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[2007: MAY-JUN] Almost Perfect


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Everything in her life was almost perfect. Her days were spent as she had always wanted to spend them, captaining a starbase, making sure everything ran smoothly. She spent time with her friends, and she had an amazing man by her side. Well, sort of.

They were friends. But the closest of friends. She had never felt closer to anyone, and he had confessed the same to her one night over dinner. One day, she knew, they would be together officially. And what a happy day that would be. Not just for her, but for every one of their friends as well. It seemed like everyone wanted them to take that step. But neither of them wanted to do it first. Maybe they were scared, she couldn't really say. But she was willing to wait for him. Willing to wait until things fell into place.

One night, she sat alone in her quarters reading an old paperback book when her door chime rang. The visit caught her off guard. Had she had an appointment? Surely not this late... She wasn't sure who it could be.

“Come!” She called out, setting the book down. And he walked in. He walked in and his eyes tore her apart. Right away she knew something was wrong. She could feel it in the air he had around him. A string of fear was pulled inside her and she stood. Her eyes sparkling with a brilliant concern as she spoke softly to him in the dim light of her living area. “Is everything alright?”

“Yes.” His answer perplexed her, he sounded so sure and calm. “With your permission, I'm requesting a transfer.”

He paused a short moment before plunging into his breathless explanation. She could have sworn her heart stopped.

“I love it here and I always have. But I'm tired of watching starships come in and out. Tired of watching the admiralty come and go.” He took two taunting steps closer to her and lowered his voice. His words were almost haunting. “I'm tired of watching what I can have and knowing that if I stay like I am, it will always be just out of reach.”

She took a few steps back and turned away from him. Looking out the viewpoint, she tried to fight off the feeling of pain building up in her. The light from the stars lit up her face in the dim room, but it failed to light up her heart as it normally did. Why was he doing this? He could have all he wanted here, if he'd just try. Slowly a subtle anger was stirred inside her.

“Are you alright?” His voice was low and soothing. It always was. Hadn't that been part of the problem? Hadn't that been what pulled her to him in the first place?

“No and I don't know why you'd expect me to be.” She turned to face him, stern as ever, her eyes sharp and piercing. Her words had come off harsher then she'd meant them to. She tried to calm down for a moment. “I respect your choice, even if I don't agree with it. If this is what you really want...”

“It is.” He was being so short, she wondered vaguely if she had angered him, or if he had already been angry.

“Then I'll write your letter of recommendation shortly.” There was this pause between them. What else needed to be said? What else should be said? They looked at each other for a long moment. “You're dismissed.” It came out much colder then she had thought it would.

She watched as he walked out of her quarters and as the door swished closed behind him. She all but dropped down on the couch. This hadn't been what she wanted. She had never intended for any of this to happen. She had just wanted time. She had just wanted more time. This wasn't part of the plan.

She wanted it all. And she was so close to having it. She had become a captain, and managed to maintain a group of friends. She had scientific papers published, she had the privilege of running this starbase. She'd had a wonderful man by her side. He had been the perfect man. He was caring, calm and collected, but passionate. He was her counter part. He was everything she wanted, and more importantly everything she needed. But her timidness and assumptions had gotten the best of her. And now he was leaving.

How could she have done this? Years he sat next to her everyday. They helped each other with everything. They were as good as being together. But other than stolen glances and dimly lit meals here and there, they were only friends. Every one around them saw it for what it was, two people too scared to act. And now, now it didn't matter because he was leaving. A transfer to starfleet command. He always had wanted more then he could get out of being here. Would her being with him have changed that? Could she really have made him stay?

He had wanted a name for himself, something that she hadn't ever thought of for herself. Maybe that should have been her warning that this blissful “relationship limbo” couldn't last. That one of them would have to make a move and it just might have to be her. But she hadn't. She had feared his rejection. She had cared so much for him, that the idea of him saying “no” had killed her. Though she hadn't ever thought he'd say “Goodbye.” And so here she was now, sitting alone on the couch in her quarters, her eyes staring absently into the seemingly empty space.

What had become of her almost perfect life?

It was only now that she realized tears had been streaming down her face. She wondered how long they had been falling. Her eyes burnt with the newly acknowledged presence. When a tear fell onto her hand, she looked at it blankly. Reality finally fully hit her. She was going to be without him. For the first time in years she wouldn't have him there. And with the harshness of it all, the coldness rising inside her, all she could find herself doing was sobbing.

* * *

He had gone back to his quarters and began to carelessly pack. He knew it had hurt her, but she had hurt him! For God's sake, how long did she expect him to wait around for her to be ready? He loved her. He loved her with everything he had. But being so close to her, yet being without her all day everyday was killing him and he wouldn't do it anymore.

He tossed his clothes into the suitcase, leaving some behind. This would be good for him. Away from her, he could finally get over her. He understood her and how she was. He should have seen this coming. What he didn't understand was why. Why couldn't they have this? He knew they both wanted it. It felt sometimes like she was deliberately trying to frustrate him. The situation angered him thoroughly.

Taking out another bag he began packing his things. He was unfocused as he threw various objects into the bag, His mind was racing. He hoped she'd be happy, once he was gone. Maybe then she wouldn't feel like he was pestering her all the time. Though he would never admit it later, tears streamed down his cheeks. Not tears of sadness, and certainly not of regret, but of anger. How could she do this to him? He had done everything he could for, been everything for her and this was his thanks?

He came upon a picture of the two them. It was a picture of them when they had organized a shore leave for their senior staff. She was beautiful. They both looked so happy together. His hand trembled and in a burst of unwanted emotion he threw the picture to the bed. He would miss her desperately, but he would get over it. He had to. It wasn't a choice anymore. Not anymore.

He sank down onto the bed. He felt miserable. He knew this wouldn't be easy, but he had no idea it would do this to him. What would he do without her to help and guide? Tears still streamed out his eyes but he no longer registered them, they didn't matter. Softly, almost tentatively, he placed a hand on the picture, as if touching it too harshly could brake it, or the memory itself.

His voice was only the ragged whisper of a broken man. “We were almost perfect.”

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