Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV-Programme 'Space: Above And Beyond' depicted in this story are legal property of Glen Morgan and James Wong, Hard Eight Production and 20th Century Fox Broadcasting and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Comments are always welcome at Karen Evans 7/7/96

NC17-rated


AGAIN

by

Karen Evans


Part One

July 5 2064
Ronald Reagan Veteran's Hospital
Loxley Alabama

He didn't know where he was.

Lt. Colonel Tyrus Cassius McQueen knew he was no longer on the Saratoga, but, he didn't know where the hell this place was, as he drifted in and out of consciousness. Everything was white, white and smelled clean, very clean. Was he dead? If he was, this had to be hell. The people around him were dressed in white, and they all stared at him, and at his right leg....what was left of it...

An explosion, blood, pain then nothing. Then, he opened his eyes and saw there was nothing below the knee, and that's when he began throwing everything he could get his hands on at the figures in white, who scurried out of the room like ants. Then more replaced them, rushing in, grabbing his wrists, ankle and chest, tying him down like an animal...like the AI's did before they...but McQueen couldn't think anymore, because again he lost consciousness.

He didn't know where he was.


The woman in the cream colored business suit walked briskly through the hospital corridors. A heavyset, black nurse with short hair shook her head and looked at her watch.

"Late again. Dr. Stern isn't going to be happy..."

"Ms. Rusk, the only way I could have gotten out of that courtroom on time, was if I strangled that fucking judge."

"Must have been bad," Ms. Rusk said.

"Racist bastard. Okay, sure, he stole a car, but he gave him double the sentence he would've given a Natural Born."

The woman leaned over the desk at the nurse's station. "So, where is my dear fiancee no...." Her eyes suddenly fell on a chart. On the top of the chart was written McQueen, T.C. in blue, which indicated he was an InVitro, and in red letters was written NO VISITORS.

Ms. Rusk stared at Aimee, though the girl honey brown skin, she paled. "Hey, are you alright?"

Aimee Robinson blinked and stared at Ms. Rusk. "What? Um...yeah...I'm fine."

The nurse's eyes looked to what Aimee had just seen. "Oh, him. Lt. Colonel T.C. McQueen, a real pain in the ass, of corse you can't blame him. Supposed to be at a goddamn peace confrence and what happens? Fucking Chig goes off and blows the whole room up. Guess he was luckey he was sitting where he was, only lost his leg, could've been worse, most of them bought the farm."

Aimee was transported back to Omicron Draconis, over twenty years ago, when a young, handsome InVitro helped her out of a ditch, even now, her body temperature rose about ten degrees.

"Well, Dr. Stern's on the eighth floor," Ms. Rusk said.

"What? Oh, yes, Daniel...right...I was supposed to have lunch with...Daniel...damn, I need a vacation."

"Well, you'll get one soon enough. Let me see that ring girlfriend."

Aimee's hand shook as stuck out her left hand. Ms. Rusk touched it. "Wedding jitters already, huh?"

Aimee remembered the heat, the electricity, when Tyrus touched her hand that day. She felt the same now, knowing he was so close.

"I guess," Aimee said. "Don't know why, wedding's not for another five months."

"It'll be alright Aimee."

"Yeah...well...better go find Daniel." Aimee ran off towards the elevators, heart pounding, hands shaking.


Daniel Stern patted Aimee's knee when they got into the car.

"Thought you liked French food," he said.

Aimee looked at her fiancee. What did Chantel say about him? Tall, dark and handsome, but he looked like he was born in a suit?

"I just wasn't hungry today, I guess."

"You're not sick are you? If you are, I know a doctor...."

Aimee smiled. "No, I'm fine."

"Not pregnant?" Daniel grinned.

"Daniel, no I'm not," Aimee smiled.

"Rough day in court."

Aimee nodded. "What else is new?"

"Not easy defending poor InVitros."

"Well, somebody's got to do it. I wouldn't want to do corporate law for anything in the world."

"Your sister seems to like the corporate life."

Aimee shook her head. "As Chantel would say, Aerotech works for me, I don't work for them. And she's right, those guys are scared shitless of her. She knows where the bodies are buried. She may be petite, but look out."

Daniel nodded. Aimee leaned against the seat and closed her eyes. "I heard Colonel T.C. McQueen's at Loxley."

"Yes he is. Poor fellow, talk about tough break. Now, there's a real hero, someone they should write movies about, no one even comes to visit him, which is fine with the colonel, because he doesn't want to see anyone. He even kicked his ex-wife out."

"Wow."

"Do you know him?"

Aimee's eyes opened quickly. "Daniel, just because I defend InVitros, doesn't mean I know ALL InVitros."

"Well, I was just asking, since you do work with them."

"I don't know him," Aimee said.

The drove in silence. Aimee told Daniel she wanted to go to her house, but when he asked if he could come in for a drink, Aimee said no. A drink would only lead to sex, and Aimee didn't want to have sex with Daniel at all tonight.

"It's alright, I'm tired too Aimee. So, got all the bridesmaid dresses picked out?"

"Chantel doesn't like them. She's not wearing pink in December, she says."

"Chantel doesn't like me."

"Yes she does Daniel," but Aimee knew that was a lie. Chantel said Daniel was a "stuffed fucking shirt."


Aimee's house was a white, two story house that was built to resemble Tara in "Gone With the Wind," Chantel's favorite movie of all time. Chantel bought this house, though she was never there to live in it and Aimee had the stability, but not the money to live in such a nice house. Chantel asked Aimee to come from Atlanta to live in her house eight months before. Aimee agreed, and in that time she'd met Daniel, and now her life was about to change again.

Aimee went into her bedroom and peeled her clothes off, slowly one by one. She put on a white, cotton teddy, pulled the scrapbook from her dresser drawer and sat on the bed with it. Inside were newspaper clippings, some yellowing; everything that had to do with Tyrus Cassius McQueen: The recent explosion, his kill of the Chig Red Baron, small articles that said he was "a credit to his people." Aimee looked at the scrapbook for a long time, then put it away and turned off the light. She got into bed and found her hands wandering over her body, only this time, it wasn't Daniel, it was McQueen.


For a week and a half, Aimee stayed away from the hospital. She'd meet Daniel in the parking lot, in restaurants, her excuses were always that she was running late, didn't have time, just wanted to get her hands on him. What she wanted was to avoid the heat, the electricity she felt even when she saw the building. She told herself that she was engaged, that she was in love with Daniel. She didn't tell Chantel about McQueen because she'd tell her to go for it.

Finally, Aimee couldn't stand it any more. Aimee took the elevator up to the fourth floor, breezed by the nurse's station, without saying hello, and walked in T.C. McQueen's hospital room, ignoring the "No Visitor's" sign. She was practically family.

He was seated in a wheelchair, back to her, facing the window. Even with his back to her, his hair now silver, she knew it was him, and by the way he held himself, with those proud shoulders, she knew he was angry.

"What the fuck do you want now? More goddamn tests!" he shouted.

Aimee didn't flinch when she heard his voice, it had gotten deeper, more seasoned, but it was still *his* voice.

"No, not this time."

He turned himself around and locked eyes with this intruder. What was this some fucking social worker...Then, his eyes locked with hers. My God. She was older, her hair was no longer braided, there were lines in his face, as certainly there were in his, but it *was* her. It was Aimee.

McQueen felt a wellspring of emotions. He was angry to the point of blind rage, What was this, some kind of way to get him to respond? What did they do, probe into his past? But then, that feeling washed away and he felt himself overcome by a feeling he'd denied himself for years. He remembered what he felt when he first saw her, first touched her, made love to her. He tried to will his body not to respond, but he quickly became sexually aroused, and was glad he was in the wheelchair.

"Tyrus," she said.

"Aimee..." He cleared his throat and recovered. "What the hell did they do, fly you in? Get me to respond?"

He was angry, and scared, and confused, and Aimee felt dizzy, so she grabbed a chair, pulled it close to him and sat down.

"Do you think I'd do that? I live here Tyrus. I heard about what happened to you, I'm sorry."

"Yeah, thanks," he looked away.

"How've you been?" Aimee realized how silly that sounded only after it came out.

"Fine, peachy. I lost two squadrons, bitched out my fucking inner ear so I can't fly, got tortured by the AI's so I can't have kids, which is why my wife left me...would you like to hear more, Aimee!"

He was angry, at least he wasn't broken. "I'm sorry Tyrus. I heard about the Fifty-eighth."

"One dead, two MIA. Fucking peachy."

He didn't look at her. He was afraid to, afraid of looking into those eyes, afraid of forgetting all the pain that had happened to him.

Finally, Aimee broke the ice. "When Chantel and I got back to Earth, my mother wasn't too happy with what my dad did to me."

"Someone shot your father a month after you left. At first they blamed it on a tank, but he was cleared."

"No one shot him Tyrus, he killed himself."

Now McQueen looked at her.

"He said my mother a note, said he couldn't live with the shame of his daughter choosing a ...tank over him and a judge telling him he'd never see us again. I...I started seeing a shink, because of it all, but he tried to get me to take pills, guess he couldn't understand how I fell in love with an InVitro."

McQueen shook his head sadly.

"I started seeing another shrink, an InVitro, I still see her once a week, she's nice. I'm a lawyer now, civil rights, I try to help InVitros so the system doesn't screw them. Chantel works for Aeortech...no, I'm sorry, Aerotech works for my sister."

That brought a half smile to his face.

"Married?" he asked.

Aimee turned the engagement ring around on her finger. "Engaged, to a doctor here."

"Good, congradulatons."

"Yeah, I guess," she said, almost sadly.

McQueen faced her, turned the full force of his eyes on her, as she did the same for him. He took her hand and kissed it. Aimee leaned over and kissed him lightly on the lips, then sighed and opned her mouth, he filled her with his tongue and she grabbed the back of his head to pull him closer. McQueen pulled Aimee out of her chair, onto his lap and Aimee felt his hardness press against her thigh. Suddenly, he let her go.

"Shit," he said angrily.

Aimee moved back to her seat, she put her hands over her mouth.

"Why the fuck did you come here? To give me a taste of something I can't have again!"

"No. No Tyrus...I...I had to see you...I...look what you done to me!"

"What I did?" McQueen's eyes narrowed in rage. How dare she accuse him of anything. He fought to regain control again, to keep himself from doing what his body begged him to do.

"Yes, you. I'm the one who's in love with you, remember?" With that, Aimee jumped out her seat and ran out of the room. She ran into an empty ladies room where she flushed all the stools, closed herself in a stall, and while the toilets noisily flushed, sobbed until she had no more tears.


None of the doctors nor nurses could figure out exactly what happened to Lt Colonel Tyrus Cassius McQueen, a week before he found out that two of his "kids" Vansen and Damphousse had been found alive, he started responding to treatment, fighting his condition, no longer wanting to lay down and die. In three weeks, he underwent surgery for the permantent prosthetic device that would make him as close to normal as was medically possible. Immediately, he wanted to begin physical therapy, though his doctors tried to get him to take it easy. McQueen would have none of that kind of talk. Dr. Michael Rosenfeld, finally agreed.

"But if you break your ass, don't sue me," he said.

"I won't doctor, you can count on that. I'll be out of here before you grow whiskers." He'd be out alright, out and back to active duty. McQueen had to get away from this hospital, this planet, he'd be back on the Saratoga, where he knew who he was and what he felt, he'd be away from her.


"So, what do you feel now?" Dr. Zoe Casey asked Aimee as the two women sat in the therapist's office.

"Confused, fucked up. Zoe, I'm engaged to Daniel, I'm supposed to marry in in December, we've got the hall, the caterer, the band, I've got the gown, my mother's flying in from Cuba...but...but I don't want to marry Daniel..I...I never wanted to..."

"So, why are you?"

"Because he loves me, and I never thought I'd get married, it took me a long time to trust...after what my father did."

"You trust Tyrus."

Aimee's entire face lit up. "Yes, I do. I've always felt safe with him, even from the first time I saw him, I knew he'd never hurt me...well, it was lust too, a lot of it..."

"You almost made love in his wheelchair."

Aimee giggled. "Oh God, that would have been something, huh?" She continued to laugh for a long time.

"Aimee, there are three things that make your face light up. You know what they are?"

"Shoot."

"Your sister, your work, and Tyrus Cassius McQueen."


Next : Part 2
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