(First posted June 1, 2002)
Disclaimer: The characters and vision of Farscape belong to Henson, Co. I didn’t profit from this story … at
least not financially. (John all hot and sweaty … Siggghhhhh.)
Time Frame/Spoilers: Right after ‘Self-Inflicted Wounds’ -- minor spoilers for that episode.
Note to the reader: This was written and response to a “Hot Bodies Challenge”, asking the writers to get
someone (anyone) from the crew all hot and sweaty. I chose John … Who else would I chose?
* * * * *
John Crichton squirmed through the access tunnel, cursing steadily in Earth-terms as he tried to reach a
junction that Pilot insisted the DRDs could not repair themselves. The tunnel hadn’t been built for humans, and
he’d been forced to lay on his back, sweeping up every bit of dirt and dust as he pushed and pulled himself
along with his hands and heels.
“Pilot, don’t you believe in housekeeping? It’s filthy down here.” He didn’t get an answer, but Pilot was a bit
overworked these days, constantly busy directing the repairs to Moya’s systems. The damage from the
Pathfinder sabotage had been extensive, and everyone was learning parts of Moya they’d never visited
before. John managed to squirm one hand up to wipe the sweat off his face before it dripped into his already
soaked hair, then continued his wormlike progress through Moya’s innards.
“You have GOT to be kidding me!” he mumbled as he reached a hatch that had obviously been made for
DRDs. He peered at it, judging whether he would fit, and decided that he could probably just squeeze through.
He got his hands through first, grabbed on to something on the other side, and pulled himself through the
opening. There was a tearing sound as his chest scraped along the metalloid edges, and his t-shirt ripped into
shreds down the front and both sides.
“Better and better,” he muttered, using a sleeve to wipe some of the dirt and sweat away from his face, then
continued his journey.
The temperature seemed to increase as he neared his destination, until he was slithering along more quickly,
floating almost without friction as the sweat sheeted down his shoulders and rolled under his back to turn his
shirt and pants into soggy cloth toboggans. He was looking for one of Moya’s atmospheric regulators, one of
the many valves that helped control her internal temperature settings. If he could get this one to operate
normally, the sweltering heat on this tier might return to normal. Aeryn had been banished to work in some of
the tiers that had been vented to space, her Sebacean physiology incapable of handling the high
John finally heard the whine of a DRD ahead. He craned his neck, peering ‘up’ to see the unit waiting for him in
one of the larger cavities that were spaced along this conduit. He squirmed into the opening, and sat up with a
sigh of relief, feeling small trickles working down his ribs to soak into the waist of his decrepit black fatigues. He
wiped a thumb across each of his eyebrows, ignoring the small rivulets that streamed down his cheeks and
dripped onto the remains of his shirt. “Nice sauna you got here, guy,” he said to the DRD. “Do you offer free
towels?” He tried to ignore the oppressive heat that was making it an effort to breathe, and began working on
the damaged junction.
* * * * *
John walked into his quarters mulling a problem that had been plaguing him since he extricated himself from the
narrow conduit several arns earlier. Moya’s fluidic systems had not been restored to full capacity yet, resulting
in water rationing for everyone on board, and he had no idea how he was going to get himself clean. He looked
at himself in the mirror, knowing that he would never get all the sweat and dirt off with his allotment of water. He
was still wearing his soaked and torn t-shirt, but it was no longer serving any purpose as a piece of clothing.
One good pull with both hands and the cloth let go front and back. He wadded it up, using the remains to mop
away some of the sweat and grime from his arms. He was about to continue down his chest when he heard a
small noise behind him, and he turned to see Aeryn standing in the doorway to his cell. He knew what she was
seeing -- he had just been looking at it himself.
His hair was soaked, standing out in spiky wet tufts, streaks of moisture running down in front of his ears. His
chest was still filthy, moisture glistening in the swirls of hair on his chest, running down to create cleaner streaks
across his stomach. His black fatigues had stretched and sagged as they became damp, settling further and
further down on his hips. The dark fabric was stained with irregular whitish salt patterns along the waistband.
Aeryn didn’t move or speak. She just stood looking at him where he stood frozen with the shredded black shirt
in his hands.
He stared back at Aeryn, who looked equally hot and tired. She was wearing her spacesuit, carrying the helmet
and collar. She’d told him earlier over the comms that although Tier Five was short on atmosphere, some of
Moya’s circuits were back on line, and the temperature was approaching normal, making her suit into a
personal sauna. She’d pulled the top down and tied the sleeves around her waist, leaving just her black tank
top covering her upper body. John could see the sheen of perspiration that coated her arms and shoulders.
Strands had worked loose from her braid, hanging down on either side of her face, clinging here and there to
the trails of sweat on her neck.
“Not enough water for a decent bath or shower,” he remarked, unable to tear his eyes away.
“We’ll have to make do until Moya gets the rest of her systems on line,” she agreed.
John nodded, looked down at himself and wiped some of the grime away from his chest with the remains of his
shirt. He bent down to unlace his boots, pausing as an idea hit him. “You know …” he stopped, considering
how badly Aeryn might injure him if she didn’t like what he was thinking. “If we consolidated our resources, we
both might be able to get clean.” He focused on unlacing his second boot, expecting to hear angry footsteps
fading down the hall.
Aeryn’s helmet was placed carefully on the floor near his bunk as the doors to the cell slid shut with a quiet
grinding noise. “What exactly did you have in mind?”
“You have a water allotment, I have a water allotment. I bet we can both get cleaner if we share them than if we
use each ration alone.” He looked up, preparing himself for a pantak jab, but she was smiling.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The rest is up to you. Thanks for reading.
Purveyor of Wishful Thinking