(PG-13)
April 2009

by Delta Story


Spoilers: 'Isabo's Shirt' in "Distant Shores"; "Before Dishonor"; and "Full Circle"


For elem - because.


~*~

The morning sun mirrored off the polished obelisk rising towards the sky. The long rays from Terra's star swirled like tendrils around the body of the man who walked away from Starfleet's memorial to Admiral Kathryn Janeway. His step, firm and determined, belied the weariness of his body after his long nighttime vigil.

For several dark hours preceding the dawn, his low words blanketed the sacred area with the turmoil in his soul, releasing the demons that had preyed on him, that had gnawed on him for two excruciating years. But the morning sun's first glimmer began the purge that he so desperately needed, and the subsequent rays baptized him into new life and meaning... new purpose and resolve.

From among the warm pastel light, a spirit also engulfed him - silent words, unseen hands, loving eyes that were never far from him, even in his most hellish hours, watching over him, wanting to comfort him in death as in life. The spirit smiled, content that he indeed knew what needed to be done. She whispered into the growing light, hoping that he understood.


    You're wrong, Chakotay - the dead are concerned about the living, at least the ones we have promised to love throughout eternity. While time is indefinable to us after death, we can sense every feeling, every emotion. We know your pain and bear witness to your suffering, but only you can decide how to make things work.

    You had so far to fall, and I am truly sorry that you had to go through such an agonizing recovery. Things happened too fast for something that had existed for so long. We were each wrong to not have openly admitted sooner our love for each other; the emotions, the thrill, the joy had us both soaring far too high in too short a period of time. Neither of us had reached a point of equilibrium where the sorrows of the universe could be buffered by the everyday comfort of a longstanding open love. My physical death took you too far, over into the abyss of doubt and anger. I know that the fault of that lies almost entirely with me - how could I not know it after that night on Proxima? For that reason, I have been in my own purgatory. Nothing that the Borg could do to me, not even Starfleet's decision to destroy me, has hurt me as much as knowing that I left you so alone.

    Yet I know so much more now - that's the interesting thing about being beyond death. You know... everything; you can sense everything. Each time you relive that night, I am there - as me... as you. I can feel your joy with the sudden admission; I can feel your grief for the delay of so many years. I feel the waves of long-denied passion sweep over each of us, merging our souls as well as our bodies that night.

    But as you well know, even after the physical passing of the ones we love, the universe goes on, listening and moving to its own music. Larger disasters than those of our personal worlds devastate those around us; yet through the discordant arpeggios, we hear only the piper's tune of the one who is our center.

    I was with you when you went to Venice - I hope you realize that now. When you lovingly caressed that mirror, brought back from years ago, your fingers caressed me. Your eyes met mine when you gazed into its reflective surface. Framed by the moonlight, your spirit pierced through the cosmos that separates us and became one with mine, telling me that your promise was still there. But with Mark's fateful words, you loosened your hold on the mirror, and with it, your embrace of my being. As the mirror fell and shattered, so did I, for your eyes became devoid of life. Shock dimmed them, and then despair and hopelessness drowned the last glimmer, leaving me without a window to your soul.

    I tried to wrap myself around you as you fell into your downward spiral, trying to once again gain entrance into your being. In your anguish, you not only began to destroy yourself but me also. How could I get you to see... to understand? You had to reach out, look outward again before the healing could begin, before you could allow me once more to have sweet communion with you - to let you know that I am here... somewhere.

    Only when you found one who was as despairing as you could you begin to crawl out of your deep abyss. I felt no discomfort, no jealousy when that person was Seven. As we had discovered with a certain carved box, love comes in many forms. When I knew you and she had met, that you shared your love for me and shared the same sorrow with my death, I knew that you would determine to find a way. She had lost her mother figure, the stabilizing point in her eternal emptiness; you had lost your purpose for living. Together, you could seek a means of resolving your sorrow and anguish.

    And now I will work with you... walk with you... to help you regain what you have lost. You may not recognize me - sometimes I will be in the wind or a thought; other times in a touch or a remembrance of times past. I may be in the smile of an old friend or the nod of a stranger, but I will be - and I am - always with you and will always love you.

    Remember what we had, my dear Chakotay, but don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the past. Time is such a fleeting thing and is relative only to a pitiful physical dimension. Unfetter your thoughts about time and place and you can soar into new awareness. Just know that somewhere, somehow, we will be together again, sharing the timeless love that was - and is - meant to be.

~*~

Kathryn's spirit was the mirror to Chakotay's soul and existence. The message she sent to him defied the most convoluted of encryptions. He had read it - there, in the reflection of his own eyes, staring at him from the polished surface of her shrine, speaking to him as surely as if she stood in front of him: When in doubt, look here.

He no longer doubted; he knew what he had to do and a sudden burst of energy sent him on his way to submit his resignation to Admiral Montgomery. No, Starfleet wouldn't like it, but to hell with them. They had already taken too much from him and Kathryn over the years and they weren't going to deny them any more. When he buried his old life along with his pips and his commbadge, allowing the shadow of the memorial hide them for as long as the white stone stood erect, he knew there was no turning back from his resolve.

I will find you, Kathryn, either in life or in death. But I will find you. We have come too far to let anything more keep us apart.

Spirits help me - I will find you!

~*~



Kathryn J. has made a gorgeous video that she says was inspired by my story.
Here is a link to this amazing piece of artistry: MISSING YOU, KATHRYN



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