BY : Deanie
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 2303
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.

Spoiler Warning: Up to "Dance of the Mayflies"
Rating: R
Archiving: Beka Valentine Fanfic Archive, fanfiction.net (all others, please ask).
Summary: Beka and Tyr share a moment to reflect on their lives and their relationship.
Feedback: It's better than chocolate! Deanie@lisacaps.com
Author's note: This is a coda to "Dance of the Mayflies," therefore taking place immediately after the episode. This is my first Andromeda fanfic (and my first new fanfic in nearly two years) so I'd appreciate any reviews/criticism.

By Deanie
March 2002

If the crisis had passed and the parasitic Bokor had been defeated, why was she still awake? Beka had lain on her bed in the Maru, surrounded by all her possessions, from childhood to the present, trying to regain a sense of comfort in the chaos of the day. After trying to stay awake for so long, knowing that falling asleep would have been deadly, she couldn't sleep now that she wanted to. She had been so scared that her life was over, gone in an instant because of a germ she couldn't see and couldn't fight.

Ever since she was old enough to look at a viewscreen the sight of the stars had made her feel safe and reassured. Space was home and the stars were beautiful.

Tyr heard the soft footsteps as someone entered the Obs deck. In the dark recesses he sat silently, staring out at the passing constellations. He idly wondered who the other insomniac was but stayed silent. He didn't really feel like talking. What had started out as a simple rescue mission had brought about unexpected revelations about himself. He was Tyr Anasazi of Kodiak Pride, out of Victoria by Barbarossa. He was Nietzschean. He was strong, focused, merciless. Now, suddenly he realized he'd changed into someone he didn't recognize. Who was this person who left wounded enemies behind? Who cared enough about a single human being to risk the life of himself and the entire ship? When had he become weak, and how could he not have even noticed?

Tyr sighed softly. Maybe talking would be better than being left with his own thoughts. He looked up, spying Beka leaning against the railing, looking out at the night. "What brings you up here this time of night?"

Beka jumped at the sound of his voice. Tyr. Why did it have to be Tyr, the one person who could never understand how I felt? She was torn. Part of her had wanted to be alone, but another part welcomed the distraction from her weighty thoughts. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you...I didn't mean to interrupt your..."

"Brooding?" he remarked wryly.

"Thinking," she corrected with a small smile. "Do you want me to leave?" She watched him, unsure whether she wanted him to say yes or no.

"No." He gestured to the space on the bench next to him. "Join me?"

"I couldn't sleep," she offered, sitting down. What did she say to him? Did he want to talk about what had gone on with the Bokor? Did she? This had been one of the worst days of her life and she didn't know what it all meant yet. She'd faced the very real possibility of death by an enemy she couldn't fight and confronted her addictions to deadly drugs all in one day. She didn't know how to explain when she didn't know what she was thinking or feeling. Beka sighed. How could Tyr, with his genetically designed physiology and extreme strength of will, possibly understand her struggles? He couldn't. He wouldn't want to hear about her weakness, and she couldn't think of anything else but. She couldn't even look at him for fear he would ask her what was wrong.

In a way, she wanted to talk to him, just so she could get everything off her chest. Maybe talking about her experiences would help her to understand them. If he had been Harper or Trance, even Dylan...but he wasn't. He was Tyr. As much as it pained her to admit it, part of the reason she didn't want to talk to him was that she didn't want to reveal her weakness to him for fear he'd think badly of her. Badly? I'm human, he's Nietzschean. How much more 'badly' could it get? His opinion of her mattered because deep inside, she thought of him as more than just a fellow crew member. She was attracted to him, women to man.

Why did I have to pick now to admit this to myself? As if I don't have enough to think about tonight. She glanced up at Tyr, glad he wasn't paying much attention to her. He was so different than the men she usually was attracted to. Of course, he was gorgeous, with his strong profile, sexy smile and built-like-a-god-body. Unlike her typical date, Tyr's strength wasn't in his looks - his character, not his looks or even his genes, made him far superior to the typical male. He claimed to only be interested in himself and his own survival, but time and time again he'd shown true heroism, risking himself to save Harper, Dylan and the rest of the crew - even her.

She could never admit what she felt for him, and didn't want to talk about what had gone on that day. So Beka remained silent, staring out at the stars.

What could he say to her? He was consumed by his own problems. He'd never felt so unsure about who he was before. He'd always been confident in his own beliefs and abilities. He'd never had anyone to talk to about his feelings. He'd been alone for so long, without family or friends...and mercenary contacts generally weren't one for chatting. In the time he'd been on board the Andromeda, he'd begun to see the crew as friends, especially Beka. She was the nearest thing to a true friend he had on the ship. Both were outsiders, alone, playing by their own rules.

However, one thought was foremost in his mind. A Nietzschean never revealed his weakness - especially to a woman. He never thought he'd be seeing Beka as a woman, certainly not as an eligible woman. When had that happened?

Though he saw her every day, Tyr hadn't noticed his opinion of Beka changing until today. Gradually, he had stopped seeing what she was -- a product of centuries of random breeding, innately inferior to a genetically-engineered Nietzschean - and started seeing her for who she was. She was strong and resourceful, not to mention the best slipstream pilot he'd ever seen. Still, she was emotionally fragile, driven by an unconscious need for belonging and acceptance, an abiding need to be part of a higher purpose, and a need to believe in people, even when she knew they would let her down. Her caring heart was both strength and weakness - but that was what made her Beka. She had overcome her beginnings with drug dealers and con artists to become a capable woman. Look what she'd accomplished with her life already... and look how beautiful she was.

Tyr surreptitiously glanced at her, admiring how her blonde hair shone in the starlight. Her skin was as fair as fine elaielain but warm and soft.

He glanced away. What am I doing? Think about something else, he commanded his mind. "I'm glad to see you're feeling better," he offered.

Feeling better? Maybe physically, but emotionally she had a hard time remembering when she'd last felt like such a mess. "I had wondered if today was going to be the end. I've been close to death before, but this was the first time I really saw it coming that far ahead of time. And there wasn't anything I could do to change it...except maybe stay awake while the parasitic spores ate my nervous system, and that was only slowing the dying process a little." I felt so helpless, can you understand that? He'd never been helpless in his life. How could he relate?

Now, more than ever, Tyr didn't know what to say. What could he tell her that would make her feel better after the specter of death that had been haunting her? He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it without saying a word. Nothing anyone could say could relieve her pain, and he couldn't think of anything other than platitudes.

Tyr was so caught up in his own thoughts, he almost missed her next comment.

"I'm surprised you didn't suggest Andromeda eject all of the plague victims into space. No more contagion -- would have been better for your survival." It would have been very Nietzschean of him to suggest such a thing. Then again, Tyr hadn't been acting perfectly Nietzschean lately.

Tyr looked up, then quickly looked away. He took a breath, to pause for a moment. How do I tell her that I suggested the very thing? "I did," he said softly. "I told Dylan we should remove them from the ship by any means necessary."

He did? He cares that much, huh? Beka choked on her own breath. She thought he was different, that he cared about her, at least as a friend. She'd really thought that maybe he wouldn't have suggested sacrificing her to save himself. But no, he was the same old Tyr. "Thanks for caring," she muttered, getting up off the bench. She'd been right the first time. He'd never understand, and she couldn't stay here, knowing how much she didn't matter to him.

She was leaving. He couldn't let her go thinking her life meant nothing to him. Tyr sprang to his feet and pulled her around to face him. "*Them,* Beka. *Them.* I told Dylan to eject them to save us all." He paused, unable to meet her penetrating gaze. "Whe the told me that you were infected, I didn't know what to tell him. It shouldn't have made any difference." He turned back, staring into her blue eyes, willing her to understand. "Your life to save ours should have been an acceptable sacrifice. Telling Dylan to eject you would have been the survivalist thing to do. The Nietzschean thing to do." His voiofteoftened. "I couldn't do it. Your life was too important to me to just give you up without a fight."

"And if keeping me around a little longer risked your life?"

"Then so be it." Tyr shrugged. "I might have died by keeping you here, by keeping the bodies on board this ship, but I couldn't have lived with myself knowing that we didn't do everything in our power to try to save you."

He really did care. "Tyr," she started, but he turned his back on her and walked away.

Telling her this was the last straw. Who had I become? No normal Nietzschean male would reveal himself like that. "You see, I've changed. I've become weak, soft, human." His voice dripped with disdain. "I've started caring about people, even at the risk of my own survival. I know that it's wrong, but I don't seem to be capable of quitting."

My God, this was eating him up inside. How could I have not seen how his metamorphosis was hurting him? "Caring about other people doesn't make you weak. It's the only way to grow, to make ourselves stronger."

He stared at her in disbelief. "That's nonsense you humans tell yourselves to justify your pathetic relationships."

"Caring, loving... it's what makes us human."

"I don't want to be human!" he roared. "I am Nietzschean." No matter how much he'd changed, he was still Nietzschean.

"You're not above human emotions, Tyr. You can't remove the 'feelings' gene from your DNA. It doesn't work that way." Beka walked over and put a hand on his shoulder. "I'm your friend. You can talk to me." She turned him around to face her. 'You need to talk to someone. You can't keep your feelings all bottled up inside. It isn't healthy."

"I appreciate your offer, but I can't."

Beka looked at him quizzically. Who else was he going to talk to? Dylan was too much of a rival, Harper too much of a child. Rev was gone, Trance was different, and no matter how human she seemed, Rommie was still a machine, not a person.

He couldn't bring himself to say anything, but he didn't want to hurt her feelings saving his own. Deep inside, he truly wanted to tell her how he was feeling. Whether she had meant to or not, Beka had unlocked something deep inside him, shown him what it was like to feel, and after that, nothing could ever be the same. Still, he had been raised to eve eve that showing weakness to his female would lead to rejection as an inferior specimen. "A Nietzschean male never shows weakness -- not in front of a female." Certainly not in front of a woman he had fantasized -- however briefly - about making his own.

Female? To Nietzscheans " female" usually means a female eligible for mating. Did that mean... Beka looked up at him, understanding dawning. She could see the desire in his eyes, and it sparked a response inside of her. "How long have you been thinking of me as female?"

"A long time," he whispered.

Beka stared at Tyr, mesmerized as he moved closer. He'd rarely let on that he thought of her as anything other than a sexless crewmember. True, there had been that one candlelight dinner while the rest of the crew was away. She thought he had been coming on to her and had been intrigued by the prospect. She'd been attracted him for a while, but never thought she'd have the opportunity to take it farther until she saw the candlelight, champagne, and gourmet dinner. She'd just been making conversation, talking about Dylan and Rommie, but he had quickly set her straight about his views of inter-species dating. He could never have a relationship with her, a human woman. Had it simply been a case of protesting too much? She hadn't known he'd continued to think of her while she'd been thinking about him.

Tyr pulled her to him with one smooth movement. Beka felt one of his hands behind her head and the other at the small of her back, holding her to him. He captured her lips, tongue probing her warm, wet recesses.

His hard body warmed her as she snuggled against him. She pulled his head down, needing to be closer, desperately needing to taste him.

He couldn't get enough of her. He ravished her mouth, trying to get her close enough to become a part of him.

Beka was crazed with desire. She couldn't get enough of the taste of him on her tongue. She felt euphoric, lightheaded, like she was floating. In fact, she couldn't think... she couldn't...breathe...

With a gasp, Beka pulled her head away from Tyr's. Still clinging to him, she laid her head on his warm chest, hearing the accelerated beating of his heart.

Tyr felt her shudder against him as she gasped for air. "I'm sorry. I should have remembered..." Fack! Had one kiss turned his brain to mush so badly that he couldn't even complete a simple sentence? "Nietzscheans have greater lung capacity than humans."

Slowly, Beka's breathing quieted. In and out, Bek. Just breathe in and out. She felt so shaky, like she was going to jump out of her skin. How could one kiss affect her so much? I needed Tyr more than I needed my last breath. What was she doing? This was crazy. This was Tyr. And was that his idea of pillow talk? Lung capacity? Please.

This was Tyr Anasazi, who had explicitly stated he could never have a relationship with a human woman. Tyr, who she worked with, lived with, every day on the Andromeda. They couldn't do this. Even if he could, even if he suddenly changed his mind about Nietzschean-Human relationships, she couldn't do this. Any relationship between the two of them would be doomed from the start, yet here she was, clinging to him like he was the only thing that mattered in her life.

Was that the best he could do? All he could say when his woman was wrapped in his arms? Tyr felt a jolt go through his body at the thought. His woman. This was Beka Valentine, obstinate human. Beka who wanted commitment like she wanted the Castelian Flu. Beka, who he worked with, ate with, talked with every day on the Andromeda. They were completely incompatible, yet here he was clinging to her like she was his whole life.

Despite all logic to the contrary, somehow, he had begun to think of as has his mate. Impossible. Un-Nietzschean. Two years ago he never would have been capable of such a feat. What had become of him?

"Tyr." Beka tried to push him away. His arms stayed wrapped around her -- he was stronger, and he wasn't moving. "Tyr, no..." Looking up into his eyes, she pleaded, "please."

With a snarl, he released her, stalking away from her to face the viewscreen. She was rejecting him. In fact, she was so desperate to get away from him that she would beg for her freedom. He'd finally stopped fighting himself and gave in to his desires. He rejected the values he'd held since childhood to consider a possible future with this remarkable woman...and she discarded him. Beka could have a dozen reasons for pushing him away - many of them sensible and valid - but he felt rejected, alone, unworthy.

This was what a man did to you. Turned you into a quivering, pathetic, incoherent mess. Right before he used you and dumped you.

Beka had never felt anything so strongly. Beyond lust and desire, she needed him. Five minutes together and she was imagining a future for the two of them. How crazy was that? She and Tyr, together forever. Impossible. Better not even think about it.

Look at the two of them, so different. Neither one of them were good at relationships. What terrified Beka wasn't just that this could be the love she'd fantasized about in her secret dreams, but the thought that she'd screw it up somehow, ruin her own life. Better not even to try. That way, she'd never be disappointed.

"Tyr, this is insane. What the hell are we dong?" She began pacing. "You. Me. Us. It'd never work."

"You think this is easy for me? You're nothing that I've ever wanted in a woman yet I can't stop wanting you."

"I can't do this. I'm not good at relationships. I've only had one relationship that's even close to being long-term and he turned into a killer cyborg. If we got together... if we tried...It would never work, and it would be awkward afterwards, seeing you day after day. So it's better to be friends. Friends are good..."

"Friends are safe?" he interrupted. He understood her insecurity because he felt it too. "Friends never leave?"

Beka slumped down on the bench and put her head in her hands. "Eventually, everybody leaves. You should know that as well as I do."

Was walking away being sensible or cowardly? Tyr honestly didn't know. He only knew that something monumental had happened that night, something that would be difficult to ignore no matter how hard they tried.

But they were going to try.

"So friends." Tyr walked over and sat next to her, not touching, still looking out at the viewscreen.

"Yep. Just friends." That was the way it should be.

"I haven't had a great deal of experience with friendships."

"Not a very Nietzschean concept."

"No. In Nietzschean society you never know whom you can trust. Today's friend could be tomorrow's betrayer."

"You can trust me." Beka reached over and picked up one of Tyr's hands, holding it between her own.

He met her eyes and smiled. "I believe I can."

One look in her eyes and the heat flared back. He could drown in the deep pools of her eyes, anchored by the warmth of her hands. But he couldn't. Theouldouldn't. They were friends. Always just friends.

Tyr quickly looked away. "So, friend, what would you like to talk about?"

Beka hesitated. Should she tell him how scared she was when she thought she was going to die? How desperately she had wanted that stimulant even as she told Trance not to give it to her? How weak and vulnerable she felt, fearing that everyone would leave her and she would die alone?

No. Maybe someday, but not tonight. Her emotions were too raw. "Nothing," she denied. "I don't have anything to talk about. You?"

Should he tell her how uncertain he was about this new person he had become? How scared he had been when she was dying and how much more terrified he had been when he realized why he was scared for her? How his old dreams of rebuilding Kodiak Pride seemed more distant every day and he didn't know how to stop it?

"No. Nothing to talk about," he said.

"Then let's just sit here and look at starstars." Hand in hand, the friends sat, watching the galaxies speed by.

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