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, part two
His study was a mess. Jules had looked through other things, but not scattered them. He was probably searching for his present.
But when he'd found what was in the drawer, everything had been dumped on the floor. The drawer was thrown against the wall. Richard's little collection of memories was scattered like so much refuse across the room.
His back throbbed and his head was pounding, but he dragged the drawer back to the desk and put it into its slot.
Sitting on the floor, he sorted the bits and pieces scattered everywhere into little stacks. One by one, he lined them up in the order he'd collected them.
Each was a job he'd liked, something that was special. But he hadn't been good enough for any of them.
Then there were the things from Mnemora, and that one was different. They liked his work. The city was interesting and everyone wanted to stay.
But then he'd found the old records and Jules had been spectacular and it was over again.
His life had been a series of failures. Even the best parts, the times when he'd dared to dream of more, had gone bad.
What did it feel like to dream? He couldn't remember anymore. All that was left was the Game.
Always be careful. Try not to be noticed. Keep moving on.
How had he forgotten the rules when he'd kept those records?
Why would Amsha want the boy to know if he would be ruled by the secret, too?
Now, when he dragged his soggy self home, she'd get her wish.
The teacher's note was missing. Had Jules read it or guessed?
But he knew. He was smart enough to figure out the Game himself.
Amsha had stood by the door, the rain and cold wind blowing inside until Richard had dragged himself off the floor. He'd shut it, but she'd just moved to the window.
He'd snapped at her. "You got what you wanted," he'd said bitterly.
But sitting on the floor with failure and disappointment all around him, he was overcome with an enormous sense of relief.
Jules would know better now. He wouldn't show off. Not all their moves had been Richard's fault. The next place could be different. The job could last. It wouldn't rain all the time.
Jules wouldn't ruin it.
Amsha had put the doctor's bag where Jules would see it when he came in the door. He'd want it, just as he'd still want Medicine. And Starfleet.
He had something real to lose now.
He'd keep the secret. Amsha was right. Maybe if they'd told him Jules wouldn't have run, but it was done now.
One by one, he repacked the things into the drawer. How many of these places might have lasted if they hadn't had to worry about Jules?
He kept his old letter from Mnemora. Since he'd left school, it was the first time he'd ever been singled out because he was good at something.
Resting in his chair, he read the letter over and over. If he'd found the records--if Jules couldn't have--the next place couldn't be sanctuary. But now there was a chance.
Amsha could worry and stare at the rain. She'd won, but didn't act like it. When her little boy came home, she'd be so relieved she wouldn't think about that.
But now, Jules would behave. If he thought he was a freak, maybe he wouldn't be so arrogant anymore.
Maybe Richard could stand to be near the son he'd made.
The chair was back under the table, only nicked a little. A chunk of paint was missing from the wall. Amsha looked tired and the rain was still a drizzle.
Richard was still hungry. He'd given up on Amsha and was going to get his own late breakfast.
But it was over. The records were still on the floor where they'd fallen. Jules would be home once he got cold and wet enough.
Richard would be waiting. His head was still pounding, and his back ached every time he moved. His cheek was a faint purple, and he hadn't slept.
He wanted to make sure Jules was back.
Even if the boy had walked in the door this morning, Richard knew he couldn't face the primma donnas that day.
The drawer had been emptied again during the night. Richard had studied each piece, savoring the memories. The sudden relief of earlier had turned into a kind of victory.
The rain pattered on the roof all night, only letting up now and then. There were occasional thumps that might have been the door. He'd checked each time to see if it was Jules.
But it was always the wind. Amsha sat by the window, just staring, each time he'd looked.
After kicking the chair, his back had hurt even more. Resting hadn't helped. All he could do was stare at the ceiling and listen.
Maybe Jules wouldn't come back today, or even tomorrow. Maybe he'd have to think about it first. The school would ask why he was absent, but there wouldn't be a good enough explanation. The authorities would get involved. Richard had bought the best new records he could, but eventually they'd find out.
His stomach grumbled. A noise by the door had distracted him from breakfast. But then Amsha was watching as he'd turned towards the kitchen.
She'd let Jules find the things. If all of them ended up in prison, it was her fault.
She'd moved to the couch, but still watched the window. He could tell she was waiting for him to get his own breakfast.
He wasn't hungry anymore. Intending to hide in his study, she surprised him.
"These papers," she said softly. "These papers should have been destroyed."
Then he would never find the next sanctuary. But if Jules did run away, the school and the authorities would ruin everything. If Amsha hadn't let Jules come home alone, he'd have never run at all.
How dare she complain about his own mistake.
"You're the one who wanted to tell him," Richared sneered. "You think he'd have been grateful if we'd spilled it out ourselves? You think he'd have smiled and said thank you?"
She faced him, both sorrow and anger in her eyes. "He's so smart. You had to have a son so brilliant and so strong and so agile that everyone would notice. You couldn't have chosen to make him normal.
Richard had grown up normal, but was a failure. "Smart people can do whatever they want," he said bitterly. "Normal people get looked at. You think we'd have been able to hide this if he'd been normal?"
She glared at him, equally mad. Silently, he dared her to disagree.
"You think we can hide it now, with him so angry he's ready to pay you back?" she challenged.
Infuriated, his hand tightened into a fist, and he took one long stomp towards her.
She was wrong. Jules wanted to be a doctor. He'd savor his present when he came home even if he didn't want to talk to anyone. He couldn't enter medicine if he told.
Then, before he reached Amsha, Richard stopped. The sun was up, despite the drizzle outside. Jules would be tired and cold and hungry, but he was still out there in the muck. What if he decided it would be easier to just run, like the family had been doing for years?
Jules could doom them without even trying. But they'd find him, too, and then he'd understand.
"What happens to him if he's discovered?" he snipped back.
Amsha stared at him with a steady gaze. She watched the fist carefully, but did not back down. He stomped closer, waving his hand in her face.
"He gets locked away," she said. "But we do too." She was scared of the fist, but too angry for it to matter. Glaring at him, she added, "Maybe he's mad enough to let them."
Yesterday, Jules had been bawling like a baby when they'd come home. But before he ran off, he'd hit back. He'd never done that before.
The doctors had made him smarter and taller and stronger, but something of his father was still there.
That's what scared Richard.
Amsha backed away, moving carefully around him and sat at the table. She had had her say. She knew when to retreat.
I must have lost the note. Richard had lied, let them win, but sometimes you had to.
And Jules, whatever the doctors had done, was their son. He'd come home because he didn't have a choice. But nothing would ever be the same.
"No," he said bitterly. "He's too smart for that." He walked up to the table, his voice quiet. "He'll pay us back in his own way."
Without thinking, he rubbed his bruised jaw. A part of Richard wished his son would stay away. Now, even in his own home he'd always have to take care.
Amsha understood. Jules knew he was stronger than his father now. But even if she'd defend the brat, she was still afraid of her husband.
She was still staring at him, unconvinced. Until Jules walked in the door, already cowed, she wouldn't be sure.
He couldn't stand to look at her. Why had he been cursed with an idiot for a son? What had Amsha done to ruin him? Is that why she was so brave when she defended the arrogant brat he'd turned into?
He couldn't touch Jules. But Amsha was still defending him with her silence and stares.
He struck back. "The idiot was probably your fault anyway," he snapped. "Who knows what you did when he was inside you to ruin him? All I did was fix it."
There was satisfaction when she crumbled, all her anger dissolving into sobs. A fist in her face hadn't shaken her, but the right words had.
The boy thought he was a freak. Richard would have to remind him now and then.
Then, quietly, the door was pushed open.
Jules stood in the doorway, cold and drenched, but very calm. then he walked into the house as if he'd just been out for a morning walk.
The chill in his eyes was colder than the night had been.
Richard backed off, ready to retreat.
"Don't cry, Mum," said Jules, ignoring him.
Amsha stood so quickly the chair fell in a thump that echoed in the silence. She rushed to her son, taking his soggy form into her arms.
"Thank God you're home. I've been so worried about you." She backed off a little, clinging but wet. "Oh, Jules! You're soaking wet. You better get out of those wet clothes and clean yourself up."
She was holding her little boy. Jules was putting up with it, but how long would he let her fuss before he decided the game was her fault, too?
Richard moved nearer, watching as his son looked at her with his cold eyes.
"Don't call me Jules. I don't like that name anymore. My name is Julian."
Richard had to edge even closer to hear.
Amsha looked at her son, and Richard might as well have been invisible.
"Of course, whatever you want," she said.
Things had changed, but Jules was still her child and always would be.
Richard wasn't sure what Julian considered him. But without his father, he'd be an idiot rotting in some Federation nursery.
How dareHe glared at the ungrateful brat just as Julian looked down at him, looking a little surprised.
"Let your mother fuss over you now because I'll get you later."
Amsha tried to pull the boy closer, trying to protect him. But Richard's jaw was still aching, and his back trobbed every time he moved. Jules--Julian--pulled away from his mother and took a measured stride towards his father.
Cold eyes stared down at Richard. Julian waited a moment before speaking. In a slow, deliberate hiss he said, "No you won't, Dad."
This time, Richard couldn't hide the fear. But both knew he would never threaten the tall, cold freak that stood where his son had been.
Julian turned and hurried up the stairs, leaving a trail of drips behind him.
He'd keep the secret and play the game. But now, he knew what he was. Every time Khan Singh or the Eugenics War was spoken of he'd wonder if there was a monster inside him.
Richard didn't need to be stronger. All he had to do was remind the boy about the monsters like him. Shame would keep him in line.
Retreating to his study, he stepped over the remnants of the boy who had been, so long ago.
But sitting in his chair, the drawer and all its memories near, he remembered the excitement of waking each morning wrapped in the security of knowing that life was an adventure and tomorrow would always bring new possibilities.
When they'd said he wasn't suited for that kind of work, that he did not have the skills to deal properly with customers on that first job he'd been devastated.
A door had slammed shut. Promise and hope became a lie. Tomorrow would only bring more disappointments and lost dreams.
Julian shared more than a lack of friends and a temper with his father now. Before opening that drawer he'd still been Jules, smarter and taller, but a boy with dreams.
Now, all he had was the game.
Richard flipped on the screen. He'd have to find another job. The one at the Embassy was already all but lost. Even if Julian was the most imperfect student he could manage, they'd still have to move on.
They always would. Only now, it wouldn't be fault anymore.
The shower was running. Amsha was sitting dishes on the table. But somehow, between the scones and tea of yesterday and the meal they would share this morning, the whole world had turned upside down.
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