Fall Seven Times

TITLE: Fall Seven Times

AUTHOR: Parisindy


DISCLAIMER: No money was received or exchanged.
We do not own Andromeda or any of its Characters.
This is purely for fun.

ARCHIVE: only MW can archive it anyone else has to ask first.

SUMMARY: Sequel to Three Parts Dead

NOTES: Thanks to ElJay for Being my Beta reader, and Jips for the plot bunny and the Banner and thank you to the CC H20's for the inspiration

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."

Japanese Proverb

To be a part of something greater then yourself, to think beyond who you are and where you have been--to be completely alive in the moment and think, 'Yes, this is where I'm meant to be'--this must be akin to heaven.

Reverend Behemial Far-Traveler. Circa AFC 309

I see a small house on a hill. The wind rushes over the rocks from the harbor and beats against its walls. After years of abuse the building leans to the left in a vain attempt to escape its tormentor. You can see through the walls and the salt from the nearby ocean leaves stains on the floor. Soon it just might slide down the hill to the water and float away. Sometimes it shakes, but it knows where it belongs. Living ghosts haunt its halls but they cannot walk through the walls that have been set. Only love can do that.

Alarms sounded and blue lights flashed. Harper bolted up in bed gasping awake as the ship jolted with the impact of something hitting her hull.

"Rommie, what's happening?"

The holographic avatar flickered in to place beside his bed.

"We are under attack by unknown Ogami forces, Dylan requests you go to the slipstream core and direct repairs. That first shot skewed my GFG lens."

"Dammit, the Ogami again?"

Rommie gave a small nod, "Fourth time this week."

Harper leapt out of bed but was tangled in his sheets and tripped to the floor. "Gah!" His knee banged on some miscellaneous tool hidden under a pile of dirty clothes. He then let out a string of swear words that would have made a prostitute on Constitution Drift blush. His head was still foggy from having that damned dream again. He couldn't seem to shake thing from his brain.

"Harper! Language!" the avatar admonished him. "You better hurry."

"Yeah, yeah, tell Dylan I'm on my way!" He quickly freed himself from his sheets and found a relatively clean pair of pants from the floor and pulled them on. Grabbing a not so clean t-shirt, he ran out the door dressing as he went.

His boots pounded the deck heavily. He wheezed despite himself and pulled a rag from his pocket as he paused only slightly to sneeze. He rubbed at his ear as he continued his run. It never really healed since he got beat up by those Ubers and now everything seemed muffled. They were probably plugged from whatever thing he had picked up this time.

Damn cold!

Explosions caused him to stagger in the corridor and he soon found his feet again. No, rest for the wicked or the sick. Beka had bugged him all day yesterday to get Trance to check him out. It was ridiculous to run to Med Deck for every little thing. He finally convinced Beka that he would go to bed and get some extra sleep to see if he could kick it on his own, but he still felt like crap.

He rounded the corner and slid in to the vast area that held the slipstream drive. He bounded up to the control panel to check the status of his beloved ship. "Boss," he shouted, "This is not good! The GFG Lens is toast and the AG field generator is failing. I can reroute power temporarily but you need to get us some down time for repairs!"

Captains Hunt's voice filtered through the intercom system. "Working on it Mister Harper. Do what you can."

The intercom flickered off just as he heard Beka shout something in the background about asteroids. "Ah, swell," He muttered under his breath. His chest suddenly seized and he was sent in to a fit of coughing.

Rommie flickered in beside him. "Harper are you okay?"

He wheezed as he caught his breath, "Yeah," he coughed. "Never better."

"When you are done report to sick bay."

"Rommie, I'm…"

"That was an order."

Harper stared at her angrily for a moment, but he had no time for this now. "Whatever," he replied with bitterness in his voice as he turned back to his work. He loved Rommie but some days he really hated being the lowest ranking member of this crew.

"Harper has made it to the slipstream drive and is currently working on repairs," Rommie informed the crew.

"Thank Goodness," muttered Beka not quite under her breath.

Tyr watched Beka bob and weave in the slip chair. These constant attacks by the Ogami had grown wearisome. Still, despite what he would have them believe he would miss this place when he left. He had been planning for months. Ever since The Commonwealth became a force to be reckoned with again. Soon he would have to tell the good Captain Hunt of his plans but not quite yet; for now he would bide his time.

His one true concern was for the boy. Initially he had distanced himself, but it seemed this human had an uncanny ability of endearing himself to others. The child was precocious, annoying, and disobedient. Harper would have made a good Nietzschean if he didn't have the tendency to pick up every bacterium and virus that came within a hundred miles of him.

Once this latest crusade of Dylan's was over, he would have to have a talk with the boy; for the moment there was nothing he could do about any of the threads of concerns that filtered through his mind so he returned his focus to the fight at hand.

An Ogami fighter swerved right in to his line of fire; Tyr let loose with a photonic missile and obliterated it without batting an eye. "Oh, come on, show some originality at least!" he shouted at the forward screen.

The rest of the Ogami fighters dispersed like scattered seeds and exited into multiple slip points.

"Bored, Tyr?" Dylan asked with a smirk.

"They peck at us like birds but they don't they get down to business. They rush in … fire a few volleys and disappear. What's the point?"

"We promised the Sedley Alliance of Planets that would keep the Ogami Pirates from over-running their trade routes. They need time to regroup their task force from the raids earlier this month."

"Do not disguise you ulterior motive, Captain Hunt," Tyr Sneered. "We're playing nice in the hope they will join your Commonwealth."

Dylan turned on the Nietzschean then. "We are helping a group of people in need Tyr. It's their choice as to whether to join the Commonwealth or not."

"They are a weak; if they cannot survive with out someone's protection what choice do they have?"

Dylan look annoyed. "Tyr, we are teaching them to be self-reliant."

"Self-reliant? Or, just reliant?" Tyr returned.

"Tyr--walk with me now!"

Tyr shrugged and followed the good Captain out in to the hall. He was growing tired of all this. He respected Captain Hunt, but he would need to move on soon. They were both ambitious men and they both had their ulterior motives. This was becoming all too obvious and if there was one thing Tyr hated, it was being obvious. After all, unpredictability was the mark of a successful--and long-lived--soldier.

Attack over, emergency repairs over; Seamus sat on the med deck bed swinging his legs back and forth, looking more than a little bored as once again Beka and Trance discussed his situation.

"He's definitely picked up a virus from somewhere," Trance confirmed. "But it's not serious. I've given him some antibodies that should fix the situation pretty quickly. He'll be feeling better in no time." Trance turned to a nearby cart to prepare the medical injector.

"I felt fine before," muttered Harper under his breath, his eyes never leaving the deck.

Beka didn't believe him for a second and ignored the comment all together. Instead, she chose to address Trance. "But where did he get it from? He hasn't been off the ship in 2 months and I have Rommie run regular scans. This ship should be a bug-free zone; I don't get it! Plus shouldn't he be growing? In the three years he's been here he's only grown out of one set of clothes. He's wrecked about fifty but …."

Harper took exception to the conversation again. "Hey, I'm growing, I'm a whole inch taller then I was a couple of weeks ago!"

Beka turned to him with a sad smiled. "Kiddo, you just need a hair cut."

He stared back at her icily. "What's so great about being tall anyways?"

Trance held the injector to harpers neck and administered his medicine.

"It doesn't matter how tall you are Harper, really; I'm just worried about the lack of growth overall," Beka continued.

Trance took the time to chime in there. "Actually, I've been worried about that too. I've been monitoring Harper and …"

Harper's mouth dropped open. "You've been monitoring me?"

"Well, not all the time. Rommie does that, I was just…"

"Have either of you ever once considered asking me about anything?"

Beka knew something was wrong with him. Harper had always been touchy about his health, but lately everything seemed to piss him off. "Kid, cool your jets! You haven't been the most approachable lately. You've been moody; in fact you've been down right grouchy. Trance says you haven't been sleeping, you seem distracted and you've been pushing yourself too hard. When was the last time you had a full meal?"

Harper fidgeted with the seam of his pants angrily and didn't answer.

Beka continued, her rant. "I don't want to have to start monitoring your meals again, but if Trance is worried enough about you to start monitoring your health then maybe we should. Something's wrong and if you're going to continue to hide in the conduits for days at a time instead of talking to me, what am I suppose to do?" Beka threw her hands in the air in frustration.

Harper had worried a small hole in the leg of his pants now. "I'm not avoiding you; I just haven't felt like … I don't know. I just sort of feel like being alone right now. Maybe I need a break."

Trance looked on fondly as Beka knelt before him, moving his hand away from the hole he had created. "I think a rest is a good idea."

He jerked his head up in surprise. "Really? You mean it? I can go down to one of the Sedley planets! I heard about this great spot where…"

Beka cut him off; it was hard to say no but it was for his own good. "Harper, the planets, no. I was thinking more you and I could take a spin in the Maru. I'll even let you fly."

Harper's face filled with disappointment; the spark she had rekindled faded instantly. "But…"

Beka squeezed his hand. "Come on, Harper." Beka tipped his chin up so she could look him in the eye. "You know these are trade planets. The Drago-Kasov are active here. You are still on their most wanted list. Besides, you've already picked up a bug and the Andromeda couldn't be more sanitary. After this assignment is over, I'll get Dylan to take us to Anwar drift, you liked it there."

"After! That could be months!" It sounded whiney even to him and he screwed up his face in disgust.

Beka knew the kid just needed to get out. He was going stir crazy. Unfortunately, there was still a problem. Seamus Harper wasn't like other kids. Most 16- or 17-year-old kids weren't being Hunted for blowing up factories. Beka rubbed a hand over her face. "Seamus," she started but didn't finish. "No… you know what? Okay you're right."

"What?" Trance and Harper both gasped in unison at Beka's abrupt turn around.

"It's not fair for me to keep you cooped up here. But I have conditions."

Harper was beaming. If he smiled any bigger his face would crack in half. "Yeah, sure, anything!"

"I get to chaperone. And you never leave my side. Not for a second!"

Harper leaped up from the table and threw his arms around Beka excitedly. "You're the best!"

"I'm not done. You don't leave my side, you'll have to wear a disguise and when we get back, you let Trance give you a full medical without complaint."

"Awww, Beka!"

"Those are my terms. Take them or leave them." Beka was firm.

"Fine, fine; when do we leave?" Harper was practically bouncing on the spot.

"Tomorrow, but--"

"Aw, man I can't wait! I'm going to have dig through Rommie's archives to find the best spots to buy hover boards, and I want to look to look for some parts for Rommie, and… aww man I got lots to do!" Harper bounded towards the door then back to Beka giving her another quick squeeze. "Thanks boss, this is going to be great!"

Beka smiled and shook her head as he raced out the door.

Trance giggled at his antics; his excitement was infectious. "You made him very happy, Beka."

"I just hope we live to regret it. " Beka paused before continuing, the next question was a sore spot with Harper so she wanted to make sure he was really gone. "How's his hearing coming along?"

Trance's smile faded slightly. "The new medical Nanobots have helped a bit. As far as I can gauge his hearing is up to 62 in his right ear."

Beka noticed the information that her team mate skipped over. "And, the left?"

Trance sighed, "Still only 38."

Beka frowned and her brow creased with concern. Harper just never seemed to get any breaks. "I'm hoping the trip tomorrow will cheer him up a bit. He's not been himself. He's been locking himself up in the machine shop more and more. He needs to come up for air once in a while. I'm worried about him."

Trance smiled slyly. "If you weren't worried then I would be concerned."

Beka laughed and punched her friend on the shoulder lightly. "Wise ass!"