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Friday, April 12, 1912

Mika slept most of the next day. In fact, her wanderings about the ship had continued right through until dawn, when she enjoyed the wondrous sight of the sunrise off the stern. Then she grabbed an early breakfast and headed straight for bed, leaving instructions with Lisette that she was under no circumstances to be disturbed. Lisette thought this strange, but did as she was asked.

By the time Mika awoke, it was dark outside. She had slept right through lunch and dinner. She attributed this to the fact that she usually did not eat quite this much. In fact, she figured that she had eaten more in the last twenty-four hours than she usually did in a whole week. That and staying up all night, of course.

She rose and showered, then slipped into a lovely dress of pale coral chiffon with a dark coral band of satin wrapped about her waist. It was light and airy in design and set off the smooth, milky texture of her skin to perfection. She let her hair remain down, dark curls tickling the bare back of her neck. In spite of her hatred of this time period's confining, restricting clothing, Mika thought she looked particularly fetching this evening.

After knocking lightly on Molly's door across the hall and finding no one in, Mika decided to go for a leisurely stroll about the deck. She was bound to run into her some time; or, at least it always seemed that she did.

The evening was pleasant, a cool light breeze fluttered about the hem of her dress, just enough to make her look otherworldly. How ironic, she thought, that she could stand here and look like she came from some other planet, yet if she were to tell anyone that she really did, they would laugh and declare that she belonged in an asylum.

Her wanderings eventually took her near the stern of the mighty ship. She stood at the back railing of the B Deck promenade, absorbed in thought as the wind ran its cool fingers through her hair. She had to admit that there was a certain magic about this ship and this voyage, despite the invisible fate that lay ahead: the human ignorance and indifference in the shape of a deadly iceberg. She let her mind wander about in this fashion for some time until she felt a by now familiar figure brush past.

"Mr. Andrews," she called out.

The figure stopped and looked up from the ever-present notebook in his hand.

"Miss Smith," he greeted her and closed his notebook, leaving his pencil inside to mark his spot. He came to stand beside her.

"Please," Mika held up her hand and made a face. "Just call me 'Mika'. I do so hate formalities."

"So do I," he laughed, that smile slowly eroding the wall she had spent centuries in building up around her all too fragile heart. "So what brings you out here this fine evening?"

"Oh, just taking a walk and admiring your beautiful handiwork," she smiled back.

They exchanged small talk in this manner for a few minutes, until Andrews turned the conversation to a more serious subject, his smile fading.

"Forgive me for being nosy, but I could not help but notice your behaviour yesterday during the tour. I must admit that it left me quite puzzled."

Mika was immediately on her guard. "In what way?" She had not realized that they had been watched.

"How does an obviously refined young lady such as yourself come to know about mechanics and engineering? And that Doctor friend of yours . . ."

"So you do not believe that he is my uncle?"

"I did at first. But from watching you for even a short amount of time, it is clear that you are not related. The two of you are far too combative for a start."

Mika laughed cautiously. "So you noticed that."

"Sometimes it is hard not to. He seems more like a teacher, or an instructor to me. Perhaps even a mentor."

"Trust me, he is not my mentor. He just likes to think that he knows everything and can solve any problem given enough time and bubble gum and baling wire." 'Or a sonic screwdriver,' she thought.

"I know the type."

"Like Mr. Ismay?"

"Like Mr. Ismay. Especially on this voyage. He considers the Titanic his baby. He would be absolutely devastated if anything were to happen."

"And what about you? Wouldn't you be upset too?"

"Of course. But as long as the people are all right the ship can always be rebuilt."

"That's how I would feel." They stood in silence while Mika tried to decide just how much and what she should tell him about herself and the Doctor. He waited patiently for an answer.

"You still haven't answered my question," he prompted gently.

"I studied a form of engineering at the Academy. The Doctor thought this trip would be a good diversion from my work and dragged me along. But, as you know, our mechanically-oriented minds seldom shut down. I was just taking an active interest in the structure of the ship. That's all, I assure you."

He seemed to be satisfied with this answer as they stood side by side gazing out over the railing, a group of sailors below them chatting quietly on their smoking break. But Mika knew that he would not remain this way for long. If she was not careful, he would eventually become so suspicious that she would have to tell him the whole truth. Then a thought occurred to her: perhaps if she convinced him of the truth of who she really was, then maybe, just maybe he would agree to leave with her; to be her travelling companion. She considered then just how wonderful this could actually be. She glanced over at him and caught his eye just as he was trying not to be caught looking at her. He was noticing, as if for the first time, just how lovely she was. And there was something different about her eyes, but he could not figure out what.

Just then, they heard the sound of running footsteps approaching, followed by a woman in a red dress who ran past the couple, crying. Mika and Andrews watched, surprised and mildly concerned, as the woman ran down onto the poop deck towards the stern.

"Wasn't that Rose, the young girl we met earlier?"

"I believe so. What on earth is she doing?"

Rose stopped to catch her breath, then slowly approached the railing at the rear of the ship. She then lifted the hem of her dress and began to climb over.

"I do believe she is going to jump overboard!" Andrews cried. "We must stop her." He began to rush to her aid, but Mika grabbed his arm and held him back.

"No, wait. I think she's going to be ok. There's someone there far more qualified than we going to her rescue. Look."

Mika pointed to the figure of a young man who had risen from a nearby bench where he had been lying, gazing at the stars when Rose ran by. He was now carefully approaching her, trying to talk her into coming back over the railing. Mika smiled knowingly. "See, he's doing fine. He's got her hand now and can pull her back onto the ship." She looked down at her hand still grasping Andrews' arm. Then she studied his face, creased with concern for young Rose's safety. "Believe me," she said more to herself, "I know destiny when I see it."

Andrews looked down at this strange woman standing next to him, more puzzled than ever. She was just so mysterious and it was driving him crazy. He just had to know more about her. Then he noticed her hand where it still clutched his sleeve. Almost discomfortingly, she removed her hand and placed it on the rail, averting her eyes timidly. Suddenly, the moment was shattered by a scream from the stern. The young man had been trying to help Rose back over the railing when her foot got tangled in her dress and she slipped. She was now dangling perilously by one arm over the cold Atlantic ocean and the Titanic's giant triple screws. Finally, after first calming her down, the young man managed to pull her safely back over, sending the two of them tumbling down to the deck one on top of the other. They lay there trying to catch their breath as three sailors, having heard the young woman's screams, came running up. The scene that met them looked compromising at best, taken out of context as it was. They confronted the young man and sent for the Master at Arms, believing something most inappropriate to have taken place.

At Mika's insistence, she and Andrews remained in the background as they watched what unfolded before them. They watched in silence as the Master at Arms arrived with Colonel Gracie, Cal and his manservant, Spicer Lovejoy, and began to take the young man into custody. The men had obviously been enjoying brandies and cigars in the smoking room as Colonel Gracie still had his in his hand.

It was difficult to follow what was happening, as their distance prevented them from hearing what was being said. But Mika did a pretty good job figuring it out by watching everyone's actions carefully, especially those of Rose and the young man.

"She seems to have explained to the others that the lad was not attacking her, but helping her. But I dare say she's not telling them the whole truth. It looks like they bought it, though. See, the Master at Arms is removing the handcuffs from the boy."

"Why do you think that is? That she is lying, I mean."

"Well, judging from what we saw of dear old Cal, if she told him she had been trying to kill herself by jumping off the back of the ship, he's more likely to be furious with her than sympathetic. And that's the last thing she needs right now."

"You really think he would be angry with her to find out that she was unhappy?"

Mika shot him a slightly incredulous look. "Who do you think made her that way in the first place? Not everyone is as sweet and thoughtful as you, Mr. Andrews," she grinned coyly.

He cleared his throat and nervously tried to hide the fact that he was blushing. "Please, you may call me 'Thomas' if you like. And thank you, but I am sure you have me figured out all wrong."

"I don't think so. I am usually a very good judge of character . . . Ah, they are coming this way. Quick, act as if you did not see anything."

"But . . ."

"Just go along with me, ok?"

The small group climbed up the steps where Mika and Andrews were standing. The Colonel spotted them first.

"Andrews old chap, ha, ha! And the lovely Miss Smith. Did you see all the excitement?" he boomed.

Mika quickly spoke for the both of them. "No, Colonel. We were talking and only looked up when we heard the screams. All we saw was the young man there pulling Rose over the railing."

Andrews, always the considerate gentleman, turned to Rose who was looking at the two of them confused, but grateful, "Are you all right Miss Rose? You had quite a scare there."

"Yes, Mr. Andrews, I am much better now, thanks to Mr. Dawson." She looked to Mika and the two women exchanged knowing glances that went completely unnoticed by the men.

"We had better get her inside," Cal interrupted. "She'll catch her death if she stays out here much longer."

"Yes, you are most certainly right about that, old man, ha, ha! Good night everybody." The Colonel led the way as they all bid each other good night, leaving Mika and Andrews alone once more.

"Thank you for not saying anything, Thomas."

Andrews shrugged. "I didn't see any point in causing more trouble." He pulled out his pocket watch and checked the time. It was getting quite late. "I think I've had enough excitement for one day. May I escort you to your room?"

She considered this for a moment. "No, thank you," she said. "I think I'll stay out here for a while longer."

"If you are sure then. Well, good night and pleasant dreams to you, Mika. I am sure we shall see each other tomorrow."

"Of course," she smiled as he bowed slightly before taking his leave. "Good night, Thomas."

Mika let out a huge sigh and looked up at the stars. "What am I getting myself into?" she asked no one in particular. Then she looked below and saw that the young man who had rescued Rose was still at the stern, leaning against the railing, smoking a cigarette, apparently deep in thought. Yes, she thought, she could definitely recognize the guiding hand of destiny, especially when it slapped you in the face.

When Mika returned to her rooms, she found the Doctor lounging on the couch in the sitting room, a pile of books from the ship's library on the floor beside him, one book on his lap, and another in his hand. He seemed to have been busy during her absence. He looked up from his reading as she entered the room.

"Have a nice walk out on deck? I think the sea air agrees with you. Your eyes are bright and shiny, your cheeks rosy . . ."

"My nose cold and moist," she interrupted. "Please, Doctor."

"If there's one thing I've always liked about you, Mika, it's your scathing sense of humour. All I was trying to say is that I have never seen you look more lovely."

Mika was actually touched by the Time Lord's kind, if uncharacteristic words. She sat down in the chair opposite. The Doctor noticed her sombre expression and put his book down.

"My dear, what is it? Is something bothering you?"

Mika hesitated. "I don't want to be here, Doctor. Why did you bring me here?"

"I told you, the Lord High Chancellor . . ."

"No," she interrupted, "that's why you are here. I am asking why you insisted on bringing me along."

He had been expecting this question for some time. "I thought perhaps I could use your help, especially since the Chancellor never told me exactly what it was I was supposed to be doing. And I was right. I doubt I could have ever discovered our purpose were it not for your 'visions'."

"Is that all?" she was sceptical.

"Not exactly. I also thought that perhaps you could use a little rest; a vacation from all the trouble and worry of your life aboard DS9."

She looked at him, her expression one of growing disbelief. "A vacation? Here, on the Titanic? Are you out of your smegging mind? Couldn't you think of someplace a bit more relaxing? Pompeii or Atlantis for example? Perhaps we should take a ride on the Hindenburg next?"

"Where's your sense of adventure? Except for the sinking bit at the end, the maiden voyage of the Titanic was one of the most relaxing, carefree, enjoyable vacations I could think of. Just concentrate on the here and now and don't worry about the tomorrow."

"That's just it, Doctor. I can't just put it out of my mind. Every time I see someone, I find myself wondering whether they made it or not; what horror did they go through when the end finally came. Especially the ones that I know died that night. All I can see are the bodies. All I can hear are the screams for help that never came. I can't separate myself from the facts. I'm already too close. That's why I want to leave, before I get any closer." Here she was referring to her growing feelings for Mr. Andrews.

The Doctor rose from the couch and came to crouch in front of Mika. He took her hand in his. "My dear," he said softly, "I never meant to cause you pain. But I still need your help. Besides, how would we explain your disappearance to Molly and your other friends? I know you're afraid of the future. What intelligent being isn't? But you have to learn to face your fears, Mika. Running from them only makes it worse."

Mika looked down into the kindly old Time Lord's face. A heavy sigh managed to escape. "I guess you're right. I just know how much it will hurt when the time finally does come."

"Don't you think I know that? But remember, that which does not kill us is a stitch in time. Or something like that."

Mika smiled and shook her head. The Doctor was always mixing his metaphors and clichés in such strange ways. However, she knew what he was trying to say.

"I can not make you stay here, Mika. But I would very much appreciate it if you did. At least give it a little more thought. Sleep on it tonight and see how you feel in the morning. All right?"

She nodded her head, and the Doctor smiled and returned to his pile of books. Mika sat there in silence for a few minutes, then rose and headed for her room to get ready for bed. Just as she was closing the door, the Doctor looked up. "Remember, too, my dear, that all work and no play makes Jack a very crabby person. Good night."

"Good night, Doctor," she said bemusedly just before closing the door.

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