A/N: I've seen this idea for a fic pop up more and more often, and I've pondered it myself for awhile. Here's my brief take on the secret hope that so many of us Andromeda (and especially Tyr) fans cherish.

OoOoOoOoOoOo

Rating: The usual PG to PG-13 ish range.

Summary: All I'll say is... Pairing: Tyr/Beka

OoOoOoOoOoOo

"I must say that I'm rather offended that your good Captain Hunt truly thought me capable of allying with the being who created the Magog and stupid enough to let myself be betrayed by it." Two shadowy figures sat across from each other at a small table, talking over aromatic food and a single candle.

"It wasn't too difficult between Telemachus's hero-worship of him and demonization of you, not to mention Harper's nonstop condemnation. Do you realize that Rhade number two gave up an admiralty to go rogue and join the Andromeda?" A feminine voice chuckled warmly. "Not that I minded so much; he is one of the... mmm... most delicious men I have seen." After a brief pause, the voice added, with a chortle, "present company excluded, of course."

One could hear the smile in the voice that answered—this masculine. "Look at all the men you like; I know you'll come back to me, just as I will always return to you."

The woman's voice continued without openly acknowledging the tenderness of her companion's declaration. "Of course, this does mean that I have to be something of a bitch to poor Telemachus, as I'm still... um... scarred from the emotional wound you inflicted upon me."

"Ahh yes, how is my clone? I hear he ended quite badly, though somewhat inconclusively. For all I know, he may have survived his encounter with the Abyss. It would certainly be more convenient for me if he did; manufacturing clones is a difficult—and at best, inefficient—process. Especially when one finds it necessary to speed up their growth exponentially."

The woman laughed. "And the hair was just... not you. Nor were the nubile young things serving you grapes while perched on your lap. Did you tell him that or, what, did he just improvise the slave girl routine?" Her head dipped briefly as she checked her bracer. "I would love to continue this-- " her voice softened, "this dinner has been... beautiful—but we're on a tight schedule. Dylan's expecting me back with parts tomorrow, and you have to go back... to wherever you go." Her voice was a little wistful at these last words. She inhaled, and when she spoke again, her voice was light. "But don't worry, I won't ask. I'm sure what I imagine is much more exciting than reality, anyway."

The man rose, walked the two steps around the table, and offered his hand to the woman. With a smile and perhaps a stain of blush, she took it and stood. They left the dimly-lit restaurant, apparently already having paid the bill. Or maybe one of the companions had an arrangement with the manager.

The pair walked side by side, very near one another but not touching. They seemed so comfortable together that physical contact was somehow... unnecessary. Superfluous. They spoke quietly, the woman more apt to burst into short bouts of laughter. The man expressed considerably less emotion, occasionally smiling softly when he gazed at his companion.

He stopped at a small shop and disappeared inside, ordering the woman to wait outside. She grinned as she waited, rolling her eyes good- naturedly—apparently accustomed to this routine. The man returned shortly and presented a small, crimson box to her with a bow.

The woman laughed. "Tyr, everyone aboard the Andromeda is going to start suspecting me of piracy if I constantly return from supply runs with new jewelry and CD's." She examined the box and added, "not that I'm one to object to any of it."

He hovered over her, a faint smile curving his lips as he watched her reaction. She opened the package, dug through layers of tissue, and pulled out a small sculpture. Her blue eyes widened when she opened her fingers to reveal a tiny porcelain statue of a girl sitting on her father's lap. In a touching detail, the girl's hair was red.

The woman's eyes shone very brightly when she looked up. "It's beautiful," she whispered. She stroked the girl's smooth hair and smiled at the pair, frozen eternally in a moment of joy. "How is that you know—that you always know?"

He chuckled. "My people's genetic engineering must prove useful once in a while."

The two were quiet as they walked on. The woman was in a world of thoughts of those she had lost—her father, namely—as well as the man she accompanied right now. She hated that they saw each other so infrequently, that they couldn't share their relationship with anyone else... that she had to hear her crewmates harp on him. She understood why, of course, and if she didn't know that a clone of him was the one who had caused the Andromeda so much trouble recently, she would have felt the same.

They continued in silence until they reached one of the drift's lodgings. They entered and walked to a room, where the man stopped. "Beka, I know the pain you must endure because of me," he began slowly. It seemed that he had rehearsed these words several times before and was now reluctant to speak them. "I cannot give up my dream for my people, not even for you, and if you wish to terminate our relationship... I will not hold it against you."

The woman raised her eyes from her internal musings. She glanced down at the figure, still held tightly in her hands, and then back up at the Nietzschean beside her. "It does hurt, Tyr, and sometimes, I do think about it... No, what little time we do have together makes up for anything else. You run a huge risk by being with me in the first place, and then you go and do something like this..." She sniffled. "I'm not going to abandon you—abandon us—because it's hard. Life is hard, but it can be so..." her voice quavered, and she covered it with a short laugh. "This sounds so cliché—I feel like I'm watching a holovid or something."

She tucked the figurine carefully back into its box, then fished a key from her pocket. She inserted it into the door's lock and opened it. "Do you want to come in?"

The woman knew that she didn't need to ask this question, but the man answered sincerely. "I would like that very well."

The door opened and then closed quietly behind the pair. The woman set her gift carefully on a nightstand. She turned to her companion and gestured toward a holoscreen across from the bed. "I'm sore in places I didn't know could get sore." She rubbed the back of her neck and tilted her head. "These last several weeks on the Andromeda have been nonstop action/adventure, so I am going to take a real bath for the first time in months and stay in there until I am as wrinkled as my maiden great-aunt."

She retrieved a pair of simple pajamas from a drawer and smiled broadly when she noticed her companion watching her instead of the offered holoscreen. "Now, now, Tyr. We wouldn't want to taint the Andromeda' first officer with accusations of lascivious behavior with the enemy, would we?" Her smile deepened into a mischievous grin. "Besides, you're the one who always told me that patience is a virtue."

She skidded into the bathroom as modestly as the vestal virgin she claimed to be on rare occasions, and the sound of running water echoed from the bathroom's closed door. The Nietzschean glanced over and favored the door with a rare, full smile.

He ignored the holoscreen and pulled a volume from somewhere on his person. He stretched out on the large mattress with the air of a man who has finally find a moment's repose after years of hard struggle, able to let down his guard around the single person in the universe whom he trusted completely.

That single person worthy of this Nietzschean's trust splashed around in a bathtub for nearly an hour before emerging in soft blue pants and a matching tank top, already halfway soaked by her damp blonde hair. The scent of vanilla followed her out of the steamy bathroom, enveloping her.

She made her way to the bed and laid back on her elbows, peering over at the book her companion read. "Whatcha readin'?" she asked amicably.

"Nothing that will not hold for another day." He folded the book and set it beside the figurine. He turned and propped himself up on one elbow. "I don't believe the same can be said of you, Captain Valentine." With his free hand, he reached out and tucked a damp lock of hair behind her ear. "Now that we have only these hours together, I look back on the time we had available on the Andromeda and recognize my incredible foolishness."

The woman's face, flushed from her warm bath, softened into a quiet, tender expression few outside the hotel room ever saw. "We humans have a much clichéd phrase for that: you don't know you got till it's done." She laughed. "So I guess this would be the wrong moment for an 'I told you so'?"

"You would be perfectly right in saying so," the man chuckled in reply. "But not the most tactful moment."

The woman slid closer to the Nietzschean until she was a few inches from his powerful form. She rested her face on her hand, mirroring his pose. "Well, maybe not." She searched his face for a moment, then wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled herself even closer.

He breathed in the aromas of her vanilla soap, her shampoo, and that elusive scent that always stayed with Rebecca Valentine. Her face, flushed from her warm bath, and sapphire blue eyes filled his vision, and he could feel her light touch on his body. He bent his head forward, and she tipped hers up. They met softly, like a whisper beneath a storm, but their kiss intensified until the whisper swallowed the storm.

They only had these few precious hours—less than a full day—and neither could say when next they would meet. But meet they would when fate allowed a brief escape from her frenzied chaos, and they would continue to rendez- vous until their respective causes aligned once more and gave them the opportunity they had disdained years ago.