Summary: For her first two weeks back in Tokyo, Miko lived with her parents...

Categories: Ship Pairings > Other Pairings
Characters: Original Character, Other, Rodney McKay
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Episode Related
Warnings: Adult themes
Chapters: 1 [Table of Contents]
Series: Bridges

Word count: 1148; Completed: Yes
Updated: 03 May 2007; Published: 30 Apr 2007

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Story Notes:
Spoilers through "The Return Part 1".

Author's Chapter Notes:
Author's Note: So this whole relationship (Miko/Captain Cushman) was never in my plans at all. That shows you how much influence I have in my own writing.

Thanks to Marie for beta-ing this installment, which was written for the SGA_Flashfic "Masks & Masquerade" Challenge.

There are many people who would be surprised to learn that upon her return to Earth, Miko really did attempt to live a normal life.

She moved 'home' to Japan, accepted a job with the government in their aerospace design division, and made every attempt to put down roots. Since Atlantis was truly lost to her, it was better to adapt and move on than to wallow in what she had lost.

For her first two weeks in Tokyo, Miko lived with her parents.

It gave her a chance to spend some time with her father, and remember exactly why she'd taken the position in Antarctica in the first place. Following a week of not-so-subtle hints from her mother, Miko even agreed to go on a date. By then, she had stopped flinching quite so hard in the subway or staring at the skyscrapers and waiting for them to change shape. She was proud of herself - only a week in, and already she could pass for normal. Any other quirks could easily be attributed to her time in Antarctica.

Mizukami Tatsuyoshi was a respectable man with a very senior R&D position at Toyota for someone of his age. What surprised Miko more than anything about the blind date was that she liked him. He was attractive; he was polite; he had gone to school in America for a time; he was even an engineer. He, too, was of the age where family pressure to settle down became a serious concern. When their evening ended, he thanked her and asked her to call. She did.

Their third date was two weeks later; a Friday evening in the Asakusa Kanon-do marketplace. It was one of those tasteful-yet-gaudy tourist traps that Miko hadn't visited since grade school, and she agreed to the venue with reservations. The moment she stepped into the bustling marketplace that lined the walk to the temple, however, it became worth it. Because this was familiar, in a way that the rest of Tokyo was not anymore. The press of humanity made sense in a marketplace - all of the worlds they had traded with had them. Almost without thought, she walked straight into the middle of it and closed her eyes, allowing the homesickness to wash over her. It only lasted a moment, however, because even the most idyllic marketplace held hidden dangers, and you never closed your eyes without someone watching your six. When he found her, disoriented in the midst of the central isle, Yosh asked no questions. Instead, he suggested a good sukiyaki place down the street.

In gratitude, and because she was far too old to worry about 'how things are done', she allowed him to take her back to his apartment. It had been years since she had done this, but there was surprisingly little awkwardness. At first. Then they settled on the bed, and her shirt came off, and things changed.

"What happened?" His question was softly spoken, but carried an insistence behind the polite wording. He was staring down at her in the soft light, but she couldn't tell where his eyes were focused.

She shifted, trying to get a better look at where he was staring. There were a few scars, but nothing remarkable. "What do you mean?"

"Your scars. There are so many..."

She frowned in confusion. "There are only a handful; I was one of the lucky ones." The moment she spoke, she knew she'd said too much, but it wasn't as if this would be repeated.

His fingers were gentle as they traced a scar just below her ribs, following the line of hardened tissue and then continuing across her stomach until coming to another, this one from a bullet. "I would hardly call this lucky, Miko."

She looked away, studying the patterns the bedside lamp threw upon the wall. "I'm still alive." She sighed, and her voice grew bitter. "And I'm home, in Tokyo, where I belong. What else could I ask for?"

He pulled away, and she felt the cool air return to her naked skin. "What else indeed." She heard him stand, and turned to follow his movements as he retrieved her shirt from its resting place beside the bed. He smiled, but this time it didn't reach his eyes. "I think you should go home, Miko. You're obviously not where you want to be, and there's only so much I can do about that."

"What do you mean?" She was confused, and wondered if perhaps she'd forgotten more of the 'game' than she had thought.

"You're pretty, Miko, and you're smart, but you're never really here. I've known you for two weeks, and already I can tell it's not going to change. That's not for me."

She sat up, taking the shirt automatically even as she began to protest. "Wait, Yosh, please. I didn't mean... Well, I did mean, but not the way it sounded, and it has nothing to do with you. There are things in my life that are...complicated right now. I'm making changes that are difficult, and sometimes I don't know what I'm saying anymore."

He sighed, and sat next to her on the bed. "I understand that. You told me that first night that you were still adjusting to Japan again, and I was fine with it. But I work an eighty hour week, Miko. I need someone who can support me, and that's not you. I don't think that's ever going to be you. To be blunt, I need a wife, and I don't think that's what you want. I'm sorry, but I can't spend six months on this if it's not going to lead anywhere."

"I...I see. I am sorry, then, for not being what you need." She turned away, and pulled her shirt back on, proud that her voice had stayed level. She fussed with the buttons for several moments, attempting to buy time to compose her thoughts. She didn't know what was wrong with her; she'd faced Doctor McKay in full rant, this shouldn't be this upsetting. Taking a deep breath, she stood and faced Yosh, who was leaning against the desk with his hands in his pockets and his shirt hanging open. "I believe it would be best if we do not see each other again. You are a good man, but as you say - I am not what you need. Your time is valuable, and I have no wish to waste any more of it."

She didn't wait for his response - didn't need to hear it. As she walked to the nearest subway, she cursed herself for being so foolish. Who was she to believe that she could leave Atlantis behind? The next morning, she put in a request for a position on the Daedalus. She might as well be useful, if she couldn't be where she belonged.

~ Finis ~