The Essence of Anger Part 15

The Essence of Anger Part 15

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Same as Pt 1

Summary

Same as Pt 1

Chapter1 (v.1) - The Essence of Anger Part 15

Author Chapter Note

Same as Pt 1

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

Reads: 292

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 03, 2013

A A A

A A A

“Beverly, my love, let me have some time to myself, while I still am myself. I won’t remember this soon.”

Beverly took his hands and looked into his eyes. Clear hazel looked back, undaunted and unafraid. With tears in her eyes she nodded. “Okay. Half an hour, no more.”

He kissed her cheek and ran his fingers with exquisite tenderness over her features. “I know soon I won’t remember you, my beautiful Beverly, nor our cherished children, but know this, mon coeur. I love you. I have loved you with such intensity...” he smiled ruefully. “...even the thought leaves me breathless. You have given me my heart’s desire, Beverly. No matter what the future brings, never forget how much I love you.”

Having made his way to his intended destination and hoping with every gram of his failing strength he could stay lucid long enough to complete his task, Jean-Luc undressed down to his briefs. He took care to fold and stack his clothing; his boots left side-by-side like silent sentinels. He stood, already shivering violently. As a mantra, over and over through chattering teeth he said, his breath clouding around his head. “Stay lucid, stay lucid.” In the falling snow he didn’t see the flash of light, but the voice was annoyingly familiar.

“You needn’t worry, Jean-Luc, I have you.”

Blinking, his eyelashes crusted with a rim of snow, Jean-Luc said incredulously. “Q?”

“Who else, mon capitaine?”

Jean-Luc dragged his eyes away from the capricious being and stared at the gelid water of the fast flowing creek.

“Not a bad decision, all things considered, Jean-Luc. It’ll be quick, painless and you’ll leave a relatively decent corpse. Very thoughtful, still, you always were altruistic.”

Ignoring the entity, Jean-Luc slid the last metre or so, breaking the icy edge of the creek. He gasped involuntarily at the iciness of the water and hesitated momentarily before beginning to lie down. Q appeared by his side, squatting, his feet above the water. “Do you hate me, Jean-Luc?”

“No.” It was becoming difficult to speak. “No, Q, I can’t find it in myself to hate you. In fact I find I should thank you.”

“Even though the choice I gave you led you to this?”

“You said nothing was for free, Q. I accept my death as payment in full. But may I ask one last thing of you?”

Q gave Jean-Luc a speculative look and gave the answer before Jean-Luc could even ask the question. “I’ll watch over them, Jean-Luc, never fear. Your family...and your descendants...will...What is it the Vulcans say? Live long and prosper?”

“My descendents?”

For the first time Q smiled and it was with genuine warmth. “We of the Continuum pay our debts, Jean-Luc. You have fulfilled your part, now we will hold up our end of the bargain. Rest now, Jean-Luc, your work is done.”

“Don’t let me...”

“I won’t, Jean-Luc. You’ll be yourself until the end.”

He let go of the bank and kept his eyes open, staring up into the falling snow. The greyness that overtook him was mercifully quick. He smiled. He was still himself at the end, his mind filled with images of Beverly and his children.

 

 

 

Beverly was preparing a late lunch when David came into the kitchen area and asked cautiously, “Where’s papa, maman?”

Smiling at her son, Beverly said, “He went for a little walk. He’ll be back soon.”

The boy frowned. “Maman...”

By the way he’d said that one word, Beverly felt horrible fear. “What?” she said curtly. David stepped back into the living area and pointed at the large windows. “It’s snowing really hard, maman. Shouldn’t papa be back?”

“Oh, God!” Blurted Beverly. To her son she said frantically, “David, go and get our coats, boots, gloves, hats and scarves.”

Going further into the living room, Beverly bent over Monique who was playing with Giselle. “Monique, sweetie, maman and David have to go out for a little while. Will you be a big girl and watch over Giselle for me until we get back?”

Beaming with pride, the little five year old nodded. “Yes, maman.”

Beverly and David were still pulling on their protective clothing as they began to walk away from the cabin. “Where did he go? Do you know which direction, maman?”

Beverly came to an abrupt halt, trying to force her panic down so she could think clearly.

“The creek! The creek at the bottom of the gully!” In knee deep snow they pushed through, making heavy going on the steep downward slope. The creek was frozen along its edges but was full and flowing quickly. Turning downstream they found the terrain a little easier.

It was Beverly who found his body. She’d seen the neat pile of his clothing, his red jacket and hat on top near the bank. He was floating, his body, clad in nothing but his briefs caught in a fallen tree. He’d been dead some time, but his expression, even in death was serene.

Beverly and David pulled him from the icy water and sat one on each side, holding his blue hands. “Why, maman?” David asked quietly. “Why did he do it?”

With surprising calmness Beverly replied, “He did it for us, David, you, your sisters and me. He didn’t want us to go through the pain and trauma of what was going to happen to him. So he did the only thing he thought he could do to spare us. It was his final act of love...for all of us.”

David, tears sliding down his face said softly, “There’re no marks, maman. What...what killed him?”

“Hypothermia, David. It would’ve been relatively quick and painless.”

“So when he went for his walk he knew he was going to do it.”

“Yes. I think if we look carefully enough, we’ll find something, last messages perhaps for each of us. In the cabin.”

“I’ll go back, maman and call the emergency team. You stay with him.”

Finally Beverly’s tears began to fall. All she could manage was a broken whisper. “Thank you, David.”

Once alone with Jean-Luc’s lifeless body, she leaned down and kissed his cold blue lips. “I love you, Jean-Luc.”

 

 

 

Jean-Luc had indeed left messages for each of his loved ones. Beverly had found them in the bedside table. David’s and Monique’s and Giselle’s isolinear chips had been marked to be read by them at age 16. Beverly was free to read hers when she felt ready. She smiled sadly, a tear slipping free. “Even then you were thinking about my feelings, my love.”

 

 

The memorial service had been, at Beverly’s request, dignified and subdued. It was well attended but the press had been banned and only three vids were allowed, one edited for public consumption, the other two for Jean-Luc’s family and closest friends.

Later, at the family plot within the grounds of the vineyard, a small gathering watched as Jean-Luc’s urn, containing his ashes was interred. Deanna Troi, who had been carefully monitoring the entire family, but especially Beverly, had noticed the woman was hiding something, something that was causing almost as much grief as her partner’s death.

Manoeuvring close to her, Deanna watched quietly as the niche was sealed and the plaque affixed. Beverly was holding Giselle in one arm and Monique’s hand with her free hand, David, looking too small for the black suit he wore stood beside his sister, holding her other hand. Will, ever aware, caught the subtle look from his new fiancé and went to Beverly, saying quietly, “I’ll take the kids for a walk, Beverly. I think you need to talk to Deanna.”

Sighing at the inevitability of it all, but lacking the emotional strength to resist, Beverly nodded and handed her children over to their uncle Will.

Now alone, as the few close friends drifted away, Deanna said gently, “You knew.”

Beverly looked up at the sky, squinting in the bright late Spring sunshine.

“You’re talking about me allowing him to go for his...‘walk’?”

When Deanna said nothing, Beverly sighed deeply. “Yes, I knew. Jean-Luc had always been an advocate of euthanasia but he was aware of my feelings on the matter so he knew that avenue was closed to him.” She lowered her head and gave Deanna a look of such sadness the accompanying wave of emotional pain actually made Deanna stagger. It was Beverly who steadied her.

“In a way, I killed him, Dee. Instead of being with his family, surrounded by love he took his own life alone and in a freezing cold creek on an alien world light years from the planet of his birth.”

The two women were silent for a time before Deanna asked gently, “Did he tell you?”

Beverly snorted. “More than he told you, Dee. He told me the whole hideous thing. I know you’re aware of most of what occurred up until Q made his appearance...but you have no idea, Deanna, no idea what followed.”

To the counsellor’s raised eyebrow, Beverly shook her head. “No, Dee, I can’t...actually, I won’t tell you or anyone else. The kids will find out when they reach 16. Until then, all I will tell you is that Jean-Luc was given a choice, but the reality was there was only ever one choice he could make. Trouble was...it came at a terrible price.”

“His life.” Deanna whispered.

“Yeah.”

The up swell of staggering grief caught Deanna again and she knew there was more to it than Jean-Luc’s death. Taking Beverly’s hand, the counsellor said, “Tell me. It’s destroying you, Beverly. Tell me!”

Beverly looked deeply into Deanna’s eyes before slowly kneeling and placing her hand on the new, still-shiny plaque on the niche. “I’m pregnant.”

Lowering her head, two tears slipped from Deanna’s eyes.

“I was going to tell him on our holiday...when he was...you know...lucid...but...”

Beverly sighed and shook her head, anger and recrimination in her voice. “Why is it that we never say the important things when we have the chance? Why do we wait until it’s too fucking late?!”

Deanna knelt beside Beverly and pulled her into her embrace.

“How far along are you?”

“Seven weeks. It wasn’t planned, not exactly; we’d just decided to let nature take its course.”

There was a long silence, broken when Deanna said very quietly, “You know the gender.”

“Yes.” Sighed Beverly. “We never did with the others, but under the circumstances...it’s a boy.”

“He would’ve been pleased, Beverly, pleased and proud.”

Her next question was couched very carefully. “You’ve had the children tested?”

“David and Monique, yes...and they’re okay, there’re no defects. Giselle is still too young, but preliminary scans are looking good so far and as for junior here...” she placed her hand over her lower belly. “Fingers crossed.”

Deanna got to her feet and helped Beverly up. “So what now?”

“Well,” smiled Beverly wanly. “With Will getting the Titan and you and he marrying and you transferring to his ship, I guess there’s not much left of the Enterprise family. Data’s gone...Geordi...” She sighed. “I think, for a few years at least, I’ll just settle down here at the vineyard, raise our children and be a GP.”

“You’re really resigning from Starfleet altogether?”

“Yes, Dee.” She looked again at the plaque.”Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being maudlin, but this is where Jean-Luc is. That’s reason enough to want to stay.”

“Fair enough. You know Will and I ship out tomorrow.”

“Yes. You can stay here tonight if you’d like.”

Deanna’s smile was warm. “No. Thanks, but Will has so much brass to negotiate in assuming his captaincy and I have to get up to speed on the Titan’s crew. Command is we’re we’ll be tonight.”

“Kay. Keep in touch, Dee. Don’t be a stranger.”

“I could say the same to you, Beverly. Don’t think for a minute that I don’t know what you’ve got in mind.”

Beverly shrugged. “Can you blame me?”

“No, just don’t let it consume you.”

Beverly smiled and took Deanna’s face in her hands, kissing both her cheeks. “Bye, dear, dear friend.”

“Adieu I think is more appropriate, Beverly.”

Will was walking back, Beverly’s heart swelling with gratitude as she heard  David, Giselle and Monique laughing. The new Captain hugged his old friend and kissed her brow. “Updates, Beverly. I want regular updates!”

“Oh...go on with you Captain Riker.”

Will tapped his comm. badge and requested a beam out. Now alone with her children, Beverly kissed her fingers and placed them on Jean-Luc’s plaque. “Come on, let’s go up to the house, we’ve got a lot of unpacking to do.”

As they walked up the gently sloping lawned area, David, carrying Giselle, said quietly, “And you have your lab to set up.”

“Yes I do.” Agreed Beverly.

“Do you think you’ll find a cure, maman?”

“I don’t know, David, but if I don’t, it won’t be through lack of trying. From this time forward, Irumodic Syndrome has become my personal nemesis.”

“Mine too, maman.” Said David with conviction.

“And mine.” Piped up Monique.

In the dappled sunshine Jean-Luc’s plaque shone a little brighter. The inscription was a simple one, the accompanying poem appropriate.

 Jean-Luc Picard. 13th July, 2305-32rd March 2376.  Aged 71 years.

A life well lived.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not here. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there. I did not die. *

 

*Mary Elizabeth Frye.

 

End.

 


© Copyright 2017 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

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