Among the Stars
(Chris Beck x OFC Kyla Sweet)
Beck couldn’t remember how long he’d loved Kyla. They seemed to always meet at the wrong time.
Now things had changed. Fresh off his recent divorce, he re-joins the Ares crew on a year long mission. Kyla joins as well, dealing with her own recent break up and heartache.
Warnings: language, angst, smut, mentions of cheating, miscarriages and infertility.
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Beck took a breath.
It had been a long year. Everything that could seemingly go wrong, had. He pulled the suitcase from the closet and tossed it on the bed, letting out a heavy sigh in the process.
He didn’t really want to go again. But this was a needed distraction. Life had been hell. He needed something new, something different. A change of scenery, so to speak.
Well, this would definitely be a change of scenery.
“Are you sure?,” Lewis asked, a bit skeptical. But Beck knew. He knew he needed to make this trip. He had little doubt that it was the right thing to do. He nodded, sitting back in the chair. “I’m positive. I can’t stay here right now, I need…something else.”
And that was that.
Another year on Mars.
It was mostly research this time around, but the crew needed a surgeon, and Chris Beck was the best. That, and no one else wanted the job. But leaving everything behind wasn’t the real reason he’d agreed.
But he’d never tell a soul. No, that would just complicate everything. It would probably just make everything worse than it already was. And Beth would certainly never let this go. And that, well that was something he didn’t need.
Doctor Kyla Sweet.
Just thinking about her made his stomach flutter. She was beautiful, intelligent. Pretty much perfect in Beck’s eyes. She had always been perfect. The dream girl. The one always just out of reach.
He met her officially when they were fifteen. But he’d been harboring a crush for a few years prior. She seemed older than her years. She was poised. She was way too damn good for a nerdy kid like Chris Beck.
But they had a lot in common.
They both aimed for the stars, quite literally. Three summers of Space Camp in Houston, he’d watched her. She was his first real crush and she seemed completely unobtainable. She didn’t even know he existed. Or so he thought.
Their third summer they ended up in the same group. Beck could hardly believe his luck. They were named leaders, the oldest and most experienced. Yet, he could barely speak two words to the girl he’d admired from afar.
“Chris, right?,” she asked him, the first morning and he nodded, not trusting his voice. “I’m Kyla,” she smiled and he nodded again. “I know,” he said softly, shyly, unable to meet her eye.
After a few days, he’d opened up, just enough and they talked about everything. Their lives, their families. Their dreams. He constantly got lost in her brown eyes, tripping over his words.
He wanted to tell her so badly how he felt. He wanted to hold her hand, kiss her. He was absolutely in love for the first time in his young life. He tried to convince himself that he’d get over it. There’d be other girls.
And there were, but none of them were her. They hadn’t even come close. Not in his eyes. Everyone was compared to Kyla, she was the standard. Of course he’d fallen in love again. Beth. Their romance pulled him away from his thoughts of Kyla.
They’d married. Had a son. He thought he’d finally found some semblance of happiness. And he had, for awhile. Three years of bliss. Being a husband and a father. He loved it, but his heart ached for space. It always had.
He belonged among the stars.
He simply hadn’t been able to leave NASA behind. It was who he was. It was in his blood. Beth has wanted him to take a permanent job. Be home, with her and CJ. He’d tried. So desperately tried, but the stars called to him.
He’d stand outside, CJ in his arms and point out constellations. He’d tell him stories, and his heart would ache. He missed everything about it. He needed to go back. He had to go back.
And they fought.
She couldn’t understand his need. She’d given it up for family life, why couldn’t he? He was frustrated, bored with his life. He loved her, loved his son. But he needed more.
The six month trip broke them apart.
Beck was heartbroken, but he understood. He’d defied her, made the decision to leave, to pack her things and take CJ. He put the house on the market, rented a small apartment. Saw his son when she’d allow it.
He’d signed the papers with a heavy heart. Given her custody, he didn’t have the strength to fight her. She’d let him see CJ, spent time with him. But she was angry, and rightly so. But deep down, he knew that life was never really meant for him.
So he took another mission.
He threw his bags into his trunk and made the trip. He needed to go, it would do him some good. Maybe Beth would take the time to re-evaluate everything. Maybe they could work things out when he came back. Maybe he could try the family life again when Mars was out of his system.
He could see the Ares from the road and his heart raced. He was really doing this. He pulled into the lot and rushed inside, already late for the team meeting. He looked around the room, smiling at the familiar faces.
They were family, all of them.
He knew them like the back of his hand. Yes, this would be good for his soul. To get back to doing what he loved to do. He moved, taking a seat and his heart stopped at the door closed and she stood there.
She was wind-swept, obviously rushed to get to the meeting and she gave a wave and smile to the room. “Sorry,” she said softly, taking the empty chair beside Beck’s. She softly laid her hand on his arm and gave him a gentle smile. “Good to see you, Beck,” she said and he nodded, feeling like that love-struck teenage, unable to find words.
He had no idea how he’d do this, return to Mars with Kyla on the team. He’d forgotten everything he knew as soon as she’d looked at him. But he was here now, no backing out. He’d have to make the best of it. He cleared his throat and gave her his best smile.
“Good to see you, too, Ky.”
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