This is a crossover story between the Suite Life series and the Honor Harrington book series.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Suite life series. That belongs to Disney (obviously).
I don't own the Honor Harrington Series. That belongs to the Mad Wizard David Weber and Baen Books.
However I do own the plot of the story. Thank goodness for that.
I like to thank Darkelements10 for betaing the first chapter.
The New Year's snow was still freshly fallen on a quiet chilly Boston morning. The stillness was undisturbed except for a man wondering along the pathways of the Boston Common. The snow crunching underneath his footsteps. He was deep in thought, staring ahead at things that only he knew about. He stopped to sit down on a bench on a secluded path with no foot traffic. He was joined by a woman who was one of his closest confidantes.
"Good Morning, sir," she said.
"Is it a wonderful morning, Jennifer?" the man returned.
"Yes sir, I suppose it is even through it is a little cold. Why did you want to meet so early this morning?" Jennifer asked.
"I just want to talk," he replied.
Jennifer looked at her friend and former commanding officer and nodded, realizing he needed to get stuff off his chest. He had been under considerable pressure for the past year since they arrived. Of course, she was looking at him not as the person who she knew as the captain of her ship, but someone different with the responsibilities that he was not used to having.
The man got off the bench and proceeded to pace as he started the conversation, his voice full of obvious frustration.
"This is between you and me, Jenn, but sometimes I wonder why I even took this job. Between the pirates, politicians, the assistance with crime fighting and the avalanche of stress, it's amazing I am still able to breathe, let alone live."
Of course there are times I wonder if he would give it all back to get out of this mess?, a small part of her brain wondered but dare not ask.
Jenn replied cautiously, "I presume I can speak freely on this, sir?"
"Always. You were my XO for over two years. When we alone, you can call me Ken" Ken answered.
Commander Jennifer Buckner was still uncomfortable with his informality sometimes but she knew he trusted her without a doubt and the informality was a sign of that trust.
"All I can say sir is you are doing your job that you were requested of to the best of your abilities. You are not giving an inch back. That's all we can do in these sorts of situations and hopefully when we are done, the place we left is better than when we arrived."
Ken nods his head and she continues.
"That's what the Admiralty, the Crown and the Star Kingdom can ask us to achieve when they give us a mission and ask us to accomplish it with the resources we have at our disposal." Jenn was saying it like she was speaking to a classroom full of midshipman at the Saganami Island Naval Academy, not a brown haired, brown eyed senior grade captain of the Manicoran Royal Navy.
"Straight out of the textbook" Captain Senior Grade Ken Mitchell responded with a smile as she finished. "Did anyone tell you would make a very good teacher?"
Jenn noted, "Yeah you did."
They both served at the Academy as Tactical Instructors for a time and it was a shared passion for both of them. Their shared history was one of the reasons for their close but always professional relationship. They both joined the Navy to protect the defenseless and protect the kingdom from threats. Dealing with people who did not know their head from a hole in the ground was a necessary evil of the job sometimes and she prayed she never have to deal with it as much the person in front of her had to.
However, Jennifer knew venting what was not the first reason for her former commanding officer to consult with her on a cold winter morning. All that she knew was the fact that something was weighing heavy on his shoulders (in more ways than one).
"Captain, the venting was not the real reason for the conversion this morning was it?" She asked directly.
The sight of his eyebrows moving slightly meant that she had him nailed and Ken nodded.
"How do you know?" he queried.
"It falls under my job description to know anything that could disrupt a ship's operations."
"But I am not your Captain anymore…" Ken started but was interrupted by Jenn.
"But you are my friend so in that respects it does not matter.
"I feel like sometimes when I was command of our ship, you were my other half."
"Fortunately for me sir, that duty and honor has already been taken up by someone else, who happens to be furry with whiskers, and has six limbs."
The furry other half probably was in the bushes chasing some chipmonk, Jenn thought.. She saw him smile the first genuine smile she was willing to bet in quite some time. However as much as she enjoyed it, she had to push forward.
"So what's on your mind?"
"I have been down on the planet assigned to diplomatic duty and I realized soon something is missing. The long story short is that I felt a hole in my life. I have decided to make a change in my life choices. The paperwork already been filled out and approved by the local authorities and I have told Admiral Chagurin about my decision and he's agreed to my decision with regrets as to my career."
"I still don't know what you are talking about?"
"I filed and have trained to become a foster parent."
Jenn's eyes widened in shock at the announcement. She never expected this. Here was a promising and rising Captain of the List practically guaranteed to become a flag officer postponing his career to become a foster parent. It was unheard of.
"We have arrived here to this planet and helped raise the standard of living by decreasing crime, starvation and health problems. I ask myself why I can't make the impact larger even if it is with one child at a time."
"I understand sir and I hope you have thought this through for a while."
She hesitated slightly before continuing "Well good luck with it, I think you are going to need it."
I know you will not let yourself fail at it, she thought.
"Why thank you commander. I think I am going to need luck, a planet full of patience and humor to get through this. However I might need a babysitter occasionally and someone along with the rest of my political and military friends to bounce my frustrations off. Are you up for the job?" he asked with a devious smile. As he finished, a stream of cream and gray appeared crawling up onto his shoulder, balancing himself in his normal position.
She replied sorrowfully, "I am able to become part of your club that keeps your mental stability intact. However, being a babysitter is not under my description. Besides I am pretty sure the Admiralty would not look kindly upon a captain who uses his former XO as a babysitter. I am pretty sure you would be violating the Articles of War."
"Darn. Oh well I had to try. In the meantime, how about breakfast on me?"
Jenn agreed and the two officers (and Ken's furry shadow) walked their way out of the Boston Commons and into the rising sun.
The eleven year old boy in the mirror looked back at him and emptiness ran rampant in his eyes and in his blood. It ravaged him like a disease that was eating him up inside and was slowly but surely dying from. The boy people called Zack could not run away from the abyss inside of him whether he was dreaming or awake.
The worst part about it was that the fact Zack knew without a doubt in his mind that it was his fault. It did not matter whether it was strangers or people who saw him everyday told him it was not, he just knew he was the epicenter of all the pain and suffering in his life and the people around him.
The tears in his eyes that threatened to run like a waterfall were stopped before they could start. Zack's soul was like a black hole in the center of his miserable existence. It would attract every single instance of happiness in his young life and take it away, never to be heard from again. He believed the gravitational pull of his depression could never be fixed again unless a miracle happened. The only way there was a chance of his life having any happiness was if his twin came back to him.
The name still caused him unbearable pain even after this long period of time. His voice would have been unrecognizable only a few years earlier and it crackled at its lack of use. Silence became Zack's friend. He was not like this once. He was happy, laughing and had the randomness of any normal child. But that was another lifetime ago before the confusion, grief, anger, guilt and the pain. Now he was a walking corpse, without any vigor to show he even deserved to draw breath.
"Zack come on we are leaving!"
Zack's spine stiffened as he heard Russell's rough tone resonate through the house. The man, Zack had been with for the last few months, was always punctual and strict to a fault. Occasionally Zack would rebel in small ways and disrupt Russell's harmony. But he knew there were limitations to how far he could go and consequences to those actions. Sometimes Zack wondered if Russell had any girlfriends in the past but with his attitude he doubted it. The thought sent the smallest trickle of humor through his mind, but was evaporated as quickly as it came.
"Alright I'm coming", Zack responded and ran to get his squishy jacket and ran downstairs and out the door.
The clear blue sky and bright sun seemed slightly faded. He could not feel any warmth from the outside world. Life had tossed him to the ground so many times, he wondered why he even got up and dusted himself off.
"So are you excited about school?" Russell asked with cheer as he started his Corolla and got underway.
Oh yeah can't wait to rub elbows with nerds. Zack's sarcasm oozing inside his mind. He ignored Russell's question and thought what lay ahead.
School. Zack's eyes rolled as he thought of his upcoming destination. Zack just found no motivation or interest towards school. Frankly he thought it was a waste of time, but something he just had to deal with it. Besides he was towards the bottom of social totem pole and practically invisible.
Zack's thoughts of the purgatory he knew as school were interrupted by the crash of a Dodge Ram slamming in the rear passenger side door where Zack was sitting next to. The truck blew through a red light and Zack's car almost folded up into a flattened U. The truck's momentum pushed the Corolla into the opposite directly into the path of a school bus loaded with kids on their way to a new term. The bus driver reacted as fast she could but even with the grinding and screeching of the brakes, the bus rammed missile like into the car's front. It ucordiened and collapsed like it was in a press.
All thought of school ended at that moment. The scene was a minefield with glass shards and metal spread out over the area interspersed with the crying and disorientation of children in shock. The smell of gas, oil and fear spread through the intersection. People were running for help and praying for hope. For some, the hope and life was extinguished. Lost in the chaos was the fate of a boy with an empty existence.
So what you do think? Please Read and Review. Admiral Chagurin, Russell, Jenn, Ken and his furry shadow are my OCs. If you have any questions as the story goes on, just PM me and I will have no problem answering them.