Until Next Time Captain by NyokoEdit
The skies were in clear in San Francisco and the air a little bit on the cooler side. This wasn’t to uncommon for this time of year and for those who wore Starfleet uniforms it was quiet comfortable. Shuttle crafts flew over head casting there shapes in shadow below and cadets rustled about the beautiful campus. Along the many paths that crisscrossed the center of campus Captain Honda and Hann stood under an old oak tree. The dashing captain of the Nimitz sat upon the bench while extraordinary Okinami captain stood on the path.
Nyoko had refused to sit mostly because of Hann’s height. She wanted to remain in a position where she didn’t have to look up. She wanted to see into his eyes as she came out with what she had decided on saying this afternoon. Tanaka didn’t have to guess at what the subject was going to be. The scenery, the solitude, the big old oak tree above them, the very same one that Picard likely carved a set of initials into illustrated the mood enough.
“You’re too quiet, what’s wrong Ny?” He asked breaking a the long moment of silence.
“I had something I wanted to tell you,” she began then she came to a abrupt halt. She considered her next set of words carefully. “Now, I’m not sure I want too.”
The ever calm and cool captain of the Nimitz simply smiled softly to try and defuse the situation. It didn’t then again he thought to himself this was Nyoko. She was a dragon lady if there ever was a definition to be noted in the Library Access Computer.
“Well, I’m not one to force you to talk about things your –“
“Your unexpected assignment makes it clear though. “ She cut in.
“Unexpected?” He asked in confusion. “This doesn’t’ come as a big surprise to me.”
Nyoko shook her head declaring her disagreement with her body language. “I wanted to address the distant between us.” She said trying to establish the topic she really wanted to talk about.
“I know things have turned cold between us-“
“And now you know I’m being sent back to the front, things have changed.” He was the one cut in this time.
Nyoko swallowed hard and nodded once. He was on the same page now and in the back of her mind she wanted to strangle Liz for pushing her into this. The news of his return to the 6th Fleet had disappointed her a great deal. Now she was here confessing her feelings to a man that was going back out to fight on the Klingon Front. It wasn’t enough that his ship sustained such losses, such damages the first time around. Yet he was going back and soon.
Hann found himself at a loss though. He wasn’t sure how to take this on. Nyoko wasn’t one to be personable and this situation was certainly out of her comfort zone. He knew there was likely outside forces pushing her into this. Advice from close friends to help her deal with whatever grief she had come to live with this past year. Though beyond all that he knew one thing, this could get emotionally dangerous. What he said now and how he reacted to what she had to say could damage or change there relationship forever. He had to take a stab though and he figured that appealing to Nyoko’s professional side might wrap this mess up quickly.
“As you have stated Ny, we’re starship captains-“
Nyoko steam rolled his effort. She held her hand up to halt him indicating she wasn’t done speaking. “You made your intentions clear to me in that shuttle,” she affirmed.
“So don’t lecture me about our professions or our circumstance,” she added. Hann simply went into listing mode. As Nyoko went on to lay it all out on the table.
“Our ships are flying in separate directions now. I’ve worn this uniform long enough to know what that means. So I’ll come clean with it.” She continued on.
“It means one thing,” he said with a lingering sentence and Nyoko stopped to consider what he was getting at.
This might have been the boldest move he had ever made when handling the fragile feelings of Captain Nyoko Honda. A lady was a sensitive at heart as a teenager yet breathed fire and brimstone and maintained stricter discipline all her life, the very same discipline that allowed her all the achievements that she had achieved in her career. He would call her out on the insecurities.
“You’re ready to Run,” He started as his eyes met with heir’s with stern gaze. “To find that next hole you’ll hide in, to run for cover claiming you can’t’ feel anything. “
“And while it is true that I care, we have faced this road before,” he continued.
Then as he sat there looking at her with those smooth brown eyes of his. He might as well just have grabbed her arm to force her to look at him as Nyoko was cornered now. He had called her out on her insecurity. It stung harshly too for the woman captain. It irked her, no it enraged her she wanted to lash out with all that fiery breath she was known to have, though she couldn’t those gentle brown eyes pinned her down.
“But I'm not running. Even if you choose to,” he added and although Nyoko almost missed those words she did catch the last part. “It won’t change how I feel.”
Nyoko’s eyes narrowed some she was ready for fight now and in the back of her mind she was preparing to roll out the big guns. She resented how he always seemed to take the moral high ground, how he was always the one to know better. Her heart raced and she wanted at this moment to lash out at him. It was after all her defense mechanism.
“But I never give up my faith that Captain Nyoko Honda will be back,” He said with confidence.
“Is that a fact?” She said bitterly.
Then he returned the flat expression, “has it ever been any other way between us?” he asked.
Nyoko stood there she was losing on all fronts. She wanted to be mean, she wanted to lash out at him to chase him off into the hills but she was out of ammo. There was no fire and brimstone he had successful defused it with his cool and calm expression. Her chin tightens hard as her jaw clamped down in absolute frustration. Then as he stood up he assumed a prostitute well taller than Nyoko, elevating his view of her. If there was ever a time she felt cornered this was one of them. Now as he looked down at her from his tall six foot height he continued his assault. He was aiming to break her tonight, to break the habit or lose all trying to do so.
"Ny, are you ready to give up your chair?” he asked.
“Nor am I,” he followed up after her reply.
His posture was still fixed as he towered over Nyoko looking at her with that cool and calm expression he continued to reason the details with the women that he had come to feel so deeply about.
“We’ll have to continue with our arrangement,” he reminded her now. “And us will just have to wait until our situation changes, you know that best.”
Nyoko now overwhelmed by the mixed emotions of sadness, and rage she could only utter a simple sentence. “That’s if life allows for such.”
“Now you have to choose,” He declared with authority.
Nyoko stood at the fork roads in her mind as this man had over ran those thick fortress walls she had always surrounded herself with. Then her thoughts turned to Liz. She bit her lip and as she considered what he had said she couldn’t help but to consider what kind of torture her nosey science officer deserve for convincing her that this was a good idea.
“Are you to run away cause of our assignments or will you to stick it out?” he asked.
Nyoko had enough. It was time to go on the offensive and tare him down from his moral high ground that he always seemed to be able to claim. He looked at him sharply almost smugly.
"There was someone else for while,” she said flatly.
Although Nyoko would never know how that bit of information really was received on the inside of Tanaka’s personal thoughts. She would never know if that hurt him, or if he really found what she said as truly acceptable. As his cool calm expression never changed as if he was on the bridge of his starship facing the no win scenario. He just didn’t betray any insight for Nyoko to detect.
Then he reached over and his finger tips stroked the smooth Asian features of her face. His fingers stroked her sharp jaw ever so tenderly. He could feel her swallow hard likely all the anger he had provoked from her being forced down her throat.
“I never expected you to stop living your life for me,” he then said softly to her. “I have no regrets.”
Nyoko shook her head. She had nothing left to throw at him. If telling him she was with another man didn’t irk him into rageful response. What would she thought at loss for answers.
“I’ve tried so hard not to have this happen,” she paused for a second before she continued. “Not to fall into this absent love.”
Then she decided to be honest and as she went on she had turned around to look at the fountain. She couldn’t look at him anymore.
“That I sought out an ex- to have a fling with him, to devalue what we have,” She looked down sadly. “In the end it only left me more empty.” She added softly.
Hann then stepped over to her and placed his hands on her shoulder and leaned down to kiss the top of her head. Doing so allowed him to smell the sweet coconut butter scent of her jet black hair. The small show of affection left Nyoko speechless.
“Life is like a river. Its flow is always absolute. All that matters is that you know where you want to end up, because you can’t go back.” He recited a well known Japanese proverb.
She was wearing down now. She had gone through all the masks she typically did and now she was at the point where emotion was about to seize control. She took deep breaths to make every effort not to cry, not to show weakness. Her eyes closed tightly as she forced herself to be in control.
“Just please be happy when you are allowed to be,” he asked sincerely.
Then she turned and took a grip of his arms by the uniform. Her face so grave with emotion as the girl in the uniform was peering out. Hann could only smile at Nyoko though she couldn’t give him one back as she was on an emotional rollercoaster. She thought about a time that really she enjoyed. That time when Hann was stuck on the Ayanami and the shared it’s command together.
“That time on the Ayanami together was special,” she said trailing off looking up at his handsome face.
He smiled recalling the events from his memory. It was true he too had shared in that special rare situation where he and Nyoko worked together. Then when she was injured he was there for her helping her every step of the way.
“That was a rather enjoyable time,” he said with smile. Then he gave Nyoko’s shoulder a squeeze. “I was tempted to go back to being a commander.”
Then her face contorted and her head sunk downward as the sarcastic poke at a dream they had shared together was the last crack in the dam of emotion. She started to cry and the tears streamed down her smooth flat cheeks to dive off the sharp jaw line of hers. Her jet black hair that was pulled into a tight bun at the back of her head bobbed up and down as she cried.
“Nyoko, I will be back. You have my word,” he assured her.
However that did nothing to improve her emotional state. She cried because everything seemed so twisted now. Here she was falling in love again and forced by duty to be apart. She even felt like she was reliving the same conversation she had with Alex all those years ago. It was before her wedding, before shipping off to Arachnis Sector to meet the Klingon Invasion where he died. The lost was hard on Nyoko and as a resolution to all the awful grief she swore not to make that mistake again. Yet here she was again, being emotional, being stupid. She could only sware at Liz’s name at this moment as she felt so awful.
Her hand went to her eyes to whipe the tears away as she struggled to regain any measure of control. Though the teasing thought of what they had shared on the Ayanami lingered there in her thoughts. It was an unfair taste of something ideal and now it had come and gone. As Hann silently measured the damage he had caused with his attempts to lighten the mood he felt awful too. It was sad for him to see a girl cry, but to see Captain Honda cry certainly struck a deep cord. If at all else he did regret making that commander comment.
Finally something inside Nyoko answered her desperate call for strength. She found the discipline again she realized how foolish she might have looked. Finally her long sobbing cries drifted to short sniffles as as she whipped the final wetness from her eyes. When she was ready to address him again in a manner of professionalism that he had always know her for as well as admired. She relinquished her cat clawing grip of his uniform. She pushed some of her jet black hair behind her ear to get it out of her face. Although she was no longer crying her face was ever so long.
Yet her handsome man smiled at her. He was proud she found the strength to control her emotions all on her own.
“Gomenasai, “ she said sternly with the typical Picard tug of her uniform. (Japanese: I am sorry)
“You honor me Nyoko, Thank you.” He replayed with a respectful cultural bow.
She returned the bow and she knew now that she had said all she needed to say. There was very little left to discuses. Hann will leave now and return to his ship and head for the Klingon Front and there wasn’t a thing she could do to stop him, nor would she want too. He was a captain and he had his duty and this was how it had to be. This whole emotional mess was b because she was weak because she deviated from her oaths. Now they had to part.
“Sayonara Tanaka-san,” She said in Japanese. (Farewell Dear Tanaka)
“Till next time captain,” he replayed.
Then Hann turned around and started to walk away. She turned to watch his back as he walked down the winding path between the garden beds. Just like that, he had walked out of her life to pursue duty as it should be. She nodded to herself once and although she understood the meaning of his command. She hadn’t felt this lonely since when Alex walked out on her to pursue duty. She sat on the bench in silence for good long time before she decided on what to do next.