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The Captain sat quietly, perched on the window seat, one knee resting on the cushion, his stick idly in his lap, lost in his memories.

“Do you miss him dreadfully?”

Kitty’s words dragged the Captain back to the modern day and he came with reluctance.

“Hmmm?”

“Your friend.” Kitty plomped on the cushion beside him and fiddled with her hands in her lap.  “You must miss him terribly sometimes.”

The Captain blushed and harrumphed.

“Well, I, er…” His shoulders slumped, what was the point. “Yes.  I do sometimes.”

“Sometimes I miss my family so much I want to cry.”

The Captain looked Kitty up and down, feeling ill-equipped to participate in such a conversation.

“Now, Katherine,” he admonished.  “No good comes from moping,” No matter that that had been exactly what he was doing.

Kitty looked up with a brave smile.

“I think I’m lucky though really.  To be here with such lovely people, all my friends, Alison and Mary and Robin and Pat.  And even Julian.”

The Captain’s lips twitched in a half smile at the phrasing.

“And you, Captain.  I’m very lucky to have you.  You know, you remind me of my dear father.  Sometimes when I think of him he has your face.  He was so handsome and strong. And I always knew he would look after me.”

“Heavens, Kitty, I…”

“He missed my mother so dreadfully after she died.  It’s so hard to lose someone you love.”

“Yes,” The Captain said distantly, gaze returning to the gates. “Yes, it is.”

“I suppose the best thing to do is appreciate the people you still have that you love.  I love you, Captain, like my father, I mean.”

“Goodness, Kitty, I…I…” the Captain frowned at his own hands.  “Well, yes.” He paused as he struggled to find words that felt very alien.  

“I am very fond of you too.  I never thought of having children when I was alive, it…wasn’t a possibility.  But you are a very special girl.”  He felt his throat tighten in an unacceptable way.  Emotions were things to be controlled.

“I believe we’re what Alison calls a ‘found family’” Kitty said with a grin.

The Captain gave a watery smile.

“Yes, Katherine,” he said quietly. “I believe we are.”