Disclaimer: I don't own anybody, so don't sue me...I have no money to give you anyway.
AUTHORS NOTE: First, I don't know all the technical terms. I've seen every episode of STTNG,
but only about 6 Andromeda episodes, so some of the terms may be in the Star Trek world, or not
even. I'm no tech wiz. Also, I agree with a lot of people that Trance isn't as naive as she seems and that she has a hidden agenda (though I don't think it's bad), that may be reflected in the sequel to this story, and hints in this one. And I give you fair warning, I am a Harper/Trance shipper, there is some sexual (not graphic) situations. So if you don't like it, don't read it. Got it? Good. LOL. Read on. And don't forget to review...please?

Teaching Trance
Chapter 1
By: Jaimi


Trance skipped along the Andromeda's corridors, no particular destination in mind. She was finished caring for her plants and everyone on board was in perfect health, even Harper. So Dylan had told her to take a break and 'do...whatever," had been his exact words, followed by his trademark smile. She happily obliged.

Not feeling up to cleaning or redoing her room, she was content to wander the Andromeda. Hmmm. Her room. No one had ever been in her room, not even Harper. Who was, quite frankly, her best friend. Though she didn't have many friends in the first place, just the people aboard this ship. She loved them all deeply, even grouchy, mean old Tyr, but Harper was special.

He always made her laugh, even when she was sad. He kept her company when she was lonely. And though she never talked about herself...her life...she knew he would listen. Just like she always listened for hours when he got in one of his melancholy moods. She didn't mind, it meant spending time with her best friend. That in itself was a rarity these days, seeing as Dylan had them at different tasks constantly. She shrugged, oh well, all part of the job. At least the were alive and all together...one big happy family.

Family. She never truly knew what that was before she met Rev, then Becka and Harper and now Dylan, Tyr and Andromeda. Harper had to explain it to her what family was...he had to explain a lot of things to her. She knew what most things were in the technical sense...but some things ran deeper than that. He would try his best to make her understand things, then whether she got it or not, would mumble under his breath. "Here I am, teaching life lessons to some purple people lover....and I thought this was all common sense."

Well, maybe for humans or relative humans it was. Course she wasn't human, she was....she was Trance Gemini...species unknown...family unknown....life, history....unknown...to her friends anyway.

She sighed, then mentally scolded herself. /This is supposed to be your time off, don't spoil it./ With an eager twitch of her tail, she rounded yet another corner and ran smack into...

"OW! Hey, watch where you're going ya stu-" He stopped. "Oh it's you, sorry Trance, didn't see ya." Harper stood up and stretched a hand down to help his pretty purple friend up.

"You were saying?" She asked, releasing his hand once she stood, crossing her arms over her chest, eyebrows raised.

He looked sheepish, "I, uh...thought you were Tyr!"

"Tyr? First of all, I'm not half the size of that man. Secondly, for a genius, you would have been pretty darn stupid to say that to him."

Harper grinned, wrapping an arm around Trance's shoulder as they continued down the hall Trance had been coming from, to wherever Harper was going. "Trance, Trance, Trance. Stupid, I am not. Blonde, maybe....but, uh...stupid." He shook his head. "I don't think so."

"Blonde?" She asked curiously. "What does you hair color have to do with your brain power?"

Harper laughed, shaking his head. "Nothing, Trance Baby. Just an old earth expression."

"Hmmmm. How many of these earth expressions are there? And...what's a....baby?"

"There are way to many earth expressions to recall in one lifetime, but we'll work on it. And a baby...well...an actual baby, is a...a baby. Don't tell me you don't know what a baby is? You had to have a been a baby at one time!"

Trance brow furrowed. "But you just called me one...does that mean I am?"

Harper stopped and turned to face Trance, then shook his head, "No, no, no." He sighed. "Ah, it's complicated, but it's really not important."

Trance looked into his eyes, pleading. "Aw please, Harper, tell me. I wanna know."

"We can't stand around the corridors, while I explain to you the facts of life!"

"Then let's go to my room, we can sit and talk, please? I'm bored, and I wanna know what a baby is."

"Don't you have work to do." Trance shook her head vigorously, a pink lock of silky hair falling into her eyes. She brushed it back, biting her lip, pleading with her eyes, before adding. "Dylan gave me some time off."

Harper nodded, "Yeah me too." He sighed again. "All right, schweetheart, come wid mey." He said in a mobsters accent, as they both turned , Trance slightly in the lead, heading toward her room.

************************************************************************

Harper gazed around in wonder at what Trance had done with the place. He had been in her room aboard the Maru plenty of times, but she could never seem to make it home...like this. Harper smiled at all the plants adorning the place, colorful beads hung from here and there, colorful posters and painting covered the walls. A makeshift fountain and stream ran along one side of the room, shimmering pebbles gleamed from the shallow depths. This was definitely Trance.

"Wow! You certainly fixed the place up, Trance. Very nice...though I wouldn't go for all this gobbity-goop, it's perfect....for you."

Trance smiled, pulling what looked like two bean-bag chairs from the corner.

"Hey," he said, coming closer, "Where'd you get those?"

"Oh, I found them in a storage compartment. I showed them to Dylan and he said I could have them. The person they belonged to is well, either over 300 years old...or dead. He figured they wouldn't mind. Neat aren't they?"

"Bean bag chairs!"

"Huh?"

"That's what they are. Another earth thing. They're bags of leather, or suede stuffed with small ummm," He paused. He didn't want to start in on 'what are beans' so instead said, "beads!"

"Beads? Then why don't they call them BEAD bag chairs?"

Harper shook his head, "Uh, way to many questions Tran."

She smiled, "Well, now that we're here tell me."

"What?"

"About babies, silly!"

Harper groaned, sinking down into the bean bag chair next to her. "You really wanna know?"

"YES!"

"Ugh, fine." He took a deep breath. "It's complicated, but simple at the same time. Basically babies are young, humans or otherwise. Very young. As in, brand new young. I was a baby, Rev was a baby, Dylan and Becka were babies. And so were you. You were once a tiny gurgling package of sparkly, smooth, purple skin and a cute little tail."

"Ohhhhh. I think I've seen one of those before, a human one...it was all reddish, pinky colored. Hmm...Where do they come from?"

Harper was about to answer when his jaw dropped. How the hell was he supposed to tell TRANCE about SEX! Nuh-uh, don't think so.

"Ah, I think maybe you better ask...um...Becka about that one."

"Becka? Why? Why can't you tell me?"

"Because Trance," he said uncomfortably, getting up and pacing the room. "God, I can't believe you don't know half this stuff. I mean, I knew about shacking up when I was like...7!"

"Shacking...up?" "Ugh," he looked toward the ceiling, covering his eyes with one hand, the other on his hip.

Trance continued to look up at him from her position on her beanbag chair, an innocent, curious look on her face.

"Come on, Harper. Tell me...puh-lease." She jumped up, grabbing him by the arms, batting her glittery eyes.

"I-I...I don't think I'm the right person to tell you, Trance. Just, just go ask Becka, k? I gotta go."

He really did, he was suddenly very aware that he was in Trances room, with her asking him about sex. He was also strangely aware of how pretty she looked. The colorful lights made her purple skin glow in different hues. Her silky blonde, purple and pink hair was up in clips, a few wisps hanging down, framing her innocent....beautiful face. His eyes traveled down to the simple silver halter top, baring her cute slim tummy and the crevice of her breasts. As well she had on matching shorts...short shorts, which were showing off her slender sparkly purple legs.

"Why?" She said, getting angry, stomping her foot. "Why can't you tell me? You tell me everything!"

/Not everything/ He thought with a guilty twinge. Some things she shouldn't know.

"And you think my tails cute? I thought you hated my tail, you always make fun of it."

She was still mad, but trying to keep him around by asking him more questions to stump him. He recognized this game.

"I-I..." Her tail. Truth was, he pretended to hate her tail so she'd keep it away from him. He had a fascination with her tail, and didn't want her to freak out if he suddenly started stroking it. God, how sexual did that sound?

"And further more," Oh boy. She wasn't finished.

"Why did you call ME baby? I'm not a baby."

"No, no you're not." He mumbled, his face a little flushed as he avert his eyes, looking at the far wall.

"Well?" She stomped her foot again for affect. He grinned half heartedly. He loved it when she got feisty.

"It's another one of those earth expressions again Trance. It's term of endearme- I mean, it's like a pet na-. Well more like..." He was suddenly at a loss. Trance however was smiling.

"Awww, that's so sweet. Thanks Harper."

In an instant her anger was gone replaced by her normally sweet demeanor. She hugged him tightly, he accepted briefly then pulled away. All to aware of her soft curves against him. Oh god, what was wrong with him. Sure, he'd always found Trance pretty. You'd have to be blind or dead not to realize that, but lately he'd been noticing how incredibly sexy she was. He was finding himself attracted to her, and it was scaring the hell out of him. He was young, but he'd been around a bit. Some women on different planets, nothing serious though. He'd never cared for any of them, not like he cared for Trance. She was...she was...his best friend.

He sighed, pulling away from her. "Ah, you're welcome, Ba-uh-Trance!"

She smiled, softly kissing his cheek. Then her face was serious again. "You still haven't answered two of my questions."

"Which-?"

"My tail? And where do babies come from?"

"Your, uh, tail? Well, yeah, I'm sure it was cute when you were little. Everything about babies is cute. And dammit Trance, I told you, ask Becka."

"NO! I want you to tell me. Becka's busy, you know that!"

"It's hard to explain...they uh, come from people, human or not. Like, uh...Magog's. They lay eggs in a dead body and they, uh...hatch."

She nodded, her face intense with concentration, "Well, I knew that I guess..."

"Humans as well? Do eggs just automatically form inside them, they lay them and they hatch...Did you hatch Harper?"

"Umm, no..."

"Well, where did you come from? How do humans have babies?"

"Look, it's to hard to explain."

"Well then...can you show me?" Harper blushed a deep crimson, choking in surprise. He coughed to clear his throat.

"Ummm, technically yeah, but no. No, I can't." His body was tingling at her closeness, as she was less than a foot away. Her hand grasped his in a silent plea, her tail casually flicking back and forth, mesmerizing him.

"Harper!" She said impatiently. He snapped back to reality, his body no less reacting to her.

"I...Trance it's not that simple. I can't just show you. We have to...we would have to love each other."

She looked at him, hurt. "But we do love each other...don't we? You're my best friend...aren't you?"

His heart broke at her hurt tone. He was speechless for a moment...a moment to long. Trance interpreted it the wrong way and quickly turned away.

"Fine then, just leave."

"Trance..." He begged, following her to the back of her room where she plopped down in a sea of blue silk blankets and pillows. He crouched down in front of her, but she ignored him, refusing to meet his gaze.

"Go away Seamus Harper! I don't want to talk to you."

"Hey," he said softly, placing a finger under her delicate chin. She went to jerk away, but he grabbed her chin rougher, forcing her to look at him.

Guilt washed over him at the hurt look in her beautiful eyes.

"Aw Trance, I do love you. You are my best friend, you know that!"

"Then why can't you show me?" He sighed exasperated. "Trance, it has to be more than just love. It's like a given rule that you only have babies with the person you love more than anything and, anyone else in the world. Course, not everybody follows that rule, but...but...they should."

"So, who do you love?"

"Huh?"

"Well, if you don't love me more than anything or anyone else in the world, than who is it?"

He opened his mouth, but no sound came out. Who did he love more than Trance? Sure he loved the others, but not the same way, not the way that....oh god.....oh god...he was in love with Trance.

Her soft voice broke him from his thoughts, "Who is it? Becka? Rev? Dyl-"

He burst out laughing, falling back off his heels into the soft silk on his back. "No-" he gasped. "Lord, no."

"What's so funny? Dammit Harper, why are you laughing at me?"

He looked up quickly, hearing the hurt tone in her voice again, DAMN why did he always end up hurting her. He immediately moved forward into a crouch again.

"Hey," he said sternly. "Don't swear." Trance never swore and it bugged him that she had.

"Why not?"

"Because it's not you."

"Well, maybe it is now!" She said curtly, turning her back on him, still sitting cross legged, her tail resting at her side.

"It better not be," he said gruffly, spinning her back around and grasping her shoulders.

"Because I'm in love with the old Trance, not the one who curses."

Her eyes widened, "In love? Isn't that what Dylan and Sara were?"

He swallowed nervously. "Yeah," he managed to get out. She smiled shyly. "Well, they loved each other more than anyone else. So then, can you show me?"

Harper shut his eyes tight. They snapped open when he felt Trance move closer, his knees bumping her slender shoulders.

"Please?" She said softly.

His heart was racing. God, how he wanted Trance. He 'd never wanted anyone so bad in his life, but he cared to much not to take things slowly. He loved Trance....and he would act on it...eventually.

"Tell you what..." He began, his voice gentle. "Why don't we start off slowly, k? I-I can't show you all at once...it's not right...so...so I'll just show you the first step...okay?"

She nodded, eyes locked with his. He took a deep breath but was suddenly startled, his desire for her intense, and as her tail innocently grazed his outer thigh, he toppled forward on top of her. Trance lay flat on her back, while Harper straddled her waist, knees on either side. They were both breathing deeply. He tried to calm himself. Shit, he shouldn't be this close to her. Not good. Not good at all. Well, it was good. He breathed deeply, her delicate scent intoxicating. Very good actually, but no, he couldn't take this any farther...any farther than a kiss.

"Oh god," he breathed huskily.

Just then Trance struggled to sit up, confused. Harper pushed her back down, pinning her shoulders his mouth descended on hers. They both felt a electrifying jolt pass through them as his lips met hers. It was a gentle peck at first, and he quickly pulled away to gouge her reaction. She was stunned, but he saw no fear or disgust, nothing to sway him from going in again.

At first she was still, but gradually instinct kicked in. And as he passed his tongue over the seam of her lips, she granted him access and his tongue delved into her mouth, exploring the dark, sweet contours. It went from a gentle probing to a passionate duel. Trance quickly caught on and twirled her tongue around his, probing him as well, more eager.

All to quickly he pulled away, gasping for breath. "OK, so uh..." he breathed deeply. "That's step one." He quickly jumped to his feet, pulling her up with him and then quickly turned away.

"Harper-?"

"No more questions Trance!" He shouted. She blinked, confused by his harsh tone. He instantly felt bad, but he couldn't take any more questioning. "I gotta go Trance. I'll see ya later, k?"

"Yeah, later." She said waving at his retreating figure. She touched her lips gently, smiling. Wow!

************************************************************************

Harper finally stopped pacing his room and leaned back against the wall. He couldn't stop thinking about her, about that kiss. Never had he felt that kind of energy from one kiss. Never had he been so turned on by one kiss. DAMN, what was that girl doing to him? And that was another thing. He couldn't do this, he had to stop. It wasn't fair to Trance, she didn't know what love was. Well, maybe she did, but how could he be sure. Maybe she wasn't sure what love really was yet, just thought she did. And when she finally realized what it was....god. She'd hate him for taking advantage of her. No, he decided firmly. That can't happen again, Trance is too unsure, to naive. He refused to take advantage of his best friend.

God, he was nuts anyway. Even this day and age, interracial relationships were rare. He shook his head. He had just kissed a sparkly, purple alien girl, who refused to tell him what she was. Well, didn't refuse, but evaded the question.

One thing he knew for sure, she was beautiful. But he'd always pictured himself with some blonde, bombshell human woman....likely with no brain. Trance was the complete opposite. Well, not the bombshell part, she'd knock any man off his feet. But she wasn't human, she was only partially blonde and she sure as hell wasn't stupid. Naive yes, stupid no. Course she wasn't a genius like him, but that was only in the technical sense. She had an incredible imagination and was wise, despite her lack of knowledge. By the stars, she was amazing.

He sighed. But I have to lay off, control my raging male hormones and think of her first. That's right, no problem. He groaned as he licked his lips, still tasting her sweetness. Okay, so it was easier said then done. Oh boy!

************************************************************************

Trance sighed softly to herself as the headed towards the bridge the next morning. Normally she worked in the med unit or hydroponics. However Rev was taking a break, so Dylan had asked her to come up and just keep an eye on Revs station for a bit. Not that she minded. It got lonely by herself where she usually was. The others were never around there, but always where she was headed for now.

Her mind was replaying yesterdays incident over and over again in her head. The thought of Harms lips on hers, sent her whole buddy shivering...in a good way. She'd never been kissed before...well, not like that. She smiled to herself, thinking of Harpers hard, lean body hovering a few inches above hers. She didn't understand the way her body reacted, but she knew she liked it. So distracted was she by her thoughts that she failed to notice she was already on the bridge nearly ran into Tyr. He turned toward her, a scowl on his face that didn't quite reach his eyes.

She smiled sweetly at him, "Sorry Tyr, my mind was somewhere else."

"As always," he grumbled, turning back to his station.

She ignored him, knowing he was more show than anything. Sure he was tough as hell, but he had a hidden...a deeply hidden, soft side. He wouldn't hurt her, at least she didn't think so...at least not with Dylan here. Dylan definitely wouldn't let him hurt her, he'd almost become like a father, or an older brother to her. Strong, brave and always protecting and guiding her.

She looked up briefly to see Harper watching at her. She smiled, which he returned briefly before ducking his head back to his work on some new gadget or other. It must be something for the bridge, otherwise he'd be in his little work area down in engineering. She watched him for a moment, his blonde head moving back and forth between two circuit boards. His handsome face partially hidden by the shadow of the station he was at. She frowned, seeing his blues eyes peeking at her nervously once and a while. She shrugged and turned her attention to her station, once again becoming lost in her thoughts as she watched the blinking lights and switches on the computer screen.

Harper didn't notice Trance enter, until she heard her apologize for running into Tyr, who in turn was scowling at her. Harper bristled. He hated how Tyr was so mean to Trance. Sure, she didn't care, she took in stride, being the good-natured person she was, but he still didn't like it. He continued to watch her as she continued on to Revs station. Her long legs once again accented by her short, black, overall type suit. She wore a sky blue tank top underneath, showing off her smooth slender arms.

She suddenly turned to look at him, smiling her brilliant smile. He gave her a quick smile then looked away back towards his newest experiment. He periodically looked at her out of the corner of his eye, unnerved to see her beautiful green eyes still trained on him. He felt like he was being studied. Not that he wouldn't mind Trance studying him...every inch of him actually, but...whoa! Hey! Can NOT go there. Finally she looked away toward his station and he sighed with relief.

"You all right there, Harper?"

He almost jumped out of his skin at the sound of Dylan's voice.

He quickly recovered, playing it cool. "What? Yeah, yeah. Just losing feeling in my ass from sitting on this cold steel for so long. No offense Rommie, but your floors aren't very comfortable." He said louder, knowing the computer/ship personality would hear him.

"Terribly sorry, Harper!" She said in mock seriousness. "I guess it's s slight flaw in design. After all, comfort for those sitting on the floor of a WARSHIP is first priority."

Dylan and Becka chuckled, while Harper continued on, determined to have the last word.

"That's right, you should be sorry. A genius such as myself should be comfortable at all times."

"First off, if you're such a genius, why don't you just sit in a chair? Second, I don't know, you seemed to find the floor quite comfortable yesterday."

Harper was about to come back with a smart comment when the last part of what she said hit him. She has been looking in on them. He was speechless for a moment, then finally got out meaningfully, "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to spy on your neighbors?"

"I never had a mother,"

"Well now, that explains a lot." He said, trying desperately to change the subject, but she had caught Dylan and Becka's attention.

"On the floor? What were you doing on the floor?" Dylan asked, eyebrows quirked.

He spun around at Trances voice, as she had been listening in on their conversation, smiling at Harpers witty comments.

"Harper was showing me-"

"How to play Crazy Eights!" He cut in, glaring at her briefly before turning his attention back to the others. "We were both bored after you gave us some time off yesterday, so I suggested we play Crazy Eights. And for your information, Rommie," he said heatedly to the hologram that had appeared during the exchange. He was hoping to give her the hint to shut up. "We were on cushions, not the floor, so there."

Rommie rolled her eyes. But said nothing, deciding to let Harper off the hook.

"Uh-huh!" was all Dylan said, before turning back to the console at his side.

Becka however kept looking back and forth between Harper and Trance, before leaning towards Harper saying in a low voice. "Playing crazy Eights?" She stood back quirking an eyebrow. Harper shrugged nervously, Becka knew him better than that. He didn't play card games.

"We were REALLY bored." He stated, not meeting her eyes.

Becka sighed, "Oookay!" And then turned to confer with Dylan about some faulty weapons.

He sighed, with short lived relief however as he noticed Tyr eyeing him and Trance. Trance was gazing at him, totally confused. He was at a loss. If he gave her a look that said "we'll talk later" Tyr might catch it and become even more suspicious. This really wouldn't look good on his part....or Trance's for that matter (though through no fault of her own) If they others found out what actually happened, or more appropriately, the circumstances surrounding it and what it could have led to. He flinched, not good. Dylan would kick his ass from here all the way back to earth. Tyr narrowed his eyes, then looked away, seemingly deciding to ignore them.

Trance continued to watch him, and before she could say anything to get them in a squeeze again, he jumped up from what he was doing and casually walked over to her. He saw Tyr watching from the corner of his eyes. Whatever.

"Trance, we gotta talk." He whispered once he was beside her, pretending to show her something on the console.

"Why did-" she started in a normal voice. He nudged her with his elbow hissing, "shhhh" She looked puzzled, "Why?" she whispered.

He sighed, "Look Trance, what happened last night...it shouldn't have happened. I mean, you? Me? First of all, don't say a WORD about it, or Dylan will kill me, I mean totally terminate me."

"For kissing me? Why?"

He ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. "Not so much that, Trance, but the whole intention behind it. What you wanted me to show you, is well, not really acceptable. You're too young."

She bristled, "I'm not much younger than you Harper!"

"Okay, okay, I know. That wasn't the right word,ummm....You're too inexperienced. I mean, do you really know what love is? I mean true love?"

Her eyes took on a cold look, very unnerving for Harper to see in her.

"I DO know what love is, Harper. Maybe I didn't know what real family was before, but I do now, and I thought YOU were part of it." With that, she turned on her heal and stormed off the bridge, not once looking back.

Harper groaned, "Damn, damn, damn!" he cursed to himself. Why? Why did he always find a way to say exactly the wrong thing to her? Yes sir, count on Seamus Zelazny Harper, super genius, to find just the right words to hurt Trance Gemini. Typical.

He sighed to himself and began to jog after her, "Trance, wait!"

Suddenly he found his way blocked by an angry Nietzschean.

"I wisely suggest you leave the girl alone, you've obviously upset her."

Harper took a moment to notice Rommie, Dylan and Becka all watching him with curious looks. He then turned back to Tyr.

"And this coming from the supreme master of sensitivity and good will. Ptsh, yeah! Outta my way Mr. Righteous!"

He jumped back when Tyr reached a large hand toward him.

Lucky for him, Dylan cut in. "Hands off him Tyr."

"Yeah, that's right!" Harper said cockily.

Dylan raised an eyebrow saying, "Now what was that all about Harper?"

"Hey!" He protested. "Aren't we allowed private lives aboard this ship? Huh? Whatever goes on between me and Trance, is between me and Trance."

"Not when she runs off the bridge in the middle of duty with tears rolling down her face."

Tears? Damn, he really needed to find her.

"Look, I'm sorry she ran off and left her station, and I'm sorry, I'm running off leaving my experiment. However, this IS between me and Trance, I'll deal with it thank you."

"You hurt her..." Harper wasn't sure whether that was a statement or a warning.

"Trance is my best friend Dylan, I would never intentionally hurt her. If you don't know that then you have a lot left to learn about this crew. My mouth got a way with me, something came out wrong, now I gotta fix it. Don't worry, she's used to me messing up then running to fix things again. Can I go now, we run a tight schedule in this friendship. If I'm not there apologizing for being my normal arrogant, obnoxious self within the next 5 minutes, she'll make me suffer for an extra few days. It doesn't sound like a lot, but then you've never suffered a guilt trip a la Trance, have you?"

Dylan smiled, shaking his head. "No, no I haven't. All right, go on. Rev will be back in half an hour, take a break."

"Oh gee, thanks." Harper said sarcastically heading off the bridge. "Let me spend my break groveling to a purple girl in tight-" Wait a second. "Thanks!"

With that he dashed off in the direction of hydroponics, leaving a very puzzled Dylan, Becka and Tyr.