Disclaimer: Farscape isn't mine. And if it isn't mine, who cares whose it is? Seriously, it belongs to Jim Henson etc. It's not worth sueing over.

Summary: Crais and Carma discover that the course of true love never does run smooth. In other words, everything that can go wrong, does.

Timing: This is the sequel to 'History' and 'Wounds' and so is post ITLD.

Feedback: Always welcome.

Rating: Definitely R, on several different counts.

A/N: It gets heavy. It wasn't supposed to at the start, but I posted it chapter by chapter and it ended up that way. The sequel to this is less so, but this installment is bumpy. And yes, all the chapter titles are movie titles. Shameless snurching.

Chapter 1: American Pie

"Are you certain?" Crais asked seriously, pausing between kisses.

"I'm certain," Carma answered, kissing him gently. "Nervous...but certain. I can't keep putting this off."

"I have no intention of forcing you to...."

"I know that," Carma interrupted softly. "I want this too. I've just been a bit...apprehensive. I'm not sure how this will turn out."

"I thought the ultimate goal was fairly clear."

"You know what I mean," Carma said, blushing slightly. "I've haven't tried to do this since...I'm not sure what to expect."

"I will...make every effort to shoulder the greater burden of responsibility."

"I'm sure you will," Carma said, teasing. "I couldn't expect you to break the habit of a lifetime."

Under the circumstances, Crais chose to respond to that with a chuckle instead of a frown. He paused just long enough to kiss her again before lifting her into his arms and carrying her to his bed. As he set her down he noticed her grinning at him.

"What is so amusing?" he asked, frowning.

"Nothing," Carma said, still grinning. "I just always wondered what it would be like to have someone do that." To Crais' surprise she grabbed a handful of his jacket and pulled him down onto the bed with her. "And now," she said, moving her body closer to his and giving him a look he'd never seen from her before, "my fantasy man is here in the flesh."

Crais gave her one of his smouldering looks. The ones that, in the past two monens, had resulted in more cold showers than she'd ever had in her life before. Only this time she had no intention of trying to cool off. He claimed her mouth with his own and Carma sighed happily, willingly allowing her body to melt into his.

They slowly began undressing each other. Carma moaned softly when Crais' hands found her breasts, instinctively arching her back to press herself closer. He gently caressed her nipples, sending ripples of pleasure spiralling in all directions, her body responding eagerly to what it had been denied for so long.

Before long Carma was only vaguely conscious of what he was doing. Her body was thrilling under his touch and she only cared that he didn't stop. The floor slowly became carpeted in black leather as Crais' hands moved further down her body.

The microt he went to remove her underwear, Carma froze from head to toe. In the same microt her mood went from happiness to strained misery. Just when she'd thought she had overcome her fears, her unconscious had stabbed her in the back once again.

"Carma?" Crais asked, concerned. She couldn't help noticing how much shallower his breathing was than usual.

"I...I'm sorry," she said, tears already threatening to start. "I'm so sorry, I just...I just can't."

She rolled back off the bed and struggled back into her trousers and shirt. Crais sat up behind her and reached out to put a hand on her shoulder. Her body felt tense enough to snap at any moment, her shoulders were already shaking from tears. She felt frustrated, angry and worthless all at once. She'd been so sure and now here she was...a failure.

"Carma, I...."

She ignored him. At that moment she couldn't bear even to look him in the eye. She grabbed her boots and ran out.

***

Crais stood in command, for once thankful that he no longer had Talyn's constant stream of thought through his mind. Carma had been avoiding him for the last two solar days. He had gone after her when she had run and tried to talk to her, but she'd plainly just wanted him to leave. He'd guessed, correctly, that his presence had only served as a reminder. Since then he had left it to her to approach him, but it didn't seem as if this was something she would get over anytime soon.

He heard the doors open behind him and turned, hoping that her presence there was not by accident. Her face looked drawn and she seemed subdued, but composed.

"Hi," she whispered.

Crais smiled at her, uncertain exactly how he should proceed, relieved when she moved closer.

"About..." she began, "Crais I'm...I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to...."

She broke off. Crais took a step forward and folded her in his arms. Fortunately for him she allowed herself to be held.

"I am not angry," he murmured into her hair. "It was...beyond your control."

"Yeah," Carma replied, sounding far from happy, "and I hate that as much as you would. It just isn't fair! This isn't supposed to be so hard. Why can't I just take a pill, or do a ritual, or just...wake up one morning with all my problems gone away?"

"I'm afraid that life is not so simple," Crais said quietly.

"Tell me something I don't know," Carma replied, shaking her head. "But why does it always have to be this hard. Kren, it would be so much easier to just...."

"Die?" Crais asked, looking her straight in the eye.

"I didn't really mean that," Carma said, shifting her gaze away from him. "I don't really want to die...I just don't want life to keep being this hard."

"I am afraid that I cannot help you with that."

"I know," Carma replied softly. "You know...maybe we should just forget it."

"Forget what?"

"This, us. How many more signs do we need that this is not going to work?"

"I prefer," Crais said seriously, "not to make a habit of giving up at the first hurdle."

"Bialar, it's not the first by a long way. Nothing has gone right for us. Maybe it's time we just...give up. It's not worth working this hard for."

Crais regarded her silently for a few microts. Then he bent his head and kissed her. Carma responded instinctively, both of them feeling what they always did when they kissed. Something neither of them had ever felt before.

"I believe," Crais replied, when he had pulled away, "that it is."

***

"Remind me again why we're meeting Moya?" Carma asked.

Crais raised an eyebrow. "It was your idea," he said, amused.

"I remember discussing it," Carma said, sheepishly. "Then I remember that truly lethal bottle of Tarkalian brandy. That's about it. I haven't the faintest idea what we decided."

"What we decided was that, as Talyn has little guidance at the present time, he should spend more time with Moya."

"I said that?"

"Approximately."

Carma looked surprised. "Maybe I wasn't quite as out of it as I thought I was."

Crais didn't answer.

"Then again, maybe not," Carma said, noticing the expression on his face.

***

Both were surprised that no-one came to meet them. Crais, who was now accustomed to being greeted by an armed Crichton, most of all. Carma headed to the medilab to find Jool, about the closest thing she had to a friend on Moya.

Jool, for once, didn't seem to have anything to complain about. She seemed thrilled to have Carma there and greeted her with a bear hug.

"It's wonderful to see you!" Jool exclaimed.

"Are you alright?" Carma asked, rather worried at her perky mood.

"Perfectly fine, and don't let's talk about me. How is everything for you?"

"Fine," Carma answered, eyeing Jool like a mysterious new creature.

"Isn't there anything that I can help you with?" Jool asked. "Anything you want to talk about? I don't want anything to bother you. Anything at all."

"Jool...are you sure you're alright? You seem a little...different," Carma said, choosing the least offensive word she could think of.

"I'm fine. But what about you?"

Still eyeing Jool with rather a worried expression, Carma gave up. "Actually...I do have one problem."

"Uh-huh?" Jool said, with the air of a therapist working on commission.

"I don't know if I should discuss this with you," Carma said, looking uncomfortable.

"I promise I will say nothing about what you tell me," Jool said, her eyes wide. "I only want to help."

"Well...it's...it's me and Crais. We've...hit a problem."

"What kind of problem?"

"It's sort of...personal."

"Ah," Jool said, "go on."

"Not many people know this," Carma said, still feeling uneasy, "but, a few cycles ago, I...was raped."

"Oh no!" Jool gasped, in shock. "How awful for you!"

"Yeah and now.... A few days ago, umm...me and Crais, well...we were...we were going to...well, you know, but I just...couldn't. I...froze up and...I don't know what to do."

"Well," Jool said, her forehead wrinkling, "what if you tried to focus on the good experiences you've had instead of the bad?"

Carma blushed. "Well...the thing is...I have none. This thing with Crais...it's really my first time."

Jool looked astonished.

"Well, I was a carer," Carma said, avoiding her gaze. "Carers are forbidden to marry and dating is strongly discouraged. It's really impossible to fit anyone in, the whole point is that you're completely devoted to your patient. I always knew that and I always wanted to be a carer so I just...didn't bother. If I'd fallen for someone then my career would have been over before it even began."

She paused. "It's ridiculous, isn't it? I'm seventy-three cycles old and trying to learn how to date."

"You're seventy-three?" Jool exclaimed.

"My species are quite long-lived, about two hundred cycles on average," Carma said. "And I've always looked younger than I am. Don't look so stunned, it isn't that unusual. Crais is even older than me."

"How old?" Jool asked curiously.

"I'm not sure exactly, I think he's a little touchy about it, but he must be coming up to his first century pretty soon. Sebaceans and Teraxians seem to age about the same." Carma paused. "I don't know if we'll be over to get through this."

"If there's anything I can do...." Jool offered, sympathetically.

"Don't tell Crais I told you about it," Carma said with half a smile. "Other than that, there's nothing. It looks like it'll take a miracle for things to work out between us."

***

For the first time he could remember, Crais was concerned about Crichton. He'd found him in Moya's command, working on something in a notebook. According to Pilot, none of the others except Jool were on board.

"Where are the others?"

Crichton shrugged, not even looking up from his work.

"Why are they not aboard Moya?"

"They went down to that commerce planet."

"And they have not returned?"

"Naa."

"When did they leave here?"

"Some time yesterday."

"And are you not even slightly concerned that they have not returned?" Crais asked.

"Not really."

"Not even about Aeryn?"

Crichton looked at Crais like he was mad. "Why would I care about her?" he asked.

Something was very, very wrong. Having given up on Crichton, Crais tried Pilot again.

"I do not understand anymore than you do Crais," Pilot said apologetically. "The others have been acting very strangely for several solar days now and I am no wiser about the cause."

Crais nodded. "Where is Carma?" he asked, determined to find out her observations of Jool.

"She returned to Talyn approximately half an arn ago."

"Alone? In our transport pod?"

"Yes Crais."

"I will require the loan of one of Moya's pods to return," Crais said, irritated.

"Very well."

"I will consult with Carma and return shortly."

"Thank you Crais."

Crais marched to the hanger, both concerned and irritated. When he arrived back on Talyn he activated the internal scans to find Carma. To his surprise, it showed her in his quarters. What reason could she have for being there?

He marched down the corridor until he reached them, swiftly activating the door controls and stepping inside. The lights were off. In a microt he felt himself grabbed and thrust against the wall.

"Carma!" he said, caught off guard. "What are you doing?"

"Talking wastes too much time," Carma replied. "It would be so much easier if I just show you."

If it hadn't been for decades of Peacekeeper training in how to control his emotions, some two hours later Crais would have been walking around with a silly grin on his face.