Disclaimer: The concept of and all characters from Space: Above and Beyond belong to Glen Morgan and James Wong, Fox Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions. I'm just borrowing them. No money was made from this, and this was done totally for fun.
Feedback: Any and all comments are welcome.

Notes: Thanks to lasairfhiona for the title and the quick beta.


"Another, sir?" The bartender asked.

When the Lt. Colonel. signaled "no" Hobson nodded and moved on down the bar to his next patron, but promised to keep an eye on the silver-haired Marine who had a pyramid of five empty shot glasses in front of him and was now nursing a beer. The man often sat on that stool away from others, watching, thinking.

Hobson knew this man wasn't the first, and wouldn't be the last commanding officer to come in and drink to fallen comrades and subordinates. But, Hobson had to wonder if that was truly the case with this man. He didn't seemed resigned to their deaths.

No, it was as if he was drinking to their return. He looked back over at the man to be sure and nodded to himself. That was it. It was as if this man had absolute faith in the fact that his missing pilots would be back. That tomorrow they would walk in, go to their normal table, order beer, play poker or foosh ball, all the while trying to get their commanding officer to join them when others would keep their distance from him.

Hobson moved back down the bar as the Lt. Colonel finished his beer. "They will return, sir," he said quietly, while clearing the shot glasses.

The Lt. Colonel's eyes turned into an icy glare that spoke of how dangerous the man could really be if provoked. Hobson made no move to say anything else. "You know this, how?"

Hobson shrugged, but before turning back to cleaning the bar, he replied: "Because you have faith in them, sir."

- end -

© Susan August 2004