<USS Banshee> "A Tear for the Future"
- From: "Brad Ruder" <groundzero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 23:49:29 -0700
“A Tear for the Future”
by Lieutenant Commander Joshua Asper
& Lieutenant JG Telsia Ehling
Telsia sat in her new living room, half the boxes were unpacked, the other half were piled up in a corner collecting dust. Cameron was lying in his crib sound asleep. Tel had a book out in front of her and she had planned on reading only her mind couldn't focus on the book. She kept going back to her coffee that afternoon with Sara and everything that they had talked about. Sighing, she picked her book back up and began to try to read it again hoping that it would relax her and take her mind off the world around.
His quarters were so empty without her, without them. The bed was made and not slept in, a sight that made him sad and depressed. The barren landscape was just that, barren. He sat on the couch and stared out into space and his thoughts wandered to her. She had lit up every aspect of his life and it had turned sour at the moment when his life came back to haunt him. It always seemed to do that and he didn't know why. "I miss you," he said to no one in particular.
Letting out a groan of frustration, Tel placed her book back down on the coffee table and stood. It was driving her insane; she knew Josh was free now and he could come at anytime and visit them, see his son and see her, and yet for some reason he had decided not to come visit. Passing over to the replicator, she ordered herself a mug of hot tea and carried it with her to the large window. Staring out into stars that surrounded them, Telsia wondered if she should search out Josh, go see him, but it didn't take her long to shake her head at the idea and discard it. Resting her head against the glass she requested soft music to be played in her quarters. Letting the music wash over her, she began to wonder what the future held for her and her loved ones.
The chime rang.
Without turning, and not really caring who was there, Tel called out a low "Come in". After a moment, she turned to welcome this visitor into her home. She was about to speak when her eyes landed on Josh, standing there, just in her doorway. "Hi," Telsia said, slightly surprised to see Josh in her new quarters.
"Hi," Josh said. For the first time in a long time he felt awkward. The stability that came with being near her had faded somehow and it was now almost a chore to come see her. So much had happened, so little had been said, and too much of life had passed them by without as second glance. No more. Josh took a step forward and went to speak, but found only his breathing as a form of communication. "I don't know what to say."
Telsia moved closer to him by a few steps, but stayed just out of reaching distance. "Say what’s on your mind, what’s in your heart; you can say anything and I will listen Josh." She knew it sounded corny, but she wanted him to know that anything he wanted to talk about was fine with her – as long as he was actually talking to her.
"It's not that simple."
"Why isn't it that simple?" Telsia asked, finally getting up the courage to say something she had longed for awhile to say. "It's been simple enough for you to talk to Sara about it, so why can't talk to me? Why is it that when it comes to talking to me, the mother of your child and supposedly your fiancee, why is it then when it comes to me, it's not simple? Why Josh?" Those were questions she had longed to ask for a while but was scared to, scared that she would appear to be a jealous girlfriend and scared at the answers she might get. Since becoming such good friends with Sara, Tel was no longer scared to just ask Josh what she wanted or to tell Josh the truth about everything.
He ran a weary hand through his hair. Moving over to the big bay windows his eye searched for an answer. His internal monologue had shifted into something more formal like a constant and steady opposition to telling her anything. It wasn't something he was proud of and it wasn't something that he wanted to repeat. Nothing was that simple with him, Josh thought to himself as he folded his arms across his chest. "Telsia," he started, but stopped. He stared at her in all her beautiful glory. "That's another life. It comes when it wants to and I push it away. Sara needed to know so I could continue the life I've chosen to lead - a life with you and our son."
Telsia knew that Josh loved her and Cameron, though sometimes she didn't feel it. She knew his love was always there but even with that love, at the moment, she was frustrated and hurt. "A life that you have been pushing away for quite sometime now. Josh, if this is something that comes and goes, then I want to know about it. You can't expect me to take the abuse of your anger because something from the past has come up and not even tell me what it is and you can't expect me to accept you cutting yourself off from your family for the simple fact that something that happened a long time ago is coming back to haunt you. I love you, Josh, and I don't want to see you hurt." Tel stopped speaking for a moment and looked over at her son's bedroom door.
Josh couldn’t say anything.
"And it's because I love you so much that I will stop all my inquires and drop the topic. If you ever want to tell me, then you tell me, but I love you too much and Cameron and I have gone through too much to get back to you again that I won't bother you with all my questions." It took a lot for Tel to choose defeat like that. She hated not knowing when the knowledge could give her something to work off of to find out if there was a better way to help, but she knew that continual questions would only push them apart and cause him to resent her. Her shoulders dropped some and she moved away from Josh. "So, if you can't say what’s on your mind or in your heart, what are you going to say?"
He wasn't Betazoid, but he felt the pain. "Telsia, I was accused of murder and nearly convicted. I was locked away for eight months in solitary confinement where I went almost officially insane. I began to see myself in a whole new light - quite literally. Paranoid schizophrenia ring a bell?" It was like someone had released the control on the floodgates and everything poured through him with newfound energy. He waited with bated breath for her response to his outburst and feared the worst.
It took a few moments for what Josh had to say to sink in. Tel stared at Josh for a while, finally understanding what happened to his boyish innocence. Standing and moving away from the couch and towards him, Telsia stopped right in front of Josh and looked up into his eyes, seeing the fear, the pain, the guilt, and the hurt all radiating from them. Without a word, Tel closed the gap between them and wrapped her arms around his waist, pulling him in close to her body. "I love you," she whispered into his chest and tightened her grip on him. She was trying to let him know through her body language how much she really did love this man in front of her and how she accepted him totally, flaws and all.
"It wasn't my fault..."
Tel placed a finger on Josh's lips. "Josh, you don't have to say anymore then you have if you don't want to. I shouldn't have even tried to coerce into telling me what you did. I'm sorry you had to live through such an experience and I'm sorry I wasn't there to save you." She hurt for him, just thinking of all he would have gone through. "I love you Josh, nothing you say will change that."
"There's so much more than that! I do have to tell you. I do have to release my soul. I do have to make sure that what I went through doesn't happen again and doesn't affect me, us, our family every again," he was borderline breaking out into tears. Years and years of trouble and agony had been built up. So much to say and to talk about and not enough time. "No one should live a life like mine. With the exception of you and Cameron my life has been nothing but pain and torture."
Tears filled Tel's eyes as she listened to the anguish in her lovers voice and watched it in his face. Deciding that maybe it was best if he just talked. She remained silent but took his larger hand in her small feminine one and stared up into his face, ignoring the tears in her own eyes and staring into his.
A hand laid on her face triggered a lone tear to drop, sliding down her perfect complexion. He smirked through his own tear-filled eyes and flung the tear away, "without you there is only darkness. Without Cameron there is no future. The one shining beacon I have is you. One in a million have a life like mine and I was the lucky drawer of that card. No one else. I wade through it and I'm glad to have you here with me."
Telsia was filled with such love by Josh's words, he hadn't spoken like that to her in a long time, so long in fact, that she had began to wonder just how much she meant to this incredible man in front of her. But no longer would she begin to doubt his love for her, not when she would have those words to always carry around in her heart. She placed a hand around the back of his neck and tugged slightly, pulling his face down to hers. Tel didn't know how else to tell him how much she cared and loved him, other then the small, sweet kiss she placed on his lips before pulling back and smiling at him. "I will always be with you, no matter if you try to push me away or not."
"I'll never push you away again."
He was a man of his word.
She would never be in the dark again - he would make sure of it.
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