A/N: I am experiencing writarhea! I cannot stop thinking up one-shot concepts! I have about three others started! Okay, so here it my latest, though probably not greatest fanfic! Please, please, please tell me what you think!
Disclaimer: Yeah, I totally own Andromeda...dumb-asses.
Rhade sat at one of the dirty tables in the infamous bar. Harper was behind the counter, trying to impress some dumb blonde with his bartending tricks. Rhade was swishing around a glass of water in his hand, watching the liquid make a delicate vortex. After watching Harper get slapped in the face and the blond storm off, he took a sip. It was warm and tasteless, but then again, that's how water tasted, or at least that's how Rhade remembered it. It stuck to the roof of his dry mouth, causing a sense of stickiness. He laid the glass back down on the dirty, chipped table. He continued to observe the lowly occupants of the dingy bar. There was a woman with raggedy, red, curly hair, face smeared with dirt and a few teeth missing. She was at a table with a man that Rhade saw had blond hair but to the untrained eye seemed to have brown hair. There were a few other people, not really worth mentioning. A bald man in the corner, a passed out woman by the front, and there was Rhade. How sad was this picture?
Trance entered the bar, looking around with a neutral face, but Rhade knew better. She was upset. He had apologized already for what he had said, he hadn't meant her. She told him that she forgave him, but he still had the distinct feeling that she was still upset, that she still blamed herself. He noticed her spot Harper and smile. It was good to see her smile, to see someone smile. He knew that he didn't smile anymore, not that he was really a smiley type of guy to begin with. He watched Trance as she walked behind the bar and started talking to Harper. He sighed. there was a dull pounding bouncing around the walls of his skull and he felt nausea in his stomach. He was experiencing withdrawal syndrome. He wanted alcohol so badly, but he knew that if he had any, he wouldn't stop. The withdrawal syndrome would get worse once he went on longer without anything to drink and he got more and more sober. Right then, the person who would know the most about withdrawal syndrome walked into the bar. Rhade took another sip.
Beka had that mildly tired look to her. He knew that she had a lot of debts to pay, things to do. It was a miracle that she found time for Dylan and the Andromeda at all. She looked around the bar and gave a quick nod to Harper while smiling at Trance. Rhade noticed that things were never quite the same between Beka and Harper ever since they had found Rommie. Rhade has been furious himself. To keep a living being a state like that for three years was almost impossible to comprehend. Then Harper went and made Doyle. Typical Harper. Doyle was the polar opposite of Rommie, and Rhade wasn't sure if he was ever going fully adjust to her being the Andromeda's AI. He heard that Andromeda had a hard time too. Beka scanned the bar and it looked like she was going to sit down at one of the bar stools but at the last second she seemed to change her mind and turned to sit with Rhade.
"Hello, Rhade. How's hell treated you this day?" she asked as she sat in the seat across from him.
"Oh, great. I think that soon I might even stop having daily meetings with the devil." Beka smiled wryly.
"Hey, Beka!" Harper called from behind the bar, "you want something to drink?"
"Yeah," Beka replied "I think I'll have a whiskey." She quickly turned to Rhade and noticed the water that sat before him. "You know what Harper," she added, "I think I'll just have water." Harper's grin diminished slightly.
"Just having water 'cause it's cheaper." Rhade heard him say to Trance. He wasn't sure if Beka heard.
"So," she said to him, apparently she hadn't, heard that is, "have you seen Dylan lately?"
"Oh…" a silence set in between them. It was awkward, like meeting someone at a party and not know how to make small talk. Rhade took another sip of his water. Beka laid her head in her right palm and blew some hair out of her face. She turned to look at Rhade. He looked down as he pretended not to notice her eyes run over the features of his face. Harper came with her water and she took a sip. After a minute of two, she took her hands and placed her palms on the side of the table in front of her.
"Okay, Rhade. I have to ask. I know that you already said why you gave up drinking, but there has to be another reason. What is it?" Rhade looked up at her. He remembered a joke that Harper once told. He said that Rhade would have to be amazingly drunk to look at Beka as pretty. That wasn't true. Rhade always had looked at Beka as pretty, beautiful even. It did help if you were drunk though. In fact, it helped a lot. Rhade had worked a lot with Beka over the past weeks, most of the time when he was drunk and he had the strongest attraction to her. He had to stop himself time after time from fantasizing about her and to concentrate on his work. He would stare at her for ten minutes at a time before he could catch himself. It scared him. He didn't want another relationship, another love lost. He also knew for a fact that she wasn't looking for a relation ship too. But he couldn't help but let his mind wonder, fantasize. Truth be told, there had always been underlining tension when it came to Beka. He had always felt something, always, but it was never this strong. He hoped that with the alcohol gone that the feelings would subside. They hadn't. he had a feeling that they would never.
He looked across the table at Beka. Who was leaning forward in anticipation.
"It's bad for you." Was all he said as he lifted the glass of water to his lips and let the water pour into his lips. Beka looked disappointed.
"Fine, don't tell me." She said while leaning back and crossing her arms across her chest. Rhade remembered hearing about the flash problem she had. It was similar to his, in a way. It was years ago, before he had met her. Harper had told him. He had even used the knowledge against her in a fight once, resulting in a very painful punch to his face. He hadn't meant to say it, and regretted it as the words left his mouth, but he tried to cover up his guilt. He pondered asking her about it, but then thought otherwise. He didn't want her mad at him. He smiled across the table at her.
"It's the truth. Drinking, it's not good for you." Beka looked skeptical.
"Fine, have it your way Rhade." She picked up her glass, "Well, cheers to good health." She said to him. He brought up his glass to hers and gently clanged the glasses together.
"Cheers." He said to her as they brought their glasses to their lips, Rhade sneaking a glance at her while she drank.
A/N: So tell me what you thought! Go ahead, push the Trance button. It ain't hard.