Well, since everyone seems to be writing his or her interpretation of why Wesley showed up in "Nemesis", I thought I'd write mine. Anyway, as I said, it happens between the books "A Time To Be Born" and "A Time To Die", and "Nemesis". So it makes more sense if you've read them, but you don't have to have read them to read this. I hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: Some things referred to in this story happen in the first two books in the "A Time To…" series written by John Vornholt, which I obviously do not own. Also I don't own the characters in this story, because they are from TNG, and yada yada yada, you guys know the drill.  

Finally I Know

I wish I could let her see me, I think as I stand silently in the shadows of my mother's quarters, watching her as she sleeps. I know that I could, and she certainly saw me plenty when I came back to help my friends at Rashanar, but something inside of me keeps me from doing it. Even though I can, unlike when I was still in training to become a Traveler, and I was forced only to observe, now I still choose just to watch, as I did then. Because I know that if mom sees me, she'll ask me to stay, and I can't take that now, couldn't bear to hear her begging me not to go again.

Ever since I left for the second time, I've known that I have a choice to make. Should I remain a Traveler? Or should I go back to my friends, back to my mother, and back to Starfleet? I want to go back, but I don't want to give up my powers. Ever since then indecision has been tearing me apart, eating away at the very fiber of my being. By normal human standards I guess it could be said that I've been an emotional wreck, if that even does it justice. Sometimes the turmoil of thoughts and questions in my mind is so confusing that it's hard to focus my mind so I can get where I need to go. Sometimes I end up in places that I don't want to be. My emotions have been stretched thin, and I know that if I have to hear her or any of them asking me to stay, to come back for good, that I just might crack.

I stand there watching her, and I try to remember good things instead of thinking about it. But my mind wanders, as always, back to the question. What will I decide? I can't evade it forever. I have to decide eventually.

Why? I wonder. Why me? I never asked to be smart, never asked to be able to use parts of my brain most people can't, never asked to be discovered by one of those amazing being called Travelers, who would one day train me to become one of them. I never asked to be in a position where I would have to make a choice like this. It has to be one of the hardest decisions anyone could ever make, and going back to help my friends when the captain was in trouble and things at the Rashanar site were going awry has only made it harder. Now I know why Travelers are only supposed to observe, and not interfere. Being back for a short time made me wish even more to stay, but briefly losing my powers as a Traveler heightened my want to keep them. I can't have both. That choice has been denied me from the start.

My vision suddenly blurs, and when I lift a hand to my eyes I find tears there. Oh mom, I love you, I think sadly. I love you so much but I can't come back now, not yet. I'm not ready. I stand there for a few moments more, knowing that ship's morning is approaching and I will have to leave soon. But then she stirs, and her eyes start to open. Disappointed that my time there was shorter than I thought it would, I disappear before she can see me.

Floating in space next to the Enterprise, I watch as the ship warps away, leaving me behind. I don't leave once it's gone. I stay where I am and try to gather my thoughts and feelings in again, but it's hard. And then, in the blink of an eye my friend and teacher, known to me and my friends back on the ship simply as the Traveler, is floating there beside me. He looks at the same spot I am, the place where the Enterprise disappeared into warp.

"You want to go back to them," he says after a time, and it isn't a question.

Slowly I nod. "Yes," I say. "I miss them, all of them."

"Then you should go back." His frank tone is maddening at a time like this; my hands ball into fists.

"No!" I cry in frustration, the tears that started on the ship seeping from the corners of my eyes. "I can't-I. I…I just don't know." I hang my head and stare at my feet, embarrassed by my outburst. After a moment I feel his hands on my shoulders, and I look back up at him as he speaks.

"Then maybe it's time you found out," he says comfortingly. "You must decide. The answer is inside you. You only need to find it."

Once again I nod, knowing he's right. It's time to decide.

For the first time in years I step out of the shadows and move toward mom's bed. I'm so excited I can barely contain it, yet I'm also hesitant. It's been so long since I've been able to come up to my mother or one of my old friends and talk to them when I like that it seems unnatural now to do so. It seems a lifetime ago since I was a small child, waking her in the middle of the night because of a bad dream.

For the first time in quite a while I am truly happy; I know I've made the right choice. But I should wait until morning. I should let her sleep but I can't. I have to tell her now, have to let her know of my decision. Quietly I stand next to the bed. Her back is to me, and I put a hand on her shoulder and shake gently in an attempt to wake her. It doesn't work at first; she only turns over. Now she is facing me as she sleeps, and I try again.

"Mom," I whisper softly. "Mom, wake up." Slowly her eyes open, and when she sees who is there she sits bolt upright in her bed.

"Wesley?" she says in disbelief. "Is that really you?"

I laugh. "It's me mom," I say. "I'm back again, and this time I'm not leaving."

"Oh Wes!" she says. Immediately she stands and throws her arms around my neck.

As I return her embrace, my friend appears on the opposite side of the room, where she can't see him. Silently he waves his goodbye, and I return it with a wave of my own. Then he is gone. When the Traveler leaves, I feel a part of me go with him, and I know that my powers are gone.

"I'm not a Traveler anymore mom," I say, and the words don't hit me as hard I thought they would. "I'm back for good."

Then she releases me and takes a step back. "What made you decide?" she asks.

I smile. "Maybe it took me a while to figure it out, but finally I know where I belong. And it's here."