One note about this series that I kept forgetting to mention. This, obviously, takes place during that last shore leave on Earth we had. This is a joint series by Joseph Castillo and Victor Andros. Where Victor does not appear, he simply edited. On with the show! Dinner had gone remarkably well, not much talking besides small talk had happened since conversation was almost reserved for after dinner coffee in the living room. Joe had truly missed this home where he had tons of memories. Some had been good some had been bad, but they had all been memorable. Amongst the many quarrels Joe and his father had, one of the most heated one was the fact that Edison refused to quit smoking even though he knew it was bad for his health. However, Joe had known that if his father ever offered him a cigar he would not reject it because his father only offered them to people he respected. However, it had caught him totally off guard when, after dinner, his father had begged his guest Victor and his family to let him steal Joe for a while to share a cigar with him. Joe had followed his father into his study and sat in the worn, comfortable brown leather chair opposite his fatherâ??s. It was the place where many of their clashes had occurred. He took the stogy his father had offered and took a few quick puffs and started to cough. Edison chuckled and said, â??I forgot you never were influenced much by peer pressure and never even tried a cigarette. Itâ??s no that hard, anditâ??ll make a man out of you.â?? Feeling like he was about to cough out a lung Joe responded, â?? I donâ??t see how turning your lungs black makes you a man, but then I never did understand your reasoning.â?? They were both quiet for a while reflecting on one past fight or another when they both muttered at the same time. Joe said, â??Dadâ?? as his father said, â??Son.â?? They were both a bit quiet for a while longer after that, neither wanting to go first. Joe finally cracked and said, â??Look dad Iâ??m really sorry about what I said that night after the match. I was sorry then but I was just to damn proud to say soâ?¦â?? Edison cut off his son â?? No no, no listen some of that stuff I needed to hear. Some of it was just repressed anger and things said in anger shouldnâ??t be taken seriously. I was mad because you were right in a way. I did love you, I always have and I always will, but I took the exact opposite approach my father took with me. Instead of not paying attention to you at all, I watched you too closely and put too much pressure on you.â?? Joe broke down then and the remorse for running away that had been building all night finely got the better of him.â??No dad thereâ??s nothing wrong with that, a guy should be so lucky to have a father who cared so much. I was just being selfish. I," Joe began, "I acted like a spoiled brat. I mean you only raised me and gave me a comfortable life. The least I could have done was do the things that made you happy. No matter how hard Edison tried to stop it, he found his emotions bubbling over and began shedding a tear or two. â??No son, a child should never have to do anything they donâ??t want to just to make your parents happy and Iâ??m sorry if I ruined sports for you cause I know you really liked them.â?? Joe got up from his seat and walked over to his father and gave him a hug â?? I love you Dad Iâ??m truly sorry I never visited after I went to Starfleet. I should have at least called or something, but I didnâ??t want to deal with it. I guess I was just scared.â?? Edison hugged his son back and, for the first time ever, told his son â?? I love you son, and Iâ??m very proud of what youâ??ve accomplished I know it must have been pretty hard having to go through Starfleet and go off into space without anyoneâ??s supportâ?? â??Itâ??s ok dad and It was my fault not anyone elseâ??s I could have easily called you guys at anytime, but I was too arrogant to. Anyways lets put that behind us we have some catching up to do. Whatâ??s this I hear about you being Mr. Philanthropy all of a sudden?â?? The rest of the talk was pretty nice just two grown men reminiscing about the good times they had before their historic blow up and catching up and the events they had missed in each otherâ??s life the last five years. When they had noticed that a lot of time had gone by and they were going to rejoin the other in the living room Joe remembered what his mom had said about being upfront with his dad â??Listen dad thereâ??s one more thing I need to tell you.â?? Edison raised his eyebrow noticing the serious tone his son assumed all of a sudden after they had just finished a mostly pleasant and delightful conversation. â??What is it son?â?? Joe took a deep breath, â??This is kinda hard to say so Iâ??m just going to come out and say it. Victor is my boyfriend. We havenâ??t been going out for a long time but I really like him so please donâ??t act weird around him now because I told you this.â?? Edison was taken aback by what his son had just told him and a bit confused, â??But you were always chasing girls when you were a little kid, and not like my brother who use to entertain womenâ??s interestâ??s to play it off you actually went all out.â?? Joe laughed at that remembering some of his more memorable adventures in the land of puppy love, â??Uh, well, I like women, too dad, Iâ??m just interested in guys, too. Especially this one. I donâ??t know what it is, but I think his confidence is one of the things.â?? Edison said, â??I see it, for once you were the one being chased instead of doing the chasing? I know what you mean thatâ??s how your mother got me.â?? Edison winked as he finished that comment. â??Donâ??t worry about it, son, like I said, as long as youâ??re happy Iâ??m happy for you. I think he is a bit old for you, even if he is young for a commander.â?? Joe chuckled and walked out of the room with his arm around his fatherâ??s shoulder â??Thatâ??s part of the fun dad, thatâ??s part of the fun.â?? As they walked towards the living room Joe thought to himself This night didn't out so bad after all. --------------------------------- Do you Yahoo!? The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.