'Precious Memories'

Disclaimer: Not mine, I just write these stories anyway.

Timing: Early Season 3 I suppose, I can't remember exactly when I wrote it. No specific spoilers I can think of.

Feedback: Always good.

A/N: This was my first ever Farscape fic, it needs a permanent home so I'm posting it here. I hope you like it.

Chapter 1

Crais groaned and rolled over. He'd gone to bed over two arns ago and he was still awake.

He hated nights like this.

It was funny how the things he'd done as a Peacekeeper had never kept him awake when he did them, they did now. Memories of killing, hurting, things he'd prefer to keep buried. But they weren't the worst. What was keeping him up right now was something different. It wasn't memories of violence, it was memories of fear.

He hated being afraid.

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if it was bloody battlegrounds and dying soldiers floating through his brain that made him afraid. But it wasn't. He'd never admit it to anyone, but the only thing that had ever made him truly afraid was a woman.

Pres, Presa, Officer Benari. Her name was always in his head, just like the memory of her face. She'd been dead for more than ten cycles now. No, not dead, but as good as. Her body intact, her mind rewired to hate everything she'd once cared about - and everyone, to be a real Peacekeeper. She'd never been a good one, she'd been conscripted too late, her early lessons had stuck. He'd seen it the moment they met - she was the only Peacekeeper he'd ever met who smiled.

That was the worst part of the story - how they met. Assigned birthings had always seemed a sensible idea until he was part of it. Being assigned someone to recreate with did not appeal - he was accustomed to picking his own women. He'd never lacked offers. Then he met her and everything had changed.

That was the trouble with assigned births. It couldn't be a one-night affair. It took time. Time enough for the couple to know each other. Usually time enough for them to hate the sight of each other. Not for him. The more he'd seen, the more he'd liked. He'd even found himself wanting to see her other times - not just for recreation and she'd felt the same. She wasn't that good at hiding her feelings, not from him.

She must have known how he felt. She was good at reading people, not that she got much practice. But he'd never told her. He'd been too obsessed by his image to do that. It meant breaking regulations, and that meant he'd never make Captain. Then, before he knew it, she was pregnant - and it was over.

He'd never tried to see her, he was too afraid of someone finding out his feelings, too afraid of even admitting them to himself. He'd kidded himself that he'd forgotten her. But he'd heard things. The day the news came, he'd been sitting in the mess. She'd been injured and the baby, their son, had died.

No, that was wrong. The baby would have survived, but command hadn't deemed it 'worthwhile' to give it treatment. And she'd been classed as 'irredeemable'. She couldn't forgive them. She'd been transferred into the re-education scheme. By the time he saw her next, her personality had been wiped and re-built. The only thing he saw in her eyes was contempt.

Crais mentally shook himself. How could this still bother him after so long? The women he'd known was dead, the one who lived would kill him on sight. He knew the answer even as he wondered. It bothered him because he had accepted his child's death, and that of the woman he cared about - because he was a Peacekeeper. Then, he'd justified their decisions. Now, free from their watchful eye, he felt something else.

Guilt.

It seemed that it wasn't going to go away. Still, he'd beat it. He would get to sleep if it killed him. With new purpose he rolled over and resolutely shut his eyes.

***

"Crais, are you awake?"

Crais sighed. He hadn't got a wink of sleep all night.

"What is it, Officer Sun?"

"Talyn's found Moya."

At least that gave him an excuse to get up. He pulled on his uniform and headed for the bridge. By the time he arrived, Talyn had Moya on the comms, and the crew headed for the transport pod.

***

They were met by a less-than-welcoming Jool.

"I didn't expect you to meet us," Aeryn said.

"Well it wasn't exactly my idea either. D'Argo and Chiana are off trying to resupply, Crichton and Pres are trying to fix her prowler and Rygel vanished at the first hint of work so I'm all that's left."

Crais started. He couldn't have heard what he thought he'd heard. He must be hearing things, the result of not getting any sleep. That was definitely it. Then he heard Aeryn speak.

"Pres?"

"New girl," Jool replied, as if she'd been on Moya for cycles. "Crichton picked her up on some commerce planet and brought her abroad. With you gone, he figured we could use another pilot."

"How much do you know about her?" Aeryn asked, suspicion showing on her face.

"Sebacean, dresses like a Peacekeeper but isn't one anymore supposedly. Come to think of it, this ship seems to be a magnet for you ex-Peacekeeper types."

"Along with spoiled brats," Aeryn said under her breath.

Crais was standing stock still. He felt as if all the blood in his body had drained away. This had to be a dream. She was dead, dead, dead. She couldn't be on Moya, not really. If she was.... It must be an act. She'd fooled Crichton into letting her come aboard, she was probably feeding information to Scorpius right now.

"Where is Crichton?" he asked, trying to keep his voice level.
'Maintenance bay 2," Jool replied. "Don't tell me you actually want to see him?"
Crais had already left.
***

Crais almost ran into the cargo bay. Panting and perspiring, he looked around wildly for signs of life, but saw no one.

"Crichton, are you there?"

Crichton popped up from behind the prowler. Crais jumped before he could stop himself.

"My boy Crais! Don't tell me, you've missed me so much you just had to see me."

He was so worked up, he didn't even give Crichton a dirty look. Still breathing heavily, he blurted it out.

"Jool. Says you brought. Pres. On board."

"You know her?" Crichton asked in surprise. "But she doesn't even beat people up, doesn't sound like your type."

"You must. Put her. In a cell. Now!"

"If I'm going to put anyone in a cell, you're still first on my list."

"You don't understand!" Crais shouted, having recovered his breath. "She's a Peacekeeper - in special forces - she's probably feeding them information right now!"

"Clarification," Crichton replied, in his most irritating superior tone, "she's a PK spy. Who has exceeded all possible limits for irreversible contamination and fought on our side. Who must be the worst spy ever since we've haven't had a peep out of Scorpius for weeks. And who is so un-Peacekeeper like she even gets some of my jokes?"

"She must be," Crais said, suddenly feeling very confused.

Crichton regarded him

"I think you've gone nuts."

"Listen to me," Crais said, with renewed conviction. "She will bring trouble for all of us."

"Like you," Crichton said, with a maddening smirk.

"We don't have time to debate this. We need to get her secured and then off the ship!"

"Crais, if all you want to do is give orders, go back to Talyn. Maybe he'll listen."

Crichton picked up winona, and strode out of the room.

"Pilot," Crais barked, "where is Officer Benari?"

"Officer who, Crais?"

Crais sighed.

"Pres, where is Pres?"

"Pres is in her quarters."

"And where are they?"

"Tier 3, section 5."

He started to run again.

***

He reached them and ran straight in. The room was deserted. Suddenly he heard a sound. He whirled round, whipping his pulse pistol from its holder...and found himself facing her, wrapped only in a bath robe. She stared at him.

"Bialar," she said finally, with a mixture of shock, disbelief and wonder in her voice.

Crais suddenly realised that he had his gun pointed at a half-dressed, unarmed woman and put it down. Then he looked at her.

And it was her. The woman he thought he'd lost long ago. He had her back. And he wasn't a Peacekeeper any more. He could do anything he liked. Or maybe that should be anything she liked. He could say all the things he hadn't had the courage to say then. Starting right now.

He took a deep breath.

"Nice...robe," he said.

"Thank you," she replied.

It was a start.