Shieldbrothers: The Rescue

BY : Lursa_and_BeTor
Category: 1 through F > Andromeda
Dragon prints: 3848
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.


Chapter Five: Vengeance and Bargain

“Katherine and her entourage are approaching.” Rommie glances casually down into the level below as she holds up a length of black silk and pretends to consider it. Her dark eyes are heavily lined with kohl. Her lipstick is black. Her face seems unnaturally pale, framed by deep black hair streaked with purple highlights. Her clothes are plain, functional and black.

Tyr leans against the end of a street vendor’s cart. A long, dull brown cloak is wrapped around him, hiding his distinctive appearance. He stares as the group stomping purposefully along at the far end of the lower level. “It’s about time.”

Tyr and Rommie stroll toward the group. His lips curl back in a silent snarl as he watches Katherine Bonaparte strutting closer on the level below. She turns to peer into a shop window. Her long white blond hair is braided and the end is knotted through a heavy metal clasp of polished steel. Small spikes stud the metal. Tyr snorts. Rather limited as a weapon. A plain knife is much more functional. The only other weapon he can see is the thin, gold band on Katherine’s right wrist – the EMP emitter that she had used against Rommie on Valerus Prime.

Tyr catches Rommie’s eye and looks meaningfully at the gold band as Katherine stares at a selection of weaponry. Rommie follows his gaze then looks at him and nods that she has noted the EMP. “I’ll take them as they pass.”

“Good. We’ll converge as they near the docking ring.” Tyr slides smoothly into the crowd and takes the stairs to the lower level. He can hear Katherine’s sharp voice echoing up the stairway.

“Keep up!” Katherine snaps at her guards. “I’ve got to get the rest of these parts before I can get the ship operational.”

“May I suggest, Mistress, that one of us takes the parts we have back to the ship so the engineer can begin our repairs.”

Tyr stands in the shadows at the entrance to the stairway. Those men…His bone blades quiver in longing. They are the ones who owe his shieldbrother such a heavy debt of pain. His big hands fist under the cloak. They are all there. His gaze slides over each man. Soon. Soon.

Katherine glares at a guard with copper skin and long, black hair in braids. “You may not suggest anything. Just carry the packages and shut up.”

“Of course, Mistress.” The man with dark gold hair tied back in a ponytail answers meekly. The big blond man walks next to him. Both hurry to keep up as Katherine strides away.

Rommie stands on the stairs behind Tyr. Her dark eyes are cold and narrowed as she watches the retreating Nietzscheans. “Tyr, those men with her…they look like the guards who…hurt…Harper.”

Tyr does not turn. “They are. They will pay for what they did.”

Tyr slides into the crowd, mingling, drifting slowly closer. He is distantly aware of Rommie stalking ahead of him and then turning off into an alley that will take her to the docking area and put her in a position to outflank Katherine and her men. Tyr drifts along behind, until he is certain that Katherine and her group are heading back toward the docking ring.

He turns off into a busy shop and slips out the back door. He tosses the cloak aside and runs swiftly through the maze of back alley ways. He blends with the shadows in the dim light, watching as Katherine prances by first. Then her men.

The one with the dark gold ponytail lags far to the rear of the group, struggling with his heavy box. Tyr steps outs out behind him and yanks the man into the alley. Ponytail drops his box with a dull thud on a pile of refuse. Tyr stabs his bone blades into the vulnerable softness of the man’s belly and rakes it open in one move. As the man staggers and drops to his knees, Tyr moves behind him and wraps his arms around the man’s throat. He tightens his arms, slowly strangling the man. As Ponytail struggles feebly, Tyr whispers softly, “I am Tyr Anasazi and I claim the debt you owe my shieldbrother, Harper.”

He shoves the man’s limp body aside, dumping it on the pile of trash. Tyr runs lightly down the path. Ahead, he can see Rommie dropping down on Katherine and twisting the woman’s right arm painfully high behind her back. Katherine lies, face down on the ground, staring toward her startled men.

The one with long braids drops the box he is carrying and reaches for his pistol, turning toward Tyr. Tyr knocks the pistol aside and snaps his knee into the man’s ribs, taking satisfaction in the crunch and crumble of bones beneath his strike. He snarls, “This is for Harper,” then he slams his fist into the vulnerable arch of throat and drops the man to ground to choke and die.

Rommie twists Katherine’s arm higher, winning a gasp of pain from the woman. Rommie smiles coldly. “I thought you’d like to see your men die trying to defend you and failing.”

“I’ll see you dismantled.” Katherine snarls and struggles uselessly.

Rommie tightens her grip. “Maybe…but not today.”

Tyr moves toward the big blond man who backs slowly away. He takes a deep breath, savoring the fear rising off the man. Tyr growls as he eases closer, shadowing the other man’s movements. The man is not getting by him and escaping. There was no escape from pain for Harper. There will be none for this one who hurt Harper and laughed.

The big blonde glances over his shoulder at his sibling. His voice is uncertain. “Katherine?”

Tyr rushes him in that moment of distraction, raking his bone blades across the man’s bare chest and dancing lithely away. “Your sister gets the privilege of watching your death. Now beg me for mercy.”

“Please.” The big blond touches his chest disbelievingly. His pale eyes are wide and shocked as he looks down at the ragged gashes on his chest. Blood seeps over his hands. He holds out a trembling hand, stained with his own blood. “I only did what she wanted me to do. Please don’t kill me.”

Katherine rolls her eyes and looks up at her younger brother. “Die with some dignity, Peter.”

“Katherine?”

Peter seems to take strength from his sister’s voice. He snatches a knife out of his boot and rushes Tyr. Tyr ducks under Peter’s clumsy slash. He grabs Peter’s knife arm and breaks it. Peter screams and drops the knife. Tyr slams his forehead into Peter’s face, breaking the other man’s nose. Tyr glides around the staggering man and snaps his foot into the vulnerable side of Peter’s knee, breaking it. He smiles coldly as Peter screams shrilly and falls to the ground. Tyr drops down and wraps his arms around the big blonde’s throat. “This is what you owe to my shieldbrother, Harper.” He snaps the man’s neck.

Tyr runs his hand over the man’s bloody chest and walks over to Katherine. He kneels and stares down into her pale eyes as he wipes the blood on her cheek. “You owe my shieldbrother as well.”

He looks at Rommie. “Let’s get her back to the ship so we can question her without interruption.”

Tyr leads the way to where the Maru is berthed. Despite Katherine’s desperate struggles, Rommie forces her after Tyr into the Maru. Rommie shoves the tall woman into the mess room and pushes her down into a chair. She holds Katherine while Tyr ties the woman tightly to the chair and rips the gold EMP emitter off Katherine’s wrist. Rommie stands over the blonde woman, watching her intently.

Tyr leans against the counter. He stares at Katherine with feral amber eyes. “Where is your shieldsister?

Katherine strains at her bonds. Her brother’s blood slides slowly down her pallid face. “I’m not telling you anything! You’re nothing but a lone Nietzschean from a dead pride. There’s nothing you can do or say to me to make me betray Athena.”

A cruel smile twists Tyr’s lips. “Are you certain? I’m asking nicely.”

“You’ll say anything to get your precious little kludge bed warmer back.” Katherine sneers but there is a new uncertainty in her pale eyes.

Tyr sweeps his long hair over his shoulder. He strokes a hand over the mass of braids, remembering how much Harper loved to stroke his hair. He would read to Harper while the human softly stroked his hair. Sometimes Harper would bury his face in it and rub the braids against his lips. “Andromeda…please ‘encourage’ our guest to cooperate.”

“Of course.” Rommie slaps Katherine twice, forehand, backhand.

Katherine laughs mockingly. “You hit like a woman.”

Rommie slaps her harder splitting her lip and rocking her back in the chair. “Better?”

“An improvement.” Katherine spits blood on the floor.

Rommie raises her closed fist.

Tyr holds up his hand. “Don’t strike her again. Not yet. She wants us to kill her.”

“Not quite as inferior as I thought.” Katherine leans back in the chair. Her lips lift in a snarl.

“This can go on for as long as we need to, Katherine.” Tyr folds his arms over his chest, hiding the quivering tension in his bone blades. He must leave this to Rommie. He dares not touch Katherine again. It was all he could do not to kill her when he had smeared her brother’s blood on her face. “Now answer the question. Where is your shieldsister?”

“Somewhere you’ll never be able to find her.”

Rommie sighs. She sweeps Katherine with a bored stare. “I’m tired of this game. She’s useless. We don’t need her. Let me snap her neck and we’ll be on our way.”

Time to drop Katherine a hint, Tyr decides. She doesn’t seem to be figuring out why she is still alive on her own. He ostensibly addresses Rommie. “She is tiresome but we can use her to bargain for Harper’s release.”

Katherine glances slyly at Tyr. She licks her lower lip. “You may not want him back. He seems to enjoy the attention he’s been getting from us.”

Tyr growls savagely and pushes away from the counter. His bone blades snap out as the images of his abused lover flicker through his mind. What else is happening to Harper now? What has happened since the recording was sent to him?

Rommie steps in front of him. Her dark eyes hold his gaze, urging control. “Tyr, you know she’s lying.”

“I know.”

“Shall I ‘persuade’ her to be more forthcoming with information?” Rommie smiles darkly over her shoulder at Katherine. Rommie walks over to the counter and picks up a small device. She presses a button and an arc of electric current dances between the ends.

Tyr steps back. He is not certain that he can even trust himself in the same room with Katherine. “Yes. Although, I would ask that you not break anything just yet.”

“Understood.” Rommie picks up a glass of water and pours it over Katherine’s mostly exposed chest. She presses the device to the bare, wet skin.

Katherine twitches and screams in the chair. She sags back, panting. “What do you mean?”

“Anything you can live without.” Rommie jabs her again and watches her head snap back with a jerk. “You know legs, arms, fingers, eyes, tongue…that sort of thing.”

“Athena will slaughter the kludge if you harm me.” Katherine groans.

Tyr growls, low and menacing. “You’d better hope not…for your sake.” He nods to Rommie. “Proceed.”

“Wait…wait.” Katherine shrinks back as Rommie moves toward her. “I can tell you the location if you give me your word to let us go.”

Rommie shakes her head. “Tyr has taught me that it is foolish to leave an enemy alive.”

“You’d actually kill me over a kludge?” Katherine’s voice reflects her genuine bewilderment.

“His actions have already answered that particular question.” Rommie tosses the device from one hand to the other as she eyes Katherine warily.

Katherine looks from Rommie to Tyr. “Your word that you won’t harm either of us…”

Tyr tilts his head and frowns as if he is thinking over her offer instead of waiting for it. He has killed the men who hurt Harper. Katherine and Athena…he wants something slower for them. “If Harper is alive…I give you my word that you won’t be killed that day.

Katherine drops her head in defeat. “I’ll tell you where to find the ship. The Fang is docked at Bay Twenty-Five.”

***

Rommie walks toward the four Nietzscheans guarding the entrance at Bay Twenty-Five. She stands cuddled close to Katherine’s side. One hand is behind Katherine’s back, pressing the device against her bare skin. “Order them to leave”

Katherine looks into Rommie cold eyes then at the guards staring speculatively at the two women. She ignores the curiosity as their eyes focus on her bruised face. “You. Go to that parts merchant on the third level. Pick up the packages on hold and bring them back here.”

The men trade uneasy looks. Their leader steps forward. “But Mistress, we are supposed to guard the entrance.”

Katherine sneers. “From what? A bunch of kludges? I gave you an order. Go.”

Rommie watches closely as the men meekly leave their posts and walk away toward the shopping district. She turns to Katherine and smiles as she tucks the device securely into the top of Katherine’s bustier. “There now. Do anything against our agreement and I’ll give you a jolt at full power. That should stop your heart.”

Tyr holsters his gauss pistol and leaves the concealment of a pile of cargo. He walks over to the two women. “Very good. Keep it up if you want Athena to live. Now, take us to Harper.”

Katherine walks on to the ship with Tyr on one side and Rommie on the other. She walks briskly down several corridors, ignoring the other Nietzscheans moving about their duties. She leads them down to the cells and halts abruptly in from of Cell Twelve. It’s empty. “I don’t understand. He was here when I left. He was alive, I swear it.”

Rommie stands close to Katherine as Tyr walks into the empty cell. His nostrils flare as he looks around the cell. He drops to one knee and touches the thin mattress on the floor. His head bows for a moment, his long hair conceals his expression. Tyr rises and stalks out of the cell to stand in front of Katherine. He growls.

“Tyr?” Rommie asks softly. “Is Harper…?”

“My shieldbrother was in that cell recently. I can smell his blood but the scent is not as strong as it would be if they killed him there.” He leans closer to Katherine. His amber eyes are wild and feral. “Where is Harper?”

“I don’t know. He was here when I left.” Katherine glances down the corridor and spots a bored looking guard. She raises her voice, “You there! Where is my prisoner?”

“Mistress Katherine! The prisoner was moved.”

“Why was he moved? Who dared interfere with MY prisoner?”

The guard shifts nervously from foot to foot under her pale eyes. “Mistress Athena ordered him moved.”

“Liar! Athena would not do that.”

“Mistress, the port authorities contacted our ship. They are checking all ships suspected of smuggling parts for the black market.” The guard did not meet Katherine’s gaze.

“What has that to do with us?” Katherine glances over her shoulder at Rommie.

“The port authorities said that we were smuggling and they won’t let us leave or buy more supplies until we let them search the ship for contraband. Mistress Athena ordered the kludge concealed.”

Katherine stares at him in amazement. “Contraband? What contraband are we supposed to be smuggling?”

Tyr smiles to himself. It sounds like the Archduke has drawn a hand in the game. As long as he gets Harper back, he does not care how many players step up to the table. Besides, he is certain that Charlemagne will have something interesting in mind for Athena and Katherine. He only promised that he would not kill them today. He made no promises on anyone else’s behalf.

“Mistress Athena didn’t say.”

Katherine glances over her shoulder at Tyr’s soft growl of warning. “I want to see my prisoner. Where did she put him?”

“I don’t know, Mistress. She ordered the guards to haul the kludge out and bring him to her.”

Katherine taps her booted foot impatiently. “So, where is she?”

“In her quarters, Mistress.”

Katherine turns on her heel and stomps off. Tyr and Rommie follow her closely. As they rise to the higher levels, they are encountering fewer and fewer crew members. Katherine pauses by a doorway, she reaches out to open the door and Rommie grabs her hand. Katherine glowers and snaps “What?”

Rommie presses her hand over Katherine’s mouth and activates the device. Katherine goes rigid and her eyes roll back. Rommie drops the woman’s limp body next to the door. She turns to the computer console embedded in the wall. “I’ll keep watch here and see if I can locate Harper.”

Tyr slips into the women’s quarters.

“Katherine?” Athena walks out of the bedroom. Her eyes widen in surprise as she sees Tyr. She grabs a vase and throws it at Tyr. He knocks it aside and charges toward her as she lunges toward the set of gauss pistols mounted on the wall. Tyr tackles her and pins her to the floor. Athena twists under him but cannot get the leverage to win free. Tyr pins her hands over her head. His free hand closes over her throat. Athena goes still, staring up at him. He can feel the fear fast pulse under his hand. He can smell her fear. It pleases him.

Tyr tightens his big hand in a silent promise around her throat. “Tell me the location of Harper or I’ll kill your lover.”

Athena’s eyes widen in alarm but she manages a sneer. “You wouldn’t dare. You and your damn High Guard captain don’t have the stomach. The kludge is dead anyway.”

“Listen to me, woman. You have taken my mate. You say he’s dead.” Tyr tightens his grip a little more, making it harder for her to breath. “That may be true, but your mate is still alive…for now.”

“So you say.” Athena’s tone is laced with scornfully disbelief.

“The only thing keeping her alive is the possibility that Harper may yet be alive.” Tyr closes his hand a fraction more. “If you don’t return him to me I will bring your lover to you and disembowel her while you watch helpless to stop me.”

Athena’s eyes darken with fury. She growls. “I’ll kill you!”

“I don’t think so.”

“If you’ve touched her…”

“I haven’t touched her. However Andromeda has had some rather lively…shall we say…conversations with her.” A cruel smile flows over Tyr’s lips.

Athena pants, struggling for breath. “If you’ve harmed her…”

“She has quite a high tolerance for pain. But I’m sure you know that.” Tyr hisses softly.

“Nooooo! If you’ve harmed her…I’ll…I’ll.”

Tyr closes his hand tighter as his lips curl back in a snarl. “You’ll what? Threaten, torture my shieldbrother and have him raped? You’ve already done so.”

There is a barely hidden note of panic in Athena’s voice. “He lives.”

“You lie to buy the life of your lover.”

“No he is alive. But I will have him killed if you don’t return Katherine to me.”

Tyr studies the woman’s expression. Athena’s face is set in cold and determined lines but her pulse beats harder under his hand and the scent of her fear is strong. “I could order Rommie to snap Katherine’s neck and return her cold corpse to you.”

“It seems we have reached an impasse.”

“Indeed.”

Rommie speaks over Tyr’s com link. “Archduke Charlemagne’s transport’s ETA is fifteen minutes.”

Tyr smiles at Athena. “It seems your time is running out. The Archduke and his men will be here shortly.”

“Charlemagne’s men? You contacted the Sabra-Jaguar?”

Tyr breathes in the deepening scent of her fear. His hand tightens. “No. I’m afraid the credit for that lies with your shieldsister. They were following her on Zenobia before we caught up with her. You really should teach her to be more observant. Enough pleasantries…”

“Tyr.” Rommie’s voice is excited.

“Go ahead.”

“I’ve pinpointed Harper’s location.”

“Where is he?’ Tyr demands.

“Close to your position. He’s in an access tunnel.”

Tyr yanks Athena to her feet. He presses his gauss pistol to her back. “Take me to him.”

Athena leads him out of her quarters. She stops suddenly seeing Katherine lying still next to the door. “Katherine!”

Tyr grabs her arm and yanks her back. “Show me Harper or she dies.”

Athena glances at Katherine and reluctantly turns away. She leads Tyr and Rommie a few yards down the corridor and stops in front of an entrance to the tunnels. “There.”

Tyr hits her, knocking her out. He rips the cover off and looks inside. His lover’s nude body is curled into a tight ball. Minute tremors shudder constantly across him. The pale skin is mottled with new and old bruises; streaked with angry red cuts and scratches.

“Harper.” Tyr uses his softest, gentlest voice. His hands tremble as he eases the human into his arms and cradles Harper against his chest. Harper’s personal scent is heavily overlaid with that of other men, blood, fear and pain. “Harper, it’s me. I’ve got you. You’ll be safe soon. We’re going home now.”

Rommie peers over his shoulder at Harper and promptly kicks Athena hard in the ribs. She pulls off her long, black duster and spreads it over Harper. Her fingers lightly touch the drooping spikes of his hair. “Harper. It’s me. It’s Rommie.”

Tyr looks bleakly at Rommie. Harper is so unresponsive.

“He’ll be fine as soon as we get him home.” Rommie whispers.

Tyr cradles his lover, murmuring reassurances as he walks out of the ship. Rommie follows behind him. Tyr looks up to see Charlemagne standing in the docking bay, giving orders to his men. The Archduke looks unusually martial in plain black leather with gauss pistols strapped to his thighs.

As the Sabra-Jaguar warriors flow onto the ship, Charlemagne walks over to Tyr. His appraising gaze focuses on Harper’s white face then flickers over Tyr, noting the tender way the human is cuddled against Tyr’s chest and the open distress in Tyr’s eyes. “Anasazi. Sorry I missed the festivities. Came as soon as I got the word. I see you located your missing…crewmember.”

“Yes.” Tyr glances down at Harper’s too still, too pale face. He has never seen his lover so unnervingly still. He ignores the way Charlemagne is closely studying him and testing his scent for cues to his mood and motives.

Charlemagne frowns faintly as he looks from Tyr to Harper. The silken voice holds a questioning note. “An awful lot of trouble for such an insignificant being.”

“He has proved his value to the crew and to the ship.” Tyr answers never taking his eyes from Harper’s face.

“And to you?” Charlemagne steps closer. The ice blue eyes are thoughtful.

Tyr looks at the Archduke and narrows his eyes in silent warning against approaching more closely. “And to me.”

Charlemagne nods. “Someday soon we must talk. I once offered you one of my sisters and you never took me up on that offer.” He looks down at Harper’s still face. Then looks up, catching Tyr’s watchful gaze. “I have another sister who, I’m sure, will be more …agreeable…to you.”

Tyr frowns at the innuendo lacing the Archduke’s soft voice. If he is reading Charlemagne correctly, this is indeed a proposal worth serious consideration once Harper is healed. Tyr nods, signaling a willingness to consider the suggestion. “Until that time.”

“I hope your ‘crewmember’ recovers.” Charlemagne smiles and steps back.

Tyr holds Harper closer. “He will. He is strong.”

Charlemagne’s ice blue gaze remains on Tyr and Rommie as the pair walks toward the Maru’s dock. He smiles in pleased anticipation of getting a difficult sister suitably settled. “Yes. You and Diana must meet.”

***

“It’s just a bit further to the Maru, Little One. You’ll be back on Andromeda soon.” Tyr talks softly to Harper the whole way to the Maru. Harper’s fear scent is still strong but seems to ease fractionally as Tyr talks.

“His vital signs are fairly stable, Tyr. You may want to take him to the crew quarters and let him rest.” Rommie opens the hatch on the Maru and leads the way inside.

Tyr turns toward the crew quarters. “I’ll be with him unless you need me.”

Rommie looks down at Harper’s pale face and turns toward the cockpit. “We’ll be leaving as soon as I get the ship prepped.”

Harper shifts and whimpers as Tyr tries to lay him down on one of the bunks. “No…don’t…please.”

“Shhh. You’re safe. I’ve got you.” Tyr whispers as he unwraps Rommie’s duster from the shivering form of his lover. He tosses the garment aside. He represses the urge to growl as his gaze slides over the blood and other things that stain his lover’s pale skin. Tyr tosses his black vest on top of Rommie’s duster. He stuffs the clothing into a bag and dumps it in the cargo section. He’ll incinerate it all later.

Tyr walks back to his Shield Brother. Harper is trembling and moving restlessly on the bunk. There is no way that Harper will be able to rest with the stench of his tormentors on him. Nor would Harper want anyone to see him like this. Tyr quickly pulls off his boots and his clothes. Tyr carefully slides his arms around the small human and cradles Harper against his chest.

Harper snuggles closer hiding his face in Tyr’s chest. “Pain…”

“I know the pain is great, Seamus,” Tyr opens the door to the showers. “Can you stand?”

Harper shakes his head slightly against the warm skin of Tyr’s chest.

“Very well…we’ll try to do this another way.” Tyr steps under the warm spray with Harper in his arms.

Harper gasps at the sting of water on his cuts and bruises. He presses closer to Tyr, trying to squirm away from the water.

“No…no…I’m not going to hurt you. We need to clean you up so you can rest.” Tyr sets Harper down but keeps a supportive arm wrapped around the small human. He takes a soft towel and gently washes the residue of Harper’s nightmares from the pale body as Harper huddles listlessly against him. Tyr’s mouth flattens into an angry line as he catalogs all the cuts, bruises, and abrasions marking the pale skin.

“Cold…” Harper whispers. His voice is weak, barely audible over the splatter of water.

“Yes, Seamus?” Tyr bends lower. He tilts Harper’s head up and washes the pale face.

“I’m so cold.” Harper shivers despite the warm water flowing over him.

“You’re in shock. You’ll be warm soon.” Tyr assures his lover. “Let me wash your hair and we’ll get you dry.” Tyr gently shampoos the drooping blonde locks. He rinses the lather from Harper’s hair and turns off the water.

Tyr wraps a big towel snugly around Harper. He carries the human back to crew quarters and carefully settles Harper on the bed. Tyr strips the soiled blanket from the other bunk. He walks back to the cargo area and wads it into the bag with the other items to be destroyed.

Tyr grabs a fresh blanket and returns to the crew quarters. He tucks the blanket around Harper, running a caressing hand over the damp hair as Harper snuggles down under the blanket. Tyr rummages through his locker and finds some loose fitting pants he keeps on the Maru. He pulls them on and then turns back to Harper. Harper mutters something and moves restlessly.

“Harper?” Tyr bends closer but Harper’s eyes do not open.

Harper shudders and whispers, “My pain is like air. My pain is like water…”

“Rev Bem will be pleased you remember his teachings.” Tyr presses a gentle kiss to Harper’s forehead. He eases onto the bunk, careful not to jar Harper. The human immediately snuggles against his chest. Tyr slides an arm around Harper’s shoulders. He nuzzles the damp blonde locks, breathing in the human’s scent.

Harper slides a hand out from under his blanket to touch the braids scattered across Tyr’s chest. His hand strokes lightly, twining in the braids. “You came for me.”

“Yes.”

“I’m safe?”

“Yes.”

Harper shifts his position, pressing closer. “Hurts…”

“I know. We’ll be back on Andromeda soon and Trance will help.” Tyr strokes back the damp hair and presses a kiss on Harper’s forehead. He cradles the human close as he begins speaking in his softest tones of small everyday things. Harper presses his face into the curve of Tyr’s neck and shoulder. It feels so right, so good to have Harper back with him again. As soon as Harper is well enough, he will take the human back to his quarters and care for him.

As they land in Andromeda’s hanger, Tyr eases out of the bed. Harper murmurs in protest but falls silent as Tyr picks him up. Harper’s arms slide around Tyr’s neck. Harper presses his face against Tyr’s shoulder as Tyr moves with a swift, smooth stride to medical.

As Tyr disappears into medical the Andromeda hologram appears in front of the Android.
“Is he broken?”

Rommie stops short and stares at the image. “What?”

“Is my engineer broken?”

“No. I don’t think so, but he is…damaged.”

***

Trance works swiftly, injecting nanobots to help repair Harper’s physical damage and drugs to ease him into a genuine sleep. Tyr’s hard gaze follows her every move. She looks up at him, across Harper’s limp form. “I’ve done everything I know to do. It’s just going to take some time.”

“I know.” Tyr moves closer to the biobed. His hands tremble and clench into fists. He flexes them, forcing them loose and relaxed.

“I’ll tell the others that they have to wait to see him. He’s resting.” Trance walks to the doorway.

“Thank you.”

Tyr leans closer as Harper’s eyes move rapidly under his closed lids. Is Harper waking despite the drugs? Harper’s eyes flutter open. The vivid blue is cloudy with drugs and hazed with bad memories. Harper begins breathing in a fast, panicked way as he looks around.

“It’s okay. You’re safe. You’re home.” Tyr leans down. He dares the briefest lightest touch to the drooping spikes of Harper’s blond hair.

The blue eyes clear a little and focus on him. Harper’s voice is tentative and full of doubt. “I’m not…I’m not dreaming?”

“No. You’re on the Andromeda…in medical.” Tyr keeps his tone soothing with an effort. He can feel the ache of unshed tears in his throat.

“I’m on the Andromeda. I’m home.” Harper murmurs. He blinks sleepily.

“Yes.”

“Love you…Tyr.” Harper yawns.

“I love you, Seamus.”

“You found me.” Harper raises a trembling hand and touches the ends of Tyr’s braids. He brings the braid to his face and sniffs hesitantly. He sighs and smiles faintly as he presses the braid to his lips.

Tyr ignores the tears beginning to slide down his cheeks as he watches Harper slide back into a drugged sleep. “Yes. I found you.”

TBC


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