He didn't know how long he sat on the bench, but suddenly someone touched his shoulder. He jumped, badly startled, and before he even realized what he was doing he had leapt to his feet and grabbed the person in a half-nelson. Only once he had the person immobilized did he realize it was Aeryn, her face neutral except for the sadness in her eyes. "John, relax...I just came to say I'm sorry," she soothed, trying not to do anything more to startle or antagonize him. "Let me go, John."
"Aeryn..." he murmured, releasing her as if burned. Stark returned just in time to see her take a step away from Crichton, obviously trying to control her own battle-trained reflexes. "Dren -- Aeryn, I'm sorry..."
"No, John, it's okay, I understand." She took a deep breath and added, "I'll come to talk later, when you're a little less upset..." He nodded but stayed silent, looking down at his hands as if they belonged to someone else and missing the concerned look she gave him before she walked out.
She pulled Stark out with her and stopped out in the corridor, then hissed, "He needs help. He's been badly hurt and now the woman he cared for is dead, saving him. I thought I could talk to him, but now it's like he doesn't even know who I am."
"He's not sure who he is, either," Stark answered from experience. "I was with him in the cell -- I might have a better chance getting through to him."
"Just make sure you do -- we can't afford to have anyone slacking off now," Aeryn said strongly. "If we're not careful, the Peacekeepers will find us, and all of this will have been for nothing." She walked off, leaving Stark standing in the corridor.
After a moment, he forced himself to move, returning to the room to find Crichton sitting against the wall hugging his knees and staring unseeing into the middle distance. "Crichton?" he asked quietly, walking over to him and sitting down next to him. "You with us?"
Crichton turned to look at him and answered, "I...I don't know. I just-- she's dead... she said she loved me, and now she's dead. I never even got a chance to figure out if I loved her..."
"I know you cared for her, Crichton," Stark said, putting a hand on his shoulder. "I know you've been through hell. C'mon, you need some rest. Aeryn's worried about the Peacekeepers finding us, and--"
"And we can't have anyone going around freaking out on the rest of the crew," Crichton said, suddenly focusing on Stark. "Yeah, I know...Aeryn was probably a microt away from snapping my neck..."
Stark stood and reached down to help him up. "Well, she wasn't thrilled..." Crichton grunted and stood with Stark's assistance, then leaned back against the wall as dizziness washed over him.
"Just a little dizzy -- I think I need to go lie down..."
"Come on," Stark said, supporting him as they left the room. "Tell me which way to go, and I'll get you there."
By the time they got to Crichton's quarters, he was walking on his own again, but Stark could see how pale he was. Between the Chair, the battle to escape, and Gilina's death; Crichton was in shock. He needed to get warm, rest, and recover before dealing with semi-hostile Peacekeeper women -- even if the woman in question was on their side.
Stark sat Crichton down on the edge of his bed and said, "You need to rest. Can you undress on your own, or do you need help?"
Crichton looked up at him and muttered, "It must be my aftershave..."
"What? No, Crichton, you're in shock -- you need to rest and get warm, and these clothes need to be cleaned," Stark explained. "Come on, at least take the boots off..."
Crichton nodded slowly and tried to lean over to unlace the boots, nearly pitched face-first off the bed. Stark caught him and helped him sit back up, then sighed and said, "Let me get the jacket and shirt off, then the boots." Crichton sighed and allowed Stark to strip off his jacket, shirt, and boots. Almost immediately, goosebumps rose all over Crichton's torso and he shivered. "Those trousers, too -- off, now." With some difficulty, Stark stripped the leather trousers off, and tossed them over with the rest of the dirty clothes. He bundled Crichton under the covers, then stripped off his own clothing and slid in behind him.
"What're you doin'?" Crichton asked, already drifting into semi-consciousness.
"Keeping you warm, Crichton, like you did for me," Stark answered softly, "Go to sleep, my friend." He wrapped his arms around Crichton's shivering form, drawing him close and sharing a thought of warmth and comfort. Soon, they both were fast asleep...
...Hands -- leather-clad at first, strong, probing and stroking and coaxing him into arousal. He moaned and arched back, inviting the touch; spreading his legs and allowing the hands to caress, to penetrate. Pleasure flaring from spark to conflagration, centered deep inside and spreading first to his balls and then up his spine and out along every nerve. He moaned; giving himself to his partner, "Oh, yes, Crais," and arched into the skilled touch, forcing the fingers deeper and hissing as they pressed in just the right place--
"Not Crais," that hated voice said, fingers shoving harder into him, the free hand immobilizing him easily as the leather-clad form slid into the bed beside him. "Give yourself to me, Crichton! You are mine -- see how easily I command your body? Come for me!"
Squirming in fear now as his body betrayed him again, helplessly aroused as Scorpius manipulated all those sensitive areas; gasping and panting, begging, "No! Please -- don't do this! Scorpius, stop! Please!"
"Stop!" he screamed, startling out of sleep, gasping for breath, sweat beading his brow and soaking the bedsheets. His cock was painfully, humiliatingly erect; his gasps becoming sobs as both shame and relief flooded him. He realized someone lay in bed with him, a stiff erection pressed against his buttocks; quiet murmuring against his neck. After a brief moment of blinding fear, he realized he and Stark lay in his bed on Moya, and whispered, "It was a nightmare -- it wasn't real!"
Stark moaned and moved against him, and he felt the hard cock nudge against his ass; one hand sliding from where it rested on his waist to stroke down towards his groin; warm hand closing around his aching erection. "Oh god..." Crichton gasped as Stark began to thrust against him and pump his cock. It felt so good, but... Should I wake him up? Can't take advantage of him... Crichton thought, moaning as his body ignored his concerns and responded to the pleasure. "Ooh..." he moaned, then leaned back against Stark and hissed, "Stark! Hey -- Stark, wake up," all the while thrusting into the hand that pumped him and grinding his hips back into Stark's erection.
"Huh--wha?" Stark gasped, startling awake and nearly letting go of him in his surprise. Crichton closed his own hand over Stark's, keeping it where it was, and moaned softly as Stark's cock twitched against him.
"It's okay -- we were both asleep -- both dreaming... Don't stop now..." Crichton panted an explanation as he turned to partially face Stark and close his hand around the alien's cock. "Feels too good to stop right now..."
"Yeah..." Stark groaned as Crichton began to pump his cock, thrusting eagerly into his hand. They both moaned, then Stark leaned in and kissed Crichton, pleased to feel his cock leap as their tongues battled. Knowing they were both too close to do anything else, they pumped harder, free hands fumbling to touch whatever they could reach to bring more pleasure. They broke the kiss, gasps for air quickly becoming moans of pleasure as they came.
"Oh god," Crichton gasped as Stark milked every drop of cum from his cock, trying to concentrate enough to do the same for his partner when pleasure had short-circuited his mind. As the spasms faded, he drew Stark into a close embrace; buried his face against Stark's neck and chuckled nervously.
"Crichton, are you okay? I -- did I hurt you?" Stark asked nervously, trying to get Crichton to look up so he could see his face.
"No -- not at all," Crichton murmured against his neck, still not looking up; instead allowing his lips to brush Stark's neck as he spoke. He felt a shiver run through Stark, heard his quiet sigh.
"I'm glad I didn't hurt you," Stark said softly, beginning to gently caress Crichton's torso, for the moment avoiding his crotch and focusing on the other areas he could reach. "It's the last thing I'd ever want to do..."
"When you shared that thought earlier -- in the cell -- I could feel..." Crichton paused to gently lick along the pulsing artery in Stark's neck, finally lifting his head as he followed the path into the hollow of Stark's throat and savouring the murmur that rumbled through his partner. Finally opening his eyes and meeting Stark's heated gaze, he continued, "I could feel how you wanted to be with me -- I thought it was just because I was the only one who's been nice to you in the past two cycles and I didn't want to take advantage of that..."
"That may be part of the reason, Crichton," Stark answered honestly, "after everything I've been through, I don't really know. But you know what? I don't care, either." He turned in the bed, pulling Crichton atop himself; making it easier for him to reach more of Crichton's body. He smiled up at Crichton and ran his hands gently over Crichton's back, down to his waist, then dipping teasingly down to his buttocks. "You can't imagine how good it feels to do something because I want to..."
Crichton smiled down at him and said, "Well, it wasn't so long for me, but I think I know how you feel..." He hissed softly as Stark brushed fingers over his tailbone, feeling his cock beginning to stir again. He slid a thigh between Stark's, feeling the alien's cock responding in kind, the quiet groan that escaped his partner sending a shiver of arousal through him. "But I gotta tell you, I'm feeling a little confused." At Stark's puzzled look, he explained, "Voluntary or not, I've had more sex recently than I have my whole time out in the Uncharted Territories -- I never knew I was this much of a slut, but..."
"Why do you say that -- does your kind not usually have sex for pleasure?" Stark asked, looking up at him with curiosity.
"Oh no, we do all the time -- sometimes too much; but I -- first Scorpy, then Crais, and now you... I don't usually bed-hop like that."
Stark frowned and said, "Well, I hope you're not lumping me in with the two of them -- I'm not forcing you..."
"No -- no, Stark...I didn't mean it that way -- but Crais didn't force me either...I uh-- I could have stopped him a bunch of times. Or at least I could've fought...instead I let him...I wanted it..."
"What is it between you two, anyway? It's obvious there's some history..." Stark asked, continuing to gently stroke Crichton's back.
"I killed his brother," Crichton explained, "Accidentally. He...kind of obsessed on it. Hunted me across the Territories; Scorpius must have leaked the information that I'd been captured..."
"More of Scorpy's games," Stark murmured, not wanting to pursue that thought to its logical conclusion. They were free of him now; no reason to dwell on what he had done to them... "So, you liked being with Crais -- did he hurt you? Did he seem like he wanted to hurt you?"
"No, he didn't. He was angry that Scorpius had -- of course, he said that it was because he wouldn't allow anyone to hurt me but him..." Crichton answered with a wan smile. "The problem is he thinks I belong to him..."
Stark met the blue gaze and said, "I take it that's not an attitude your kind is accustomed to..."
Once again, the fact that he wasn't talking to a human hit Crichton and he blinked, remembering what Stark had said about his own people. "Uh...no, not really. Although in our history it's not entirely unknown..." Then he shook his head and said, "Hey, let's not talk about Crais anymore, huh?" He changed positions, sitting up to straddle Stark's hips and stroke his chest and sides, smiling as he felt Stark purr and arch into his caresses.
"Yeah, that's a good idea..." Stark murmured as Crichton slid his hands up to stroke gently over his pecs, feeling a rush of arousal as the alien groaned and writhed beneath him, his cock hardening quickly now. A memory flashed across Crichton's mind's eye; himself lying much as Stark was now, with Crais straddling his hips, trapping his erection beneath him. Arousal burned through him at the memory of Crais' heavy-handed touch; the skilled fingers that had brought such a surprising amount of pleasure... He forced his attention back to the present, horrified by the fact that he was fantasizing about Crais when he was in bed with Stark -- even if Stark didn't seem to notice any lapse. Gently pinching Stark's nipples into hardness, he chalked it up to the conversation they had been having and forced it to the back of his mind.
Stark groaned and reached down to stroke Crichton's thighs, gently running his nails up and down the sensitive skin closer to his groin, then closed his hands on Crichton's hips and ground his hips against Crichton. "Do you feel what you're doing to me?"
Crichton chuckled and asked, "Do you see what you're doing to me?" as he glanced down at his straining cock, smiling crookedly and intensifying his attention to Stark's nipples. "We oughta do something about it..."
"Yeah, we should," Stark agreed, sitting up so that he could wrap his arms around Crichton, pulling him close against his body so that Crichton's cock was trapped between them. He took advantage of Crichton's gasp, kissing him deeply and relishing the way the human responded. Their tongues battled again, Crichton gaining the upper hand once more. Hands probed, stroked, teased; Stark gently ran his nails down Crichton's back, the reaction instant and electric. Crichton gasped into his mouth and surged against him, moaning softly as Stark continued the gentle trail down to his buttocks. Grasping Crichton's buttocks, Stark pulled them both back down to the bed and then turned his attention to taking Crichton's mind off everything that had happened. He wanted Crichton to stop thinking and just enjoy...
Crichton smiled as Stark gently toppled them back to the bed. He straightened out his legs so that he lay partially atop the alien, reaching down with one hand to teasingly explore his erection. Just as he had begun, however, he felt Stark's hands slide across his buttocks, fingertips teasing along the crack. His hand closed convulsively on Stark's hard cock as he felt a gentle probing at his anus. "Ohgod," he breathed, turning his head to kiss Stark again, beginning to gently pump Stark's cock as a fingertip worked its way into him. "Yes..." he whispered against Stark's lips, feeling heat beginning to pool in his belly, slow burn working its way along his nerves as he felt Stark beginning to press a warm thigh against his hard cock. "Ohh-- wait..." he murmured, rolling them onto their sides and shifting so that their cocks pressed against each other -- and gasping as he managed to drive the finger deeper inside himself with his movements.
He shifted his grip, then, taking both of their cocks into his hand, the moan that escaped Stark sending shivers through him. "Yeah, that's better, isn't it..." he murmured, beginning to pump both of them. Stark leaned in and kissed him, and this time he allowed the gentle possession, feeling arousal flood him as Stark's tongue probed his mouth. Pleasure built slowly, until he knew they were both very close. They kissed and nuzzled each other, nipping gently at each other's throat, lips, chin... Stark caught his lower lip in a gentle bite, then probed between his lips with his tongue, pleased when once again he allowed a deeper kiss.
A second finger joined the first, teasing its way into Crichton as he continued to pump their cocks. Suddenly Crichton gasped around Stark's tongue, increased the attention to their cocks as pleasure exploded through them, both cumming at virtually the same moment. He continued to milk them until the tremors faded, sighing softly when Stark's fingers slid out of his body.
Both completely spent, they settled into a comfortable embrace and quickly drifted off to sleep.
Stark woke early in the morning and stepped into the bathroom to deal with necessities. When he emerged, he could tell Crichton was dreaming again; could see the sheets tented on his erection, see him writhing as his dream lover became more insistent. He didn't think it was a nightmare, but he didn't want to take the chance. Walking back to the bed, he gently gripped Crichton's shoulder and shook him. "Wake up, Crichton..."
"Crais!" Crichton gasped, startled out of the dream. He looked up at Stark and blushed crimson as he realized what he had said, what he had been dreaming...Even now he could feel the memory of Crais' insistent touch, the sweet ache as the Sebacean slid into him. "God -- Stark, I'm sorry... I don't know what's wrong with me -- it's like I can't get my mind off him..."
"That's all right," Stark said, sitting next to him on the bed. "At least it wasn't one of the nightmares."
"But it's not all right -- I close my eyes right now and I can still feel him..." Crichton said, drifting off when he realized he couldn't find the words to explain what was going on. "I just -- it won't go away. It's like when Scorpy used the Chair to find out what Crais had done to me, he burned it into my mind so deep it keeps replaying..."
Stark frowned, "You mean he used the Chair to ask you about Crais frelling you? He wanted to see it? Bastard..."
"Yeah," Crichton answered, his voice suddenly rough, "he made me relive it over and over...I know he was getting off on it..." He shuddered and continued, "And then when he was ready, he made me remember what he did to me..." He looked up to see Stark grimacing and asked, "Did he do that to you?"
"Occasionally," Stark said uncomfortably. "But," he continued, lowering his voice and leaning closer to Crichton, "he never seemed to be as interested -- sexually, that is -- in me as he is in you..."
Crichton frowned and muttered, "Great -- it is my aftershave. Gotta switch brands, obviously." Then he turned serious again and looked at Stark. "D'you think it did something -- the Chair, I mean -- to my head? That's why I can't stop thinking about it? I could even feel it when I was in the Chair -- somewhere underneath the pain..." He trailed off and shuddered, staring unseeing into the middle distance for a moment, before he shook himself back to alertness. "I'm losing it, Stark..." he breathed, the nervousness in his tone unsettling both of them.
"Maybe we need to get up and do something normal -- see what's going on with your shipmates, huh?" Stark suggested, gently squeezing his shoulder.
"Yeah, something normal. Right," Crichton joked, leaning against Stark for a moment. "Good idea."