Title: A Hop, A Skip, and A Jiggity Jig
Author: Karolyn Gray <kmgray3@aol.com>
ScifiBB/Chat Handle: Gray3
Rating: G
Synopsis: Crichton has some explaining to do to the locals of a commerce planet.
Type: Humor
Spoilers: None.
Archiving: Yes
Disclaimers: All Farscape names, characters and other related indicia are the property of Jim Henson Productions, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, the Scifi Channel and all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.


A Hop, A Skip, and A Jiggity Jig.
by Karolyn Gray

"What did you do this time?" Aeryn snapped, giving Crichton a baleful look.

"Nothing!" Crichton protested.

"Mmm." Aeryn replied in obvious disbelief as she turned her eye back onto the armed guards and increasingly large and noisy crowd surrounding them. Dozens of Derney watched them, swaying and tapping their hands and feet on the dusty street causing their loose cloaks of varying pastel shades to sway and snap in the light breeze.

"Really, he didn't do anything." Chiana chimed in, cocking her head sideways as she studied the crowd with a mixture of amusement and speculation.

"Then what did you do, Chiana?"

"Nothing!"

"Sure."

"Crichton was just saying how the Derney looked like they were skipping around and doing something he called a jig. I didn't think humans could possibly be that coordinated." The Nebari shrugged. "He proved me wrong." She grinned suddenly and looked Crichton up and down suggestively. "By the way, I liked that last bit. Very krel."

"Thanks, Chi." Crichton replied with a sheepish grin.

Aeryn glowered at Chiana's expression, but chose to ignore it focusing on more important things. "Then why are we surrounded by planetary guardsmen?"

"I don't know, but I think we're about to find out." Crichton replied tilting his head slightly to a new group of aliens, dressed in colors of pink and green. Leading the procession was a frail looking creature that seemed somewhat more aged than the other Derney the crew had seen on the planet.

"Is this the one?" The old one received a nod from those surrounding guardsmen and shouts of affirmation from the crowd.

"Your name." The creature hissed pointing to the human.

"John Crichton."

The old one bounced three times on one foot and swept his hands outward. "I greet you John Crichton. I am honored to meet one who is of the Way."

"The Way?" Crichton asked, trying hard to ignore the crowd around them that were apparently copying the old one's strange little bounce.

"My apologies. It has been over a thousand cycles since one not of us has shown a knowledge of the Way. Perhaps your people have another name for the Way."

Crichton glanced over to the others who shrugged in obvious ignorance of what the Derney spoke of. "I'm afraid I do not understand what this is all about?"

"You do not know?"

"No."

"My apologies. I thought you understood that we came to judge you."

Crichton shuddered at that, not liking the meaning behind the Derney's reply. "Judge me for what?"

"You...you have performed the zhargram dance, the most holy of the Way's rituals. No one has performed the dance in over five hundred cycles. The only record of the dance is for the High Followers to see." The Derney replied waving his body from side to side and smiling.

"Dance?"

Chiana leaned over with a small grin. "I think he means that little jig thing you showed me?"

The elder Derney started hopping up and down and nodding his head. "Jig? If that is what your Followers call the Way, then yes. We wish to see that."

Crichton flushed in embarrassment and carefully considered his words to avoid offending the Derney. "Uh. Wait. That was just well...nothing really. Just some skipping followed by a silly little imitation of Lord of the Dance. I didn't mean anything by it."

"It is entertainment for your people?" The Derney asked in shock, his movements and that of the crowd stopping.

Crichton swallowed nervously. "Uh, yeah. Yeah, entertainment."

The Derney smiled and started to sway again. "Then you truly are blessed with the Way to have so incorporated it into you every day lives. Please, indulge us."

"I'm not very good. I mean, yeah back home at some of the IASA parties we had a few jokes about....well that's not important. Look, I can't. I'm not a dancer or anything." Crichton said hoping he could get out of what the Derney wanted him to do.

"We understand that you are not a High Follower, but perhaps you could at least provide us a glimpse of what training you have had. It would mean much for our People to know that the Way is followed elsewhere." The elder Derney pleaded.

"Uh..."

"Crichton, just frelling get it over with so we can leave." Aeryn snapped.

Crichton winced at Aeryn's tone and then sighed in resignation. It wouldn't be the first time he'd made a fool of himself out here in the Uncharted Territories. "Ok, ok. I'll need a little room I guess. Here we go."

Crichton moved to the center of the circle of people and looked around. Blowing out a breath he tried to remember the skit he and the Farscape project crew had put on a few years back. He sniggered to himself before hearing a discreet cough from Aeryn.

'Right. Let's do it.'

For the next few minutes Crichton ran through a series of skips, hops, jumps, and faux jigs in front of the silent crowd. He ignored the grin on Chiana's face and the incredulous looks on his other shipmates and kept going, deciding to wrap it up with his Lord of the Dance imitation.

"That's about it, I guess." Crichton said quietly, unnerved by the silence around him.

The crowd suddenly roared in what Crichton hoped was approval, hands clapping, feet stopping, and more than a few imitating some of the steps he had just performed. The old one before him bowed.

"Thank you, John Crichton. May your time here be a pleasant one." With that the old one, guards and crowd dispersed, stilling shouting, clapping and dancing as they went.

"I'm impressed Crichton. I didn't think you species was so advanced." Aeryn said, her tone giving no indication whether she was teasing or not.

Crichton decided he did not want to know, instead nodding towards the market place. "Yeah, sure. Can we go now?"