"To the ends of the earth would you follow me? There's a world that was meant for our eyes to see, To the ends of the earth would you follow me? If you won't I must say my goodbyes to thee..." - Ends of the Earth, Lord Huron
Attending college for the first time was a terrifying aspect. Attending college and finding out what roommate one would be receiving was even worse. A knot formed in the pit of Julia Thompson's stomach as she approached the dorms where she would be staying. She was never the nervous type – performing on stage taught her to get over her nerves. But for whatever reason, having to meet the person she would be spending the next four years with had unnerved her. She'd heard horror stories of college students who would receive terrible roommates. Those students either didn't last long, or they randomly disappeared off the face of the earth.
That isn't going to happen here, she silently scolded herself as she noted how old the buildings were. The university she had chosen was an older school that held a variety of programs. Julia had assigned herself as a fine-arts student. Her hope was to major in art and music. Both had always been a passion of hers, and she planned on pursuing a career through them. Even if it meant putting herself through whatever methods of torture her new roommate caused.
She sucked in a breath when she finally reached the room where she would be staying in. She was surprised to find out through the RA that her roommate happened to have no major. According to them, the roommate in question hadn't been able to decide what field to study. Julia shook her head at the thought, relieved to see that her roommate hadn't arrived yet. It gave her the chance to settle down before they showed up.
With that thought in mind, she set her suitcase on one of the beds and propped it open, only to hear the sound of footsteps behind her. Most of the students attending classes were moving in, so she half-expected to find that it had been someone walking down the hallway. What Julia didn't expect was to see that a young woman around her age, if not a year older, stood at the doorway. Julia couldn't help but raise an eyebrow in surprise when she noticed how tense the woman looked.
"Hi, I'm Julia Thompson. You must be my roommate."
The older woman standing in the same room as her just stared at Julia incredulously. For a moment, Julia felt as if she was a kid being scolded again. This was college, and it was also her first year at the University of New York. She planned on getting through classes with little to no trouble at all. However, she wasn't sure what her roommate would be like. She knew she could have been anyone, but Julia knew the moment they met she would have to somehow assert herself.
The woman wasn't tall, but she wasn't short. With wavy blond hair and dark brown eyes, she had a certain air of intimidation to her. Julia suddenly found herself feeling scrutinized under that piercing gaze. She knew the woman was judging her every move, and she suddenly wished that a hole would open up and swallow her.
"Okay then. I'm just gonna let you choose whatever side of the room you want," she sighed after realizing that her roommate wasn't going to say a thing.
Her roommate merely shrugged before setting down the suitcase she'd been holding, choosing the bed on the left side of the room. Julia watched her curiously, noticing how tense she was. Something told her that there was more to this roommate than meets the eye.
Julia let out a sigh when she realized that nothing else could be said. The awkward silence that hung in the air only told her what the future held in store for them. She didn't bother pressing her new roommate further. Considering they had been forced to share a room together for the next four years, she figured it was better not to start a fight with someone.
So she spent the next week in a similar manner. It was incredibly awkward not being able to talk to the woman sharing a room with her. She had been curious about who the woman was, and where she came from. She kept mostly to herself even around the campus. Julia didn't miss the fact that the woman didn't seem to talk to anyone, and when she did, it was usually never to socialize.
"Do you at least have a name I can call you?" she finally asked after a week had gone by.
Julia crossed her arms as the woman just stared at her incredulously. She couldn't help but cringe when she felt those dark brown eyes bore through her. The term 'if looks could kill' suddenly seemed relevant at that moment.
"Emily," she replied after a few minutes of awkward silence followed. Julia quirked an eyebrow in surprise. "Emily Hayes."
She must have been from the area. She had a heavy Brooklyn accent, enough to make Julia smile sheepishly. Her parents were the type of people to travel from one city to another, so it was a treat to hear people with other accents.
"Nice to meet you," she grinned.
For the next few months, Julia began to realize that Emily wasn't the kind of roommate she expected. Like most college students, Emily went to the bar every weekend. Julia hadn't missed the fact that Emily would be gone for most of the weekend, only to return before classes started looking as if she'd been suffering a major hangover. She wasn't sure how anyone could live like that, especially with their future looming in front of them.
Yet, there was one aspect of Emily that Julia was also beginning to notice.
She was a heck of a lot smarter than she realized. When Julia first noticed the classes that Emily was taking, she'd nearly gawked at them. Science had never been her strongest suit, and neither was math. But Emily seemed to make those classes look like child's play.
The worst part of her experience with Emily as her roommate was the weekends when she would return looking disheveled but oddly satisfied. It didn't take a genius to know what she was up to. Julia had enough experience to know that she could easily get hurt if she continued wandering down this path.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" she'd asked one day after finding Emily sacked out on the bed, groaning from what she could only guess was a massive hangover. "Do you have any idea what it's like knowing something could've happened to my roommate?" The response that followed was too muffled for Julia to hear. She rolled her eyes and sat down on her bed. "What was that?"
"Didn't think anyone gave a damn about what I do."
Julia stiffened when Emily finally spoke up. Her eyes widened for a brief moment as she realized something wasn't right. That wasn't the kind of response she'd been hoping for. She frowned and ran a hand through her hair. It was difficult not to imagine that anyone's life could reach such a low point. Then again, she had always been lucky enough to have supportive parents. They had always been there for her, and Julia suspected that Emily didn't have much of that in her life growing up.
Not everyone grows up the same way, she had to remind herself silently.
"Look, I don't know what sort of upbringing you've had, but, like it or not, I do care," Julia sighed, running a hand through her hair as Emily finally looked up. She simply stared back, unsure how to handle the situation. So long as Emily was getting high marks in her classes, there wasn't really anything she could do about the drinking. "Because, that's what friends are for, right?"
"What makes you think we're friends?" Emily retorted.
"Okay, so we're not friends… even so, that doesn't mean I'm going to let my roommate do stupid things," Julia griped. "You're clearly smarter than you look, so why not use that brain of yours to do something smart for a change?"
Emily looked as if she was going to protest when she thought better of it. Julia couldn't hide the smirk of satisfaction as she buried her face into the pillow once more. Whatever the case, she thought she might have finally made some progress with her roommate.
The following months had begun to teach Julia the meaning of patience. Emily was a reckless person. She wasn't afraid to jump into things without hesitation, unlike Julia. Which had led to some of their many arguments. One of them leading to the fact that Emily would often sleep with random people she met at the bar during the weekends.
However, it wasn't long before Emily had begun to warm up to Julia. She realized that Emily was the kind of person who treated her friends like family. Julia had thought of Emily as some jerk who had lived the high-life for most of her life. But, that soon changed when she found out about her family.
It turned out, the Hayes family was prominent in Manhattan. Doctor Matthew Hayes was her father, a famous doctor who'd opened up a lot of medical procedures that most people could only dream of. Her mother was a scientist, known as Doctor Selene Hayes. Her research was based off String Theory, something that made absolutely no sense to Julia.
It wasn't long before Julia finally understood why Emily was the way she was. Her family had treated her like she was the family outcast. She was constantly pushed aside by her parents. They even went so far as to send her to some boarding school for most of her life. It was a wonder Emily had turned out the way she had. Her rebellious nature only made sense now. Julia finally understood that the only reason she acted out the way she did was because her parents had constantly rebuked her for such behavior.
So, Julia had spent the next two years showing Emily what it was like to really have fun. The first thing she did was drag her to a Matthew West concert when he was holding one at the college. That was where the real addiction to Christian music had begun. Julia began to notice how Emily was opening up more and more, becoming vocal about her feelings and taking careful steps through life.
After that, she and Emily had begun to attend more and more Christian concerts. Creation Fest was probably the best thing that ever happened to them. It was the first time Julia had ever seen Emily open up so much around total strangers in the conditions they were under. Creation Fest had areas set up for people who were interested in mingling or meeting strangers. It had been fascinating to watch someone who was normally anti-social unless alcohol was involved try and interact with said strangers. And Julia quickly learned that Emily wasn't nearly as intimidating as she first looked around those strangers.
"You know, I'm glad we were able to go through with this," Julia sighed when they had finally reached the end of their second year of college. Two more years and they'd both graduate; from then on their lives would change forever. "I don't think I've ever had that much fun listening to Family Force 5."
"Me neither," Emily agreed fullheartedly, wrapping her arms around her legs while watching Julia warily.
Julia couldn't hide the smirk of agreement that followed. At last, they had found something they could agree with. Julia knew that there were still major differences between the two of them. But, that hadn't stopped her from making sure that she looked out for Emily. And, Emily looked out for her. The dynamic between them might have seemed strange to most people, but Julia found herself appreciating the fact that someone looked out for her other than her parents. Looking out for one another had given Julia the chance to figure out that she shouldn't be so quick to judge someone based off their appearance.
Two years later, and they were still kicking it with their Christian concerts and goofing off whenever they had the chance. It wasn't until Emily had started taking Theory classes that her life had begun to change. Julia had noticed that something was wrong when she mentioned that she had a paper to write. A very difficult paper that would likely end in failure.
When Julia had asked what the paper was based off of, she'd almost laughed. Alternate dimensions and other worlds in existence was definitely laughable. Though, if she were to wake up randomly in some dimension, she would mind waking up in the world of Star Trek. She was in love with the Reboot series, and of course, her favorite character happened to be Bones of all people. She could still remember the way Emily would either ignore her or yell at her whenever she would bring the subject up.
Unfortunately, life never worked out the way she or Emily would like. Julia had received the shock of her life when Emily seemed to vanish from existence. The media had gone crazy over her story, and, the FBI had investigated her first. When nothing came up, people eventually began to forget. Life moved on over the next couple of years, and, Julia frowned as she realized that Emily's family had treated the whole thing like it was nothing.
She shook her head at the thought as she imagined what could have happened to her best friend. Emily Hayes was not one to just randomly disappear from the world unless it was forced upon her. Whatever had happened to her friend, Julia knew that Emily would want her to move on. She couldn't just forget about her, though. Emily had been the reason Julia had changed so much over the years, and, for the better.
So, when Julia had graduated from college with her masters and moved on to Julliard for violin, she dedicated a lot of her artwork to her long-lost friend. She hoped that would be a good way for people to remember who Emily Hayes was. What she wasn't expecting was for people to go crazy over her artwork. The museum was busier than usual with its new wing, and, Julia couldn't be more proud of what she had accomplished.
That was how she had found herself celebrating one night. Because she had accomplished so much, she thought one night out couldn't hurt. Little was she suspecting to find that she was being followed. Or, more like being watched. Julia had found herself standing under a street-lamp along the streets of San Francisco when she saw them.
She hadn't thought much of it, at the time. But, when her eyes finally reached what looked like a cloaked figure standing in the shadows, a shiver of unease ran through her. She thought of making a run for it, but, her legs felt as if they were glued to the ground. Julia could only stare at the cloaked figure in terror as it moved towards her.
"Another fine experiment," the creature sneered, voice like nails on a chalkboard.
Before Julia could make sense of what it meant by that, black spots appeared along the edge of her vision. And, then, a blinding surge of pain as she passed out, the creature the last thing she saw before hitting the cold ground.
By the time Julia had come to, she realized that she was no longer anywhere that looked familiar. Her eyes widened with panic as she tried taking everything in. She was surrounded by cold, dark looking stone walls. The atmosphere felt tense, gloomy and terrible. She wasn't sure what to make of the whole thing, until finally noticing she wasn't alone.
"Welcome to your new home, mortal."
Julia bit back a scream when she saw the creature for the first time. It was a cloaked figure that loomed over her. She couldn't even see a pair of eyes that would normally be glaring back at her. That had left her screaming even more as she realized this creature wasn't human.
"Where am I? What are you?" she practically screeched out the words as the creature reached out with a bony hand.
"You are ours, mortal. This will be your home, from now on."
The last thing she saw was a room she was being dragged into, with a stone slab that she was thrown up on before blacking out from the panic.
"Oh, this soul is tired, oh, this heart is tired, but I'll keep on, I'll keep on, I'll keep on."
Emily took a deep breath as she sang those lyrics. There was something almost profound about NF and the words he wrote. She'd been listening to far too much music lately. Since the start of the five-year mission about a week ago, she never realized just how daunting of a task this would be. Emily had been used to the confined spaces of the Enterprise, but, nothing could have prepared her for what lay ahead.
"Didn't know you could sing."
She cringed at the sound of Leonard's voice as he stood there.
"I hate singing in public," she admitted, spinning around so that she was facing him in the rec room. "But, it's amazing how much it relieves stress."
"You have a lovely voice, darlin'," he assured her after closing the distance between them.
"Doesn't mean I plan on using it anytime soon in public," she muttered as her eyes met his.
She still found it hard to believe that they were engaged. After all the hell the world had thrown at her, she never would have thought this was what it would lead up to. They'd been together for almost five years now. That in itself was hard to believe, given the circumstances of where and when she was from.
Emily wasn't exactly from this world. Five years ago, she was literally torn away from everything she knew. The world she came from saw this as nothing more than a movie. The reality of it was, these people were real, and everything else was real. She'd begun to understand that there was so much more to the vast world than she first realized.
When they first met, it was back on the shuttle ride to the Academy. Leonard was the first to notice her on the shuttle, and he had offered his flask of whiskey for good measure. Of course, the poor guy had already been suffering from the world's worst hangover, and aviaphobia on top of it. But, that didn't stop him from noticing her, nonetheless. Neither of them expected to cross paths as many times as they had at the Academy. Or, for their relationship to blossom into what it had.
"How was your shift?" she asked when they headed for his quarters.
She was given her own quarters for good measure. While it was rare for families or married couples to work on the same ship, Starfleet had made an exception for them, since they weren't technically married. Though, she'd learned that they were beginning to loosen the strict rules that had been developed since the Kelvin was destroyed. More and more families were trying to make a stance against the rules since there was danger wherever they went, even while they were on Earth.
"Oh, the usual," he grumbled, "Bunch of children who don't know the difference between 'don't touch something' and 'let's try and blow somethin' up to see what happens'."
Emily couldn't hide the smirk that followed. She could only imagine what sort of nonsense Leonard saw on a daily basis as the Chief Medical Officer. He didn't complain too much, but when he did, it was usually for a good reason. Crew members had a tendency to avoid the medbay at all costs due to the reputation that had spread like wildfire across the ship.
"Sounds like one interesting day," she smirked in amusement as she caught the look he threw her. "Maybe something we can discuss over a drink?" she asked, her smirk widening when they reached his quarters.
"You read my mind," he replied with a knowing half-smirk.
She missed the days when they would just go to the bar for hours and drink away a day's worth of hard work. While it was basically the same premise, being confined to one space didn't exactly make it easy. Though, Emily wasn't usually one to turn down a night of drinking and what followed after.
After pouring glasses of bourbon for each of them, Emily leaned back on his bed and let out a sigh. It was strange to think that she wasn't even from this world. The thought kept reoccurring when she least expected. Because of everything that was happening, she would have thought she'd be more worried about this mission. But, that felt like nothing compared to what she'd already been through.
"Somethin' on your mind?" Leonard asked when he noticed how quiet she'd gotten.
Emily merely shrugged and she took a sip of her glass before looking down at the floor thoughtfully. The truth was, her mind was still trying to wrap around everything that had happened recently. Leonard's proposal had taken her by surprise. But she realized with a start that she felt more than ready for what their future had to hold.
"Just thinking," she replied nonchalantly. She could practically feel his gaze boring through her, and, let out a sigh. "I've been thinking about my old world… a lot, recently," she admitted when she finally looked back.
"Well, given the circumstances, I can hardly blame you."
Emily rose an eyebrow at that.
"Reminiscing isn't exactly something I enjoy doing," she muttered. "Especially when it comes to my old life."
It wasn't that her old life had been a living hell. She just had parents who were either constantly trying to control her, or a sister who would make her life a living hell. Emily hadn't forgotten how they would disregard her feelings and how their decisions would effect her over the years.
"This isn't just about the five-year mission," Leonard guessed as he caught the look in her eyes.
The moment her eyes met his was when she let out another sigh.
"No, it isn't. I've been thinking about… your proposal, and how my parents would have seen it… I guess I just want to know if they would ever approve," she explained warily.
Even after all these years, she was still seeking their approval. She knew in the back of her mind that they would never approve of Leonard. They would only find whatever faults they could in him, tear him down to little more than the man he was. Leonard's face softened as he realized what this was really about.
"Somethin' tells me they wouldn't be so approving of this," he pointed out, gesturing to their glasses of bourbon and the fact that they were together.
Emily hid a knowing smirk as she scooted closer to him on the bed and leaned against him. She had to admit, the prospect of spending the future with him sounded far more appealing than ever.
"No, they probably wouldn't," she replied, "But, it doesn't matter. Hell, anything that makes them squirm is worth the risk."
Leonard only smirked in amusement at that. "How 'bout a toast, then?" he offered sincerely, "To the first week on this crazy mission, and, our lives together."
Emily couldn't hide the smile that followed, "I like the idea of that."
Their glasses clanked before finishing the last of their drinks.
She loved nights like these, where it was just the two of them. Leonard always seemed to know how to ease her mind out of the uncomfortable memories that were her parents and sister. Especially when he captured her lips with his. Nothing was sweeter than these moments.
AN: Well, I'm not sure how this story is going to go, mostly because there's a new character being introduced who will explain a lot of what had happened in the previous story, and, those creatures that were introduced way in the beginning of the first story will also be playing a major role in the first couple of chapters in this story. Also, I just wanted to warn readers that since this follows the five-year mission and goes into Beyond, the chapters may feel more like one-shots... apologies for that :( And I wanted to thank everyone for their reviews in the previous chapters of the last story. I certainly hope this one fairs as well ^^ Comments are always appreciated, but please be kind, as I'm still relatively new and have only watched the Reboot series...