A/N: Alright, this is only my second attempt at writing a fanfiction story that isn't Harry Potter related. I tried to keep Kate and her mother as in character as possible, but it's been awhile since I've read the Matt Cruse series. That would also be the reason for any inconsistencies.

The prompt for this story was #10, Shooting star. I hope I didn't overuse it.

Disclaimer: As usual, I have no legal rights to anything.

"Mommy! Mommy, look! It's a shooting star!"

Kate's mother looked up from her book and smiled a smile that didn't reach her eyes. "Make a wish, then, Katie, dear."

Kate looked confused, as if that was the most ridiculous thing she'd ever heard. "Why? It won't hear me."

"You're always supposed to wish on shooting stars," her mother said, returning to her book and not paying much attention to her daughter.

"But that's not scientifical. Wishes don't come true."

Her mother sighed. "How is it that such a little girl is so cynical?"

"Not cynical, Mommy, scientifical."

"That's scientific, dear."

Kate looked up at the sky again, but there was really nothing to see, just boring old normal stars. She ran to her mother and tried to crawl up in her lap. Mrs. De Vries begrudgingly helped her up, but continued to read as her daughter hugged her.

"I love you, Mommy," Kate said quietly.

"Mm," was her mother's only response.

At 15, Kate was no less cynical than she had been when she was young. But she needed something, a miracle. And so she watched the sky every night, wishing.

She had to get out of this place. Her parents were absolutely stifling when they were home, and when they weren't, Marjorie was strict enough for both of them. She didn't care where she went, just as long as she was out.

At least, that's what she kept telling herself.

She'd been trying to forget about her grandfather's journal since it had been given to her almost a year ago, but she couldn't. It was on her mind every second, poking at her, even though she could never see it, hidden under the floorboards in her bedroom.

She was trying desperately to follow her parents' rules, to be ladylike and all that. But there was something pulling her, begging for her to let it take her away, and more than anything she longed to oblige.

And then, one day, she felt she finally could. It would be her first time in an airship, and that alone was exciting. She was going to Sydney, and even the fact that she had to take Marjorie with her couldn't dampen her spirits.

She had to stop herself from screaming with joy when she found out. But even then, she wasn't satisfied. She wouldn't be, not until she had a glimpse of what her grandfather had found. For now, though, this was enough, the best present her parents had ever given her, and she thanked the stars that she'd been wishing on for so long.

A few years later, she wanted something else, something she wanted more than anything she'd wanted before, and she knew her parents wouldn't give it to her. But she couldn't stop herself from hoping, from dreaming. She was outside, watching the sky when her parents told her.

"Kate, your mother and I wanted to tell you that we've decided to let you go," her father said.

"Go? You… you mean, in the Starclimber? Really?" She'd never been so excited.

"We only have one condition," he said, his stern face showing her that this point was not to be negotiated. "You must stop these childish displays of disobedience."

"I… what?"

"Getting thrown in jail, riots in the streets, it's not ladylike, Kate. You are to prove that you can act like a responsible young lady."

She looked up at the sky, and saw, for the third time in her life, a shooting star blazing across the sky, and knew that it was a sign. "How should I prove it?"

"We've just received a telegram from James Sanderson, asking for your hand in marriage. You're to accept."

Despite her shock, she responded immediately. "Alright, I'll do that."

Her parents looked surprised. They hadn't expected her to respond so well to their demands. "Oh, well… That's good." And then the two of them walked back into the house.

Kate fought back tears. She couldn't believe that she had just agreed to that. What would she say to Matt?

No. Matt didn't have to know. She would accept his proposal, but as soon as she came back, she would "change her mind" and all would be well. She hoped. Belatedly, she wished on that shooting star, hoping not for a safe trip into space or vast amounts of research and discovery, but for something far more important. She hoped with all her might that somehow, someday, she could finally be with the one she loved.

A/N: As usual, I hope you'll review!