TITLE: The Hollow Men AUTHOR: parisindy RATING: don't know yet. 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: dedicated to Lauriena and Raven who have recently inspired me with their stories despite the fact that I'm writing two other ones. It's about Harper and Beka . all spoilers apply.



The Hollow Men

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

- T.S. Eliot circa between 1888-1965 old earth calendar

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Harper sneezed. Once, twice, three times.

Beka looked back over her shoulder from where she was piloting the Eureka Maru. "Harper go lie down before you fall down!"

"I'm fine boss." But as soon as he said it he was seized by a coughing fit and had to stop the repairs he was doing on a near by consul. The coughing spell left him bent over gasping for air.

Beka growled with frustration as she slammed the controls forward and initiated autopilot. Harper noted to himself that she might be spending too much time with Tyr. She jumped out of the pilot's seat and headed towards him. Suddenly realizing he might be in trouble he yelped and made for the hatch. The stupid virus had slowed his reflexes and she quickly grabbed him by the back of the shirt.

"Beka!" He whined in protest as she directed him down the hall towards the old crew quarters never letting go of his shirt.

"Nope that's it Seamus, you have a fever and you're breaking out in spots, and you're going to bed!"

He looked down at his hands noticing the spots for the first time. Red vivid spots covered his skin. "Well at least they're not bright pink like last time."

Beka sighed in frustration. They had been running errands for the Andromeda. Searching for parts for the new gravity plating Harper had said they needed. They had visited three different commerce planets and even though Harper was up to date with his anti viral injections Beka was sure her had come down with three different types of infections. He had started getting grouchy yesterday and he had a low grad fever. Now there were spots and he looked exhausted. "We need to get you back to Trance." She stated simply but forcefully.

"Ahhh no! come on Beka!!" Harper pleaded. She had promised him a day on the beaches of Samsilla a near buy tropical planet. But now when he spoke she also noted that he wheezed. He was a horrible patient. She pushed him through the archway to the crew quarters. "Seamus Harper you're confined to quarters."

'This was getting worse by the second' Harper thought to himself. Not only did he have to miss the beach he had to stay in the bunkroom. His eyes glanced around the room, which was virtually empty. It practically reeked of boredom. "Beka what if."

She raised her hand she didn't want to hear it. "Whether you like it or not you're sick, and you need to rest." She looked at him he looked tired and deflated. Then her eyes rested on his tool belt. "In Fact . hand it over."

"What?" he asked nervously backing away from her.

"The tool belt mister as long as you have it you won't sleep!"

Okay that was the last straw he wasn't about to give that up with out a fight. He reached over his head and pulled himself up to his bunk where she couldn't easily reach him. "Look Beka I'm resting really!"

"Harper NOW!" she growled allowing no room for argument.

Harper swore, and tossed down the tool belt, purposely only missing her head by an inch. Beka jumped out of the way of the falling tool belt.

The two glared at each other angrily. They were both stubborn but Beka knew she had won. He was pissed off but he would get over it. 'Let him pout!' she told herself has she grabbed the belt and stormed back towards command.

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An hour later she stuck her head back in to the crew quarters despite their arguing they really cared for each other and she was worried about him. She smiled when she saw his arm and his head hanging halfway off his bunk as he snored softly. She stood there for a moment wondering if she should take his temperature again when the Maru gave a sudden shudder. She grabbed the doorframe for support.

Harper woke and rubbed his eyes wearily. "What's going on?"

"I don't know stay there." She shouted over her as she quickly ran for the helm.

She gasped with surprise. The Maru had sounded no proximity alarms but the forward view screen showed the ship on a collision course with a small drift. She gripped the controls and tried to veer away but they were unresponsive. The Maru shuddered and groaned. "Hold on old girl I'll get us out!"

"We seem to be stuck in some sort of gravitational field it's pulling us towards the drift."

Bake looked back towards where Harper stood with a flexi in his hand and a blanket draped around his shoulders. "Brace for impact." She told him "we're going in."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Beka was unsure how long it was later when she finally became aware of a hand on her shoulder calling her name.

"Boss? Beka? Come on don't leave me alone here." The hand shook as Harper was overcome with coughing.

"I'm okay," She said as she slowly sat up. A smokey haze filled the ship and her own eyes watered in protest. The back of her head ached and she gently probed her skull she winched has her hand brushed a small lump she found there.

Harper frowned with sympathy. "You okay?"

"I'll live. She groaned once more and Harper helped her to her feet. It was then she noticed that blood dripped down his cheek from a small cut that lay along his hairline.

"Harper you're bleeding!"

"It's okay boss really. What happened what snagged us?"

"I'm not sure." She coughed once to clear the smoke from her throat and tried to look out the front view port. "It's awfully dark. There doesn't seem to be any movement out there."

Harper craned to look of her shoulder. "Spooky, wanna take a look?"

Beka looked unsure. She wasn't superstitious but there were a few things to consider. "Harper your hurt and sick."

"Aww come on boss. Pleeeeease?"

Beka laughed at the absurdness of it all. "Okay, we'll go but." she raised her finger to stop him before he excitedly bounced away, "after we get you some meds and something for that cut and we go out in E.V.A. suits.

Harper hated E.V.A. suits and made a face. "Alright fine but lets go okay!"

Beka smiled, sick or not Harper was well.Harper.

TBC