Disclaimer, I do not own any of the characters. They belong to the late Gene Roddenberry.

Summary: This takes place very early in the first season, sometime after D Minus Zero. Hunt Valentine and Harper are caught in an electrical storm and have to fix the engines without the aid of the genius otherwise known as Seamus Harper.

"Bless…" Beka held up a hand, stopping Dylan's courteous "Bless you." as Harper sneezed.

"You'll want to hold that thought, he's not done."

"But he's sneezed ten times already."

"Your point? I have seen him do this non-stop for thirty minutes before, Rev told me that one time, when I was down on a planet forming a contract with a client, Harper sneezed for an hour. He had a nasty case of Chiktrilian Flu."

"An hour?" Dylan looked incredulously at his engineer.

"Um hum, then, twenty minutes later he was at it again."

"Wow, poor kid. We should get him back to Andromeda as soon as possible. This doesn't sound very good."

"Yeah, the only thing, that storm knocked out our engines and didn't leave us with much to sal…" Harper cut himself off as he broke into another violent fit.

"What he means is, when we were hit by that electrical blast some of the wiring was zapped so badly that it was fried and killed our engines. We're dead for now."

Harper got control of himself, "Right," he panted, "If you want me to fix them, I can but it'll take time. I'm gonna have to improvise. Or I can fix the homing device, that might be quicker."

Dylan passed him a box of tissues the Beka kept on the Eureka Maru for him, "What do you mean fix the homing device? How is it broken?"

"Funny you should ask."

Beka was glaring at him, "Um, this is news to me, too, Seamus. The last time I flew my ship, the H D worked."

"Well, I was gonna boost the power on it, but she's sensitive, not like Andromeda, and she shorted. As you can see, it wasn't… my… fault." His eyes fluttered shut and his nose twitched. Beka patted his shoulder as he began to sneeze again.

Hunt pulled her aside, "What's going on with him?"

"Well, it looks like another case Chiktrilian flu. I just can't stay mad at him when he's sick."

"And that's another thing. I have never even heard of this disease, what is it, exactly?"

"Chiktrilian flu is actually fairly common. A person with a low tolerance for germs, like Harper, can pick it up quite easily. Its first symptoms are sneezing uncontrollably, followed by moderate to high fever, aches, pains, dry cough, extreme fatigue, chills, congestion, headache and weakness." She listed the symptoms as if she were reading off a shopping list.

"Sounds unpleasant. Is it fatal?" Dylan looked hard at her.

"No, I've never heard of it being fatal, even for someone who's immune system is as patchy as Harper's."

"It won't kill you, just annoy you to madness." Harper resurfaced from his tissues to join the conversation, "Even after all the rest of those oh-so-pleasant side effects stop, you still sneeze for days."

"More like weeks." Beka chuckled as she ruffled his hair, which certainly did not need ruffling.

"Yeah, well, it got better in a few days."

Dylan interrupted them, "Look, deadly or not, we should try to get back to the ship. In the mean time, Harper, I want you to go lie down and get some rest. Drink a glass of water or do something else that won't wear you out. Beka, you come with me. We need to find something that we can try to fix the ship with."

"With all due respect, Boss, I think that I'm the one who should be fixing those engines. I know how to repair them better than anyone, including, if you pardon my saying so, Beka. Besides, I am a genius and it would be a shame to waste me." A frown fluttered across his face and he began to sneeze again.

Dylan smiled in spite of himself, "With all due respect to you, Mr. Harper, we need someone who won't be distracted every five minutes. No matter how ingenious he thinks he is."

Harper made a rude gesture as a reply. Ignoring him, Hunt turned to his first officer, "Let's go."

As Dylan and Beka prowled around the ship looking for any pieces that they might find useful, Dylan asked her questions. "So, how long does this flu thing last?"

"Last time, it took him over a month to shake it. Not counting the weeks afterward that he spent sneezing. Rev and Trance cared for him while I was gone, but I never really liked having anyone but myself look after him. He and I have been through a lot together. More than either of us cares to remember. When I got back on board, Harper convinced Trance that since there is no cure for this, he could go back to his own room and wait it out, he said he would be more comfortable there." Beka stopped. She wasn't ready to share with Dylan, or anyone else for that matter, what a painful time it was for both of them. Only when they were alone did he tell her how much he was suffering, how badly his head ached, how hard it was to breath. She spent more time in his quarters than her own, soothing him, keeping him comfortable, letting him know that he wasn't alone. When Trance came in to check on him, he joked and put up a great front, Harper would only allow Beka to see how he was really feeling. That made her feel rather special. No, the flu wasn't lethal, but sure wasn't very much fun, either.

Dylan interrupted her thoughts, "Wasn't he contagious?"

Beka shook herself free from her memories, "Nah, it's Harper, remember? You so much as show him a picture of a virus, and he'll be feeling sick."

Dylan shook his head, his new crew was shaping up to be quite the characters, "I see, anyway, will this do?" He held up some spare wire.

"It may, we'll keep hold of it, anyway, along with this," she replied, pulling up a loose piece of sheet metal.

As they made their way back to the engine room they heard Harper sounding as if he was going to cough up a lung. Beka ran to the cot he was lying on, "Harper, Seamus, What's wrong? Dylan, will you go get me a glass of water?" He turned and went to the makeshift kitchen, when they were alone she pressed a well practiced hand to his forehead, then helped into a more upright position "Ok, Harper, you have a really nice fever going for you there. Just try to breathe, slowly in and out, that's it." Her voice was soothing as she coached him, soon the coughing fit passed and he leaned his head tiredly against her shoulder. "There, that's better, isn't it Seamus?" He nodded.

Dylan handed her the water, "We shouldn't leave him alone for too long. It seems to be making him worse. How's he doing, anyway?"

He's exhausted. He didn't cough like that the last time he had this, at least not this early on in the illness."

Harper groaned, "I'm gonna start sneezing again, Beka."

She smiled in sympathy, "All right, Sweet… I'm mean, Harper." She corrected herself quickly, having been told not to call him "Sweetie," in front of any of the crew many times.

He buried his face in a tissue, not acknowledging her slip up. He was too occupied.

Beka straightened up, "I'm going to work on the homing device. I don't know what he did to it, but I sure do intend to find to find out."

Dylan gave a quick nod, "Right, and I'll work on fixing the engines."

"And I'll just lay here and sneeze my head off and hack up my guts. No, seriously, what can I do to help?" Harper looked imploringly at Beka, then Dylan and back again.

Dylan felt badly for him, he could tell that he was feeling rather useless at the moment. "If you promise to just sit down and give me advice, you can tag along with me. I could use the help. But you have to wear a blanket and keep very warm."

He rose up his hand, "Swear, cross my heart and all that."

Beka looked skeptical, "If you feel any worse, I want you to come right back here and lay back down. I mean it Shorty; don't pull any fast ones on us. I know when you're lying, even if Dylan doesn't."

He raised his hands defensively, "You got it, Boss." He turned to Dylan as she began to walk toward to homing device. "You have to humor her when she gets in these moods. She gets down right cranky when she hasn't had enough sleep. And that's all the time."

"I heard that, Seamus Z. Harper. If you don't shut up you will find yourself eating wire or sheet metal or something equally unpleasant."

Dylan laughed, the big sister, little brother relationship that they shared could be very comical at times.