I loved Alaina so much in "Teenage Girls" that I decided to continue with her story in a series of one-shots about some of her experiences aboard the Enterprise. This is the first one! (Well, technically the 2nd, but whatever). Enjoy and Please Review!!!


Alaina sat silently on the floor in the dimly lit hall. Looking down at the PADD in her hand, she checked the time. It was now two o'clock in the morning on Earth, and she lowered her head, resting it on her knees. Tears began to fill her eyes.

It was the one-year anniversary of her parent's death.

As much as she had tried to move on, their memories still frequently filled her mind and constantly reminded her of what she lost. No matter how hard she tried, throughout the entire year, she couldn't shake the empty feeling that what she was missing could never be returned. That feeling haunted her dreams often, and that's why she knew that especially tonight, she wouldn't sleep.

She tightly shut her eyes and fought the memory seeping into her vision. But her fight was in vain.

It was of the day she left for the Starfleet Academy.

Trying to hold back the tears, her mother tightly hugged her.

The last time she'd feel the comfort of her mother's embrace.

She warmly smiled.

The last smile she'd ever see on her face.

"I love you."

The words she'd said so often, but now for the last time.

It was two weeks later when the accident happened. Alaina partially stifled a sob. She'd wanted to make sure she was alone tonight; she'd made her way to the engineering level where the night crew was rare to go. Even so, she didn't want to risk anyone hearing her.

Images of her father flashed through her mind.

His laugh…

His protective embrace when she had a bad dream…

The soft anger on his face when she was in trouble...

Insignificant occasions then. Now rare, treasured moments in her memory that threatened to disappear.

She began to sob louder.

What she feared most was that she would forget. If she forgot the small moments they had shared together, then the very pictures of her parents would become a blur in her mind, and she didn't want that to happen. She wanted to remember them forever.

She didn't know if it was the chill in the air or the chill in her heart, but she shivered. She felt cold and alone in the dark. Her shoulders shook with her sobs.

"Alaina?" A voice asked. She slowly looked up. It was Jim, her cousin.

Her savior.

She remembered she was not alone; not anymore.

He studied her, sitting on the floor, looking up at him with shining eyes and tears on her cheeks. She looked like a little girl again, small and scared.

"Ally…" He whispered. He sat on the floor next to her and pulled her into an embrace. He'd figured he'd find her awake tonight, he just didn't know where. After finding she was not in her room or on any of the surrounding levels, he'd had to use the ship's computer to locate her. He held her tightly. They sat in silence for a few moments, the tears in Alaina's eyes slowly starting to subside.

He was her comfort. She felt safe in his arms.

He was her light in the darkness.

Perhaps what was missing from her heart could not be returned, but maybe it could be replaced. Not all the way; never all the way.

But just enough to ease the ache…