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Captain Anderson had always been like a father to her. Now he was giving her the Normandy and ending his career as it's captain so she could have a chance at being a Spectre. A chance. She wouldn't even be the first, as everyone thought. He'd confided in her that he had been chosen long ago. His mentor was to be Saren, but the turian had made sure the mission went poorly and pined the blame on Anderson. So his chance was taken from him. Just another reason for her to take the monster out.

Sonya sent her new recruits on ahead to board the Normandy. She stayed behind to say 'good-bye' and 'thanks' to her Captain. She waited for the Normandy's hatch to close before meeting the older man's gaze.

"Thanks, daddy." She said softly. "I'm so sorry it has to happen this way. I appreciate what you're doing for me."

Anderson's face softened from the hardened solder to the kinder face of someone who loved the young woman in front of him. He had every confidence she wouldn't let him, or humanity, down.

"I thought we agreed to keep that kind of talk private." He said with a false sternness, letting his hands relax to his sides from their grip on each other behind his back.

Her blonde hair was pulled back into a tidy, but youthful ponytail. The color always reminded him of Kahlee Sanders.

"You need to get on the ship." He said, and swept one hand toward the docking hall.

She nodded and took the lead. He followed her a few feet inside until the docking hall would effectively block the view of any who might be watching.

Sonya stopped, turning to look up into his darker, distinguished face. Her heart throbbed in her chest, filled with an intense ache.

"Why can't you come with me as part of the team or..."

David cut her off with a slightly calloused finger to her soft, coral lips. Her brow furrowed. He slid the hand to her cheek.

"You know that's not possible, as much as we might want it to be." He said softly.

"But I don't want to loose you..."

The words were out of her mouth before she thought about what she was saying. She saw the memory of pain in his eyes. He knew she was thinking of his divorce from Cynthia.

"You won't. This isn't like that. We're both in the military. I think we understand that we won't have a lot of time together."

He held her gaze, trying to convey what he felt to her. He was never very eloquent with words.

"I'll still be here when you come back to port." He said, offering a grin.

Sonya grinned back and leaned into him. His strong arms embraced her, holding her tightly to his chest. He never thought he would find love again. Certainly not in one so much younger than himself. Her smooth, fresh face looked up at him. Her eyes like amber in a bowl of milk. He bent to kiss her.

Their lips met in the familiar passion they'd shared almost nightly for the past year. Somehow they'd managed to keep it a secret, or at least no one care enough to bring it up or gossip about it. She had already made rank by the time their relationship developed it's peculiar mingling of teacher/student, friend, father/daughter and lover.

He lifted a hand to her cheek. His thumb found a wetness there and wiped the single tear away. It broke his heart to know she truly did love him so deeply. He struggled with the 'dirty old man' opinion he sometimes had of himself for being with her. But in the dim light of his cabin, locked away from the rest of the galaxy, it hadn't mattered... not to her. Why did it bother him? Other men would have taken full advantage without a second thought. He was not other men. She'd confessed as much to say that it was a reason she loved him. A reason she had chosen him to be with her. It had made him uncomfortable to take that step, but she had made it nearly impossible to refuse her. After the first night it was... easier to love her the way she wanted. Now he didn't want to let go. He cradled her head, holding her close enough to feel her hear beating through her dress blues against his stomach.

She never felt more secure than when he held her. She lay her head on his chest, listening to the rhythm of his heart beat and the sound of his lungs breathing steadily. He was not simply the only father she'd ever known, but also the only lover.

She remembered how gradual their relationship had developed, how natural it had seemed to her. The night she gave herself to him they had argued about it. He said he did't feel right about being with her because of how much older he was than she, much less about taking her virginity. She'd pointed out that she wanted to give it to him. That he was't taking anything. He had such a sense of honor. It was one of many traits she admired in him.

Eventually she had won the argument, if only because she didn't play fair. In spite of her own nervousness, she had removed her clothes so that when he turned to face her she was exposed to him in the privacy of his cabin. Her advances had made him nervous at first, but he quickly fell prey to her charms.

He had been excessively gentle with her, but in the end it was something she appreciated. The pain had subsided quickly enough. The quiet passion that followed lasted long into the night. The feeling of him filling her, stretching her to fit him... the kisses and tender caresses... the orgasms that followed; she could remember all of it clearly. Every time since was just as serene and blissful for her, including that morning before the Council had made her a Spectre. The thought reminded her of the mission.

Sonya started t pull away. He let his arms fall from her, catching her hand at the last second with his. She was going on a dangerous mission. It may be the last time he saw her alive. His heart pounded in his chest in a way he hadn't experienced since he was a much younger man.


She looked back at him then returned to his arms at his gentle beckon.

"I want you to know... I.."

It was his turn to be cut off with a finger to the lips.

"Don't. This isn't good-bye." She forced a smile.

He took her hand away from his mouth gently with his and held it to his shoulder. They looked as if they were going to dance a waltz at a father/daughter ball.

"I may not get another chance." He said plainly. "Let me do this."

Sonya nodded her relent.

"I love you."

It was the first time he'd said the words. She knew he felt them for a long time now, but they had never verbalized the sentiment.

"You already know I love you, David." She smiled genuinely.

The corners of his mouth turned up slightly. It was a bitter sweet moment. It was hard to give the full smile she deserved. He kissed her once more, deep and gentle. He let his lips linger on hers as their tongues parted. He could see the tears she was blinking back. His own caught in his throat. He was a mature man. A solder. Solders don't cry. He stiffened and saluted her as she turned away and entered the Normandy.

Captain Anderson, formerly of the Normandy, watched his ship leave dock and fly off toward the relay with his hands clasped firmly behind his back. He waited until she passed the arms of the Citadel before retiring to Flux for a few drinks.