Author's Note: This is the epilogue. . .yeah, I know I just posted this the other day with all of the chapters in one section, but this is wrapping up the story. Now what follows is up to you! 3

It was just like old times. Well, not quite. Of course there was the Romulans that were attempting to kill all of them after they wiped out Vulcan, then there was the fact that they were on a starship instead of the Academy. Pavel was amazed at how things had changed so much during a short period of time. Hikaru was back with him, sitting just beside him at the Helm, grinning as they flew through space. Then there he was, smiling back at Hikaru eagerly, giddy with the excitement of the mission and just being around Hikaru again. Just looking in Hikaru's direction made him smile. It was a broad smile, genuine after the long months of his happiness being boxed away on a dusty shelf hidden from reach. There was nothing getting in their way, not even the Romulans. To boot, Pavel had saved Hikaru's life as the older man had plunged with Kirk to his doom from the drill platform. That was the crowning achievement of his life right there, in his mind. That awesome feeling soon died with the death of Spock's mother Amanda. That seemed to implode his world. He had failed, costing the life of an innocent woman.

After that, he retreated to his quarters and burrowed himself under the covers of his bed while holding a pillow to his chest. At first, he didn't hear the knock or chime of the door. Then he heard it and simply ignored it. Moments later, a figure was coming through the bathroom that was linked with Hikaru Sulu's quarters. Without even opening his eyes to look at his past friend, Pavel knew it was Hikaru just by the aftershave (the one he had given him for Christmas one year), the sound of his footsteps, and then the sound of Hikaru's voice.

"Pav? Pavel, are you okay?" Hikaru asked, coming over to sit on the side of Pavel's bed, shaking his shoulder gently. Still not bothering to open his eyes, Pavel shook his head, "I lost her," he told him quietly, "I've lost everything, I lost you."

"No, you didn't," Hikaru answered calmly, but with concern radiating in his voice, "You saved me, I'm right here."

"No, no, no, that's not what I mean."

"Then what do you mean?"

"I mean, I lost you to Beck."

"Beck?" Hikaru sighed with comprehension, "Pav, you've always been my number one. Rebeckah and I. . .we were an item for a little while. I used her to replace you in my mind. When you started to avoid me, I overreacted."

"You asked her to marry you," Pavel choked on the words and tears filled his closed eyes.

"Yeah, I did," Hikaru nodded sadly, "For a while, I wanted to. Have a career, make a family, have a house. . .then reality hit me. I need somebody that's going to be out in the stars with me."

Pavel was silent, indicating he wanted Hikaru to continue in his explanation.

"I was stupid to think that she could be everything to me when I already had it," Hikaru spoke quietly, "I had you. Pavel, you're the one that I wanted. You the dreamer, the one that wanted to move beyond the stars to a realm of unknown wonders."

"Me?"

"Yes, you."

"But you're marrying Beck. . ."

"Not anymore."

"What?"

"I broke it off, told her the truth about her just replacing you. Sure, she hates me and everything but I'm over her. I have been for a while. I would have told you sooner, but I thought you were mad at me. . .you were spending so much time with Kirk and all of them. Then Uhura talked to me. . ."

"Da. I know she did."

"Yeah."

"So what now? What are you going to do now since you don't have a fiancé and you're aboard a starship?" Pavel asked curiously.

"Well. . .I was going to ask a certain somebody on a date after this whole fracas with the Romulans was over. . . ."

"Who ees this certain somebody?" Pavel asked, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of his bed.

"Somebody special to me," Hikaru replied with a small smile, "His name is Pavel. He's gorgeous, extremely intelligent, funny, kindhearted. . ."

"Funny? He ees not funny," Pavel responded with a deadpan expression on his naturally pale face.

"Oh?"

"Da. He ees hilarious."

"My mistake. He's gorgeous, extremely intelligent, hilarious, and kindhearted."

"That's better. When do I get to meet him?"

"You'll meet him soon enough," Hikaru grinned. He stood up, Pavel following suit. Hikaru took a deep breath and then said, "Pavel? Do you. . .would you. . .like to be my boyfriend?"

"I think you already know the answer to that question," Pavel smiled, approaching and pressing his lips against Hikaru's.