Title: You Can't Keep a Good Man Down

Fandom: Space Cases

Author: karrenia

Words: 1100

Rating: PG

Set pre-series

Prompt: On his demotion

Disclaimer: Space Cases was created by Bill Mumy and Peter David and belongs to Nickoloden

Television; it is not mine.

"You Can't Keep a Good Man Down" by karrenia

The day he got the news was the day it felt like he'd been sucker-punched in the gut. Swallowing his pride and a great deal of anger he had approached Admiral Cody with shoulders squared and eyes forward as befitted a ranking officer in the Star Dogs.

The gist of his argument consisted not on the overall unfairness of his demotion, because if he were were being honest with himself it was not that unfair and the higher echelons of the Star Dog Command in good conscience could not tolerate the

loss of face or the general unpleasantness of what had happened. He had almost started a war and had fraternized with one of the most wanted and notorious space pirates. He knew how that would look to the

general public.

Still, Commander Seth Goddard realized, not without some chagrin, that getting demoted and slated to work as a teacher with the under-achieving cadets was probably the least of

the punishments his superiors could have handed to him.

He didn't know the first thing about teaching; add to the fact that on his first day he had been informed that he'd have a co-instructor and many another more experienced and capable

instructor had both literally and figuratively thrown up their hands and given up.

Goddard shook his head and reached up to scratch at a itch, muttering out loud as he did so; "I am really attempting to apply logic to an illogical situation? And if so, what should I

do about it?"

From the far side of the currently empty classroom Lt. T. J Davenport approached him and cleared before she asked: "I'm sorry, Commander, but I couldn't help but overhear you. Could I be of any assistance?"

"I doubt it," He muttered trying but not completely succeeding in avoiding eye-contact not just because because she was both attractive and of about equal height with him, Her auburn-colored

hair was caught up in a tight bun which accented her high cheekbones. "Allow me to introduce myself; Lt. T.J Davenport. You must be Commander Goddard?"

"That's right. I understand that we'll be working together from now on."

"You sound rather disgruntled, if you'll pardon me for saying so, Sir."

"You could say that," he replied.

"I realize that you have recently experienced quite a blow, and while I do not have a degree in clinical evaluation..." she began, realizing even as she did so that she had

always admired Commander Seth Goddard, followed his career and even his fall from grace with a keen interest. However, until now she had never actually met him face-to-face and then mustering up her

courage and resolve she had asked the question she'd been balancing on a knife's edge.

"Is the blow more to your ego or your career?"

Goddard found himself not only brought up short by the presumptousness of her questions but also by the precision of how close it came to the mark of his own meandering thoughts.

"I do hope you're not asking out of idle curiiousity, Lieutenant? Because if so it could be interpreted as insubordination."

"I understand completely, Sir," Davenport replied and it wasn't chasing after gossip.

Believe it or not you still have supporters and even friends within the ranks of the Star Dogs."

Flushing with both anger, frustration and surprise Goddard allowed some if not all of the tension that had been building up his back and shoulder muscles to subside.

He sighed and finger-combed through his regulation-cut sandy brown hair just for something to occupy his hands.

"It's nice to hear that I still have friends and supporters, but if we're going to be working together I would appreciate if if you didn't go about advertising my demotion to

the cadets." Goddard replied after several moments had elapsed while she patiently waited for him to compose himself.

She nodded and replied in a far more gentler tone than any she had used in their brief encounter. "Consider it done. Believe I shall not go about broadcasting anything of your demotion or our exchange."

"Why not. You seemed pretty gung-ho about when this conversation began," he replied.

"You need reasons, Sir." Davenport asked as she cocked her head to one side as if thinking her next words over before she added: "Because, as perhaps juvenile as it may sound I have always been an admirer of yours.

And because I believe that we shall work well together."

"Should I be flattered," he griped.

"Perhaps, perhaps not," she replied. "The rumor mill among as closed a society as the Star Academy can be, is going whether you do anything about it or not." She sighed.

"I've been here long enough to recognize that. Let the rumors take care of themselves, Sir. Chasing after them is like hunting white rabbits while wearing gloves in a snow storm."

"Who said that?" he asked.

"A certain cadet in my class."

He had been led to believe that the crop of cadets, from at least a dozen allied worlds had been assigned to his class and most of them were on the verge of flunking out. It would seem that at least one of them had a wry if odd sense of humor.

"Mr. Band did. He is a bright and in my opinion, one with a great deal of potential. However, he lacks the will to apply himself."

"Why do I suddenly get the feeling that of all the concerns I had going into this, the one I should worry least about is the students?" he asked.

She allowed herself a wry grin of her own to slip past her lips. "If it's any consolation, Sir, I was actually hoping for your help in that regard. Many another instructor has given up on these cadets."

"I take it that you haven't given up?" asked Goddard.

"I don't like giving up. As the old bromide says: When life gives you lemons you make lemonade."

He tilted his head back and gave the classroom a 360 degree once over, wondering if those old bromides were true because if they were than he was in for the duration and you know what they said? You really can't keep a good man down.

Turning his attention back to Lt. Davenport he smiled and said. "I'm in. Hey, I thrive on the challenge."

She smiled and nodded. "I was very much hoping you would say that, Sir."