The characters of Tracy Fairgate, Melissa Peterson, Donald Reed, Sam Wright and the folks in Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center are creations of Karen Evans.
Tracy Chapman's "The Promise" is mentioned, it's from her CD "New Beginnings".

This story takes place after "Dear Earth".
My own note: I'm not suggesting this could happen, I'm only trying to imagine..what if. So, relax and have fun with it. Special thanks, as always, to Gabrielle Bessey for all her help.




Part Two

Tracy could not remember a time when she was so bored. She sat at the table, picking at the delicious green salad, as Commodore Glenn Ross was talking about something. Melissa seemed to be intreguied, the woman was downright attracted to the man.

Tracy wondered why McQueen wasn't invited, after all, he and the Commodore seemed to be best friends. Why wouldn't he be invited to this semi formal supper in the Commodore's cabin? She wanted to ask, but knew Melissa would open her mouth, mention she caught her and McQueen in the gym, sweaty and breathless...damn, sounded like sex, and might get McQueen into trouble. Melissa didn't like McQueen, probably because Tracy did and because Melissa knew her friend had bad taste when it came to men, her bad taste nearly got them killed. The rougher, the more distant, the crazier the men were, the more Tracyliked them. Maybe Melissa asked Ross not to invite McQueen...no, even Melissa wouldn't stoop to that, more than likely, McQueen *was* invited, but declined. He wasn't into formal stuff, neither was she, but it was necessary in politics.

The first hit was so powerful, that Tracy nearly fell out of her chair. Ross jumped out of his and headed for the door.

"Chigs?" Tracy said excitedly.

"You stay in here," he said.

"Like hell I'm staying in here," Tracy jumped up. "I'm supposed to tell Congress what's happening with this war. And I can't do it if I've never even seen a Chig."

"Fairgate!" Melissa said.

"Let me come on the bridge Commodore, I won't get in the way, but I have to see for myself."

Commodore Ross didn't have time to argue. He would have refused anyone else, but he knew Tracy's history, if any politician was ready for combat, it was her. Ross jerked his head, toward the door, and Tracy smiled.

"Keep the food warm, Mel," she said and rushed to keep up with the Commodore.


The first thing Tracy thought, when she caught her first glimpse of the Chig fighter was that it looked like a giant envelope, but when it shot at the Saratoga, Tracy knew it was no envelope. McQueen glanced at her, but had no time for anything more than a glance, as he gave orders to his squadron, through the headset he wore. She watched him watch the Chigs, cooly, calmly, like a cat, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce. Ross too seemed to be very aware of McQueen's abilities. And McQueen waited until the time was right, when the Chigs thought they might have won, and then he gave the order, and the fireing came from all sides, from the Saratoga and the pilots. Tracy was impressed with how well everyone worked together, the technology aside. One by one, the Chig ships exploded, until there was nothing left, but calm sky once again.

Ross turned and looked at Tracy, who still stood calmly stood in the corner. He was surprised that she was still there, and that she was calm, as if she'd seen this hundreds of times before.

"Tell that to the Speaker of the House," Glen Ross said.

"I will," Tracy responded. She thought felt someone watching her, but when she looked up, she saw McQueen quickly look away.

"You could've been killed up there!" Melissa was beside herself with anger.

"We're on a battleship Mel. You could've been killed in Ross' quarters too. I can't believe I really saw one of their fighter planes. Didn't look like much, looked like one of those Origami animals," she giggled like a child.

"It's not funny Fairgate."

"Mel, you've been pissed off since we got here. What is your problem, girl?"

Melissa put her hands on her hips. "I know that you took this assingment without consulting me first."

"I didn't think I needed permission..."

"Fairgate, it's my job, it's always been my job to make you look like the congresswoman that you are, not some gangbanger. First, you box with Colonel McQueen, then you run off with Commodore Ross, because you want to see a Chig. If you ever want to be Speaker of the House, you have got to take things more seriously."

"You don't like McQueen, do you?"

Melissa frowned. Tracy put on a pair of jeans and a long sleeved, pink corset tee shirt.

"I don't dislike him."

"It's because he's a InVitro?"

"I'm not prejudice, Fairgate...you know that..."

"...but..."

"But...well...people dislike InVitros, with a passion, they hate them, and I would hate to see your political career destroyed because of some indescretion with one."

"With one? Mel, this man's a war hero. He took out that Chig ace single handed." But one look at her face, told Tracy she didn't care. The man was a "tank" and that was all there was to it.

"Fairgate, we've only been around four years, we haven't even gotten our feet wet."

Tracy took the W.T. Sherman memiors and placed it under her arm then headed for their hatch.

"Where're you going?" Melissa said.

"I need some air, okay Mel? Is that alright with you? Do I have to check with you first? Shit, sometimes you act like you're my damn husband. You in love with me or something, Mel?"

Melissa's mouth dropped. She wasn't homosexual by any means, she liked the idea of hard, muscled flesh against hers. Yet, Melissa didn't think she cared about anyone the way she did about Tracy. They were more than best friends or partners, or even sisters. But Melissa just didn't know what that was.

"I'm going to catch up on some reading, then I'm going to bed. Ten more days and we're out of here," Melissa grumbled.

Tracy opened the hatch and let herself out.

Tracy thought about Melissa's words as she headed to the Tun Tavern. The woman was losing all touch with reality. The "fight" with McQueen happened days ago, there was no reason for her to bring it up, it was over, and Tracy had forgotten all about it. She wondered what the hell was the matter with her friend. Sure, Melissa had been her closest friend...forever, but she'd never acted this way. Maybe she was in love with her, maybe the shooting affected her a lot more than it did Tracy, who had had guns held to her head more than once. Well, Melissa had no reason to be jealous or upset; she was the one who taught Tracy everything about make up, hairstyling, how to walk and talk like a lady. Tracy owed her, but now she wondered if her best friend was playing with "a full deck of cards".

She was so into her thoughts of her friend, that she didn't see McQueen comming around the corridor and she slammed into him, dropping the W.T. Sherman book in the process. At first, McQueen scowled, until he saw who'd assaulted him.

"I'm sorry Colonel, I was on my way to the Tun Tavern to give you the book," she picked it up and handed it to him. "Guess I saved a trip, huh? Didn't really want to go there anyway."

McQueen looked at the book like he'd found gold. "This looks a lot more interesting than sitting in a crowded, noisy bar."

"I agree."

He looked at her. "What made you buy this book?"

Tracy shrugged. "I've always been interested in the Civil War, I guess because of the slavery issue..." A young Marine Leuitenent passed them and gave McQueen a perfect salute, McQueen returned the favor. When the young man had passed, he spoke again.

"Same here. I've got some books on Grant and Lee. Would you like to see them?" McQueen's eyes were down, as if he expected her to say no.

Tracy nodded, though she didn't know why. "Yeah." She didn't want to go to the Tun Tavern now, and she certainly didn't want to go back to Melissa.

Without another word, McQueen turned on his heel and headed back to his quarters, Tracy silently followed.


The first thing Tracy noticed about McQueen's quarters was how bare they were. Jesus, the man could use a serious decorator.

"I see you don't believe in trappings," Tracy said.

He went to a large bookcase, one of the few pieces of furniture in the place. "The less you have, the less you worry about."

"I've got more junk now than I did before," Tracy sat in one of the room's four chairs.

McQueen handed two books on Grant and two on Lee, to Tracy. She nodded, having read all of them. "They're good books, I've read them more than once."

He sat on his bunk. "The Civil War really brought America together."

Tracy shrugged. "At what price? So many young men died...boys practically. It also opened up a Pandora's box. We're still bitching about race today."

McQueen nodded. "Only now it's my race."

She smiled. "You know, it's hard for me to see you as anything other than a white man. No offense, but when I look at you, that's what I see. I know, I know...InVitro's come in all colors but....shit, I think prejudice is stupid...a waste of energy."

"A shame all politicians don't believe that."

They talked more about racism, Tracy shared some of her early experiences, McQueen shared some of his. They talked more about the Civil War; was Sherman too hard on the South during his march through Georgia, if Lee should have surrendered earlier, why the North couldn't win the war in a year (the South was too hyped up, Tracy said; they believed in their causes, McQueen offered)

Then Tracy caught sight of the wedding photograph on McQueen's desk, of a smiling, younger McQueen and a very pretty blonde woman.

"Your wife?"

He looked at the photograph, then looked away. "Used to be."

"Divorced?"

He nodded. "Yeah."

Tracy sighed long and hard. "I know all about it. My husband couldn't deal with being married to a politician, always on display, life an open book. Maybe that's why he tried to kill me. Any kids?"

He looked at the floor, then at Tracy, then at the floor again. "I can't...war wound..."

Tracy grimmaced. "Shit, that must've hurt. You're probably better off. It's real hard for kids when their parents split up. Was hard as hell for me..." Tracy stared into space and remembered the day her father told her he wouldn't be living with she and her mother anymore.

McQueen rose. Tracy wasn't sure if that was a cue for her to leave, so she rose too. But McQueen didn't walk to the door. He looked again at the floor, as if unsure of what to do next. Tracy smiled and took his hand, then she very slowly and gently started to kiss his palm. McQueen sighed, relieved and pulled her close to him. He cupped Tracy's' face in his hands and kissed her cheeks and chin, nose and eyelids and forehead. Then, McQueen kissed her on the mouth, gently at first, but then Tracy's' mouth opened, inviting him in, and he filled her mouth with his tongue and she responded, sucking it easily, rhythmicly.

Suddenly, McQueen stopped, released her and looked down, as if ashamed. "I shouldn't...."

"You shouldn't have stopped Ty."

He'd never heard his name said that way, not even by his own wife. He looked up at her and smiled.

"That's more like it," Tracy said.

They moved to the bunk and began to undress each other slowly. When Tracy's tee shirt and bra were removed, McQueen kissed the scars that were still there, some more faded than others, then he sucked her nipples. Tracy leaned her head back and gasped.

"Oh, God, I can feel it," she whispered.

Tracy pulled off McQueen's tee shirt and kissed his scars too.

"Fire?" she said.

"Some from the first battle with the Chigs and some are from the AI's."

Tracy had heard of the brutal tortures AI POW's suffered, and knew McQueen had been one of them. She sucked his nipples until he groaned and ran his hands through her hair.

They removed the rest of their clothes, slowly, kissing each piece of newly exposed flesh. Tracy lay on her back and watched as McQueen knelt between her legs. He looked at the entire length of her body. "God, you're beautiful," he said.

"So are you. Come here."

He ran his hands down the entire length of her body, almost as if he was afraid to do anything else. Then, he slowly entered her. The sensation was intense for both of them. Tracy was so tight, it hurt both of them when he entered her, she felt like she was loosing her virginity all over again and McQueen thought he would black out right there. They looked at each other, blue eyes facing brown eyes. Tracy touched his cheek gently, and smiled, she wrapped her legs around his waist. Then McQueen started moving, slowly in and out of Tracy's body.

The pain quickly disappeared and the rocking rhythm felt safe and comfortable. Tracy began to contract her muscles so that when McQueen tried to withdraw, he was pulled back into her body. That forced him to thrust deeper, harder, quicker into Tracy's body. All the while, they continued to watch each other, as their expressions changed. Tracy felt herself close to orgasm and she held McQueen close to her, nails digging into his shoulder; fingers, stroking his navel, heels digging into his back, she closed her eyes and moaned as she climaxed. McQueen watched her go over the edge, and knew he wasn't far behind. He thrust, hard into Tracy a few more times, before he surrendered to the pleasure, and exploded into her body.

McQueen felt light headed, almost dizzy. He lay on Tracy's body, breathing hard, still inside her. She ran her hand through his silver hair and kissed his cheek. They clung together, still shuddering from their orgasms, until he started to soften inside her. Then, he lay on his back and pulled Tracy against his chest. She ran her hand across his scars again and he held her close. Tracy felt so safe there, in his arms. She didn't want to ruin the moment with words, so she didn't say anything, she just listened to McQueen's heartbeat, his breathing, and felt his soft kisses on her forehead. Tracy wrapped her arms around McQueen's waist and wished she could feel this way forever. McQueen's breathing became regular and Tracy knew he was asleep. She closed her eyes and fell asleep, feeling safe for the first time in many, many years.

Tracy woke up to kisses on her neck. She arched her back, knowing instantly where she was. McQueen held her from behind. She turned her head and looked into those blue eyes.

"Is it time to get up yet?"

"Almost. I thought we'd get up early." He grinned.

Tracy laughed. "I should've known you were up to something, Ty. Did I want to see your Civil War books? That's the best line I've ever heard."

He smiled and then licked her earlobe, sending shivers down her spine. "Too bad it wasn't a line."

Tracy felt his hardness against her bottom. She rubbed up against it. "What's that, Ty?"

"What do you think it is?"

"Well, it's big and it's hard..." Tracy giggled.

McQueen parted her thighs with his knee and slid into her, this time it was easier than last night and the rhythm started out slow and easy. Tracy stroked McQueen's navel and moved her hips in time to his thrusts inside her body and McQueen stroked Tracy's clitorius in time to his thrusts inside her body.

Within moments, their movements became more intense, more powerful, almost violent, McQueen took his free hand and stroked Tracy's breasts rhythmically. This time, they climaxed together, Tracy cried out, nearly ripping the sheets with her nails, McQueen bit Tracy's shoulder, groaning her name over and over again as he exploded into her body.

They shuddered, Tracy felt McQueen fill her up with himself. His fingers tangled themselves in her hair and she leaned against him. It took awhile before they could find their breaths again.

"If we don't get up now," McQueen said, "we never will."

Tracy kissed his hand. "You got that right."


Melissa sat on her bed and looked across the room at Tracy's bed, where she should be. Melissa was not stupid, she knew where Tracy was, who she was with and what she was doing. She sighed and tried to stop the tears that began to flow.

Melissa remembered the first time she met Tracy Fairgate, she was unsophisticated, tackey, but very streetwise, and everybody liked her. At first, it was because she was an exotic, half black, half Puerto Rican, an ex-gang member. Later, people liked her because...why Melissa still didn't know, it was like there was a light inside her, that everyone was attracted to. She'd been attracted to it, as was their class, Tracy was class president every year. It was then that Melissa got it in her head that maybe, Tracy could become the first black Speaker of the House, hell, maybe even the first woman president, that was more of a possibility now than then. The only problem was her weakness for men. Melissa wiped away the tears and walked to Tracy's black trunk. It was unlocked and she rummaged inside until she found the blue velvet case. She opened it and took out Tracy's most prized posessiont.

Melissa looked around her and realized Tracy could walk in any minute, so she put the case back, closed the trunk and left the room so quickly, she didn't notice the red silk blouse sticking out the trunk.

Tracy and McQueen showered, where they made love once again, then dressed. As Tracy looked at him, in his black flight suit, she saw he'd transformed himself into the serious, stoic, Colonel McQueen.

"You know," she said, "I've never been with a man since...since I came back..." She looked at him, he looked at her without expression. "Feel like I've lost my virginity again." That made him smile.

"The Grant and Lee books are good, even if you've read them, I've read them several times," he said.

Tracy snapped back into professional mode. "You can keep the Sherman book until I go. I guess I'll spend today reading."

He nodded. "I've got a mission briefing. The 58th's on patrol today," his face was expressionless, but Tracy could see a hint of concern there.

"Your kids," she said.

He nodded. Then suddenly, he pulled her to him and gave her a deep, passionate kiss. Tracy had to fight herself from taking it any further.

"I'll see you later," Tracy smiled, taking the books with her.

Tracy felt as if she was flying back to her quarters. She got lost twice, but she didn't care, as she started humming Madonna's "Like a Virgin" to herself. When she walked into her room, she was stunned that Melissa wasn't there. She was probably still sore and decided to eat without her. That was fine, she'd cool down later.

Tracy walked around the room and couldn't stop smiling, she felt like a bride the morning after the wedding night. McQueen had opened up parts of her, she'd thought were long gone. She went to put the books on the desk, when she saw the red, silk blouse hanging out her trunk. That was NOT there last night. Tracy had been a neat freak all her life, Melissa was messy one. Instinct took over, as Tracy knelt down and opened her trunk. Everything seemed to be there, still, it felt like someone had been here. Her hand touched the velvet case and she frowned; she pulled it out and noticed it felt too light. Tracy opened it and saw that her oldest possession, the eight inch blade, with the ivory and gold handle, the knife she'd earned by passing the Savage Babe's initiation rite and had been used in the commission of many crimes, was gone.

Tracy felt a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. It was the same feeling she had when she was 14, and knew, without anyone telling her, that a girl from a rival gang, wanted to kill her. She jumped up and rushed out of the room.

Tracy had to ask three different people where the 58th's mission briefing room was. She had no sense of direction, something she knew Melissa had. Tracy's heart pounded wildly as she ran through the corridors, hoping she wasn't too late.

She was a few yards away, when she saw the 58th exiting the room, followed by McQueen and Ross. Tracy looked around and didn't see anyone, maybe she'd been wrong about Melissa, and she relaxed a bit. Then, she saw her, impeccably dressed in a blue and white checkered suit, hair and make up perfectly in place.

"Colonel McQueen, I've got something to ask you," she said in a sweet, cheery voice, as she walked briskly towards him.

McQueen turned to face her, and Tracy knew the knife was in Melissa's hand, though she couldn't see it. She was too far away to do anything, but not too far to shout.

"Melissa! Don't!"

Cooper Hawkes looked in Tracy's direction, then caught a glimpse of something shiny in Melissa's hand. He rushed Melissa and she stabbed him in his arm. That was all the time Tracy needed. She ran behind her friend and gave her a left cross, to the left side of her head. The blow knocked Melissa out, and she fell to the floor, the knife still clutched in her hand. The rest of the 58th rushed over to Cooper, then looked at Melissa.

McQueen rushed to Cooper, who pressed his wound with his other hand. "I'm okay." he said. Both McQueen and Ross looked at Melissa, the knife, then Tracy who rubbed her left knuckle. Realization crossed their faces, as it did the rest of the 58th's.

"Good shot," Vanessa whispered to Shane.

Tracy didn't hear her. She knelt down and touched her friend's face, gently.

"Oh Mel," she said.

Cooper's wound needed only a few stiches, he said he was okay, but McQueen wouldn't let him fly patrol that day, and that bothered Cooper more than being stabbed. Melissa had a mild consuccion and the doctor said she should stay overnight.

"From what I heard," said Dr. Miller, "that was one hell of a punch."

Tracy sat by Melissa's bedside, holding her hand. Dr. Miller gave her a sedative, which meant she didn't have to be restrained, but there was a guard posted at the infirmary door, after all, she had tried to kill a Marine officer.

"God Mel...I can't believe...you were going to kill him...Jesus ..."

Tracy knew McQueen was beside her before she even saw him. "She wanted to protect me."

McQueen sat beside her. "From me?"

"I...um..I never had much luck with men...always picked guys that cheated on me, lied to me and eventually tried to kill me...tried to kill both of us. I guess that affected Mel more than I thought."

"She thought I'd hurt you."

"She doesn't know you."

"Neither do you."

Tracy looked at him. "Oh yes I do Ty. You're tough, distant, aloof on the outside...but inside you're dying for someone to really care about you."

He looked startled, Tracy grinned. "Takes one to know one."

McQueen looked at Melissa. "She could go to jail for attempted murder."

Tracy sighed. "Yeah...I'll try to get her some help, God knows she needs it..but...I can't ever trust her again."

McQueen nodded, understanding. Then he rose. "See you later."

Tracy nodded but kept her eyes on the person she once thought she knew.

That night, McQueen and Tracy lay in each other's arms, in Tracy's quarters. Niether of them had the desire to make love, it seemed inappropriate, so they undressed and got into bed; McQueen in his skivvies, Tracy in a white tank top and white panties. The nearly 70 year old sond, "Promise" by Tracy Chapman, played softly on the CD.

"I love her voice, and her name," Tracy said, tracing McQueen's scars with her fingertips.

McQueen nodded, feeling soothed by the velvety voice. Then he spotted a scar on Tracy's upper thigh, on her panty line. "I didn't see that before," he touched it gently.

"Well, you were busy," she winked. "Some rival gang chick cut me. You should've seen what she looked like when it was over...I cut her real bad..." Tracy lowered her eyes. "That goddamn knife, I should've gotten rid of it years ago...I don't know why the hell I held on to it...no more..."

"Sentiment. I'd take a Chig head if I could."

Tracy frowned. "Now that's desgusting. If she had hurt you Ty...I...I would've taken that knife out of her hand and slit her goddamn throat."

McQueen looked at Tracy and knew she was serious. He held her close. "It's okay."

"Shit, I just wish we had more time, have to cut this visit short now." Tracy smiled at him. "So, tell me Ty, do you have a girl in every port? When you go on the Bacchus, does the line form on the right?"

He smiled and shook his head. "No, I'm not like that."

"You should be, anything could happen in this war. That Chig ace could've killed you."

"Anything could've happened, anything can happen at any time. I like to try to go to bed with my conscious clear."

Tracy didn't want to think about the war, about death. McQueen could have lost his life today, and a Chig wouldn't have been the cause of his death. She didn't know what was going to happen in this war, or happen to her on Earth. Right now, she knew where she was, she was safe and happy. Tracy held McQueen tighter.

"That's a good way to live, Ty."

Melissa's "breakdown" as it was explained, cut the visit short, she was escorted on the ISSCV, by a guard, who would accompany her back to Earth. Though McQueen didn't want to press charges, Ross wasn't so forgiving.

"She was going to cut you to pieces, Ty," he said. It was an attempted assault on his ship. "Politician or no, she's going to serve time."

Tracy shook hands with each member of the 58th. She wished she'd gotten to know them better. She squeezed Cooper's hand.

"Thanks Hawkes, I'm glad you're streetwise."

Cooper just shrugged. Tracy shook Vanessa's and Shane's hands and smiled at them. "I hope you didn't think I was shocked to see women in combat, more like goddamn tickled."

"She's campaigning," Paul whispered to Vanessa.

Tracy shook Ross's hand. "Thank you Commodore, I'm sorry for what happened."

"Apology accepted Congresswoman."

Tracy and McQueen shook hands.

"Take care Colonel."

"Likewise Congresswoman." He squeezed her hand, she looked down and smiled, then boarded the ISSCV.

As the Marines and Navy personnal returned to their duties, Ross turned to McQueen and shook his head. "Likewise Congresswoman," he chuckled and patted McQueen on the back as they headed back to duty.

"So, tell me Ty, are her hands cold?"

"No Sir," McQueen said flatly, as they continued walking.

Speaker of the House, Sam Wright, smiled when Tracy walked in his office. He shook her hand.

"Thank God you were able to talk some sense into Commodore Ross, allowing Melissa to serve a year in a psychiatric facility, no trial. The publicity wouldn't have been good."

"For me, that's why he agreed to it." Tracy sat down in a comfortable leather chair, directly in front of his desk.

Sam was a large man with a large moustache and thinning brown hair. "Yes, I heard you decked her. So, tell me, Tracy, are we wasting money on this war thing or what?"

"No Sam, we're not. I saw those Chigs, they scared the shit out of me. If they come here, we're history, and anyone who says anything else is full of shit."

Sam slammed his hand down on the table. "That's exactly what I wanted Tracy, a good, honest, unbiased opinion."

She sighed. "There is one thing though."

"Shoot."

"I met Colonel T.C. McQueen on the Saratoga and...well, I really think he deserves the Silver Star for killing that Chig ace."

Sam sighed. "Tracy, I couldn't agree with you more, but you've got to understand...well, I guess you don't understand because you weren't raised with it...Do you think people could accept a Silver Star given to an InVitro?"

Tracy sat back in the chair, she crossed her legs and knew Sam was looking. She smiled. "Tell me Sam, do you think people could accept a black, female Speaker of the House?"

For a moment, Sam didn't smile, and when he finally did, it was nervous and uneasy. "Um...I'll see what I can do...can't promise you anything though Tracy..."

She rose, having gotten what she came for. "Thanks Sam," she walked to the door. "Do what you can," then she looked back at him, "I know I will."

The End

Karen Evans
7/26/96


Previous : Part One

The sequel to this story is also avaliable at this site.

Next : Miracle Part One