Once A Peacekeeper


Aeryn/Other female

Fri, 05/08/2005 - 14:00

18 or NC17

TITLE: Once a Peacekeeper AUTHOR: halfofone
RATING: NC17 CODE: Aeryn Sun/Gilina GENRE: Farscape
SUMMARY: Basically this retells the story of episode 1.07 "pktech girl" from the point of view of Gilina and provides a whole lot of back story about her relationship with Aeryn Sun. I thought the whole ep was a subtext fest and I didn't know of any other fics which covered it.
WARNINGS: Angst, sex and language

The characters and situations used in this fic are the property of the Jim Henson Company. I don't own anything worth having.

TPTB are many. In a perfect world I would be one of them but it's not and I'm not. No infringement of copyright/trade marks or other intellectual property is intended. This story was written for fun and not profit.

Warning: This story includes same sex relationships between women. If you are offended by this or it is illegal where you live or you are underage then please read no further.

Full warnings, credits and disclaimers can be found in the contents page and chapter 1.

Episode 1.07 PK tech girl

NOTES: All of the scenes from 'the present' are transcripts of scenes from the episode, told from the point of view of Gilina but using the same dialogue and action.

Some general background information about Farscape

The present ....

I'm frightened. I heard a noise in the dank darkness and assumed the Sheyang had come back so I hid behind this stinking desiccated corpse, I can feel it's sharp shoulder bones lightly pressing against my cheek, but the voices I hear are not those frelling scavenging Sheyang, they're some other thieving scum. It makes no difference. If they find me they'll kill me. No-one loves a peacekeeper, not even a harmless little tech like me. Dren! They've seen the lights on the communications panel. One of the male voices is close. I've gotta stay still,only the skull on this thing isn't too stable. It's gonna fall apart I know it. Hell, stop shaking girl. They've got a light shone on the corpse. They must have seen me. I have to run.

The corpse disintegrates in a shower of dust and bone as I throw myself forwards and shove one of the bastards aside. I don't really get a look at him, I just hear him yell. I weave between the control panels, crouching to avoid their fire. A blast misses me and then I have nowhere to run. A huge Luxan is aiming a strange looking weapon right at me. I cringe away knowing this is the end of my miserable little life.

"Mine" he growls and his fingers tighten on the firing mechanism.

Before he can fire someone grabs me from behind and shouts "No." A sebacean male holds me, shielding me from the Luxan who scowls and slowly lowers his weapon. A tall dark-haired sebacean female appears beside the Luxan. She is carrying an obscenely large rifle that she also trains on me. We lock eyes. Oh God it's her.

"Officer Sun" I squeak. And then, just to make things worse, I follow up by blurting out "The escaped prisoners."

All three of my captors look shocked and the man stops sheltering me and backs away. "How does she know us?" he asks. He's a good looking guy and it's a few microts before I remember from the pk briefings that he's not Sebacean. He looks like one of us but he's not. Commander Crais has been chasing him through the uncharted territories and that is how my team came to be here, on the deserted, crumbling hulk of the most famous ship in the fleet - the Zelbinian - lost to the peacekeepers for over one-hundred cycles. The way I feel at the moment, I wish the frelling ship had stayed lost.

"Aeryn?" prompts the man again.

Officer Sun walks slowly towards me, playing her torch light over my face. "Because she's from Crais's ship," she states flatly, a long delayed answer to the man's query. That she recognises me is obvious but she does a great job of hiding how well she knows me. Must be all that practice. She stops in front of me, staring at me. I can't take my eyes off her either, I can't help it, why the frell does it have to be her?

The past .......

Annan and me are walking down to the tech eating area, we take a short cut past one of the restricted recreation areas, should be quiet enough at this time of day. As we pass, half a dozen soldiers lurch out of a bar, they're drunk, pleased with themselves and calling each other names. One of them notices us, a big blonde guy, I tense as he nudges his companion who glares at us. She's good-looking in a scary, dark-goddess-of-death kinda way. I realise that I recognise her but then Aeryn Sun has quite a rep so that's not too surprising. The story is that she handed her lover over to Crais on suspicion of being a traitor. (Suspicion is quite enough on this ship.) The rumour also has it that she got transferred to a prowler unit as a reward. In other words - a perfect peacekeeper. The bastards surround us.

'This area's off limits to techs.' says the blonde guy ignoring three other techs who are walking past just a short distance away. Lucky bastards. No, me and Annan, we're the entertainment for today. 'I think we're going to have to teach you a lesson,' blonde guy says with a smirk.

'What were you staring at Tech?' asks Sun coldly. She does cold real well, like she never says anything differently. She gives me the creeps even if she is frelling attractive.

I shiver and look at the ground. Total self-abasement, that's our best chance of escaping a beating.

'Nothing Sir,' I stammer in my best poor little tech girl voice.

'Liar. I saw you looking myself. I should kill you now for lying to an officer. Name, rank and assignment. Now.'

I'm frightened. How could I be such a frelling fool? We've gone from a drunken beating to disciplinary execution in two stupid words.

'Sorry Sir, I meant I saw that you were officers and that it was none of my b..business. Gilina Inez, Tech first class, Carrier support.'

The bitch seems satisfied with my answer but blonde guy's not finished with us yet. 'What about your friend here?' he asks. 'She seems very quiet. Answer me you useless bitch. What the frell were you doing here?'

Annan's more than quiet, she's petrified. I can see the poor fool shaking from here. She ain't gonna pull this off. I have to draw their fire. I raise my head to speak and catch Sun looking at me; her eyes are slowly descending my body, checking me out. She must have noticed the movement of my head and quickly looks back at my face, our eyes meet and there's that flash of recognition. I swear I must carry some kind of mark on my forehead. She's shaken. I can see fear shade her grey eyes.

'Eyes front Tech.' she snaps at me. I spring to attention. Her hands clench in indecision. 'Get out of my sight both of you. I don't want to see either of you around here again. Is that clear?'

'Clear sir.' I grab Annan and haul her away, ignoring the argument that has broken out behind us. Sun is getting some stick from her fellows for letting us go before the fun really got started. There's a loud crash and I sneak a look back. No-one's looking at us. They're silently watching Sun beat the crap out of one of the others. I shrug and keep walking. Curiosity never pays.

The present...

She is yelling at me like a drill sergeant, like I'm the peacekeeper that got mixed up with some filthy aliens and abandoned her unit. Frelling hypocrite. Traitor. The look on her face is half crazy, she knows exactly who I am even as she demands my name. The man cuts in. He's all reason and compassion but in my experience they're always the worst, worse than Sun and all her yelling He has influence over her and that marks him as dangerous.

She is telling him that I'm bound to lie to them. I try not to smirk, typical soldier, she thinks I'll lie because it's my duty as a peacekeeper but I'm going to lie if it saves my own hide; that's what I've learnt in my thirty three cycles. Techs lie to live. We learn young. She's stopped shouting but the look in her eyes is venomous, daring me to slip up and betray myself or her or the whole frelling peacekeeper corps.

The guy is questioning me and I'm spilling my guts. I can feel her standing behind me, circling. I sound scared because I am and my mouth's so dry I'm hardly able to speak. He gives me something to drink and I tell him about how the rest of my unit died here while investigating what had destroyed this ship. I know what she's thinking: she's wondering how I survived, whether I deserted them.

She asks a question, the cold contempt in her eyes slipping through her harsh voice although the question is straightforward enough.

"Can you tell me what happened here? How the Zelbinian died?"

I tell her truthfully that I don't know and then I call her a traitor. Now I'm not trying to be brave or uphold peacekeeper honour, I just know these frelling soldiers. If she thinks I'm a good peacekeeper then she'll take me at my word.

The past .........

Frelling officers, why can't they fix anything themselves? My unit are down on our targets so rather than spare anyone who's working the current shift, I have to go up to the officer decks and fix some pig's lights in my own time and I was just going off duty. It's not exactly what I call a frelling priority either since they only go to their quarters to sleep and screw and you don't need lights for any of that. Room 2512. I shove my ident chip into the door and wait to be admitted. After a minute the door opens, and yeah, it is dark.

'Tech First Class, Gilina Inez, reporting sir.' I hear a sharp intake of breath.

'What took you so long?' a disembodied voice enquires. Dren! It's her, Officer Sun, her clipped Pleisar regiment accent is easily recognisable. This is not good.

'Sorry sir. I came as soon as I got my instruction.'

'Get on with it and then get out.' Her voice is low and harsh, a kinda sexy voice if you can get past the threatening tone. I shake my head. I'm losing it. Rule one: never get attracted to the soldiery. That way lies humiliation, pain and sometimes death.

'Yessir.' I fumble my way over to the lighting controls, feeling pretty stupid because I've forgotten my torch, but not about to admit any error. It's just as well we're trained to work in the dark. What we're not trained to do is collide with our superiors. Damn. I stumble and would have fallen but she catches me on some kind of reflex. I feel her arms go round me, my face is against her warm neck, her breasts against mine. Frightened, I drop my tools and swear silently. This is it. She'll beat me senseless and then report me for sleeping on the job. My body tenses waiting to be hurled aside. Surprisingly she helps me stand. Her arms stay wrapped around me and abruptly tighten, pulling me hard against the length of her body. Her hands are stroking my back. Normally I'm quick on the uptake; didn't make Tech First Class this young without knowing how to work my superiors but this situation has me flummoxed. What's she thinking? She has just broken about three thousand rules, written and unwritten. I'm completely outta my depth but a bit of grovelling usually plays well with peacekeepers.

'Sorry sir. I apologise for my clumsiness.' I'm about to wax lyrical on the fruitful subject of how unworthy I am when she kisses me on the mouth, hard. No misunderstanding there. Decision time again, my lips part and she groans. We're kissing for real now. She's a bit rough, probably only ever been with soldiers, but I can't deny how my body is reacting. Her hands are under my t-shirt and she snakes one up my rib-cage 'til it reaches my left breast. She groans again. Touching my breast real slow, she's not kissing me now, concentrating on her hand as it strokes and squeezes pliant flesh, her thumb brushing my hardening nipple. This is getting too serious but I can't think of any way out, so might as well go with it. I lift my hands to caress her shoulders, no jacket, bare skin, soft as Delvian silk. I feel her shiver. Strange to think of such softness under all that brutality.

She takes advantage of my raised arms and lifts them higher; pulling my t-shirt over my head. Her arms tighten around me and I'm pressed against her t-shirt, I can feel erect nipples pushing into my bare skin. Her hands explore my naked back and she's kissing me again. After a few microts of this it occurs to me that she is hesitating; kissing me, stroking me and playing with my breasts but uncertain as though she is not sure how to proceed. I wonder if this is her first time with a woman. I would have smiled excepting that at this moment my mouth is fully occupied by and with her tongue.

The present...

They decide to believe me but for some frelling reason they still wanna have a look around the Zelbinian so now we're walking along more dark derelict corridors. The Luxan has frelled off somewhere and Sun is patrolling the corridor ahead looking all butch and soldierly. Me and the human (as he calls himself) are lagging behind. I can't understand much of what he says but I know one thing for sure. It makes no frelling sense, a peacekeeper like Sun hooking up with lesser beings like these losers. This guy is too good to be true and about as different from Aeryn Sun as matter from energy. Still it makes sense for me to try and get some credit with him against the future, so I thank him for saving me from Sun. He seems pleased by my grovelling. I think he likes me.

We keep moving. Sun and the human (called John apparently) are yapping away and they get in an argument about peacekeepers and whether we're a good thing or not. Sun tries to sell the party line to the human, the one about peacekeepers maintaining order in the galactic nuthouse. She still thinks of herself as a peacekeeper despite the death warrant. The next thing I know is that I'm covered in green snot.

A frelling Hynerian on a floating throne has turned up and expressed his displeasure at my presence in the classic Hynerian way. I can't believe this circus. Seems the Hynerian doesn't agree that peacekeepers have a place in this Universe or any other. (Bad experience I guess.) He doesn't dislike me in particular, he just hates and despises every peacekeeper who ever was born, that's the gist of the little green fella's argument anyway, so I'm not winning any popularity contests except with John. Again the human covers for me, subdues the warty little Hynerian slug and makes it clear to one and all that I am not to be touched. He's like no-one I've ever met before. I've noticed already that Sun is always watching him. At first I thought it was because she didn't trust him but it's not that. She likes him. I guess she's never met anyone like him before either. I'm jealous. Not sure of whom yet.

The past .........

Teaching a prowler pilot to make love, that's a first. The more pessimistic side of me worries that today will end with another first: my execution. However hormones are wonderful things and mine are on full alert; death seems like a minor price at the moment. I push her away slightly but we keep kissing. She makes a sound in her throat and tries to pull me back but I hold my ground. Then I'm lifting her t-shirt out of her pants, raising it slowly up her body. She stops protesting and breaks the lip-lock long enough to let me lift the shirt over her head. Once it's off she wants me back in her arms. I'm having none of it, I want her naked. With ease born of too much practice, I unfasten her bra and slide the straps off her shoulders. I can feel her shivering under my fingers. It's not just light panels I can fix in the dark.

We move back in close and my arms wrap back round her. We both groan as our half-naked bodies press together, soft sweet pressure of skin, I feel her bend slightly to kiss me again. My mouth opens willingly to her insistent lips and tongue. I run my hands run over her smooth back and let them stray, wandering down the curve of her waist, to her hips and then slowly stroking upwards again until my seeking fingers can play with one smallish perfect breast, cupping it and lifting a little to feel the weight against my palm. She breaks off from the heated kisses and gasps slightly as I run my roughened tech thumb over the straining nipple. Without her full lips to distract me, I fall back on kissing and nibbling her neck and throat, inhaling the clean sharp scent from the warm skin, standard issue military soap, officers, for the use of, but somehow at this moment it seems like a strange intoxicant. She's shaking, whether from fear or anticipation I don't know, I'm not gonna ask. My hands are on her belt buckle and she stops moving. She is breathing slowly, deliberately, struggling for control, tremors running through her. Too slowly I unfasten the buckle and slide the fastening of her pants aside.

Damn! I forgot about her boots. They're going to have to come off first. How the frell am I gonna manage that in the dark with her standing up? I'm not even sure where the bed is. But old habits die hard and I'm not about to let an officer know that I've screwed up. I return to kissing her mouth, forgetting my fears in the still unexpected sweetness and let my fingers explore her other breast. She leans against me, clinging tightly, having trouble supporting herself. Time to up the ante. My fingers leave her all-too-wonderful breasts, I ignore the whimper of protest, my hand travels down her smooth firm belly to tangle in the soft curls at the juncture of her legs. She groans and lifts herself against my hand, trying to force my fingers a little lower. I comply but not inside her. I tease her gently. She's wet and desperate.

'Bed,' I murmur in her ear, 'where is it?'

The present...

More corridors, more crap and then we find the burnt remains of Officer Crander. Pretty revolting. He's completely charred but red flesh is visible in his open, screaming mouth. I knew him and so did Sun. She's obviously shaken. "What was he doing guarding the likes of you? This was grunts work," she barks at me

I have to say I enjoy seeing guilt stain her traitorous face when I explain that every person in her unit had been disgraced by her defection, demoted to every dren job on the ship, and that's the way they're gonna stay until she is found and executed. My pleasure's short-lived. The Leviathan has spotted the returning Sheyang ship and we are collectively in deep dren.

"Why are the Sheyang back? What didn't you tell us?" Aeryn's all violence and threats, throttling me against a bulkhead. The Luxan's with us again and he urges her on to kill me but she's quite angry enough without his help. "Is that why you're still alive?" she screams. "Because you co-operated with the enemy?" I can't breathe. I try to speak but she is going to kill me. John pulls her off.

"That. Is. Enough." He bites off each word.

She backs away, bitterness and mistrust swimming in hard grey eyes. John turns to me and in that soft, holier-than-thou voice, tells me that Officer Sun was not a traitor and that she never had a chance. Of course he's so different from us barbarous peacekeepers that he's gonna give me a chance (a last chance naturally) to tell the truth. I hope he means it. Anyway I have no choice other than to believe him so I tell them what little I know about the Sheyang scum and their plans to salvage the defence shield, the last remaining worthwhile piece of equipment on the damned ship.

The past ............

Somehow we make it to the bed without falling over. I push her back onto it and start unfastening her boots. A few clumsy microts later and the boots and trousers are off at last. I cover her overheated body with mine and she whimpers again. Just the sound excites me. I know her body is lean and strong and yet all I can feel is incredible softness and warmth shading to heat, the familiar shock of pleasure that always takes me by surprise. I want to see her face, to know her pleasure better, but the darkness is total and I must rely on my remaining senses. She pulls me closer and one long smooth leg nudges mine apart, hot wetness grinds against my thigh as she twines herself about me and buries her face in my shoulder, biting and licking the skin. Roughly she takes my hand, pushing it downwards - this is spinning way out of control - I pull away hard, pinning her wrists to the bed.

'What's wrong?' She struggles a little but years of hauling equipment have left me stronger than I look.

I bend down to her ear and whisper. 'I want you to remember this night, remember me. We are going to take this slow and I want to drive.'

So I lower myself to her again and start again, for long moments we just kiss. I say 'just' but it's hard to describe the sense of connection I feel with this tall, dark stranger who kisses so well. I find myself stroking her hair, running my fascinated fingers through the incredible silken length. I have never seen her hair down and I had no idea it was so long, definitely not regulation. But now she is moving under me again, her legs wrapping helplessly around me with involuntary need, thrusting against me. I guess she needs more than kissing. Sadly I leave her mouth, working slowly down her throat, sweet and salty with perspiration; my mouth and tongue, nipping and probing, learning her vulnerabilities, her needs, lingering in places, resisting the temptation to leave marks on the pale-remembered skin. We gasp together as my nipples slide across her stomach. I kiss around the top of her legs and she squirms, the scent of desire is strong, musky and intense. My heart is hammering like a pulse rifle on overload.

'Open your legs wider.' I instruct. She does as she's told, like a good little soldier. I move over her and hesitate, sudden doubt lurching inside my stupid tech head. Suppose she hates this, suppose she kicks me out. Don't be a fool Gilina I scold myself, she wants this as much as you do. She's shaking like ten million electrons are passing through her and if it turns out she doesn't like it, well you've had worse one night stands. Tentatively my tongue tastes her, hunting for her exposed centre in the wet darkness. She bucks and cries out harshly. Still nervous I hold back; a whimper and she grabs at my head trying to force me back. All fear diminished I stroke the small hardness and close my lips around it, nibbling gently. She moans loudly. A few more strokes and then my tongue is probing deeper, tasting the slick surface, gently penetrating. She swears loudly and imprecisely. I grin to myself and cruelly move away, kissing her inner thighs a few times before I lift my head, enough to ask, 'What do you want Officer Sun? Sorry I didn't understand.' (Okay the words come out more breathless than controlled but I feel her shudder.)

Silence. She's either shy or stubborn. I lightly brush my thumb against her clit and push gently at her opening with one finger. It slips inside easily. I withdraw very slowly and run the sopping finger round her inner lips, moistening them unnecessarily. Her breathing is helplessly ragged. My mouth needs something to do so I lower my head to lick slowly, only just touching, never enough. She writhes against the tiny motion. I slide two fingers inside her and she groans as I move them slowly in and out. Her hips jerk rapidly in an attempt to make my torturing fingers move faster. Instead I stop, just touching at the entrance, barely penetrating her, ignoring the sobs of frustration.

'What do you want Officer Sun?' No answer.

'Tell me Aeryn.' I pass my tongue over her swollen nub a few times to make the point.

'Please. Oh frell, please.' she mumbles.

'Please what?' I'm pushing my luck but she has only one mistress at the moment, and she lies between her legs.

'Make me come curse you.' she gasps.

Better than I hoped, the shaking voice nearly pushes me over the edge. I move my fingers inside her, pushing harder, deeper and faster. She moans loudly, soft cries are torn from her. 'Please,' she begs again. That deserves a reward. I return to suck and lick the tender flesh, she yelps and strains even harder, thrashing about on the bed, then her inner walls clench at my fingers and she's crying out and spasming. I keep working until she collapses with a final cry. A few microts pass before I withdraw my fingers and tenderly kiss her clitoris, she twitches and whimpers, totally spent.

I'd be pretty much done-in as well, except for the agonising tension that has been building between my legs. I move up her body to hold her, kissing her lips, praying that it occurs to her that I might need a little help here but certain that if she touches me at all I'll explode. She holds onto me like she's afraid of the dark.

The present...

That's it. Now we're gonna to fix the defence shield. There's no point in telling them that a full tech crew is needed or that some parts are just fried to hell, that's not what they want to hear. I tell John later; I tell him that I'm afraid she will execute me for failing to try. He tells me she's not like that anymore. He explains that his companions are not killers and I can see he's including Aeryn in this, like she's one of them! He's a frelling fool if he really believes that, once a peacekeeper always a peacekeeper. I'll say this for him though, we work well together, the guy knows his physics and for an alien he's alright, a really gentle man. He reminds me of a senior tech I knew one time, though I still don't understand how Sun can bear to be around such an alien; she despises weakness, in herself and others.

She surprises me in other ways. She works like a beast of burden, fetching and carrying for us. I can remember when she would sooner have died than lift a finger to help a tech let alone take instruction from one. I tell her off, just like I would a junior tech, for bringing the wrong type of cable, sending her off to find a replacement in this dripping, rotting tomb. Unsmiling, she does it without complaint. How the mighty have fallen; perhaps that's what they mean by irreversibly contaminated.

The past .......

So I'm lying there, in Officer Sun's bed, in Officer Sun's arms, burning for release and what happens? Her call-to-stations sounds. Next thing I know I'm on the floor while she scrabbles around in the dark, swearing and looking for her uniform. She's out the door and all I hear is: 'Get the frelling lights working before I get back and then get out of here, you piece of dren.' Frelling great.

I'm still naked so I figure I have a choice. I can just get on with my job and fix the lights or I can finish what I started and bring myself off but really I'm just not in the mood anymore so I hunt round the floor to find my clothes. I put the only shirt on and curse. Unless I've lost a lot of weight in the past arn this shirt ain't mine. Amusement is tempered with terror. Sun has gone off in my shirt and I'm left with an officer's undershirt and no jacket to cover it. No way I can explain that so I'll just have to stay here and hope that her mission doesn't last into my next duty shift. Dren! How could she not have noticed? She's at least a whole size bigger than me. A bad thought pops up. What if she's killed and doesn't come back? A glaring darkness opens in my heart. Oh no ... no feelings; that is a huge great frelling no-go area. Fix the damn lights you dumbass tech and think about something else, anything other than frelling Aeryn Sun.

The present...

All hell breaks loose, the Sheyang are heating up their weapons. Only a few more microts and we'll have the defence shield - I am frelling good, I wouldn't have believed it myself if anyone had said I could do this.

Aeryn has really come through too. She's working like a Bannick slave; sweaty, dirty and frelling beautiful. She does her stuff well, does what she's told. I get her to help me connect the final conduits and our arms brush against each other. She jumps as though touching a live wire and brushes me away. She'll do it on her own. I can't help feeling the familiar old stab of pain. Rejection and Aeryn, go together like frelling twins.

John's fingers are flying over the wiring now (I could certainly use him in my unit) and I think we're gonna make it, if any of it works of course.

We're there, I complete the last contact. Sparks are flying and the damaged panels are smoking like grunts on a break, but it is working. Microts later we feel the impact of the Sheyang fireball. The shield holds. Aeryn looks at me and we share a Peacekeeper moment of arrogance; of course we have defeated the lesser beings, nothing to shout about, that's what we do. John is more demonstrative and hugs me under the pretext of being thrown about by the impact forces.

Our self-congratulation doesn't really get a chance to take flight before the doomy voice of the leviathan pilot is informing us that there are holes in the defence shield and if they use small attack ships, the Sheyang may be able to squeeze through the holes and board us. Now John wants me to install the unused half of the defence shield on their leviathan. This is frelling never-ending and he's got to be kidding. He wants to transfer all this hulking great machinery from the great Zelbinian and put it in a leviathan with completely incompatible systems. I feel Sun's prowler-grey eyes on me and years of habit kick in. I'll do it. (Well actually what I tell them is some morra-dren about doing it for them despite my peacekeeper oaths and duty.) Resigned to another impossible task, I wonder how many peacekeepers have died because the techs have been too scared to say no. Then I look at her unforgiving face and I think maybe I can do it for her.

The past .......

I've fixed the lights, tightened a loose connection. Sun coulda done it herself and then I wouldn't be in this mess. We wouldn't be in this mess.

The one comforting thing about sleeping with women in the peacekeeper corps, is that you are very unlikely to be exposed as queer unless caught in the act, by multiple witnesses of the opposite sex. If there is even the slightest suspicion that the informer might be involved then she will also be tortured and executed. This makes queer relationships fairly safe as almost no-one will take the chance of ratting you out in case awkward questions are asked about how the rat found out. A classic example of how the military mind achieves the opposite of what is intended. So I wasn't concerned about Sun confessing all, she might as well swallow the business end of a pulse rifle and fire it, however a tech wandering about in an officer's under clothing is suspicious in itself and I couldn't think of a single acceptable explanation. I tried for 6 arns. I don't think 'I found it in the wash' is gonna fly but the time is now edging close to the start of my duty shift. If Sun doesn't get here soon ....

The door opens. 'You're still here.' She enters the room tiredly, slings her jacket over a chair, strips the shirt over her head without hesitation and throws it at me. 'Frelling uncomfortable, you try flying a prowler in a straitjacket.'

I look at it. Misshapen and soaked with sweat. Great. Now I'll be disciplined for uniform violations. I look at her. She has stripped completely. She's beautiful. All my resolutions to put this behind me disintegrate. The blood rushes south and I wish that I'd spent the previous six arns with my hand between my legs instead of trying to think of excuses because now I'm going to have to go on duty and think about her until the end of my shift.

'Get out tech.' are her last words as she heads into the shower.

Wrinkling my nose I put on the damp, smelly shirt and try to ignore the rather disgusting pleasure I feel at wearing something that she has just worn. Hoping I look like a tech on a house call, rather than a criminal and corrupting influence, I take one last look round. I don't expect to be back.

The present...

We're still here working in this rotting mausoleum, I'm a bit bored and I've noticed the way John keeps looking at me so I think I'll have some fun. I get him over on some stupid pretext and then manage to fall back against him. He holds onto me and I can feel his arousal against me. Damn but these humans are like Sebaceans. We kiss and it's nice, humans are really gentle, perhaps there is something here for me after all.

"I've set up four of the components," announces Aeryn as she strides around the corner. She takes in the situation between me and John and barely pauses, although her voice takes on some thumping emphasis, "in the maintenance bay." She lifts up one of the heavy components and with impressive strength, heaves it over her head. For a microt I think she's going to chuck it at us; she just says with heavy sarcasm and heaving breaths. "Sorry for interrupting." And she's gone.

I'm half-relieved, I thought she would kill me for dereliction of duty at least; certainly worth a good beating in the past but I guess she has changed. A part of me also feels guilty, as though in some way I have cheated on her. I shrug the feeling off with annoyance, I owe her nothing and she has no claim on me.

John is upset. He takes off after her and it hits me real sudden, he's not really interested in me, he wants her. You're a fool Gilina. Things are no different here, you're still not as good as her. Then I wonder if she feels the same about him. I shake my head. It's hard to imagine a prowler pilot experiencing a love of anything except battle. Lust of course, camaraderie with their unit, pride in being a peacekeeper and contempt for everything else. That about summed up the emotions that every peacekeeper soldier would understand. Anything else is foreign and weak, I remember Aeryn explaining this to me.

John comes back. He does not look happy. There is a lot to do and for once I'm frelling grateful, I don't want to talk. Him and her, typical frelling luck.

I set John up with two polar coupling plates and tell him to keep them apart. I don't look him in the face. I don't want to see the lies forming in his eyes.

The past .......

Shift over, I head back to my barracks for a shower and a change. I'm just in the door when my communicator sounds. 'Gilina you're in deep deep dren. That officer whose lights you fixed has complained about you. Report to the deck supervisor.'

For a moment my heart stops; then I think if she had reported me for screwing her, a small army of internal security would have arrived to drag me away immediately to protect the morals and virtue of all these innocent little peacekeepers. I don't feel much easier. I can't understand what she is doing. I grab a clean shirt, I'm real tired of people sniffing oddly as I walk past, and set off for the deck super's office.

Half an arn later I'm trudging back up to officer quarters having been given a warning about shoddy work. Sun has complained that I didn't fix the lights properly and she wants to see me personally to discuss my lack of motivation. I consider the possibilities: she is panicking and wants to beat a promise of silence out of me, she's disgusted and wants to beat me stupid for corrupting/controlling her, the lights don't work and she wants to beat me for being incompetent.

Reluctantly I push my ident chip into her door. The door opens quickly. The lights are on - that's one theory ruled out. I enter quietly and the door closes behind me. Sun is lounging in a chair, her long legs stretched out, feet resting on a low table.

'Officer Sun. You wanted to see me? Have I done something wrong? I can check the lights again?' I enquire in what I hope is an appropriately humble voice.

She looks at me and smiles cynically. 'That's quite an act you put on tech.' She rises slowly, dangerously and deliberately looks me up and down.

I keep silent. She isn't raging or angry so I don't know what's coming. That makes me more nervous than anything else. Years of habit kick in and I snap to attention. I watch her in return, reasoning that while I'm standing about and waiting for whatever pile of dren she chooses to heap on me, I might as well admire the view. Her hair is down and I can see what I've only felt, a dark fan spread around her strong shoulders. Fine muscles ripple along her arms but her hands are quite slender and, from memory, smooth. Prowler pilots don't seem to get the calluses that other soldiers and techs take for granted.

'Come here.' Her voice is low and there's so little emphasis that for a moment I think I've misheard. I look into her face. Her eyes are dark with desire. 'Now. Don't keep me waiting.'

I cross the floor in a few strides and stand in front of her. The heat is already building inside me. She lifts her hand to my face and brushes a loose hair from my eyes and bends to kiss me, very gentle and insistent. Soft velvet as her tongue invades my mouth. My knees are buckling. Those strong arms are around my waist supporting me. 'It's my turn,' she says slowly.

The present...

We are in deep dren. One of the Sheyang made it through the defence shield and boarded the Zelbinian. He's coming our way. I'm trying to complete this damn transfer process but it won't go any faster and John's stuck, straining to keep the two polar plates apart. If he lets them touch then that's it. We vaporise and everything around us. I tell John I won't leave him to die alone. Why I even say that, let alone mean it, I don't really know, maybe I'm changing too?

The Sheyang is at the door trying to burn a hole through it with the worst case of halitosis I've ever seen; worse, he's succeeding. John is calling for Aeryn to help. She got cut off and has had to find another route back to us.

John is almost comical when he sees the Sheyang spitting fire, acting like he's never heard of such things before. I want to laugh until the endless void of fear reasserts itself. The Sheyang breaks through the door and immediately belches a damned great fireball which John just avoids, frell knows how.

I can't do any more to speed the energy transfer, it's too damn late, so I get behind John and crouch against him and wait for the end. The Sheyang is cranking up another flaming burp. It looks to be all over for us until a microt later, heralded by a loud metallic jangling, our dark knight arrives. She's all heroic efficiency, sliding down the lifting chains from an upper deck, her pulse rifle in one hand, firing twice as she hits the ground. The Sheyang dies, his own gas ball ignites in his gullet and blows him apart, spattering flaming debris all around us. As if they know the danger is over, the polar plates in John's hands cease to spark and pull together. He sinks to his knees in relief, dropping the plates to the ground.

"Sorry about the mess." Aeryn doesn't sound sorry. Despite the past and notwithstanding the likely future I feel my knees weaken as I watch her arrogantly stroll over to look at what little is left of the fallen Sheyang. Her expression is cocky. She still has what it takes. And I still love her.

The past ..........

Her hands are gently undressing me. I cringe, not because I'm not enjoying myself but because I could do with a shower. She hesitates. 'Is something wrong tech?'

'No. I mean yes, I really need a shower.'

She looks perplexed and nods. She leads to me to her bathroom. She starts to undress me again and herself too. I can't believe how achingly aroused I feel. It's not lack of experience of naked females; I've been sharing communal showers in barracks dotted round half the galaxy for the whole of my existence. I usually sleep in a room with at least ten other female techs. But I'm showering with this beautiful prowler pilot and every other experience is fading to nothing. The water rains down over our bodies and she is kissing me under the spray. She won't let me soap myself, her fingers play over my body sliding over the slick soapiness, massaging my aching muscles. She has talented hands. Slender hands that can fly a prowler through ten g's and dodge the frag fire of a carrier attack. Hands that are making my blood run faster and driving my senses insane. Hands running over my buttocks, tracing patterns on my breasts, stroking near my aching sex. I moan with need. She turns me round and pulls me backwards, hard against her. Erect nipples press against my shoulder blades as she buries her face in my neck, her tongue traces my ear. She whispers: 'You are beautiful.' One hand is gently squeezing my breast, rolling a painfully erect nipple between her fingers and I'm gasping as the sensations multiply and concentrate. Her other hand has traced a path down my side and then circled round my hip to play with the springy blonde pubic hair. The indescribable yearning is returning five-fold. I need her now.

'Touch me.' I hardly recognise my own voice. Obediently she turns me around, warm water still bouncing off me, tumbling down my skin in waterfalls and falling onto her as she sinks to her knees in front of me. Strong arms brace me and my legs part. Her tongue penetrates my core and swipes across the sensitive nub of nerves. My legs are shaking and if it weren't for her support I would collapse instantly. She nuzzles my sex, exploring with her tongue. Each touch sweeps strength from me and I really believe I will fall. It is too much. I look down at her dark head and run my fingers through the soft damp hair and whisper, 'Aeryn, I have to lie down.'

Reluctantly she withdraws from her discoveries. She rises from her knees and as she stands, her body travels across mine, smooth, muscled strength pressing against my whole length, pushing me back against the cool ceramic wall of the shower, her thigh parting my legs, I feel my inner muscles clench involuntarily. I groan and open my eyes. She is gazing at me with an expression of such gentleness that I am almost frightened. She starts kissing me again, soft lips gently parting mine and I feel as though the centre of my being is opening. When she stops, I know that for me, this is a new world.

'Please Aeryn,' I beg, although I could not say in words what it is that I want from her.

She opens the door of the shower and half lifts me out. The air outside is chill and I shiver. She frowns and moments later has wrapped me in a huge towel and I'm being led to the bed.

Aeryn climbs onto the bed and kneels, holding her hand out to me. I drop my towel and take the offered hand. She draws me to her and her hands travel down my back, her nails trailing gently and agonisingly across my sensitive skin. Her mouth finds mine again and again I am lost, we fall sideways onto the bed in a tangle of legs and arms. Her hand has found my centre and her fingers enter me, slowly, filling me, and then very slowly, she pulls them back. I want to scream. She repeats this, imperceptibly increasing the speed and, as she does so, her mouth kisses its way down to my right breast. I cry out when she tenderly takes my hardened nipple in her mouth, pulling the stiffening flesh with her sharp teeth. I am frelling beside myself, moaning and whimpering, as her fingers, mouth, tongue and teeth discover how to drive me to insanity.

Relentlessly she is kissing down my ribs, over the slight swell of belly; I jump as her tongue dips into my navel. She nuzzles my thatch of blonde pubic hair and arrives at her destination. Inside me her hand slows, gradually she withdraws, leaving me empty and as I watch she licks the wetness that coats them, looking into my eyes, watching my neediness, her own expression a strange mixture of apprehension and curiosity. Her eyes drop and she stares with avid concentration at my exposed sex. I don't have time for this looking. My clit is desperate for attention. I'm desperate.

'Aeryn, this is cruel, you have to touch me,' I whimper and my hips thrust helplessly. Carefully she urges my legs farther apart and hesitantly dips her head between my legs. I hear her moan quietly as her tongue makes contact. Then I can't hear anything or feel anything other than that single point of connection and the mounting wall of pleasure pressing for release. Unexpectedly her tongue leaves me and I groan loudly in frustration and then again in pleasure as it is quickly replaced by her hand. Her fingers push into me relentlessly. I stifle a scream, biting my lip to keep silent. I know the sound proofing in these cells and it's not nearly enough.

'I want to watch you,' she breathes. 'Open your eyes.' With some difficulty I force my baby blues open to meet her gaze. Hers have darkened nearly to black.

The present...

We're back on the leviathan and they're arguing about what to do with me. Aeryn is not speaking, she just watches me with those icy grey-green eyes and I stare right back, fascinated by the hard lines and planes of her face. I've rarely had a chance to just look at her and I can't stop, she meets my eyes and I'm drowning. I hardly notice what the others are saying but I hear her harsh voice with its abbreviated accent.

"The tech will not reveal our presence."

She wants me to go back to the command carrier but I don't want to leave. She spins some long spiel about how dreadful it is to be banished from what you love. She's right there but it's leaving here that's the banishment, going back to my pktech life of indentured toil, leaving John, leaving her.

"You are smarter than that, Gilina," she says and I cannot hide my surprise. She has never used my name. A small spark of joy lights my heart. She has said my name. It's then that I realise that I will do whatever she wants. Anything to keep her safe. I nod slightly and look away to hide the tears filling my eyes.

The past....

The last tremor fades. She moves slowly up my body.

'Okay tech?' she breathes in my ear.

I can only nod. It's always okay. For 63 days my reason for living has centered on these snatched arns with Aeryn. Arns stolen in junction rooms, switching halls, maintenance conduits, rarely in bed and sometimes, like today, in her prowler. She smiles and stretches against me and then grimaces at the cramped conditions. 'You in any hurry?' I shake my head. 'Me neither. Let's get a little more comfortable.' We wriggle around until she is lying back in her flight seat with me cradled naked in her arms. Her left hand is drawing absent-minded patterns on my skin. 'The most beautiful sight there is,' she says quietly, staring out at the stars visible through the cockpit cover. Looking at her sharp profile shadowed against the starlight I find myself agreeing.

'I love you.' I say the words and then feel the enormity of them and their truth and the grotesque unwisdom of speaking. Her entire body goes rigid. Her hands fall away from me and I am naked.

'We have to go back. Go aft and get dressed.'


'There is nothing to discuss. We have to get back to the carrier.'

'Aeryn. I didn't mean what I said. It was just the moment. I didn't mean it.'

'I cannot have feelings for you. You cannot have feelings for me. You know this as well as I. Peacekeeper lives and success depend on each of us being able to follow orders and take action without emotional confusion. One day tech you may have to abandon me or destroy me. Could you do that? Without doubt. Without hesitation.' I hesitate and Aeryn shakes her head angrily. 'This association is terminated.'

She meant every word. She never looked at me again or appeared to know I existed though we saw each other every day (thanks to the fact that I had wangled myself into her unit's tech support team in order to make meetings easier). When she disappeared with the escaped leviathan it was almost a relief. I didn't even cry. By then I had already lost her and done my crying.

The present...

The time is here. Answering my distress call, the peacekeeper command carrier is on its way to get me. As expected the Sheyang ship fled when it detected the incoming command carrier and now the leviathan and its strange crew must do the same. She's standing beside me but she won't look at me. I think there are tears in her eyes but that can't be. A soldier would never cry.

"Crais will ask you many questions." she says. Her voice wavers just a little.

"I will lie" I assure her and I mean it.

She nods. "I wish I had been so smart," and now she looks down at me and I want to die right there. Her face creases and maybe she really is going to cry but instead she turns to leave. I cannot stand to see her go and grab her arm, something I could never have imagined being able to do. She stares at my hand on her arm, a little shocked. My fingers slide down her arm to her wrist and she grasps my hand. I try a small smile and my heart breaks as I see her try to smile back. Something more to keep forever. And then she's going. The powerful stride taking her rapidly away from me. I look at the wall and blink back more tears.

John is leaning on the opposing wall of the leviathan, watching curiously. He says something I don't really understand and I smile easily, so much easier with him, we both joke about how impossible it is. I am sad to leave him but I have to go back and if I'm honest I know he isn't going to ask me to stay anyway. He holds my hand and we kiss with real affection. A part of me hopes that maybe he will go back to her and kiss her and the next thing she feels will be his lips that have just touched mine. On that thought, I kiss him with rather more enthusiasm and then he's letting me go and the doors are closing and I'm crying alone.

The End.