That's my Q #61, 62 - "I don't have to kiss him, do I?"

-=On=- [Earth, 1930's]

She awoke, sitting up in bed, at once awake and active. At first she didn't know who she was, then she thought she'd had a very strange dream about a place up in the stars. The next moment, she thought her life had been a strange dream about flying planes. For a moment the memories collided, both personalities struggling for dominance. Finally, it was Kathleen Black who rose to her feet and wondered at the odd reflection in the mirror. But it wasn't just Kitty looking... a deep surge of confidence lay just behind her eyes, and strange memories.

Different rooms, she realized. She and her husband slept in different rooms.. that was how she managed to awaken alone. She looked at that odd reflection and ran her hand through her short hair a couple of times. Much shorter than she was used to.. and curly! Kitty tilted her head, then turned herself around, giving a slight sigh in relief. At least her body was about the same shape and size, and her balance was good. She pulled on a nightrobe and started wandering through the house, wondering how it looked familiar and strange at the same time.

"G'morning. Finally up, are ye ?" A cheery voice came from the reading room. A few candles lit to aid the morning sun in illuminating his paper, George Putnam lowered The Daily Telegraph to peer at his wife, one whom he loved more than she him. "Stock market's all in a mess this mornin'. Here, I saved ye the funnies. Got bacon 'n eggs for breakfast if ye like."

"Yes.." Kitty replied a bit slowly, still trying to assimilate all this new information. "Thank you." She wandered into the room and sat down in a nearby chair, looking out the window, then shook her head slightly to clear it. "I'll be meeting someone today who might be a good navigator for my next flight." She couldn't remember the guy's name, though, not off the top of her head.

"Really ?" George said, with a tired sigh in his voice. "Ah, well, I hope he'll not try ta rob ye blind like yer last one did." A definite hint of not being too pleased with Amelia's chosen career. Though he was sure she knew of that. Knew of it very well.

"You're the one who wanted me to make that first flight." That response came more from Amelia than Kitty, and she was nettled. "You know you'll get plenty of fancy publicity things to do thanks to this. Interviews to set up, posters to make..." She hesitated, a bit confused again, then frowned.

"Yeah, I know hon .." George sighed, putting his newspaper down. "But it's consuming you .. this flying business .. It's silly. You're gonna lose your life that way some day. And you know I miss you .. It's taking up far far too much of your time."

Amelia made a sharp retort that never made it to her lips. Kitty frowned instead, looking at this man's eyes. He was supposed to be her husband... "I'm sorry... I want to do this, to go all the way around the world, to show women that they can do anything they put their mind to. But maybe... maybe that will be enough, for a long while." And whose desire was it to go, Kitty wondered? Whose to stay?

That pleased George, after a moment's hesitation. Rising from his chair, he wandered over to his Amelia, and offered her a hand up. "I hope so, hon. I really do. You know how much I miss you. I even went along with that silly seperate bedrooms idea of yours .. But I do love you."

She accepted the hand up and shook her head a little. She had several things that Kitty wanted to say, things that Amelia wanted to say... neither of them were what he needed to hear. So she just smiled a little. "How about that breakfast?"

A bit disappointed, having hoped for a kiss or perhaps a hug, a token of affection and appreciation. He bit away his disappointment - all for her, the woman of his dreams, his heart, and nodded, motioning to the adjacent room. "Next room over. It's fresh but you might wanna hurry and eat it before it gets cold." he said, as he followed her, sighing inwardly.

She frowned as she headed into the next room. <He's been like this. Mopey. But I can't possibly be the only woman he ever sees,> Amelia's thoughts showed Kitty. <You're a fool,> was Kitty's silent response. <He seems to really care for you.> Amelia's retort was so sharp that it caught Kitty off-guard. <I'll never trust him to stay faithful, and so I'll never expect it of him. I won't be hurt that way.> Luckily, there was something that both women loved enough to shop the internal argument. "Bacon!" And she loaded up her plate.

George sat down across from her - he'd since learned not to sit right next to her, which he preferred - and loaded some up as well, adding some eggs into the mix. "Bon appetite." He said with a nod as he began to eat.

Halfway into the meal, her memory triggered. "Oh I remember the name now, Noonan. He's got marine experience as well." Letting her mouth run as her brain thought... whose trait was that? Then suddenly she blinked and looked up and a hopeful light came into her eyes that was entirely and completely Kitty. Her navigator! Evans! He was the one she was going to meet! Oh did she hope that he'd know her, that there'd be part of him able to speak to her. Her entire face brightened, and suddenly the food seemed even tastier than before.

George noticed the change in expression, and frowned, shoulders slumping a bit. ".. I'm sure he'll be just right for you." as he poked at his breakfast some, then just decided to leave it be and rose to his feet again, to head back to his newspaper.

"Hey, what?" She blinked as he left the table, and then sat there in silence. It took a moment for his remark to entirely penetrate, and then it left a silent debate raging. Kitty felt sorry for him. She wished she could make him feel better, but what could she say to him? She wished she could somehow make Amelia trust him. <I'll have to have it out with him in some way before I leave...> she thought, then shook her head. Amelia didn't want to trust him. Kitty could trust him... but couldn't tell him who she 'really was', what was going on. Both of them were smart enough to know that if she reached out to him at all, and then showed Noonan any affection, it could do far more damage than leaving either of them alone. She finally sighed and followed 'her husband'. "Hey..."

"Am not that hungry for breakfast." He spoke as he sat back down, picking up his newspaper again, glancing up at Amelia.

"Me neither..." she said truthfully, sitting down, and Kitty overruled Amelia for a moment. "I'm sorry..." she said. "I haven't been fair to you at all. Honestly, I haven't been."

George hadn't expected that. Usually his Amelia was more assertive than just that. He furrowed his brows, putting his newspaper aside again and looking at her, head tilted a bit. He didn't speak a word, wanting to hear what she had to say, instead - but kindness and love was shown in his eyes. Love that he knew she didn't feel for him .. But he hoped that it was just a temporary phase she was she was going through.

That look pierced right through Kitty's heart, because she understood it, even though she didn't return it. "You deserve better..." she said slowly. "And I don't know if I can change." That was the truth on both sides. "I..."

But she couldn't tell him anything more. She just stood there, having run out of words and afraid of making things worse.

He sighed, chest and shoulders heaving some, then rose to his feet, gently taking her hands in his, standing before her, towering over her, still his head tilted, he spoke five soft words. ".. Give us a hug, then .."

A hug she could do. Amelia wasn't as used to them, but they were common currency for Kitty. She always had plenty to spare. Kitty still yearned for a big hug from her boyfriend... but the part of her that was now Amelia caught enough of her memories and knowlege to be affected more deeply by the simple and innocent contact. Other memories triggered, of when they first met, and she had tears in her eyes when she drew back.

George smiled softly into the hug, holding his Amelia close, as his eyes shut, and he gently caressed his wife's back, and everything was well with the world .. For a brief moment. Seeing the tears in her eyes as she drew back, he reached up to brush them away, smiling softly. "Well, you better get ready to meet that navigator of yours, then."

"Ok.." she said, smiling a little, entirely hesitant but glad to see his own smile return. "And you get some breakfast into you, you've lost weight..." Kitty couldn't help adding on her way back up the bedroom.

"What, you don't like the new, thinner me ?" He mock-blinked. "I'll eat later. Wanna read my paper now." As he sat back down and picked his paper up again. Something seemed different about his wife, but he didn't mind the change. She seemed a bit more caring, more gentle now.

And the side of this woman who was Kitty and the side of this woman who was Amelia both settled down on the bed for a good cry.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin

Amelia's husband NPC'd by Petrova