Disclaimer- I don't own Andromeda, but if your reading this you probably already know that.

Tell me you love me part 3 - Tears before bedtime

Rommie awoke her sleeping partner "Come on Harper, Dylan called a meeting for this morning remember?" Harpers eyes fluttered open then lit up when they fell on the figure next to him; "How long do we have?" he asked. "30 minutes" replied the avatar "I know how long you take to get up". "Plenty of time" replied Harper. Rommie nudged the figure next to her "Don't you dare go back to sleep!" she said. "Who said anything about sleep?" replied the engineer with a smile leaning over to kiss Rommie "we'll be late" she replied simply but found her self returning the kiss anyway.

Twenty minutes later Andromeda's hologram flickered to life in the room clearing her throat loudly "you now have 10 minutes" she replied to the occupants of the room "oops" said Rommie "I forgot about that". "I thought you didn't forget anything?" said Harper questioningly, "well I was distracted at the time, I seem to recall" shot back the avatar "and I didn't hear you reminding me!" "You now have 7 minutes, I suggest you hurry" replied the hologram who had watched the scene with some amusement.

Harper jumped up "oh man it's gonna take 5 minutes just to get there" he said searching wildly for where he left his clothes. "I suggest you get a move on then" said the hologram with a smile before winking out.

Rommie laughed at Harper as he tried to put on her trousers whilst unbeknownst to her Andromeda's hologram flicked to existence before Dylan "I'm afraid Harper and my avatar will be late this morning" she stated to the captain, Harper was having some trouble this morning with one of his projects and my avatar is currently helping him with it, they will be here shortly". "Working already muttered Dylan, Ok thank you" he replied to the hologram who then vanished. Well its true enough thought Andromeda to her self; Rommie was one of Harper's projects.

Both dressed Rommie and Harper hurried to the meeting "wait" said Harper stopping Rommie "we both cant go in together, you go first your never late Dylan will be suspicious, I'll follow." Rommie nodded to Harper and hurried on, Harper was sure he caught a glimpse of hurt on her beautiful face before it disappeared and wondered what would cause such and expression before hurrying on himself.

Rommie strolled into the meeting "sorry I'm late" she supplied, "That's ok, you already explained, I thought Harper would be with you?" Dylan said realising the engineer wasn't with her. A strange expression, that looked much like embarrassment to Dylan, passed over Rommie's face; what's going on with her thought Dylan "He's right behind me" supplied the avatar interrupting his thought before taking her seat.

The result of the meeting was of course another dangerous mission; Dylan had been contacted buy the commonwealth who wanted him to escort a research ship carrying important data though space to it's final destination. A nice easy mission for once thought Harper not dangerous at all; that was until he found out that the data related to a new weapons system and, just about every bad guy Andromeda had ever come across was after it, oh and the flight plan took them right though Nietzschean territory with no way around. Easy? Yea right it's never easy thought Harper.

With the meeting over and still 30 minutes till they rendezvoused with the research ship Harper went to find Rommie she was in her room which Harper thought was a little odd, he was sure she'd be on the bridge preparing for an attack. "Hi" he said slipping through the door the avatar turned around and Harper thought he saw a hint of sadness on her face but before he was even sure he saw it a smile fell across her face.

He crossed the distance between them taking her in his arms and kissing her after he broke the kiss she teased him lightly "Did you not learn from this morning?" Harper smiled "I cant help my self" he replied "I just want to spend every minute with you" he kissed her again she broke the kiss "we really don't have time for this" he nodded "I know, I cant risk being late again. Dylan knows my timekeeping needs some improvement but late twice in under an hour and Dylan may ask what's keeping me." Rommie frowned "Hey what's up?" he asked reaching to caress her face, she smiled but the smile didn't reach her eyes "tell me" he pleaded. "I'm fine" she answered kissing him "I thought we didn't have time for that" Harper replied to her kiss, "I changed my mind" she said seeking comfort in holding him close.

When he left a tear slid down her face, he didn't want anyone to know, was he ashamed of her? Perhaps he was worried what Dylan would say but she doubted Dylan would be upset Harper wasn't an official high guard officer so it wasn't against protocol, and Harper had never been one to keep up professional appearances, so what was it? She loved him, needed him, but doubt crept into her mind maybe he didn't feel the same maybe he only wanted her. Maybe he would leave her and she wasn't sure she could face that.

The mission had hardly began when the first attack occurred they came out of nowhere raining fire on the ship but they were no match for Andromeda and she sent them running back home with their tails between their legs.

The second time round was not as easy a Nietzschean battle cruiser was more on Andromeda's level. The battle was puzzling Dylan the Nietzschean's seemed to have no strategy and were firing wildly all over the ship as a result Andromeda had sustained minor damage over most her systems but no major damage she was still fully operational. The fight continued an AP missile slammed into the hull aside from a minor hull breach which was quickly fixed no real damage appeared to have been done; then the lights flickered and went off. Harper looked up from the repair he was working on "Andromeda" he called there was no response "Andromeda Babe answer me" he called again, but still there was no response.

On command Dylan was trying a similar approach unfortunately he was also having similar results as well; he gave up calling for Andromeda, and called for Harper instead the ship comm's were out, but he mange to raise Harper via their comm Implants "What hells going on?" he demanded "I'm working on it" Harper called he had of course set to finding the problem the moment his beloved ship failed to answer him. The readouts were no help he jacked in, glad he always carried his jack with him, the information that normally flowed past him in Rommie's mind seemed to be at a stand still, frozen, this doesn't look good he thought; he was right.

The fight continued, but with Andromeda out of commission they were loosing and the Nietzschean's were getting closer. Rommie still lay unmoving on the floor she had crumpled to the deck when the lights went off and Beka had been unable to get a response from her since; she was as frozen as the ship her self.

The Nietzschean's swooped closer "Harper I need manual power now!" called Dylan he received no response and the Nietzschean's were getting closer still. Suddenly grappling hooks shot forward and implanted them self's deeply in Andromeda's hull and she was tugged toward the enemy ship "HARPER" Beka called this time somewhat desperately still she received no reply but seconds later the panel before her flicked to life she engaged full reverse thrusters but the effect was minimal "we'll have to shoot them off" called Dylan "Are you crazy!" replied Beka "firing this close to the ship we risk breaching the hull!" "Would you rather the Nietzschean's do it for us!" replied Dylan "Good point" Beka answered. Tyr fired defensive lasers at the grappling hooks instantly severing them but also ripping open the hull on the outer decks. "Get us out of here" Dylan called Beka had similar plans "Engaging slipstream" she called as the ship shot out to safety.

Harper wandered around in Rommie's mind everything seemed frozen with no explanation, panic started to edge in on him, was Rommie like this too? He didn't even know. He found sensors and used them to search out for Rommie she was motionless on the floor of the command deck. Harper's panic began to rise 'what if he couldn't fix this?' 'Come on you can fix anything' he mentally slapped himself 'look what loves done to you' his sub-conscious slap however only served to remind him how much he loved Rommie and how he couldn't stand to lose her, his panic levels shot up at the last part; Harper forced himself to calm down he could help no one like this 'may be that's why he the high guard so dislikes ship romance's' some small part of his mind thought. Harper continued to will himself to calm down 'come on you're a professional' he told him self.

As calm as he was ever going to be Harper continued to walk round searching for the problem, but all he saw was banks and banks of frozen data; finally he found a data stream that was still flowing, it was Andromeda's core personality, but the data looked wrong somehow there was too much and it was flow was fragmented and haphazard not like the smoothly flowing lines of data he expected to see. Pushing the panic back down again he continued to explore the problem some virus appeared to be keeping Andromeda captive in her own mind "but where's all the extra data coming from?" he asked himself out loud he stared more closely at the disjointed data streams 'hey I recognise that bit' he thought as a fragment rushed past 'it's Rommie, she's trapped in here too, they must have been linked when the virus struck'.

Harper thought of Andromeda and Rommie stuck in each others minds thinking god knows what probably unable to separate each others thoughts, but both trapped in their own mind('s) and unable to communicate; 'What must it be like for them, were they afraid?'. "I'll rescue you" Harper said half to convince himself; "You fix me and I fix you that's the deal remember" he said thinking back to when he most needed 'fixing' she was there for him then, now he would be there for her now, and always.

Millions of thoughts and emotions ran thought her head, sham and sadness because she couldn't protect them, embarrassment because she had mess up, fear because she was lost and alone, hurt because they thought she was no different from her other-self , more hurt because others didn't accept her because she was different, fear because she was loosing, fear again because she didn't what to end up like the others, fear she would lose them, then despair because he didn't love her. She was confused it didn't make sense were these her thoughts? How could she remember being lost and alone when she was never lost, yet she remembers it, knows that it happened, remembers the fear, but it didn't happen did it? She was never lost, was she?

'What if I can't fix this?' the though ran though his head over and over he tried to ignore it, and carried on, he had to fix this he couldn't lose her, not again not after..,Kaylee; the thought, long hidden, rushed unbidden to his mind and nearly took him over, he had felt this way about her too, then she left him taken by them, the Nietzschean's.

The unbearable pain returned that he had felt then; he had failed her he couldn't save her, and every morning the horror of her being gone returned to him afresh; until one morning when he thought he couldn't stand the pain anymore he simply unconsciously blanked her out of his mind as if she never existed and with her the pain went and he could function again. He had never loved anyone like that since. Not till now, and now the same thing was happening again he was losing her because he couldn't save her.

It wouldn't happen that way this time he vowed to himself, this time he would keep the girl, this time he would be happy and so Harper fought to save the one he loved, and this time he would win.

Back in Andromeda's corridors the crew were also in trouble they knew their reprieve would be short lived the Nietzschean's or someone else would find them soon and they were almost helpless with out Andromeda they had minimal systems control and wouldn't last long in any fight and they couldn't afford that now with what they were carrying; this weapon may be the commonwealth's only defence against the Magog but if it fell into enemy hands the Magog wouldn't be the only thing they had to worry about the new commonwealth could be plunged straight back into the long night.

Rommie wandered though her mind, or was it hers, was she even Rommie? She was so confused. Thought's of him flooded her mind again, did he love her? No he can't love you like you love him a voice said, she didn't even try to identify it or question it, she was too confused. He said he loved her, he kissed her like he did yet images assaulted her them in the corridor him arranging for her to go in first then again back in her quarters. He was always flirting with her but, was it more than that maybe he was just infatuated would the novelty of having her wear off, would he then want to go back to just friends, and find someone else he could truly care for?

As Andromeda wandered though her mind trying to find a way out she caught snatches of emotion the likes of which she had never felt before, yet they were her feelings she was sure and then she understood, all the pain and the hurt she understood.

Harper fought to stop the virus but nothing seemed to work but he would not give up now and so he kept trying. Harper tried every trick he knew nothing worked 'ok time to try something I don't know' he thought refusing to give up.

Dylan stood on the bridge and surveyed the banks of blank consoles around him, the ship seamed so empty and cold without Andromeda's presence. Dylan had though the small ship that attacked them foolish they were no match for Andromeda, but now he realised they weren't as stupid as he thought with Andromeda out of the equation the ship was virtually defenceless and easy pickings even for a smaller ship; they had planed this all along they must have infiltrated their systems and sent over a virus. Dylan only hoped Harper could stop it. Beka stood at her flight console, one of the few things still functioning, and glanced around her the faces of her friends she noticed were as blank as the consoles around her she imagined hers was the same.

Tyr was worried that ship would not give up easily they would still be looking and also the silence was bothering him, distracting him, he couldn't quite figure out why he hated it so, but in the end he put it down to a reminder of just how defenceless they were.

Harper was giving up he had tried everything he could possibly conceive and nothing worked so he sat down on the virtual floor and wept "I can't lose you I love you" he said to the air around him "I love every thing about you, I love the way you walk, the way you talk, the little things you do, the way your always watching out for us all, the way you argue with your self but, most of all I love how you make me feel, special like I'm all that matters like there's no one else you'd rather be with, there's no one I'd rather be with than you."

As Rommie wandered round her mind confused and dazed words drifted towards her "I love you, I can't lose you, I love everything about you .there's no one I'd rather be with than you." Though in her dazzled state she didn't know why, the words seemed important so she focused on them replaying them trying to figure out just why these words were so important, were did they come from, why did that voice sound familiar and comforting, who were they meant for; then completely unbidden a word formed in her mind and inexplicably she knew it to be true 'you' it said and suddenly she knew the owner of the voice Harper.

She repeated the words to herself over and over and found her self being pulled in the direction of the words and as she repeated her little mantra she felt things becoming clearer less muddled. She continued repeating her manta and suddenly she understood 'he loved her, he really loves me.' Then suddenly she found her self standing over the owner of the words, he was crying. She knelt beside him and put an arm around him "shush" she said "Its ok, every things going to be ok" then she leaned in to kiss him on the forehead; she didn't really understand why she said those words but them seamed right.

Lost in his grief Harper didn't register the presence beside him till it spoke, the words were soothing, the voice familiar, he felt a kiss and turned to see his visitor and meet the most beautiful vision he suspected he would ever see again. "Rommie" he said then hugged her refusing to let go he case he lost her again. "It's ok" she repeated then held out her hand and together they walked towards the light of reality.

"All systems returning to normal function" declared the voice of Andromeda as power was abruptly restored to the monitors on command making the crew blink at the unexpected flash of light. "Warning Nietzschean vessel approaching weapons range" quickly announced the same voice before Dylan's mind even processed the return of the AI. "weapons fire incoming" quickly followed on from that "return fire" came the reply from Dylan as he snapped back into captain mode before the first hit shock the ship sending forth a spray of sparks "Minimal damage received" came the report from Andromeda just before her hologram sparked to life by Dylan's side "Their no match for me" she simply stated disappearing before her own shot hit the enemy vessel exploding it in a violent flash of light. "Well that should teach them not to pick a fight with a bigger ship" stated Dylan straightening his uniform.

Beka laughed at Dylan's comment glad that the current crisis was over and normality was returned to the ship; meanwhile Rommie quietly slipped off the bridge in search of Harper when she found him she slipped an arm around him and pulled him to her in a passionate kiss "Thank you" she whispered to his ear "you saved me". "Anything for the girl I love" replied Harper before returning the kiss.

Thanks for reading this I hope it was worth the wait, up dates on my other stories coming soon.

Rommie's Voice