Title: "Keeping It In The Family"
Author: monimala
Fandom: "Andromeda"
Rating/Classification: AC, Tyr/Beka-ish, Rommie, angst, language, adult situations, vague voyeurism.
Disclaimer: Tribune, Fireworks, Majel Roddenberry, etc.
Summary: Some filler scenes for S3.2, "The Shards of Rimni". So, the writers keep forgetting this thing called "continuity"...I'll help them out and throw a little 'shipper angst in to boot!

Beka had an inherent appreciation for a good game of hide and seek, as well as other various games involving subterfuge. Performing fancy evasive maneuvers to try and keep the Commonwealth fleet at a safe distance was a great way to keep one's mind off of far more disturbing things. Things like strange trips into tunnels and getting possessed by otherwordly forces that made her whisper soft against Trance's golden cheek and lock lips with hulking Nietscheans. Things like the fact that said Nietschean was standing at the console just a few feet away, smooth brown arms hanging tensed at his sides as his eyes stayed, emphatically, fixed on the viewscreen and he made acerbic comments about their odds.

Subterfuge and self-deception. Yep, definitely two of her favorite things. And, apparently, they had that in common.

She had taken to avoiding the gym since their return...had let him take over that space and work out...whatever it was that Tyr needed to work out. It couldn't be easy...living with the fact that you'd shown weakness. That you'd come back all bone spur-less and insane. That you'd lowered yourself enough to suck face with a kluge.

Not that he still saw her that way.

She knew that. She did.

Two years had made this motley crew of nutjobs into something that actually resembled a family. More than she'd had with her dad and Rafe. "We few...we happy few, we band of brothers," Dylan had quoted, softly, to her once. Shakespeare. The St. Crispin's Day speech. One of his favorite ancient authors, one of his favorite inspirational passages. Far more deep than the hot and heavy holo-novels that she liked so much. Just another way she was different from their noble captain. Because Tyr Anasazi was, most definitely, NOT her brother. In fact, lately, he seemed to be starring in every racy piece of crap she took to bed with her at night...all glistening and manly and throbbing and...lips and tongue and long hair trailing across her belly and--

*Evasive maneuvers*!

Slipstream. Slipstream took all of her concentration.

Thank the Vedrans for small favors.

***

Their illustrious captain seemed to like his foolish crusades and missions entirely too much. At one time, he would have found Dylan's secretive behavior both maddening and stupid. And taking the boy with him...? That would most certainly have been in grievous error. But much had changed in the last year. Harper had begun to mature, to take more and more interest in his own survival and how it benefited those around him. And he could not fault Dylan for being Dylan. Just as Dylan did not fault him for being Tyr.

It was part of their fragile mutual understanding. It was to be expected.

And there were altogether too many other things that he *could not* have expected. That even the most precise odds couldn't have predicted.

The first and least of which being that he was standing, calmly, next to someone he could very well have mated with and he had little to no memory of it. And not just a "someone" but a human. A...friend. *Beka*.

He was not sure which was worse...pretending he had no sense of her taste, of her scent on his skin...or pretending he wasn't aroused by the thought of both.

But, then again, he had failed his people, his Pride, in a thousand ways so what was one more strike against him? He was trading in lies, in deceit. In the mammoth self control that kept him in check so that he would not tug her into his arms and take her, here, on the command deck....take her and see if his traitorous body would awaken and remember if it had done so before.

He would not do that.

He would *never* do that.

Or so he told himself as he exerted himself in the training gym alone...as he sweated out the feel of her soft mouth on his...her teeth scraping his throat ...as he engaged in the most ludicrous kinds of denial. As he stood at her side, unmoving, with acid tongue and false reserve.

It was, perhaps, by far, the most troubling of his pretenses. He had no qualms about hiding Tamerlane from the watchful eyes of his enemies, about grieving his son's loss even to those he had come to trust and value as necessary to his existence--as friends, almost family. He also had no qualms in regards to playing the growling, brooding, Nietschean who would not stand for questions about his altered physical state or his "warm and fuzzy" feelings of late.

But in regard to Beka...? His qualms were numerous. Infinite.

And his want for her...his bestial desire...was even wider.

***

Long hours at Rommie's helm usually served to make down time blissful. Now that Dylan and Harper were back safe and the overzealous junior Commonwealth brigade had their whiny real killer in custody, Beka had been given leave to head down to the Maru and relax.

But she couldn't.

The holo novel she'd chosen to view before bed was some trashy space romp about a weary space captain who hadn't gotten laid in years getting "ravished" by some wild hulking Nietschean with an incurable lust for inferior women. And if she were to pick through the others, they would be much the same. Kinky sex with Nietscheans on ships, on drifts, in zero grav...

Somewhere along the way, her secret little guilty pleasure had blossomed into a massive mail order Tyr fetish.

This was not good.

It was far from good.

It was way across the universe from good.

But the memory of kissing him...? The fantasies she had of him? The more-than-real suspicion that some of those fantasies had come true and she didn't even know it?

Mindblowing.

Resigned to her fate of private frustration, she slid low on her bunk, hands dropping the holo novel and heading south.

It was no surprise to her that she closed her eyes and imagined they were Tyr's.

No surprise at all.

***

It was out of courtesy that Rommie kept her sensors out of the crew quarters on both her own decks and the Maru. Otherwise, she knew it would be far too tempting to forgo basic self-maintenance and just monitor Dylan for days on end. She was lucky, she knew, that her rational mechanical side outweighed the burgeoning human emotions that seemed to emanate from her AI.

Ships could miss their captains...but falling in love with them, watching them while they slept, aching to be real flesh and skin so you could curl up next to them...? No. It was a "big fat no" as Harper might say.

Not that it stopped her from wondering...from sifting through every piece of knowledge she had archived about human emotion, human relationships.

Not that it stopped her from noticing that the body temperatures of two of her crew had taken to rising substantially on a nightly basis...more so than the normal human sleep pattern called for. Common sense dictated that there were, of course, varied fluctuations in temperature and heart rate during dream cycles, during illness, and during sexual arousal.

As far as she knew, neither Tyr nor Beka was ill.

And whether or not they dreamed heavily in REM sleep...well, she was a ship, not a mind reader.

That left her clinical core with only one plausible explanation.

And she knew, of course, that humans relieved various tensions in specific ways. Being a warship for hundreds of years, having had thousands of people on board, she had been witness to some of the more creative ways living creatures mated. They seemed to think that having intercourse in empty public corridors was perfectly acceptable...forgetting that the walls had ears and eyes.

That had been Beka and Tyr only weeks ago.

Not quite themselves. And completely indiscreet. Wild. In all her years, she had never seen two beings tear at each other, take each other, in quite that way. Fast and violent and laughing madly. She wondered if they remembered. Or if, like her own programming, there were fail safes in their minds that kept bad memories blocked. She wondered if sleep afforded them a place to relive it.

When her AI slept, she relived nothing. Simply recharged in silence.

Or were they thinking of each other consciously? Fraught with guilt? With physical desire?

Or perhaps...perhaps they *were* ill.

And that was what she told herself as she gently engaged the auditory sensors in the Maru and in Tyr's quarters. It was out of courtesy, computer and AI assured one another. She was simply checking in on them and she would blink back out after a moment or two.

The ragged, uneven, sound of breathing was mildly alarming ...and...intriguing as the seconds ticked by. Did they realize that, together, they breathed in harmony? Point and counterpoint? Did they realize that his low groans of "Beka...damn you..." was the perfect low note to her high, almost keening, "Tyr...oh, fuck, Tyr..."? That, if blended together, it would almost ...almost qualify, scientifically, as music?

No...no, she didn't think they did.

As she returned them their privacy, she couldn't help the curiously romantic notion--one that came from having someone as idealistic as Dylan at her helm--that, one day, she would be able to courteously not monitor them while they were in the same place...

Both physically and emotionally.

It was practical to look after her crew's well-being. Purely practical, she told herself. To check in. To make sure they were happy. And safe. And loved. And satisfied.

They were, after all, her family.

--end--

October 14, 2002.



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