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Old January 13 2009, 11:14 PM   #1
trampledamage
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January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

It's Four In The Morning
inspired by Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen (YouTube audio here and lyrics are here)

Notes
This story takes place after the end of the Deep Space Nine episode Defiant, which I think places it just after Generations.
Also, my sister says she's pretty certain you can't play Take Five on a trombone - sue me, it's the only jazz tune I know.



Will Riker lay awake staring at the ceiling. He couldn’t get back to sleep. He knew exactly why his mind wouldn't relax and mentally chastised himself for putting off an important task for so long, just because it was difficult. He sighed, got up and walked over to his desk. Sitting down, he slowly reached for the antique style fountain pen that he had carefully designed and replicated over a week ago for this single purpose. He straightened the paper (replicated at the same time) on his desk. He took a deep breath and began to write.

Tom

Will let out the breath, the start wasn't so hard, maybe the rest would come easily. His hand hovered over the paper while he tried to decide the words that were to come next.

I'm sorry

Captain Sisko told me what happened with the Cardassians and he says he knows some people who will be able to get a message to you so I'm trying to write this down. I'm using paper and pen because this is probably the most difficult thing I've ever done and I need the thinking time between words. I also hope old-fashioned paper will stand a better chance of reaching you unscathed.

I have been trying to write this ever since I received the news from Sisko. This pen's been sitting replicated for a week waiting for me to start.

I wish, I wish I could have done things differently, been more willing to understand you. Then maybe things could have turned out better.

Riker tapped the end of the pen against his chin for a moment and started again.

I've thought about you a lot since you left Enterprise. About how you're exactly me, but not me at all really. Reminds me of those twins who were at school for one semester in eighth grade. What were their names? Suzy and Pauline, right? Anyway, I've decided that this is a much easier way to think of us. We're twins. You're my twin brother. Hey I could have used a brother when dad was off 'hunting', where were you then buddy?

Riker stopped writing, put down the pen and stretched his arms up above his head to work the kinks out of his spine. He got up and walked around his room, his gaze coming to rest on the trombone sitting in the corner. Riker smiled, "Why not?" he thought. "Take five."

Soon the air was filled with the jaunty music written by the classic jazz group Dave Brubeck Quartet. Riker lost himself in the music. Of all the reasons he had for writing this letter to Thomas, the subject he had to broach next was the hardest to face.

After adding in a few flourishes of his own invention, Riker ended the tune and set the trombone back on its stand. He walked back to his desk with a sigh. Sitting down he picked up his pen and started to write.

Deanna

She doesn't talk to me about you, but I know she still thinks about you a lot.

I was jealous of you when you came on board. I might have had the promotions but there's a lot I lost along the way and when I saw you I saw the me that could still grasp those opportunities. Deanna saw that in you too. And I saw that she was thinking about it. And I hated you for that.

But I'm not writing this letter to re-open old wounds but to say that I'm sorry I felt that way and that I guess, I guess I'm grateful to you for shaking things up in my life. Knowing you has made me a better person.

I see now that it was you coming on board the Enterprise that made both Deanna and me look more closely at where we are now and where we are going. And we've both realised that where we are going is not together except as friends.



You and I are probably too alike to ever get along - just like a lot of twins I suppose, but you are my brother and I won't let my brother rot in a prison camp. Dad knows a lot of people, I'm talking to some of them, to see if they can help. If they do and if you ever find yourself back in Federation territory, look me up, I'll serve up Alaskan salmon like mom used to make.



Will set the pen down on the desk and re-read the letter. There were things he wished he could say better but he was never going to be able to, he just hoped that Tom would see the intent behind the clumsy words. Will also hoped the false reference to their mother would show Tom exactly which of Kyle Riker's friends he was talking to. If anyone could get Tom out of a Cardassian prison, it was that shadowy group of spies and killers from Section 31.

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Old January 14 2009, 12:47 AM   #2
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Ah, lovely! I have a soft spot for unlikely brothers, and this pair is about as unlikely as they can get. But it was deeply touching to see Will accept Tom as such, and reach out like that. It begs to see if, later, they manage to make headway. Awesome little story.
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Old January 14 2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Thanks!

I couldn't believe it when I was reading up on Tom on memory alpha that the writers just left him in the Cardassian prison! I had to change that
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Old January 14 2009, 03:09 AM   #4
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

This is really touching. That is all I can say.
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Old January 14 2009, 04:21 AM   #5
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

USS Fardell wrote: View Post
This is really touching. That is all I can say.
Thank you. That's a great compliment.
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Old January 14 2009, 04:36 AM   #6
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Great story, and a style of writing that I happen to struggle with. My characters tend to babble to much when they write letters... Probably because I babble to much when I write letters... Meh, who knows.
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Old January 14 2009, 04:54 AM   #7
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Kaziarl wrote: View Post
Great story, and a style of writing that I happen to struggle with. My characters tend to babble to much when they write letters... Probably because I babble to much when I write letters... Meh, who knows.


I have the opposite problem! I just can't do chatter.
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Old January 14 2009, 07:20 AM   #8
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

While I think Thomas still deserved punishment for his actions--since I believe that we must CHOOSE them, no matter what our circumstances--the Cardassian prison was way too much.

I thought it was very good to see Riker have to come to terms with it, and maybe try to make peace.

I can definitely see the connection between the lyrics of your song and the story--very fitting mood, I'd say.
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Old January 14 2009, 08:31 AM   #9
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

trampledamage wrote: View Post
Kaziarl wrote: View Post
Great story, and a style of writing that I happen to struggle with. My characters tend to babble to much when they write letters... Probably because I babble to much when I write letters... Meh, who knows.


I have the opposite problem! I just can't do chatter.
Well if you ever want any run on blabber mouths I could help you out. You want to trim some of mine down at the same time?
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Old January 14 2009, 05:39 PM   #10
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
While I think Thomas still deserved punishment for his actions--since I believe that we must CHOOSE them, no matter what our circumstances--the Cardassian prison was way too much.
Oh I agree he deserved punishment, but it was the fact that as far as the writers were concerned he was just dumped there to die. That doesn't sit well with me at all. Time for a rescue mission
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Old January 14 2009, 09:23 PM   #11
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Great story. I would love top see you continue it.
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Old January 14 2009, 09:27 PM   #12
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

This might well be the first one I ever do continue.
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Old January 14 2009, 09:30 PM   #13
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

I want to know what happened to Tom-I've only seen one(believable ) story that ever addressed it-and i believe it was a contest entry last year. The outcome of that one was way different from where you are going here, though.
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Old January 14 2009, 10:00 PM   #14
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Hmm... *plots*
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Old January 18 2009, 03:08 AM   #15
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Re: January Writing Challenge - It's Four In The Morning

Very nice, heartfelt story. I liked the language here a lot and the overall style you've employed to give us a closer look at Riker and his feelings towards Tom Riker.

Well, actually I liked everything. Very well done.
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