This is a Harper 2.0 based challenge: by Schzimine

Write a Fic saying what Beka and Harper did between the time Harper was zapped and the time Beka meets Tyr on the Andromeda.

It's a prequel to an old story I wrote called "The Waves Around Me Breaking." (If you need a link let me know)

TITLE: Absent without Leave

AUTHOR: parisindy

RATING: don't know yet. probably PG

DISCLAIMER: No money was received or exchanged. We do not own Andromeda or any of its Characters. This is purely for fun.

ARCHIVE: Lauriena can archive it anyone else has to ask.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the fic that shouldn't be... I've got so many stories on the go but this one has been sitting in my document folder for a while.so I though I better post it. It's my last unresolved Andromeda story. Once it's done maybe I'll finish my own stories heeheehee. As always this will be primarily a Harper Fic.

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Then, Prince! You should have fear'd, what now you feel;

Achilles absent was Achilles still:

Yet a short space the great avenger stayed,

Then low in dust thy strength and glory laid." - Homer, the iliad

Absent without Leave

He was quite. Quiet was an unnatural state for her young engineer.

"Harper talk to me." Beka shouted over her shoulder. After getting some sort of weird electrical jolt from the now dead Persied Harper hadn't been himself.

"Mmmm I'm okay Boss."

"You don't sound okay." He had wanted to take a nap in the crew quarters. But, she had wanted him to stay close and so she hauled him up to the Maru's cockpit where she could keep an eye him. He currently sat on the floor leaning against one of the safety railings.

"My port hurts and I'm tired but it's okay." His voice started to trail off.

"Kiddo? Harper!"

"Wuzz?" he asked muzzily.

"I need you to stay awake until Trance can have a look at you okay?"

"Mmm"

"I mean it. That's an order!" She didn't use the Captain card often but Harper knew when she meant business. When she heard nothing she looked over at him again. His eyes were closed. She quickly set in the course for the Andromeda and flipped a switch, setting the ship on autopilot. She dashed over to her now prone friend. She shook him, perhaps a little to hard.

"Harper wake up. Try standing."

"I'm up boss."

"No. You're not." Beka grabbed his arm and threw it around her shoulders and hauled him to his feet. He groaned in protest. "Come on partner let's walk it off."

Beka started to walk him up and down the halls of the Maru. Harper let out a small chuckle "I'm not even drunk.this time"

Beka let out a snort of laughter despite here worry. Her memory flickered back. It didn't seem like that long ago.

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"Come on boss please!"

"No."

"Pleeeeeeease."

"Harper being on a couple of drifts does not mean you can handle shore leave on a planet by your self. You've only been off earth for three weeks dammit!"

"Ah come on Boss I'm a big boy. I survived."

Beka raised her hands in protest. "I know.I know. earth twenty years. Uh Huh. The answer is no and I don't believe the twenty years part either."

Seamus crossed his arms in a pout and stuck his tongue out at her.

Beka laughed as she walked towards the cockpit. She could feel Harper scowling at her back.

A couple hours later they stood by the air lock doors.

"Okay as soon as I'm done meeting with our new client I will pick up some supplies and then I will be back."

Harper gave a small shrug of indifference. She ignored it. For now she was willing to let him be moody.

"Did you want anything personal? More toothpaste or anything?"

Harper shrugged again.

Now she was getting annoyed. "Harper listen to me. I'm the Captain here and I if say no shore leave I mean it. I shouldn't have to justify it to you. "

"S'okay."

Finally some words. "Fine. Well I'm leaving you the Maru. That should show you how much I trust you. Still. stay docked! You know what she means to me."

"I know.. I really am twenty you know."

"Fine what ever. Just be good and maybe I'll bring you a treat."

A small smile finally crossed his face. "Aw! Thanks Mom."

She punched him in the shoulder lightly. "Be good. I'll be right back."

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Harper watched her leave through the air lock door. He watched her weave her way through the throngs of people milling around the space dock until he lost sight of her. Suddenly he turned and ran towards the cockpit. With a sort cut through the galley leapt in to the pilot's chair, sparky in hand. He put his feet up on one of the near by monitors and leaned back.

He should go work on the environmental systems. Something was wrong with the heat. It had been a little too warm in here lately and no amount of playing with the thermostat was helping. Still this was a Planet!! Another Planet! Not earth! How many times had he dreamed of this moment back on that hellhole!? He sighed out loud. At least he could look out the window.

There were sure a lot of weird creatures. There were these grey guys with long pointy chins. They seemed a bit flaky but Beka said they were in to science so Harper decided he would like them. There were these big bug like things.the 'Than' Beka told him. They were just too strange. There were these other ones that looked like they had an octopus sitting on their heads. The weird thing was the tentacles were functional. WOW! Wait a minute look at that!

Harper leaned forward in his chair. A slim purple girl with multi-coloured hair and a tail strolled by. She was beautiful! She paused as if she was looking for something. Harper watched her as she scanned the crowd. "Wow she's hot Maru!" Harper still wasn't used to girls that weren't grungy and emaciated like the ones one earth. Sure some of the girls on earth were really nice but they're just wasn't any comparison to spacers.

Suddenly the strange purple girl turned and looked up at the Maru. She looked way up until she spotted Harper in the window. She waved and smiled sweetly. Harper stared at her stunned. He blinked rapidly just in case he was dreaming. When he looked again she was gone.

In just that instance there was a tap at the airlock door. Harper jumped. Who they hell was that!?

Harper looked around for a weapon. He would have to ask Beka to get him one of his own. He reached the door weaponless. He loosened the seal but didn't open the door.

"Who's there?"

"It's me Trance."

"Trance who?" he asked nervously.

"The cute purple girl who waved at you silly!" And with that Harper had to leap out of the way. The door flew open and the odd girl bounced in. A story from his childhood popped in to his head. The story had been called 'a cat in the hat'. Trance didn't wear a hat though.

"Hey!" shouted Harper indignantly. "You can't come in here!"

Trance touched some wiring hanging down and it sparked. She jumped and squealed bumping in to Harper who then banged his head against the bulkhead. Dust filled the air and he sneezed.

"Oh?" a frown covered the girls' face and it turned quickly in to a pout as she started to explore the ship uninvited. "What's this?" she queried.

"Something you shouldn't touch." Groaned Harper rubbing his head.

The purple girl put the nano-welder back on the table. "Well, where are all your plants?" she asked it like it should be the most obvious question in the world.

"Umm, Beka keeps a shriveled up cactus in her quarters I think."

"Well I'll have to fix that won't I?"

Harper became flustered. "Um. Yeah. So my boss isn't here and you probably will want to talk to her. You can come back though. I'm not really suppose to let anyone on the ship"

The girl smiled again. "Oh, okay then."

Harper stood there with his mouth open for a moment this was all to weird.

She skipped back towards the door again. But at the last moment she stopped and turned. "What's your name?"

"Harper. Seamus Zelazny Harper."

"Harp..er" She rolled his name around on her tongue as if she was tasting it. "I like it. We are going to be good friends."

With that she seemed to hop out the airlock. Harper quickly closed the door behind her and locked it. He leaned on the door and slowly slid to the ground. He suddenly found himself out of breath. That girl's a whirlwind he thought. then smiled.

He looked at his watch. Beka would be home in an hour he better get to work. He couldn't wait to tell her about Trance. He yawned loudly .maybe he would just have a quick catnap first.

Three hours passed then six then 12. Harper sat in Beka's chair in the cockpit fast asleep. He mumbled to himself and his foot fell off the monitor on which it was resting. Loud music blared through the small command area. Harper leapt to his feet in alarm. "Magog!" He screamed before he was truly awake. "Oh." He then muttered as he turned the music off. He yawned, stretched and looked out the window. The sun was coming up. Beka must have come in and he hadn't heard her. He wandered over to her quarters and knocked on the door. "Boss?" Nothing so he tried again, "Boss?" still nothing.

He tried not to panic. She had said she would be right back. She wouldn't leave the ship would she? Where was she? Harper looked out the window again. This time there was no Purple girl. There was also no Beka. Why had he slept so long? Would she come back at all? Was something wrong? Maybe she needed help? But he was supposed to stay here.

Harper went to the galley and sat there for another hour. What if he left and she came back? She might leave with out him. What if she was dead and bleeding in an alley somewhere? Did other planets have alleys? A thousand questions filtered through his mind every second. Finally it came down to one thing. She had been nice to him. She had helped to get off earth. He wasn't about to abandon her. Harper swore under his breath. He hadn't had to worry about anyone else other then him self for a long time. He wasn't sure he liked the feeling.

Like it or not he was going after her. TBC