Note: This story is the result of a song I can’t seem to get off my mind. It’s called "Why they call it Falling". Unfortunately, I can’t remember who the female artist is. As always, special thanks to Onyx for her encouragement.
She was a teacher to me, a mentor of sorts. We were on the same ship, but at opposite ends when I found out. Someone told me she was leaving, stepping down. Since I was known for my cool demeanor I guess they didn’t think I would react. I guess they didn’t think I would care.
I began to cry, hysterically. When they tried to comfort me, I told them to "Get out!", loudly.
I didn’t know she was outside the door of the cargo bay. She heard me yell, and came to find out what the problem was as the crewman scampered away.
"You are leaving," I accused with tears choking me.
"I have to," she said simply, her blue eyes full of sympathy.
"Because I just can’t say ‘no’ to you. You occupy my thoughts and distract me from my duty. Voyager needs a leader with some objectivity."
"I need you," I rasped thickly.
We stared into each other’s eyes then, and I felt as though she was really looking at me for the first time. A hail over the comm system interrupted us, there were two prisoners Janeway needed to question. They had transported onto Voyager and attempted to take our replicator technology. Of course they were swiftly defeated and taken into custody.
I made myself present during the questioning. She didn’t object. One of the prisoners did. She told him I was an officer and that I would not repeat what I heard. It wasn’t really a good reason for me to stay, but I was grateful. Being near her was important to me. I craved her company, her laughter, her warmth . . . her touch.
Could it be, she craved mine as well?
She did stay, of course. How could she not? She is the captain.
The prisoners turned out to be nomads, desperate for a means to feed their families. She released them with food and medical supplies. Her compassion is renowned throughout the quadrant, it is part of the reason for my love, although I do not understand the term ‘falling’ in love. This feeling has always been there. I did not fall.
After the incident with the prisoners, I sent her a note. I had the commander deliver it personally to her ready room. Perhaps he does not hate me quite so much as he used to. He seemed to understand the message was of a personal nature, not a business one and carried the precious padd to my beloved.
He stood there as she keyed the padd, curiosity coloring his face. She never looked at him as she read the simple message.
"Kathryn-what I offer you is more than the gift of my friendship. I offer you my love. There are no strings attached.
She called me to report to her immediately, still forgetting he was present. He dismissed himself with a smile on his face. He had read the message over her shoulder.
I approached her wondering if she was going to tell me it couldn’t be. When our eyes met she seemed to remember my response to the news of her stepping down a few days previous, and her eyes filled with tears.
With wonder, and fear, and a bit of hope singing in my veins I slowly approached her. Lifting my hands I gently cupped each soft cheek in my palms . . . she didn’t flinch away.
I read the acceptance and love in her eyes and in the soft smile gracing her thin lips. The gray of her eyes turned a deep blue and I felt lost in their depths. Falling into the love contained within. Is this what is meant by ‘falling’?
"May I kiss you?" I asked softly.
She looked at me almost shyly. "I thought you never would."
As our lips met for the first time, I thought about why they call it falling.
Now I know.