DISCLAIMER: Andromeda and its characters are the property of Gene Roddenberry and Tribune Services. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Originally written for the femslash_today Sweet Dreams and Flying Machines Ficathon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Body Heat
By trancer


"Pirates," Beka grumbled under her breath. "It just had to be pirates."

She charged down the corridor. The ship tilted violently as another blast pounded against the hull. Beka felt her feet lifting from under her, replaced by air, and then a hard slam against a wall.

She rose to her feet, hand reaching towards the searing pain in her shoulder. "Pirates," she growled.

The doors to the bridge opened, Beka instinctively rushing towards Dylan's chair.

"What's going on, Rommie?" She slumped into the Captain's chair.

"Pirates," Rommie stated dryly.

"I know that," she snapped, rolling her eyes in the process. "Any useful information you can tell me."

"You mean such as 'who are these people, aside from pirates, and why are they kicking our ass?'."

"Yeah, something like that."

Another blast rocked the ship. A rain of sparks showered the back panels. Blue smoke rose in coiling wisps that fanned out, threatening to choke the air. Already, Beka could feel the sting in her eyes, the burn in her lungs.

"Andromeda," Beka she choked. "Status!"

The face of the Andromeda appeared on the view screen. "Shields at 37 percent, main power at 67 percent and decreasing.."

"What about weapons?"

"Main weapons are offline."

"Dammit," Beka pounded a fist on the armrest. "Can you get us out of here?"

"I can try."

"Do it!"

The hull vibrated as power filled already strained filled with energy. A slipstream window opened in the near distance. The ship lurched forward towards escape. As they entered the slip stream, a ship fired another blast clipping the Andromeda across its stern.

The ship rocked violently. The blast sent the Andromeda into a hard spin. But now, they were inside the Slip Stream. Spinning, twirling, bouncing off the walls of the interior. Beka flew from her seat, crashing against the wall before being bounced up again. From the corner of her, she could see Rommie suffering the same fate. Lights blinked and flickered. More sparks erupted from various consoles, dancing in the air as the ship spun out of control. Klaxons pierced the air with a high shrill tone.

No longer able to sustain power, the Andromeda slammed through the walls of the Slip Stream, cascading into open space.

"Andromeda!" Beka shouted over the chaos. "Divert all power to the engines. I don't care what it takes!"

Andromeda diverted power, as if, with one last gasp of energy the engines stirred to life, whirring and choking painfully before pulling the ship to a final stop. With that, the power went out.

Beka grabbed, something, something that felt strong, secure and stable. Lifted herself to her feet. She peered through the blackness, trying to get her bearings.


"I'm here," the avatar called back.

"Where are you?"

"Under a console. I think."

"Just, stay there. I'll find you."

"I'm perfectly capable of extricating myself out from under a console."

"That's not what I meant," Beka exhaled. Harper had installed in the avatar a personality. One which, while making her unique, had a tendency, Beka found, to make her difficult as well. She trudged through the darkness, arm flailing about in front of her for protection. The lights began to flicker as the emergency power kicked in. She could see Rommie through the choking haze, standing on her feet and dusting herself off with her hands. Beka stood next to her, gazing about the bridge and surveying the damage. "This is bad."

"Yes, very bad. Andromeda."

There was a flicker, another hail of sparks, then more flickering. Andromeda's screen sputtered to life, crackling and blinking like a signal picked up from light years away.

"This," Rommie muttered. "Is not good."

Beka sighed. "I'll go get my wrench."

"Rommie?" Andromeda appeared on the screen before her, an eyebrow raised. "Do you know where Beka is?"

"She's in her.." Rommie paused, lifting her head to look at the screen. It had been twelve hours since they'd been floating in space. "If you know the answer, then I know the answer. Why are you asking?"

"Have you noticed the temperature?"

Rommie tilted her head, the data flowing through her system like blood through veins. Her irises widened, the surprise showing on her normally blank face. The life support systems had been hit a critical blow. And while the oxygen reserves were back to nominal, the climate controls had not. The temperature within the Andromeda had dropped to a frigid -46 degrees Celsius.

"I.." Rommie stammered. "I'm going to find Beka."

She didn't bother to knock on Beka's quarters. Just disengaged the lock, the door creaking open, sliding across oil frozen to a hard tacky consistency. Rommie shouldered it open, sliding through the crack and entering Beka's quarters.

Moisture hung, condensed and frozen, in the air, drifting about like tiny asteroid belts reflected by a sun. Frost had accumulated on the bulkhead, covered the window in spiky, zig-zagging patterns.

Beka sat on her bed, wrapped in dozens of blankets, shivering violently. A tiny space heater by her dangling feet radiated the room with a soft orange glow but no where close to warming it.

"Beka?" Rommie asked, crossing the distance and kneeling before the blonde.

"Hey, Rommie," Beka quipped through chattering teeth. "How's the weather?"

"Cold," she pressed her hand to Beka's face. "You're freezing."

"Are you kidding? It's boiling in here," Beka smirked. "I was just about to grab my swimsuit when you entered."

"I doubt that very much," Rommie rose to her feet, fingers gripping the bottom of her shirt and swiftly pulling it up and over her head. "Take off your clothes."

"What?" Beka stammered, eyes glued to bare breasts mere inches from her face.

"I need to warm you up," she now began working on her trousers, feet kicking off her boots. "This works faster if we're naked. Now, strip."

"Yes, ma'am," Beka fought the urge to argue with the Avatar. Instead, trying to find a semblance of modesty, fighting with her eyes to stare at anything but the naked woman standing before her.

Stripped of her clothes, Beka hurriedly tucked herself under the pile of blankets on her bed. It was still freezing even though, Beka was, admittedly, a bit warmer than she was five minutes ago.

Rommie joined her under the covers, lying atop Beka, legs threading together. Tucked her face into Beka's neck. Rommie closed her eyes, began to concentrate. Rose her core body temperature, until it peaked at 101 degrees. She could feel Beka's skin warming as the shivers subsided to a dull tremble.

As the moments ticked by, and Rommie felt her self lumbering towards a sense of calm, she began to noticing things beyond the immediate crisis. Like Beka's breathing, slow and labored but there was a spastic shallowness to it as if she were concentrating too hard.

"Beka?" Rommie lifted her head, peered down into the pale blue eyes suddenly snapping open. Suddenly, the pieces fell into place - Beka's breathing, her heart rate, the warmth of her skin, especially the area centered above Rommie's thigh. "This arouses you?"

"No," Beka smiled sheepishly. "You do."

"Oh. Do you wish me to stop?"

"No. You're not doing anything wrong. I just.." she pushed her head back onto the pillow, eyes closing in frustration. "It's been awhile, that's all."

"I can take care of that. I'm fully capable."

"You're not a servant, Rommie."

"That's not what I mean," Rommie cupped Beka's jaw gently. What did she mean? For the first time, Rommie was at loss for words. Unable to describe the connection between her, Andromeda and how Beka made them feel. The others treated Andromeda like a ship. Beka was always different. Even when at the command controls, her touch wasn't demanding but light and soft and caressing. "When you touch her," Rommie attempted to explain. "I can feel it."

"Rommie?" Beka swallowed hard.

"Let me touch you back."

Her hand drifted down from Beka's face, down the line of her neck and lower still, drawing across the line of her collarbone. Circled around the swell of a breast, felt Beka's breath hitch through the rise of her chest.

Beka thread a hand into Rommie's hair, pulled the woman closer. Until she tasted full lips and warm, wet tongue. Purred into the accepting mouth as Rommie's fingers found her need and Beka opened herself to the exploring touch. Allowed Rommie to set the pace, a slow, leisurely rhythm that started with just a hand building to an orchestra of grinding hips, stroking hands and deep kisses, all set to the beat of Beka's heart. The tension and pace rising in crescendo, culminated with a keening moan erupting from Beka's throat.

Beka awoke first. Familiar and welcome sound of Andromeda purring like a sleeping kitten. The freezing temperatures replaced with warm, fresh air.

The body in her arms stirred. Beka gazing at her, realizing it really hadn't been a dream. "I thought you didn't need sleep?"

"Normally," Rommie grinned. "I don't." She closed her eyes again, letting the information fill her system. "Andromeda's fully functional."

"Don't you think Andromeda should tell us that?"

"She's giving us some privacy."

"And why would she do that?"

"Oh, you know," she pulled Beka into her embrace, rolling the woman atop her. "Just in case you needed warming up."

"Yes," Beka drew her lips across Rommie's jaw, free hand pulling the covers over them. "I definitely need warming up."

The End

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