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Saturday, April 13, 1912

            The following morning, Mika slept through breakfast, missing yet another meal. She awoke around nine, but remained in bed turning various thoughts and scenarios over in her head. She had not yet made up her mind as to whether she would stay or go. Eventually, a familiar timid tap at the door made her get up out of bed. She pulled on her favourite hot pink bathrobe and let Lisette in.

            “Bon jour, Mam’selle. I thought since you missed breakfast this morning, I would bring you a little something to tide you over until lunch, no?” She set the tray down on the dresser and removed the cover to reveal pastries, smoked kippers, fresh fruit and coffee. The smell was enough to make Mika’s stomach growl.

            “I suppose I probably should eat a little,” she laughed. “You are always so thoughtful, Lisette. What would I ever do without you?”

            “Probably starve to death, Mam’selle,” she grinned.

            Mika nodded in agreement, and while she enjoyed her breakfast, Lisette busied herself tidying up the room. She made the bed and picked up Mika’s clothes from the back of the chair where she had draped them the night before. Then she went into the bathroom and cleaned it up, drawing a tub for Mika’s bath when she had done.

            Having finished with that, Lisette then bustled over to the wardrobe and threw open the doors. “What would Mam’selle like to wear today?”

            Mika, having finished her breakfast, carried her cup of coffee with her over to stand next to Lisette. “I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter I suppose,” she sighed.

            Detecting the note of despair in the Time Lord’s voice, Lisette cocked her head and studied her for a moment.

            “Mam’selle seems sad today. Is there something wrong?”

           Mika quickly smiled and tried to shrug off the awful shroud of gloom that seemed to have taken over her spirits. “No, I guess I’m just still a little tired,” she lied. “That hot bath ought to do me a world of good.”

            “Mon Dieux, the bath! I almost forgot.” Lisette dashed off to the bathroom to turn off the water before it flooded the whole suite. Mika followed.

            “You choose a dress for me to wear today. I know you have excellent taste.”

            “Oui, Mam’selle. I will choose something light and pretty to brighten your mood,” she said, scurrying back to the bedroom to lay out Mika’s clothes.

            “I doubt if it will work,” Mika said to herself as she closed the door. Then, shedding her bathrobe and nightclothes, she slipped into the hot, soothing bath.

 

 ***

 

            It was noon before Mika finally emerged from her stateroom. Lisette had chosen a simple but elegant navy blue brocade dress with a white lace blouse for Mika to wear. Her hair was down but pulled back with a pair of tortoiseshell combs Lisette had been given by her grandmother. Mika had not really wanted to go anywhere. Her mood had made her favour staying in her room all day, avoiding seeing anyone. But Lisette insisted that her mistress go out and at least get some fresh air. She had convinced Mika that if she went to lunch early, she could probably get a small table in the corner of the a la carte restaurant where she could dine relatively undisturbed. This she did.

            The young waiter had found her a small, secluded table near a window where she could look out at the passing ocean. A large potted plant partially concealed her position, making her feel as if she were in some sort of duck blind. She could see everyone else in the restaurant, but hardly anyone even knew she was there. Even the Doctor did not notice her when he entered the room with Colonel Gracie. They joined another pair of gentlemen at a table and ordered their lunch. The Doctor once again, she observed, was eating way too much. She had never seen him eat much of anything in all the time she had known him. He was obviously just trying to enjoy the experience by joining in. she must remember to tease him about getting fat when this was all over.

            She kept lunch simple, choosing only a small salad, freshly baked rolls, and some fresh strawberries and cream. She had never had the opportunity before to eat so much of her favourite fruit so was thoroughly enjoying at least that part of this whole ordeal.

            She was finished with her meal and just about to dig into a luscious piece of chocolate cheescake when her hearts skipped a beat. Just coming into the restaurant was a group of eight, what appeared to be, businessmen. At their head was none other than Thomas Andrews. This must be the group of engineers from Harland and Wolff she had read about in her research on the Titanic. Now she was trapped. The last thing she wanted right now was to see him, or, more importantly, for him to see her. That meant she would have to stay where she was behind her potted plant until they left. That could be hours the way meals were around here. She sighed and leaned back in her chair. The cheesecake did not look quite so appetising now.

            Mika was lost in thought when a bright, familiar face peered through the leaves.

            “So there you are!” Molly grinned. “What are you doing hiding back here?”

            “Shhhh! Avoiding people. Sit down, please. I don’t want to attract any attention.” Mika cleared room for her friend where she would at least be partially concealed by the plant.

            Molly was confused as she joined her friend. “Say, what’s gotten into you today? You’re as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. You ain’t hiding from me are you?”

            “No, Molly, of course not. It’s just…”

            “Isn’t that Mr. Andrews over there with a few of his pals? Is that who you’re avoiding, my dear?”

            “Well, sort of.”

            “Hey, did something happen between you two that I don’t know about?”

            The waiter came over to attend to Molly. Mika lowered her voice. “That’s none of your business, but no, I’m just feeling a bit antisocial today. That’s all.”

            Molly ordered her meal, after which the waiter scurried off. “Hmmm. There’s more to this than you’re telling. But if you want to remain mysterious, Miss Mika, then I won’t pry. Much.”

            They both laughed softly and chatted as Molly ate. Mika kept one eye on Andrews and his party as she described what had happened the night before.

            “The poor girl,” Molly shook her head in sympathy when Mika had finished her tale. “I wonder what happened to make her want to do something like that?”

            “I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. Anyway, the young man saved her. I heard that Cal invited him to dinner tonight.”

            “To make fun of him no doubt.”

            “Oh, no doubt.”

            Finally, Andrews and his group got up to leave, and Mika visibly relaxed. Then the two ladies made their own way out of the restaurant. Molly tried to talk Mika into joining her and some of the other ladies in a game of bridge, but the Time Lord steadfastly refused, saying that she did not feel to well and wanted to lie down in her cabin. Molly gave up and left her friend in front of the elevators and went in search of Madeleine Astor.

            Mika waited for the elevator, her mind a huge jumble of strange thoughts. That is why when the door opened, she did not wait for the current occupants to exit and ran straight into a man on his way out. Once again, it was Mr. Andrews. He was on his way back to the restaurant because he had forgotten his hat. But this time she only apologized and scurried off into the elevator, losing herself amongst a group of fellow travelers already ensconced within. Before Andrews really had a chance to react or even know what hit him, Mika was gone, and he thought it very strange behaviour indeed. Was it something he had said or done? He could not think of anything, but it would bother him for the rest of the day.

 

***

 

           When Mika returned finally to the relative safety of her cabin, she mentally chastised herself for behaving so childishly. All she could think of was trying to escape this nightmare. Part of her wanted to stay, to try to help these people as much as she was allowed, and to get to know Mr. Andrews better. But another part of her knew what lie in store and was not prepared to face that terror and heartbreak.

            She walked over to the wardrobe and opened the doors. Pushing aside the clothes that were hanging there, she revealed a hidden door at the back. This was the entrance to her TARDIS. Using the key she kept on a chain about her neck, she opened this door and went inside. Already she felt better here, surrounded by the familiar white light and humming walls of electronic equipment. She approached the large, hexagonal centre control console and activated a few controls. Nothing happened. Then she spotted a small, yellow note card carefully placed on a view screen where she would be sure to see it. It was from the Doctor. He had regretfully been forced to disable her controls, fearing that she would try to leave before their business here was finished. Damn him, she thought.

            She tried everything she could think of to try to override the Doctor’s sabotage, but to no avail. She slammed her fist down on the edge of the console. She was stuck here. She sighed and returned to her room on the Titanic where she threw herself down on her bed and cried herself to sleep.

 

***

 

            A gentle hand on her shoulder shook Mika awake. She looked up to see Lisette’s sweet face bending over her saying something about getting ready for dinner. She sat up and rubbed the sleep from her puffy eyes trying to make sense out of what the French girl was saying.

            “Forgive me for disturbing you, but Madame Brown came by and wanted to come in here herself, but I told her that Mam’selle was not feeling well. She said she would be back to collect you for dinner so I thought I had better wake you. You are not angry with me no?”

            “No, of course not, Lisette. Thank you for waking me. I didn’t mean to sleep that long anyway.”

            “You are going to dinner then? Madame Brown said that she would drag you there in your underwear if she had to.”

            This brought a smile to Mika’s face. She could just see Molly doing it too. She sighed and got up. She walked over to the mirror and stared at her tired reflection. Well, if she was stuck here she supposed she might as well make the best of it.

            “I look ghastly,” she said aloud to herself.

            “No, Mam’selle, just go and wash your face and I will help you dress.” Lisette gently nudge her towards the bathroom door where Mika did as she was told. “Do you feel any better now, Mam’selle?” I know you were a little down this morning. If you told me what was bothering you maybe I could help you, no?”

            Mika emerged, a towel in one hand drying her face. She did feel some better, and the young French maid’s concern was touching. “I don’t exactly know what it was that got me down, Lisette. Fear, perhaps. Or anticipation even. I don’t’ know.” She sat down at the dresser and began to brush her hair. Lisette came over and took the brush from her and continued the task.

            “Your hair is so beautiful, Mam’selle Mika. I never get tired of brushing it.”

            They remained wordless in this manner for some minutes.

            Mika eventually broke the silence.

            “What do you know of Mr. Andrews?” she asked Lisette, trying to sound casual.

            “Mr. Andrews? Oh, he is a very nice man. Funny, too. He always jokes with the maids and stewards, treating us like equals. He is what I would call a true gentleman.” She paused and watched Mika’s reflection in the mirror. “He is very handsome too, n’est ce pas? But he has eyes only for his ship.”

            Mika looked puzzled. “What makes you bring that up?”

            Lisette gave an understanding smile and, ignoring her, continued. Now she knew what had been troubling her mistress so: she was in love with Mr. Andrews but was afraid to admit it, even to herself. She could tell this just by watching Mika, for Lisette was French, and what is there about love that the French do not know?

            “But perhaps if some beautiful young woman were to capture his attention long enough… but, no. I do not think there is anyone here capable of doing such a thing.”

            She smiled coyly as Mika turned around to confront her.

            “Just what are you getting at? Is it that obvious?”

            “Only to me, Mam’selle.” Lisette put down the brush and crouched down to Mika’s eye level. “I think love is a wonderful thing. And I think he is a wonderful man and you are a wonderful woman. I can think of no other people better matched.”

            Mika turned back around and stared at herself in the mirror. “I haven’t been in love for cen… for a very long time, and I’d rather it stayed that way.”

            “What are you afraid of?”

            “Nothing. Everything. I’ve learned over the years that you don’t get hurt if you avoid falling in love in the first place.”

            “But, Mam’selle, you cannot avoid the good just to escape the bad. You cannot have pleasure without pain , this is true. But, say something were to happen to Mr. Andrews. Even now, you would still be hurt, but without ever knowing what a joy it was to know him, to be with him, to feel his arms about you, his lips upon yours… The only thing you can run away from is the pleasure. The pain will follow you wherever you go.”

            Mika sat there, staring at the mirror, reflecting on this simple girl’s words.

            “You are very wise for so young a girl, Lisette. And you’re absolutely right.” Mika rose and, smiling broadly, gave the girl a thankful hug. Lisette returned her smile.

            “You are going to do it then?”

            “So, what do you think it will take to steal his attention away from his precious ship?”

            Now this was more like it. “A very beautiful woman like yourself, and perhaps a very beautiful dress.” She opened the wardrobe door and studied its contents. She pulled out one dress and held it up for Mika to see. “Like this one perhaps? No?”

            Mika considered it for a moment. “No. I have a better idea. Now turn around and close your eyes. Just do it,” she added as Lisette looked skeptical. “You’ll have to trust me on this one. Now don’t peek. Stay there until I say it’s ok.”

            When she was certain that Lisette was not looking, Mika entered her TARDIS and emerged a moment later carrying a large, flat white box.

            “All right, you can look now.” She laid the box on the end of the bed and began to open it. Lisette gasped in awe as inside lay the most beautiful dress she had ever seen. Mika pulled it out and held it up to herself.

            “Mam’selle it is magnifique! I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my life.”

            The dress was stunning. It consisted of two layers of fabric. The bottom layer was of a lavender silk, down to the floor in the style of the period. The second layer was of a sheer white material, the bottom edge tapering unevenly from just below the left hip to a slight train at the right. On this layer was the most exquisite beadwork. Clusters of deep violet crystal beads, like thousands of tiny faceted iridescent amethysts adorned the scalloped edge of the skirt, along the low, scalloped neckline, and the short sleeve caps at the shoulders. Thousands of tiny clear, diamond-like beads were scattered in small star-shaped patterns all over the rest of the sheer layer. It was absolutely magnificent, a true work of the dressmaker’s art.

            “Wherever did Mam’selle get such a dress?”

            “It was made especially for me by some special tailors I once helped out of a difficult situation. I had completely forgotten about it. You don’t think it’s too fancy do you?”

            “Oh, no. It is perfect.”

            Mika pulled matching shoes out of the box as well and began to dress. Before long she was standing in front of the mirror admiring what she saw. There was a knock at the door and Lisette went to let Molly in.

            For once in her life, Molly Brown was speechless when she saw Mika in that dress. The first words she finally managed sent all three women into paroxysms of laughter.

            “Now that’s a man trap if I ever saw one!”

            “You don’t think it’s too flashy, do you, Molly?”

            “There won’t be a man on the ship that doesn’t notice you, deary. But, there’s time a wastin’. We’d better get going.”

            Lisette helped Mika put her hair up, leaving a few strategically placed stray curls dangling about her face, and secured it with a lovely silver comb. It had a spray of diamonds on it arranged in what no one but Mika knew was the constellation of her home planet. She slipped on the silk shoes and, with one last check in the mirror, joined Molly in leaving for the dinner, saying good night and thank you to Lisette for all her help.

            Lisette waved happily as she watched them go, then said a little prayer in French for her mistress’ happiness.

 

***

 

            As the two women made their way to the first class dining room, Molly described how she had been walking on the promenade deck with Ruth and the Countess of Rothes when they had run into Rose and the young man who had helped her the night before. His name was Jack Dawson, and he was a third class passenger apparently on his way home to America . Molly said that she had liked the handsome young fellow right away. It seems he had been teaching Rose how to spit when the ladies passed by. Since the poor boy had been invited to dinner that evening, Molly had decided to take him under her wing, so to speak, and lend him one of her son’s dinner suits she had purchased during her travels abroad. It had fit Jack almost perfectly. Molly said she’d be damned if she’d let Cal and the rest of the snobby vultures take advantage of a boy who had only done them a favour. Mika agreed and asked where he was now. Molly replied that she had sent him on ahead while she went to drag Miss Smith out of her room to dinner.

            Then it was Molly’s turn to question Mika about her dress and her apparent change of heart. Mika then told her of her talk with Lisette and the little French maid’s infinite wisdom in affairs of the heart.

            When they reached the top of the Grand Staircase, Mika began to have second thoughts and refused to go any further.

            “Come on,” said Molly. “What’s the holdup?”

            “I can’t, Molly. I can’t go on. This dress, it’s too much. Everyone is staring at me.” Mika was slowly backing towards the exit.

            “Nonsense. They’re staring because they have never seen anyone as beautiful as you before. Now come on. I’m sure everybody else is already downstairs waiting on us.”

            Molly grabbed her arm and began to usher her towards the stairs. They managed to make it down to the first landing when a group of gentlemen engaged in conversation earlier came into view. It was the same group of engineers they had seen earlier at lunch, and Mr. Andrews was with them.

            Mika pulled her arm out of Molly’s strong grasp and headed back up the stairs.

            “You go on without me. I’ll join you later.”

            Molly went after her and caught her before she got very far. “Oh, no you don’t young lady. This is working out perfectly.” Molly held her still as the group of men broke up, the engineers continuing down their journey down the staircase. Andrews hesitated and looked up, catching sight of Molly. He smiled and, calling out a greeting, began to make his way towards her when he caught sight of Mika and froze in his tracks.

            Molly quickly moved behind the nervous Time Lord and gave her a gentle shove in the shipbuilder’s general direction. “Now’s your big chance,” she whispered in her ear. “Try to act as beautiful as you look. Don’t be nervous, just be yourself. I’ll see you downstairs.” Mika watched in mounting terror as Molly abandoned her to her fate.

            When Molly got to the bottom of the flight where Andrews stood, she winked and gave him his own little nudge to get him going in Mika’s direction.

            ‘Get a hold of yourself you smeghead,’ Mika said to herself. ‘What are you afraid of? It’s just dinner and he’s just a guy.’ Feeling somewhat better, she took a deep breath and tried to be as charming as she knew how. She tried to think of all the movies and holovids that she had seen where the glamorous leading lady makes a big entrance down the centre stage staircase, sort of like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. Then she began her descent and prayed that she did not fall flat on her face.

            Andrews finally managed to move and rushed to meet her halfway. He took her hand and kissed it most graciously.

            “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as beautiful as you are at this moment, Miss Smith,” he said softly, looking straight into her brilliant violet eyes.

            “You obviously don’t get out much, do you?” she smiled. That broke the ice a little and they both laughed timidly. “Thank you, though.”

            “I would be most honoured if you would allow me the pleasure of escorting you to dinner,” he said.

            Mika gave him her most captivating smile. “The pleasure would be all mine, Mr. Andrews.” Then she took his proffered arm and allowed him to lead her the rest of the way down the Titanic’s Grand Staircase.

            One would have thought Andrews was escorting the Queen of England herself that night, so enamoured was he with the lovely Time Lord. All of upper class society’s eyes were upon him for once as he entered the first class dining saloon with Mika on his arm. He introduced her to friends and acquaintances as they made their way towards their table. Even Captain Smith was much impressed by Mika’s appearance.

            Finally, and much to Mika’s relief for she was still squirming a bit under all the attention she was getting, they reached their table. Molly was already there, having met up with Jack and Rose on her way down earlier. Mika sat beside her partner in crime, while Andrews sat to Mika’s right, next to Rose. Among the others at the table were Cal, Ruth, the Duff-Gordons, Mr. Guggenheim and his mistress, the Colonel, Mr. Ismay, the Countess of Rothes, and, finally, Jack. Ismay even forgot to be paranoid, as he failed to recognize Mika at first.

            Meals in first class were huge elaborate affairs consisting of seven or eight courses, and could last often for hours at a time. Tonight was no exception. Thankfully, for Mika, the novelty of Jack joining them this evening served to focus most of their attention away from her and onto him and Rose. Ruth was dogging him relentlessly, making sure that everyone knew right were he stood in relation to them. To her he was mere pond scum, not worthy to clean her shoes, let alone have anything to do with her daughter. Yet, Rose seemed fascinated by this simple lad and his simple philosophy of taking life as it comes, making every moment count. Mika considered this for awhile. Though she agreed wholeheartedly with Jack, perhaps she had been neglecting to put this belief into practice. She made a promise to herself to remember this in the future.

            As the meal progressed, so did the topics of conversation. Eventually, Molly began telling her usual tall tales, ending up with the one about hiding the money in the stove and her husband coming home drunk and lighting a fire. Now, Mika knew this was mostly hogwash. There was money, but it was not a fortune, and it was all in coin so it was not really harmed. But, Molly always did have a talent for stretching the truth into a most entertaining story.

            This last story signaled the end of dinner and a most pleasant evening. The men, as was their custom, departed for the smoking room to enjoy brandies and cigars and discuss politics and business. It all sounded dreadfully boring to Mika. But so did staying with the women to gossip. She watched with interest as Jack, who had to return to steerage, passed Rose a small slip of paper as he bid her goodnight. She smiled and winked at Rose as she, after having waited until Jack was sufficiently out of sight, followed him up the stairs. When she was gone, Mika leaned over to Molly and gave her a friendly punch on the arm.

            She had noticed Jack returning the telescoping pencil to the would-be matchmaker.

            Mika was smiling, though, and Molly knew she was only teasing. “Shame on you, Molly. She’s engaged and you’re encouraging them.”

            Andrews did not customarily join the other gentlemen in the smoking lounge, but instead usually returned to his cabin to work, sometimes late into the night. This evening, however, he had other things on his mind. He rose and addressed Mika.

            “Would you like me to escort you back to your cabin, or would you, perchance, like to take a stroll out on deck?”

            Mika thought for a moment before answering. “I think a stroll sounds nice. I could do with some fresh air.”

            He took her by the hand and helped her out of her seat. They bid the rest of the ladies goodnight and began making their way out of the dining saloon. Just before they were out of sight, Mika cast a glance back and made a face at Molly who was winking at her most suggestively.

 

Arm in arm, they made their way out onto the boat deck. The night air was chilly, but Mika did not feel it, and she told him as much when he asked if she wanted a coat. She told Andrews that she was used to the cold because where she came from was always cold with ice and snow on the ground. When he asked her just where that was, all she would say was that it was someplace far, far away that he had never heard of.

They ambled slowly along the boat deck in this manner for some time, discussing many things, mostly Andrews' life and how he came to build Titanic. Mika avoided the subject of her life as best as she could, steering him subtlely around the subject like a skilled sailor avoids a coral reef. Eventually, they stopped to gaze out over the ocean. Mika leaned against the rail and stared up into the moonless night. The field of stars was incredible. They Milky Way was thick and bright above them.

"Look," she cried, pointing to the sky, "a shooting star. Quick, make a wish." She closed her eyes and made her wish.

Andrews looked down at her starlit face. For a brief second, it seemed to him that she did not look like anyone he had ever seen before; that she was not of this world. But that was nonsense, he thought, of course she is. What else could she be? An angel, perhaps, sent to watch over them? Or, perhaps she was a traveller from another world, for Andrews believed in such things even if others did not. To him, it was more of a mathematical probability, an issue of common sense to believe that man was not alone in the universe.

Mika opened her eyes and smiled softly. Her violet eyes seemed to glow with their own inner radiance, enhancing the otherworldly effect. "What did you wish?" he asked her.

"Now, Thomas, you know that if I tell you it won't come true," she grinned.

"Not even a hint?"

She shook her head, refusing to give in, even though she knew it would not come true. No matter what she did, the Titanic and all aboard her were still doomed.

"What did you wish for?" she returned.

"Nothing," he replied. "I have everything I could ever want right here."

Mika turned and looked at Andrews. Outwardly she was calm, if a little nervous, still. But inwardly her emotions were screaming in a way that they had not done for a very, very long time, if ever. She could sense that his were too. If he would only give in and take her in his arms.

"By that do you mean the ship?"

"That, and . . ." Here he hesitated for a moment, still unsure of Mika's feelings. "You."

Mika smiled warmly and said softly, "I know exactly what you mean." She was maintaining her composure well, after all, this was 1912 and proper gentlemen, such as Mr. Andrews, had to do these things, well, properly. She was trying to be patient, even though inside she was screaming things like 'just kiss me, dammit! what are you waiting for!'

She looked up at him, her eyes as inviting and full of longing as she could manage. Perhaps she should venture just a little something to break the surface tension.

"That is why I did not wish for anything for myself." Nervously, she took his hand in hers. "That wish is already being fulfilled."

Slowly, a warm, nervous, smile spread across his face. Suddenly, he could stand it no longer and he took her in his arms and kissed her, tentatively at first, but with growing passion and feeling. For Mika, it was about time he did something like that. She felt as if a huge warm, glowing sun had just burst from behind the clouds to envelop her frozen soul. Her hearts were pounding so hard she was afraid that they might leap right out of her body. She was covered in goose bumps from her head to her toes, and she wished this moment would never, ever end. But, unfortunately, she knew it would, and once again, she was afraid.

She found herself pulling away. She turned around and hugged herself as if she were suddenly feeling the cold air.

Andrews was confused and worried that somehow he had offended her.

"What is it? Is something wrong?" he asked hesitantly.

Mika shook her head. "It's nothing," she said quickly. "I'm just a little overwhelmed, that's all."

He looked down at his hands. "Are you not pleased with me? Would you rather that I left you alone? "

Mika turned back around quickly. "No, it's not that. Oh, Thomas, I love you. I have ever since we first ran into each other, only I didn't realize until tonight just how much."

He looked deep into her eyes, searching for a reason for her strange behaviour. There he saw tears and a pain deeper than any ocean and older than time itself. This puzzled him even more. Questions he had never considered seriously before began to surface in his mind, and they demanded answers.

"Then what is troubling you? You should be happy. I know I'm happier than I have ever been in my entire life."

Mika smiled sadly. "I'm glad. You deserve to be happy."

"And you don't? Is that what you feel?"

Mika just shrugged. She couldn't hide her feelings, but neither could she tell him the truth. She really did not know what to do. She also knew that, even in the short time they had left, she would eventually have to answer the questions she knew were just below the surface of his thoughts. The questions about who she was and where she was from. But she would burn that bridge when she crossed it, to borrow one of the Doctor's screwed up clichés.

"I guess maybe I'm just afraid. I've been on my own for so long, I really don't know how I'm supposed to feel."

"Just follow your heart. That's what I'm doing."

Mika smiled and blinked back the tears. "I love you," was all she could think of to say.

Andrews took her in his arms and held her tightly. She buried her face in his shoulder and tried very hard not to cry. She held onto him as if she were afraid to let go. In her mind, she once again saw the end, which was now less than twenty-four hours away. This time she did not fight it, but let it engulf her. She was safe here, in his strong arms, and it was only a harmless vision . . . for now. He felt her shudder as she saw the water rising over the deck, people running and screaming, fighting for space on too few lifeboats. She was running, searching for Thomas, but he was nowhere to be found. The Doctor was not there either. She saw a pair of officers trying to fend off what amounted to a desperate mob. One of them had a gun in his hand and instinctively fired it as a man tried to jump him. Then another man came forward and he too, was shot. This silenced the crowd for a moment. Then the officer with the gun, with a shocked calmness, saluted to the other officer and put the gun to his own temple and fired. Mika only caught a brief glimpse of this man, but she instantly recognized him. The shock brought her out of her trance where Andrews' words could not.

"Will!" she gasped and pulled away, out of breath from her experience.

Andrews was confused. "What happened? Are you all right?"

Mika found that she was shaking. She decided that perhaps it would be best to at least tell him about the visions.

She took a deep breath and sat down on a nearby bench. "You probably won't believe me, but sometimes I have these visions, premonitions, if you will, of the future. They just come over me all of a sudden and I cannot control them. They're usually very quick and brief, but sometimes they're a lot worse. They are harmless, just a bit disconcerting sometimes."

He sat down beside her and took her hand. It was surprisingly warm for the air was getting cold. "I believe you. What was it about? You seem very upset about it?"

"I'd prefer to just forget about it for now, please."

"Of course," he nodded.

She put her arms about him and once again felt safe and secure. After several minutes, Mika began to feel better. She pulled back a bit and looked up at the stars once more.

Andrews was the first to break the silence.

"What are you thinking, Mika?"

She smiled and motioned towards the sky.

"Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sail among the stars? Or to meet someone from another planet?" She desperately wanted to tell him everything, so she was fishing for some indication of his current beliefs and susceptibility. "Do you believe in such things, Thomas?" Mika looked at him and studied his reaction carefully.

He thought for a moment, carefully weighing his response. "Mathematically speaking, it would be foolish to think that we here on this planet were the only intelligent life in the universe." He paused to see if she was going to take him seriously or not. Views such as his were not readily accepted in this day and age.

Mika just smiled. "But what about your beliefs, not mathematically speaking?"

He thought for a moment. "I suppose it could be possible. But highly unlikely. What is all this about, anyway?"

Mika sighed inwardly. She supposed it would have to wait. "Nothing." She stood and turned to look at Andrews, still sitting on the bench. She swallowed and held out her hands for his. She grasped them tightly and closed her eyes . . . searching her mind for any trace of his future. But she could see nothing, only darkness. She simply could not envisage a life for him beyond the next night.

She opened her eyes and sighed heavily.

"What is it? Did you see something else?" he asked, his brow creased with a mixture of wonder and concern.

She brought his big, strong, yet gentle hands to her lips and kissed them sadly. She smiled as best she could and pulled him to his feet.

She shook her head slightly. "I didn't see anything," she said truthfully. "Why don't we just enjoy this little time we have together without worrying about anything else? This voyage will be over before we know it." (Ain't that the truth! she added in her head.)

He smiled and hugged her warmly. Then she laced her arm through his and they continued their stroll in silence, each reflecting upon the other.

Eventually, they began talking about many things as they covered the entire length of the ship and back. But always, Mika was careful to avoid the subject of the future. It was nearly morning before Andrews escorted her back to her cabin and they finally said goodnight.

Mika went quietly into her room and closed the door, waiting silently until she could no longer hear his soft footfalls upon the carpet outside. Then she quickly undressed and slipped into bed. There she lay thinking about the whole evening and what lie ahead only a few hours from now. Eventually, she let her tears rock her to sleep

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