Disclaimer: Paramount own the characters, but the story is mine.
Ask your self about the things in life which have made you the saddest. The loss of a lover, the death of a parent or a loved one, failed relationships, professional ills, poor health, loneliness, despair, missed opportunities. I have known some unhappy times, but it is the last of these that I am considering now, as I spend a few days on a Planet a lifetime away from my family, listening to the steady thud of the rain and watching two raindrops chase each other down the window pane.
It seems appropriate somehow that my visit should coincide with the worst weather this Planet has witnessed for a decade. It has been raining for over a week now, showing no sign of stopping anytime soon. My mood was low enough to begin with, but this steady, unrelenting downpour seems to be a metaphor for my life and an enthusiastic burst of speed from the raindrops fills me with momentary disgust. What secret do they know which has been denied to me?
I used to cry myself to sleep - but of course I never slept, so the exercise was a futile one and there are too many things in my life already that fit that description. Nowadays I've taken to crying in the shower, to silently howling, expressing all of my frustrations in a series of yells which would leave me hoarse, if they were accompanied by sound.
It has to be real, the shower - only water will do, not only because it's louder and more able to mask the sound of my sobs, but also because the heat of the water leaves me almost scolded, my skin red, marked. I have often thought there ought to be a physical expression of my crimes. We don't like to remember it now, our urbane sophistication is too firmly entrenched, but once upon a time we humans branded transgressors, marked them, removed limbs too sometimes. They murdered witches as well, a long time ago - I wonder what they would make of me? Perhaps after all my scars are in the right place, on the inside.
I know, with absolute certainty though that somewhere, in a different time, perhaps in a different Universe there is a version of me who has not made my mistakes. A version of me who has found a balance, whos' life contains love and laughter and someone to hold her when the nightmares rip through her sleep. I hope she know how lucky she is.
But she is not a person I am concerned with now. The raindrops have begun what can only be described as a mating dance, they curve and arch around each other, one chasing after the other. I have some sympathy for the one doing most of the running, but I know that 'she' will give in eventually, will stop running and fall into the embrace of the other raindrop.
I manage a small smile as it happens exactly as I predict, the two raindrops merging and racing off onto some wonderful, magical journey. Stronger because they are together. Although I have the feeling theirs will be a stormy relationship, lots of arguments. Raindrops can be very stubborn and headstrong.
And what will become of me, happy ending or missed opportunity? It might be too late already, I feel as though I have run too long and too fast. I'm so far away now that I'm not even sure that I'm still being pursued. I wouldn't be surprised if the chase had long since grown wearisome, if other people had proven to be more interesting, enticing and available. After all look at who I am? I am tied to my responsibilities and they are wearing me out. I have dark circles under my eyes and these days my idea of fascinating conversation is an Engineering report. I am hardly the catch of the century.
The raindrops remind me of my crew; I've been watching a lot of mating dances recently - B'elanna and Tom, Harry and Seven - there are others who are a little less obvious in their affections. We seek comfort where we can - there is a great need for intimacy, for love, amongst my crew, a need I am no more immune to than anyone else, although I continue to watch from the sidelines, a spectator in my own life.
I often wonder what it will take to make me step out of the darkness, some cataclysmic event, or just a moment of decision, of having had enough, having given enough? What? Of course all the wondering in the Universe can't really help me, there is just that moment to take or to leave. I have left a lot of moments in the course of this journey. My reasons always seemed sound, rationale - at least in the cold light of day. In the warm darkness of the night when I ached to be held, when I would have loved to hear one voice soothe over the syllables of my name, I'll admit that the decisions I had made regarding him seemed cold, hard, heartless - uncharacteristic.
A tear trickles down my chin and plops onto the window-sill before me. I am crying for all the decisions I have made that have cost me a little more of my humanity every time. I am crying for the lives that have been sacrificed, for a future that will never happen, for the loss of promise, of innocence, for the arms around me that I will never feel. I wipe away the tears, but more replace them. I don't think I quite know what I am doing, for once my control has broken down so completely that I am not my usual self. Later I will try to justify these actions, but for now there is only a need so fundamental that I can not resist it. I have tapped my comm badge and made my request before I am even aware of it. I have taken the step - I have stopped running.