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There Is An End To Everything

Posted on Mar 29, 2017 @ 12:08pm by Commander Jacob Crichton & Ambassador Xana Bonviva
Edited on on Mar 29, 2017 @ 12:09pm

Mission: In Place of God

“There is an End to Everything”
(continued from “New Points of View”)

From: Xana Bonviva
To: Jacob Crichton, Commander, Executive Officer -- USS PHOENIX
Subject: Final paperwork

Jake -

I have some final paperwork regarding the children I’d like to review with you before I leave. Also, I had a favor to ask of you. I understand you may not be able to meet before I go. If that’s the case I’ll send everything to your terminal.



Scene: Xana Bonviva’s temporary quarters
TI: Prior to the events scene in “New Points of View”

Xana Bonviva sat at her own her terminal re-reading the message. Raising her fingers to her temples, she tried to will away the throbbing that came from the stress and lack of sleep to re-read the message, ignoring the pin-pricking sensation that was at the tips of her fingers.

There were good days, and bad days; today was definitely starting out as a bad day with the lack of sleep and the annoying pain. Still she pressed on, knowing from experience that nothing helped at this point.

Re-reading the message for a second and then third time she realized what was bothering her. Impending divorce forced her to be honest; not only with herself but now with Jake. There were some unresolved issues.

Sighing she tapped the keyboard and removed the word “love”.

Not every thought had to be uttered, or in this case written out.

Sending the message she packed her bag and saw that Jake wrote her back indicating he could meet her after his shift. That worked out well for her as she was due to meet Michael Kane for lunch.

Combing back her hair into a knot, the rings on her left hand flashed in the light. Lowering her hand she studied her left hand. She had left on these rings for *years*; from when she had gotten married, when she was pregnant and her fingers looked blue sausages, all the years when Jake was gone and only came home for brief stays between deployments…

Sighing she moved her right hand over her left hand and slid off the rings. Twirling the rings on her fingertips, the azure woman sighed and dropped them into her bag.

Time to be honest.

TI: After “New Points of View”

Xana was sitting in her quarters organizing some PADDs when the chime rang. Walking over to the door, she was not surprised this time to see Jake Crichton standing on the other side of it. “Come in,” she said holding out an arm.

Instantly, the azure woman noted that when Jake came into the room she felt at *home* even more so than she was at the Bonviva Villa or the GATEWAY, the two places she mentally referred to as home. This was home -- this feeling of comfort that spread, even now as they were about to have an awful conversation.

That feeling was going to have to die, she thought to herself. Then she frowned at the unfortunate wording.

“Obviously if you want something, help yourself,” she said point to the replicator, while she walked across the room. Sitting in a club chair she looked at the two PADDs that she had on the small table trying to sort out what she had to talk through. “I have some documents to go through but it might be easier...well...I have a favor to ask of you first. It will help explain all this anyway.”

Jake sat down on a nearby chair. “Okay.”

“I know you don’t want me talking to the crew,” she began. Holding up a hand in a bid for patience she said, “Fine. But I’d like to talk to Dr. Andersson one or two more times, just to wrap up something personal. I saw her before you and I...spoke last night. Originally Dr. Andersson and I thought we could work together and obviously in light of how you feel that’s not going to be possible but she was hopeful she could help me out. Obviously I don’t want to distract her from a mission but she’s so far the only one willing to help me and she seemed, well I don’t want to say optimistic, but sure of herself--”

Jake leaned in at that. “Xana, what is this about?”

The Human/Bolian woman inhaled at that, the dreaded moment having come. “Sometime during the Incursion of Bolarus I noticed some odd things, but I figured it was just being part of battle; honestly so did all the medics. Then after I got back to Earth, I didn’t have much time there but I did see a doctor who explained I would need more tests but there seemed to be genetic abnormalities. Then we got to Vulcan, and I had to start all over. The problem was, the Vulcan facilities...well they’re not used to seeing Bolian/Human patients. So when I knew I’d be traveling, I wanted to try to get on a Starfleet vessel--”

“--so you could get another opinion,” Jake finished off. He nodded to himself, he could understand it, even if the irony of it being the ship where he was the Executive Officer wasn’t lost on him. “What did Dr. Andersson say?”

“I have a genetic mispairing, similar to Spinocerebellar Ataxia in Humans but it’s attacking my Bolian genetic structure,” Xana explained. Seeing Jake’s face she smiled wryly and for a moment it felt like old times, “Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either but basically it’s a progressive neurological and muscular disease although it can impact cognitive abilities down the road.” Shrugging she said, “It’s moving faster than Dr. Andersson was comfortable was with which is why I wanted to talk to her, just once or twice more, that’s all. I recognize her first duty is to the ship, and I’m not trying to distract her from that. I just want my records, and she said something about some tests. That’s all.”

Looking at the PADDs she found what she was looking for as Jake mulled through what she said, “Here, this is it.” Passing it over she said, “Look, I wanted to make sure you had this, once you sign the divorce papers, this will go into effect. It’s the access to all my medical records with regards to this. And of course my will and custody papers have been filed and you’re obviously listed first for the kids so we’re good there--”

Jake just stared at her. “What are you talking about?”

Xana gave him a look. “Jake...I thought you understood. This is a progressive disease. I know Dr. Andersson felt like she had some good ideas but even if...look best case scenario patients who first start showing signs of this disease only have 10-20 years left, and my genes are attacking far more rapidly.”

“Twenty years,” Jake repeated.

“Ten years, maybe,” Xana pointed out.

Jake thought about that. Ten years was a long time. Except…”Ben would only be 16 going on 17,” he said, sitting back as if the words physically hit him.

“That’s if I get the full 10 years,” she said. For a moment she longed to crawl over to the seat where Jake was and have him hold her; she was so damned tired. Not just physically but emotionally. She was tired of having to fix things, make things better. She just wanted to be held for a few minutes and have that be enough. Instead she rubbed a hand over her face and said, “Take whatever time you need, I put a lot on you today but I thought I should be honest.”

Jake could only sit there, gobsmacked. He’d spent the last few days coming to terms with the reality of his divorce from Xana, and the shaky acceptance he’d managed to arrive at had been a hard won victory. Now, the field had changed again, upended everything Jake thought he understood about the situation. A million questions flashed through his mind, crowding each other out for space: What treatment options were available? What would happen to the kids? Where would they stay, if Xana’s condition deteriorated? Who would be there to take care of them?

“Jake,” Xana said. “Say something. Please.”

“You… you should have told me,” Jake said quietly.

“I didn’t know,” Xana said. “I promise.”

Jake turned and searched her face. She was looking at him, her eye shining and once again on the verge of tears. Jake had come to hate making her cry, and yet it seemed all he could do anymore.

“I believe you,” he said.

Xana nodded, and looked relieved. They didn’t need another thing to fight about.

Jake slowly let out a breath. “But god. This… everything’s different.”

What do you mean?”

Jake stood up, took a few uncertain steps. His knees felt weak. He turned back to look at her, and Xana saw that tears had appeared in his eyes too.

“I was going to tell you,” Jake said, his voice shaking. “After we… after I left your quarters the other night, I thought a lot about what you’d said. And I realized I was being unfair to you, dragging this out.”

Xana knew where this was going immediately. She silently raged at Jake not to finish, to never tell her the end of this particular story. Another part of her, a piece deep inside that Xana would not swear to but felt just the same, felt as though some great psychic weight was being lifted away.

“I signed the papers,” Jake said. “I transmitted them before I came up here.”

Xana thought she took the news well, all things considered. All at once, it felt as though someone had vented the atmosphere from the room, but she maintained a mask of relative calm. A few tears spilled over his cheeks, but that was all, and what did a few tears matter anyway?

“So,” she said. “It’s done.”

“It isn’t too late,” Jake said, resuming his seat on the couch next to her. “We can contact the Federation recorder’s office, annul the divorce agreement. I’m sure we both sign off, we can void the-”

Xana knew the “bargaining” stage of acceptance when she saw it. She supposed she was glad that Jake had seemed to skip past anger, though she understood human nature well enough to know that anger was easy enough to go back to when all other opportunities had been exhausted.

“”No,” she said, shaking her head.

“No? What are you talking about?”

“No,” Xana repeated. “It was hard enough getting this far. And I won’t have you staying with me out of guilt.”

“I’m not leaving you to deal with this alone,” Jake said.

“I’m not alone,” Xana said. “I have my own support structures, just like you have yours. I don’t need you to take care of me.”

“I don’t care,” Jake said. “You’re my family, and I’m not-”

“If it didn’t matter before, it won’t now,” Xana said. Jake’s mouth dropped open; Xana hated the expression on his face, but she couldn’t ignore the truth. “I’m not on death’s door, Jake. I have time, and it’s time I intend to use. You… need Starfleet in your life, I understand that. And that isn’t going to stop being true just because I’m…”

She let out a shaky breath. “Just because I’m sick.”

Jake shook his head. “Bullshit.”

“We’ve done this before,” Xana said, falling backwards into the couch cushion. She felt very tired. “You’ll be very noble as you sacrifice for what you think is the good of your wife and children, and you’ll hate every second. And I…”

She trailed off. Jake looked at her, and saw she was silently crying.

“Hey,” Jake said. He reached for her. It felt natural to do that. Xana let Jake collect her into his arms, pull her close. She cried against his neck, as he ran his hands gently through her white hair.

“Come on,” Jake said. “What is it?”

“I don’t want you to… *resent* me,” Xana said, against his neck. “I don’t want you to… to *wish* I would…”

“Hey,” Jake said, holding her at arm’s length. “Hey. Look at me.”

She looked. His expression was hard, but terrified. It reminded her of the way he’d so often looked during the war, when the Dominion might blast their lives apart at any moment.

“I would *never* think that,” Jake said. “I swear, on my life, I would *never*.”

She leaned up and caressed his cheek. “But I would resent myself,” she said softly.

Jake swallowed the lump in his throat. Leaning in he touched his forehead to hers and let his hands rest on her neck where her pulse beat rapidly, in the Bolian courtship initiation tradition. “How do we do this?” he asked.

“I have a few days on the ship. I will continue to see Dr. Andersson,” Xana said patiently. “I think you should talk to the kids when you can. I know you’re busy but...they need to hear from you whenever you can make time.”

“They need their mother,” Jake pointed out.

Xana smiled wanly at that. “They’re stuck with me. But Benito isn’t skipping school, Dahila didn’t shave her head, Erika isn’t looking into go-go dancer opportunities and Gavi didn’t decide to hightail it out of there out of love for me.” Now she swallowed the lump in her throat. “It’s because I’m not enough for them. I know you’re busy, they know it too. But you all will need each other, they don’t know about this but they will need you and you will need them.”

Jake sighed, his mind going to the piles of work he had on his desk...the personnel reports...the impending trip to the Neutral Zone...whatever else would be thrown at the PHOENIX’s way not to mention whatever else the crew decided to do…

And then he looked into her violet eyes and they weren’t teary for what felt like the first time in 24 hours. They were wide, calm, and patient as she stared at him waiting to make a decision. “Ok, I’ll try to call the kids more. If we get to a spacedock, and I know I’m going to be there yeah we can figure out how you can bring them more often obviously.”

Xana nodded at that, relief making her shoulders slump. “Erika can bring them, she’s getting old enough.” When Jake gave her a look she shook her head and fidgeted on the couch but Jake’s arms anchored her to her spot so she couldn’t bounce up like she wanted to. “I’m not coming back to the PHOENIX. Once I go to BOLARUS IX, I mean it, there’s no reason for the two of us to see each other anymore.”

Jake tried to move past the finality in her statement. He wanted to point out the very obvious fact that Xana couldn’t bend the universe to her will, let alone Starfleet, despite the fact she thought she could. “Why?” he asked instead.

She looked at him with a mixture of “Isn’t this obvious” and gallows humor. “Look at this whole trip. Look at us. I mean I guess there’s no “us” but...this is not who we were. I’d rather--I don’t know how to say it. But I don’t want to dread every trip the kids have.”

Jake sighed at that. “There’s no reason for you not to come--”

“Jake, what did you think a *divorce* meant?” Xana pointed out, her voice soft.

“We have kids together.” The Executive Officer sighed and leaned back on the couch and noted that his wife -- no, his *ex-wife* -- followed along and leaned herself on top of him, ignoring her question.

“And you will have all the access to them you want, as often as you want,” Xana promised. “We divorced each other. We’re stuck with the hellions of the known universe.”

“Hey, now that’s not nice,” Jake replied, as he grinned into her hair.

“Hey, now I think they enjoy that title,” Xana parried back from the crook of his neck.

They sat like that a long time, just wrapped up in each other’s arms, enjoying the warmth and comfort that they had been denied due to distance, and if they had to be honest to themselves being wrapped up in their own lives and less focused on their marriage. A fleeting thought entered Jake’s mind making him wonder who had been on the side of their marriage, and it depressed him to realize that neither one of them really had been.

Xana began to shift from her position and she lifted her head to see Jake giving her a quizzical look. “You going?” he asked.

The azure woman smiled at that. “We’re in *my* quarters,” she teased. “Where would I be going?”

Jake rolled his pale blue eyes. “I *know* that. What I meant was--”

Suddenly Xana laughed, really laughed, and it felt good, like the way things used to be between them. She forgot about fighting, and who was doing their fair share, and the general stress of life. Leaning forward, while Jake was sputtering that yes, he did very well understand they were in her quarters and he was just asking a simple question -- Xana Bonviva kissed her ex-husband.

After that there was no more fighting, or any other talking for that matter.


They lay in bed, side by side, uncovered by the bed sheets, which had all been shoved haphazardly down towards the foot of the mattress. They were holding hands.

Jake lingered at the edge of sleep, but his thoughts were troubled by what Xana had told him. She was dying; her disease was slow moving, and treatment could extend her life considerably, but the simple truth was that Xana’s days in this universe had suddenly, significantly, been numbered.

What was also true was that she was right; her dying was not the kind of crisis situation Jake Crichton was trained to deal with. If these had been her final hours, Jake would have shone; by her side, the omnipresent dutiful husband, shouldering a galaxy of burdens in his devotion to his wife. Jake could *soar* - she’d always loved that in him - and even when the task at hand felt impossible, Jake had always had a knack for finding a way.

But illness wasn’t catastrophe, at least not in the literal sense. There were no fires to put out, no clever circumvention of mechanics to carry the day. The simple truth was Xana’s body was going to fail her. Time might be bought, haggled for against such morbidly heavy considerations as “quality of life”, but in the end this was not a problem that could be solved with Jake’s signature combination of intelligence and dash. This was *life*, for the long haul, and that was the place where Jake had always come up short. He could abandon his career, after all this - and even that, “abandon”, that was a rather melodramatic term, wasn’t it? - to be by Xana’s side for the time she had left. But that could be a long time… and this consideration seemed only to lead to a rather ghoulish follow-up: if Jake was going to put his career on hold to be with his wife (**ex-wife,** he reminded himself), exactly how long an interlude was that going to be?

Asking the question made Jake feel like shit, so he pushed it away. This wasn’t about what he was feeling anyway, he told himself. This was about what Xana was going through. The important thing was that he be there for her. It felt good to remind himself of this, even as some quiet voice inside whispered that he’d be stir crazy after six months.

“You’re like a constellation,” Xana said, cutting through the comfortable silence that had settled over them. Jake, still drowsing, turned to her.


“That’s where I’ll always imagine you,” Xana murmured. It sounded like she’d been half-asleep herself. “Among the stars. Like a constellation.”

“You won’t have to imagine,” Jake said. He turned to face her, and ran his hand along a strand of white hair that had tumbled across Xana’s face. “Turns out we’re even worse at being divorced than we were at being married.”

“Practice makes perfect.” Xana sighed. “I meant what I said before.”

“About what?”

“I won’t be coming aboard again.” Xana sat up, and smiled softly down at Jake. “Maybe you’ll come to me. I hope… I think you will, before… well, before. But I won’t come back to you, not anymore. I… can’t.”

Now Jake sat up. “So what was this?”

“This was goodbye, I think,” Xana said. “Not forever. We have the kids, it’s not like we’ll never talk again, but...”

“But this is the last time we’re ‘us’,” Jake finished.

“I don’t know,” Xana said. “I think so.”

They leaned against each other, each of them staring out into the middle distance, as if in reverence of all the good times that had passed between them over the years. They each could sense this time was ending, but neither of them were in any hurry to rush things along.

“I’m going to miss you,” Jake said.

“I know. Me too.”

“I am who I am, to be worthy of who you are,” Jake said. “I’m sorry if that isn’t comforting now, but I wanted you to know.”

Xana smiled. “I always did.”

The night dissolved around them, maddeningly short, but it didn’t matter. They were together. For them, it was forever.

NRPG: We heard the crying in the night Jerome did over unresolved personal character drama. We know you all wanted to know but not as much as Jerome *grins*

Tiffany: if you're up for it, Xana may come to Sickbay again . If not they'll just keep in touch ;)

Everyone else: As Jerome keeps reminding us, Xana's time is winding down and this weekend the azure whirlwind will go to BOLARUS IX. Use your time for emotional upheaval and/or chaos wisely.


A Joint Post by…

Sarah Albertini-Bond
Xana Bonviva


Shawn Putnam
Jake Crichton
Executive Officer

“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”

-Patrick Rothfuss


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