Categories > TV > Andromeda > The Difference

The Difference III

by Elizabeth_Goode 0 Reviews

Harper angst! This is my first Andromeda fanfiction, and I was inspired to write it due to the way his character is being treated this season. Not that I'm complaining - it leaves an opening for al...

Category: Andromeda - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Beka Valentine, Seamus Harper - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006/06/23 - Updated: 2006/06/23 - 964 words

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When the Maru had landed safely, Beka and Trance made their way to Command, where they were briefed by Dylan on all that had transipired in their absence.After that, they retired to their respective quarters to shower and rest. Thus,it was hours after their return that Beka thought of Harper. When Dylan had informed her of Hohne's death, she had been too frazzled from her own near-death experience to give his words much thought. All she had managed was a short, "He'll get over it. He always does." Now that she was back on the Andromeda clean, and somewhat relaxed, the implications of the events that had only recently occurred began to sink in. Hohne had died. Again. What would that have done to Harper?

Beka sat up in her bed, agitated. Harper had not been himself since their reunion on Seefra. She had been more than a little bit freaked out at the way he had kept Rommie 'alive', but now that she thought about it, it made sense. He had been here for three years, alone. Thinking that his friends were dead, that what was left of Rommie might be all he ever had ever again. The way he had been acting was far more similar to the way he had been on Earth, when Bobby had hired him. To the way he had been those first few weeks on the Maru. Skittish, paranoid, and kind of ... dirty. She realized that none of them were smelling exactly fresh these days, with the Seefran sun making them sweat and no regular access to sanitary conditions the way it had been on the Andromeda when she was in peak condition. Harper seemed to have reverted, and that had frightened Beka.

More out of habit than anything else, Beka rose from her bed and began her search for Harper. She started with his quarters, but found that he was not there. She checked Hydroponics next, with no luck. Upon first glance, he was not in the Machine Shop either, but experience told her to wait. Sure enough, she heard a slight sigh and a shuffling sound as though a sleeping body had rolled over. Harper was here, and he was asleep. She moved forward silently, then thought better of it. If he was sleeping, he probably needed the rest. She was off the hook, she didn't have to talk to him after all ...

The sound of a weapon charging, ready to fire, changed her mind. Instinct kept her quiet, frozen to the spot.

"Who's there? Drop your weapons!" The edge of panic in the young engineer's voice was breaking her heart. Was this how he had lived those three years alone in this hellhole of a system?

"Harper, it's Beka. I just came to see how you're doing, that's all. I saw you were asleep, and I didn't want to bother you, so I was leaving. I don't even have any of my weapons drawn."

He turned the lights on, and blinked sleepily. He set down his gun and sat on one of his lab tables. "Sorry, Beka. Old habits. Well, not so old, I guess. Three-year old habits, anyway."

Beka tapped her foot impatiently. "Well?"

Confused, he rubbed his eyes and dimmed the lights. "Well, what?"

"Well, how are you doing?"

He shook his head. "Not so good, Beka. No, I'm not doing very well at all. Thanks for asking."

The hard, sarcastic edge to his voice was starting to piss her off, but she swallowed her anger.

"You see, Boss - I've been here for three years. I thought you were dead. All I had to keep me company was a crazed geneticist and some Rommie bits. And Doyle, who would now rather hang out with even Rhade than with me. So, not so good, huh?" He didn't give her a chance to reply. "Then, you guys show up, treat me like dirt, ignore me, etc., and then I find out that Hohne didn't die saving my worthless mudfoot hide like I thought he had. Then, Hohne did die, again, and - and so, I am most definitely not all right!"

Beka knew what she should do. What she would have done back on the Maru, even back on the Andromeda. She would have hugged him, messed with his hair a little, called him 'shorty' or 'Seamus', things only she could get by with. She would have talked to him long into the night if he needed it, brought him a can of Sparky Cola or a beer. Now, even moving closer to him felt strained, unnatural. She was beginning to suspect that it wasn't Harper who was the problem here, but she didn't know what to do about it, wasn't sure what the difference was. In the old days, if she had been unavailable, Trance would have sought out Harper to give comfort and companionship, but she didn't seem to even remember that he existed most of the time. In fact, Beka wasn't sure that Trance had even said anything to Harper at all in the time they had been on Seefra together. Nope, the ball was definitely in her court.

"I'm - sorry, Harper. Hohne was a good guy. Strange sense of humor, but well - he WAS a chinhead, after all."

Harper nodded. "Perseid humor is pretty weird. I bet they'd love the Three Stooges."

She frowned. "Who are the Three Stooges?"

"The Stooges were an old Earth comedy act. I'll show you sometime, if we ever get out of this godawful place."

Beka didn't move closer. She didn't touch him, not even his hair, but she did smile. "I'd like that. And, don't you dare say 'if', Seamus. You say 'when'. Got it, genius?"

He returned the smile. "Got it, Boss."
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