It is over. It's all over. Everything.
His hands are shaking, and he can't make them stop. It's worse than when he went cold turkey on the laka, much worse, and, man, that thought makes him wish he had some of those bug guts now. He wants to be numb. Number. He wants to not ever, ever feel what he knows will be coming when it finally sinks all the way down into his brain that this isn't a dream and he isn't ever waking up. That they really are dead, all of them, and he's here all alone at the end of everything, with...
"We've crossed the border of Scarran space with no sign of pursuit. We should be quite safe now, John."
...with him. Scorpius's wide smile is full of pointed nightmare teeth, and his blue eyes gleam in his pallid face like a kid who's just discovered a pony under the tree on Christmas morning. And why not? He's got what he wanted, hasn't he? Dead Scarrans, planets full of them: ripped apart, incinerated, swallowed, sometimes all three at once. Nothing but a dark, empty hole where the heart of the Scarran Empire used to be. Genocidal mission accomplished. And he doesn't have a conscience to bother him, does he? Doesn't close his eyes and see it all happening, again and again. Or maybe he does. Maybe he enjoys it. Maybe if he had "I am become death, destroyer of worlds" bouncing around his head in an infinite, haunting loop, he'd think of it as self-congratulation. Bastard. Bastard.
And yet... And yet, looking at him and trying desperately to hate him more than he hates himself, Crichton can't help but think about how hard the bastard tried, when it looked like they might be able to save Aeryn after all. He'd tried, for whatever reasons of his own. They'd tried, she'd died, and the two of them had wreaked terrible, terrible revenge. And the worst of it is, a part of Crichton knows he'd do it again. A part of him understands the look of triumph on the monster's face. Maybe Scorpius is right. Maybe they're not so different.
"Are you all right, John?" There's a hint of actual concern in Scorpius's eyes now, and somehow it's that that finally makes Crichton's stomach writhe and the gorge rise in his throat. Teeth clenched, stumbling, he barely makes it to their stolen ship's waste funnel before everything comes spewing out, whatever he ate a lifetime ago, hurling from him as if it no longer wants to be associated with him. The stench is terrible in the Scarran-standard heat, the taste acrid in his throat. He flushes it away with still-shaking hands, rinses his mouth with water almost hot enough to burn, but it doesn't help, and he doesn't feel any better.
When a hand touches his shoulder in a gesture that, from anyone else, he'd take as gentle concern, he surprises himself by letting out a sob. Another follows it, despite his attempt to swallow it down, and suddenly his legs don't seem to want to hold him any more.
Leather-clad arms catch him and steady him, and the worst part is, he's grateful. He's crying now in the arms of his worst enemy, sobbing like a child against the armor-plated chest, and it hits him suddenly that this is all he has now. No Aeryn, no Earth, no Dad, no friends, no shred of self-respect. Only an ugly, vicious bastard who's willing, for whatever twisted reason, to hold him. To stroke his hair. To mutter something distressingly soothing in his ear.
This is fucked up. This is as fucked up as John Crichton's fucked up life has ever gotten. But that's what things are like now, aren't they? He's frelled them up for good, and they're never going to be anything but twisted again.
The human is clearly in deep distress, his body collapsing under the weight of his undisciplined emotion. Scorpius is hardly surprised. He has been perfectly aware of Crichton's attachment to Aeryn Sun, after all; the fear of losing her had served well enough as a lever with which to manipulate John's behavior in the past. And yet, he cannot help but feel strangely disappointed by the extreme nature of this reaction.
Scorpius himself is flush with triumph, body and mind buzzing with an almost manic energy he finds difficult to keep in check. When he closes his eyes, he can still see the dazzling flare of wormhole light, Scarran ships, Scarran worlds blazing, twisting, dying. It fills him with a sort of explosive joy. It is beautiful, perfect, this thing they have done together, he and Crichton, and he finds it irritating, perhaps even sad, that the loss of a few expendable lives should rob the human of the chance to bask in it. To share it.
He catches Crichton before he falls, steadies and supports him. He'll need to calm the man down. It will be some time before they reach Peacekeeper space, even if they have exited the Scarran -- former Scarran -- sphere of influence, and safety is a relative term. It will not do to have a hysterical shipmate, nor does Scorpius underestimate the danger a distraught, perhaps self-destructive John Crichton might present. Killing him is an option of course, but... not one he wishes to pursue.
He holds John, as soothingly as he is capable of, until his sobs begin to subside and his legs seem able to support him again. Crichton looks at him with a bleak, hollow expression, but he does not pull away, and his endless store of quips and insults seems at last to have failed him.
Scorpius gently reaches out to touch John's cheek. The skin of his face is flushed, but he still feels cool to Scorpius's touch, through the thin layer of his glove. Crichton's aura flickers and writhes with the surging of his emotions, and Scorpius spends a long moment staring at its complex, almost hypnotic beauty.
He will admit, willingly enough, that he has felt some degree of attraction for this human, and a stronger sense of connection. Wormholes are the thread that binds them together, a thrumming resonance in the blood that only they two can feel. The moment the Aurora Chair first showed him Crichton's memory, he had known their destinies would be intertwined -- a fanciful phrase, perhaps, but an accurate one.
The sexual attraction, by comparison, is mere unimportant detail, a simple byproduct of that more meaningful connection. It is nothing he has ever felt it appropriate to act upon, knowing that unwanted sexual advances would only have served to alienate Crichton at a time when securing his cooperation was the most important, or at least most immediate goal. And, indeed, if Crichton had submitted to such advances, the results would likely have been worse. He would hardly have thought well of himself for it, if only because of his attachment to Officer Sun, and there is nothing like self-loathing to increase one's hatred of others. This Scorpius knows.
And yet... It occurs to him that, here at the end of all his planning, he has very little left to lose. Crichon's usefulness as a tool is finished, as is the need to treat him like one. They can, perhaps, be something else to one another now.
Sudden excitement surges through him as he looks into Crichton's pain-filled eyes, piled atop the joyful adrenaline rush he already feels in the wake of victory and, for a moment, he willingly permits it to control him. His lips meet John's in a bruisingly hard kiss that slowly softens into something probing and sweet. He can taste the acid tinge of Crichton's vomit, and his Scarran tongue finds it not at all unpleasant. Nor are his lips, or his tongue, or the taste of his blood when Scorpius nips him playfully.
And Crichton... Rather to Scorpius's surprise, Crichton is kissing him back.
Crichton desperately wants to close his eyes and pretend that it's Aeryn kissing him, Aeryn alive, and whole, and his. But Aeryn's mouth was never full of pointed teeth, never had this sweetly foul carrion taste. There's no escaping it: this is what his life has become. He's kissing Scorpius, and it's Scorpy's tongue he's sucking like a falling man clinging to a rope. It's the ultimate absurdity in his absurd-ass life, and he finds himself starting to laugh, lips twitching against Scorpius's, puffs of air hissing into Scorpius's mouth.
Scorpius pulls back, regards him with an expression John's brain isn't working well enough to interpret, then leans forward again and licks him, neck to chin to face. It burns and it tickles, and it makes him laugh harder, insane giggles punctuated with desperate gasps for air.
"Go ahead," he says, aware of the hysteria in his voice and not caring. "Do your worst. Do what you want. I deserve it. Oh, man, do I deserve it."
"Yes." Scorpius's lips are at his ear, his voice a whispering purr that sends a thrill of what had damned well better be fear down Crichton's body. "Yes. You do."
Scorpius's hand tangles itself in the bunched fabric of Crichton's shirt and rips it from his body, like a muscle-bound hero in a trashy romance novel, or a predator uncovering its prey.
"Taking a page from Grayza's book, huh?" he says as shreds of cloth flutter down around his feet. "I'm disappointed, Scorp. I thought you were more original than that. More into mind-frells than literal ones. The intellectual type." He's babbling, he realizes vaguely, trying to distract himself from whatever the two leather-clad hands now sliding over his torso are threatening to make him feel. "I gotta tell you, though, if it didn't work for her, it sure as hell won't work for you. Even if it did, I got nothing left to give. No wormholes, no mas." Einstein had seen to that, after the carnage. Damage control, perhaps, or a case of the proverbial barn door... or possibly a punishment. If so, it's a successful one, because the void in his mind where the knowledge used to rest hurts almost as much as the Aeryn-shaped gap in his future.
"I am not Grazya, John." Scorpius's voice cuts through his thoughts like a soft-spoken carving knife.
"I know. She was a lot better looking." John's hands clench and unclench at his sides, as he resists the urge to use them in a feeble attempt to cover his partial nakedness. Never let them see you show fear, isn't that the rule with predators?
Scorpius's voice is patient, though there's a frightening heat in his icy eyes that is anything but. "Unlike Commandant Grayza, I prefer my sexual partners willing." A thumb traces lightly across Crichton's nipple, and he shudders, at the touch or the words, he isn't sure. Scorpius's mouth touches his ear again, his voice again a purring whisper. "You have but to say a word, and this will stop." Sharp teeth nibble on his ear.
Oh, man, if only it were that simple. If only you could make things not happen by saying "stop." But he knows better, and he says nothing.
Scorpius pulls his head back from Crichton's ear, gives him a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin, and pushes him backwards. His back hits the wall hard enough to knock the breath from his lungs. He's barely gotten it back before Scorpius is stealing it again, his mouth hot and hungry against John's. He thinks of cats again, the myth of them stealing the breath from babies in their sleep, but no. Cats are warm and soft, animals you don't mind having on your lap, and Scorpius's armor-clad body is hard and angular against his, like the shell of some horrible crustacean. But it's also warm, and John's hands are moving over it without asking his brain for permission. He hasn't realized till now how chilled he's felt, despite the ambient heat.
This is too much. Too unreal, too frelled-up. The tastes of blood and vomit and of Scorpius's breath mingling in his mouth make him feel as if he's going to be ill again. He tears his mouth away and flings back his head, gasping for air, grasping for sanity.
Scorpius takes advantage of the distraction to unfasten Crichton's fly and put a hand down his pants.
Scorpius grasps the human's genitalia with the same skilled, careful touch he would use on a delicate and complex piece of machinery. The Aurora Chair, perhaps. The human's startled reaction is gratifying; Scorpius has always found expressions of shock and ecstasy to appear intriguingly similar. The way in which his body tenses and arches against Scorpius's is most pleasant, too, as the armor of the cooling suit slides and presses against Sebacean-sensitive skin.
"Ho-- holy frell!"
"An interesting choice of words," he remarks as his hand strokes and squeezes and is rewarded with the first stirrings of success. He watches Crichton's face closely, and sees something shift suddenly behind the Earthman's eyes and in the flickering color of his aura. He seems to at last be coming to full conscious realization of precisely how far this is likely to go. Interesting. "Yes, John," he says in answer to that unspoken communication. "Yes."
Crichton closes his eyes. His hands have gone still against Scorpius's back. "You know," he says, in a tight, choked voice, "if you just keep your mouth shut, I could stand here and be really happy pretending you were Aeryn." The words are, perhaps, meant to be insulting, but the bitterness Scorpius hears in them seems to be self-directed.
"Really, John," he says lightly as his hand continues to move and continues to meet with increasing positive response, "this obsession of yours with Officer Sun borders on the unhealthy."
Crichton opens his eyes and lets out a sharp, bitter laugh. "You're calling my obsessions unhealthy? Oh, that's rich, man. Talk about pots and kettles!"
The allusion, like so many of Crichton's turns of phrase, means nothing to him, but the meaning is nevertheless clear. "Mmm. A fair point." His hand tightens and tugs, hard enough to elicit a gasp of mingled pleasure and pain. "But I reserve my obsessive behavior for far more important things than women." Indeed, while he will admit to having felt a decided pang of regret over the loss of Sikozu, he has already relegated her memory firmly to the dead and irrelevant past. He truly cannot understand the human's inability to do the same.
Crichton laughs again. "Guess I should be flattered."
"Oh, yes." He leans forward again, purring into Crichton's ear. "You should." He would, he realizes, have chosen Crichton over Sikozu in any case. Odd: he had thought himself fully aware of this fact, and yet he finds himself surprised by the realization now. Perhaps because he had not expected that, once John Crichton no longer possessed the secret of wormholes, he would still wish to possess John Crichton. But he does.
He growls, throws the human to the floor and pins him down.
Crichton's head hits the floor hard enough to make sparks dance behind his eyes, but that sort of thing hardly fazes him any more. Business as usual, and what's a little head trauma between mortal enemies? He can still think, which is really too bad, especially as the main thing there is to think about right now is Scorpius lying on top of him.
Hands grab Crichton's wrists, bruisingly hard, and pin them at his sides. Scorpius's weight shifts and presses on top of him. He can feel every ridge and buckle of the exoskeletal armor digging into the unprotected flesh of his stomach, grinding against his semi-erect cock in its nest of bunched-down underwear inside his opened pants. It bloody well hurts.
Oh, yeah. Here they go. This is getting down to it. Screw the sex, he's in this for the violence. Not much difference, he, figures, with Scorpy. He's seen the Discovery Channel.
For a moment, he imagines it all ending with the two of them doing each other in, hands at each other's throats in some kind of bizarre erotic-asphyxiation murder-suicide. The thought has a freakish sort of appeal. Hell, Scorpy might even think so too, if he'd take a minute. He's got nothing left to live for either, has he? He just hasn't realized it yet, in his happy little post-holocaust glow.
"Come on, then! What are you waiting for? Let's see what you've got, you bastard! Or are you all talk and no action? You even got any cojones under that codpiece, Scorp?" He struggles to free a hand or a knee, but Scorpius's inhuman strength keeps him as immobile as a butterfly under glass. That's all right. He likes the adrenaline rush all by itself. It's an acceptable alternative to numbness, all in all.
"I'm flattered by your interest, John," says Scorpius. "But let's take this one step at a time, shall we?"
He leans in towards John, as if for a kiss, and John spits in his face. It hangs there, a perfect, dangling gob of spit, clinging to one corpse-like cheek. Scorpius has gone utterly still, but Crichton knows that no-expression look on his face, knows to be afraid of it. Oh, yeah, here it comes. He can imagine it all before it happens, with precognitive clarity: Scorpius slowly lifting a hand, not to wipe at his face but to strike John in the mouth. The taste of blood on his tongue as he brings his own suddenly-freed hand up to strike back in kind, Scorpy's Scarran growl of anger, hands lunging for his throat...
But it doesn't happen. Instead, Scorpius's mouth spreads into a smile, lips slowly parting. His tongue, long and dark, flickers out, slides snakelike across his cheek, and laps up the glob of spit like it's some kind of delicacy. It's horrifyingly mesmerizing, and Crichton's still staring at that mouth long after the tongue's disappeared back into it with its cargo of his bodily fluid.
"Thank you, John."
He finds himself murmuring, "You're welcome." He'd like to think it was smart-assery, but it seems more likely to be some kind of automatic response, his consciousness having mostly shut down in shock.
And speaking of shock... Scorpius still hasn't released his arms, but he's moving now, sliding down Crichton's body, dragging all those bumps and buckles across his skin, heading for... About to...
Oh, sweet fucking Christ. A small, high-pitched sound forces its way out of his lungs and past his dropped-open jaw, and it's impossible to say whether it's pleasure -- oh, Jesus, that feels good! -- or whether it's the sound of John Crichton finally and utterly going mad.
If he's lying here, really lying here watching Scorpius suck him off, then anything is possible, and nothing in the universe makes any sense any more. Shit, he might as well give up, go mad, and relax and enjoy the blow job. From Scorpius. Frell.
He tries to laugh, but it comes out as a moan.
Scorpius's cooling suit, essential as it is, has left him with a greatly diminished ability to interact with the outside word by touch. Fortunately, his mouth is exquisitely sensitive, his sense of taste highly developed. He caresses the human with lips and tongue, savoring the texture, the flavor, the heft and weight in his mouth. Crichton is very like a Sebacean, but his taste is subtly, intriguingly different. He closes his eyes in pleasure for a moment, lost in the intricate stimulus of taste and touch until a low, moaning gasp from Crichton induces him to open them again. He raises his gaze, somewhat awkwardly, to Crichton's face. The visual stimulation proves almost as rewarding as the tactile.
He quickly adopts a highly successful strategy of varying his movements and actions in order to elicit varying responses. A deep suction, a flare of the lips, just so, and John's face and energy signature soften in pleasure. A break in the rhythm, a certain flick of the tongue, and pleasure is replaced with startlement or an entertaining unease. A gentle pressure with the teeth gives rise to something like fear, which can then be erased into ecstasy again. The sense of control is thrilling, as is Crichton's responsiveness, the open vulnerability of his expression. And the way his arms struggle uselessly against Scorpius's grip is as exciting as his moans, or the frequent, involuntary bucking of his hips.
Scorpius's own hips grind and thrust against the inner surface of his cooling suit. It is a difficult maneuver, especially when he has only the friction of the floor to hold the armor in place, but one he has long practiced and long since mastered. The delightful sensations in his mouth are quickly augmented by a spreading, tingling pleasure between his legs. The molten, burning pain that explodes inside his head as his coolant systems struggle to cope with his increasing excitement only adds to the effect
At last, Crichton tenses and cries out, his body arching and trembling. Warm, salty fluid spurts into Scorpius's throat. He swallows greedily, hungrily, taking more of Crichton into himself. Mind and brain, blood and spit and semen, he has consumed John Crichton bit by bit. The human is a part of him now. A willing part.
The taste, or the movement, or the thought sends him over the edge. Light bursts behind his eyes like the flaring of wormholes -- in reality, temporary heat-induced damage to his retinas, but he has learned to enjoy the symptom. He throws back his head and lets out a triumphant, snarling howl.
Beneath him, Crichton moves feebly. When the wave of orgasm has passed, Scorpius smiles at him, and bends down to nibble affectionately at his lips. Oh, he will keep this one. He will keep this one for a long time.
When it comes, it's good. Really, really good. The overwhelming, make-the-outside-world-go-away kind of good.
He's vaguely aware of Scorpius letting out a yell and biting at his mouth, but by the time he's capable of processing anything again, he's somehow lying on his side, and Grasshopper's spooned up against him, one black-clad arm encircling his waist. It's far more comfortable than it has any right to be.
Scorpius nuzzles at his neck. The word nosferatu floats across the surface of his mind, and a sudden, sharp stab of fear cuts through the pleasant haze of not-thinking in his mind. "What..." His mouth has gone dry. He clears his throat, licks his lips, tries again. "What now? What are you gonna want?" Briefly, he tries to imagine responding in kind, opening up that leather suit and putting his lips to... to... But his brain fails utterly to complete that thought, possibly out of self defense, possibly because whatever Scorpius keeps in his codpiece is impossible to conceptualize, like a transcendent infinity or an imaginary number. Unfortunately, the other possibilities are even worse, and he's lost the desire for violence now. He's lost the desire for pretty much anything, really. He just wants to lie here and not think some more for a while. God, does he want that.
"Hmm? Oh, I see. You needn't worry about me, John. I assure you, the stimulation was entirely adequate for me." Scorpius's lips brush against his cheek. "I am... quite satisfied."
John turns his head a little, to see Scorpy's face. He does looks satisfied. A relaxed, happy, post-coital Scorpy. What a strange, strange thought.
And another, stranger thought: Dear god, did they just have sex? Did he just have sex with Scorpius? He can't quite wrap his brain around the idea, but he has the distinct impression it's going to seriously freak him out later, when the muzziness and the apathy wear off. Does that even count as sex? Maybe he can tell himself it doesn't. Make up a story, pretend it's something Scorpius owes him: for wormholes, for the Aurora Chair, for three damned years of his life. He shakes his head. "Whatever floats your boat."
Scorpius strokes his hair. It's comforting. He feels... calm. Calm, and pleasantly empty. He wants to sleep. He can't quite remember the last time he slept, but he thinks it's been a very long time.
And Scorpius, somehow, knows. "It's all right, John. Sleep. I assure you, you are entirely safe. You have my..." The words pause for a moment, in that way Scorpy has, and he strokes a hand gently down Crichton's side. "...protection. Always."
The words ought to bother him, but they sink into the stillness of his mind without so much as a ripple. "Sure," he says. "Why not?" And he closes his eyes.