A/N: This is an extremely belated birthday fic for Prin69, who asked for Beka/Rhade fluff. Well, I tried! I really, really did!
Disclaimer: Nope! Not mine in the slightest! Aren't you shocked? I certainly was.
The mission should have been simple. Dylan had said it would be simple; I should have known it wouldn't be simple. I should have been prepared for any eventuality. I should have ignored Dylan when he told me to go. I should have never rescued Dylan from the black hole in the first place. And I most definitely should never have consented to bring Telemachus Rhade along with me. Absolutely. Not.
"Perhaps they have something against the Commonwealth," the tall Niet commented from his position on the other side of our very small cell. I tried to ignore him. "Or perhaps old friends of yours from your, shall we say, less than reputable days?"
"I'm ignoring you. Shut up so I can do that, k?" I asked.
"Why?" I closed my eyes.
"Because you're an idealistic idiot and I have no patients right now."
"I wouldn't go as far as to say that I am either idealistic or an idiot," he told me. I glared in his general direction, not willing to open my eyes.
"You're very jaded, Rebecca," he told me.
I jumped up in irritation, and promptly collapsed back to the floor. The drugs that our captors had used to sedate us hadn't worn off quite yet. "Don't call me that," I told him.
"It's your name, isn't it?" The man was downright infuriating. That's what he was.
"Yes. But only three people are allowed to call me that. I don't speak to one of them. The second is off trying to find himself, and the third is dead after selling his soul to the Maggog. Shut up now."
"I've said it before, Beka, I am not Tyr Anasazi. I won't betray you."
"No. No, you're not Tyr, unfortunately. Tyr would know to leave me alone. Or else he'd say something that would make me no longer want to be left alone. Ah, hell, Tyr would have killed the God damned idiots who kidnapped us before we could be kidnapped! You could never be Tyr." I curled up, wrapping my arms around my knees. I was going to be sick. Or kill Rhade. Or kill myself. Or…something.
"You truly respected him, didn't you?"
"What obviously extensive problem do you have comprehending the words 'shut up'!" I demanded.
He didn't speak for a while, and I was able to lose myself in thoughts of warm beds and hot showers and things not involving Rhade in any way, shape or form. I was just getting to the part where I took over the Andromeda when Rhade had to go and ruin it for me.
"So. What was he like? Before he became obsessed with power?"
"Who?" I asked, buying time in which I could decide on the best manner in which to end his annoying life.
I didn't want to talk about Tyr. Didn't want to talk about anything. Was going to kill Rhade. Was going to kill myself, after that. "He was intelligent," I began, finally. "Witty, protective, charming. He was strong, mentally and physically. He actually cared about what I had to say. He would have killed for me. Probably did. He inspired loyalty. At least…in me. But I'm screwed up like that. I need someone. Didn't, before, of course. But Tyr…well, I've been alone so long, with nobody to care and regulate and understand me and he did and I could actually accept that in a screwed up sort of way. It was more of a love/hate than anything. Nothing…mushy. If I were hurting he'd tell me to get over it because it was making me weak. So I did. It was as simple as that. He was so different at the end. But…he was disappointed in me. That was it, I think. If Tyr was disappointed in me, and Dylan wasn't, then I would go with Dylan's plans. It was that simple. I came this close to betraying the Andromeda. To going with him. But I didn't. 'Cause Tyr was disappointed in me, and I couldn't stand that so I tried to make him out as my enemy. Because, technically, he was. And that made sense. But it made sense when I was going to go with him, too." I shut up then, aware that I had been babbling and not wanting to know what Rhade would have to say.
He was quiet again, and I began to harbor the unrealistic hope that he wouldn't say anything. Unrealistic, as I said.
"That doesn't sound very healthy," he said finally.
I giggled semi-hysterically. "I thought it was."
And he was right in front of me, somehow. Superspeed, or something. Crouching on the dirty floor, hands on my shoulders. "I want to be your stability, Rebecca," he said quietly. Bastard. He was using my name on purpose. Trying to make it just a word. Trying to disassociate it with Tyr.
"Shut up," I told him, pushing him away. "What do you want to do, rescue me?"
"Yes." I stared at him in utter shock and bewilderment.
"It was a joke!" I exploded. "I don't need a knight in shining armor! I don't need anyone! I don't need a lover or a father or a brother and I most certainly don't need you!"
"Yes you do," he said in that superior tone that is universally and incontrovertibly Nietzschean. "You're emotionally scarred. Damaged. I want to help you. I…I love you, Rebecca."
Oh Gods. My world chose that moment to implode on me and I couldn't breathe and I was gong to scream and kill him and cry and break things and giggle at the complete non-reality of this and oh Gods. "No you don't know you don't know no not you too no you don't love no no…" I trailed off, shaking and forcing myself to my feet.
He followed me with his eyes, not moving from his place on the floor. "Beka…"
"No! Don't…say it. Not again. I can't…not right now. Not so soon. Never. Oh Gods no."
"I'm sorry. That was…I should have known you wouldn't feel that way." He looked like a little boy who had just found out his puppy had died. Shit.
"Look. Just, no. If you want something that bad…um, friends. I can do friends. Friends with absolutely no benefits because if I ever think like that I'll go well no not again. You said it yourself, it's not healthy, and I'm just not stable enough right now. But I can do friends."
He looked a little less dejected. "Friends?" he said, as if trying out the word on his tongue.
I nodded fiercely. "Yes. Friends. Does that…does that work for you?"
"Of course, Rebecca."
"Stop it!" I screamed at him. I could feel my fragile grip on reality slipping. He called me Rebecca. He wanted to control me. Just like Tyr. Just like Sid. Rev didn't. I clutched on to that thought. Rev called me Rebecca and didn't want to control me. I…didn't think. Oh Gods.
"Listen! What is that!" he was on his feet, ear pressed to the door. I couldn't focus. Too many drugs in my system. I was too breakable. Too weak. I was useless. I dropped into blackness after passing through about a million different versions of reality.
I came awake slowly, not wanting to face the real world. I couldn't remember much, just the crashing of the Maru, and men in masks, and then faint thoughts of a prison cell and Rhade. I opened my soar eyes, feeling a dull throbbing take up residence in the back of my head. I was on med deck. On the Andromeda. Trance was nowhere to be seen. There was, however, when I looked to my left, someone else there. Sitting in a chair beside my bed, observing me quietly was Telemachus Rhade himself.
"How are you feeling?" he asked gently.
"Like I got run over by a fighter. Why the hell do you care?" My headache and general exhaustion and memory loss was not making me the best of company. He smiled at me, and rested a hand on my shoulder. His smile was almost possessive. I shivered.
"Don't worry, everything will be alright, Rebecca." My world shattered into little tiny glittering fragments.