Flesh and Blood

BY : LeComtesse
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 1093
Disclaimer: I do not own Andromeda, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

[NOTE - thanks to all the people who read and reviewed Keep them Burning! And especially to my friend Makota who proof reads for me! :) Hope you all enjoy this one]

“It is equally to be hoped that the incarnated Tartuffery of morals, which now belongs to our unconquerable ‘flesh and blood’, will turn the words round in the mouths of us discerning ones.”
Friedrich Nietzsche – Beyond Good and Evil.


Gaheris rubbed his hand over his face as Dylan’s holo blinked out. It wasn’t the first time he had turned off the programme recently, and the way things were going it probably wouldn’t be the last – he just wasn’t in the head space for a deep and meaningful at the moment, especially one with criticisms that rang true. He didn’t need Dylan to tell him he had to act soon on Tyr, he already had Andromeda monitoring him, there was no point jumping the gun. In his own way Tyr was useful and Gaheris was willing to keep him around up until the moment of his betrayal, for which he would just have to watch and wait. What he had told the Dylan-holo was right, he intended to keep his friends close and his enemies under constant surveillance… and Tyr was most definitely top of that list. Even more so since the Witchead incident. Another example of Rhade doing what he had to do, something Tyr disliked – the man just didn’t understand the situation and Rhade wasn’t going to take the time to explain it to him.
He stared for a moment at the empty space that Dylan’s holo had just been occupying and relaxed back in his chair with a sigh. Dylan had brought up Terazed again in that round about way that he had. It seemed like so long ago on some days but on others it stung anew. Part of him hated the alliance with them, the fact that Nietzscheans had come as part and package of that deal, it was still something that didn’t sit well with him, he would never trust them. But there was little else he could do, with Telemachus out of the way the path was clear for the alliance and for Gaheris to really think about what had happened. He was still trying to work out whether he regretted any of it – he could live with the Terazed Nietzscheans, he would have to; he could live with what he did to Telemachus Rhade… but Beka…
Gaheris groaned and leaned forward putting his head in his hands. He loved her, that was a fact not a choice, but what she had done still wounded him. Did it hurt his feelings or bruise his ego? He wasn’t sure which, only that he had to forgive her. And he had, almost immediately – how could he be angry at her for doing what she felt she had to, hadn’t he forced her into that situation anyway? Besides, the outcome was still the same, only Telemachus Rhade was now a fugitive at large rather than rotting in a Terazed prison, he didn’t matter. But then if that were really the case why did he still dream about it. About Beka helping Telemachus, even leaving with him on occasion. Every time the dream started the same, the day played the way it had in reality and Telemachus escaped, but in his dreams, almost every time, Beka left with the Admiral and all Gaheris could do was watch from the end of the corridor, too far away to do anything. He would call out her name but she wouldn’t look up. Sometimes Telemachus would, he would look over and smile before closing the hatch on the escape pod. He would grin widely, looking so much like a reflection, almost like looking in a mirror – only a mirror where the image had so many of his attributes but so many less of his failings, so much less guilt and wrong decisions. Of course Beka would leave with Telemachus, it made sense. Gaheris remembered the times Harper had teased her about her taste in men, it was no secret that she was attracted to Nietzscheans, so why not a Nietzschean who in her eyes must be the same as him, only infinitely better from her point of view.

***

Beka sat staring out at the space before the Maru, cold and yet somehow welcoming after the past year or so. The Andromeda loomed before her as she prepared for docking and yet she found that part of her didn’t want to return to the ship. It had been nice to escape for a day or so, on her own. Things on the Andromeda were getting tense, most especially between her and Gaheris, though part of her was sure he didn’t even realise it.
Sure he had been mad for a few days, that was understandable, in fact Beka was expecting it to continue longer, if not indefinitely, but no. He forgave her. He came to talk to her, to tell her he understood why she did it and that he didn’t have a problem with it. But things weren’t the same. He seemed insecure somehow, like he was scared she would leave him or something, but the truth of the matter was that she had done it for him, but she had never found a way to tell him that. Or to tell him that her feelings for him were deepening despite what had happened, because that was what made it worse. She knew it was time to give up on figuring out Gaheris, there was no way she would be able to understand him. She couldn’t even understand fully why he wanted her. But the most of the problem was that she could not understand his mission, in the beginning she really thought she did, but now… He seemed to hold ideals that weren’t even his and his behaviour bordered on obsession over reforming the Commonwealth, and yet he still refused any overtures with the Nietzschean Prides, even more so it seemed since their encounters on Terazed.
Somewhere deep inside she knew enough was enough, not just between them but with his ship and his mission as well. She was becoming something she didn’t like, almost something that didn’t fit with the ideals of the Commonwealth Gaheris was trying to re-establish. But then even he knew that, and had pointed out on many occasions – you have to do what you have to do to survive and sometimes that means running away, sometimes it means fighting… sometimes it means getting your hands dirty so your grandkids won’t have to. That was how it had been with Telemachus. Even he had agreed with Gaheris that he should take the fall, he accepted the most logical option was to frame him, but Beka couldn’t be part of it. She knew Gaheris had almost seen the punishment of Telemachus to be a punishment for his own past mistakes, but Beka refused to accept this. She could not let an innocent man take the fall, as immense as the benefits would have been they would have been dirty – the basis of a new Commonwealth built on the perversion of justice. It hadn’t seemed right to her, in fact Tyr had been the only one who truly understood, maybe even admired Gaheris… and Rommie, or at least she admitted she could see the benefit, though was tactful never to give her opinion. Harper and Trance had been a little more outspoken, but Rev had surprised her when he refused to discuss the matter. And now, as it became clearer in her own heart and mind how much she cared for Gaheris and that she might even love him, she realised that she couldn’t stay.
Rev understood, in fact he hardly seemed surprised when she proposed that she might leave, he had even asked that if she did he be allowed to join her. This wasn’t the way of life for either of them.
She barely realised she docked until the Maru thudded into place. She had to go and talk to Gaheris and she knew the longer she left it the harder it would be. As soon as she left the Maru Andromeda’s holo-image fizzled in beside her.
“Good trip Beka? Rhade has asked me to tell you he would like to see you as soon as you dock, he is currently in his quarters.” Andromeda was both pleasant and professional and Beka realised that in some ways she would quite miss the ship, but her mind was made up now, nothing could change it, not even Harper and Trance she thought as a lump rose in her throat. She didn’t expect them to come, they would be welcome to, but she didn’t think it likely that they would, Harper’s best chance at evicting his Magog tenants was to stay on the Andromeda and try and work it out. Beka focused her mind trying not to think about it but nodded to Andromeda.
“I was on my way there anyway.” She answered with a half smile.

***

Gaheris was still deep in thought when Beka entered his quarters.
“You wanted to see me?” She asked with no ounce of the hesitation she had felt behind those words. Gaheris nodded.
“I think you know what this is about.” He replied. For a moment her mind went blank and she wasn’t able to get out any words. She didn’t know what it was about, was it her, did he know what she was on her way to tell him? Had Rev said something? It took a moment of looking into his eyes to realise, this was about Tyr. This wasn’t how she had wanted to do it but she found the words spilling out before she had a chance to stop herself, trying to explain it to him.
“This - *this* is wrong.” In exasperation she gestured widely to indicate that by ‘this’ she meant the whole situation they had found themselves in. “This is not what I signed on for. Things are not what I thought they'd be - things I can't get out of my head - things I can't tell myself are ok… I guess what I’m trying to tell you is I cant do this anymore.” She struggled with the words, feeling as if her heart were being torn at by Magog larvae as she waited for his reaction. She wasn’t even sure what she wanted his reaction to be, she doubted he would beg her to stay, that wouldn’t be very Nietzschean, but maybe part of her wanted him to. She even wondered if that would change her mind, she honestly wasn’t sure.
“You're leaving.” It was a statement not a question. Gaheris looked at her, he wanted to pull her into his arms and hold her there as long as he could, but deep down he knew this had been a long time coming. In fact it would have likely happened much sooner if they had never gotten involved, and he couldn’t blame her. She was right, this wasn’t really what any of them had signed up for.
“I need to go someplace I can clear my head - someplace that isn't here.” She didn’t know how else to explain it and realised that any way she tried would just come across as a *them* thing, but it was bigger than that. In fact if it was just about them she would stay and work things out, but this was so much bigger. Rhade nodded with a slight smile, trying to ease the pain for her if nothing else.
“I understand.” He told her, struggling to keep his hands at his side. Her leaving was inevitable now, and all he could think of was to hold her one last time, to crush her body into his and savour her for a few moments longer.
“Do you?” She hoped he did, but she was still sure he felt this was more to do with their relationship than what else was going on.
“I learned the hard way - you shouldn't cling to things you can't change.” He smiled again remembering the old Commonwealth, this time reaching out a controlled hand to her. He didn’t want to ever change her, he loved her for who she was even if that meant he would never see her again.
The look in his eyes made her heart ache heavily in her chest, if only things could be different. Trying to hold back the tears she leaned in and kissed him.
“See you around the universe.”

***

The Maru drifted slightly as she got her bearings and tried to decide, now that she no longer had a mission, where next. Rev stood behind her, silently placing a hand on her shoulder.
“It’s up to you Beka.” He said, almost as though he had read her thoughts. “We can still turn back.”
She knew that he didn’t want to be back there any more than she did regardless of who they had left behind.
“I have to do this Rev… I love them, Harper… Trance…”
“Gaheris!” He added plainly as she hesitated.
“But it doesn’t make a difference. They have their reasons for staying and I have mine for going.” Beka sighed. Rev nodded.
“Its alright Beka, I felt the same way and I am sure that Gaheris understands that.”
“It doesn’t matter what he understands. There cant be anything there anymore, I have to move on… that life, the things we all did, the mission, they are all part of him and he is part of them, if I want him then I have to have the rest of it – the parts that are willing to send an innocent man to prison to gain a planet for the Commonwealth…” she knew that was simplifying matters but it was something that had really effected her. With another nod Rev took his hand from her shoulder and moved over to study a console.
“We are now far enough from the Andromeda to enter slipstream.” He told her. Beka nodded and switched the viewscreen aft, the Andromeda springing into view. They both looked at it silently for a moment, waiting for something, some sign to tell them to go or stay. Nothing happened.
Beka hit the console sending the screen back to stern before clearing her throat and initiating the slipdrive. Within moments they were in the stream heading away from the Andromeda and Gaheris Rhade.

***
Gaheris smiled as Harper babbled, he didn’t really agree with everything the boy said but his heart was in the right place as he explained to Gaheris why he would stay.
“…Besides, you’re the only guy I know who hates Nietzscheans more than I do.” Gaheris smiled widely as Andromeda’s holo appeared.
“Captain, it's Tyr. He's making his move.” With a nod Rhade headed quickly from the machine shop, drawing his force-lance as he went.

***


You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story