Keep Them Burning Ch. 1-2bytigerprawn©
Summary: Season 2 episode Home Fires rewritten from the point of view of the TUM universe. Gaheris Rhade gets to meet his descendant Telemachus, and then must chose between letting Telemachus take the blame for a crime he didnt commit or rebuilding the Commonwealth he helped to destory 300 years ago!
Pairing: G.Rhade/Beka Valentine HET
Spoilers: Only if you havent seen Home Fires (season 2) or The Unconquerable Man (season 3)
1) Keep Them Burning
Gaheris woke, sleep slowly leaving him and his senses coming back he grinned and ran his hand down the body of the woman lying next to him, eliciting a soft moan as she too come round.
"Beka..." He whispered in her ear as he rolled close and snaked an arm around her waist, pulling her naked body tight to his. He took in her scent and placed a gentle kiss on her shoulder. She murmured slightly, obviously still not ready to wake up. Gaheris grinned, he was happy to lay in bed with her all day, watching her, kissing her, pleasing her, but then they wouldn't get an awful lot done, and there was still a Commonwealth to rebuild.
Since their relationship first took this turn Gaheris was unsure whether it gave him more or less incentive to get anything done. Beka gave him a reason not to get out of bed, on the nights that she stayed with him, but she also inspired him to make this better world, the world he had once helped destroy.
"Beka... move in with me..." It wasn't the first time and he doubted it would be the last that he would ask that question. She would never agree of course, she needed her space, and in truth he needed his... but he missed her when she wasn't there at night, even more so if she was off on the Maru. That at least seemed to rouse her from her sleep and she rolled out of his arms, turning herself over so that she lay looking up at him as he pulled himself over her a little. As he leaned in she smiled and ran a hand up into his hair accepting the soft kiss. It was so gentle but she knew enough now to realise the likely hunger behind it, the hunger that was almost always there inside Gaheris and probably every Nietzschean.
"You know I won't Gaheris... so why keep asking?" She raised an eyebrow. Gaheris rolled onto his back, a sign that he knew her resolve was unbreakable... or at least were it breakable he hadn't found a way yet, and he had tried pretty much everything. Gaheris' grinned as Beka automatically shifted her position so she lay on his chest, her head over his heart. He let out a soft sigh.
"It may be a little un-Nietzschean, but maybe it is a small part of optimism that you have inspired in me... and of course, I don't like to take no for an answer from my crew..."
"Hey, I already told you I am never calling you captain." Beka smiled into his skin as she rolled enough to plant a kiss on his olive chest. Gaheris pulled his arms up around her once more and hugged her tight into him, a mixture of love and lust. He loved this woman, for what she was. She was the strongest woman he had ever met, even compared to many Nietzschean women, her genes were sound, and he entertained, even enjoyed the thought that they might have children together in the years to come. But he also knew she did not have the same drives as a Nietzschean woman, and so while they could match each other her motivations were never the same and he knew marriage and children weren't something she was planning on any time soon. So, he realised, it was the lust more than the love that kept her wanting him.
He slid his hands down to cup her buttocks as he pulled her up over him, it was an almost an unconscious action, and just as absent mindedly her softly muttered her name.
"Beka Valentine...." There was almost a musical quality to it.
"Gaheris Rhade?" She smirked as she repositioned herself, looking down into his eyes. He smiled almost shyly back, realising he had said her name out loud. He loved the way she said Rhade. Sometimes almost with disdain, especially when she disagreed with him over something. He loved it when they argued, and especially more so when those debates over mission directives turned into a sparing session in his quarters, the compromising of ideas over impassioned love making. The thought brought a smile to his lips and he could feel himself hardening. Beka let out a small chuckle as she felt his obvious arousal. Gaheris raised an eyebrow, a slight question, as he pulled Beka's lips down to his, passion taking over as he hungrily sought her tongue. For a moment she was receptive and he pulled her tighter to him. But as he was about to roll them both over to take the upper hand, she pulled back and placed a commanding hand on his chest. His look was both playful and confused, wondering if she was teasing, he still couldn't always tell. His first instinct was to roughly roll them anyway, imagining it in his mind as he quelled that impulse and waited for her next move. He waited for her to respond as his breathing deepened and he felt himself becoming more and more aroused. She could tease him without even trying. Part of him hated it, but part of him loved it.
"Gaheris, I have to go... so do you. We have things to do, remember... The Andromeda, reforming the Commonwealth... ring any bells?"
Gaheris frowned and shook his head slightly. "Commonwealth? What... no, I have no idea..." He grinned and began to slide a hand down Beka's back, over the curve of her ass, pulling her tight to him once again.
With an impatient sort of smile Beka shook her head and placed both her hands on then man's chest, giving her the leverage to roll off him and lie next to him again on the bed.
"Well it was your idea Rhade."
Gaheris sighed. She was right, they had other things to do... and besides when she called him Rhade she meant business, though he was sure she had no idea how much that turned him on... He knew better than to fight with her this early in the morning, as much fun as it sounded. Feeling her moving, Gaheris reached over and grabbed her, then rolled to pin her to the bed.
"I love you Beka..." He said sincerely, looking into her eyes. She smiled up at him, a gentle but almost mocking grin, placing a hand on his cheek and pulling him down into a kiss, before pushing him back up again and sliding out from under him to find her clothes.
The drones had all been destroyed. Or at least Beka thought they had.
"Rommie, how many target drones did you deploy?" The object continued towards them as the computer answered, five. Beka looked over at the rest of the crew.
"I'm reading an unidentified object. It just threaded its way through the entire Castalian fleet."
Tyr gave his usual scowl "And they didn't stop it? What a complete surprise." Andromeda made a quick assessment of the vessel and reported to Rhade that it was a modified Alacritous Missive courier vessel. Rhade frowned as the screen flashed up a closer image of the vessel.
"That's a High Guard ship." As the ship hailed them Rhade, still a little confused called for the message onscreen.
Rhade was still a little shocked. The message the pilot Jamahl delivered still fresh in his mind, even as he was lead around Terazed, introduced to people, made to feel like an honoured guest they had been waiting so long for. He was reeling from the sheer numbers, so many had survived, not that it eased his guilt at all.
At first he hadn't believed the face he saw in the message... his son, grown up. A man, telling him about Terazed and the survivors of the Andromeda, the civilisation they had begun to build. And it still stood now, all this time later. He couldn't help but feel a sense of pride that his lineage was present in such a venture.
Now, standing in the reception lounge being fawned over by various members of the Terazed community, Rakel returned to him after a few pleasantries, but before she could say anything a voice called out across the room.
"Madame Triumvir." A man strode into view, making his way through the crowd. Gaheris' breath caught in his throat as his mind raced with the knowledge he had been given of this place, of the survivors. Even so, as his mind rationalised it, there was something eerie about meeting a man with your own face.
His double approached. "I hate to barge in on such a historic event, but I couldn't get away from my staff meeting."
"Not at all, Admiral. Gaheris, this is the commander of Terazed's Home Guard, Admiral Telemachus Rhade." Rakel introduced. Gaheris was a little taken aback. He had known his descendants were here, but even so, to meet one.... And one that was the spitting image of him.
"Rhade." Gaheris acknowledged with a mixture of pride and discomfort. Over the past year or more he thought he had seen a lot, dealt with many strange things, but this was something he had never envisioned.
"Captain. It's an honour." Telemachus smiled as he shook the hand of his ancestor.
Gaheris studied the picture of Telemachus Rhade, still both disturbed and intrigued by the similarities. Tyr appeared over his shoulder.
"Genetic reincarnation!" Gaheris stated coldly as he looked at the picture. He wouldn't pretend to like Tyr, and he knew that the man would stab him in the back the first chance he had to make his position good. But the old adage rang true – 'keep your friends close; keep your enemies under constant surveillance.'
"It's quite rare, but it does happen. My own father had almost identical DNA to a Kodiak alpha - Suleiman. And according to legend, one day Drago Museveni himself will be reincarnated and reunite the Nietzschean people, but then you already know that." There was that hint to Tyr's voice that Gaheris always tried not to let bother him. They had different ideas on what made a real Nietzschean was exactly. Gaheris let it go. One day this would come to a head, but today wasn't that day.
"It is a coincidence though." Gaheris spoke his thoughts aloud, rather than directly to Tyr, their past run ins with remnants of the old Commonwealth had never gone well in the past as Harper had pointed out to them earlier. "And I'm not inclined to trust coincidences - especially ones named Rhade." Gaheris gritted his teeth, remembering his own actions, knowing what a Nietzschean really was, and how he would act in a situation, and that he couldn't trust. Gaheris turned to look at Tyr.
"Never trust any Nietzschean." Tyr agreed with a slight nod before looking into Gaheris' eyes "Except me." He added. Gaheris made no reply as he moved past the man and off the bridge, ignoring that tone that so often crept into Tyr's voice, that no matter how much he was using this situation to his advantage and how much they disagreed on so many fundamental points, there was a part of Tyr that wanted, longed for, Rhade's acceptance. The thought brought a small grin to his face. As long as that need was still in Tyr, Gaheris would always have the upper hand.
Gaheris let the water run over him as he stood in the shower with his head against the cold wall. The words 'never trust a Nietzschean' still resounding in his mind, if only for their absolute truth. His people were survivors – courageous, untroubled, mocking and violent – but that meant that their drive for self-preservation was limited to their own individual needs. Their family; their Pride; and their people; in that order and only when required.
He disliked the fact that Tyr had been present when he voiced his concerns over Admiral Rhade, if only for the weaknesses it showed in himself. Trying to bring his mind back to the present and not dwell on what already was and unchangeable, Gaheris turned off the water and shook his head, water flicking from his hair. Grabbing a towel he headed back into his bedroom and began to dry himself, trying rather to stop his thoughts wandering, than thinking about Tyr and Rhade and the Commonwealth... it had been a bizarre and long day that he was more than happy to have it over with.
But no matter how hard he tried he was unable to keep the thoughts out, his descendant clouded his mind... could he be trusted? Gaheris Rhade couldn't when it had come down to the big choices, could Telemachus Rhade? He stood stock still, droplets of water still trickling coolly down his back as he considered this. Gaheris, deep in thought, didn't hear Beka enter his quarters and only realised she was there as she tried to creep up on him. He turned quickly.
"Nietzschean senses Beka! How many times do I have to tell you...."
Beka could tell immediately that something was wrong. Usually when she tried to sneak up on him it would become a game, and usually ending the same way... it was unlike him not to want to play. Stepping forward Beka cupped a hand to his cheek.
"What is it?" She was concerned, her frown only wavering slightly as he turned his face to press a kiss into her palm. "Is it Terazed?" She had wanted to say Admiral Rhade but she was finding it all so odd. Harper's words about their previous meetings with the old High Guard gang not going so well were spot on, and this time added to by the fact that the descendants of the original crew were alive and kicking on the planet below them.
"It... it is a great many things Beka." Gaheris admitted as he began tying the towel around his waist and headed over to the window to look out at the planet they now orbited. "I don't trust Rhade..." It was hard for him to really admit it in such terms, even to Beka.
"Because he is a Nietzschean?" Beka had never met anyone who disliked Nietzscheans or at least what he saw as these new Nietzscheans, quite as much as Gaheris, and she couldn't pretend not to understand. Not only had they destroyed the Commonwealth but they had gone on to devastate so many worlds, so terribly... They had not united, they had not replaced the Commonwealth with something better... they had destroyed what was good and gone on to contribute only mayhem, death and slavery. Part of him understood that and knew that they were following their instincts and surviving, he just hadn't realised when he made his choice that would be the case.
Gaheris turned to study Beka, noting with some pang inside the concern in her eyes. "No Beka... because he is a Rhade."
"Gaheris... you cant be..." Beka started to protest but Gaheris raised a hand to indicate she shouldn't proceed. He shook his head.
"Who would know better than I? Of all Nietzscheans? I woke up Beka, pulled from the past into a future where I get to experience what my actions have caused... the destruction of the Commonwealth and the descent of my own race!"
"Gaheris, it wasn't just you... I mean, it wasn't as if you incited the uprising... so you sided with your people, who wouldn't? You didn't single handedly bring down the Commonwealth...."
"No. But I am the only one who gets to watch the consequences... and try to rectify that damage..." He added softly at the end, losing her eyes and looking down to the floor, guilt or shame, he didn't know which, but something boiled within him.
"But doesn't that count? That you are doing something now? And the thing is Gaheris, if you want to rebuild the Commonwealth, Terazed is the place to start... hell they already have it. All you need to do is get in with this Rakel and voila, ready made Commonwealth waiting to be expanded." Beka smiled hopefully, it seemed quite simple really. Without looking to her Gaheris turned again to look back at the planet, the last refuge of the Systems Commonwealth.
"I know... I know, it should be easy." Gaheris still couldn't explain it. "Maybe it's too easy... like always. Something always happens Beka, and I'm betting this time that something is a Rhade... fate maybe." He spoke thoughtfully.
Beka frowned again. She hated it when he was like this, when he got all melancholy thinking about old friends and unchangeable pasts. She wondered what he had been like before, she often imagined him as a great warrior, as an excellent commander. Five wives, children, great job... he had all a Nietzschean could ask for, she would be surprised if he was anything like this back then. She imagined him strong and proud, the way he was when he stood up to Tyr, or bossed Harper around. She knew that confidence was there somewhere, beneath the surface a little, damaged by the regret of his actions. He couldn't brood forever; he had to get over it sometime. She hoped. And maybe the answers to that lay on Terazed, the closest they had come so far to reforming the Commonwealth, and they hadn't even had to lift a finger yet. She stepped toward him, his scowling face reflected in the window. She grinned and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Let's not try and second guess it just yet.... Besides, you're right, it might not be Rhade, they might all turn out to be psychotic android avatars that want to kill us..." She grinned and looked at his reflection as it brought a grin to his face to.
"We can only hope..." He replied.
Glad that she was making progress in changing his mood she moved her hand, running it lightly across the top of his shoulder and then down his arm to squeeze his hand. Stepping into him she put an arm around him, pressing it against his bare chest as she began to run kisses along his shoulder, licking and nipping the taut skin as she ran her hand down his chest.
With a slight sigh that sounded like submission though was anything but, Gaheris released her hand and turned to face the woman that he found himself almost constantly longing for.
"Beka..." He tasted her name in his mouth, as he breathed in her scent and placed his hands on her shoulders. Slowly he moved his hands down to hers and brought them up to his lips. When he released them she smiled and lay them softly on his shoulders as he stepped forward into her space and slowly pulled down the zip on her vest, first watching his own hands, and then moving his lips to hers and kissing her gently. Too gently perhaps considering the longing he felt, the pent up passion, but this made it all the more sweet, drawing it out. As the vest fell open Gaheris moved his hands to cup Beka's breasts, before breaking their kiss to lean down and run his tongue up through the valley of her breasts. Beka giggled as his mouth came back up to hers continuing to giggle into the kiss before pulling back.
"Tickles..." She grinned. He retuned the smile, gratified.
"I know." He replied as he took the advantage of their separation to slip her vest off completely before moving his hands down to unfasten her trousers. "Are you staying with me tonight?" He asked gently. He wanted her to, almost needed her to, after today. He needed her to stay and be with him, in every way. He looked deep into her eyes. Her grin grew a little wider, playful.
"I didn't have any other plans." With her hands back on his shoulders she manoeuvred him around and began walking him backwards towards the bed, his towel loosening and falling away. As they met the edge of the bed it hit the back of his knees, stopping them dead. Beka paused and let her trousers fall to the ground, stepping out of them she ran her hands up on to Gaheris' firm chest, trailing them gently across his nipples before giving him a push.
Gaheris' knees buckled into the bed behind him and he fell flat on his back with a soft thud into the sheets, letting out a soft sigh that was almost a growl rumbling in the back of his throat. Beka always knew how to make him feel better, she was the most *Nietzschean* non-Nietzschean woman he had ever known. Words that he had spoken so many years before to Captain Hunt jumped into his mind.... it's not that we don't love, it's better. Because everything we do furthers our reproduction. Everything in our lives is an intense, sexually charged...
"...negotiation..." He muttered aloud. Beka smiled curiously as she began to climb over him.