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

Timing: Post ITLD. Sequel to 'History', 'Wounds' and 'The Quick Fix'.

Rating: PG-13


'Waiting For A Star To Fall'

Chapter 1: You should've bought a squirrel

Raylani Crais looked in the mirror and sighed. After twenty-two cycles, she thought, I should have learned not to sleep on wet hair. She opened her pot of pomade and began the lengthy process of taming her long, maniacally curly hair into something resembling a neat ponytail. She was sorely tempted, not for the first time, to hack it all off. It was really beginning to try her patience.

Also not for the first time, she studied her reflection in the mirror as she worked. She knew that she'd inherited her mother's looks - the resemblance was obvious even to her - but it was signs of her father that she looked for. The hair was one (she wondered ruefully if he had as much trouble making it lie flat as she did), the dark eyes another. Her mother told her frequently that she sounded like him, especially when annoyed, but it was hard for her to judge. She had no idea what he was really like.

Finally succeeding in fashioning her hair into its customary tight braid, she rose and pulled her black leather jacket from the back of her chair. Noticing a stain, probably the result of something she had leant in at the lab, she added it to her laundry pile instead and grabbed a fresh one from one of the storage compartments. Fastening it fully so that her appearance was suitably neat, she holstered the small pulse pistol she was permitted and headed out of her quarters. Her pace was fast along the corridor. If she was late for combat training, she'd be barred from it. She'd invested too much time in winning the privilege to risk losing it now.


Reaching the training room, she quickly slipped into the ante-chamber and placed her jacket in its allotted space. Locking her pulse pistol away in its compartment, she took a deep breath and prepared, once again, to enter the lion's den. It was enough of an indignity being forced to train with a bunch of cadets, most at least four years her junior. What made it worse was that neither the cadets nor their instructor wanted her there. She wasn't Peacekeeper so, in their eyes, she didn't belong. She knew there were only two reasons why she hadn't been kicked out. One was the influence of her mother with Scorpius and the other was that she was damn good, and they knew it. She got the distinct impression that, despite his objections to having her in his class, Officer Kenves positively enjoyed it when she beat the dren out of his cockier cadets. That was fine. He'd use her for his benefit, she'd use him for hers and they'd get along. Most of the time.

Of course he still had one up on her. There wasn't even a frelling server on the whole base that didn't know who her father was. To Peacekeepers everywhere, his name was an insult. And, since she had no rank, all she was known as was 'Crais'. Every time a new wave of cadets came to the base, they were quickly informed that she was the daughter of the renegade Bialar Crais. It didn't matter how much her mother praised him, it was pretty hard to live with every other person calling her father a traitor.

But her mother had made it clear that her father was nothing if not strong willed and tenacious, so she'd live up to her name. No matter how many frelniks she had to stop herself from shooting.

***

Bialar Crais was seriously considering getting very, very drunk. He'd never been one to find solace in raslak, considering it a sign of weakness, but today was a special occasion.

It had been exactly one cycle.

Once cycle since he'd lost Carma and their new-born baby daughter. The wound from that had been vicious, he'd thought that nothing could make it worse. He'd been wrong. Finding out who he had lost them to had been like having acid injected straight into his bloodstream. Scorpius. He'd lost his family to Scorpius. He'd believed that he'd had his revenge when he'd destroyed his old command carrier and then, just when it seemed that Scorpius was working on their side, he'd double crossed Crais again. He was still furious with himself for not expecting it. He'd become too trusting since Carma had come into his life, begun to let his guard down. He had it up now with a vengeance, but it was too late.

Across the table from him, in Talyn's galley, sat Aeryn Sun. She wasn't speaking to him. He wasn't speaking to her. They rarely spoke to each other at all these days, other than to give orders. She lived on Talyn with him, his dream come true. Inwardly, Crais laughed bitterly. What was it about fate? Either it didn't give you what you wanted, or it gave it to you when you didn't want it anymore. But, then again, it wasn't as if Aeryn were here because of him. She was here because of Crichton, because she didn't want to be somewhere that reminded her of him. There were less memories on Talyn than on Moya and Crais didn't care. He was back to living in the service of his own interests. He wouldn't make the same mistake again.


He'd gone crazy trying to find them. Intercepted Peacekeeper traffic, tried informers, done everything he could possibly think of. No luck. They were dead, or as good as and he could only accept that. So now he was back to having no purpose again. Just surviving, with no thought to actually living.


***

Scorpius still marvelled at his good fortune. He sat in his office, watching the laboratories on the monitor in front of him. It didn't matter that Carma knew they were bugged, she didn't seem to let that knowledge affect her behaviour. Scorpius suspected that she found her work as absorbing as he did. Of course, it wouldn't be quite as absorbing for him if it hadn't given him the bargaining chip he needed to return to the Peacekeepers. High Command had known that his discovery was something they couldn't waste. And bringing the perfect scientist to conduct the project was an added bonus. She was valuable to him.

And she knew it. She knew that he needed her here. That was why she could demand that her daughter was treated well. There seemed to be only two things she cared about, Raylani and the project. Since he'd brought her to the base almost a cycle ago, he'd never heard her mention Crais' name.

Raylani Crais was an object of fascination for him. Raylani, his own mother's name. And her the daughter of a renegade and traitor. High Command would have dearly loved to have made an example of her, but Scorpius had prevented that. The day Raylani was harmed would be the day that Carma would forget his project. He could coerce, torture, threaten and it would make no difference. Her first loyalty was to her daughter and nothing would change that.

Scorpius settled back in his chair, watching the figure on the screen move around the lab, oblivious to all but her work. He smiled evilly. Another fascinating creature.

***

He was watching her again, she knew it instinctively. She'd learned to live with it, she was well treated in every other way. She fascinated him, Raylani did too. Having them here was ecstasy for him. The perfect person to conduct his project and revenge on Crais as well. Carma was no fool, that was why she never mentioned him. Let Scorpius think she didn't care, it might take away a fraction of his pleasure. It wouldn't decrease hers.


She had to admit that Raylani had thrived here. She was tough, just like her father and she put up with all the grief she got from the hoards of Peacekeepers infesting the base. Carma had always been careful to remind her that Peacekeeper opinion was not the only opinion. She knew that Raylani wanted to meet her father, but she survived without him. In fact there seemed to be only one person who really needed Crais in their life - her.

In many ways being here had improved her too. She felt stronger than she ever had before, the old wounds beginning to heal over. Now she was left with only the gaping hole in her life left by Crais. After a cycle he could be anywhere, he probably wouldn't even realise that she was still alive. Even if she found him again, he'd probably have someone else in his life. So she was clinging to a dream. It was a dream she liked.

Carma rolled her head around, trying to stretch out her neck. She had to admit that she loved working here. It felt good to have something concrete to do again. Frankly, she'd been a little bored on Talyn. Her project, or rather Scorpius' project, was all-absorbing and it was just the kind of work she liked. In fact, her life here was excellent.

It was just missing Crais.