It seemed strange, packing his things. Getting them ready to leave. Removing everything from his quarters that made the rooms his and yet, Hikaru could think of nothing that delighted him more at the moment.
His orders rested on top of his personal computer files. His uniforms had all been cleaned, replaced as necessary, updated as appropriate. He swept the room with a glance, verifying everything was ready to be moved out the door. Everything perfectly packed. Everything swept up in a disconcertingly small bundle of items.
It made his heart tug for an instant.
Hikaru nodded, allowing the emotion. Soon, there would be greater ones, more debilitating than just this in his quarters. Soon, he’d be facing the crew of the Enterprise one last time as a crewmember, albeit one with his foot halfway off the deck and readying to step onto another.
His own command awaited him after just a few more days – some space travel, some dreaded paperwork (still called such, despite such documents being considered relics of a time long gone), and finally, a ship of his own with a new crew, awaiting his orders.
He took one last walk around the rooms which had been his for more years than he expected, pausing in the head to give a quick look at his own reflection. Neat. Clean. Personable. Ready to go out – not with a blaze of glory, but a quiet confidence.
The hail came from his door, a three-toned note that he understood was based on the whistles from long-ago ocean-going vessels. (Hikaru bit back a grin at hearing Pavel’s voice in his head saying, “wessels”.) “Sulu,” he said.
“Captain Sulu, your away ship is standing by to receive your personal affects.” Uhura spoke calmly – still on duty.
“Thank you, Uhura,” he said. “I hope you’ll be able to break away from your post soon.” Hikaru promised himself a dance with her before leaving. At least one. Possibly more.
Uhura laughed, a soft, breathy thing. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Good to know.” Hikaru let a smile color his words. “I’ll see you there, then.”
“Yes, sir.” A teasing lilt to her response. “Shall I send the ensign to collect your affects?”
“Yes, Lieutenant, thank you.”
With her, “Aye, sir,” she cut the comm link.
The silence in his quarters seemed somewhat unnerving for a few seconds. Hikaru again paced the length and breadth of it, one last turn to make sure nothing had been left behind. That no tribble lay in wait for the next occupant. That he’d cleared everything of his own and transferred all ship’s property to the proper areas for reuse.
A part of him yearned to go to the bridge one last time, to stare out into space from the navigator’s chair. Hikaru pressed that yearning down. He had a new job waiting for him. Nostalgia only took one so far and beyond that point lay a maudlin line of thinking he refused for himself.
The hail came from the ensign assigned to move his affects. Hikaru shot his cuffs, smoothed his hair almost restlessly, then told the computer, still keyed to his voice recognition pattern, “Enter.”
As the door slid open, Hikaru thought walking through would be the first step to the next part of his life.
He could hardly wait.