All right. I always said that I would never do this! It is my belief that the seaQuest was never taken to another planet at the end of the second season. BUT...using that premise the only way to make this story work. (In this version, no one was left behind on Hyperion(?)) I know that this is a different way for me to go, but this story wrote it's self...I just did the typing. ;) The character of Daphne is one that I am working with on several other stories, so I guess this one is out of sequence. Sorry 'bout that.
James Brody leaned back in his chair, took the letter out of his pocket, and looked at it. He knew that he shouldn’t be reading it yet again, but he couldn’t stop himself. He inhaled, steeled himself against the emotions the letter raised, and began.
My Darling Jim:
I guess there are a few things…no, scratch that. There are a lot of things that I need to tell you. I would rather do this in person, but if you are reading this letter, then I know that I am not around to do it. I’m sorry.
Brody closed his eyes briefly. Just like her to apologize for something she had no control over.
The first thing that I should say is that I miss you! There’s not a day that goes by since you and the crew disappeared that I do not think about you. It has been eight years since the seaQuest vanished, and I still wonder what happened. Where did you go? What happened to you? Hell, I don’t even know if you are ever going to get this letter, or if I am ever going to see you again. But I still have faith that you will return.
A lot has happened to me in the time you have been gone. The world has changed, and not necessarily for the better. The only shining light…the one thing that has kept me going…is our daughter.
Brody’s hands tightened around the edges of the letter. No matter how many times he read it, he always got a pleasant shock out of that statement.
I know that it must be a shock to you to read that, and I hope that you are happy about it. Jamie was born five months after you disappeared. She was a month early, so I think she inherited the “Brody Impatience” genes. I hadn’t really thought of a name for her, but when I saw her eyes, I knew right away. She has your eyes. Her full name is Jamie Alison Brody. The Jamie is after you (guess you probably already figured that out), and the Alison is after your mother, whom Jamie adores.
Brody jumped slightly as a hand touched his shoulder.
“How is she?”
Brody looked up at his mother, then over to the figure sleeping in the bed. “Jamie’s fine. She’s had an exhausting day.”
Alison nodded. “She sure has. What are you reading?”
“The letter Daphne wrote before she…” he trailed off, not wanting to say it.
“You still miss her, don’t you?”
“Of course.” Brody put the letter on the night table. “When I came back, she had been…gone…for nearly two years. Everyone had time to adjust to life without her. Me…well…”
Alison put a loving hand on his arm. “I know that feeling, Jim. I had the same experiences when I was released from cryogenics. You expect everything to be the same, but deep down inside you know that nothing can ever replace those years you lost.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there when they found the cure for you,” Brody whispered.
“It was not your fault,” his mother said kindly but sternly. “And I don’t ever want to hear you say that again.”
Alison smiled. Since spending nearly thirty years in cryogenics “deep sleep”, she looked more like her son's sister than mother. She turned back to the figure sleeping in the bed.
“When I woke, the first thing I saw was this tiny set of eyes peering at me. It was the best feeling in the world to know that Daphne and my granddaughter were there to welcome me back to the living.”
“I wanted to marry her,” Brody said suddenly.
Alison smiled mysteriously. “A mother always knows.” She bent down and kissed him on the forehead, “I’ll leave you alone to finish the letter. I think I’ll go lay down for a while. Call me when Jamie wakes up.”
“I will.” Brody watched as his mother left the room, then he picked the letter up.
Your mother has been great to us. She invited us to live with her, and she takes care of Jamie while I am away at work. Yes, I am still with the UEO, and I am now a Lieutenant-Commander. So lots of luck trying to boss me around now!! Like I said, the world has changed, and the UEO is needed more now than ever. Wars are breaking out everywhere, and no one is safe anymore.
Back to Jamie. I have told her about you…and everyday she asks questions about what you are like. The first few years were rough on me, trying to explain why her daddy wasn’t around. But, she is wise beyond her years, and I think she understood the reason. Not that “I” ever understood the reason! Jamie has your personality. She is stubborn at times, and she has a great sense of humor.
I have also told her about the others on the seaQuest. Her “Uncle Miguel” (she can’t get enough stories about him!), and Lonnie, Tim, Tony, Lucas, Wendy and Dagwood. She calls them all Aunts and Uncles. We went to the aquarium one day when she was five, and when she saw the dolphins, she yelled out “Darwin!” It was so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes. When you get back from wherever it is that you are, please let them be a part of her life…it would mean the world to me.
Brody closed his eyes as he put the letter down again. He had indeed let his friends be a part of Jamie’s life. They fussed and fawned over her, and she loved them all. Her favorites though, were Dagwood and Miguel…since they had a tendency to spoil her by always bringing gifts.
Although Miguel had lost most of his memories of everyone and everything when he returned to Earth, he had somehow known exactly who Jamie was when Brody brought her for that first visit in the hospital. Since then, most of his memory had returned, but there were still gaps that frustrated him. To make up for it, Miguel would tell Jamie fascinating made-up stories about his time aboard the seaQuest. Jamie looked forward to Uncle Miguel’s visits, because he always brought a gallon of chocolate chip ice cream…along with the usual gifts. The two shared a special bond, and would sit for hours, laughing and talking, until either Brody or his mother informed Jamie that it was well past her bedtime.
Brody opened his eyes and smiled at his daughter. “Yes, sweetie?”
Jamie propped herself up on one elbow. “Where’s Allie?”
“She’s sleeping. Want me to go get her?”
Jamie thought. “No,” she decided, “let her sleep.” She stared at her father. “Are you okay? You look sad.”
“I’m fine,” Brody said. “Just remembering some things.”
“You still miss mom, don’t you.”
“Of course I do,” Brody answered with a sad smile. “I think I always will.”
“It’s okay to miss her.” Jamie covered a yawn with her hand. “I still do.” She lay back down. “But, as Aunt Wendy said, time heals all wounds.”
Brody stood up and approached the bed. “How did you get to be so smart, so young?”
“Must be hereditary.”
Brody laughed and kissed her on the forehead. “Excellent answer…now go back to sleep.”
Brody felt a stab of pride, mixed with sorrow every time she called him daddy. He had missed the first ten years of her life, and promised himself that he would be there for her for the rest of her life.
Jamie opened her eyes again. “Where’s Uncle Migs? He said he would be here.”
“You know Miguel…he probably forgot.”
Jamie frowned at him. “That’s not funny, dad!” She thought about it, then smiled. “Actually, it is sort of funny.” She closed her eyes again.
Brody smiled down at her, and watched until she fell asleep. He went back to his chair, and to the letter.
There is so much more that I want to tell you. I don’t know where to begin, and time is short. I am on my meal break at this moment. We are in dangerous waters, and this is the first chance that I have had to think, let alone write, so please forgive me if this letter jumps from topic to topic.
I have been keeping a journal of mine and Jamie’s lives, although it is rather sparse these past few months. I have left it with your mother for safe keeping, with instructions to give it to you when you return. I pray that I will be there in person. I want to hold you so badly that it hurts at times. After all these years, I still find myself crying when I think of you. I miss you so much, and I don’t think my love for you will ever diminish. I want to see you, kiss you, feel you with me. Damn it! I want you!!!!
I need you. Alison needs her son. Jamie needs her father. Please come back to us.
I have to get back to the bridge now…the WSKRS won’t run themselves...yes, I still operate them. I've been offered other positions, but sensors is where I want to be.
I love you. I hope that you never have to read this letter.
Brody ran a hand over his moist eyes, and sighed. It didn’t matter how many times he read the letter, he still cried. He thought about how unfair life was. To be taken from Earth to fight in a stupid civil war on a distant planet, only to be returned ten years later to a changed world. Everything was different…from the people, to the balance of power, to the world itself. His one true love had been taken from him, killed three weeks after she had written the letter. His daughter had been, in all essence, orphaned and left to be raised by her grandmother.
Brody wiped his eyes quickly when he heard the door open, and looked up as his mother came in again. She was holding a small bundle against her chest, and motioned for him to be quiet.
“I thought you two were sleeping?” Brody whispered.
“We were,” Alison replied. “But somebody needed to be changed.”
Brody folded the letter carefully, trying not to rip it further along the well-worn creases, and put it back in his pocket. He had read that letter a lot over the past ten years, and planned on reading it a lot in the future.
He glanced at the form of his sleeping twenty year old daughter, who had just been released from the hospital that morning, then turned to his mother.
“Let me hold my granddaughter,” he said. He smiled as his mother gently passed Allie to him.
Brody stared with wonder into the face of the newest Brody. “You have your Grandma Daphne’s eyes,” he whispered.