Out in the corridor, Aeryn's all ready to take on the big sister role, and Chiana's ready to be the outraged little sister: "Okay, what is your problem?" Aeryn, who even on her best day wouldn't understand this little maneuver -- though she's done it too, on a planet of ghosts -- is like, "So you basically brought this girl onboard to make her your own toy?" Aeryn stands at attention, Chiana leans in: "We were just...talking. Girl stuff." She slaps leather, putting her hand on Aeryn's waist. "Oh, come on. I get feisty. I'm not like you." Chiana pushes Aeryn against the wall, holding her arms, leaning in close. "You don't need it. I do." This isn't a conversation, it's a monologue. Watch her tell herself: "It's not a crime." It's not just the perps that return to the scene of the crime. We know the story, I don't need to tell you the story, but it's all here. The lies she's telling herself. It's horrible. Aeryn pulls back, into the wall, with every inch of herself, looking down at this frightening girl. "This is excessive even for you, Chiana." I really like that line, even in the midst of this awful scene. Chiana plays cute so much of the time that when you're asked to look directly at it, it hurts too much. She smiles and leans closer. "Well, if you're not into it...I could always ask Crichton." She lays one finger along Aeryn's jaw, leans in to kiss her neck. "You mind?" Aeryn fights a three-way battle, held against the wall by a girl, by a child so much smaller than herself. With a need and a fear so much larger than anything. In turmoil she's spent the season holding back, now feeling those waves break upon the shore, holding onto icy control. It's her own thing she's dealing with that makes her the only person capable of dealing with Chiana right now; it's the way our sicknesses fit together like Legos that keeps us from growing. "Do what you want," Aeryn says, pushing past. Chiana watches her leave, and breathes, and summons up the will to continue the lie. Everything's fine.
John whistles, hapless and fancy-free, unworried, optimistic as ever, as Talikaa peers around the door of his quarters. He's playing with a slinky, tossing it out and back like a yo-yo. "Hey! Hey, how you doing?" He invites her in, apologizing for the mess. He starts half-heartedly picking things up. "Chocolate? Fresh from Earth." Like I said, I always hate this John; I'm glad the show realizes it's enough of an aberration, this Goofy John persona. Talikaa shakes her head wildly and steps back. "Don't be afraid! Come on in, we're friends!" He sits down, becoming smaller and less imposing. She comes in slowly, hands behind her back, shy and hesitant: "For sex?" He laughs, like that's not a huge red flag, and talks about the chocolate in his mouth: "No, no. That's a different kind of friend. A special friend." They laugh together; it's not really that funny. This is the John that finds everything funny. She finally sits and he nods at her. "A special friend. Like you and Aeryn." He cocks her head at her, taken aback, a little hurt, then retreats to his shell. "Chiana, right?" He grins stupidly. She nods. "But I can see it for myself. Anyone can. You are hers, and she is yours. Or am I wrong?" Monstervision as he keeps the act going, bobbling his head around and smiling: "No, you're right! You're absolutely right." He looks away and their smiles both fall; when he looks back to see her staring, they both burst into laughter verging on the hysterical. Everything's fine.