Seeing the Light
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The world was a snow covered Christmas card shining with the glorious beauty of the shimmering jewelled mass of the aurora australis, red, orange, yellow churning overhead reminding him of some of the fabulous Delta Quadrant phenomena he had seen.
It darkened his mood making him feel tiny, insignificant and alone. Come on old man, this is what you’ve dreamed of doing for years, isn’t it? A leaden feeling stole over his heart as he shook his head in answer to himself.
As his big, white snow boots crunched on the crisp ground he thought he saw a black hole in the sliding masses of coloured light. He looked harder, a frown creasing the indigo marks on his brow.
He had almost reached the door of his cabin but he lowered his eyes and made an about face. Adjusting the strap of the plasma rifle over his shoulder he started back towards the landing pad at the base of the mountain. Behind him the borealis shifted from green to blue and the black hole grew larger.
His eyes slid as they had a hundred times before to the tunnel in the mountainside that led to the dig site beyond, when the sky was suddenly splashed with a golden glow that seemed to flood the mountain with light. He thought himself a simple man, neither philosopher nor poet, but even in his melancholy he could appreciate the glory of the shifting lights about him and the sting of the crisp, icy air on his cheek.
As he neared the landing pad he looked again towards the black hole and saw the sturdy wings of a shuttlecraft as it grew larger on its final approach.
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Kathryn felt strangely calm as her shuttle exited the wormhole and the shifting lights of the aurora lit up the landscape below. The ever changing colours caressed the snow like the silk scarves of an exotic dancer.
She reflected on the past 18 months, their chaotic return, the hearings, debriefings, her promotion and the whole Romulan affair. She thought of the conversation she had over tea with Captain Picard on his return to Earth, about loss, relationships and change, actually fear of change if she remembered correctly.
That was the moment she realised that that was what she was, afraid. Afraid to let herself be vulnerable again, afraid of failing. Hell, afraid he wouldn’t want her. She wasn’t arrogant enough to think she was perfect, far from it in fact. She just hoped he thought she was good enough for him.
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Chakotay waited patiently while the shuttlecraft landed and the pilot stepped down through the open hatch.
The snow suit did nothing to hide the small, trim female form. His treacherous heart lurched in his chest as he recognised the auburn strands escaping from under the white winter hood.
They trudged through the snow together towards the cabin. Safely inside she threw off the hood and the auburn waves tumbled free. She smiled at him.
He spoke, his voice rusty with disuse.
"Hello Kathryn, what can I do for you?"
"Come home and marry me," she said.
Her voice trembled, sounding nervous and fearful.
He looked at her for a long moment; behind her the lights danced red, blue, silver, silhouetting her small body. The blood sang in his ears, his heart swelled in his throat until he thought he could hardly speak the word.
"OK" he said.
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