The Gift
by Suz

Disclaimer - Paramount own them.

Nothing to do with the Kes ep of the same name. Rated R. Resolutions prequel. Torres PoV.


The doors swish open.

I stare out of the turbolift.

The corridor looks dark. I know, I know it's just my imagination. I know there's no problem with the lighting, and even if there were I'm more than qualified to fix it. But I...

I stare out of the turbolift.

The anger is brewing.

It makes sense, I know it does. They would ask me. I'm closer to him that anyone else. They would ask me to pack up his belongings.

But...This. Is. So. Fucking. Unfair.

So. Fucking. Unfair.


Something is making a noise, and it's only after a few moments that I realise it's me.

I move forward - slightly - just enough to ensure that the doors won't close as I continue to stare out of the turbolift.

The corridor is dark.

I know I have to step into it. I know I have to step out of the turbolift, and continue the journey.

The last time I saw him, he was smiling. Just before he beamed down. Just before...

Neelix is nearly crying with the guilt. Why? Why when all three of them had beamed down, was he the only one left untouched? He wasn't special. He shouldn't have been excluded. For whatever reason - fate, sheer luck - he was.

And now I have to live out of the rest of my life without my best friend, and Voyager has to continue its journey home without either its Captain or First Officer.

I step forward as my hands clench, leaving the sanctity of the turbolift behind. Nothing changes. Idiotically relieved, I try to finish the journey quickly, but find myself slowing as Nicoletti passes me.

She seems to be smiling. She knows where I'm going, what I'm going to do when I'm there. She hands something to me then continues walking. Frowning, I look down at what I'm holding in my hand. My frown does not vanish.

I arrive at his quarters moments later, and let myself in using the access code he gave me weeks ago. Before. Before this.

I'm here now, so I try not to waste time. I immediately order the lights on and the room illuminates. Moving around the familiar surroundings, I sigh. So little to pack here, even after all this time.

Depositing Nicoletti's gift on his bedside table, I find a bag which I promptly snap open. Not needing to look where I'm going, I automatically find his medicine bundle in the second drawer down, his shirts in the third drawer, his underwear in the first, his pants, his nightwear...his picture of the Captain...

His picture of the Captain?

His picture of the Captain!

His picture of the Captain?!

That's something I haven't seen before. It's something I probably should have expected...maybe even be a little jealous of...

That isn't me, now. I'm not her anymore.

Taking the picture out, I close the drawer. Not to pack it with his things - he won't need it there - but if anyone ever moves into these quarters, it would be for the best if they didn't find it.

I pack his collection of stones from various planets he's visited. Some of them have beautiful carvings on them. I consider - briefly - keeping one, but pack them all.

His medicine wheel is next. I roll it carefully, and put it away with the stones accompanying it.

I remember that even then, there was something.

I remember being in sickbay, looking down at him after his consciousness had been restored into his body. The medicine wheel was behind me. I was so relieved; I was trying not to stare at his chest.

She was touching said chest.

I was pissed. What I saw there, in front of me, was another version of Seska. Another woman who knew how to use what she had to lure him in.

Strange how falling out of love can change your perspective. Or maybe it's not so strange. I don't know, and I can think about it later.

Right now...

Toiletries. Might as well make that replicator of theirs hold up for as long as possible...

A few bits and pieces. A few tiny things he has picked up along the way - and that's it. That's his full compliment of items that belong to him. That are *his*.

It's never made me feel lonely before. I wonder why it does now.

Moving the bag off the bed I close my eyes and lie there for a while, imagining that my friend is lying next to me, as he's done so many times. I imagine that when I open my eyes I'll see him sleeping or smiling at me. I'll hear his voice and feel it vibrate through his chest.

My friend.

My best friend.

So. Fucking. Unfair.

This will be it, then. This will be the only grief I will allow myself. I will simply have to get on with my life, just as I did after my father left. Just as I did after I 'left' Starfleet. Just as I did when I found myself seventy years away from the universe I know.

I open my eyes, and almost expect to see him lying there. He looks different when he sleeps. I wonder if she'll see it.

My gaze falls on Nicoletti's gift, next to the bed. Just like her to think ahead. Just like her - despite the situation - to hope for some kind of happy ending. It's the only kind they'll get.

I consider smiling as I sit up, pack the birth control boosters in the bag, and leave his quarters for what will probably be the last time.

I consider smiling at the very idea of *them*...

I consider smiling, but don't.


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