John? John!" Aeryn elbowed John none to gently in the ribs,
causing him to jerk in surprise and land face first on the floor
next to their bed. Aeryn scooted to the other side of the bed and
peeked over the edge. "Did I wake you?"
John glanced around quickly in confusion before turning his attention
to Aeryn. "What just happened?"
Aeryn pulled an innocent expression. "Are you alright?"
John stared at her a little more intently. "Aeryn, what just
"Well...uhhh...well, you see...I was trying to wake you but
you wouldn't wake up." She shrugged and smiled sheepishly.
"So you knocked me outta the bed?"
"No...no I just poked you a little and as usual you over reacted."
"Poked...a little?" John pulled himself up and returned
to the bed. "Alright honey, you got my attention. Why the kamikaze
"I...well...remember that Sweet Urlabeck that Chiana brought
back from Trauliss?"
"Weeellll...I was wondering if you could go and get me some?"
She smiled sweetly. Rubbing her large stomach, she decided to add
a little fuel to the fire. "Baby Crichton is making a mess
of my insides and you know how he gets when he's hungry."
"Yeah like father like son." John leaned over to capture
Aeryn's lips then placed a soft kiss on her stomach. "Okay,
what Jr. wants, mommy gets." John pulled on a pair of pants
and a t-shirt. He grabbed his boots at the door. "Be right
"Thank you." She settled back into the bed.
"My pleasure honey." He smiled. He enjoyed some of the
change in her. The further her pregnancy progressed, the softer
she'd become and he liked it. So did the rest of Moya's crew. They
responded in kind. Rygel had taken to bartering for all the best
infant paraphernalia he could find. John was ever present for the
nightly leg and back massages. D'Argo hovered over Aeryn's every
step, much to her chagrin. Chiana brought back all manner of delicacies
to tempt Aeryn's finicky pallet, Sikozu decided to read every manual
she could find on Sebacean child rearing. Pilot and Moya had been
busy developing a nursery next to John and Aeryn's quarters. Even
Scorpius was full of questions and answers. Nuranti...well Nuranti
was just nuts!
John made it to the kitchen in record time. After a ten-minute search
he realized that the sweet treat was gone. "Damn it Rygel!"
He searched for something else that might satisfy Aeryn's picky
taste buds. "JACKPOT!" There was still some Camroose and
Sammur dip left. How did Sparky let that slip? John grabbed the
food and rushed back to their quarters.
Entering the room, he laid his offerings on the bed. Aeryn stared
down at the food for a moment before glancing up at Crichton. "What
"It's Camroose and Sammur dip. I know you wanted the Sweet
Urlabeck, but Spanky finished it all. So I brought you this. You
loved it this afternoon." John tried to apologize, but he could
tell by her stormy expression that she wasn't buying it.
Aeryn sighed heavily. She tasted the snack, but broke down in tears
halfway through the first bite.
"Baby, what's the matter?" John watched helplessly as
Aeryn continued to sob. Confused John did what most males do, he
decided to skip the obvious and move to what his male intuition
assumed would be an appropriate question. "Is it the baby?"
Yeah that sounded good. It was always the baby or PMS.
Aeryn shook her head. "Then what's wrong?" As if he didn't
John winced, there it was the ultimate weapon of every pregnant
female alive, The Gestation Whine'. It was either that or the 'I'm
carrying your baby and do you care?' snarl. He was sure that all
of Moya had heard her. "Baby we're out. I searched...honest
I did, but there isn't anymore. We left the Trauliss sector over
an arn ago and so far that's the only sector that has it."
She turned a teary gaze his way. "John. Please? Can't you go
and get more. Chiana will tell you where she got it. Please?"
"Aww Aeryn, it'll take me more than two arns to get there and
back, honey." He pleaded.
Her tears dried up quicker than snot in the winter. He watched her
eyes go into squint detail. Here it comes! He tensed his body in
preparation. "I'M CARRYING YOUR CHILD! WHICH, BY THE WAY HAS
NOT BEEN AS SMOOTH AS FELLIP NECTAR. CONSIDERING YOU AND I AREN'T
EXACTLY THE SAME SPECIES, AND ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT IS HOW LONG
IT WILL TAKE YOU TO GET TO TRAULISS AND BACK! FINE! THAT'S IT, SEE
IF I GIVE BIRTH TO ANYMORE OF YOUR CHILDREN."
"Sweetheart, I know you really want the Sweet Urlabeck, but
it's so late the shops are probably closed by now"
"John, it's a Commerce Planet, the stores never close!"
The tears started up again. Boy could she turn them on and off.
It had to be baby hormones. He winced again as her face clouded
up. "Is it so much to ask? I would do it for you!" She
stared at him, shaking her head. "YOU DON'T LOVE ME OR THE
"What?" John frowned. Lord almighty please save him from
pregnant Sebacean women. Did his mother do this? Was this normal?
It had to be. Aeryn was usually the most normal person he knew.
Hell! She beat him out in the normalcy department.
Hormones in full swing, Aeryn sniffed and tried the calm approach,
using her rationale. "You know if you loved us you would go.
I really don't understand what the problem is John. You said that
you would get me the Sweet Urlabeck. I mean, I don't ask for much.
I...I am carrying your baby and all you can think about is travel
time. Never mind that I'm as big as a baby Leviathan. That I can't
sleep comfortably. that I can barely see my feet...th...that anything
I eat attacks me in more ways than one or..or th...that..."
She was charging up again.
"Okay...okay...okay Aeryn, baby I'm sorry." There was
no way out. They out publish a warning manual for men considering
fatherhood, entitled. 'DON'T DO IT!!' What if I take the Prowler,
it should cut the flying time in half. Will you stop crying?"
'Please lord shut her up!' The thought was followed up by a wave
Aeryn nodded, drying her face with the bedcovers. She smiled as
she watched him get dress to leave. "Yes thank you. I love
John nodded his head heading out of the room, snagging Winona on
the way out. "Love ya too babe." He left before she flooded
Heading towards the maintenance bay he bumped into D'Argo. "Hey
D'Argo noticed John's attire. "Where are you going?"
"To the Trauliss sector. My lady love has a craving for Sweet
Urlabeck and since Guido the Great snatched the last batch, I have
to find a twenty four hour Seven Eleven."
Moving past the last remark, chucking it down to human speak, D'Argo
adopted a sheepish look. "Er..ah...John, it wasn't Rygel. It
was me. Chiana and I ...uhh kind of worked up an appetite. We grabbed
a few things from the kitchen. I guess the Sweet Urlabeck could
have been one of the items." He shrugged again. "Chiana
found a cookbook on Traull and we were...er...you know, trying out
the recipes. The Sammur dip as a body paint is..."
"Whoa...ya know what dude? As much as I love ya, and I do!
I do not need the mental picture seared into my brain right now."
John shuddered at the thought. "Just promise me you didn't
put anything back in the fridge."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I did grab the Sweet
"What...Man you suck! Aeryn is going farbot over that stuff.
Chiana brought it back, specifically to tempt Aeryn's appetite."
He stared at his long time buddy, for the first time contemplating
murder. "We finally find something that won't upset Aeryn's
stomach and you two eat it in a fit of Freaky Midnight Sex Munchies!"
John ran his hands through an already mussed head of hair. "Okay,
look D...you ate the Urlabeck, you get to come with me to get more.
Be Wery...Wery Qwiwet...we're hunting Urlabeck...Sweet Urlabeck."
He pushed D'Argo in the direction of the bay. "Chiana can keep
the Mighty Hormonal Peacekeeper, company while we're gone.
"Well...uhhh." D'Argo hesitated.
"Well...uhhh, nothing! You ate it! You're going! And we're
burnin your gas. You can comm. Chiana from Lo'La. " John continued
to propel D'Argo toward the maintenance bay. "Let's go D. I
loose sleep, you loose sleep my man!"
"John are you sure that this is the right place?' D'Argo growled
impatiently. They'd been traveling around the city for a half an
"I guess so." John shrugged.
"You guess so!"
"Hey! You're the one who didn't wanna stop and ask for directions!"
John turned to D'Argo; stopping abruptly he placed one hand on his
hip and tapped his foot. "Your such a Luxan!" He lisped.
Turning he continued walking on muttering under his breath. "Bonehead."
D'Argo was suddenly glad for his hyper rage control training. "Look
Chiana gave me the directions!"
"Yes...yes she did and here we are. Do you see any of these
merchants with Sweet Urlabeck?" John stared around. "I
don't! Where is a Dunkin Dounuts
D'Argo took a deep breath and gave the thick air a whiff. "I
smell old Urlabeck."
"That sounds tasty." John muttered. He followed D'Argo
across the square. They approached the merchant booth that carried
the scent. The owner did not look pleased. "Howdy!"
The merchant a squat old man, simply stared, a sour look on his
John resorted to his usual tactic, humor. "You know, too much
laughter and too many smiles can cause laugh lines and crow's feet.
Lucky for you Nivea has a miracle cream for just such a problem."
Still, there was no response. "Okay look, we're looking to
buy some Sweet Urlabeck. A friend of ours was here a solar day ago
and she purchased some from you, at least I hope she purchased it.
She's into the five finger discount, you know."
It was plain from the look on the merchant's face, that he had no
idea what John was going on about. "I have one batch of Sweet
Urlabeck left." He still made no move to go and get the Sweet
Urlabeck; instead he continued to stare at John. "Are you a
No, but I've been told that we look just alike. They make more money."
John glanced around the stall trying to find his target. "So
Just before the man could answer, a shrill voice came from further
inside the booth. "Father!" A young woman with a face
to match her voice came bursting through the back curtain. "Father,
mother says we're out of Nautlesch. She wants you to pick up more.
I asked her with what? It's not like you actually make money with
this pitiful stall. All my friends have nice things and I have nothing!
You don't care that I have a reputation to maintain..."
"Kajya! Go back inside." When the girl turned to argue
he continued. "Now! Tell your mother I'll get some later!"
"But..." She wasn't going to give up that easily.
But dear old dad wasn't having it. "Go!" Kajya stomped
away mumbling something about being unloved and running away.
John rolled his eyes toward D'Argo, speaking under his breath. "Cute
D'Argo sighed. "Yes precious, now can we..."
The merchant's eyes suddenly lit with a predatory gleam. "You
"Think what?" John asked confused.
"That Kajya is attractive?"
"Weeellll...yyeeeeaaahhh, does getting the Sweet Urlabeck depend
on the answer?"
"You could say that." The merchant answered.
"Cool! She gorgeous, you've got a looker on your hands there!
So how much is the Sweet stuff?"
"Kajya." Answered the old man nodding.
"D'Argo and John answered in perfect unison.
"Kajya needs a husband and my wife and I need some peace. So
if you want the Sweet Urlabeck Kajya is the price. When you leave
you must take her."
"MAN ARE YOU OUTTA YOUR MIND!!!!" John yelled. "What
makes you think that we will take your daughter for a batch of stinkin
"Kajya needs a husband and you want a batch of Sweet Urlabeck."
The old merchant argued. "It is extremely late and no one ventures
here from space at this arn. You are in desperate need Off -Worlder
and I am the only one who makes it these days. If you want the Urlabeck,
you must marry Kajya here and take her with you!"
John frowned at D'Argo. "Is he serious?"
The merchant nodded vigorously. "That is my final offer! No
Kajya, no Sweet Urlabeck!"
"Whoa shortie, slow your role! Ya see! I already have a missus
with junior on the way. Which is why we're here...sorry can't help
ya!" John quickly cut his eyes in D'Argo's direction. Nodding
at D'Argo he spoke to the merchant. "He's single thought."
"John!" D'Argo bellowed. He turned to the merchant. "I
AM NOT GOING TO MARRY YOUR DAUGHTER!" He stormed off in the
direction of Lo'La."
John laughed. "Aww D! Honey! Come on don't run away mad. Remember
we promised never to leave each other in anger." John knew
he was pushing D'Argo buttons, but it was such good fun. He turned
to the merchant. "Give him some time to think about it, say
one hundred cycles."
The merchant watch them leave smiling. "You'll be back. I have
seven daughters and now I'm down to one. They always come back for
the Sweet Urlabeck."
"Do you smell anything Scooby?" John glanced at his silent
friend. D'Argo hadn't said anything since they'd left Traull. "Come
on D, you can not still be mad at me."
"Yes John I'm still angry with you." D'Argo answered quietly.
"I didn't find that funny at all."
"D'Argo...man...come on! I was just getting even. If it hadn't
been for you and Miss Junior Color Me Gray. I would be at home snuggled
up to my baby leviathan." John paused for a moment, glancing
around before continuing. "Look, do me a favor, huh? The next
time you make a [I]booty call[/I], stay outta the kitchen, hmm?"
John moved on toward what seemed to be a deserted booth. "Let's
check this last stall and find out if the have any of the good stuff."
D'Argo stared at the old dusty space. "Are you sure about this
John? I smell nothing, old or new." D'Argo sneezed several
times. "Correction, dust! I smell dust!" This planet's
commerce was sadly lacking.
"D'Argo I'm not sure about anything. All I know is, that I
have a very pregnant woman back on Moya, ready to skin me if I return
without this stuff. That alone is worth the trouble of visiting
all of these planets." He knocked on the counter. "Heeelllllooo!"
An old woman hobbled out. "Yes? How may I help you?" She
suddenly smiled at the sight of both John and D'Argo, especially
D'Argo. "A Luxan, strong race the Luxans." She reached
out a weathered hand and caressed D'Argo's forearm.
John glanced from D'Argo back to the old woman. "Yep, he's
a bon-a-fide Luxan!" John murmured to D'Argo. "I just
can't take you anywhere, you sex kitten you! Hey no booty calls."
D'Argo snatched his arm away. " Not funny John, don't start."
He turned and addressed the old woman. "Do you have Sweet Urlabeck?"
"Ha! You need workers to work in the kitchen to make Sweet
Urlabeck, or anything else for that matter." She enunciated
every word with a finger jab in their direction. Her expression
immediately switched from annoyance to contemplation. "You
two need work? Room and Board included. I could use two pairs of
string arms, especially Luxan arms."
"Uh..no! We're pretty set for employment, thanks."
John shook his head, trying to understand this woman's fascination.
"So you don't have any Sweet Urlabeck and won't have any until
you get some hired help?"
"Great, I feel like I'm on some kinda Survivor episode. You
know television on Earth has really gone down. No more good Sci
Fi...it's all reruns. Hell! Friends was on when I left and it's
still on!" Shaking himself back to the subject at hand. "D
The old woman shouted after them. "If you're ever looking for
work. I'm available!"
"Okay John, this is the last planet in this sector. There is
only one merchant available, let's go!" D'Argo moved in the
direction of a very busy booth.
John followed without question. "If you say so. Huh...looks
like the town's hot spot. I wonder if there's a cover charge...nawww...two
drink minimum maybe."
D'Argo frowned. "Cover charge?"
"Never mind." John walked over to the crowded booth. "Excuse
me, we're looking for Sweet Urlabeck."
The young man behind the counter answered. "We don't make Sweet
Urlabeck, only Spicy Urlabeck. Traull has Sweet Urlabeck."
"Yeah we know, but the price is a little costly." John
"Costly?" The man glanced at John and D'Argo's clothing,
noting that they weren't exactly dressed poorly. The Sebacean male
looked positively wealthy, as did the Luxan. "Muso is usually
reasonable with his prices."
"Not this time." D'Argo answered. Staring at a necklace
he thought Chiana would like. It was amazing how quickly they'd
managed to come to terms with the past.
A second man approached the counter followed closely by a young
woman. "What's going on?"
"These men are looking for Sweet Urlabeck."
"Send them to Muso on Traull."
"They've been. They say Muso has gone up on his prices."
"How much?" The second man asked.
"A wife or rather a husband for his daughter." John answered.
The second young man answered again. "Kajya? He wants you to
John and D'Argo glanced at each other. "Uh huh...why?"
"I asked for her hand, but Muso said no, because I had no job
or home other than my father's house.' He gestured to the young
man at the counter and the woman that had joined him. "My brother,
sister-in-law and I have been looking for employment but Kourilesh
does not offer much as you can see."
John smiled suddenly. "D, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
D'Argo nodded. "uhhh...that the Spicy Urlabeck might be our
John stared at D'Argo for a moment. "What? No Pinky. I'm thinking
that if we drop by Angalor with the Batman Boy Wonder and Batgirl,
get them signed up with Old Mother Hubbard, Junior here will have
viable employment and a home. Then swing by Traull, witness him
and the Super Shrew taking the nuptial plunge. Mast Muso...huh say
that three times fast, and then Master Muso will fork over the Sweet
Urlabeck." John slowed down and took a deep breath. "Don't
you love it when a plan comes together?"
JOHN & AERYN'S QUARTERS...
"Honey! I'm home!" John tossed his jacket across one of
the chairs. "Guess what your man bagged for you." John
moved to the bed. Gently tapping Aeryn, he tried to wake her. "Aeryn?
Honey? Babe I'm back. I brought you the Sweet Urlabeck."
Aeryn rolled over still half asleep. "John you're back. What
took you so long?"
John chuckled, that was his Aeryn, always to the point, no beating
around the bush with her. "It's a long story babe. I found
the snack you wanted."
"The Sweet Urlabeck, remember." John sat the treat on
the bed next to her.
Aeryn stared down at the Sweet Urlabeck. "Oooh...uhhh John
we tried to contact you and D'Argo, but Pilot said that you were
too far away."
"Why? What happened?"
"Chiana had the Sweet Urlabeck in her quarters. It seems that
D'Argo grabbed it by mistake, but she put it away, because she knew
how much I liked it." She glanced sleepily at the Sweet Urlabeck
then back up at John. "Can I eat it later?" She kissed
him softly on the lips and settled back under the covers. "Love
you John, you're so good to me."
John stared at her sleeping form. Shaking his head he put the treat
on the table. "Couldn't have been pickles and ice cream....nooooo.
I could've opened a wormhole to earth. I know where to get those.
No! It had to be some unknown answer to Tormented Space's idea of
cupcakes!" Still shaking his head he prepared for bed. "Yep!
Like I said we need a manual."
DON'T DO IT!'
reading, I hope you enjoyed it!!!
Phi Phi "Le Trelk"
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