Disclaimer: Paramount may have finished with them, but I haven't!! But they can still have them back when I'm done.
Summary: Sometimes nothing can keep people apart.
Not Even In Death
One month had passed. A month without him, a month lost in her memories of times gone by. In the distance Kathryn's family disappeared from sight - her daughter; her daughter's husband, the son she never had; and the grandchildren whose warmth and energy had been her salvation more than once in recent weeks. They were heading home to prepare the evening meal, and to give Kathryn time alone. To think, and to feel.
It hadn't been a violent death, though it had been quick and unexpected. It was ironic really; a virus had first brought them closer all those years ago, and now a virus had torn them apart.
They had never stopped exploring. Of course for a time, when Voyager had first reached Earth, Kathryn had proclaimed herself 'all traveled out'. She had settled in Indiana, joined before two months had passed by the man who was later to become her husband. But barely three months later she had gotten restless, and the two of them had taken to the stars once more. They never strayed too far from Earth, but somehow their ship still seemed to make new discoveries more often than any other in the 'fleet.
After forty years had passed, they made one discovery too many. Even at maximum warp they didn't reach Starfleet Medical in time, so instead Kathryn had herself and her husband beamed down to the house in Indiana where their daughter now lived with her own family.
Kathryn's husband died less than twenty-four hours later, cradled in her arms.
And now, on a sunny autumn day with beautiful warm-toned leaves drifting to the ground around her, Kathryn stood over his grave. The inscription on the marble plaque had been written by B'Elanna:
"May he find the peace in death that Kathryn gave him in life."
Kathryn remembered the day B'Elanna had brought the suggestion to her. Without a word, she had entered Kathryn's house, sat opposite her at the kitchen table and handed her a piece of paper with those words scrawled in her own hand. The personal touch of the old-fashioned writing method had had Kathryn crying even before she read the single sentence. B'Elanna had simply walked around the table, taken Kathryn in her arms, and let her own tears flow freely. When the crying calmed down, B'Elanna left. Not a single word was spoken, but Kathryn didn't remember a time she had felt closer to this woman - the unlikely friend she had made years ago, on a journey she would never forget.
Drifting back to the present, Kathryn would gladly trade that moment with B'Elanna for a single minute more with her husband. She wanted to tell him she missed him, she loved him, she couldn't live without him. She wanted to tell him how unfair it was that she had to stay behind and he was gone. But she wouldn't have that chance; he had been taken from her.
Kathryn dropped to her knees and cried. As she did so, something in the atmosphere around her changed. A breeze developed, a warm breeze that didn't seem to belong on such a typical autumn day. It blew gently around and around her, and felt for all the world like a lover's caress. But not just any caress. This feeling, these arms that she felt around her now...
Suddenly, it became clear. At that moment, Kathryn knew that he would always be with her, that they could never be separated.
Not even in death.
And she smiled.
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