Disclaimer: Do not own Andromeda, it's characters and do not own the song Angel, or the artist Shaggy. (The version of Angel in this story is obviously the one recorded by Shaggy.)
Thanks to Nevermore for Beta Reading this very "saccharine" ( I think that means sweet...or something...) story. You're the best for putting up with my sappy romance crap.
Readers: "Yeah, she's back!" "Oh no, not her again!" "Who the hell is this?"
Me: I'll bet you're all thinking, 'I thought she said she wasn't writing Andromeda romance anymore.' Well, techniquely I'm not. This is an old story I never quite finished. After seeing a sudden lack of T/H fic recently, and being bored one day, I finished it. Hope you all like it, or at least read it.
Be warned, kind of sappy, corny type of fluff. Please R&R.

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Angel

By: Jaimi

Shooby dooby dooby doo woi
Shooby doo
Oh Shooby doo dooby doo boi oi
Yeah ah


Harper sat back, rotating his shoulders, then relaxing against the bar table. He watched with vague interest as Beka not so subtly flirted with Tyr. 'Maybe it's the drinks!' He thought with a grin, though he knew better. Beka had barely had half her drink. His boss had a thing for the large, obnoxious Neitzschean. He couldn't for the life of him figure out why but, 'Whatever.' He shrugged, taking in the rest of his company. The bar wasn't too full, but full enough to make it interesting. The whole crew was there (you know, the entire six...seven if you included Rommie), just relaxing before heading back out into space, and carrying on with Dylan's crazy mission. He smiled to himself as he saw Trance enter, having returned from her tour around a nearby farming unit. The atmosphere was eerily just like when he had met her three years earlier.

Girl you're my angel you're my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me baby
Shorty you're my angel you're my darling angel
Girl you're my friend when I'm in need lady


Trance saw him after a moment, and hurried over, a smile gracing her pretty face. 'Pretty?' He shook his head. 'I've been hangin' around Trance too much.' Gorgeous. Yeah, that was more something he would say. He shook his head for a second time. 'Yeah sure, but you are talking about your friend Trance here. Sweet, innocent Trance.'

She grabbed his hand once she reached him. "Listen."

He raised an eyebrow, "I'm listening."

She giggled, shaking her head. "No silly, I mean listen to this song. It's our song. Your's, Beka's, Rev's and my song. Remember?"

He listened for a moment and smiled as the memory overtook him...

Life is one big party when you're still young
But who's gonna have your back when it's all done
It's all good when you're little, you have pure fun
Can't be a fool, son, what about the long run


Three years earlier...

Harper groaned in misery as he rolled another snake eyes, effectively losing most of what little money he had left. Beka was going to kill him. He had been at this game for over an hour, and his luck had yet to change. He didn't care really, he was just out to have fun. He shrugged off the thought of how angry Beka would be when she found out he had lost their money. She would probably threaten to keel haul his ass, but he didn't care. He didn't need Beka, Rev, or the Maru. He was living life, like he should have years ago, but could not due to being born and raised on Earth. He had never needed anybody, and that was not going to change now.

Looking back Shorty always mention
Said me not giving her much attention
She was there through my incarceration
I wanna show the nation my appreciation


He barely registered the reggae beat pounding out of the speakers, despite it being one of his favorite songs as he went for his final roll. He was just releasing the dice again when someone jostled his arm. "Hey, watch it! You'll wreck my game you-" he started, whirling around to find a pair of large, beautiful brown eyes looking back at him innocently.

"Oh? You didn't seem to be doing very well in the first place."

"And it's a seven."

Harper could barely peel his eyes a way from the...purple? No kidding, the PURPLE girl standing in front of him, to look back at the table. His winning dice, adding up to seven, his winning roll.

"Shit!" He swore in amazement. He turned back to the girl, who in turned winked and sauntered away. He continued to watch her as she sat at the bar, and motioned to the bartender.

"Harper! What are you doing?" He spun around at the voice of his boss.

"Beka, hey... When did you get here?"

"Don't start with me Seamus, what are you doing with my money?"

"Expanding it," he tried feebly. True, he had won back some money, but not as much as he had started with.

"HARPER! We need that money for supplies to get off this god forsaken planet!"

Harper took a moment to notice the purple girl had approached again, and was standing around. She was carefully surveying the table, but watching him and Beka out of the corner of her eye.

She finally turned to look at them, capturing Harper's eye. "Why don't you try again? Maybe you'll win your money back this time. Maybe even more..."

Beka looked at her for a moment. The girl in turn, smiled sweetly at her. Harper would have gagged, but held back. 'This chick could be saving my ass if she convinces Beka to let me try again.' Of course he could lose, but he felt himself feeling like he could win with this girl nearby. Beka must have felt the same way, as she nodded, glaring at Harper.

"For the big money, ladies and gents. The final roll of the night; 10, 000 credits."

Harper and Beka's eyes widened. That was twice the amount they had started with.

"Fine, but you better win this!"

"I uh- Yeah, so watcha want to go for boss? Seven?"

Beka was about to nod, when the girl cleared her throat. "You know, I've always thought three was a nice number."

Both of them looked at her again, and she shrugged, blushing under their intense gaze.

"All right, " Beka finally consented. "Three it is."

Harper looked at the girl for a moment. Their eyes met, and she smiled reassuringly. He felt himself relax, and with the flick of his wrist, he threw the dice on the table. He held his breath, and it seemed in slow motion as the dice rolled to a stop...

"Three!"

Harper whooped in joy. Beka sighed in relief, then smacked Harper upside the head.

"Never again, got it?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever."

Beka rolled her eyes, depositing the credits in her bag. She then turned to Trance.

"Thanks, uh..."

"Trance." The purple girl held out her hand, which Beka accepted. "Trance Gemini."

"Well Trance, thanks for saving my engineer's ass," she said, nodding towards Harper, who rolled his eyes.

Trance giggled. "You're welcome."

Beka watched her for a moment, and Harper couldn't begin to fathom what she was thinking as she asked out of the blue, "You got any family here Trance? Anyone to hold you here?"

Trance smiled brightly. "No. I'm kind of a...a loner, if you will."

"Got a job?"

"Oh, just odd jobs."

"Anything you specialize in?"

"Umm, yeah, I'm good at finding things, growing things and uh..." She paused, watching Beka closely. "And I'm a pretty good ES officer."

"Oh yeah?"

Trance nodded with a grin. "Yeah."

"Well, if you're interested, we just so happen to be looking for an ES officer... And um, finding things can come in handy in my line of work."

Harper practically choked on his Than Fireball. He gaped at his tough, blonde boss. She ignored his look, smiling...genuinely smiling at the purple girl that, had he mentioned, HAD A TAIL!

"Really? Oh, wow...ummm....sure..." she answered, smiling shyly.

"Great. I've gotta head to the fresher for a moment, but I'll meet you back at the bar. Harper will stay with you and maybe he can fill you in on the details of uh, what we do."

"Mmm, okay." She nodded, then turned to Harper as Beka left. Harper looked at her for a moment. He yearned to test her, to be rude, to say something to scare her away... However he couldn't, she was too innocent looking, too...nice. Speaking of which, he had also noticed what a nice body she had.

She quirked her eyebrow, waiting for him to say something. He started, realizing he had been staring. He shook his head, "Come on, babe."

"Babe?"

He blushed. "I mean, um..." He paused, what was her name again? Trance. The thought came to him from nowhere, and he frowned. Okay... "I mean, Trance. Come on."

She smiled, and followed him to the bar. As they sat down, she turned to him. "You're welcome."

He looked at her strangely. "Huh?"

"For uh, saving your ass, as your friend put it."

"Yeah well, I didn't really need it. This job doesn't matter to me."

"Oh, I don't know about that. You seemed kind of panicked."

"Well, I wasn't. I don't care if she dumps me or not."

"Sure you do, she's your friend isn't she?" Before he could answer, she continued.

"Well, I suppose you didn't really have to worry anyway, she wouldn't have left you."

"How do you know?"

"Because silly, friends don't abandon friends. They stick by them through thick and thin."

"She's just my boss. We work together..."

"Mmmm..."

He was about to retort at her comment, for it was obvious she didn't believe him. He hated being mocked, and he especially did not like this purple pixie mocking him. Before he could say a word though, Beka and Rev appeared before them.

"Rev, this is Trance, our new ES officer. Trance, our resident Wayist, with other useful skills, Rev Bem."

Harper waited for Trance to coil back in fear at the sight of the Magog holding out a claw to her...but she didn't. She smiled happily at him, and without so much as a flinch, she took his claw in her hand, and firmly shook. He was amazed to say the least. Sure he didn't have a problem with Rev, but he knew him. He just wasn't like any other Magog he had come across, and that had been plenty. Most others would bolt at the site of him, let alone, willingly shake his hand...paw...claw...whatever.

"Nice to meet you, Trance."

She smiled. He swore this girl did not stop smiling. Why the hell was she so damn happy?

"Likewise, Rev."

"Well, let's get a drink and then get out of here," Beka said. "Did you fill her in Harper?"

Aw shit.

"Yeah, he did. I'm all good."

"Great! Bartender?"

He looked at her, and she winked. 'Great,' he thought. 'I'm gonna owe this chick my soul by the time she's done saving my ass.'

They were quiet, when they all said in unison. "I love this song."

Girl you're my angel you're my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me baby


Trance laughed, and then began singing along. Harper downed several shots, wanting to get in as much liquor as possible before they headed out on the job again. He knew it would be a while before they got a chance to go planet side again.

Beka and Rev grinned. Harper downed yet another drink, and couldn't help but grin as well. The liquor was getting to him, and he began singing with Trance. Beka laughed, shaking her head. She had a feeling this crew was gonna do fine. In fact, she felt with this Trance girl here, things between them were only gonna get better.

Shorty you're my angel you're my darling angel
Girl you're my friend when I'm in need lady


Present...

Harper grinned up at Trance. "Hell yeah, I remember. I was so drunk by the end of our meeting I started singing. Didn't I scare the customers away?"

She laughed, shaking her head. "No, as I recall, they were impressed. You have a nice voice Harper."

He blushed at the compliment, not something he did often. "Yeah, well... Seems like so long ago doesn't it? We've been through so much together...and I guess I haven't always been so great to you..."

You're a queen and so you should be treated
Though you never get the lovin' that you needed
Could have left, but I called and you heeded
Takin' a beatin', mission completed


Two and a half years earlier...

"Dammit Trance, I need that sensory equipment back, now!"

"Patience Harper, I'm almost done. The ES systems are important as well."

"Not if we're not alive to use them, which we won't be if the defense system doesn't get up and running. Ortab was not impressed with Beka dumping his Cargo. When he finds us, he's gonna do his damnedest to blow us into oblivion."

"If he finds us..."

"The man's got sources Trance. I don't expect you to understand the way the real universe works, but let me assure you. If someone wants to find you, I mean really wants to find you, and kill you? They will. So, damnit, hand over the equipment or-" He stopped as she handed him back his equipment.

"There, all done."

He narrowed his eyes, but sighed, shaking his head as he stomped off to the engineering room.

"Good. Now quit screwing around with my equipment... Damn purple pixie... Needs a good..." The last comments were faded, as he muttered under his breath. Trance just rolled her eyes, and continued on with her work.

************************************************************************

Harper breathed deeply. His arm ached, as a control panel had short circuited, burning the one side of it. Damn, it hurt. He knew he needed to go see Trance, but after the way he had treated her, she would probably tell him to deal with it. That something...anything else was more important.

He struggled to keep working, but the pain shot through him, and he collapsed against a rail. He barely registered through the haze of white hot pain that Trance had appeared, and she was at his side in an instant, helping him to the Med room. He never did figure out why she was down by his room anyway. She never did tell him.

It didn't matter. What mattered was she was there when he had needed her, despite how he had acted less than an hour before. And it had continued like that, to the very present. No matter what, she was always there to help him when he truly needed her...and even when he didn't.

Mama said that I and I dissed the program
Not the type to mess around with her emotion
But the feeling that I have for you is so strong
Been together so long and this could never be wrong


A year after they met was the first time Trance discovered Harper's past. She was the first, and what would be the only for a long time that discovered the horrid ugliness of his childhood.

Though they were good friends by now, he was still not letting his guard down. One day changed that. He had never been one to let his emotions show, but her honesty, and sincere concern one day had driven him nuts, and he had lost it.

He was in med bay again. This time he had fallen back against the bulkhead. He hadn't said anything, but three days later, the pain was too much. His back was killing him.

"I'm fine Trance, just give me some pain killers and I'll be set."

"I don't think so Harper."

"I do," he snapped back. She flinched, and he was surprised to feel guilt. Her sweet nature was getting to him, making it very hard to stay angry.

She recovered quickly though, and answered sternly. "I need to look at your back and assess the damage. There could be something wrong..."

"Forget it, okay? There's nothing wrong. I'm fine."

"You're lying." He stared at her in shock. Never before had she so blatantly accused him of something.

"Maybe I am," he retorted. "What are you gonna do about it? You're not looking at my back..."

"Why?"

"Because, it's fine."

"It's not fine... There's something else, isn't there? Why don't you want me to look at your back?"

His eyes blazed. "None of your damn business! Why the hell do you want to look at it, huh?"

"Because Harper, you're hurt. I want to help you."

"Why? Why the hell do you want to help me Trance, huh?" He was stalling. He could not let her see his back. He couldn't deal with the look of disgust when she saw... "I've been nothing but a jerk to you!"

She gave him a cute smile. "Oh, you're only a jerk sometimes Harper. The rest of the time, you're not so bad."

He looked at her in shock, then he couldn't help the grin that split his face. He chuckled, shaking his head. "Gee thanks."

"You're welcome... Harper please, let me take a look at your back... Please..."

His eyes hardened again. "Fine, you want to see it? Fine. Don't say I didn't warn you, it's not pretty."

With that he lifted his shirt over his head, throwing it to the ground, revealing harsh scars covering his back, sides and chest. He stared hard at Trance, waiting for her to cringe, to shrink back away from him. Waiting for, and expecting anything except for what she did. She looked him squarely in the eye, before stepping forward and motioning for him to turn so his side was facing her. With one hand on his bare, scarred shoulder, she ran her other hand down his back, gently prodding the bruised portions. He could do nothing but sit there in shock. Not only was she not horrified, she was...she was touching him...them... She did a quick scan, then set the instrument down. Retrieving his shirt from the floor, she handed it to him. He took it from her, his eyes locking with hers. He shook his head in awe, not for the first time since meeting her. He pulled the shirt over his head, then watched her as she looked over the info from the scan she took.

She came back, carrying a bottle of pills and a jar of some sort of jelly or liquid.

"Well, was it worth it? Huh? Am I dying? Or was having to see that not worth it?"

She looked at him for a moment before answering. "Harper, anything I have to do if it means helping you is worth it. What's wrong with what I saw, huh? Why are you so afraid of letting people see that?"

Uh, uh
Girl, in spite of my behavior, said I'm your savior
(You must be sent from up above)
And you appear to me so tender, say girl I surrender
(Thanks for giving me your love)

Girl, in spite of my behavior, well, you are my savior
(You must be sent from up above)
And you appear to me so tender, well, girl I surrender
(Said thanks for giving me your love)


"Trance, you wanna know how I got those scars? You wanna know about my life on Earth? The constant struggle for survival, the constant fear for my life?

"Everyday someone died, and there was always a chance it was someone I loved, and every time, I cried less and less. After a couple of years there was no one left, and it was okay 'cause I had no tears left. I also had no one to protect me left.

"When they got me, they beat me... Whipped me till my whole body was numb and I couldn't tell the difference between my blood and the dirt they'd left me in." Harper could not help the tear that slipped down his cheek. Dammit why was he telling her this?

He didn't understand the way he felt he could and did trust her. What was more, he didn't understand the sudden ease on his heart as he retold his life on Earth to that innocent purple girl he had come to call his friend. She listened quietly, and when he was finished, she wrapped her arms around him, letting him cry all those tears that had built up. He thought they had been cried out after the loss of his whole family, but the years of painful memories had built up this flood that Trance's caring had let loose.

Now life is one big party when you're still young
And who's gonna have your back when it's all done
It's all good when you're little, you have pure fun
Can't be a fool, son, what about the long run

Looking back Shorty always mention
Said me not giving her much attention
She was there through my incarceration
I wanna show the nation my appreciation


Present...

Harper smiled as the memories faded and the girl that was very much a part of them stood before him, singing softly. Taking a sip of his drink, he sat and watched her for a moment, as she held one of his hands in a friendly fashion. Her head was tilted to the side, her gaze seeming to look into the heavens as she sang.

She looked like an angel. She was an angel...his angel. This song could not have been more accurate. He had to wonder if she knew all those years ago how true this song was, how much it would come to reflect their relationship.

Despite how inconsiderate, how insensitive he often was to her, teasing or snapping at her when she didn't deserve it - for she never did deserve it - she stuck by him, as a comrade and as a friend. She took care of him when he was sick, listened to him when he was sad, laughed with him when he was happy...

He did not deserve her, but these days he didn't think anyone deserved her. She was special, she was a gift from the divine...a true angel.

He could not imagine his life without her. She not only gave him a reason to live. He truly believed it was her that brought the whole crew together, created this odd ball sort of family they had become. He owed her for that and so much more...

He grinned as Beka came over, Tyr, Dylan and Rommie behind her. Rev approached from his other side.

Tyr, Dylan and Rommie looked confused as Beka and Rev were grinning like idiots. They had recognized the song, and suddenly Beka joined Trance in singing. Harper laughed, shaking his head. Taking another gulp of his drink he joined his friends in song. Rev grinned toothily at Dylan and the others and explained very simply.

"It's uh...our song...if you will."

Trance broke in, smiling brightly. "It's all of our song now." Beka and Rev nodded in agreement, happy to share this with the people they had come to call family.

Harper stared at Trance for a moment, as she stood before him, in the center of the tight circle they had formed. Right where she belonged... He suddenly slipped off his stool and took a step towards her...

Girl you're my angel you're my darling angel
Closer than my peeps you are to me baby
Shorty you're my angel you're my darling angel
Girl you're my friend when I'm in need lady


Wrapping his arms around her, he whispered two simple words in her ear.

"Thank you."

He kissed her forehead, causing Beka to whistle suggestively, but Trance and Harper said nothing, and just looked at each other. Trance did not need to say anything as she stared into Harper's eyes, her own twinkling, reflecting to her friend that she understood.

/You're welcome/...

The End

Jaimi Copyright@2001