Guilty Secret

I walk her back to her quarters and, with one last hug, leave her be. I know that sheís crying again, I can hear her through the door as I walk away, but itís wrong for me to comfort her any more than I have.

Gabriel's dead, and despite myself, Iím glad.

Its wrong for me to feel that way, and I wish I didnít, but now Rommieís going to stay, and thatís all that matters.

I make my way along the corridors to my own cabin, fighting the urge to turn around, to go back and tell Rommie that sheís not alone, to tell her how I really feel for her, but nowís not the time: Itís never the time.

I know how she feels. What? That surprises you? I was Argosy Special Forces before I became captain of the Andromeda, and nether are jobs you get if youíre not observant, if you donít pick things up, even if people try to hide them. I knew how Andromeda felt before The Fall, and I must say I found it flattering at first. Then Harper built Rommie, and Iíd have to be as blind as a Nightsider not to see how she looks at me, how she reacted when I said we had to keep our relationship strictly professional. I didnít want to say that, but I was still mourning Sera, and didnít want to face up to my feelings.

Itís never time.

I almost told her back when we where sent to the prison planet by the Tribunal Council. I was glad for the chance to be alone with Rommie, but she almost died, and I was scared of losing her. I almost told her again when I was complaining to her about the way the others treated the Andromeda like a cruise ship, but then we had our run-in with the Pax Magellanic, and Rommie was scared at what she might become if she let her emotions guide her.

I wish I could talk to someone about this, but the only one who I can trust to keep it a secret is Rev Bem, and I know what heíd say: let your feelings guide you, and trust in the Devine. Thanks Rev, but last time I did that, I ended up killing 100,000- Neitscheans when we found ourselves back at the battle of Witchhead Nebula. God only knows what would happen this time.

I love Rommie (there, Iíve finally admitted it to my self. Happy?), but I donít want her to end up like Pax, so I canít tell her how I feel. I know the others think Iím uncaring, and Rommie thinks her love for me is unrequited, but its not. It never was.

I stand in the middle of my quarters, trying to forget the relief I felt when Rommie was forced to shoot Gabriel. I know that having to do that hurt her more than my apparent indifference to her, but Iím glad she did it. I almost did it myself, but I know that letting my feelings guide me would only have driven Rommie further away, and I couldnít stand that.

Its never time.

The End

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