Title: Cycles: Dealing
Genre: Episode related (Bunker Hill)
Relationship(s): Tyr Anazazi/Seamus Harper
Content Rating: PG
Warnings: Deals with the trauma of the events of the World Ship and Harper living with what he thinks is a death sentence.
Word Count: 4369
Summary: Harper has trouble dealing with the aftermath of his his return to Earth
Seamus Harper sat quietly against one of his workbenches in Machine Shop Five. He had spent the past three days in some mindless repetition. Building Nova Bombs wasn’t exactly something he should do when he wasn’t one hundred percent. He *knew* that. He knew how dangerous it was.
He knew that building them on a good day wasn’t without a certain amount of risk, and although he had built more than his fair share, it wasn’t exactly something he could do blindly.
But at the moment, he didn’t have any other choice. Not if he wanted to remain holed up in Machine Shop Five, away from everyone and everything that seemed to get his brain working in directions he could go.
So, he continued to work on the Nova Bombs. Not because Dylan had asked him to, but because he couldn’t do anything else. Not and be assured of being left alone.
Only two other people had access to Machine Shop Five — Dylan and Rommie. Rommie wouldn’t bother him, not unless she thought he was in some sort of trouble. And if Dylan were smart, he’d stay far away from Harper, for a good long while.
It wasn’t so much that Harper couldn’t understand Dylan’s decision; he could. And if it weren’t Earth that had gotten the short end of the deal, if it wasn’t Brendan, Harper probably wouldn’t have cared — as much.
But it was. It was his home, and his family. Only it wasn’t, not anymore. The Andromeda was the closest thing Harper had had to a home in a very long time.
He wasn’t sure if this crew would count as his family or not. Things had been so weird lately. Ever since the Magog Worldship.
Beka had kept her distance, probably too afraid to get close, not knowing what to say. Trance was always trying to cheer him up and was constantly after him to eat right, get enough sleep and stay away from the Sparky Cola. Dylan was all about his mission. Nothing new there. Even Rev seemed a little distant. Whether that was from knowing what was going on inside Harper’s body or guilt for his own actions on the Worldship, Harper didn’t know and wasn’t sure he wanted to. Tyr was both the exception, and the most bizarre case.
He didn’t treat him any differently, which was nice on the one hand. Tyr seemed mostly like he wanted to kill him just as often as before the Worldship, but he also was the one who stopped Harper from killing himself on more than one occasion.
Harper had asked him once why he bothered. Tyr hadn’t answered.
Harper assumed it was some sort of weird Nietzschean thing having to do with all they’d been through together.
So long as everyone left him alone, while he dealt with this anger.
Anger at Dylan for breaking his promise.
Anger at Tyr for being the bearer of bad news.
Anger at himself for leaving Brendan behind.
And anger, old anger, at his parents for the sacrifice they made.
He used to be able to hide it — to bottle it up — but these past two years, living on the Andromeda, living with people he actually cared about, he’d lost some of that edge. That thing that protected him from the past and the fact that he had never effectively dealt with it.
So he did the best he could and buried as much as he could, as far as he could. And continued to build Nova Bombs, knowing that there was a very good chance he wouldn’t be around to see them used.
Harper was jacked into Andromeda’s internal systems when Dylan lifted the privacy codes and entered Machine Shop Five.
He looked around the workshop and sighed. It was obvious his engineer had been working for a very long time. Hiding was more like it.
He had hoped Harper would come to him, would talk to him about what happened on Earth. The last time they had spoken had been when he had shown him the communication from Earth, about the slaves rising up on all the Dragan Slave worlds. Harper had seemed okay, then.
However, since then, Harper had been locked away in Machine Shop Five, ignoring everyone unless they had an engineering matter.
Enough was enough.
Dylan moved over to one of the worktables and casually leaned against it, and waited.
Harper came back to his body and slumped slightly against the familiar plating of Andromeda behind him.
His eyes were still closed, as he waited for that disorienting feeling to pass, but almost immediately he felt the air in the workshop had changed.
“Dylan.” He breathed out wearily as he opened his eyes. The room was on the dark side — he preferred it that way — and it took him a moment to focus on the figure leaning against one of his workbenches.
“What do you want?” he asked as he shifted a bit against the wall. He would have liked to get up and move around some, but he could feel the weakness in his own limbs, and couldn’t risk it. “I’m working as fast as I can.” He motioned towards the opened Nova bomb on the table next to where Dylan was standing.
He really hadn’t been taking care of himself, and he wasn’t in the mood for a lecture. What did it matter anyway?
“That’s not why I’m here, and you know it,” Dylan said seriously. “Harper…about Earth.”
Harper held up a hand, not in the mood to have this conversation but not seeing any way out of it.
“Dylan, I get that we all made our choices, even Brendan. I get that what happened, what he did…what we all did, made some kind of difference. I even get that you had to do what you did, for the alliance, for the Commonwealth.
“I really do, but right now, I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to be left alone.”
“Sorry, you don’t get that option.” Dylan stiffened, using his stern-captain-voice. “Trance tells me you haven’t been to see her since we got back, and Beka says you have been avoiding her. Rommie tells me you’ve barely left her systems to sleep much less eat. You’re not taking care of yourself.”
Harper sighed. “I’m a grown man, I can look after myself,” he said looking away from Dylan and staring unseeingly at the wire he still held in his hands. “I have to deal with Trance constantly checking up on me, playing mother hen and making sure I’m not overdoing it. I have to deal with Rommie making sure I don’t pass out while tweaking her systems. I even have to put up with Tyr, fulfilling some bizarre, misplaced, Nietzschean honor thing. But you, I don’t have to deal with.” He turned away from the jack he was holding and looked towards the captain. “If Rommie needs something done, I’ll do it. If you need something fixed, fine. But I really don’t need you added to the list. I really, really don’t want to talk right now. About this, or anything else. Now please leave me alone so I can work.”
“Harper,” Dylan began, half tempted to argue with his engineer. As captain of the Andromeda, he could force the issue.
“Out,” Harper spoke again. This time an unfamiliar note filled the one word.
“We aren’t finished,” Dylan finally said, leaving Machine Shop Five and reinstating Harper’s privacy codes.
Harper one, Dylan zero.
Harper sighed as he heard Dylan’s footsteps retreating. “Is he gone?” he asked quietly.
Andromeda’s hologram blinked into existence in front of him. “Yes.”
“Good.” He moved slightly and felt a twinge in his gut.
“Harper, you need to rest.”
“I know, I know.” He started to get up. “I’m going.”
The hologram nodded and watched as her engineer got to his feet, put away his tools, and secured the weapon before moving towards the door.
“Harper, you can’t ignore this forever.”
“I know,” Harper agreed quietly. He wasn’t sure if she was talking about dealing with Dylan and what happened on Earth, or dealing with his past in general, but in either case, he knew he couldn’t hide forever.
Harper had made it exactly three steps away from Machine Shop Five before he sensed the presence leaning against the corridor.
“Now what?” he snapped as he turned around, too quickly, if the twitching of his gut was any indication.
Harper sighed and looked across the corridor. “Tyr. Come to escort me to bed? Thanks for the…whatever this is, but no thanks. I can take care of myself.”
“Perhaps,” Tyr acknowledged. “Though you don’t seem to be doing so at the moment.”
Harper ignored the implication and continued walking towards his quarters. He was in no state of mind to deal with Nietzscheans and their weird sensibilities.
Tyr fell into step beside him and they walked in silence until Harper couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Why are you here Tyr? You can’t really care whether or not I’m ill. What? You want to get a look at what Dylan’s got me doing in Machine Shop Five? Sorry. That’s between me and the Boss.”
“I do believe I have seen a Nova Bomb before,” Tyr stated conversationally.
Harper stopped for a second, momentarily flummoxed, though he wasn’t sure why. There seemed to be very little that went on around him that Tyr didn’t know about.
“Okay, so why are you here then? Your quarters are nowhere near this deck.”
“You know where my quarters are? In relation to this deck?”
“I know where everything is. That’s my job,” Harper answered with some of his usual attitude and he turned down a joining corridor and stopped in front of the door to his own quarters.
“Then it would appear,” Tyr began as he stopped and turned to walk in the opposite direction, “that you are a good person to know, Seamus Harper.”
Before Harper could puzzle out the weirdness of that statement, Tyr started walking away. He was tempted to call after him, make some typically annoying remark, but he just didn’t have the energy and his passengers were moving way more than was comfortable.
He took a dose of his medicine as the door slid open.
He’d figure out what Tyr really wanted later. Much later.
Rommie walked into the hydroponics bay, her ship’s sensors telling her where to find her friend.
“Are you sure about this?”
Trance Gemini finished watering one of her plants and turned to the ship’s avatar. “Yes.”
“Tyr and Harper?” She asked again. When Trance had first brought their crewmates unusual friendship to her attention she had been concerned. Harper was closer to her than any engineer she’d ever had, and she didn’t want him hurt. However, Trance seemed to be correct in her assessment that Tyr’s motives were personal.
Still, it was hard to imagine the two together.
Two hours after his head hit the pillow, Harper woke up drenched in sweat. The remnants of his dreams still vivid behind closed eyelids. He took a deep calming breath, which only resulted in a coughing fit.
He hurt. All over. His head was pounding. His stomach was rebelling at something. His chest hurt any time he tried to take a breath and worst of all, he hurt inside.
If he didn’t know better he’d think he had been banged around recently on one of Dylan’s crazy missions, but it had been several days since their return from Earth and Trance’s nanobots would have gotten rid of any aches he still had from that.
But no, this wasn’t caused by some extraneous injury. He’d been working too hard and not eating or sleeping enough. The nightmares he’d had every night were bringing back parts of his past that he’d just as soon forget. Memories of people and places that were long since dead and buried. Like he should be.
Harper lay still as he thought of the bizarre and unbelievable places his life had taken him. The most bizarre of all was the fact that he had survived. He was alive. For now. Though probably not for much longer. And maybe that was best.
Harper felt movement in his gut that he knew wasn’t natural and took another dose of his medicine, remembering how painful it was to just overdose on the stuff. It had to be infinitely less painful than what would happen if he didn’t take it at all, but he wasn’t looking forward to a repeat performance.
He knew he should go to the medical bay, but he couldn’t bring himself to make the necessary movement to get off of his bed.
Seamus Harper slipped into unconsciousness, seeking refuge in oblivion.
Tyr Anasazi blinked and listened to the stillness around him, trying to identify who or what had woken him.
Nothing seemed amiss.
“Yes, Tyr.” The Andromeda’s hologram blinked into existence near the bed.
“What is Harper’s status?”
“He is currently unconscious in his quarters.”
“Unconscious? Not asleep?” Tyr asked as he slipped out of bed and pulled on a pair of pants.
“Not asleep,” the hologram confirmed. “I’ve notified Trance,” she said before disappearing.
Tyr found Harper’s quarters unlocked. Whether this was due to the ship’s interference or Harper’s lack of security, the Nietzschean couldn’t be sure.
Harper was lying flat on his back on his bed, the covers kicked to the floor. His body was drenched in sweat and he smelled…sick. More so than the previous night.
Not wasting time, Tyr lifted the human up and carried him out of his quarters and towards the medical bay, where he assumed Trance would be waiting.
Trance worked quietly while Tyr stood motionless in one corner of the room, keeping out of her way.
“He’s worse,” she said once she’d finished her examination and had started making up some new nanobots to combat what she could.
“How long?” Tyr asked curtly.
“If he had been taking care of himself, I’d say a month, maybe two,” she answered as she injected the new nanobots. “As it is, he’ll be lucky to last a couple of weeks.”
“He needs a babysitter,” Tyr growled.
“Yes, he does,” Trance agreed as she looked up directly at the Nietzschean.
“Are you offering your services?” Rommie asked as she walked in.
Tyr merely grunted.
Trance grinned at the android as she looked back down at her friend. “I’ve done what I can. Gave him a new infusion of nanobots to combat some of the damage he’s done to himself, but if he doesn’t take care of himself…if he doesn’t want to…”
Tyr eyed the unconscious human as Trance spoke.
“Harper’s been through a lot recently,” Trance said by way of explanation.
“He’s a survivor,” Tyr said with conviction.
“Yes, he is,” Rommie agreed, looking at her engineer. “But if he decides to let himself go, there isn’t anything anyone can do.”
“That isn’t an option,” Tyr stated.
“Then I guess it’s up to you to convince him,” Rommie said and smirked slightly. “I’ll tell Dylan you’re otherwise occupied.”
Tyr grunted as he lifted Harper again and carried him back out of the medical bay and towards the crew quarters, this time detouring past Harper’s and entering his own.
Tyr sat in one corner of the room, silently watching Harper sleep restlessly. It had been nearly six hours since Tyr had brought the human engineer down to his quarters. Though Harper had not woken, neither had he slept peacefully.
His fever was down considerably though not completely dissipated. Tyr was confident Harper would wake soon and was prepared to have to deal with an irritatingly stubborn human.
“Yes, Dylan?” The hologram appeared next to her captain.
“Better. He’s in Tyr’s quarters. Asleep.”
There was a pause before the hologram spoke again.
“Trance is concerned. Harper is running out of time.”
The hologram acknowledged his statement by disappearing.
Dylan shared Trance’s worry, but there was very little any of them could do.
“Hohne!” Harper gasped as he sat up in bed.
His limbs felt heavier than they should, like when you’ve been asleep too long, and his chest hurt.
Actually every part of him hurt. It was like the frequent pain in his gut had traveled outward to the rest of his body.
Harper carefully looked around the darkened room, almost afraid of finding himself in the med bay, with Trance hovering somewhere near.
He wasn’t in med bay.
But he wasn’t in his own quarters either. Not if the sparseness of the room was any indication.
Harper closed his eyes in an effort to make the room go away. He did not want to be where he was.
Anywhere on the ship would do. Anywhere but Tyr’s quarters.
He opened his eyes again, slowly.
Nope, it hadn’t changed. It wasn’t an illusion.
“Tyr,” Harper said, somehow *knowing* the Nietzschean was nearby.
Harper turned to where the sound originated from. It was hard to make out in the darkness of the room but a vaguely Tyr-shaped statue sat in a chair near the bed. He sighed and tried to get out of bed.
Tried being the operative word. His legs didn’t seem to want to cooperate. He tried again, the results were just as futile. It was just as well. He wasn’t wearing any clothes and really didn’t want to walk around naked in front of Tyr, even if he *could* walk. He turned to stare balefully at his babysitter.
Tyr raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything.
“My clothes?” Harper asked, deciding that he’d better start with the simple.
Tyr still said nothing. Harper sighed.
“I want my clothes,” Harper said with exaggerated patience.
“No,” Tyr answered.
“Why not?” Harper questioned, not entirely certain he wanted to hear the answer.
Luckily Tyr didn’t answer, just merely raised an eyebrow. Again. It was fast becoming an expression Harper didn’t like.
Harper sighed again and tried to smile. “The Harper is fine. Good as new.”
Tyr didn’t so much as twitch.
Harper was left with two choices. Either he go streaking down the Andromeda’s halls, naked, and that was even if he could make it out of bed and out of Tyr’s quarters, or…he could stay where he was. In Tyr’s bed.
He chose the latter.
“You win.” He said resignedly.
Even though his expression didn’t change, and he hadn’t moved so much as a millimeter, Harper swore
Tyr was smug.
“Why are you doing this?” Harper asked quietly. When no answer was forthcoming he continued. “I’m going to die soon.”
“You, Seamus Harper, despite all your human frailties, are a survivor. This,” He places a dark hand gently against Harper’s stomach, “will not kill you.”
Harper closed his eyes. “I hope that’s true.”
Tyr stepped away and studied him for a moment. “You’re angry.”
“No. Yes. Maybe.”
“Do you know why?”
Harper thought about that for a minute. Did he blame Dylan for Brendan’s death, if in fact, Brendan was dead? Not really. Was he angry with Dylan for breaking his promise? Yes, even though he understood the reason for it.
Finally, Harper sighed and looked up at the Nietzschean. “I don’t have a lot of family left. In fact, I don’t have any left. Brendan was it. Now I’m…” He hesitated, not really wanting to come across as any weaker than he already did. “Alone.” He finally whispered.
“You are not alone, Seamus Harper,” Tyr said quietly.
Harper blinked, unsure what exactly Tyr was implying if anything. And wondering why Tyr kept using his full name. It was sort of disconcerting.
“Do you not consider our crewmate’s family?” Tyr asked just as quietly.
Harper sighed, again. “Yeah, but…”
“It is not the same.” Tyr nodded once and stepped closer, placing once warm palm against Harper’s cheek. “You and I are not so different.”
Harper leaned into the touch, a silent acknowledgment.
“You believe the Perseids can help?” Tyr asked eventually.
“What?” Harper blinked. It was the first thing Tyr had said in a long while..
“Your dream. You mentioned Hohne.”
“Oh.” Harper thought about the question. “Yes. No. Maybe.” Harper sighed. “I don’t know.”
“But it is possible?”
“Yes,” Harper whispered.
Tyr nodded once and stood up, moving toward the door. He stopped just before reaching the threshold. “Don’t move.”
“Don’t move,” Harper repeated snidely to the empty room. “Who does he think he is?”
Harper blinked as the hologram appeared in front of where he was still sitting in Tyr’s bed.
“I don’t need a keeper,” Harper said sullenly.
Andromeda’s hologram continued to stare at her engineer.
“I *don’t* need a keeper!” Harper repeated, a bit more forcefully.
“Why are you here?” The engineer snapped, not wanting to argue with the hologram. Aside from the futility, he was just too damn tired.
“We have received word from the Sinti Counsel.”
“Already?” Harper sat up quickly, momentarily forgetting he wasn’t in the best shape. His vision became blurry as he fought the desire to throw up what little he’d had to eat recently.
“Yes.” Andromeda’s hologram answered, monitoring Harper’s condition, noting the labored breathing, and tremors wracking his body as well as the sweat beginning to drip down the engineer’s face.
Without consulting anyone, Andromeda sealed off Tyr’s quarters and began pumping a mild sedative into the room.
Harper was unconscious in seconds. Whether from the sedative or pure exhaustion, Andromeda didn’t know.
“Ambassador Hohne seemed quite…pleased to hear from us,” Dylan said as he watched Tyr’s back as the Nietzchean stared out the window. Dylan was unsure whether to be relieved or concerned at the Perseid’s interest.
He was also trying to determine what Tyr’s interest was in Harper’s health. He couldn’t quite figure out the Nietzchean’s angle. What was in it for him?
Realizing those were all questions he wasn’t likely to get answers to today, if ever, Dylan turned back to Rommie who had come to update him on the progress of the repairs they were still making after their last run-in with the Dragans.
The A.I. tilted her head slightly and smiled. “Harper’s asleep.”
“Good,” Tyr said as he turned around.
The Nietzchean walked past the captain and Rommie and made his way towards med bay. He wanted to talk to Trance before he went back to his quarters.
“She sedated me!” Harper groused as Tyr brought him a tray of food.
“You haven’t been sleeping.” Tyr pointed out.
Harper rolled his eyes as he took the plate of food.
“What is this?” Harper asked staring at his vegetable plate.
“Rikaru root and Koresh sautéed with those mushrooms from Mireth IV.”
Harper glared at the Nietzchean sitting calmly on the chair near the bed. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
Tyr nodded once in acknowledgment. “Whatever you want it to be, whatever you need it to be.”
Harper quirked an eyebrow. “Whatever I want it to be?” He echoed. Tyr nodded “What about you?”
“I believe I have made my…desires known.”
“You wish me to be more…clear?”
“It would help,” Harper admitted.
“I find myself drawn to you.” Tyr started quietly, his dark eyes staring intently at the engineer. “Your intelligence and ability to improvise under pressure are…impressive. Your will to survive rival that of any Nietzchean.”
“Is this about what happened on the Worldship?” Harper asked, interrupting the flow of quietly spoken words.
“Does it matter?” Tyr countered, watching Harper closely.
“Yes,” Harper answered simply.
“Because…” Harper began then shook his head. “It just does.” When Tyr didn’t say anything else, Harper looked up at him. Tyr was still staring at him with that same intensity. The engineer sighed before reluctantly answering the question.
“You’re wasting your time.”
“It is my time to waste is it not?”
“You don’t need to babysit me out of some weird guilt because you survived Trance’s cure and I’m too weak for her to even try.”
“Is that what you think, little man?” Tyr asked getting up and sitting on the edge of the bed. “Then let me be perfectly clear. While you may not have some of the…advantages of my people, you are far from weak. Even if I believed so at one time, I certainly no longer do, and while I do feel a certain amount of…empathy, shall I say, for your current condition, it is not guilt which drives me.”
“Then what is it?” Harper asked quietly, surprised by what he was hearing. The engineer would be the first to admit he didn’t understand Tyr. For a long time, he thought he knew Nietzcheans. Knew what they were like, and what they wanted, knew what to expect. Then Tyr Anazasi came walking out of the cargo hold and everything changed.
At first glance, Tyr was no different than a thousand other Nietzcheans, but the Kodiak surprised him and kept on surprising him. Now, nearly a year later, he thought he pretty much understood Tyr, even with the strange way he’d been acting lately, but this, this was something else entirely.
“I…care about you.“ Tyr answered slowly, the word sounded somewhat foreign in his mouth.
“What, you’re saying that you…what, love me?” Harper started, Tyr’s words bringing him out of his thoughts. He looked back at his plate of uneaten food. When the Nietzchean remained silent Harper looked up, his eyes widening slightly at the look in Tyr’s amber gaze.
“Oh.” He whispered.
Tyr stood up. “What happens next is completely up to you, Seamus Zelazny Harper.” He placed a gentle, chaste kiss against Harper’s dry lips before leaving the engineer alone.
Ambassador Hohne arrived three days later, buzzing excitedly about the rare chance he was being given.
Harper was woken long enough for him to outline his idea to the Perseid’s before Trance sedated him again, explaining that the less active Harper was, the longer he would survive, should this plan fail.
Technical director Hohne and his assistant were very anxious to begin.
That should have been the first clue that things were about to go very wrong.