Trance had propped him up on pillows and bowl of soup sat cooling on the table beside him. He couldn't find the energy to eat it. The world seemed to sway oddly in and out of focus. Trance went with Carrick to over see Beka's space walk from the cockpit. They could help from there if need be.

He looked around the small room it was still and quiet. It was almost eerie. His eyes blinked heavily..I need to stay awake.I need to stay awake.it was slowly becoming his mantra.

He jerked upwards from his pillows as alarms rang through the Maru's corridors. OH Gawd!! His heart nearly burst from his body. He must have feel asleep! Now she would be dead.now she wasn't coming back! Damnit he wasn't going to be left alone again! He swung his feet from under his covers towards the floor. The sudden movement caused his vision to blacken. With a deep breath and sheer determination he steadied himself.

Moving as quickly has he could with out passing out he walked down the hall towards the air lock. He glanced only once down the corridor towards command. Trance was yelling something into the communications relay. Carrick was simply standing beside her shrieking in panic.

He continued his staggering pace. This was his fault. Just like before.with his family. He fell asleep after he promised he wouldn't. He had let her down. He arrives at the air lock. Beka was wearing the only adult sized enviro-suit. A patched one at that. He searched around a bit and found a child sized one. It must have been Beka's or her brother's when they were younger. Sucking in his pride he squished himself in. The sleeves didn't meet the gloves. The permanent wedgie might have been funny in any another time. But, not now. He needed to fix the strut. He needed to save Beka! And, if freezing to death in the vacuum of space was the only way to do it so be it! He opened the air lock. He took a steadying breath and stepped out side.

He nearly lost control. He had to close his eyes to keep from barfing in his helmet. His wrists went numb instantly. He had only seconds to save Beka before his hands were unusable. Then the lecture started. "Seamus Harper you get back here!! You're much to sick to be playing around!" The purple girl was yelling in his ear over the intercom. He certainly wasn't playing around as Trance's voice drew him to a much more serious observation. He could see Beka but she wasn't talking. All he could hear were ragged gasps over the intercom. She couldn't breath. He used the doorway to push of off and floated towards Beka. She had been fixing the strut when the patch on the suit must have sprung a leak. The air had moisture. So the oxygen inside her suit had frozen along with the particles in her lungs.

For once in his life Harper didn't talk. His own panic and sickness nearly overwhelmed him. He grabbed Beka and this time using the broken strut he launched them back towards the Maru's door. He tossed Beka in to the air lock and slammed the door shut.

Still out side he pushed him self towards the broken strut. He glanced down once to see the skin on his arms was turning black. He could barley move his fingers. Once back at the strut he pulled his welder out of his pocket. It was a temporary fix at best. Trances' yelling was making it hard to think. "Trance quiet!" His head hurt.

"Harper you get back in here right now!" he could hear Beka coughing in the background. SHE WAS ALIVE!! He welded the strut in lighting speed despite his numb hands. Then for the final time he pushed himself towards the Maru.

The inner door of the air lock flew open. Carrick had opened the door. "You did he squealed!" Harper ignored him though. He only had eyes for one person.

Beka stood with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Trance supported her weight with an arm around her. No body said any thing. Yet, Beka's glare drilled holes in his brain.

"If looks could kill." He mumbled as his knees buckled and his body gave up the fight.


"I don't remember much after that until I woke up in that Sinti hospital."

"It wasn't pleasant' Beka continued the story. "We got to Sinti the next day. Carrick knew how to slipstream so he flew us in. Trance kept me in the bunk next yours. I was having a lot of trouble breathing but I was more worried about you. You had severe frostbite on your hands. We thought you might lose them. Plus, you were having wicked nightmares.about earth I think. From your fever.you kept mumbling you were sorry and were worried because you feel asleep. . Man I was never so glad to get rid of some plants before! See I have always told you planets were trouble!"

At hearing the word sleep Harper drew his hand across his face. "Man. what I wouldn't give for a cat nap." Tired from telling the story and weakened from his injury his eyes fluttered close.

"Harper no!" he heard Beka yell but she was so far away and he was so tired.

Beka shook him. "Not now! You promised to stay awake!"

"Stay awake!" he mumbled moments before the thought reached his brain. His eyes shot open. "I promised to stay awake. You promised to come back! You never came back I had to get you!"

"It's okay.I'm here.I'm here." She pulled him to a bear hug. "I'm never going to leave."

The two friends gripped each other tightly.

"Harper I do need to get to the cockpit. I think I can get us back to the Andromeda in one jump. Can you stay awake that long?"

"Do you promise to come back?"

"Always." The two friends separated with smiles on their faces.

Beka turned and ran to the cockpit and leapt in to her chair. As promised in one jump they exited slipstream the Andromeda burst in to view.

"Rommie we're back. Have Trance meet us with her medical supplies Harper's been hurt."

"Right away Beka and welcome home."

Beka smiled. "Thanks for waiting up."

The end.