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: Takes place during the episode "Who Monitors the Birds"
Blurb: Cooper thinks.


They'd offered him a free pass out of the Marines. "Do this one mission, son, and we'll give you an honorable discharge and pardon. You'll be free." Free. He wanted that, so he did the mission. Successfully, no less. Even to the point where he'd stared death in the face. And, he came out of it all still breathing. Changed maybe, but alive. Now he could go home.

But home was where? Certainly not Philly. There was nothing there for him--no family, no friends, no home. Nothing but being alone. The pardon he wanted; the discharge...the discharge would lose him everything he'd found.

And with that, he knew exactly what he needed to do, exactly where he needed to be. Home was with his squadron mates back on the Saratoga. He nodded to himself, pulled the paper the officer had given him out of one his pockets and tore it into many pieces before tossing it into the river.

Where it mattered, he was already free. He was already home.

- end -

© Susan February 2005