Episode 3 - The Future That Was
Location: Orbital Defense Control, Earth
Timeline: Early 2416 (Alpha)
Tags: romance, relationships
Zax stepped across the threshold separating the lift from the rest of the building. He'd managed to sneak into the facility undetected, and that was how he wanted it to remain...at least until he reached his destination. Finally, he made it to a large office at the center of the facility. He peaked around the corner at the office doors, spotting a pair of security officers standing just in front of the door. A grin took over as he waved a small half-sphere shaped device over the metal of the doors on the closest office. The device whined as he pushed his hand through the door, followed by the rest of himself into the empty office.
"Too easy," he murmured.
Louis was patiently filing his reports to Starfleet Command regarding the latest activities of the Earth Orbital Defense Satellite Grid. His reports were relatively uneventful...he had never wanted this job, it had kind of been forced upon him after he blew up his first command, a relatively powerful Escort type ship. Even though Command had been made aware in his reports that the ship had been taken over by hostiles and exactly how hopeless the situation was, they apparently frowned very heavily on the usage of the self-destruct codes and devices even in that kind of situation. So, here he was stuck in this useless satellite command center...responsible only for controlling all the orbital defense satellites around Earth. On more than one occasion he had been tempted to shoot down a Starfleet vessel carrying one of the Commanding Admirals, but had been smart enough not to do so. He was, however, completely unprepared for the guest he was about to receive.
The El Aurian shut off the device in his hand before quickly leaning against the wall that he'd just passed through as the man before him heard the strange noise. "Hello Louis," he said with a mischievous grin.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Louis bellowed as he reached down to tap the button under his desk to alert security of the intruder in his office.
The El Aurian chuckled as he stood up from his spot on the wall. "I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd pop in to say hello. And if you're expecting security to show up, I should probably warn you that I've disabled your panic button."
"You old son-of-a-bitch, every year you get more and more like Alexei used to be...meddling with everything," said Louis with a grin as he dashed over to hug his friend.
Zax pulled his old friend into a powerful hug, despite having to stand on his toes to do it. "Lex is still a meddling kid," he said with a chuckle. When they finally pulled away, he held the aging human by the arms as he gave him a good look-over.
"All things considered, time has been good to you, Lou." He glowed at the sight of Louise. All things considered, he truly had fared better than a lot of people who were around at the start of this war.
"It hasn't been too bad for you either," replied Louis as he thought about all the great times they had had together. The past flashed between his eyes as he thought about how their friendship had developed over the years into something deeper. As he thought about it, he could tell that the spark was still there.
The commander smiled as he leaned against Louis desk. "Not as good as it could have been," he replied. "I've missed you."
"Definitely not as good as it could have been," said Louis. "I've missed you horribly," he said. "It's been forever since I last saw you," he said as he fought back tears.
The El Aurian pulled out a handkerchief from one of his inner pockets and handed it to Louis. "You know, you could still come with me," he said. "Its not too late to pick up where we left off..." Now it was Zax who was fighting back tears. He'd been waiting for years to say it, and now that he had, all those years of loneliness were fighting to be freed.
"As much as I'd love to, it's not like we can just duck out of this war and run away like so much of the fleet has," said Louis. "But I promise you that after the war, we'll be together and I'll retire to be with you," he added as he tried his hardest not to retire right now and duck out.
An ache began to well up in his chest at Louise answer. His tears began to fall freely as he tried to swallow them back. "I didn't choose to leave starfleet because I was afraid to die...I left to protect the Federation." He closed his eyes for a second, trying to regain his composure. He knew that Louis hadn't meant anything by it, but the pain was still still raw after all these years.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I shouldn't have asked. Not this soon..."
"No, you did the right thing by asking, and if I weren't so worried about the Dominion reaching Earth and a new commanding officer for this station being completely unprepared, I would run off and join you right this second," said Louis as the tears started falling freely. "But if I leave now, I have no chance of protecting my family on that planet down there. Maybe you could join me here until after the war?" he asked as he continued crying. Right now all he wanted to do was drag Zax to his quarters and spend an entire year just wrapped up in his arms.
"I understand," Zax said. He looked up at the ceiling and sniffed back to clear his throat. "Its strange...I spoke to Oliver just this morning about the loss of the old Big Hill, and essentially berated him for wanting to save to save the Federation as it is. Now here I am, doing the same Shaper's dammed thing he did." He looked back at the human man that made him loose sight of his reason. He grabbed the handkerchief and began drying Louise eyes."
"...And now that the tables are turned, I can't help but feel like a hypocrite." His voice was soft and cracked as he finished, but he couldn't help it. Once again he stood on his toes, but this time, he pulled Louis into a kiss.
Louis felt himself melting into Zax' arms and longing to have him there with him more and more. As he continued the kiss and held onto it as long as he could.
"You're not a hypocrite. You left in order to protect your people, your family. All I'm asking is that maybe you can stay and help me protect and defend my people and my family. Maybe even form our own family together while we're at it," said Louis as the very long and passionate kiss came to an end.
The tears fell afresh from the El Aurian as he pulled away from Louis. "Shaper, I want to Louis...but I can't leave the Senandarix...not yet anyway." He closed his eyes as he again tried to steady himself. "I can't leave until I know that my family is safe."
"I understand," said Louis softly and gently as he held the El-Aurian and watched his tears falling.
He pulled the Human into a gentle embrace as a last-ditch effort not to cry. "I'll wait for you, Lou. And then, maybe once both Earth and the sanctuary fleets are safe, and this war is over, I'll go with you where ever you go."
"I'll hold you to that," said Louis as the tears finally stopped falling from his eyes. "Until then, how long are you here for?" he asked as he waited for his chance to get away from the office and drag Zax with him.
For the first time since he'd entered this office, the El Aurian's smile returned as he understood what Louis was getting at. "The Senandarix is setting off for the Pisces II Dwarf Galaxy in the morning...We've got all night."
"Excellent. First we'll have a nice steak dinner in my quarters, and then, let's just say that it's going to be a long and fun night," said Louis with a giant grin on his face.
El Aurian Privateer Vessel Senandarix
Captain Louis Champagne
Earth Orbital Defense Satellite Network