Disclaimer: Tribune owns the characters of Andromeda. I am merely borrowing them. No profit is being made.

**NOTE TO READERS** Well, this is it. This is the last chapter to the story "Secrets". I hope it meets expectations. Sorry, it took a while to do. I've been busy with graduate school. And, I wanted to thank everyone that took the time to leave comments/reviews and even those that sent me personal emails. Thanks! Also, I've had requests to continue my other Andromeda series with a sequel to "Blood and Water." I will write more on that series - sometime soon, I hope.


From the Greek: synoptic: means 'seeing the whole together' *****************************************************


By Dawn Nyberg


Harper pushed himself off the wall and stood up. "Get back, Dylan!" He still held the gun to his chest. Hunt looked at the door and Harper followed his eyes with his own. "Forget about it. I shorted the door. They'll have to pry it open and this will only take a second."

"Harper, come on," Dylan tried taking a step toward him, but Harper wouldn't let him close and he tightened his grip on the trigger and Dylan stopped. "Okay, okay. I'll stay where I am. Let's talk about this."

"There's nothing to talk about, Dylan. No one on this ship is going to be able to look at me the same."

"Is that what you think? Do you really think Beka or Trance will turn their backs on you? You're wrong if you do. Look at Tyr - I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. He went out of his way to protect you Harper and to get you back here - where you belong."

"Belong? I don't belong anywhere, Dylan. I'm alone."

"You're not alone Seamus. You were never alone when you were out there being Ronin." Harper looked at Dylan and the Captain could see he had his attention, but the young man hadn't lowered the gun. Dylan continued, "We all thought of you Harper while you were gone. Worried and hoped. We hoped you'd come back home soon. We all missed you. You were not alone!"

Harper needed to believe that this was true, but it hurt to think about it and he wanted to end the pain. His head was exploding. "Tell them I'm sorry."

"No," Dylan replied. "Put the gun down Harper. You've got a clean slate here. There is plenty to around the ship." Hunt was trying to make Harper focus on him. He was waiting for a moment of opportunity to rush Harper and get the gun. "Looks like you've been doing okay." Harper offered.

"Okay? The last planet we went to that had some Commonwealth engineers wasn't much help. He fixed what needed done, but it took him two days and you've done the same thing in a couple hours. The ship needs you Harper. We need you."

"No, you," Harper stopped talking - his head was pounding. The gun dropped slightly as Seamus tried to shake the pain in his head. Dylan took the moment and rushed the young man. They struggled with the gun as Dylan tried to wrestle Harper's finger from the trigger. Seamus pulled hard on the gun and Dylan would not let go - suddenly the weapon discharged between the two men and Harper collapsed against Hunt and all was silent.

"Harper!" Dylan's voice was panicked. He let the gun fall to the ground. He lowered both himself and Harper to floor. Seamus wasn't moving and Dylan started looking for the wound. "Come on Harper don't do this to me," Dylan said as his hand went to the young man's neck to feel for a pulse. "Rommie!" Dylan yelled. "Get the damn door open, now! I don't care if you have to rip it off. We have a medical emergency." The pulse he felt beneath his fingers comforted Dylan. He heard the crew trying to get in. He continued to look for a wound, but couldn't find one. "Harper? Come on. Open your eyes." He noticed a thin stream of blood from Harper's left ear. He turned the young man's head gently, "Dammit, is this from earlier?"

The door to OBS opened and the crew poured in. Trance went directly to Harper. Tyr looked at Harper then at Hunt. His voice dropped low almost into a growl when he spoke. "What did you do to him?"

"I stopped him from shooting himself, Tyr. The gun went off - I don't know. He's not shot, but . . ."

"But, what?" Tyr felt like snapping Dylan's neck.

"We fought earlier he hit his head and faked being hurt to draw me in."

"Did it work?"

"Yes, but . . . maybe he really did get hurt. Trance his ear - I saw blood."

"We have to get him to Med Deck." Dylan started to help carry the boy, but Tyr pushed him aside.

"I've got him. You've done enough." Tyr bent down and gathered the young man into his arms and followed Trance.

"Trance?" Beka wanted to ask questions, but followed instead. She glanced at Dylan and Rommie and inclined her head toward the door for them to follow. "Come on." They left to catch up.

Harper opened his eyes and immediately realized his head was resting against Tyr's shoulder and he was being carried. "I'm okay." He lifted his head. Trance and Tyr stopped.

"You're awake," Trance said as she smiled.

"Put me down," Harper's voice was irritated. "I said I'm okay." Tyr lowered Harper to his feet, but kept a steadying hand on the young man's shoulder just in case. Seamus shifted out from under it. "I'm good."

"Harper, you need to go to medical - your ear was bleeding and you passed out."

"Where's Dylan?" Harper glanced around. His last memory was his weapon discharging.

"Right here," Captain Hunt answered as he rounded the corner with Beka.

"Harper!" Beka's voice was raised. "You scared me kiddo."

"For the last time - I'm okay."

"You are not fine, Harper," Trance answered and looked to Dylan and Beka for support.

"She's right Harper," Dylan confirmed. "You need to get checked out."

"I don't . . ."

"Little Man," Tyr interrupted the young man. "Might I have a word with you?" Everyone looked at the Nietzschean. And, they noticed that Harper seemed to relax a bit.

"Yeah." The two men walked up the corridor together. "What is it?"

"I think you should go to medical." Tyr offered.

"Tyr," Harper began. "I don't need an entire parade following me. I'm a big boy, you know. I'm fine."

"Look," Tyr's voice was low and assertive. "It won't kill you to get looked at. I'll haul your ass in there myself if I have to. I know you don't like the Med Deck, but you need to go. I didn't put myself on the line by keeping you from getting your head blown off on Tempus by the Commonwealth or a year ago on Arabus when I took you there to heal - you owe me. Do this for me."

"I know what it is, okay? I don't want them to know." Tyr felt the concern build in his chest. Was Harper keeping something from him?

"What do you mean 'you know? What are you keeping from me?"

"Look, don't go and have a stroke, Big Guy." Harper tried to assure him. "It's just that I'm pretty sure it's a side effect from the Flash I was on, but I'm off it now."

"You're going to medical. The others don't have to know - your medical records are your business and Trance must keep them private, right?"

"Fine, but I don't want Dylan or Beka there, okay?"

Tyr nodded and inclined his head back toward the others. "Let's go, Little Professor."

** Twenty Minutes Later **

Trance stepped back from the neuro scan results. Tyr stood against the wall and watched Harper as he sat on an exam table. "Harper?" Trance's voice held a curious tone. "The scan shows that a vessel did hemorrhage. It appears that it was small and the pressure was too much. But, this isn't something that would have happened over night and I compared it to your last neuro scan - this vessel was fine during your last routine exam over a year ago before Arabus." She noticed Harper's eyes shift away from hers and she felt he was keeping something from her. "What aren't you telling me?" When her friend continued to avoid eye contact she cast a look at Tyr. "You know don't you?" Her voice was now irritated. Tyr's gaze shifted from her to Harper and back again.

"It's not my place to answer that question."

"Really? Would you even talk if he were dying?" Trance glared at Tyr.

"He isn't dying." Tyr offered casually. His eyes shifted to Harper. "Little Man, go ahead and tell her. It won't leave this room. Will it?" Tyr addressed the question to Trance.

"Of course not. Talk to me Seamus."

"Seamus? You hardly ever call me that," Harper remarked trying to shift Trance's focus from the conversation at hand. It didn't work.

"Talk to me."

"I'm pretty sure it's a side effect."

"From what?"

"Um . . ." Harper's eyes shifted away from Trance's.

"Andromeda engage privacy mode on the Ned deck," she wanted to reassure her friend his words would remain private. "Come on, Harper," she was insistent.

"Flash." His voice was quiet and he wouldn't look Trance in the face.

"What do you mean Flash!" The young man cringed at her raised voice and he finally looked at her. "I asked you question, Harper."

"I told you," he offered. "I'm pretty sure it's a side effect from the Flash I was taking. I'm not on it anymore - I'm clean."

"Did you know about this?" Trance cast an accusatory glance at Tyr. The Nietzschean shrugged in response.

"Leave him out of this Trance. He didn't make me use. It was my choice."

"Why, would you?"

"It helped give me an edge I needed on some contracts I accepted."

Trance looked at Harper with exasperation. "You said that you're clean now. How long?"

"A little over a week, I guess."

"A week, huh?" Trance glanced at Tyr. "You had something to do with that I'm sure."

"Trance," Harper began. "Tyr, saved my ass on Tempus and he smelled the Flash on me, okay? He made me quit. It's under control." Trance shook her head.

"I never thought you'd use Flash, Harper. Not after hearing Beka talk about her Father. But, at any rate - your symptoms are compatible with Flash use or overdose."

"Uh, I wouldn't be so sure."

"What aren't you telling me?"

"Look, I needed more of a kick, so, I played with the formula a little."

"You did what?" Trance snapped.

"What's the big deal? I purified it and gave it more of a punch that's all."

"That's all?" Trance was pacing back and forth in front of the young man. "It's official - you're the first genius that is a moron."


"No, hey, Harper. You could have killed yourself. Do you know that?"

"Don't preach to me Trance," Harper was mad now. He hopped off the exam table. "I do what I want when I want. What's done is done. I'm so damn tired of being judged - first, Dylan and now you! You're the last one I expected this from." He turned his back on her abruptly. She stared at his back.

Trance reached her hand out and tentatively touched his shoulder. "I'm sorry," she began. "You scared me that's all. We could have lost you, Harper. You were playing with your life and hearing about the Flash scared me that's all. I'm sorry, if it seemed I was judging you. I wasn't and I'm not."

Harper turned to face her and saw the truth in her eyes and the fear. "I know. I'm sorry to." Trance pulled him into a hug and squeezed tight.

"It's good to have you back."

Harper pulled out of the embrace. "You're going to tell them are you?"

"I said I wouldn't."

** Meanwhile on the Command Deck **

"What do you think is taking so long?" Beka's voice was irritated and worried.

"Rommie, is privacy still engaged on Med Deck?" Dylan asked the AI.


"Are Harper's vital stable? Is there a problem we aren't being informed of?"

"His vitals are fine, Dylan." Rommie assured. "There isn't any detectable crisis. His blood pressure and heart rate are elevated, but not high enough to worry about. Do you want me to override privacy mode?"

"No. We can wait." Dylan responded. Beka sighed.

"I'm awful at waiting," she groused.

** Back on Med Deck **

"Trance, I appreciate everything, but are we done in here?"

"Yes, and I'll let Dylan know you're fit to go back to work when you're ready."

"He'll ask what was wrong," Harper, commented.

"I'll tell him it was a small vessel that hemorrhaged because it was excessively narrow and your blood pressure caused it to burst. And, I'll tell him there is no further evidence in your neuro scan that indicates other small vessels."

"Thanks." Trance only smiled back.

"So," Tyr spoke after his long silence of listening and watching. "He's okay?"

"Yes." Trance confirmed.

"Then I'd like a word with him alone."

"Okay," Trance's eyes shifted toward Harper and back to Tyr. "I'll leave you alone. I'll go let Beka and Dylan know that Harper is all right."

Trance exited the Med Deck and Tyr reconfirmed the privacy mode and asked that the doors be locked. "What's with locking the doors?" Harper questioned.

Tyr walked over to the young man and suddenly grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him across the room and slammed him into the nearest wall. "Don't think for one minute I didn't hear what Dylan said earlier in the corridor." Tyr's eyes blazed as he looked at the boy. "You were going to kill yourself! That is unacceptable."

"Well, I didn't . . . did I?" Harper tried to get out of the Nietzschean's grip, but Tyr held firm.

"Not from lack of want! Dylan stopped you!"

"Look, Tyr. I know you've gone out on a limb for me, but at the time it just seemed right."

"Right? No, not right," Tyr, growled. "It would have been convenient."

"I'm sorry," Harper answered quietly. Tyr loosened his grip on the boy and his eyes softened.

"I know you're sorry, Little Man." He paused, "I need to ask something of you."


"I need your word, not a promise, but your word that you won't try to hurt yourself again." Harper looked wide-eyed at the Nietzschean. Harper nodded in acceptance. "Your word, Harper. I need to hear it."

"You have my word, no more stunts like today."


**Later that evening **

Harper was alone in his quarters and staring at the ceiling trying to fall asleep. His room was dimly lit, but his eyes were still drawn to the corner of the room where his gear bag was placed when he first arrived back aboard the Andromeda. He tried to force himself to fall asleep, but the bag kept grabbing his attention. Finally, he sat up and swung his legs over the edge of his bed. He crossed the room and picked up the bag and brought it back to his bed. He opened it and accessed a hidden pouch - he pulled out a dropper bottle and sat it down on the edge of a small table beside his bed. He stared at it. He wanted the Flash - just a drop - a little fix. He wanted it so bad he could feel the sheen of sweat developing on his forehead. He picked it up with a shaking hand. He forced himself to put it back on the table. God, he wanted it. No one would know if he took a small dose. It would be out of his system by morning. "Just a little hit," he said quietly. "A little won't hurt." He was trying to convince himself, but part of him was fighting. He could feel his heart racing in his chest - he wanted it - he needed it. His hand reached for it, but drew away it away quickly. He started pacing and talking to himself - trying to justify using the Flash and then telling himself he didn't need it.

"Andromeda?" His voice shook as he spoke into his empty room.

"Yes," answered in a disembodied voice.

"Tell Tyr to come to my quarters, now."

"It's late, Harper. Are you okay?"

"Just do it!" He ground out. Harper forced himself to the opposite side of his room. He found himself sitting on the floor huddled in a corner. He watched the bottle and wanted its contents so much.

"Tyr?" Andromeda's voice called out in the dark.

"What?" Tyr was annoyed to be bothered.

"Harper was rather insistent that I tell you to come to his quarters." Tyr sat up instantly in his bed.

"What's wrong?" He stood up and was putting on some pants and a shirt.

"I'm not sure, but I detected an accelerated heart rate. Should I alert Trance to a possible medical emergency? Or Dylan?" "No, do nothing!"

Tyr practically ran to Harper's quarters. The kid liked his quarters near the Machine shops and he was on the opposite side of the Crew quarter's deck. He reached the boy's door and asked Andromeda to open the locked door. He walked in a saw the empty bed and then he caught a glimpse of Harper in the darkened corner. "Little Man?" He walked cautiously toward the young man. He could hear Harper's racing heart and saw the sheen of sweat on the kid. He kneeled down. "Harper?"

"I wanted it," was all the young man said as he looked at Tyr.

"Wanted what?" He followed the boy's eyes across the room and saw the Flash dropper bottle.

"I didn't - I didn't," Harper stuttered. "I wanted to, but I . . ."

Tyr sat down next to the young man. "I didn't take any." Harper whispered.

"I know. It's going to be okay."

"No, it's not. Tyr, I want it so bad. I had it hidden and tonight I just really wanted some."

"But, you didn't take any."

"Sorry, I bothered you. I know it's late."

"Shut up, Child. No apologies." Harper looked at Tyr.

"But, I thought addiction was weakness to Nietzscheans."

"It is, but overcoming it and resisting it shows great strength." The young man offered a small grin in response to Tyr's words. Tyr stood up and walked across the room and picked up the dropper bottle. "I'll take care of this."


"I have to ask, Harper," Tyr began, but the young man interrupted him.

"That's all of it, Big Guy." The boy answered quietly. Tyr nodded and smiled.

"How about a walk before you turn in?" Tyr walked back across the room and offered Harper a hand up from the floor.

"I guess to the OBS deck would be okay with me."

"OBS it is. After you Master Harper," Tyr followed the young human out the door.

They talked as they walked and when they got to the OBS deck Tyr just stood in silence with the young man as Harper looked out into space. "You okay?" he finally asked.

"Yeah, I got it under control."

"Harper, you don't have to have 'it' under control. What happened tonight is okay. You faced it and you resisted." Silence fell between them again for a long moment. "It's been a long night. I think you could do with some sleep."

"I will in a bit, Big Guy. I think I'm going to hang out here just a little bit longer, okay?"

"Would you like me to stay?"

"No. I'm cool."

"All right. I shall see you in the morning."


** One Hour Later **

Harper heard the door to OBS deck slide open and remained looking out the window. "Tyr, I'm okay."

"It's not Tyr," a familiar voice answered. Harper turned around in surprise.


"Hi there."

"It's late," Harper, commented.

"I know, but I heard you and Tyr pass by my door a while ago and when I heard Tyr pass by again - I thought I'd come looking for you. Is everything okay?"

"I'm fine, Trance. You didn't have to come all the way to OBS to check up on me."

"I didn't come here to check up on you. I wanted to talk to you about something."


"It's been on my mind for a while."

"What's that?"

"Do you remember what happened on Brescia?"

"Yeah, I got skewered and almost died."

"Well, that, but about our . . ." Trance's voice trailed off and she waited for Harper to follow her lead.

"You mean our kiss, right?" Trance smiled.

"I have never stopped thinking about it. Harper, it felt right. I need to tell you something," she paused.

"Trance, don't," Harper looked at her with pain in his eyes.

"Harper, why? I want to say it - I . . ."

"Trance!" Harper raised his voice, but did not shout. "That kiss meant everything to me, but I'm not that guy anymore."

"Yes, you are," her voice confident. She let the words rush out before Harper could stop her again. Harper, I love you."

"Don't." Harper said flatly.

"Don't what? Love you?"

"You catch on quick," Harper's voice was annoyed.

"I know what you're doing Harper - you're pushing me away. I know what you've done and who you've been over the past year. I loved you before and I love you now."

Harper turned away from her and stared out into the black of space. Trance walked over to him and touched his cheek. "I love you." She reaffirmed. Harper turned to face her. His eyes were glistening with tears that hadn't spilled over yet. She raised her other hand and now was cupping his face. "I will always love you."

The tears that had threatened to spill over were now cascading freely down his cheeks. "Always is a long time, Trance." His voice was quiet. She smiled.

"Until the universe folds in on itself and I am no more, I will love you, and even then Harper, the love we have inside we take it with us when we go."

He reached up and traced her bottom lip with his thumb. "How'd I get so lucky?"

"Harper, luck had nothing to do with it," Trance answered.

"Oh, yeah - this is one of those one perfect futures - you always talk about. But, then maybe this isn't real, and . . ."

Trance stopped his ramblings with her mouth. This kiss like their first consumed them and the moment and time held its breath. Harper's hand cupped the back of her head gently. Trance pulled back and smiled. "And, as I was saying," Harper began again with a smile.

"Harper," Trance said with a mischievous grin.

"Just shut up and kiss me."

"Your wish is my command." He pulled her against his chest and allowed himself to be lost in the moment. Finally, the kiss ended and they held each other. Trance nestled her head against Harper's chest as he leaned against the glass window of the OBS deck.

"Harper," Trance's voice was quiet.

"Yes?" Harper felt peace for the first time in over a year and it felt good.

"Welcome home."

Seamus reached up with a free hand and cupped Trance's chin lifting her face up toward his, so he could look her in the eyes. "I love you." His words were soft, but he meant them. Trance nestled close and he loved her warmth next to him. It felt good - it felt right. Seamus Harper was home.

The End