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The Earther

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Kozar was standing in a field. It wasn’t the Courtyard; if anything, he realized, it strongly resembled Bella and Edward’s meadow, albeit with crumbling stone walls, upon one of which sat—

“Ah,” he said, and nodded. “I am dreaming.”

The Earther turned to look at him. She’d been kicking one heel idly against the wall, looking out over mountains that belonged in Middle-earth; he’d recognized her without seeing her face.

She smiled at him, one corner of her mouth pulling higher than the other. “Hey, Kozar. No, wait—” She frowned in concentration. “Qapla’. Did I say it right?”

“Your accent has not improved,” Kozar said dryly. He walked over, standing at her shoulder. “You also have the wrong word.”

Her lip curled. “You’d think I’d get it by now. What’d I actually want?”

nuqneH.

She repeated it, mangling the pronunciation. “I hate languages.”

“I’m aware.” The mountains were snow-capped. He knew from experience that elven disguise was the best way to traverse them. “Why do I dream of you, Allison? Have you grown restless in Sto-vo-kor?”

She shrugged. “Maybe you’re just restless here. Or, hey—you miss me! That’s not too much of an Earther thing for you, is it?” The smile returned.

“Allison.”

She patted the wall beside her, more confident than she’d ever been in life. “Sit. Let’s stare at some mountains together.” She held his gaze when he stared, and smiled as he snorted. “Come on, indulge a ghost.”

“A spirit,” he corrected her, even as he sat. “A remnant. A—”

“A memory.”

He nodded.

“Fine, then, indulge a memory,” Allison said. She hesitated—she generally had—before leaning against his shoulder. “I...kind of miss you, y’know.”

“Do you?”

She nodded. “We only got, what, half a year together? I’d been hoping for, y’know, a longer partnership.”

“A longer life.”

Another nod. “Well, yeah. Who doesn’t?”

Kozar sighed, and nudged her shoulder with his. “Klingons don’t complain about dying in battle.”

Allison made a face. “I’m human. I’d rather have died in my bed, from old age.”

“I have noticed that Earthers enjoy complaining,” Kozar said solemnly.

It made her laugh. “It’s an international sport! Someone really should’ve gotten it into the Olympics by now.”

Kozar grinned. “You would leave with the gold.”

“Oh, come on.” Allison rolled her eyes at him. “I don’t complain that much, Kozar.”

Kozar sobered slowly. “You did not.” He sighed and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. Typically for a dream, he could feel only the stone he sat on and Allison at his side, and even that was muted. “I don’t understand. What reason could I have to dream of you now?”

Allison shrugged, tilting her head back to squint at the sky. “Dunno. It’s your dream, Kozar; I’m just the guest star.”

“Everything is normal,” Kozar said. “I lack nothing. Victoria’s Pov is in good health, my friends are well. Missions are still good enough at providing opportunity to do battle. Even my partner is tolerable. Why should I dream of you now?”

Allison shrugged again, and resumed kicking her heels against the wall. “Dunno. Maybe…”

“Maybe?” Kozar turned his head. It still surprised him, a little, that it didn’t hurt to see her. Early on, he’d barely been able to look at the few pictures he had of her (of them), much less manage to meet her eyes. He should have been by her side—but that was an old fact. To his private relief, it had ceased to feel like a crushing weight over a year prior.

Allison was still squinting at the sky. She suddenly seemed the slightest bit ethereal; it did not suit her in the slightest. “Maybe you want me to know you’re okay, or something. Restless memories, and stuff. I mean, we kind of had plans, didn’t we? We’ll be coming up on five years soon.”

A different weight settled onto his shoulders: regret. “You wanted to celebrate.”

“Uh-huh.” Allison nodded, and turned to meet his gaze. “Five years, Kozar. It’s pretty cool. Or, y’know, it would’ve been.” She shrugged. “I’m kind of used to disappointment, I guess. Though you could go do something anyway.”

“Alone.” It wasn’t quite a question. “The...my current partner has no place in this.”

“Or you could bring T’Zar,” Allison said. “You know, your friend? Who’s also an alien from your home canon, which is all kinds of odd with the different wars and stuff?”

“Perhaps,” Kozar allowed. The Vulcan had proven herself surprisingly good company for similar matters. “If I do this—you will return to your place in Sto-vo-kor?”

“Think I’m already kind of going,” Allison pointed out. She was right: her form was slowly fading away. “Besides, who says I’m there?”

“You are not in Gre’thor,” Kozar growled. Allison, among the souls of the dishonored? No. “I fought for your place in Sto-vo-kor. You—”

“Human,” Allison reminded him. “I could be anywhere, really. Or nowhere, I guess, but that’d be pretty boring. Let’s stick with Sto-vo-kor.” She continued to fade, until she was completely translucent.

Kozar stared at her, even as he felt the dream begin to fade as well. “How did you manage to mispronounce that?”

He woke up with Allison’s muted giggles in his ears.