Buffy belongs to Joss. Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's creation. I just like to play in their sandboxes now and then.
Dawn tried not to fidget as she watched Voyager
pull into spacedock. She hadn’t been this nervous in years.
“Bit, relax. Even these days, it still takes time for a starship to dock.”
Spike sounded amused, although he knew the true reason for Dawn’s nervousness.
“I know, Spike. It’s just… God, it’s been so long. I haven’t seen him in centuries. And it’s different for him.”
She took a deep breath and said it out loud.
“What if he doesn’t understand? What if he wants nothing more to do with me?”
Spike rolled his eyes.
“Bit, let’s get one thing straight. Any man who wants nothing to do with you doesn’t deserve you.”
“Do you think he’ll understand, Spike?”
“Might take a little time. Remember, you’ve had time to come to terms with this. Like you said, it’s different for him. But I would think it should help to have someone who’s been waiting for him to come home.”
“Yeah. Libby didn’t wait. At least, not long enough. Maybe if he’d ever told me her full name I could have found her and told her…”
“Water under the bridge, Bit. You did your best.”
Dawn mumbled something. Spike snorted.
“Your best is so good enough. It just wasn’t meant to be. Now if you want to drive yourself crazy worrying about something, why not something constructive, like what Starfleet’s going to have to say about an admiral chasing after an ensign?”
Now it was Dawn’s turn to roll her eyes.
“Please. He’s missed at least one promotion review while they were in the Delta Quadrant. Nearly six years? Maybe even two promotion reviews. He’s not going to be an ensign for long. Even if this cruise had been only a routine five year exploratory mission, he’d probably be looking at lieutenant. Seeing how routine it wasn’t, I think it’s safe to say the entire crew are going to be staring down commendations and promotions. And my rank only counts in Intelligence. It’s not public. Besides, I don’t think they’ll say anything. Buffy-“
She stopped abruptly and turned away. When she spoke again, it was so quiet that she could barely be heard.
“I still miss her, Spike.”
Spike’s eyes were suspiciously damp, and when he spoke, it was gruffer than normal.
“She had a good long run of it. ‘Sides, she might still be alive, you know. Never found a body.”
“She’d have moved the stars to get back if she had to, Spike.”
“Maybe she’s waiting for us to come to her,” he suggested. “After all, you’ve been waiting on your ensign for how long? Maybe she’s taken a page from your book and learned patience.”
“Maybe. Hey, I am an admiral, do you think they’d let me promote him if the difference in rank is going to be an issue? Or I could always have them bust me back down… “
“I think your starship’s finished docking procedures,” Spike replied. “So you should go see your ensign before either of you get any older.”
Dawn nodded, and started down the corridor. By the time she beamed over, it should be enough time, if she remembered right.
, on behalf of Starfleet, welcome home,” the dock communications officer was saying as she entered. Catching Dawn’s eye, she added, “Captain, stand by to receive the admiral now.”
Dawn could barely wait before the tingle of the transporter released her.
“Captain Janeway, good to see you again,” she said with a smile.
“Miss Summers? I don’t understand-“ Janeway began, but Dawn had eyes only for the young man at ops.
“Dawn! You’re back? You just left!” Harry Kim exclaimed.
“I’m afraid it’s Admiral Summers these days, and it’s been a little longer for me than it has for you, Captain. But I’ve been waiting, just like I promised, Harry.”
The only person on Voyager
’s bridge who seemed to grasp the situation was Tuvok, who summed up his opinion in one word.