Body Title - Crash and Burn

Author - Jules

Date - 27/5/01

Disclaimer - everything Trek belongs to Paramount, Crash and Burn belongs to Savage Garden's Affirmation album. They of course, belong to themselves.

Summery - Even a god is human, yet only one has ever seen the unflappable Captain crash and burn.

Authors Notes - I'm sure everyone has done a 'Crash and Burn' fic for just about every genre imaginable, and I couldn't find a Voyager one listed here, so I thought I'd have a stab at it :) Just another note, I've kinda written Janeway a little harshly. I just think that the pressure of the journey would get to her in a way the she wouldn't let interfere with the crew. Cept for one special person of course!

Crash and Burn

I look at her sitting across from me. Agony, pain, heartache all etched forever in the lines of her face. Yet no-one can see them, no-one wants to see them. To admit that their pillar of strength was a real person, a person who had feelings, grief, anger, sorrow would be too much for them. To them she was more like a god. A god who lead them, guided them and gave them strength when they thought all was lost. Yet she played the part perfectly. Anyone else would see a face of determination, a force to be reckoned with. But I see through the mask, the mask that she wears every day. I can see the truth.

When you feel all alone

And the world has turned its back on you

Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart

One of the privileges of being first officer is being so close to your captain that you can almost hear each other's thoughts. I can hear hers all too well. All business during the day, but at night with just the silence to comfort her, I can feel her pain. The souls of her dead haunt her endlessly, the faces of her crew now stranded in this alien world taunt her with their very presence. She thinks she has failed them. Little does she know that they think the exact opposite of her.

I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you

It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold

When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore

She seldom goes out at night, spending the hours curled up in a chair with a rug her grandma knitted her when she was young. Wrapped in her cocoon her mind replays the events of her life. Epic's like a bad holonovel play before her eyes as she doses, though these are not the true events. Some horrible section of her subconscious turns these brief naps into nightmares, from which she wakes screaming. I can hear her from my quarters, and many a night I have spent with her, putting the events of the past behind her.

Let me be the one you call

If you jump I'll break your fall

Lift you up and fly away with you into the night

If you need to fall apart

I can mend a broken heart

If you need to crash then crash and burn

You're not alone

It's a silent promise we share. Nothing leaves the room. The stories, tales true and false are kept confined within the pale walls of her quarters. She knows she can trust me, and these sometimes frequent visits put her worried mind to rest. Trust is the essential element. There is no hint of romance, just a friendship so close that it could easily be mistaken for love. I do think I love her, though romance is not what she needs, she needs a friend. Someone to talk to, to listen to her troubles no matter how trivial. Someone to just be a friend. I hope I am that to her.

When you feel all alone

And a loyal friend is hard to find

You're caught in a one way street

With the monsters in your head

When hopes and dreams are far away and

You feel like you can't face the day

These days I'm starting to predict her bad days. She begins her day quietly, not saying much to anyone, the normal jovial mood somewhat dampened. She retreats to her readyroom when things become to much, her inner demons ganging up on her. I don't know how she stands it. A simple short-term mission turned into a 7 years ordeal through a distant uncharted part of the galaxy. Its bound to prey on her mind. She knows she wasn't cut out for this, yet she has her mask. The mask that slips into place far too easily. Nothing can touch her with her mask, but the mask only lasts so long.

Let me be the one you call

If you jump I'll break your fall

Lift you up and fly away with you into the night

If you need to fall apart

I can mend a broken heart

If you need to crash then crash and burn

You're not alone

I'm there when she breaks, the tears streaming down her pale face like rivers that never dry. No-one else has seem them, but to me they make her human, make the uncrushable Captain a woman who's heart can be broken as easily as the next persons. Maybe that's why she doesn't trust herself in love. She's been hurt before, the story of her first fiancé Justin rings through my mind. That's not being hurt, that's having you heart ripped out of you chest then stomped on by a herd of wild horses. She told me it was years before she moved on and found another. Mark. Now her heart is broken again, first being flung across the galaxy with no hope of seeing him again, then finding out he had found another and married. How's that for heartache. No wonder she doesn't let anyone in.

Because there has always been heartache and pain

And when its over you'll breathe again

You'll breathe again

When you feel all alone

And the world has turned its back on you

Give me a moment please

To tame your wild wild heart

It seems the weight of the entire ship rest squarely on her shoulders. It does in a way, yet she feels responsible when small simple things go wrong. Things beyond her control. She felt it when Harry had to eat Neelix's food for nearly an eternity to be able to replicate a semi-decent clarinet. She felt it when replicator rations where won and lost betting on pool games at Sandrines', and she feels it when a crewman bumps his toe on his workstation. Little things that niggle at her subconscious mind until they blow into a full-scale torment. Those nights are the worst for her. All I can do is sit with her wrapped protectively in my arms and listen to her cries.

Let me be the one you call

If you jump I'll break your fall

Lift you up and fly away with you into the night

If you need to fall apart

I can mend a broken heart

If you need to crash then crash and burn

You're not alone.

Again on the bridge she seems happy and content, joking with Tom and Harry about another holodeck adventure they've got planned. Then I see her smile, a smile that tickles the corners of her mouth till a giggle emerges. She quickly smothers it, content to just smile at the joke, yet its something I haven't seen for many a day. Perhaps the worst is over. Perhaps the worst is yet to come.

Finis