First Place TNG Data/LaForge, Second Place TNG Story, Honorable Mention. TNG Slash
2003 ASC Award: The newsgroup would like to recommend: TNG General Pairing
Series. TNG, post-Nemesis
Pairing: Da/La, B-4 La POV
Archive: Trekiverse, TSU, BOBW, WWOMB, BLTS, Heart Attack, Marianne, GSSU, others just ask
Summary: Memories at a lost friend
Disclaimer: The characters in this story don't belong to me. I only borrowed them for some fun. No moneymaking, no violation of copyrights are intended. The story is mine and it is just fanfiction. If you are under age, please stay away. If you have a problem with this topic, then look elsewhere for your entertainment. English is not my native language, so please be patient with my mistakes. Thanks to T'Lin for the beta-reading. For all remaining errors, blame me.
A deep breath - then I enter. And look around my cabin - with a wildly pondering heart. It wasn't much destroyed during the battles and in the meanwhile all damage has been repaired - as much as we can do here in space. Everything is like before with one - important - exception.
Automatically my gaze travels to your easel. A picture - a scene of Commander Riker and Counsellor Troi's wedding - that now will never be completed. Beside this rests your violin-box leaning against the wall. Strange, that more and more of your belongings had been in my quarters - although we never had officially moved in together. You loved to be here. You found my quarters always so... human.
"Data!" I whisper your name while I sit down into my armchair and conceal my face in my hands. I miss you so much. Hot tears run over my fingers and for the first time in my life, I curse my eyes. Eyes that are able to cry. Eyes that have seen your look - or. that last look in the air-lock of the Enterprise -or. your good-bye. If I still had my visor - the world perhaps would look differently now. But how shall I ever forget your eyes, your gaze, that said so much in that moment, more than words could do.
We both knew it then - it was good-bye... forever. The certainty came with a terrible clarity. Could - should - I have prevented it? Had there been any chance to stop you. I fear I will torture myself with this questions till the end of my life. And yet I know that you couldn't act differently. It wasn't a question of your programming. It wasn't a question of your sense of duty. It was an act of loyalty to our Captain. An act of friendship... of humanity.
Yes, humanity. I remember another funeral ceremony - years ago. Tasha's. I remember her words about you and I know that she was right. It is - was - so much about you that made you more human than so many of us. And that made you so charming, lovingly.
Love - have we ever spoken about it? Our relationship seemed to be so natural. Your curiosity and my loneliness - an apparently ideal combination. Wasn't I technically also half a machine with my visor? Perhaps that's why I was better able to understand you then anyone else. Your search for yourself, your wish to arise above your programing. Then the emotion-chip brought new experiences for you and new challenges.
I hope you knew that I loved you. I hope at least my quiet good-bye in the air-look told you. You simply must have known it, I cling at this hope. Just as I cling to the memory of your eyes. To the gratitude that I read in them. And there was more in them - there was love., I'm sure. I only wish, I could tell you that I understand.
And that I accept your decision - your sacrifice..., no matter how difficult it is for me. Picard had to be rescued, no matter what it costs. And who would ever be able to say if he had been able to distroy the Scimitar and that damn weapon alone? Most likely you have saved all our lives.
Fortunately, my comrades have left me alone over the last few days. They understood my grief. Surely they knew about us, although we never made it official. On board of a spaceship nothing remains secret for long. But we never bothered. There is nothing about a gay-relationship these days - thankfully. Even such an unusual couple as us would be accepted.
There was so much to do in the last few days, all the repairs. Fortunate for me, actually, as I didn't have much time to think about anything else besides warp-drives, Jeffrey-tubes and all such things. No time to think about you - to realize that you are gone, forever. Now the sorrow and the loneliness comes. I know I should go into your cabin, should organize your private things. After all I was closest to you among the crew. I wonder if I should inform your mother - the Android in which her personality lives. She is your next-of-kin, isn't she?
A soft meow, something furry against my leg - Spot is demanding my attention. She was never so affectionate with me before. It was natural that I looked after her and took her to my cabin as I knew she was unharmed from all our trouble. I owe this to you. But I slept in one of the empty technician-quarters the last few nights. I simply wasn't able to rest in my bed. Although my cabin wasn't damaged much, I just couldn't stand the memories. How often had we loved each other on this bed? Yes loved... it had been more than sex, that's for sure.
I lift Spot on my lap. She's purring and I bury my face in her soft fur. I bet she knows about you - with that sixth sense of animals, she knows. Oh God, Data - why?
The hum of the door startles me. I'm tempted not to answer. I wish to be alone - with my grief. But whoever it is, he or she remains stubborn and so I finally answer after a few more signals. "Come in."
"Data!" for a moment all I can feel is hope before the cruel reality penetrates my mind again. "B-4, what can I do for you?", I ask, my voice shaken.
This resemblance! God, I really wish he didn't look so damn like you. Picard has let him be activated again after the danger was past. After all it hadn't been his fault that Shinzon misused him. And now with Shinzon gone, there is no risk at all. But the sight of him hurt me, reminding me of my loss. He looks like you - yes, but he isn't you. He can't be like you. Especially not for me. I wonder if he knows? After all you had given him your memory. Did you also give him the special memories of us?
He looks around curiously, or so it seems to me, even though his face shows no expression. You, too, had been curious when we first met. In some ways, you remained curious, fascinated by everything that was new to you. But I perceived you completely differently that I do B-4 now. I didn't see you as our comerades did ... I saw an energy signature that completely fascinated me. This fascination never died, even when I got my new eyes. You were so beautiful ... so special.
I ask B-4 to sit down and repeat my question about the reason for his visit. "B-4 has a question to Geordie", he answers. Somehow I'm still not accustomed to his naive, childlike speech. But this makes it clear just how different from you he is. Finally I encourage him to voice his question.
He looks directly at me, directly into my eyes - like you a few days ago. I feel goosebumps rising on my arms. And then he speaks: "Geordie, what is love?"
I would like to dedicate this story to all heroes which died in order to guide mankind into space - the real one and the fictional one.