First Officer's Justification

This is the begged, groveled and pleaded for companion to "Confessions of a Starship Captain", only this time, I have to use the Commander. Thanks guys!

Disclaimer: We know the drill.

"First Officers Justification"

By Mindy

Neelix and his idea's. I know why he does it and I can't fault him for the fact he wants us to have a little bit of home here so far away from it. Kathryn gladly took his offering of allowing future generations to know us. So, I'll entertain him.

I sit here, in almost dark, think about 'who am I?' Who am I? I'm almost ready to put down, "don't know anymore". How's that for an answer. But if Kathryn can do it, so can I.

A confession, a justification for just who I am. They want to know the real me, then I'll give it to them.

I was an angry warrior. Nothing satisfied me, nothing soothed me. I took no pleasure in life. I lived for the fight, lived for the taste of battle and of drank of it's blood. Not literally. I was a man who found no satisfaction with anything.

This isn't right. Who am I? I *am* a warrior. But I'm no longer empty, no longer angry. I have found peace. Peace through my work, peace through my friends, peace through the one who gave it to me. Kathryn.

But this isn't all I am. I try to be so much more. I am a voice of confidence, I am a leader. I love cold winter days. I love having discussions that last into the wee hours of the night. I like the sound that snow makes when it falls. I like how that no two sunsets are ever the same.

I love luring B'Elanna into a false sense of security when we play against each other on the holodeck's. I enjoy watching Kathryn give Tom back what he tosses out. I like how Harry seems innocent, but underneath, he's as strong as they come. I love how Neelix attaches himself to Tuvok, trying to get him to let him become an officer.

I love Kathryn's smile.

I love simple things. I like to cook. I love the sound of the hawk as it soars overhead. I like to eat apples right off the trees. And when they're sour, producing a small vial of salt to bring forth the sweetness. I miss the sound of running rivers over rocks and the pounding of the rapids.

I love a crooked smile.

Does this justify who I am? I doubt it. But I know who I am. There are a lot of different facets to me then I let others see. Do I need to justify my position, my beliefs. Do I need to justify my love for Kathryn?

No. I only need to justify it to myself and of course, Kathryn.

But only when and if she comes to me. You could say that I won't step the line until she allows it. I told her once I couldn't sacrifice a present waiting for a future that may never happen. Truth is, I can. I can wait a lifetime if necessary.

Kathryn, I think I've finally found a way to justify myself.


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