Author's Note: As I recently promised, here is the prologue to another Andromeda story I had languishing on my hard drive. I also have a ficlet I wrote for Beka Day '06 which I'll be posting when I'm done here. And then it's REALLY off to bed.

TITLE: No Turning Back

RATING: PG (K+) for now, possibly PG-13 (T) later on.

PAIRINGS: Gaheris/Beka, Tyr/Beka (scandalous!)

SUMMARY: Um… I wrote this a long time ago. Oh yeah. AU – Gaheris Rhade killed Dylan Hunt (as in The Unconquerable Man) and is captain of the Andromeda. Things aren't going so well on the ship or with the Commonwealth's dwindling allies, so Tyr and Beka go on a little adventure to make things better… or so they hope.

Read, enjoy, review!

Prologue:

When he saw her, Gaheris kissed Beka and smiled. "Thank you for returning so soon." It was a rare thing these days that Andromeda's captain smiled, and despite everything, Beka was happy to see it.

"I'm glad to be back." Her mouth felt dry as she spoke.

Gaheris's eyes narrowed. "Are you all right? Your pulse is racing, and your pupils are dilated." He gripped her hands. "Your skin is clammy."

"I'm tired. Okay, yes, I've been better, but I'd rather not talk about that right now. Trance can fill you in."

He kissed her hands and then dropped them. "As you like. Get some rest, and we'll talk about the reason I called you back early."

Beka nodded and left the captain's office. She hesitated when the hatch closed behind her, unsure of her destination. Gaheris, she knew, would be delighted to find her in his bed, but his quarters with their vaguely militant air were not arranged to soothe a distressed mind. Her own quarters on Andromeda usually suited her much better, but the luxury of the XO's quarters suddenly seemed foreign to her after a life begun and lived on a patched-together cargo ship. Her snug cabin on the Maru, she decided, would relax her the best, but first she had a stop to make.

"Andromeda, can you tell me where Trance is?"

"Trance Gemini is in her quarters. Beka, are you feeling well?" As she spoke, Andromeda's hologram appeared in the corridor wearing an expression of concern much like Gaheris had a few moments ago.

"I'll be fine. Could you ask Trance to meet me at Med deck?"

"Of course."

As Beka was several decks neared Medical than Trance, she arrived several minutes earlier. To her great surprise, she found Tyr searching through medicine cabinets when she entered.

He turned as she approached. "Back from your family reunion so soon?"

"He isn't family," Beka replied stiffly. "What are you doing?"

Instead of answering, Tyr held up a few small bottles and begun reading the labels.

Beka licked her lips. "I don't know what you're up to, but I'd appreciate it if you stopped. I'm here to talk with Trance about a personal medical issue."

"I would hate to intrude." He returned his attention to the open cabinet. "I had no idea the ship stored so many… diverse medications on board."

Beka clenched her fists, but before she could say anything, she heard Trance behind her. On his way out, Tyr dropped the bottles in front of Beka. She closed her eyes as he passed her.

"Hi Tyr… uh, bye Tyr," Trance said gaily and received no reply from her crewmate. "That was weird."

"You're telling me," Beka muttered. "So, uh, the reason I asked you… well, the reason I asked Andromeda to ask you to meet me here is, uh, I've been feeling pretty shaky since we got back."

Trance sighed, which Beka did not take as a good sign. She continued when the former showed no signs of speaking. "I can't stop thinking about it, you know. It just… it's like an itch, an itch I know I can't scratch, but it won't go away no matter how much I tell myself that. I know I'm usually all anti-medication, but I was wondering if maybe this time you could give me a little something…"

Trance busied herself sweeping up the bottles Tyr left on a small table, so she could organize the medications and avoid Beka's eyes, all at the same time. "Beka, I won't tell you whether I can't or won't give you what you're asking for… but if the case was that I couldn't, it would only be because you're too important to me and to… to other people for me to risk something so dangerous when I know you can overcome this on your own."

It took Beka a while to sort out the meaning of that convoluted statement. While she was thinking through what her friend had said, Trance frowned at the bottles she was shelving. "Beka, why were these medicines out?"

"I dunno," she replied. "Tyr was pawing through that cabinet when I came in, and he dropped those on his way out. It probably ties in with domination of the Known Worlds and the destruction of the Drago-Kazov Pride." There, that had sounded appropriately nonchalant. She did not trust her voice to remain so if she asked what exactly Tyr had taken from the cabinet.

She swallowed. "So, that's a no-go on the chemical help, huh?" This time she did not attempt to disguise the unhappiness in her voice.

Trance turned around to face her, but she still could not meet Beka's eyes. "No, I'm sorry. I can't imagine how hard this is for you, but please trust me when I say that you are strong enough to beat it. Maybe you could talk to Rev about some meditation."

"Yeah, I think I will. Thanks, Trance." Without waiting for a response she knew would be very sweet and sympathetic, she left Med deck, trying not to think of those little bottles.