[ussbansheec] Watching Father
- From: Andy Maluhia <CaptainAndy@xxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbansheec@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2007 07:48:50 -0500
_Watching Father_ by Aidoaneth tr'Ghaladriel, Byron Matthews, & Sophus of Vulcan **/My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.--Clarence B. Kelland/
The doctor blew out a soft breath as he left the temporary quarters the staff at the station had afforded him. It felt good to be doing something, to be healing, rather than simply waiting and watching out a window. He actually almost smiled though the sight of that smile caused some of the staff on the base to edge away. Smiling Romulans, even ones in civilian dress, were things to be wary of and that just amused the doctor even more. In any case, he was legitimately pleased to be seeing this particular patient. The man was progressing well and that was good to begin with but that it pleased his son and his son's wife made it all the better. Brushing back an annoying gray hair from his forehead, he entered Sick bay still trying not to smile.
"Good morning, Doc," Byron said cheerfully from his bed. His wife had her head on his lap, sleeping soundly, and his sister was slumped in a chair. His brother in law was stood staring out of a window, his eyes lost inside himself.
"Fair morning to you, too, Byron," Aidoaneth said as he approached, the ghost of a smile still there. As was his habit all his life, he spoke to his patient first rather than checking the charts and machinery first. "How are you this morning, rekkhai?"
"Better," Byron said softly, so as not to wake his wife and sister. "So much better than I have done in years."
"Excellent," Aidoaneth said in an equally hushed tone. Dark eyes pored over what he still thought of as an ISD. "Fortunately, the machinery agrees with your assessment. Dr. McEntire will be pleased I'm sure."
"I'm going to have to send that woman flowers," Byron grinned. "She's just as much an angel as you are a saviour."
"If I believed in personification of the Elements, I'd thank you," Aidoaneth said with a hmmph. "I suppose my fellow physician will appreciate it though. My son...my youngest one I should say, he will be quite interested in the entire process."
Byron smirked at his doctor and nodded. "I'm sure my daughter will be fascinated when she gets home too."
"That," Aidoaneth sniffed, "is because she is no doubt expecting to see you sicker, or worse, than you were. Aneirin is one of those doctors who always asks 'why'. I'm sure it was his first word if I think about it."
"My little girl's a nurse," Byron explained. "She wanted to be in space so badly, she turned down teaching positions to be on Banshee." There was a pulling sadness to Byron's voice, so at odds to his normally cheerful demeanor.
Aidoaneth, having but this one patient, had nothing else to do. He pulled up a chair, however quietly in consideration of those resting or otherwise engaged, and sat quietly. "This is the first that I've met any of the other parents or family members from his ship," Aidoaneth said softly. "I had no time to attend any of the launch festivities when they had them either yet Aneirin has always spoken highly of the staff he works with. I believe him, too." He hmmphed softly, his look turning slightly sour. "Unlike my eldest, he and Erianath do honor to our House."
"Both of my kids are good people," Byron smiled. "I didn't get to go to their launch party either. Too ill."
"Ah but now you should be well enough to welcome you daughter home, na? Watch her go on with life," Aidoaneth pointed out. "I have so many things I wish for my sons. My daughter hnah...she will do well. I do not know her but I trust what Erianath says."
"I have no concept of how it must feel to not know your children completely," Byron sighed. He shifted a little, wincing slightly with discomfort, but it was nothing to what he'd felt in the past. "What do you wish for your sons?"
"The same as I wish for my daughter, especially now that she is Hru'hfirh: that they live up to the name of our House. Whether they walk on ch'Rihan or here in the Federation, S'Ghaladriel is an Old and Noble House," he began. Aidoaneth sighed, brushing back an annoying gray hair, then offered Byron a smirk. "After all these years, I am a Rihanha still and it is for the people to live up to the name. The name is alive and older than them. I will not have it debased by bad behavior here in the Federation."
"If your boy here is anything to go by, you've nothing to worry about," Byron said with a smile and a nod at where Delphine slumbered. "He's made our prima donna very happy and that's no mean feat."
"My parents did a good job with that one," Aidoaneth agreed with a slight smile. "Di'nanov chose well to take Erianath over Tal as Hru'hfirh. He kept the honor of our name strong. It sounds cold to Human ears but a Rihanha without a name is no one at all."
"Perhaps I've been too long among aliens then because it sounds no more odd than the Human tradition of keeping face," Byron shrugged. "Pride is like love or hate, it's as universal as water and oxygen."
"My twin and I--we were surprised that our parents did not have our names thrice written and thrice burned. Mine at the very least but Eisnas' case was simple: we do not kill children. Ever." It still made Aidoaneth shiver involuntarily. Vincent's son was a grown man now and for that they were all thankful. "We were Galae officers and the taking of lives happens but no innocent child has ever met that fate by our hands."
"Children are the one sacred," Byron said softly, his hand absently stroking his wife's hair as she slept. "It proves you're a good man, my friend."
"I am as I am," Aidoaneth said with a one shouldered shrug, "but thank you." He almost smiled, watching the hand movements that seemed easier than they had been. Aie but perhaps that Dr. McEntire will be pleased greatly, he told himself. "Erianath tells me that is one reason he hates his brother. The man has a mean streak that runs quite wide. He is unnecessarily sharp with the servants' children."
"Then he's a fool, no offence, my friend," Byron said, a wry smile on his lips. "I've been ill for a long time but it's taught me many things, not least of which is if you're good to the lowest people, you'll always make life better for yourself one day."
"Exactly so. My brother and I trusted Maec, the chief servant of the House, with the care of our sons completely. I would guess that Erianath learned as much from my own di'nanov as he did from Maec. It is the same here in the Federation, though. I have seen many people treat the ones lower on the scale poorly simply because they are lower." He snorted rudely. "The Empire, any empire, is built on the backs of its people and it's foolish to break their spirits."
"Do that and the empire falls. History is littered with examples of such behaviour and the failure of the greatest empires on Earth and beyond."
Sophus turned and raised one eyebrow at them both. "It is only logical, to coin a kinsman's phrase. I still admit to surprise over the ignorance of people to the simple rules of logic to make their lives easier."
"That one was wise then," Aidoaneth agreed. "The lower ranks and the children are the nails of any empire or government and, as Earth story went, for lack of a nail the kingdom was lost."
"Each lasting civilisation has one thing in common," Sophus added, "and that is the loss of social structure at a fundamental level. If a person cannot raise themselves above their birth position then hope is lost and revolution is inevitable."
"Which would be why I did what I did to my first wife. It became intolerable yet, for my children, I can still insist on certain aspects of that civilization even if I no longer live there," Aidoaneth told him. "For me, I had my twin but your daughter will ease my son's life in this new world. She does so already."
"Perhaps your son will ease my daughter's need to wander. She has always been thus, has never cared to simply stay at home. Perhaps some of that will be curbed by having a husband." With an almost ironic lifting of a corner of his mouth, Sophus added, "I still have my reservations regarding that idea."
"Despite the circumstances that brought him here," Aidoaneth began, "my son seems to be a rather stable man. One would have to be if one were master of an estate such as there is on ch'Rihan. The..." He shrugged and flicked at his own ears. "The earrings I cannot even begin to explain. Only one man I know of ever dared buck tradition so and I'm sure no one called him on it out of sheer fear of the consequences."
"Maybe he just thought 'what the heck'," Byron offered with a smirk. "His family's different, why not be different too. They suit him too, add to his whole aura of confidence. Some people, no matter the culture, just have to stand out. They can't help it."
"That," Sophus nodded, "is often the case."At that, Aidoaneth outright smirked, still holding back laughing, even though he really wanted to. "In that case, Byron, the boy was doomed from the beginning. My brother and I are not just twins. We are identical to the point that we sound exactly the same and we will share the other's physical reactions. He was not well pleased about the grays."
"Tell him they make you distinguished," Byron sniffed in amusement. "That's what my wife tells me"
"Until we are old enough to be considered elders or statesmen, I would say that most, if not all, of the men from the noble Houses can be considered vain," Aidoaneth said with a shrug. "It annoys Eisnas as much as it does me. I am not old enough to be someone's grandfather."
"But aren't you someone's Great Uncle? From what my niece tells me the little baby is very cute. I think you're not that far from being a grandfather if she's as clucky as she appears," Byron teased lightly.
The Romulan hmmphed softly. "My rinam is going to smack me in the head for what I said, especially since she is younger than us," he chuckled softly. "Ealasaid is a beautiful child but, with the exception of Erianath, none of my children have sought a bond mate, never mind thought of a family. I could not force that on them, not that I am in a position to do so to my eldest son or my daughter."
"Neither of my children have partners either," Byron sighed. "My wife nudges them sometimes but if they're happy, it's all we can ask."
"And that, in my case, they do not disgrace our House," Aidoaneth agreed. Humor glinted in his eyes as he looked at his son's soon to be father-in-law. "Your daughter is certainly a worthy queen, rekkhai."
"She has always been exceptional in all she chooses to do," Sophus said with a slight inclination of his head. "We are proud of her."
Aidoaneth bit back the automatic sarcasm he tended to give Vulcans when they expressed emotion. Pride was, in his opinion, a worthy emotion in regard to Delphine. She was refined, talented, beautiful, and smart. That she could put up with a Rihanha was another tick in her favor. "I can only hope that my own daughter has turned out so well. Erianath says she has and I must take his word for it. Eris is a stranger to me."
"Most unfortunate for you," Sophus opined. "I would not wish to lose my daughter or knowledge of her."
"It's hard," Byron whispered softly. Then he offered both men a bright smile. "But they're coming home. I know it."
Aidoaneth wished then that his youngest son had spoken about more of his crew mates other than his supervisor. As it was, all he could do was let out a sigh and agree with his patient. "I agree and you, Byron, will be well enough to greet your child. I will see to it. You have my word on that."
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