Reflections - #13 - "Reunification

OOC: Do I get a prize for post #13 on Friday the 13th?


It had been a good vacation, the best he'd had in a very long time. Regulus had spent the entirety of it reconnecting with his family. He'd sat with his mother while his father was in surgery, he'd taken out the family sunfish, he'd eaten homemade cookies and listened to whale song. He'd even seen a couple of really good wild New England windstorms. And then there was the other part of his family, the one who had become vivid to him though she wasn't there...

That was the real thing that had driven him back to his roots. He'd suddenly realized that he genuinely feared losing his daughter, that she was a Starfleet officer now and could be sent into danger at any time. It wasn't so much just losing her that he feared. People were always in danger of dying from one thing or another. He'd realized that he never truly got to know her. He'd been afraid to be her father. He was still afraid, but he would try anyways.

Her room had been untouched, and he learned much about her just by standing in it. He saw her trophies and pictures on her wall. His parents told him more. They sensed that he was suddenly hungry for information about his daughter as he never had been before, and they were both happy to give him everything he could hold. His father showed him the crude sailboat model she'd built as a child. His mother showed him the composition she'd written as a teenager. He was amazed to find that this accident of birth had become such a woman, beautiful and intelligent and genetically half his.

It was with a deep sigh of relief that Regulus finished checking his mail on his last day of vacation. "Mom," he said. "Dad... The USS Pegasus is on its way into a starbase, and they've updated personnel files and ship status. The ship is in pretty bad shape. It looks like they've seen a lot of action. But we have a listing here for Lieutenant Kathleen Black, Chief Engineer, in good health and cleared for shore leave."

That prompted a cheer. "My next assignment isn't far away from her starbase," he continued. "I'll go on up there and meet the boat. I think it's time I made myself more real to her... if she wants me to." His mother gave him a big hug. "Honey," she said, "I think she'll be delighted."

.................................. After the odd drinking ritual that Kitty didn't understand, she went to her starbase quarters and slept. First from the alcohol, then from mere exhaustion, she slept for several hours. Little bits and pieces of the entire set of missions wrote themselves across her dreams, morphing one into the other in pieces of conversation and visuals. Finally, she drifted into a deeper sleep that lasted for several hours, and awoke feeling quite disoriented. There was a message waiting for her on her terminal, and it was from her father.

.................................. "I thought I'd give you some time to rest," he said to her as they sat down at the same table in a friendly little lounge. "I'd imagine you'd be wiped out after such a crazy mission. I, uhm..."

Kitty had never seen her father look sheepish like this before, and her heart gave a bound. "I wanted to say... I never knew much what to say to you, and I have spent much of my life very.. engrossed.. in my work," Regulus said slowly. "When your ship went missing, I began to realize all the opportunities I'd missed, and might never have again. I took a vacation and I went home. In the past few weeks, I've visited with your grandparents and listened to them talk about you. I admit, I still don't know entirely what to say to you... but I feel as if I can't take the chance of never having gotten to really know my daughter. If you're willing to give a silly man a second chance..."

Kitty looked up at him, her dark, shining eyes so much like her mother's. "I've been waiting," she admitted, "and hoping for the day when you'd want to do this."

As morning turned into afternoon and then evening, the two sat together, oblivious to the rest of the universe, and said everything to each other that had gone unsaid for over a quarter century.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus