Gardening Tips for Dragonia Vines

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 6180
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.


I run through the corridors of the ship, pushing myself in an attempt to ease my rage. My nanobots have healed my burns and Harper claims to be well but there are shadows in the clear blue of his eyes now. Sometimes he wakes in the night, gasping and sweating from dreams of being abandoned to pain. I’ll curl my body around his and cradle him next to my chest to ease the shivers and reassure him of my presence.

I growl at my memories of being forced to waste time, convincing Dylan to stay back and leave the rescue mission to me. I was tempted to send Dylan in to face the insane rabble but considering how he was already the one to give them the idea of using Harper as a hostage, who knew what he would do next.

My consort hurt and harmed because Dylan worries tenderly over the well-being of a crazy woman and her fellow inmates while his sole engineer is being tormented. Who did he think was going to repair his aging ship? And had the ship shown any appreciation of the care lavished on it by Harper – no. It had merely reported on his situation and waited for orders. None of them had been moved to attempt any action until it looked as if the ship itself was in peril. Then, finally, Dylan acts.

I had my cmy consort’s safety well before Dylan chose to do anything. I had not expected him to exert himself on my behalf since he would not trouble himself with saving Harper. I wonder how much influence on his decision to leave Harper trapped and tormented had to do with the change in my relationship with Harper. Dylan has been behaving more irrationally than usual.

It is getting close to the time when I must leave the ship. I had intended to leave Harper behind, thinking that he would be safer here but after this…after Dylan’s callous attitude toward him, I could not leave my consort here. I would take Harper with me.

Perhaps this would be a good time to speak with him. He had mentioned earlier that he was going to be checking the systems on the Maru. I turn down the corridors that will lead me to the hanger deck and the Maru. The chill air of the hanger deck feels good after the heat of my run. I jog across to the Maru. Its hatch is open. Harper is still there.

“Harper,” I call as I enter. He is twitchy enough right now without being startled by a sudden unexpected appearance. “Where are you?”

He walks out of the cockpit, holstering his pistol. He smiles warmly at me. “Tyr, what brings you here?”

I close the hatch. “We need to talk. Privately.”

“About?” He raises his eyebrows. His eyes are guarded and wary now.

“This is going to be…difficult.” I am uncertain where to start; how much time I have here in secret with him before Dylan or Trance or Rommie or Beka finds some reason to interrupt us.

He frowns. “What’s going to be difficult? What are you talking about?”

I know that he is not going to like this. He will argue. He is too attached to the damn ship but perhaps by the time that I need to leave, he will be ready to come with me if I prepare him in advance. “A time will come soon when I need to leave.”

“What!” The blue eyes are beginning to spark with temper.

I lean against the bulkhead. My shaft stirs and rises at the spark in his eyes and flush edging his cheeks. “I have to go.”

“Why?”

I cannot tell him that. I will not make him more of a target than he already is as my acknowledged Second Consort. Especially not if he insists on staying on the same ship with my enemy’s agent. I trace the line of his jaw. “There’s still so much work I need to do.”

“What work?” Harper steps closer to me, leaning into my touch despite his annoyance. He lowers his voice. “Is this the messiah thing? It is isn’t it?”

“Messiah thing?” I raise an eyebrow. What does Harper think he knows? Has he guessed who, what I am?

His eyes narrow thoughtfully at he stares up at me. “Yeah. I’ve been doing some research on Nietzschean culture. I found some pretty interesting stuff in some of the databases.”

“What did you find?” I rub my thumb over his lips and lean closer. Clever Harper. Another testament that I chose wisely.

“Bits and pieces of information on the Progenitor. The genetic reincarnation of Drago Museveni.” Harper steps back, just out of touching distance.

“And?” I ask softly, folding my arms over my chest.

“And you’re him. You’re the guy, right?” He tilts his head back. His pale face is cool and closed, showing nothing now.

I smile down at my clever consort. My voice is husky, deepening with the hot swell of arousal that spreads through me at this display of his quick, lively mind. Will he be pleased enough at the news to allow me to persuade him into one of the bunks? I have fond memories of the last time we were on the Maru together. “And if I am?”

“Well, it explains an awful lot. I mean to Nietzscheans. So you’re the guy, ’t y’t you?”

“Yes.” I tilt my head, confused. He does not sound pleased. I expected him to rejoice at such power and status; at the knowledge that he can have almost anything he desires. Any Nietzschean would be absolutely ecstatic at discovering themselves consort to the Progenitor instead of a mercenary leader…but Harper is not Nietzschean. My muscles tense with belated wariness as I wait for his reaction.

“Great! Just frickin’ perfect.” Harper paces back and forth with quick, light steps. He scowls at me. His beautiful eyes flash and snap with temper. “I couldn’t just have a normal relationship…oh no. I had to have a Nietzschean. Perfect. And not just any Nietzschean -- that would be too easy. I have to fall for the equivalent of a god. Can I pick ‘em or what?”

“You’re upset.”

“Ya think?” Harper snipes.

“I want you to come with me.”

He stops pacing and turns to face me. The anger in his eyes deepens at the reminder of our original topic of conversation. “What?”

“I want you to come with me. Leave Andromeda.” I step forward, close to him.

He stares up at me, letting the anger dissipate for the moment. “Tyr. I…I can’t. There’s so much I want to do here.”

I pull him into my arms, rubbing my jaw over his blonde spikes. He seems so small and frail to me; so easy to harm and break. He must come with me. I want him where I can protect him. “They don’t appreciate you like I do. They don’t love you the way I do.”

“You love me?” He tilts his head back, a smile spreading over his face.

I kiss his forehead. “You know I do.”

“Yeah. I know.” Harper slides his arms around my waist and kisses my chest.

“I won’t leave you here alone. Come with me.”

“I can’t go with you, Tyr. I need to stay here. I mean, I want to go and everything but who would take care of Rommie?”

I snort. I care nothing about the ship except as it pleases Harper. It seemed to me that the ship gave back very little of the care and attention that Harper lavished on it. All the ship cared for was Dylan. I pull his head back and kiss him, long and deep. “I don’t care about the ship. I care about you. I want to make sure you’re okay. I don’t trust the good Captain after the incident with the crazy people.”

“I’ll be fine.”

He would have been dead several times over if I had not been here to look after him. My arms tighten protectively around him. “I don’t want him risking you on some stupid quest or mission. I want you with me.”

“Tyr…”

Perhaps a little discreet bribery will work. I can offer him more tempting things to work on than an old ship. “My Pride has bigger, shinier toys. Think of it, Harper. Andromeda is three hundred years old. Imagine what one of my ships has to offer in the way of engineering fun.”

His eyes widen with interest at the idea but he shakes his head. “You’re not playing fair. You know that?”

I never claimed to play fair. No Nietzschean did. I will try a different way. Perhaps Harper has not fully considered what he will have to do if I leave him here. Perhaps that news will change his mind. “If you insist on staying I’ll have to make provisions for you.”

“What do you mean ‘make provisions’?” Harper steps back from my embrace. His eyes narrow with suspicion.

I shrug. “Your ‘addiction’ will have to be managed.”

“What are you saying?” He frowns at me. “I’ll have to take some sort of pill to tide me over until I can be with you?”

“No. Not a pill.” I wait, watching as comprehension, outrage and fury flicker over his face.

“What?” Harper’s eyes widen. “Oh no. Nonononono. I’m not listening to this.”

I sigh. It is Nietzschean custom and I know the necessity of it but I do not like sharing my First Consort or my First Wife and still less do I want to be forced to share Harper with someone else. I have someone already selected for Harper -- a smart, ruthless, ambitious Alpha who knows what will befall him if any harm should come to my Second Consort. All that remains is to send for him when it is time. “I will send someone I can trust…we can trust…to service you.”

“Service me!” Harper glares. “I’m not a piece of machinery, Anasazi!”

“I know that. You’re my Consort…my spouse.” I stroke his hair but he jerks away from my touch.

“You’re going to send someone here to fuck me?” His face is cold and remote; his voice flat but the blue depths of his eyes seethe with hurt and fury. “I don’t want to have sex with anyone but you. I don’t want to sleep with anyone but you. I’m not Beka, Tyr. I don’t spread ‘em for anyone who walks by.”

“I know that. I know.” I cup his cheek and he permits the touch this time. I let him see my own hurt and dismay. “But if I don’t do this, you will becoll. ll. It could threaten your life, your sanity.”

“Then don’t leave me.” He grips my wrist.

“I have to, Harper. But know that this is not something that I do frivolously.” I press my forehead to his, staring down into his eyes. I do not leave him lightly or easily but I cannot tell him about the Magog and their leader; how dangerously close they are, closer than most know. “If I didn’t have to take care of this important business I would stay…but I can’t. I’ve got to do this.”

“You won’t mind that another man is sleeping in our bed…with me?” His voice is soft and bitter. “You won’t mind that I give to him all that I have only given to you?”

“Oh, yes. I’ll mind.” I will mind greatly and be haunted by visions of Harper with the one I will send to him but there is no choice if Harper refuses to leave. “But I’ll send someone who knows what will happen to him if something happens to you.”

“What will happen to them…to him?”

“He knows that he is to give you everything you ask. He is yours to use at your discretion…as your need requires. He is also to protect you from harm. If something happens to you and he does not defend you with his life…I’ll kill him with my bare hands.” And he knows that; just as he knows that it will be no quick death for him if he fails my Second Consort.

“So what if I don’t want him?” Harper crosses his arms over his chest and pouts.

“I don’t expect you to desire him, Harper. I do want you to have a means to satisfy your need…your addiction.” I know that I have chosen well for Harper’s protector but the images of him and Harper together burn angrily in my heart.

Harper turns slightly away from me. “I don’t want a replacement for you. “He “He won’t be a replacement. He is a surrogate. You are still mine. You are still my spouse…my consort.” I pull Harper into a tight embrace. His face feels damp against my chest. Tears? This may be my undoing. There is still a little time left to us before I have to leave. Perhaps Harper will change his mind.


&&&&

My hands dance over the console under Harper’s suspicious stare. There. All done. Almost all my sabotage of Andromeda’s systems undone. The rest, the things that hnot not yet been discovered, I will leave – just in case. I touch the aggressive bristle of silken spikes. Even here, at the last, I still hope that he will suddenly change his mind. I pull Harper close and kiss him, lingering over his taste. I hate to leave him here with this cold ship and her mad captain. I hate to think of my carefully selected surrogate sharing Harper’s bed. “Are you certain, Harper? It is not too late to come with me.”

Harper looks gravely back at me as his strong hands stroke back my hair. “I need to stay here for now.”

I kiss him again, hard and urgent. How long will it be before I have him safe with me again? How will my only comfort be memories and the knowledge that my surrogate is such an Alpha that Harper will be well protected while I am gone? Finally, reluctantly, I raise my head. “I will come back for you. I promise.”

“I’m gonna hold you to that.” Harper presses closer, tightening his arms around my waist. “I love you. You know that, right?”

“I know.”

“Any idea how long you’ll be gone?” Harper cups my face, his fingers stroking over the outline of my beard.

I brush my lips over his palm. I wish that I did know for certain but my timetable on this has so many varying factors…it is better to say nothing than to give him an uncertain timeframe and false hope. It is no easy thing that I undertake or ttertter that can be swiftly resolved. “No. I wish I could tell you but I have no idea.”

“What if something happens to you…how will I know?” Harper’s eyes are wide. The clear blue depths reflect sadness and worry. “What will I do if something happens to you?”

“You’ll survive. It’s what you do best.” I press my forehead to his, looking directly into his eyes as I try to comfort him. I can smell his fear for me; hear the anxious beat of his heart. I kiss his forehead. It is possible that I may not survive this. I intend to survive. I will fight very hard to survive. There is one topic certain to distract Harper from his fears for my safety. “My surrogate will be here soon. Behave yourself with him.”

“I don’t want him.” Harper grouses. His eyes narrow with annoyance. “I won’t touch him.”

I smile. It eases my heart somewhat to know that Harper is not log fog forward to the surrogate’s arrival with anticipation as Charlemagne would yet I have chosen with an eye to pleasing Harper as well as providing him with strong protection. I want Harper to be happy and safe. “I appreciate your sentiment but I won’t have your sanity or health jeopardized because of your stubbornness.”

“I’m not stubborn.” His mouth acquires a hard, dangerous edge and his eyes spark.

“Of course not. Where would I get such an idea?” I tease. It amuses me to know that Harper will not fall tamely in with whatever plans the surrogate might have and I am quite certain that the surrogate has an agenda of his own and will be inclined to underestimate Harper. The surrogate might well find himself in certain difficulties.

“How will I know who he is? What will I say to him?” Harper scowls up at me. “Oh, I know. ‘Hi, I’m your boss’s consort. Drop down and give me twenty.’ Or maybe I’ll just jump his bones when I can’t stand the pain any longer.”

“He’ll bear something with your public mark on it.” I stroke the bear paw tattoo hidden by his shirt. I brush my lips over the tense line of his mouth. I know that Harper will be uncomfortable with a strange Nietzschean but I have given him the power of command over the surrogate. That should ease his concerns somewhat. “Also he’ll refer to you as Second Consort in private. But remember…don’t wait too long. He is yours to use any way you like. He can deny you nothing.”

Harper’s eyes lighten with sudden mischief. “Whoa! He has to do whatever I say?”

“Yes. He is yours to command.” I smile indulgently at the rapid flicker of speculation and amusement in his gaze. I kiss him a last time, soft, gentle and long. “Don’t break your surrogate.”

“I’ll try not to.” Harper grins, flashing his dimples.

“I must go.” It is hard, so hard to step back, to allow him to slide from my embrace. Duty is a harsh thing sometimes. I turn to leave.

“Hurry back. Or I may have to come looking for you.”

The casual tone does not fool me. I e, we, warmed by the promise. Combine my First Wife’s political skills with my First Consort’s strategic brilliance and Harper’s practical genius and I felt certain I would be found should things go amiss…and if the worse happened, I knew they could and would stand against the Abyss and the Magog.

END


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