Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2003 5:39 PM
"C'mon, this is great!" Harper said, smiling and looking blissed as he threw his arms out and spun.
"It's cold," Beka answered, wrapping her bare arms around herself.
"Cold? Thin-skinned spacers.... That's a breeze." It ruffled his spiky hair. "It's so fresh here."
As they waited for their next job to clear, they had to stay on Borealis. Right now they stood on a grassy hill for no reason other than Harper's nostalgia for sun, wind, and untreated, unregulated air. It seemed dangerous and needlessly primitive to her. It must have to Vexpag too, since he'd begged off. Far too much open space here too, which felt wasteful. And a bit intimidating. Rev's nose kept twitching, but he looked content. Then again, Wayism had some masochistic practices.
"Listen to that sound," Harper said. "Wind through the leaves. Very relaxing."
"It sounds like a leak in the ventilation system to me. Very far from relaxing." Would she be able to get all of the mud and grass off her boots?
"You can smell rain and greenery in the air. It's definitely gonna rain sometime soon."
"Smells like condensation and mold in the ventilation system, more bad signs." The air smelled alive.
He pouted. "You're not even trying." His nose was still red and peeling from the sunburn he'd earned during yesterday's surfing despite the vigorous application of sunblock she'd slapped on him. She hoped his skin soon lost that irradiated, damaged look and returned to a healthy pallor.
Beka squinted in today's merciless sunlight and felt her own skin burning. "You've been trying this for years. Give it up."
"Yeah. You're right."
"It's lovely here, Harper," Rev said.
"Thanks, Rev." But he didn't put much enthusiasm in it. Beka knew that she was the one he wanted to convert to mudfoot life appreciation. "You guys can go on. I just wanna sit out here a bit."
"You sure?" Beka asked.
"Yah. Go on."
As she and Rev walked away, she turned back to see him sitting in the long grass, grass and hair swaying in the breeze together. "I can't pretend for him, Rev."
"Not even when I want to. Planets give me the jeebies."
Beka jumped again at the next loud roll of thunder and the glaring flash of lightning, taunting her, since their job had cleared only for the weather to cease to be clear. At least they were inside as water gushed from the skies outside. Only a lunatic would prefer living like this to being on a trusty, dry ship. One such lunatic sat on the port's observation room's windowsill. The gray light coming in colored Harper's face and hands bluish gray.
Over the years they'd been together, Harper had explained his continuing love affair with planets. He told her that she wouldn't hate the Maru if somebody took it by force, plundered it, and forced her to slave on it, so why would he hate Earth itself? Other, healthier planets gave him a bittersweet feeling, but he claimed it was a good bittersweet feeling. He said that she couldn't understand because she'd never left her home, since she traveled in it to this day.
It still amazed some people that he'd adapted to life on a salvage ship at all. Not all mudfeet could handle the tight spaces and minimal light. Harper had said that he'd spent a lot of time living in tunnels, so it didn't bother him much. But he became homesick sometimes for what he called "an Earth that stopped existing centuries before I was even born. Dumb, huh?"
She knew he loved her and the Maru and would never leave them, but she wished he saw the ship as home as she did. He saw it as a home, but not enough of one to be everything he needed. Not enough to stop him from getting like this once in a while. Harper showed sadness so seldom that his visible bouts of depression seemed to be highlighted and underlined.
They both jumped at the close, heavy rumble of thunder. It nearly made the building shake. "We'll never be able to lift off if this rain and electrical storm don't stop," Beka said. It made no sense to be so dependent on the weather. Something should have been done. How was a businesswoman supposed to keep ahead here?
"I've registered my complaints with the rain gods." He looked back at her. "It's the casual wealth here that pisses you off."
Sometimes Harper's brain went places that normal people couldn't see. "Hunh?"
"They can have open spaces and stop things when it rains. They don't even think about it. We can't afford to."
Hunh. "You might be right."
Harper looked surprised and grinned. "Yeah?"
"A little." Beka put her hand on the plastiglass and quickly jerked it away at the chill. "I think it may be clearing up soon."
As if on cue, the rain poured down harder. Harper coughed, then made a rude buzzer sound and said, "Thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts for you, such as a year's supply of the San Francisco treat."
"I wouldn't mind as long as some actual parting was going on." Enough of this Harperian wallowing. "You know, I can't keep watching the sky piss away our lead time. How about we go looking for Vexpag and Rev, and I'll buy you a Sparky."
His look turned sly. "Add a cookie to that, and you're on."
That was more like her Harper. They had their differences, but their intersections made up for it. "Mooch."
"Chocolate chips, even ersatz ones, have proven anti-depressant effects." He fluttered his lashes at her in a deliberately ridiculous attempt at seduction.
"You got something in your eyes?"
"Only love for you, even if you do hate planets and can't foretell the weather for shit."
"You still want that cookie, don't you?" Even though he'd be bouncing off the walls from the combination of Sparky and sweets.
"Then don't bite the hand that feeds you ersatz chocolate chips." She held out her hand to him. He smiled wryly up at her, then stood and walked away with her, leaving the window behind.
More Viridian5 stories can be found in The Green Room version 2.0 at http://viridian.mrks.org/
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Title: Talk About the Weather
Author: Viridian5 [email]
Details: Standalone | PG-13 | gen | 5k | 02/11/04
Summary: Beka and Harper aren't coming from the same place.
Notes: A pre-Andromeda story.
Spoilers: None, really.
Archival/distribution: Anywhere, as long as you ask me first.
Feedback: can be sent to Viridian5@aol.com
Disclaimers: All things _Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda_ belong to Gene Roddenberry's estate, Tribune Entertainment Company, and Fireworks. None of them are mine at all, and I'm putting them back when I'm done with them, though I can't promise that they won't be disturbed in the process. No infringement intended.
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