Blood and Water

By Dawn Nyberg

Disclaimer: Tribune Entertainment owns the characters of Andromeda. No profit is being made and no harm intended. I am merely borrowing the characters.

**Note to Readers: This is the fifth installment in a series. This story follows "In the Presence of Mine Enemies." If you haven't read the other stories – you should. The stories build on each other.


** Two Months Later**

Harper handled the welder with ease now. His hand no longer experienced the motor problems caused by the Soeki virus that nearly killed him. His walking was no longer difficult either. Seamus stopped his work and stretched. Since regaining his motor abilities he had went back to work with a vengeance, but today he had an appointment of sorts and he couldn't be late – Tyr hated it when he was late. He had one final workout with his brother today. The Nietzschean had taken to putting Harper through a tough and unforgiving exercise regimen once he was strong enough after the Soeki. Today was the final test on fitness. Harper still wasn't able to put his finger on Tyr's behavior since coming out of the coma and surviving Soeki, and it troubled him. Anasazi had been patient and understanding during his convalesce after the virus, and he was never unkind to the young man, but there was a subtle difference and Harper hoped he would figure it out soon.

**An Hour Later**

Tyr circled Harper – both on the defensive. Anasazi moved in quickly trying to knock Harper off balance. The young engineer countered with a side step and actually gained the upper hand and a laugh of giddy excitement escaped his lips. The advantage lasted about 30 seconds and then Harper was promptly knocked to the ground. He hit the floor with an 'oof.'

"If you get the advantage Harper never pause!" Tyr's voice was irritated.

"Oh come on, Tyr! Cut me some slack. Do you have to be such a hard ass? It wasn't like a real fight anyway."

"The fact it was not a real battle does not change the fact you lost your advantage because you screwed up."

"Geez, what crawled up your posterior today." Harper was irritated and a little put off by Tyr's sudden callous behavior.

Tyr stepped back and surveyed Harper. "Are you familiar with the saying 'blood is thicker than water'?" Harper looked at Tyr oddly for a moment. The question seemed sudden and completely out of sorts for the minor confrontation that had just happened.

"Yeah, but what the hell does it have to do with you griping at me?"

"Explain it to me."

"What? Have you gone nuts!? What are you talking about?"

"Explain the saying to me." Tyr's tone was matter of fact.

"Oh, hell! I don't know … I guess it means you're loyal to family over people who aren't. Why?"

"To Nietzscheans the saying means that, but it also can mean an incredible weakness. There are times when family must disengage from one another. Stand on their own without family dependence."

Harper was beginning to feel his gut tighten. Slowly Tyr's discrete distant behavior was coming into focus for him. "What are you saying?"

"Among Nietzscheans there is a process of separation that is final and permanent if chosen to be invoked. Instead of blood being thicker than water … blood becomes water." Tyr looked at Harper and waited for a response.

"So, what you're saying is that Nietzscheans can actually cut their family off? You're saying they no longer matter to you? That they rank no higher than a stranger?" Harper's voice rose in anger.

"We always acknowledge our blood bonds, but Pecah ends the familial bonds."

"What are talking about? What does this have to do with us?" Harper was afraid to hear Tyr's response.

"I'm enforcing Pecah. It is time and necessary."

"What?! Necessary? For who? You? I have no say so in this? You said 'if chosen to be invoked.'"


"Then it's a choice?"


"Then choose not to. This is stupid Tyr. Sorry, I screwed up in the training fight."

Tyr had to fight the urge to smile at that. "This has nothing to do with your performance. You need to be on your own."

"Screw you! You did this to me!" Harper raised his forearms extending his bone armaments. "You can't shut me out! I've done nothing wrong."

Tyr could not back down. "This isn't up for discussion. It is my right to invoke and I have done so." Harper looked wide-eyed at the tall Nietzschean and then fury erupted.

"Go to Hell! You want me out of your life! You don't give a flying fig for me … then fine. I'm gone! Consider me dead!" Harper stormed out of the OBS deck.

Tyr stood alone in the room and turned and went to the window. The final words of Harper ringing in his head, 'consider me dead.' It made him sick to his stomach. He couldn't tell Harper the truth on why he had invoked Pecah – mostly because he wanted to convince himself it was Nietzschean self preservation that was invoking Pecah. But, in truth after Harper barely survived Soeki Tyr realized he truly did see Harper as a little brother and he was afraid of losing him. He needed to separate himself from the boy and turn off the emotions he felt before his emotional investments in the boy cost him his own life.

Out of necessity he needed to feel as little as possible for the young engineer. And, perhaps not having the youth under foot would keep Harper safe. He knew Harper would never forgive him for Pecah, and most likely hates him – he hoped he hated him. It would make the separation easier for both of them. He had cultivated fine tuned controls over his life. He simply turned off the familial feelings toward Harper. What's done is done, he thought to himself and left the OBS deck.

The crew soon learned what had happened. Dylan stormed onto the basketball court where Tyr was exercising. "Have you lost your mind?"

Tyr stopped what he was doing a calmly answered the Captain. "No, I believe my faculties are intact. Why?"

"Look I know all about Pecah. Rhade had explained it to me once. I think it's stupid. He also said it could be ended – it didn't have to be permanent."

"That is correct, but more times than not it is a lasting disengagement."

"How could you do this to Harper?"

"I've done nothing to him."

"You're turning your back on him."

"I simply have returned things to how they were before."

"Before? What … before the transfusion?"

"In a manner of speaking, but, of course, things won't be exactly the same."

"No shit, Sherlock." Dylan was really upset with the Nietzschean. "You made him Nietzschean – you once told me 'I am my brother's keeper.' What happened to that? Huh?"

"In blood Harper will always be my brother, but the familial bond has been severed. It is my right as a Nietzschean."

"Getting too invested, huh? Scared to actually feel that someone else matters above your own life? It's called family, Tyr!"

"I'm not scared of anything," Tyr's voice raised in anger. "It had to be done."

"Had to? He needs to know he matters to you, Tyr. He knows that your Nietzschean nature and up bringing will only allow so much. He has accepted that. Why are you shutting him out?"

"This conversation is over. I don't have to explain myself to you." He started to walk away from Captain Hunt. Dylan reached out and grabbed Tyr's elbow. Anasazi spun around and jerked his arm free as a deep growl emanated from him. "The next time you do that I will not be so forgiving." Tyr stalked out of the room and left Dylan.

"Damn it." Dylan yelled out to the empty room.

**One Month Later**

Harper did his work around Andromeda and avoided Tyr at all costs. He was thrilled that they were going to stop for a visit on the Planet Gonjwa. It was a peaceful planet known for it's beaches, and vivid blue-green ocean. It was the closest looking planet to how Earth once was and Harper couldn't wait to get some surfing in. The entire crew was looking forward to the break. Dylan had plans to meet with the planets Grand Chancellor. Although, a peaceful planet, it was a formidable potential ally for the New Commonwealth. They were peaceful because of a democratic government that was truly for the people. But, they had a massive armory and military that could protect the planet and enforce any lawbreakers.

The Planet was a popular stop for many species, but the Planet law was enforced and violators were often punished severely. Crime and violence against another person – human or otherwise was not tolerated. Dylan admired the premise. Fair, Controlled, but no one's doormat.

Tyr decided to get in some rock climbing on this trip, but unfortunately the best climbing cliffs were near the ocean and he wanted to avoid Harper as much as the young engineer wanted to avoid him. Anasazi had almost faltered more than once to keep his resolution concerning Pecah. He had to admit, he missed the boy. But, things just had to be this way and some day's he had himself almost convinced that Seamus Harper did not matter to him. He hoped he could avoid crossing paths with Harper while on Gonjwa.


"Yeah," she answered Trance as they walked through the market place.

"How long are you going to keep giving Tyr the silent treatment?" Beka Valentine stopped and gave an exacerbated look.

"Until he does right by Seamus."

"Have you ever considered … maybe he has?"

"You've got to be kidding me Trance. And, I don't want to hear this could be apart of some perfect future or whatever."

"Beka! It's just I think you're wrong to be so cold."

"Look, I tried to talk to him and he wouldn't say 'boo' to me. I told him he was wrong to do what he did. And, he told me to shut my face." Trance smiled. "What? You think it's funny?"

"No, it's just … I think you kinda had it coming Beka. You shouldn't have approached it the way you did."

"I don't care."

"Yes, you do. Look, if it wasn't for Tyr – Harper would have died a long time ago. His blood saved his life and even after that he knew about Soeki. No matter what he says Beka … he does care for Harper. I'm sure he has reasons for what he did and I really don't think it's our business to interfere. Anyway, things have a way of ironing themselves out eventually."

"Okay, I admit he did save Seamus's ass more than once. I owe him for that. Fine, I'll cut the Big Guy a break, okay?"

"Good." A smile of satisfaction crossed Trance's face. "Let's go shopping." She said with excitement.

Tyr hiked down a rocky incline toward the beach to find a good spot to ascent up the cliff. The tides of Gonjwa could be deadly he watched the swirling waters that focused around the cove and under water cave areas. Silently he thought to himself that he hoped Harper had heeded the signs and warning posted frequently around the beach areas. He was brought out of his thoughts when he ran smack into Harper.

"Watch where the hell you're going!" Harper spat.

"Harper." Tyr's voice was even and showed no emotion or reaction. "Why are you here?"

"Ah, duh!" Harper's tone was irritated. "Let's see, I usually walk around with a surf board and just look at the water."

"You're being obtuse." Tyr pointed at the warning sign. "Only a fool would surf on that wooden stick here."

"No, only a coward wouldn't. I know what I'm doing." Harper pushed past Tyr and went on around the corner to the cove. Tyr shook his head and went to pursue his cliff. The Nietzschean spanned an arm and leg across a crevice. His muscles were straining. He pulled himself up to a ledge. He still had a bit to go, but decided to take a short break on the ledge and take in the view. He looked out over the beach and watched the waves crash against the shore and nearby rocks and distant cliff faces. He estimated he was over a hundred feet up at this point and his vantage point was nothing short of spectacular. He spotted Harper grabbing a wave out beyond the cove. The young man did know how to handle that stick of wood, he thought to himself.

He felt himself unintentionally tense when Harper would glance close to the cove and the unpredictable tides. "Damn child," he muttered under his breath. As hard as he had tried to completely disconnect from Harper he still found it difficult, but would never lead on to that fact. Harper caught the edge of a wave that collapsed early and he wiped out. Tyr endured a few tense moments as he waited for the boy to break the surface. Harper punched through the surface and located his board. Tyr had taken notice that he had what appeared to be a leash of sorts attached to his ankle so his board wouldn't go far. Harper began to paddle out again, but Tyr thought a little too close to the dangerous cove. Anasazi decided to continue with his climb despite part of his mind was on Harper's safety, but he couldn't do anything – Harper was on his own.

Something tugged at Tyr though and he turned on the ledge and looked out at the water once again. "Harper! No!" He shouted before he could stop himself. Of course, he was too far up for Harper to hear him anyway. Harper rode a steep wave into the cove as a back current the cove was infamous for sucked the wave Harper was riding into a downward spiral, a vortex of water. Harper disappeared beneath the surface of the swirling current. His board appeared at the surface broken. Tyr quickly noticed the leash was severed and Harper hadn't resurfaced. With a punch of adrenalin and fear he removed his backpack and grabbed his repelling gear. He rigged up the rope quickly and practically did a freefall to the ground only slowing enough at the bottom to not injure himself in the landing. "Harper!" He screamed at the water. The young engineer was still nowhere to be seen. The Nietzschean dropped his pack and ran toward the water.

Harper fought to free his leg from the rocks he had been wedged between. His lungs burned for oxygen. He looked up and could see the sun on the water – if he could only reach the surface and the sweet air that he knew was there. He tried in vain to push against the rocky jut, but it didn't help. His vision began to gray around the edges, and he accepted that he was about to die. He could no longer hold his breath. His world went black.

Tyr felt something that could be only akin to panic. He had to find the boy and soon. He estimated that he had all ready been under for five minutes. The gloaming tide had moved in, it was the peaceful tide, and usually only lasted an hour, but it was the one safe time in the cove each afternoon he had been told. He dove beneath the glassy surface. He came back up and looked around – still no Harper. He swam with purpose near the rocky wall and under water cave inlets. He dove beneath the surface and spotted Harper not far from the surface. He was wedged between two rocks. His eyes were closed and he was limp and lifeless. Tyr grabbed the leg that was stuck and pulled. Harper came free from the rocks and Tyr pulled him toward the surface. He pulled him up onto the empty beach.

He straddled Harper and tried abdominal thrusts to push the water out of his lungs. He watched water bubble out of Harper's mouth. He turned his face to the side and pushed more water out of him. "Harper! Come on!" Tyr knew he wasn't breathing and he had no pulse either. He pushed back Harper's head and forced in two breaths. He watched his chest rise and fall to the forced in air. He began compressions on the boy. "Don't do this to me, Harper! Fight, damn you!" He had been at it for at least five minutes. He knew he was running out of time. He remembered suddenly, his pack, he had brought a med kit. He ran for it. He pulled the adrenalin syringe out of the med kit. He poised it over Harper and drove it into his chest and into his young heart. He made a fist and struck Harper's chest trying to stimulate his heart. Nothing happened.

"Please," Tyr's voice cracked. He did another set of compressions and breaths, but nothing worked. "No." The simple word was filled with so much anguish. "Harper?" He looked down at the boy. His face pale – his skin cold – his lips so pale they appeared translucent. The stillness of death had settled over the young man and Tyr felt a rage swell and expand inside his chest. A guttural scream erupted from his mouth and it echoed against the cliff walls.

"No!" He shouted. "You've never backed away from a fight before in your life, you bastard! Now fight!" He slapped Harper's face in anger. He began vigorous compressions again for another minute and then reality finally won out and he stopped. He sat next to Harper and pulled him across his legs and held him tightly against his chest as a hand cradled the back of his head. "I'm so sorry … I was wrong. I was afraid," he paused. "I was afraid I'd lose you like I lost my family to the Dragons. Please!" Tyr allowed all his Nietzschean stoic nature to crumble away and tears cascaded down his face. "Seamus, I'm so sorry." Suddenly Harper coughed and took in a choking breath. Tyr could feel the boy's wildly beating heart against his own chest. The adrenalin had worked and Harper was alive.

Harper opened his eyes. He was disorientated, but he knew whose eyes he was looking into – Tyr's. And, there was something strange about them – they were filled with tears. "Harper? Say something." Tyr's voice was concerned.

"I've got a headache," he answered as he closed his eyes a second. He opened them again. Now, some of the haze had lifted and he realized he was basically in Tyr's lap. "What the hell?" He tried to sit up, but the dizziness persuaded him otherwise.

"Don't try to move. You nearly died you nit! What were you thinking?"

"What? You think I have to listen to you bitch at me because for whatever reason you decided I wasn't better off dead and saved me? Sit and spin, Tyr!" Tyr smiled. He was happy that Harper was wise cracking. He was happy Harper was alive.

"I never wanted you dead, Harper."

"You could have fooled me," he tried to sit up again, and Tyr helped him, but kept a steadying hand on his back. "You cut me off, remember?"

"I do," he paused. "I was wrong." Harper looked up into Tyr's eyes with surprise.

"No way… did Tyr Anasazi out of Victoria by Barbarossa just admit he was wrong?" Harper's voice was both amused and irritated. "Say it again." Tyr rolled his eyes.

"You heard me the first time, Little Man."

They sat for a while longer. They had a lot to sort through. Tyr had admitted to the boy against his better judgment that he was afraid to lose him like he had his family so many years ago. They sat in silence for long moments and finally Harper broke it. "You know everyone who lives dies, Tyr. I can't promise I'm not going to buy the farm someday without warning – that's life. But, it's what we do with the time we have that counts. In the end that is all that is left."

"When did you become the philosopher?"

"I guess a little touch of death will do that to a person. I was dead, right?"

A shiver ran through Tyr as he remembered the previous day's events. "Yes."

"A year ago I never expected to be like this," he raised an arm and extended his bone armaments, "and I certainly never expected to have a …" he paused and spoke again quietly, "a brother." He was still sometimes uncertain around Tyr and proclaiming him family.

"Nor I, Little Professor."

"But …" Harper left that single word hanging. Tyr picked up on the cue.

"But, despite what I once said about not giving you my blood if I had it to do over again, knowing then what I know now. I would." He smiled at Harper. "You're Kodiak and you're my brother in all the ways that count."


A long silence fell between them. "Tyr?"


Harper smiled, "would it be okay if we didn't make a habit out if this male bonding?"

"Great minds think alike."

They both laughed.

**Back on the Andromeda**

Trance checked out Harper and found no ill effects. His chest was bruised –evidence of the fight Tyr waged for the kid's life. He was given a shot to prevent any reaction his lungs may have to the salt water. Trance told him to rest for a couple of days.

Dylan happened across Tyr later that night as they both did their nightly evening run on the lower decks. They slowed to a walk.

"It's not always easy is it," Dylan said out of the blue.

"What isn't easy?" Tyr looked at Dylan with curiosity.

"Having family," the Captain offered.


Tyr said no more, but that simple word said far more than the Nietzschean would say out loud or admit to Captain Hunt. Blood was thicker than water and things were back to the way they should be. Dylan only hoped the brotherly bond would never be tested again, but only time would tell.

The End??