000 Disclaimer, I own nothing 000 Ok, first of all huge thanks to Cha Oseye Tempest Thrain for betaing this for me (even if I did go momentarily insane and completely miss the attachment…) This story is dedicated to anyone who has ever lost someone 000

I never thought I'd have this life.

It all started on Enterprise, where I met and (reluctantly) admitted deep feelings for her. It wasn't that I didn't love her-God knows how much I loved that woman. But the rules and regulations held me back;that sensible voice in the back of my head would keep reminding me of the rules.

Until one day, I tuned that voice out. Two years later we married, not even a year later we were back on Earth expecting our first child.

I'll admit at this point I was terrified. One of the reasons I loved the Armoury was that everything had a single purpose and was uncomplicated. Being a Dad would leave me open to the giant minefield of parenthood. It was my initial sink or swim moment and my God did I feel like I was sinking…

Still, Hoshi helped me. She was a born mother; it all came naturally to her. I wasn't particularly enamoured with the aspect of being a father. The midwives were beside themselves cooing "Oh isn't he a little poppet! He's absolutely gorgeous! You must be so proud!" Or at least this is what Hoshi informed me they said. I was occupied with a space on the floor, I was never fantastic with excessive amounts of gore and seeing what I had just seen…urgh. Nevertheless I roused just in time to hold the baby.

Here was this tiny, pink, screaming…thing…All I could think was 'WhatDoIDo? WhatDoIDo? WhatDoIDo? WhatDoIDo? WhatDoIDo? WhatDoIDo?' Oh yeah, there was no way in hell I was going to be offered father of the year.

Still, after a while I got used to being a Dad. It wasn't so hard really, Hoshi did all the hard stuff, I was just there to muck around with him. Daddy means fun, Mummy means business, and that was the basic rule of our house.

I suppose that I should've helped out more, I wish I'd done more. I wish I'd helped Hoshi out, told her how much I appreciated everything…but I didn't. Feelings were never my strong point...

Don't get me wrong though-life was good. I might have been in a permanent state of terror but we had a good life. When Jonas was 4 Harry came along. Harry was different to Jonas. As a baby Jonas seemed to cry relentlessly, Harry on the other hand was the most amiable baby I've ever come across. He had no worries about being passed around like a parcel. He didn't even cry when my father picked him up, which left me thinking 'I've either got the bravest baby in the universe or the most foolhardy.'

Jonas didn't appreciate Harry's arrival at first: having the next-door neighbour bring Harry over after Jonas shoved him through their cat-flap was a big clue.

At this point I began teaching and so did Hoshi, the local babysitter was dutifully employed and everything was perfect.

As we all know though, perfection is something that is attained only after you've realised you've lost it.

When Jonas was 5 we dropped him off at the local primary school. He gave the nearly weeping Hoshi and I a look that plainly said 'You expect me to stay here?' After that first day though we never saw that kid for dust when he entered the school grounds.

Ella was next to be added to our brood. 'What's one more?' Hoshi asked me beaming. Sure, just one more. Don't get me wrong though, I would move heaven and earth for my kids, I was just constantly terrified I'd kill them. When all of them were small and asleep I'd poke them just to make sure they were still breathing, Hoshi despaired of me.

But life was good. Keyword in that sentence-was.

One accident and hospital visit later, our household number decreased to 4.

Hoshi was dead…and I was alone, left to fend for myself and our children. If I was terrified before I could barely function now.

There was so much to do, people to contact, a funeral to arrange…Kids to tell….All I wanted to do was crawl under a rock and hide till the nightmare went away.

Unfortunately I had too much to do to just shut down. Tempting as it was.

I was now the sole carer for three children. My children.

Luckily, Starfleet had allowed me four months of compassionate leave. Normally I'd have kicked up a fuss, wanting to throw myself into work. But I didn't have that luxury this time; there were children to take care of.

I had never felt more afraid or alone in my entire life.

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