atmosphere, the entire sky was a mass of stars and planets - a cosmic playground. It was so calm, and so peaceful. Never in Crais' life had he imagined a place like this. For a moment, he almost wondered why anyone would choose to leave. Then he knew the answer. Who could spend their entire lives seeing the stars and not want to go to them?

The council of elders had initially reacted unfavourably to Crais' request to find a pilot for Talyn. A hybrid gunship was not their idea of a suitable position. It had taken a good deal of patience on Crais' part to explain to them that he wanted a pilot to help Talyn to be calmer, to control his violent impulses. They made no secret of their dislike and distrust of Peacekeepers and of Crais himself, because of his past connections with them. But finally, after weekens of discussions, they had agreed that Talyn could be given a pilot. Then came the lengthy process of selecting one. It seemed that every young pilot dreamed of being bonded to a leviathan, and the elders took the task of selecting the right one very seriously. Talyn grew increasingly restless as they waited, and it sometimes took all Crais' strength to keep him calm and under control. For once, Talyn's hotheadedness worked in their favour. The elders began to truly understand why Talyn was so in need of guidance, and hastened their search.

***

"Captain Crais."

"I am no longer a Captain." Crais said.

"Then how shall I address you?" Talyn's new pilot asked.

"I am usually addressed simply as Crais, and that will suffice."

"Very well...Crais." She replied.

"How are you settling in?" Crais asked, getting down to business.

"Talyn seems....reluctant...to accept my presence here." She said, a concerned expression on her face.

"He is unused to having a pilot. In time he will accept you." Crais said.

"Natural bonding will take at least a cycle. Until that time, I will have only limited control over Talyn's systems."

"I realise that." Crais said. "And I think that that is best. For the present I will have to retain my neural link to Talyn. He will slowly adjust to your presence as the bonding takes place, and eventually all command will be transferred to you."

"Why do you wish to end your link to Talyn?" The pilot asked curiously.

"When I joined with Talyn, he was only a child." Crais replied. "Since then he has become much stronger, and as he continues to grow his power is increasing. At times, when his emotions are particularly strong, he can.....overwhelm me. It is dangerous for me to remain in command of Talyn much longer. I require your assistance to control him."

"I will do everything in my power to help that. But I must tell you Crais, that my first loyalty is to Talyn and not to you. If your desires conflict, I will do what I think is best for him."

"Which is precisely what I want." Crais replied.


Chapter 4: Alazandra


"There's a ship approaching." Pilot said, fear in his voice.

"What kind of ship is it Pilot?" Crichton asked.

"A prowler."

"Prowlers do not travel alone." Crais said quietly. "Pilot, how many life signs aboard?"

"According to Moya's scans there is one life sign and it is sebacean."

"No surprise there." Crichton said.

"Crichton, Crais, the prowler is attempting to initiate communication with us. Audio only."

"That's unusual right?" Crichton asked Crais. "They wouldn't bother to talk to us first."

"It is very unusual." Crais replied. "Pilot, open a comms channel."

A voice, female and slightly broken up, came through.

"What is the name of your vessel?" She said.

"Who wants to know?" Crichton asked.

"I am attempting to locate a leviathan by the name of Moya." The woman said, ignoring Crichton's question.

"For what purpose?" Crais asked.


"I am not a Peacekeeper. I mean you no harm. If you scan my ship you will see that my weapons are all powered down. If this ship is Moya, I merely wish to come aboard and speak to her crew. If it is not, tell me and I will be on my way."

Crais and Crichton exchanged glances.

"We will deploy our docking web and bring you aboard." Crais said.

"Thank you."

The comms channel shut down.


"What do you think?" Crichton asked.


"Even if she is a Peacekeeper, we can easily outnumber and over-power her once she is on the ship. We should bring her aboard, search her, but hear what she has to say. If Moya is being hunted once again, we need to know."

"Agreed. I'll call D'Argo and Chi. What about Jack?" Crichton asked.

"I suggest we restrict our welcome party to the four of us for now." Crais said.

Crichton hit his comms.

"D'Argo, Chi meet us in the docking bay now. We've got a visitor."

***

The four of them stood, guns at the ready, waiting for their visitor to leave the hanger. None of them knew what to expect exactly. Why was she looking for Moya and them?

She came round the corner and walked slowly towards them.

Four mouths dropped open.


"What the frell is going on?" D'Argo said.

"Crais," Crichton said, recovering his power of speech, "are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"For once." Crais said, trying to recover his wits. "I believe so."

"Annallyse?" Crichton said, quietly.

"Unfortunately, it is quite possible."

"Who are you?" D'Argo asked, not having heard this conversation.

"My name is Alezandra Hyderne." She said, eyes flashing between the four of them.

Both D'Argo and Chiana recognised that name and turned to look at Crais. Crais' collar suddenly felt very tight around his neck.

"I believe there may be quite a lot for us to discuss." He said.

***

"The dates fit Crais." Crichton said, out of the corner of his mouth.

"Yes, thank you Crichton, I am capable of doing the calculations myself." Crais replied.

"What happened to your mom?" Crichton asked.

"She's dead. Tarkalian flu, nothing fancy. She told me about you, so when she was gone I set out to find you." Alezandra replied.

She turned to Crais.

"And you must be my father." She said matter-of-factly.

"That does seem to be the case." Crais said, not quite sure what to do.

"You know," Crichton said, "I think I'll go see if D'Argo needs any help with……whatever he's doing."

He left them alone, regarding each other uncertainly.

"I'm not expecting……anything." Alezandra said finally. "My mother told me who you were, but she made it pretty clear that the two of you weren't exactly…….deeply involved."

For the first time in a long while, Crais felt himself blush.

"No." He said. "That is true."

"I was an accident and I know that. I did not come here looking for a father. I came because……I wanted the chance to meet you, to find out something about my relations. I have only ever had my mother and now she is gone……I felt I wanted to see a little of the past before I got on with the future. That is all."

"You are welcome to stay with us on Moya, or Talyn, if that is what you wish." Crais said.

"Talyn." She said, as if searching her memory. "Your gunship."

"No longer mine." Crais said. "Talyn was joined to a pilot over fifteen cycles ago. He visits us periodically and occasionally I travel with him for short periods, but my home is now here – on Moya."

"From what my mother told me, I thought you did not get on very well with Moya's crew."

"That was true then, and perhaps is now, but we have…….adjusted to each other."

"And I may stay as well."


"If you are my daughter….and it appears that you are….then I will not turn you away. You are welcome to stay here, on Moya, for as long as you wish." Crais said.


"Thank you." Alezandra replied.

"I suggest we find you some quarters." Crais said.

***

"So where d'you put her?" Crichton asked.

"I thought that Jool's old quarters would be most appropriate." Crais said.

"Yeah, I guess we had to put someone in there eventually." Crichton said. "I still can't believe she's gone."

"I still find myself calling for her on the comms." Crais said.

"Not like it started out." Crichton said. "Jool dead. Zhaan dead. Stark gone. Rygel dead. ……..Aeryn dead"

After fifteen cycles that hadn't lost it's sting.

"Much has changed." Crais said.

"And you....you're a father! I never saw that coming."

"Neither did I." Crais said. "Neither did I."

"She looks a lot like you." Crichton said.

"Indeed."

"Do you think she'll stay long?"

"I cannot tell you. I expect only for a short time."


"She might like you and decide to stay."

"What can we really offer her here?" Crais said.



***

Jack Crichton-Sun strolled down the corridor, not going anywhere in particular. He headed almost automatically to Pilot's den. The trace of Pilot's DNA that had given Aeryn a special bond with Pilot had been passed on to him and, since his mother had died, he had always felt that he should carry on their friendship. These days, now he was grown, he and Pilot had a friendship all of their own and one he valued greatly.

His mind was on his earlier conversation with his father. Crais had a daughter and he was very curious about what she was like. Plus it would be nice to have someone his own age on board. All through his childhood he had been the only child on board and it had been very lonely at times. His dad and the others had been wonderful, but they weren't the same as a real friend. He had wanted to go and introduce himself at once, but his father had convinced him to let her get settled into her quarters first and he would meet her tonight.

As it happened, he got his wish. He rounded a corner, something warm walked straight into him, and he got to meet her anyway.

***

He might never have been in love in his lifetime, but Crais was neither blind nor stupid. The daughter he hadn't known he had until two monens ago was obviously smitten with Crichton's son. And, worse still, the feeling was obviously mutual. Neither Crais nor Crichton were certain whether they should be amused or disturbed by this. What felt so strange to Crais was that his daughter was being taken away from him before he'd even had a chance to feel like she was his. For the first time he'd really began to understand what he'd missed out on by not being there as she grew up. Crichton had twenty-one cycles of memories of his son, and Crais had two monens worth of his daughter. It just wasn't enough.


Chapter 5: Crichton


"I swear in Tauvo's name Crichton, you will die in my hands!"

"Not quite how you pictured it, huh Crais?" Crichton said, slipping back into the old ways.

"Not then." Crais said.

Their silence was filled only by the slow beeping of the medical monitor Crichton was hooked up to.

"Still, you kind of got your wish." Crichton said. "You will be the last thing I see before I die."

"We could still attempt to locate a diagnostician."

"Bialar for once I'm not dying from some weird space disease or injury. I'm dying of old age. You can't fight that. It's my time. My species just don't live as long as yours."

"I have attempted to contact Jack and Alazandra, but they are still out of range." Crais said.

"It's probably just as well. They don't need to see this. Finally I'm glad that Aeryn went first. At least she won't have to watch me die again."

"They will be very upset."

"Jack's grown now, he's a married man for goodness sake."

"He may still need a father."

"I hate to break this to you Crais, but that's you. We're all family now, remember?"

Crais smiled.

"I never believed that that day would come."

"Me neither."

They fell silent again.

"Tell me something." Crichton said. "Do you still want to kill me?"

Crais smiled.

"No." He said. "I do not."

"Then I guess I've done everything I had to do. Now we just...."

"...wait." Crais finished quietly.

"Kind of strange isn't it Crais?" Crichton said, smiling weakly.

"What?" Crais asked.

"That everyone else is gone. That of all the people who made up my life, I'll spend my last moments with you - the man who vowed to kill me." Crichton replied.

The look in Crais' eyes told Crichton that he shared the joke.

"Take care of everyone for me, won't you." Crichton said.

"Of course." Crais replied.

It was two arns later that the beeping finally stopped. Crais sat for a while, thinking. He knew he would probably live another hundred cycles at least, but in a way it felt like his life was over as well. Strange how, one way or another, this human had been such a big part of his life ever since the day he'd seen the footage of Tauvo's collision and crash. There was so much he wouldn't have done if they hadn't met, so many people he wouldn't have met, so many feelings he would never have had. Crichton had spoken of the people who made up his life. The person who had made up his life, who had connected every part of it, who was now a part of his family, was lying dead in front of him.

Somehow, Crais thought, though I neither sought it nor welcomed it - you took over my life. You are my life.

Or, at least, you were.