Chapter 4 - Intertwined

"This is our Complex Royale of Armana," Palimous said, directing everyone to the two convex and concave structures facing each other forming a tall cylinder. "I am proud to present our most prized temporary living quarters equipped with ready rooms for the elite only. Its ambience will melt you into a mood of irresistibility."

"Vacation for the rich and famous." John retorted. They stood before the structures. John didn't like this gaudy show of hospitality. But maybe it was just their lifestyle or they didn't know any better.

"Jughead," John tapped the overseer on his shoulder. "This looks like it's taking longer than we expected. Is there any way to get food aboard Moya?"

"We'll have transports ready with the best dishes you request. I will message our connoisseurs and gourmet experts to prepare the most delicious dishes to taste in the largest bulk ever. We will transport these by a barge for your convenience."

Sikozu seemed mighty pleased as she interjected, "I would love to see your artists prepare the canvases of meals with you."

Palimous wanly smiled, "Of course your invitation would be graciously accepted; however, I am to stay with this tour in a suite next door."

"How 'bout you go ahead with Sikozu. And Captain Kendrell, Officer Sun and I will get to know each other better." John said, nodding toward Sikozu. "Go ahead, keep 'em happy." To Palimous, "I think she likes you." John heard Palimous chuckle and was amazed how Sikozu , without any plans on how to occupy Palimous time, took on Jughead without a hitch.

The crimson beauty linked her arms with the overseer, "And for our commander and crew members, perhaps you will show me where replenish our stock and supplies? Show me everything, the longer the better." John couldn't help to see a twinkle in Jughead's eyes.

***

"Great! They're gone." John said, clapping his hand with one thunderous smack. This was the first time he was semi-alone with Aeryn, which was better than nothing. "Captain Kendrell, would it be possible to...uh...well...you know."

Kendrell with big brown eyes and skin to match slapped John on the shoulder. "Aaaa, big man, getting close to lady girl here. Then all you need to do is give your name inside. The desk people will know. And don't be long," to Aeryn, "I'll be fetching you in two arns, Officer Sun." Then he winked at John, "Commander, don't stay too late, the dinner will begin in a few arns."

People, Sebacians, aliens, passed them by as they strode to a secure area not far from the complex. The monochrome edifices shielded John and Aeryn. He wanted to hold her while she stood quietly by.

"You always have a plan," Aeryn said, looking to a small fountain nearby. "It appears you have one now."

"Yep, I'm contacting D'Argo. I'm going to tell him I've found you." She didn't flinch, move, nothing.

"D'Argo!" John spoke in the small communicator pin on his vest. Microts later D'Argo's voice came through. "Secure the link, I don't want anyone listening in. Got it?"

"Agreed." D'Argo said, "Link is secured."

"You won't believe this, but Aeryn's standing right next to me." John turned from her and walked out of listening range. "I've found her. Can you believe it?"

"No. You've drank too much raslak and everyone's hungry. Have you bought anything?"

"Didn't need to. We're being treated like royalty down here."

"Then why are you talking to me. We need food, supplies!"

"Hold up, big guy. There'll be a barge with plenty of eats on it, but I want you to go to Moya make sure everything goes smoothly and bring some weapons back to me. Can you do this cloaked?"

"No! My shields are running out. I'll bring the weapons to you."

"Okay, but make sure you bring another pulse pistol, grenades, explosives, you know the whole kissing caboodle. It doesn't feel right here. I think someone's always following us."

"Crichton, why is it we can't have some peace, settle down, and have fun?" John heard D'Argo pause for a long time. "Is it true about Aeryn?"

"It's all true."

***

The ready room reminded John of Buckingham Palace, the epitome of opulence--gilded mirrors, stark gold contrasted against white crystals hanging like stalagmite from every portion of the ceiling, plush sky blue carpet with an iridescent glow.

After John escorted Aeryn inside, he threw his coat on a see-through chair and stood in the middle of the floor with legs straddled, viewing the strange concave shape of the walls. Like an illusion, the room made him feel dizzy. She stood by a gilded mirror. He could see her image in the crystal chair. Without turning toward her, John struggled with his suspicions.

"I don't trust Palimous or the Regent," he said, crossing his arms behind him, mocking the military "at ease" position.

Aeryn peered at the mirror that reflected her war-torn body. She pulled off her flight jacket, revealing her black spaghetti strapped top tucked in her black leather pants with belt and pulse pistol in holster.

"You haven't trusted anyone lately," she said.

"Yes I have." John still didn't face her.

Aeryn turned and walked slowly toward him.

"No you haven't."

"I do trust others." John noticed, by the refractions, her image drawing closer, becoming clearer, darker, flowing on the glass-like surface.

She shook her head, as he felt her softness on his back. "No you don't."

John couldn't help to see a difference in her shape when he turned to face her. The small, flimsy top revealed her fuller chest. Involuntarily, his heart rate increased. She was close enough for him to smell her gentle scent of soap. Intoxicating. Why was she doing this? They should've been catching up on what had happened in their absence--how Elack and Pilot saved his life, how he survived and everyone came together, how Jool left their crew and stayed on the planet Arnessk. So much had happened. But no...this cold, impersonal interrogation was disengaging, strange. John inhaled.

"I trust you, Aeryn. You don't trust me?"

"Don't twist this. Look at you." She said it slowly, like a cat's purr, her nose nearly touching his. He felt her breath on his cheek. She was right. At this point he didn't trust himself.

"You've become calloused like a Peacekeeper." She said, luring him in with her pools of gray.

"You mean, I'm not soft anymore?" John cocked a brow and smiled, "You don't like me the way I am?"

She was still breathing on him, driving him crazy. "If you weren't so...stubborn...selfish...soft."

John grabbed Aeryn by her holster belt and tugged her hips to his, closer until he heard the crunch of leather against leather. All he could do was suck in his breath while she stared up at him.

Oh God, help me!

He felt the heat flash through him, "You...like...to make it hard on me, don't you?"

Aeryn challenged him, locking eyes. "Yes." She released his grip, shoved him away, and turned to escape him.

"No!" John snatched her back, using a Peacekeeper defense move Aeryn taught him. He locked hands with her in an cuffed position with her arms behind her back, jammed her back into him.

"No games! Let's finish what we started," he said. He could feel her athletic body tight against his. Heat struck again. "All I ever wanted was you, Aeryn." John's voice was rough, low, unlike his normal pitch.

He smothered his face in her hair. "I'll never let you go," he whispered.

John was surprised she didn't struggle, but was silent. Then he heard her groan, and fear gripped him.

The baby!

He relaxed his hold quickly, but before he could apologize, she counteracted.

***

"You would love to overtake me," she said. "wouldn't you?"

In one fluid motion, she released from his grip, swung around with a Pantam jab squarely beneath his nose. She slammed him onto the carpeted floor with such force that the wind almost knocked out of him.

He lay there looking up at Aeryn, appearing half in shock, half in anticipation with arms up to protect himself. The bird of prey peered at him, ready to attack again. Angry, she was so angry to want him. To treasure his passion. Frell, she could kick him across the other side of the room.

Aeryn knelt and straddled over John's torso and flung back her raven hair, longer, fuller. He was still soft as she remembered the first time they met. Yes, she smashed him into Moya's wall, slung him across the cell's floor, kicked and then straddled him, overpowering him. It was the traditional Uncharted Territories greeting for this innocent one grown stalwart, beating after beating.

Aeryn noticed he wasn't catching his breath. She was slightly concerned, but shrugged it away. He would endure because he always had and always will. He was strong. Like the most acclaimed Peacekeeper, he was a man of war, strategies that would make any enemy weep--of course, with her help and their friends.

John struggled. "Aeryn, I'm sorry," he said, gasping for air.

Aeryn gently placed a hand on John's face that glistened with sweat. Still on his back, he didn't move. This sole human wielded the wormhole technology that could destroy stars and planets. So impressive was this power that it drew John's enemies to him like sweet felip nectar. That was the demise of her other John. The tears sparkled in her eyes.

She slowly descended to capture his mouth with hers, priming his soft lips. She heard him gasp for air as he cradled her face with his hands, strong hands. Her soft, hard, insane John. She arrested him again, pumping, priming his pliable mouth, deeper...deeper...no more yesterdays...no more tomorrows...just now.

***

John felt Aeryn's hair caress his face. He was smothered with passion, not knowing if it was her moans he heard or his.

"You think I'm crazy?" he said between a gulp of air.

"Yes, don't talk," Aeryn dove in for more. The madness struck; he couldn't get enough of her. All he could do was drown in her hot, disarming kisses.

"I'm crazy," his mouth found the crevice of her neck. "for doing this." He devoured her mouth, nose, eyes. Senselessness, no more grip on reality. "I missed you so much...so much."

He felt her crane her neck as he kissed her. "So have I." He could hear her deep voice turned soft, like a fresh breeze after a gentle spring rain.

John's heart leaped, his head blurred. Too much joy flooded him--his Aeryn in his arms, his kid, all of them ready to be a family. My baby! He had to confront her about the baby. Not only that, he had to speak to her about returning back to Moya. Would she leave her unit for him?

As if someone splashed a bucket of freezing water on John, he abruptly pulled Aeryn away, panting. "No! Wait! We need to talk."

"What?" She sat up. John heard the pain in her protest.

"No. I mean...I love you, but what about the b--"

They heard scratching, rattling at the door.

Suddenly, Aeryn was behind the entrance way against the wall with her pulse pistol above her head poised to strike. John, on the other side, held his Wanona close to his face. His heart raced while the door slid open.

John the first, quicker than a blink, swung in front, grabbed the huge brown clothed one with tentacles. Then counteracted as quickly, John was slain on the carpeted floor, this time the wind knocked from him.

John's assailant wielded his Qualto blade to stab.

***

"D'Argo!" Aeryn shouted, with pistol aimed to shoot. "Stop! It's us, John and me...Aeryn."

D'Argo poised to attacked paused for a lengthy time, wondering if he made a mistake and decided not. He slid his blade into his sheath, and sighed.

"Whew," he said, diffidently, "almost got him this time. John, wake up!" He slapped his friend's face hard a few times.

John sputtered, shaking his head appearing to focus.

"It's me, D'Argo," he reached and helped John up.

John rubbed his head, "You almost killed me, big guy."

D'Argo laughed, "You're too hearty." Then he turned to Aeryn and went speechless.

"Is this the greeting we get?" she asked, with arms crossed. "Or are you too blind?"

D'Argo sprung toward her and gave a bear-hug, "It is true." He bellowed in laughter directly in her ear as she struggled to get free.

"You could break my back and cause me deafness with this display," she smiled, pushing him away.

"I can't help it. How long has it been? Too long. It's good seeing you, Aeryn."

D'Argo noticed how John and Aeryn look flustered, both blushing? She was so radiant. It could've been because of their rough encounter or could it be?

"Are you and Aeryn?" He made a gesture with his hands, pointing to her, then his friend, and grinned sheepishly.

He saw them looking at each other, and she returning a smile. Suddenly they blurted together, "Yes!"

D'Argo gave John a juicy hug first, then grabbed Aeryn, and encircled them with his huge arms. His eyes blurred with wetness.

"We're family again."

***

Entertaining Angels continues with Part 5 >>

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Story by Cathy Hubbard

Beta readers: I thank Ennix Sun for her excellent keen eye proof of grammar & understanding the characters. Phi Phi Trelk for checking it out and giving this a look over. Thank for your changes. Though subtle and surprisingly few, they were impactive. ScaperRed for her ingenuous and scholarly latest addition of "fixies." She can POLISH a story. (Also Julia, Eva... you guys encouraged me and helped with lots of fixies.)

Disclaimer: Henson, Creation, the characters, belong to them. Adu, Palimous, the Regent, & other extras like the Spherical and Yontur are mine. No money exchanged, no profit involved.

Rating: PG-13 for Adult Themes/Violence Genre: Drama/Comedy/
Shippiness/Action and Adventure

 
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