To The Captain
by Suz

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I've been looking at you for the past ten minutes. I could argue that because you're directly in front of me that there's nothing else to study, but I know it's a lie and if you were really here you'd know it too.

I'm oddly aware of the cold. Shivering I bury myself into my jacket a little further.

I'm struck by the same thought every time I see 'you' - it's not a bad resemblance at all. It's still the you that I met at the penal colony though; I suppose the most recent picture they had was of you just before you left. Hair in a tight bun, uniform impossibly starched, determination in every look.

I also suppose it's based on the picture in your official Starfleet entry, something that I could have taken a look at any time with the skills I acquired, but never bothered.

It's not quite the you I became accustomed to seeing, but it'll do.

I remember Dad telling me about this place I had thought it strangely macabre as a kid; statues of Starfleet Captains who were killed in action or declared MIA. Now, though, it seems strangely appropriate.

I heard that there's a version for Admirals, just a lot more opulent. I suppose the further down the food chain you are, the less impressive the celebration of your life is.

I'll probably get a footnote on a plaque somewhere.

I don't care.

He was here, one day. The only day. He was here, just looking, always frowning. I honestly think he would have stayed there all day if I hadn't finally made my presence known.

I wish I hadn't now.

Turning towards me, his expression didn't change. The frown seemed to have taken permanent residence. Simply shrugging he said "It looks nothing like her," before walking away.

I've often wondered if he has visited on days when I haven't been here, just looking at you. I wish you could tell me, wish you had the ability to communicate. But you just stand there, saying nothing. Staring straight ahead, as if you can see the goal that you're going to attain. Determination.

A flurry of activity catches my attention as someone yells something and a group of young girls rush over to stand in front of you. They read the plaque before you with great interest, before muttering appropriate amounts of awe regarding the apparently great woman you were. At least, according to Starfleet. I like to think of your importance in different terms.

One of them - the one that seems to have a constant grin on her lips - asks me to take their picture with you.

Smirking, I look up at you and beg your forgiveness silently as I have done so many times, so many photographs before. I still say it's a little bizarre, but I take the picture.

Urgently thanking me, she retrieves the camera as she and the rest of her groupies rush excitedly to the next representation of a dead person.

I don't just seems like they don't have any respect for anything. Do any of them really know the whole story?

Oh but I so wish you could have seen this, could have seen that even after they discovered that Voyager hadn't been destroyed they kept your statue up as a sign of respect. Personally, I see it now as a sign of foreshadowing. You got us home. You always promised you would. And you sacrificed yourself to do it, just like I always knew you would.

You would never have settled for anything less.

But I think you would have liked it. You probably would have moaned that it was an awful representation, but you would have been secretly pleased. Only, you wouldn't have shared that with anyone of course. Except him. You'd whisper it to him in a low voice while looking up at it, and you'd both smile.

I chuckle, drawing a few curious stares.

"There you are," She says, and I turn to face her.

"Hey you," I greet and we wrap arms around each other.

Pulling away she holds my hand and I don't feel so cold anymore.

"What are you thinking about?" She asks, squeezing my hand.

I glance up at you. "The usual."

"Hmm," She growls. "Should I be jealous of you thinking about another woman *again*?"

I laugh and pull her to me. Christ, I can't believe this much time has passed since we first met.

"Do you have it?" I ask.

"Of course!" She retorts, pulling back and it's only then that I notice the bag over her shoulder. Pulling it off she quickly undoes it and pulls out the flask. Handing it to me, she then digs into the bag until she finds two cups.

As she holds them up I undo the flask. The aroma hits my senses the moment it opens and I briefly close my eyes. Opening them again I see her smiling at me, so I grin and quickly pour the hot liquid into the cups.

Placing the flask on the floor, I take a cup from her and we wrap our free arms around each other as we face you. Raising our steaming cups towards you, we nod.

"To the Captain," I declare.

"To the Captain," She echoes.

Then we move our arms and clunk our plastic cups together before lowering them and sipping some of the potent brew.

We grin at each other over our coffee cups.

I glance up at you once more. "She would have loved this."

She smiles, a little sadly. "So would he."


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