CHAPTER NINE - END
Epilogue: Glass Figurine
Thank you, again, to all who have supported me throughout this story! I appreciate it greatly.
Enjoy the epilogue. :)
Disclaimer - Chekov belongs to JJ Abrams, Gene Roddenberry, Anton Yelchin and Walter Koeing.
Lily and Posy belong to me.
Sparks were everywhere, falling in little currents over the three figures. One of them, undoubtedly younger than his fellow crewmen, bit his lip and his eyes began to grow cold with dread, splashes of impending tears rimming the soft blue of his eyes. He knew there was no time for the original scheme. That route was dead and gone, buried beneath the miles of metal and cruelty beneath his feet. But there was a way that he could save everyone, be the hero for a change. The theme of the plan was tragic, and even before his youth had begun to bloom, it would be gone.
"Listen," Pavel Chekov told them, his voice shaking, but commanding in presence. "I..I have plan. It gets you back to the Enterprise, both of you two. I hack into ship's system computer and dewise a self-destruct initiating in missile launcher. This wills set off the missiles and not give enough time for the Klingons to rewerse the initiating. Get back to the Keptin and return to headquarters with zee rescued."
"But that's suicide…" Ensign Rafter commented brusquely, but Dr. "Bones" McCoy, the cynic, made no gesture to speak, not even to breathe. He'd doubted the kid, that was for certain, and now that the boy was on the brink of destruction before he'd had a chance to live, he regretted some of the things he'd said to him. It was too late, he knew. But not too late to save the kid's life.
"You'll die, Chekov. You know that…" Bones' voice tapered off.
"But, it is for cause. It will save the Enterprise, da?" Chekov shrugged nonchalantly, but the motion could not dismiss the painstaking fear in his young eyes.
"There are other ways-" The doctor insisted. "Ways that will bring you back to your mother in one piece. That will bring you back to Lily. You shouldn't sacrifice your life so willingly for something that could be done another way…"
"We do not have time for other way. We only have time for now."
How could he argue with this? Bones was locked in a vice grip. In mere moments, the Klingon ship would be firing photon torpedoes at the Enterprise. How would the ship fare against such obliterating weaponry? It wouldn't stand a chance, he knew. But he couldn't just leave Chekov; he had to stay.
"I'm staying with you, Chekov," Bones assured him, reaching one timid hand forward and setting it on Chekov's trembling shoulder. "You're not going to die alone, alright?"
Bones felt his heart sever down its middle, down the deep gashes and fissures his wife had left behind after she'd left. The boy was crying now, long trails of sorrow slipping down his cheeks, white hot and searing the delicate, blushing flesh.
Chekov reminded him of the son he'd always wanted, spent his nights thinking about, dreams of tossing a crooning, curly-haired toddler into the air, his wife close by. It had escaped him for so long why he felt so partial toward Chekov, but so irreverently quick-tempered with the boy. And only a few nights ago, as he lay in his quarters, staring blankly at the black-sheathed ceiling, it struck him with a clarity that rang like church bells throughout the grottos of his bleary head. Chekov reminded him of his wife – his dear, soft-tempered, spontaneous wife, with such riotous curls. He missed those curls, ensnaring his fingers in their labyrinths, their whirling lengths. He'd give anything to have his wife back, to take back the things he said to her – but he couldn't. She was gone, now, and all he had left to remind him of her was this erratic, foolish boy. He couldn't bear to see him die.
Chekov heaved a deep, shuddering breath, and looked Bones straight in the eye. "No, no," he said. "Ju hawe to go back for me. Ju 'awe to deliwer a message for me."
Bones said nothing as Chekov gathered his wits to deliver his famous last words.
"Tell Lily Ya Yeyo Lyublyu…please. For me." He said, and his voice was so poignantly soft that Bones thought he might wring the boy's neck. For his stupidity, his irrationality, his inability to realize the needlessness of his death.
"I don't even know what that means, kid-" Bones muttered, desperate to change Chekov's mind. What could he do? How could he derail such intent self-sacrifice?
"It says I love you, in Russian."
"Tell her yourself," the doctor admonished, his brown knitting furiously. "I won't be your euthanasia-"
"Please, I have newer asked anything of you in my life," Chekov pleaded, the gentle blue of his eyes distorted with fast-falling tears. "Please do this for her…for me."
"There's no time, Dr. McCoy," Rafter pleaded. "We have to go!"
There is no other way, Chekov's expression beseeched. And for once, Bones' stubbornness gave way. It collapsed to its knees, surrendering to Chekov's last wish.
"Fine," Bones replied. "I…I will. I'll tell her for you."
Rafter was quick. By the time Bones had silently bid his farewells to the young boy, touching Chekov's tear-stained cheek with a callused, world-wizened hand, the Enterprise was already beginning to initiate transport beaming back to the ship. Bones wanted to do anything to save the boy. Drag him back by his curly hair, even if it meant tearing some of the bronze whorls from the roots.
But it was too late.
By the time Bones blinked once more, the scene before him was sinking into dark oblivion, and Pavel Chekov was erased from his sight for good.
It was a melancholy scene.
A young girl, wringing her restive hands over the folds of her plain white dress. Her weary eyes were fixated on nothing, staring blankly into the dark abyss of her fitful thoughts, a lurid netherworld all her own. Bones watched her sullenly from his hidden corner, the way her pale gold curls reached out in frizzy tufts of rebellion, and her skin was as weather-worn and insipid as ever.
How could he tell her that he was dead? Despite what she had said to him, the day he left her behind, he knew Lily loved Pavel Chekov with what little ability she had. She was young and frightened, and facing the world without the assurance that her savior would live to see another proverbial sunrise would be hard. He knew it; he could already see the creases of bereavement, distorting, like raindrops trickling down the petals of daisies beneath a tyrant, summer sun.
Bones considered himself a brave person. For one thing, enlisting in Starfleet despite his aviophobia had been one of the hardest feats he'd ever had to face. But with nowhere else to go, nothing else to commit to but his own future, to whom would he turn? What would he reach for when home only had so many turns to take before opportunities ran dry? The night he looked up at the stars was the moment he realized he would reach for them. Reach for them, or fall and fail trying.
How was this any different, he wondered, when there was only one place left to go? He couldn't very well leave the girl to sit there, nervously pondering the arrival of her beloved Chekov when there was no hope for his return. It would be cruel, and although Bones was a no-nonsense man, known for his brusque manner, he wasn't about to let a poor girl remain in agony for Chekov's return.
He stepped forward, and the movement caught Lily's sharpened eye. At first, her smile was jovial, overwhelmed with such relief that he thought her porcelain visage might crack and fall at its seams. But realization wore away at the edges of her surprise, and a reign of darkness flitted teasingly over her features. Bones was grim, and she took in his expression tentatively, wondering what to make of him, the nature of his arrival.
She was quick to receive him, taking his hand almost immediately, and a shock of warmth coursed through his skin. It only made it worse, his reluctance, as she stared up at him, noiselessly, waiting for a sign of hope, anything to allay the rising storm in the back of her doubtful mind.
His silence seemed enough for her. It was too late, as he searched desperately for the right words, for a way to let her know without breaking her heart entirely; she already knew.
"He's – He's gone, isn't he?" Lily's lip trembled as she spoke. "He's dead, isn't that right?"
Bones attempted a word, anything to convey a sliver of hope for her, but all that was emitted from his throat was a strangled gurgling sound, and his pathetic endeavor merely tapered into silence. He nodded, as gently as he could, and she returned the gesture, letting go of his hand and turning away from the grim-set doctor.
She was oddly still for a girl that had only just learned the death of her first love. Strangely unruffled. But as he inched forward and settled a hand on her shoulder, he realized the stillness was only a slow, agonizing breakdown. A gradual shattering. He gathered the remains of the glass-fragile figurine into his arms, reluctant at first.
But reluctance melted into silent resignation and, ever so gently, his hand gently brushed a single riotous curl from her tear-sodden face.