TITLE: The Waves Around Me Breaking AUTHOR: parisindy RATING: G DISCLAIMER: No money was received or exchanged. I do not own Andromeda or any of its Characters. This is purely for fun. ARCHIVE: Zion's Starfish can archive it anyone else has to ask SUMMARY: This one is in response to MikeJoe's Challenge on the Slipstream BB. The challenge is to write a fic about a character that can't sleep in spite of being dead tired. NOTES: A big huge hugs as always to Zion for posting it and Harpergirl for Beta reading for me!

The waves around me breaking

"When the waves are round me breaking,

As I pace the deck alone,

And my eye in vain is seeking

Some green leaf to rest upon;

What would not I give to wander

Where my old companions dwell?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

John Milton, Paradise Lost

Harper yawned loudly as he walked towards Machine Shop Seventeen. Andromeda popped into existence in front of him. Surprised, he stopped his forward momentum.

"You're going the wrong way."

"What?"

"Your crew quarters are on the other deck."

"Ahh, Rom Doll, I got stuff to do."

Andromeda didn't let him pass. Harper didn't push it. He could have walked through her but that would have been rude. "Harper, you haven't slept in seventy two hours."

"I know," he admitted. "But it's okay. I'm not tired."

"Your body disagrees with you. You have dark circles under your eyes, your muscles are showing various types of stress, and your reflexes are slow."

Harper shrugged. "I just need a Sparky and I'll be good to go."

"Harper, what's wrong?"

"Nothing." This time he didn't care if he was rude or not. He pushed through her holographic image and continued down the hall.

Andromeda watched him go, monitoring his life signs as he went. When he was completely out of her visual sight she stuck her tongue out at him and disappeared.

Trance was the next one to try.

About fifteen minutes after his run in with Andromeda she appeared in Machine Shop Seventeen. Harper raised his eyebrow as she entered and wondered if there was a conspiracy against him unfolding.

"Hey," she started casually.

"Hey." He took a sip of his Sparky and continued his work on some sort of large machine part Trance didn't recognize.

"What are you working on?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "The usual repairs."

"Andromeda mentioned you haven't been sleeping."

"I'll sleep when I want to, okay?"

He was snappier than usual and he looked even more exhausted then she expected. She watched him work for a moment. He didn't even look like he knew what he was doing anymore. His hands set themselves to a task and ran on automatic. She stilled his hands with hers. He stopped and met her eyes, which seemed blurry. His soft blue eyes were almost obscured by the pupil.

"Come with me."

"Where.? I need to finish this."

"Not now." She smiled mysteriously. "Just come."

He followed her so quietly he almost seemed enchanted. She led him into hydroponics and found him a blanket to sit on. "What are we doing Trance?" he finally asked.

"I wanted to play Yesheedono."

He sighed. "Okay but only one game because I have a lot to do okay."

Trance nodded gleefully and handed him the cards. As they played Trance went on and on about her plants. Listing all their names and how they got them. After about an hour she saw Harper finally nodding off.

Just then a basketball came bouncing in to the large room careening into a stack of empty pots with a crash. Both Harper and Trance jumped with surprise.

Harper blinked once or twice and got to his feet. "I got work to do," he mumbled and started for the door.

Trance glared at Dylan crossly as he ducked his head in the door. "Um, sorry."

Trance just glowered back but after a moment she gave up; being angry wouldn't help. She started to clean up the pots with Dylan's help.

"Did he sleep?" whispered the captain.

She shook her head. "No more then five minutes." She picked up the ball and handed it to him. "Maybe you could try."

Ten minutes later Tyr and Dylan stood in front of the young engineer, trying helplessly to school him on the finer skills of basketball.

"But I hate this game!" Harper was groaning.

"How do you know?" encouraged Dylan. "Have you ever played it?"

"Well, no," grumbled Harper, "but I don't have to."

Dylan hoped a little physical exercise would finally wear out the engineers finally reserves and force him to rest.

"I think you're afraid," mocked Tyr.

Harper knew he was baiting him-and poorly, too-but he was too tired not react to the gibe. He threw the ball high in the air and watched it arch towards the basket.

One hour later the entire male crew of the Andromeda sat on the court exhausted. Harper however was still not ready to admit defeat and head to bed.

The intercom clicked on and the small room was filled with the sound of Andromeda's voice. "Captain Valentine has returned from her mission and requests permission to dock."

Dylan smiled. "Permission granted."

He glanced at his young engineer who couldn't hide the relief that washed over his face. Harper yawned loudly once more.

"Say hi to Beka for me. I think I'm going to take a nap." Harper got up slowly and made he way to his quarters. Not ten minutes later he was fast asleep.

The end