A/N: Thanks everyone for sticking with this story during the incredibly long and unannounced hiatus. You have encouraged me beyond belief. Without your spurring on, Connor and Donovan might have been stuck in Voyage forever (not that they really would have minded...).
As we began with a prologue, I thought we'd be nice and circular and end with an epilogue. This may actually be my favorite. I hope you made it this far. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you've enjoyed the story.
Also, thanks to everyone who voted for this story in The Lion's Call (a fantastic Narnia fansite) Lion Awards. Voyage of the Canon Keepers won the Jackdaw Award for Funniest Fic! Thanks, TLC and whoever nominated this thing for the awards. Definitely made my week. :)
"And there you have it, chief," the young man said, lacing and unlacing his fingers together—a nervous habit he usually hid by constantly having something else in his hands. "The whole story."
The chief leaned back in his chair and shook his head. "Quite a story, Connor. But despite the reports about your…apparently suspect reliability, I believe every word."
"Thank you, sir," the Keeper replied. "Much obliged, I'm sure. I'm not sure this is the right time, but I was going to request permission to have a few days off before the next assignment."
Eyeing him thoughtfully, the chief nodded. "Yes, of course. You could do with a little leave-time. But as soon as you've checked up on Donovan and gotten those claw-marks on your pretty face seen to, I want you to report back to the lab to help the techs with those improvements you suggested. For the STARDDs."
Connor grinned. "Happy to." He stood to go, but the chief, shuffling through a few papers on his desk, added, "By the way, Agent Hooper himself sends his regards and recommended you for a commendation. Bravery in the face of extreme peril."
The sandy eyebrows lifted. The chief noticed (as the captain and watcher and everyone had noticed over the past day or so) that a little of the mischief had gone out of his eyes. "Only if Don gets one too, sir. After all, she's the one who's in the hospital."
"Yes," admitted the chief, "but you're the one who will be writing the report."
Ignoring the moan of displeasure, he added, "Dismissed, Keeper. Oh, and I feel I should warn you—all this newfound attention may cause a little jealousy from the others. I'd watch out for the old tobasco-sauce-in-the-coffee if I were you."
Running a hand through his hair, Connor hid a sudden mischievous smile (perhaps it hadn't all disappeared after all), but gave no reply as he headed toward the door. He was most of the way down the hall before he heard the surprised roar from the office behind him (and took off at a run, just for good measure).
Half an hour later he was at the recovery ward in the hospital, holding a wad full of wildflowers and wrinkling his nose at the hospital smell. When he peered in her open door, he saw that she was looking out the window. Her face was a little less pale than it had been yesterday.
"Well," he said, grinning as she whipped her head around to look at him, "you look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark."
"Connor!" Donovan exclaimed, a smile rippling across her face. And then, gesturing to the flowers, "Are those for me?"
"Yeah," he shot back. "Smuggled 'em in. They're probably full of allergens and stuff. How's tricks?"
"I've been better. But the worst part is the quiet." She played with the bedcover absently. "I mean, after all we've been through over the last week or so…"
"Tell me about it," he replied with a sigh. "And it'll take even longer for everything to heal up. Your ribs, my looks…"
Donovan grinned as she eyed the almost-healed finger-nail marks that still showed on her fellow Keeper's face. "I dunno…gives you a rakish look. At least you can breathe without hurting. I could have killed that Sue for summoning the serpent when she did."
"Well, not to fear. She's back where she belongs—in her fuscia colored room in Chicago. Without Wi-fi. You should have seen her at the arraignment. And movie-Susan, too! Although, the real Susan Pevensie was…a wonder."
"Easy there, Fanboy," Donovan quipped, grinning at the dreamy look on his face. "Still, I wish I could've been there." The ginger sighed and looked out the window again. "Well. I guess you'll be back to work soon enough."
Connor scratched the back of his neck and plopped down in one of the chairs beside her bed. "Not until I get the report written up. All by my lonesome, since you're holed up here. And so much happened during our adventure…I don't know how I'm going to get it all down."
He felt a gentle touch as she placed her hand on his, and looked up to see that her eyes were smiling.
"Together, Connor. We'll do it together. Just like everything else."
Final addendums to NCK Case 2456317:
(NCK Record [Quote: Donovan, Cordelia]: "Connor, I did not either say that last bit and I certainly didn't say it like that! You're such a sap! Why the chief would commission the fanfiction writer between us to write the report is a mystery to me. What will people think? Oh! I want to go on record to OBJECT to my representation in the epilogue of the report. ON RECORD. DO YOU HEAR ME?" [End Quote])
(NCK Record [Quote: Connor, Ioan]: "All representations of characters and events in this story are [speaker hesitates] completely and utterly accurate according to the author of the report. My observations were my guide. So there, Cordelia." [End Quote])
Addendum after review:
(NCK Record [Quote: Donovan, Cordelia]: "Whatever you say, Connie." [End Quote])