Disclaimer - Definition of Paramount: a sexual position popularised by the parachute regiment.
Set several years after Your Face Again.
You were found today, the same day that I make it to the house by myself for the first time.
There was a horrible sense of relief, almost a kind of gladness that your fate was confirmed. I knew. I knew from the moment you vanished that you were dead. B'Elanna asked me once how I knew that was what had happened. I tried to explain it to her, tried to explain the feeling of utter certainty, but she was never quite convinced. Now she has the evidence. The hard facts.
Quite illegally, I break into your house. It's closed at the moment. I know that soon there will be hundreds of people here, eager to grab some of the past of a woman they never really knew but now know the fate of.
It seems important that I come here now, to the place where they remember you and your actions. I know even as I walk in that I'm going to be disappointed. But I have to see it once today. Just once.
Many items are surrounded by protective forcefields to help preserve them, but your coffee pot is just where you left it. Apparently they didn't know about that little obsession.
I pass through each room, sometimes reading what's written on the plaques with interest, sometimes snorting at an utter fabrication.
Your uniform. One of them. I've no idea where they managed to get it.
A com badge.
A dressing gown, one I've only ever seen on Voyager.
I arrive upstairs.
A forcefield around your bed - your bed. Ridiculous. I move around it, occasionally lifting a hand to brush against the forcefield which rejects me with a computerised 'fttz'. I see the plaque on the wall.
'Captain Janeway's bed. 2382 - 2383.'
That's it? That's their glorious history? Do they no nothing of all the time spent lying on the bed, talking? Do they know how many times we made love there? Do they know how my voice broke when I told you I loved you?
No. Only two know. Me, and my memory fades with each day. But the Vulcan...he will remember always.
I laugh, even as the tears begin.
Footsteps in the hallway. I do nothing to hide.
"You know, you set off half a dozen alarms at Starfleet Headquarters."
I shrug, finding it difficult to speak. "I guess I'm not the great Maquis rebel I used to be." I look up at him and am surprised to see the grey in his once dark brown hair. Time. Closing my eyes I turn towards the window and watch the twenty-something woman holding a baby outside, next to a tree that shimmers like gold.
"Shame," he says. "You were quite the role model to some people."
I can't appreciate the attempt at levity.
Seeming to realise that, he walks to the control panel on the side of the wall. "When I heard...well, I figured you'd be coming here."
I turn to face him.
He enters a series of commands into the panel. The forcefield emits another 'fttz' before vanishing completely. He speaks for the last time. "No one will be here for another two hours."
Nodding once I watch him leave, unable to even utter a thank you.
Moving my tired muscles, I eventually manage to lie down on the bed. I can almost imagine you next to me, smiling in the darkness. Strange that it's the middle of the day and so dark.
I wonder what they'll think in two hours when they find an old man lying still on your bed. Will some of them know? Perhaps. Perhaps others will tell them.
A child's laughter floats through the window.
I close my eyes.
He turned away from the data-padd to better understand his grandchild. "Yes T'Mara?"
Her eyes were naturally inquisitive. He allowed her that small sign of emotion.
"I have been reading the information collected on your former associates. I would be interested to hear more, if you are able to spare the time to tell me." Her head bowed slightly in deference for one of his age.
He had a great many tasks to complete. But for this he would spare the time.
Instructing her to sit opposite him, he waited until she was properly seated. Once she was, he deactivated the data-padd and began to speak the memories of a man he had only partially understood.
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