'Opposites Attract: A Crais/Jool Series'

Disclaimer: Farscape belongs to a lot of people. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

Timing: Post 'Thanks For Sharing', but with only one Crichton. Now very AU.

Feedback: Always welcome.

A/N: Written well before 'The Final Four' and S4, each chapter was originally posted as a separate story. Here it seemed easier to put them all together. I did intend to add more to the series, but there's no cliffhanger at the end so it's safe to read as is. Light reading, mostly shippy stuff. Enjoy.


'All Work And No Play'


"Crais, what on Earth are you doing?"

"I am attempting to repair Talyn's damaged conduits," Crais answered, glancing up at Crichton in irritation.

"It's the middle of the night."

"Thank you Crichton, I am aware of that."

"Don't you ever sleep?"

"I am not tired at present."

"Crais, you've been over here workin' 24/7 for days. Don't you ever take time out for fun?"

"I do not require 'fun' either."

"The hell you don't! You've got bags under your eyes big enough for the grocery shopping and you're even more antisocial than usual."

Crais ignored him.

"Look, we'll be at the next commerce planet tomorrow. We're all getting a little R'n'R. Are you coming?"

"I would prefer to stay here."

"Fine, have it your way, but you can't stay on Talyn. I need you to come to Moya and baby-sit the princess."

"I am sure that Jool can take care of herself."

"Maybe so, but she's the new girl on board and I'm not leaving her alone."

"Fine," Crais said, in no mood to start a lengthy discussion. "I will come to Moya tomorrow. For the moment, may I get back to what I was doing?"

"Sure Crais, whatever, I'm going to bed," Crichton strolled off down the corridor. 'There's a guy in desperate need of a life' he thought to himself.

***

Jool sat, looking at Crais. Of all the people she could have been left here with, why him? The first time they'd met he'd tried to strangle her. Since then D'Argo had found time to fill her in on Crais' less than rosy past. While Crais didn't seem quite the monster he'd described, Jool still wasn't exactly keen on being alone with him. What the hezmana had Crichton been thinking? 'Get him to lighten up,' he'd said. Lighten up? How could she relax with a man she was half afraid to turn her back on?

It didn't look like he was exactly thrilled to be here either. They'd sat here in silence for what felt like arns. Crais was reading something on an infopad.

Crais was pretending to read something on an infopad. It meant that he could avoid a conversation. It was bad enough that he had to sit here when he could have been doing essential maintenance, he was not going to entertain her as well. Crais didn't understand why Crichton thought that Jool needed to be looked after. She might be young, but that didn't mean she couldn't stay out of trouble for a few arns. She looked as uncomfortable as he felt. He had a suspicion that she was no keener on the arrangement than him.

"Why didn't you go down to the commerce planet with the others?" Jool asked suddenly.

"I intended to do maintenance work on Talyn." The implication that she was the reason why he was not doing so was not lost on Jool.

"Don't let me stop you," she said, irritated by his tone.

"It was agreed that the two of us should remain together on Moya, in case of any problems arising."

"Take me with you," Jool said. "Pilot can call us if there's a problem."

"I doubt you would find it interesting to watch me work."

'More interesting than this,' she thought.

"Maybe I could help," she said out loud.

"I wasn't aware that you knew anything about leviathans."

"I don't, specifically, but I'm sure there's something I could do."

Crais considered this. He didn't want her messing with his ship, but at least he might get some work done. That way it wouldn't be a completely wasted day.

"Very well," he said. "Follow me."

***

"So, how long will it take for the power to come back on line?"

"I do not know." How could he know? He'd never caused a complete shut down like that. He still didn't know how she'd managed it. He'd turned his back for one microt and his ship was dead in the water.

"Can I do something?"

"I rather think," Crais answered, his patience wafer thin, "that you've done enough for one day."

"But if I just..." she reached out to touch a console. Crais grabbed her arm roughly and pulled it back.

"Do not touch anything!" he yelled. "You have already caused more damage than I thought possible! Sit there and do nothing!"

Jool sat. Crais turned his attention to the console and began to assess the damage. It appeared that she had merely given Talyn a shock. He would awake, but not for several arns yet. He was studying the readouts more closely when he heard a strange sound behind him.

Jool was crying. She'd never meant to harm Talyn. She'd only been trying to help. But whatever she did they still hated her. First they'd left her here with a man *they* didn't even trust while they all went off to have fun and now he was furious with her. Why couldn't anyone like her? She always been loved before. And now here she was, in hell.

Crais was taken aback. He was used to yelling at people, but not people who responded like this. Peacekeepers didn't cry and none of Moya's crew cried because he got mad at them. In fact, they usually seemed not to care very much at all. Jool was obviously different. He sensed that he should try to stop her crying. The problem was, he didn't have the slightest idea how. Racking his brain, he found himself recalling a phrase of Crichton's 'kiss and make up'. Jool wasn't human, but she was a similar species wasn't she? It was a long shot, but it was the best idea he had.

Jool got the shock of her life when, in one swift movement, Crais tipped her face up and brought his lips down on hers. But, after a moment, she found herself returning his kiss. Crais too quickly discovered that the experience was far from unpleasant. And, for the first time in a long while, they both forgot everything else.

Jool's head was spinning by the time they separated.

"What did you do that for?" she asked in a daze.

"I was trying to make you stop crying," Crais said, feeling somewhat unsettled himself. He regarded her. "It seems to have worked."

"It...seemed to help," Jool said.

They looked at each other for a moment.

"I still feel...upset...about Talyn," Jool ventured to say.

Despite his usual reserve, Crais accepted the invitation.

***

"Where's Crais?" Crichton asked, when he and the others arrived back on Moya.

Jool jumped.

"He's...I mean, I think that he returned to Talyn."

"I thought I told you to stay with him."

"I...I did...but now you're back, I...he...didn't need to stay."

"What's with you?" Crichton said. "You're so jumpy."

"Nothing," Jool said, too quickly.

"Right," Crichton answered casually.

***

Crichton's sixth sense told him that something was going on. He didn't know exactly what, but there was definitely something. No-one else seemed to notice it. He might not know Jool too well, but she definitely acted like there was something on her mind. And, since he'd first noticed it when they returned from the commerce planet, it must be something that had happened while she was alone with Crais.

What he couldn't figure out. While he didn't completely trust Crais, he didn't think that he would have hurt her. And Pilot confirmed that nothing unusual had taken place while they were on the planet. So it was a mystery. At least, for now.

***

Crais was on Talyn trying to work. He'd returned before the others had come back from the planet and he'd hadn't left since. This was no way for an ex-Captain to behave. He'd always believed that avoiding things was a futile exercise, you still had to face them in the end and the wait only made the worry increase. But this was a new situation. The truth was, he was hesitating because he wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. What occurred on Talyn had been completely out of the blue. He admitted to himself that he'd found her attractive beforehand, but he'd never considered the possibility of a relationship. She did seem childlike in many ways compared to the people he was used to, even though that was the result of her upbringing. His own upbringing had taught him to despise mixed matings. He might have rejected Peacekeeper values, but he knew now that he'd unconsciously discounted her because she wasn't Sebacean. A few cycles ago the idea would have been out of the question - indeed repellent. Now....

He hadn't spoken to her since...well, since she'd been here. Obviously he needed to make the next move. The question was, what would that be?

***

Jool was feeling out of her depth. Where she came from, mating was a simple affair. When a person finished their studies, they chose their mate from a selection that their parents had carefully put together. If she hadn't been captured on her trip she would have chosen one herself. You made your choice and that was it - easy.

This was anything but. It wasn't just a new set of rules to learn - there were no rules! Crais had been a Peacekeeper. Peacekeepers didn't even have mates. Sebaceans did outside the military, but Crais hadn't known much of that life. Jool had no frame of reference to guide her and no idea of what should happen next. She didn't like that uncertainty. She only knew that she wanted more of what had happened on Talyn. But did he? She couldn't tell. Obviously, she needed to ask him. She just didn't know how.

***

Realisation had dawned.

They avoided each other like the plague. They'd been left alone for arns but neither would talk about anything that had happened. They were both pre-occupied and shifty - as if they were trying to hide something.

This, Crichton thought, could only mean one thing.

It presented him with an interesting situation. As far as he was aware, he was the only one who had even the slightest inkling that there was something going on. They also seemed to be in need of some assistance. So, he could either help or cause some serious trouble. The second was definitely tempting. However, the implications of the situation were too important. Crais in love - that was something too good to miss. Plus it might make him a bit more fun to be around. No, it seemed that he was going to have to play cupid.

***

"Why do I have to go?" Jool asked reluctantly.

"We need medical supplies. You know most about medicine, you get the supplies." Aeryn answered flatly.

"You're going to send me down there alone?"

"Of course not," Crichton said. "Crais is going with you."

Jool turned away quickly, but not before Crichton saw the look in her eyes.

"Why him?" she asked, trying to sound casual.

"D'Argo and Chiana already left. Aeryn and I have a maintenance date. That leaves Crais. Unless you want to take Rygel?"

"Fine," Jool said, deciding that whining wouldn't get her anywhere. "What do we need?"

Crichton gave her the list.

"It'll take us arns to get all this together!"

"There's no rush," Crichton said, and walked out.

Jool headed to the cargo bay, apprehension building with every step. This was the perfect opportunity to work things out. But how the hezmana would she start? With a casual mention that it was eight solar days since they...recreated...and they hadn't spoken a word to each other in that time? Or maybe she should wait and see if he would say something? It was very complicated.

Crais was there, with the transport pod he'd brought over from Talyn. Despite the promise he'd made to himself that he would behave professionally, he found it hard to look her in the eye. Half of him wanted to stay, half of him wanted to run and all of him was unsure. That was not a feeling he enjoyed.

She climbed aboard without a word and they started for the planet. Crais could see her out of the corner of his eye. He was almost certain she was looking at him, but the moment she turned his head slightly to check, she looked away. Was this normal behaviour for a woman of her species? He wished he knew more about other species. Peacekeeper training had unfortunately not included how to break the ice with an Interion. And the ice was getting thicker every moment.

They reached the planet without having said a word to each other and began to search for the supplies. Jool was studying some specifications at a stall when something came down hard on her head, and everything went black.

The first thing she saw when she came round was Crais' face looking down at her.

"What happened?" she asked.

"I am not certain. I saw you attacked but I didn't have time to stop it. When I tried to get to you, I was attacked too."

"Why would someone want to attack us?"

"I'm afraid we are going to have to wait until our attackers return to find out."

Jool looked around her. They were in a dark, dirty cell. Just when she thought things couldn't possibly get any worse. Suddenly she was angry. Wasn't it bad enough that she was stuck on some prison ship with a bunch of escaped convicts who hated her? Wasn't it enough that she was frelling millions of metras from home? That her cousins were dead and she had been frozen for twenty-two cycles? That she had to live in a converted cell and eat food cubes? They had to lock her up as well!!!!

Before Crais had time to stop her, she had jumped to her feet and hurled herself against the bars of the cell.

"Let me out of here!" she yelled, hurling herself at them again. Her hair was so red it was practically glowing.

Crais rose quickly and grabbed her arms before she could make another attempt.

"Jool, stop that immediately! You'll injure yourself."

It proved to be an unwise move. In her fury, Jool turned on him. She was surprisingly strong and he was caught off-guard. She grabbed his neck and thrust him against the wall.

"Why the hezmana do you care if I hurt myself? Why would anyone care? Everybody hates me anyway!"

Crais managed to pull her hand away from his neck. He spun her round so she was trapped against the wall.

"That is not true," he said.

"I suppose now you're going to tell me that you care about me. I'm not stupid Crais! I'm just a pain who wrecked your precious ship, you only did what you did to shut me up - you told me yourself!"

"So now you assume that nothing that happened afterwards meant anything to me either," Crais said, getting angry himself although he didn't quite know why.

"Why would it? Peacekeepers don't have feelings, they have 'recreation'. I'm sure it was an excellent way to unwind after all those hours you were stuck with me!"

"I am not a Peacekeeper anymore!" Crais roared. "I admit I kissed you to make you stop crying but everything else happened because I wanted it, and I thought that you did too, you were the one who offered it! What did you do that for if you didn't?"

To his surprise, he got no reply. He noticed her hair had faded back to its usual colour. She seemed subdued, a long way from the anger he'd seen microts ago.

"Jool," he said quietly. "I am sorry if I gave you the impression that it meant nothing to me. I found myself a little...uncertain...of how I should proceed. I was a Peacekeeper for a long time, this is largely...uncharted territories for me."

"I felt the same way," she answered softly. "I didn't know what to say."

"Have I made myself clear?"

"I think so," she said, a mischievous glint appearing in her eye, "we've talked enough."

She caught a glimpse of the smile on Crais' face right before he kissed her.

"I guess you guys have been in there long enough."

They both jumped at the voice. They broke apart. Crichton was standing there grinning.

"You've actually come to get us out?" Jool said.

Crais found the whole situation rather more suspicious.

"We're just going to be allowed to leave?"

"Yup. Me and Aeryn sorted it all out."

"I thought you and Officer Sun were doing maintenance on Moya."

Crichton's grin got wider.

"You set us up!" Crais said.

"Yup."

"You interfered in my...our...personal lives without our permission."

"Yup."

Crichton came over and unlocked the cage. Crais and Jool walked out. They headed back to the transport pod. When they reached it, Jool climbed in. Crichton moved to follow her, but Crais grabbed his arm.

"Do not ever do that again," he said. "But...thank you."

Then he climbed aboard before Crichton had a chance to say anything else.

Crichton burst out laughing.

"I am the king!" he yelled.