Summary: On his fourteenth birthday, Jules (Julian) Bashir discovers the truth of his past, from his father's point of view.
Note: Megan wrote a beautiful little story called Pain of Truth about how Julian Bashir was born, and I thought it would be interesting to see the day from his mother's and father's side.
Want to read more of my stuff? Go to http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Andes/3071/arch1.html
Disclaimer. Trek belongs to Paramount, but I'm just borrowing
Memories of Truth
Richard glared at Amsha, still standing by the window watching the accursed English rain. After the brat had run off on his birthday she'd made no dinner. Not in the mood to argue, he'd gotten his own.
But he'd settled some things for himself. For once, she'd been right. His head was still pounding from Jules' tantrum, and he wanted her to get his breakfast.
She'd made fresh scones for their ungrateful son. Now she wouldn't even look at her husband.
Jules liked the rain. He'd stare at it for hours. Maybe he'd be cured of that when he dragged himself home.
Richard wanted to make Amsha fix him scones. But she knew she wouldn't . . . Not this morning.
Frustrated, he shoved the chair against the table. All the small things quivered, and an empty glass landed on the floor.
Amsha looked back briefly, but that was all.
He wanted her to look at him. He'd been shouting all morning and she had ignored everything.
The chair was at an angle, and he yanked it out and shoved it against the wall. It collided with a resounding crash, then fell on its side and smashed into the floor with another thud.
This time Amsha turned towards him.
"Maybe you should make some scones," he sneered. "With that nose of his he might run home to mum."
Amsha turned her back on him again. He wanted to drag her to the kitchen or at least slap her until she said something to him.
But she wouldn't. She'd just glare. That nose was his own doing, the tall, brilliant son he'd thought he'd wanted.
Now, he wasn't so sure. But she worried he'd tell. Richard didn't. Jules was too smart for that.
"Your ungrateful brat will come home if you watch or not," he spat out at her. Then, kicking the chair he stomped to his room and slammed the door.
Jules had turned fourteen the day before.
Richard woke up early, and Amsha was already up. He'd hoped to leave before the argument could start.
The first thing he noticed were the fresh scones and the hot tea laid out for the son he'd made.
The boy was starting his new school today. He'd be all excited. He usually didn't make much of birthdays, and hadn't ever made many friends.
It was the one thing he shared with his father.
But nothing else. When Jules was small and everyone had been impressed with how smart the boy was, Richard had been proud.
Then they'd had to move over and over to escape the awkward questions. And as Jules got older and taller and turned brilliant he'd become unbearably arrogant.
Richard was repullsed by his son. They had sacrificed and risked everything so the boy wouldn't grow up an idiot, and now he'd become all the smug, patronizing bosses Richard had ever known.
He quit a lot of jobs, but couldn't run away from Jules.
And today, Amsha was busy making plans again.
"Jules should have a party," she said. "Next year we must make sure he does. Just a few friends would be plenty."
Richard knew the conversation would come some time that day, but he wasn't ready yet.
He turned glum. The new job had already gone bad. He hated the rain. He wanted to leave the miserable, soggy place before Jules made fifteen.
It was a new school. Jules would soon be at the head of his class. Then, someone would recommend him for a special school or program. Records might be reviewed. Someone might discover the false ones.
Before that, they'd have to move anyway. Richard didn't mind leaving England. But he wished they could stay until they really wanted to go.
"He doesn't have any friends here. Maybe he'll make some the next place," grumbled Richard.
She said, very quietly, so softly he was sure she didn't mean him to hear, "We have to stop running."
Richard hated it when she called it that. He knew he should ignore the remark, and they could argue about it later when Jules was gone.
But he couldn't stand the words. Anger rising, he spit out, "I suppose you'd rather stay in this soggy place."
She looked up, resigned. "Jules would." Then she gave him one of her looks. "It's time, Richard."
Richard glared at her. "So he can stay here?"
She almost surrendered. "He's so brilliant they'll start to ask questions," she said softly. She didn't have to finish the sentence--unless he gives them no cause to ask.
The subject only came up in arguments. Richard yelled. Amsha gave in. It was always on Jules' birthday and Richard wished they could ignore them.
The people at the new school wouldn't know yet. She was right this time. But he still couldn't let her win.
"Smart ones are lucky. Nobody will suspect."
He wished it was true. But the father was such a miserable failure, how could he have made such a brilliant son?
"He's fourteen years old, Richard. Don't you think it's time we told him?"
"No, Amsha. He can't know. Not yet." If Jules knew he might be more careful. But then, he was only fourteen, and reckless.
Maybe he might try to see just how smart he was and how much he could do. He'd be locked up if they ever knew, but would that be a real enough threat at his age?
Later, when he had something tangible to lose like Medicine, they could tell him.
But what if he didn't believe that they'd saved him? Jules was too strong to risk becoming his target if he lost his temper.
Then, with the sound of approaching footsteps, the silence between them turned fearful.
Jules pushed open the door, wearing his best clothes. He'd dressed up for his birthday, but something had distracted him. He should have gone straight for the tea and scones. But he stopped, a tall, awkward teenager with something on his mind.
Richard had said, now and then, that he had a good nose for food. But both of them had forgotten about the ears.
Jules turned and stared at them, a curious, almost suspicious look in his eyes.
"Tell me what?" he demanded.
Richard had no idea what to say. But even if Jules bought a lie, it was only gaining time before he asked again.
Then Amsha smiled, mother and son locked in a game of words, and Richard was ignored for a time.
She was a mother soothing soothing a crying child, her voice soft and calm. "I wanted to tell you about what we got you for your birthday, but your father wants to wait until after school."
Jules was annoyed and angry about more than being treated like a child. He'd heard more than the last few words. Richard knew he should agree with her, but then Jules might turn on him instead of Amsha.
"But," said Jules, still demanding answers.
Then Amsha interrupted him briskly, and for a flash he was her little boy again. The anger mellowed to curiosity. "Now, Jules, it's getting late. You better hurry up or you won't have time for breakfast and I made your favorite."
The ploy worked, at least for the moment. The brat probably knew it was a lie, but could wait. He sat at the table, and devoured the scones.
Richard retreated to the sanctuary of his study.
But he'd seen the look in Amsha's eyes. It was only a flash, but Jules had noticed. Richard wished he could hide his own fears as well, especially the certainty that the lie was already over.
Collapsed in his chair, Richard stared at the door that defined his refuge. His hand reached for the botton drawer, disturbing the dust, but he didn't open it.
Outside, Jules was rushing out the door for school. Amsha was still fussing.
Jules couldn't wait to get to school. Long ago, Richard hurried out the door each day, eager to go. Never the best student, his teachers always pushed him to do better.
Mum encouraged him. Father approved, with surprises when he did really well, but she told him, even if he had to work hard at it, he could do anything he wanted.
He believed her. Wanting adventure and curious about what else was out there, his first job was offworld working as a clerk for a small mining company.
He had big dreams. Dealing with off-world cultures would be a challenge. Maybe he'd learn how to be a negotiator for one of them.
When he knew what he wanted, he'd go back to school. But whatever he did, he knew it would be right.
He did the best he could at the job. But all of the rest did better.
It was the first job he ever lost when they fired him.
Mum had lied.
There were others, mostly inside the Federation. He'd lost most of those, too. Even in paradise, Richard had bitterly learned, the smartest and best had all the advantages.
Once, before Algernon Prime, Amsha had comforted her tearful son with the same promise Mum had given him.
It was still a lie, especially for Jules.
Now, Jules could do anything he wanted as long as nobody ever discovered why.
The chairs made a thunk against the table as Amsha slid them back in place. She didn't push them so hard other mornings.
But she finally went to the bedrooms and he opened the drawer.
Half-full of old mementos, there were a few things from the first job. Some of the others had been special, too, and he'd added a few things to remember them by. The drawer was full of memories piled one on top of another.
He didn't look through it often, and packed it himself when they moved. He shoveled handfuls of things in a box at a time. Having failed again, he didn't need to remember all the others.
Then, a few years before, Amsha had packed the drawer. She was neat, fitting it tightly into the box.
She'd found Jules old school records lost along with all the other memories.
The argument had been bitter, but he hadn't known they were there. He'd destroyed everything that might betray them after Algenon Prime. But the little packet of records had been burned.
The next job on Mnemora was going well. He'd even gotten a letter of recognition. Everybody liked the place. But Jules was so brilliant the school wanted to send him to a special academy. The boy was excited about it, but they'd review all his records first.
While Richard had packed, he found a few things Amsha had missed lost in other records.
Richard wanted to stay this time. But to remind himself why they had to go, why they always had to move on, he'd saved the things. Lost in the scattered mess in the drawer, he'd remember each time he sat at his desk.
Now, Jules suspicious, the things had to be destroyed. But first, he had to find them.
The first handful was nothing but his own memories. He'd have to sort through everything to be sure it was all gone, too.
The second handful yielded an old report from Jules' teacher. He held it in his hand, remembering the small, stupid boy she'd borne.
Jules couldn't even do the simplest things other children could. He couldn't remember his letters or numbers, and didn't know one thing from another. "Student's estimated IQ is between 60 and 70. Recommendations are formation of an individual education plan, including life skills instruction."
Jules' only chance was the doctors. And if he was found out, the only one he had was to be locked away as a freak so nobody would be reminded of monsters.
Richard noticed the time. He needed to get to work, even if he'd be late. There wasn't time to look for the rest.
It wouldn't do to be fired now, and give Jules more reason to suspect.
And even if the teacher's words were damning, maybe Jules might need to read them some day, to save him from himself.
There were more things to find, anyway.
He dropped the teacher's report into the drawer, covering it with handfuls of his own things. He'd need a better hiding place later. But while Jules was busy with his presents this afternoon, he could find the rest.
The drawer closed softly. But there were fingerprints in the dust. Richard carefully wiped away both before he hurried off to dress and face another long day of work.
"Mr. Bashir, why weren't the records transmitted early? Was there anything about my note that this was urgent that you didn't understand?"
Richard was having a miserable day. One of the other prima donnas had forgotten to give him the note. He was done, but it had been sent late. His superior, a glorified clerk who called himself a manager, didn't explain why.
He never did. Richard tried to ignore how much the man reminded him of Jules.
"I must have lost the note," he said.
"Get the rest of it done now. And don't be late again."
He'd hurried the other urgent transmissions, a personal message from Amsha giving him reason to be quick.
She'd gone shopping and wanted him to meet her at the station. He didn't want Jules to get home before they did.
But there was more to do before he could leave work. He left late.
She was calmly waiting, a large package in her hand. "I left a note for Jules that I was out shopping," she said. "I found the perfect gift, an old doctor's bag. He'll treasure it."
Jules and his attitude, even the accent the boy was working on, reminded him of work. "Hope he doesn't plan on staying long. This rain is awful and the liars at work are worse."
He finished explaining, loud enough everyone could hear. They stared, but he ignored them.
Amsha wouldn't notice how nervous he was that way.
Then they got home, and he wished he'd lost the job but found the secret stash.
The room was empty, but Jules was back.
"Jules, your father and I are home. We have a surprise for you," Amsha called out.
But he'd already found it. The door to the study opened. She dropped her package with a thump.
Jules was bawling, his face red. Clenched in his hand were the school records.
Amsha must have guessed. She gave him one short look, then turned to Jules.
"What's the matter?" she asked. But this time she couldn't hide the fear so well.
Jules wasn't listening. The clenched reports held out towards his parents, he almost sobbed, "How could you?"
Richard had saved the teacher's note, even believed he needed to. How could he have taken the chance? Then there was the dust. He'd shown Jules where to look.
Amsha was staring at him, anger and disappointment in her eyes. But she'd let the boy come home alone. If she'd hurried her shopping Jules would never have seen the dusted drawer, or gone into the study at all.
It was her fault Jules had discovered their secret.
She was still trying to reach the little boy she'd found in the morning.
"Calm down, sweetheart," she said.
But Jules didn't hear her. He glared at both of them. "How could you do this to me? How could you make me into a freak like Khan Singh?" he screamed at them.
Amsha said suddenly, as if offended, "Don't say that."
But long before the doctors, Jules was already a freak. Would he have rather been an idiot, too? How was being smart worse?
Richard interrupted the tirade. "We saved you, you ungrateful brat!"
But he retreated a little as Jules' anger replaced the shock of finding out.
"No one asked you!" Jules screamed at him.
Richard was wary, but knew this had to stop before Jules exploded. He couldn't have found the teacher's note. Or maybe he didn't read it. How could he want to be the failure he'd been born?
"You couldn't tell a bloody cat from a house!" Richard yelled back.
Jules was just as mad, but the hurt was there too. "You could have given me time," he half-sobbed.
Confident he'd contained the anger, Richard was ready to bully the boy into submission. "Time? How long did you want me to live with the shame of having an idiot for a son?"
It backfired. Anger written in every step, Jules took slow, deliberate strides towards his father.
Richard almost bolted. But then Jules would know how much the rage in his eyes scared him.
Jules stopped too close, starimg his father straight in the eyes. He threw the mangled records at Richard, and while father and son glared at each other, what was left of the child who had been drifted to the floor like the chill of a sudden fallen snow.
Jules was caught in an all-consuming rage, but his words were spit out in deadly quiet. "So, that's it. You weren't concerned about me, you were ashamed of me!"
Amsha tried to make peace again, gently taking Jules' arm.
Richard heard the arrogance in the words, and saw the cold threat in the eyes. He'd been a useless idiot, but was this much of an improvement?
Mr. Bashir, he remembered. Why weren't the records transmitted early? Except now it was Jules standing above him.
I must have lost the note. He'd lied because they wouldn't believe him, because they made all the rules. But not this time.
Fury drove away everything, even the fear of Jules' real strength, as he glared back at the son he'd chosen.
Amsha's attempt to distract Jules was quickly over. He shook her loose and pushed her aside. "Get away from me! I hate you! I hate both of you!"
Richard's hand was clenched into a fist, then turned to slap just as hard. Jules saw him and tried to get away. Richard grabbed his arm.
Anger and frustration and guilt merged into strength. Richard rubbed his hand to stop the sting of the backhanded blow.
Jules lip was bleeding and his cheeks pale. A red tinge defined where Richard's hand had struck.
But all Richard could see was the brimming, uncontrolled fury he'd unleashed.
"Leave me alone!" screamed Jules.
There was a flash of a hand, then a shadow of an arm rushing towards him. Then, astonished, Richard slammed into the floor.
But Jules stood, just as stunned, suddenly aware of his full strenght and speed. He stared at his own hand, astonished and horrified.
Then, yanking it open so hard he nearly broke it, he ran out the door.
"Stay here, Jules," called Amsha. "Don't run away." But the boy was already gone into the dark wet night.
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