=/ USS Charon, Auxiliary Maintenance Room \=
In moments like this, you sit there wondering what you may never see
again, worse yet, WHO you'll never see again. Jack thought of Callah.
=/ Jack's last Day at Academy \=
Jack slipped on his boots as Callah showered. After the boots were on
and his pants legs pulled down, he hunched over, leaning his arms on
his knees. He couldn't believe it. Since they were kids, they had
dreamed of going to the Academy together, getting assigned to the same
ship and just sharing life together.
However, a cog in the plan came when, last year, Callah had an
opportunity to do some anthropology work with her father on Pirotas
for a year. How could she not take that opportunity? That put her a
year behind him, but he knew she knew that. It wasn't even discussed.
He basically pushed her into the shuttle himself
Now he was off to a ship board assignment while she had one year left
of Academy. And he was leaving in an hour.
Callah came out, wrapping her arms around him and kissed his cheek.
"How much longer?"
"An hour." Jack sighed heavily and stood, "Have you thought anymore
about what I asked you?"
She frowned, "I just don't think I'm ready for that."
He took her hands, "Callah, your life doesn't have to change. It's
just connecting us. Forever."
"And why do we need a ceremony and certificate to be connected forever?"
He just looked down. She had a point, but he needed those things. He
wanted that promise. He kissed her forehead and started gathering some
She sat back on the bed, "It just feels like we're too young."
He stood still a moment and looked at her, "We've loved each other for
20 years. Do you really think that will change?"
She looked him in the eyes for a long moment, "And in that time, other
than last year, we've never been apart. We don't know how it is to be
apart. Maybe we should see if we can survive that."
He went to sit by her, "You never told me much about that year. Did
you meet someone?"
She shook her head, "No. For the first few months, I was miserable,
but I got used to it. There was a sort of freedom to it. I liked it."
He shook his head confused, "I've never tried to confine you."
She took his hands, "Oh, no, you haven't! But it can be confining."
He pursed his lips, "This explains why you've been so distant since
you came back."
"You didn't seem to mind."
"I didn't. I want you to have your own life. I've missed you, but you
were happy and I got used to it."
She smiled, "I really think it'll be nice to see how we are apart."
He frowned, "Are we breaking up, Callah?"
She shook her head, "No. I love you." She took his face in her hands,
"No one can ever even ask for my heart if you have it and you'll be
long gone." She kissed his lips softly and sweetly for a brief moment,
"I mean just build a life apart from each other. So we can know we
only want each other, not need."
He nodded and leaned in to kiss her. What followed was a purposeful
moment of tactile love that Jack hoped would carry them throughout
their time apart.
=/ Present Day \=
Jack rubbed his face and checked the masking tricorder again. He had
to do something. He had to do something so he could see Callah again.
So everyone could see their loved ones again.
Jack Fellos II, Engineer, USS Charon