Summary: A night together with Beka leads to a result that Rhade hadn't anticipated.
Disclaimer: Tribune owns all rights to Andromeda.
Rating: PG-13, more for concepts than content
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Setting: Season five.
Feedback: Praise and constructive criticism welcome.
Archive: Ask first and I'll probably say yes.
Author's Note: I don't know why I seem to have my Beka/Rhade fic generator set on angst. Seriously, how do I fix it?
Decisions, Actions, Consequences
By B.L.A. the Mouse
Jerked awake by a vehement curse, Rhade opened his eyes in enough time to see as well as feel Beka roll out of bed. "What—" he started, but she rushed out of the bunkroom, grabbing a robe en route. He blinked a few times, waking up from what had been pleasant slumber, before getting out of bed himself. He could hear something slam in the bathroom as he put on underwear, and when he walked into the galley he saw Beka doing the same from another hatch.
She went to the counter, hair still mussed from sleep but the robe wrapped around her, prying open a small box as she did. She didn't even glance him at him as he stepped closer, not acknowledging him at all until he asked if she was all right. "I'm fine," she said shortly. "Or I will be as soon as I take this." She dumped some kind of capsule from the box into her hand and tossed the box at him.
The catch was more out of reflex than anything else, but he turned it over to check the label immediately. He was surprised to see that it was emergency contraception. "I thought," and he paused, finding the right words, "that you had something to prevent conception already."
"I did. Suppression shots require boosters. There are none to be found in this backwater armpit of a universal cul-de-sac and my own supply ran out a couple of months ago. Given how wonderfully evolved so many of the men are here, it hasn't been worth trying to find something else." She sounded more annoyed, and he wasn't sure if it was at Seefra or herself, when she added, "And of course, I forgot and didn't grab a condom, because that would have been simple."
Still holding the box, Rhade felt vaguely like he should be insulted. Being lumped in with most of the men of the system… But that was not what he wanted to discuss right now. "I wish I'd known."
"Regretting it?" Her tone was as sharp as the glance she threw at him. It was, he realized, only the second time she'd even looked at him during this conversation, the first being to aim with the box.
"No. But there are reasons I don't have children on the surface. I do know ways to prevent that outcome." He wasn't sure what else to say as she filled a glass with water, the trickling sound in the air between them.
"I can only imagine the child support payments if you didn't, with the number of women you pick up."
Rhade let that remark pass. Instead, he watched in silence as she swallowed the pill. After she'd set the empty glass down, he quietly asked, "Would it have been such a bad thing?" Beka was, after all, a beautiful, strong woman, smart and talented. He would not have minded a child, especially with the revelation of her status as Matriarch. He had left the idea behind with his wife and children and had only begun to contemplate the possibility again with Louisa before pushing it aside here in Seefra, but if Beka had been willing…
He was surprised at the lack of hesitation when she answered. "Yes, it would."
"I don't want one." She looked him squarely in the eye now, catching him off-guard. "I never have and probably never will. And that's just the first reason. Which is why this," she gestured between them, "will not work. Last night was a mistake."
He blinked at the absolute repudiation of their chances. "And you can be so sure of that? When last night was so good?"
"One night isn't everything," she said, an undercurrent of anger in her words. He wondered who had done that to her. "And you can't tell me that you won't want them, with me or with someone else. You're Nietzschean. It's what you people do. Could you?"
He paused again, a long one, as he warred with himself. "No," he admitted finally, defeated.
Beka waited a moment longer. He wasn't sure if she was giving him a chance to say something else or letting her argument sink in. She had to walk past him to get to the bunkroom; she stopped at the door briefly and offered a quiet, "I'm sorry."
He thought she might have meant it.