Summary: Casey really dislikes being compared to his father. Commodore Blair is trying to help by giving him some wise advices based on his own experience.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot.
Author's note: This conversation took place during WCP, not long before Blair's death.
Warning: Some grammatical mistakes. English is not my native language after all.
One more victory, one more great achievement on his part, but still no one really saw his achievements as his own. Those old geezers still saw him as Casey 'The Iceman's son' and not as Lance Casey, the talented pilot. They kept on blabbering about how his father would be proud of him and that it was natural for him to be so talented because so was his father. Every time he did something great, they seemed to give all the credit to "The Iceman" and not to him. And wore of all, it seemed that everyone always expected him to be perfect just because he was a hero's son.
"Will they stop that already? I'm really getting sick at being compared to a dead person." Casey murmured to himself.
He was sitting in front of the window in the empty pilot's lounge of TCS Midway, his gaze focused to the space outside. He was holding a bottle of beer only for the sake of holding something rather than to drank it. It was too early to be drinking anyway. In fact it was still 3 am and everyone else were fast asleep. He was awoken to a bad dream of his father coming back from the death only to receive all of his medals. He knew that it was a completely silly dream but still he couldn't go back to slumber, so he decided to get a drink to calm his nerves.
"I'm so sure that there are many pilots who are going to be very proud to be compared to the great Michael Casey." Said a voice from his back.
Casey was so startled that he almost lost the grip on his beer bottle. He stood abruptly, only to end up standing almost face to face with Commodore Blair. Upon realizing that, he quickly corrected his standing pose into one that was officially accepted when talking to someone with higher rank.
"Sir! I'm sorry, I didn't hear you coming."
"Don't need to be so formal like that, Casey. There is no one else here so I think we can skip the formalities. Besides, I think I'm the one who should apologize for disturbing your musings. I was just about to get a drink when I saw you sitting there, talking to yourself." Blair said reassuringly.
"Couldn't sleep too, Sir?"
"Yeah. I still have nightmares sometimes after my abduction." Answered Blair pensively. But after seeing the guilty look on Casey's face, he added with a reassuring tone. "It's not a big deal. Nothing that a glass or two of liquor can't handle."
"Oh, good then." Casey answered. He wasn't assured by Blair's answer but decided to drop the topic anyway.
After a few moments, he returned to his former sitting position in front of the window. They remained in silence for a few moments until finally Casey decided to ask the question that had been plaguing his mind.
"Am I being ungrateful because I don't like to be compared to my father, Sir?"
"Not really. You're a great pilot and you wished for recognition on your skill, which you obviously deserved. Besides, I can't say that I don't know the feeling of trying to get out of someone's shadow, myself. In fact I've faced a worse one. At least your father had a good reputation, unlike mine." Blair said after grabbing a chair for himself from one of the table.
"Huh? Your father, Sir? I'm afraid I've never heard about him. Not even when they taught us your history back at the academy." Casey asked dumbfounded.
"I believe that's some kind of denial on their part. Have you ever heard about the Pilgrim, Casey?"
"Not much. Just that they were the first to ever explored the space and that now there were not many of them left." And after awhile he added. "Oh, and that most of them were arrogant trouble makers."
"Well, you see I'm a half-Pilgrim from my mother part. And everyone seemed to know that my father married her. That's weird considering that he wasn't even a famous guy. He was just a farmer. But yeah, since then, whenever someone mentioned the name of Arnold Blair, people would recognize him as the fool who married a Pilgrim. And trust me, being their only son definitely wasn't helping at the beginning of my career. Whenever I mentioned my name in introduction, people would ask what was my relation to Arnold Blair. And when I told him that I was his son, they would give me this wary look. As if I just told them that I was a trouble maker." Blair finished his short speech with a contemplative look.
"But you succeeded right? I mean, right now, people are talking about you with respect and awe. You are 'The Savior of the Confederation'." Casey said with hope started to rise in his heart.
If Blair could get out of negative prejudices and made his own great name than he could definitely got out of his father's shadow. Although he must admitted that he rather felt sorry for Blair. He must have done a very hard work to get the recognition that he had now.
"Well I'll be a liar if I said that it doesn't took time. In fact it took so long that I almost gave up. Just when I thought that they no longer looked at me with prejudice after being 'The hero of Tiger's Claw', it proven to be wrong. And when the Claw was destroyed by an attack from the enemy's stealth fighters, no one, not even Admiral Tolwyn would believe what I said. They still couldn't trust the word of a half-Pilgrim without any real proof. And my career almost ended there. But I didn't give up. When he half forced me to resign, I refused. And after 10 long years of waiting, I finally got a chance to proof my loyalty by helping TCS Concordia when it was under attack. After that, I really worked hard to show them that I wasn't a traitor. But I think everyone only really trusted me completely after I became 'The Hero of K'Tithrak Mang'."
"How long do you think it'll takes for me?" Asked Casey. Voice a bit unsure.
He really hoped that it wouldn't take as long as Blair. If his memory served him right. It took about fifteen years for Blair from the start of his career until he became "The hero of K'Tithrak Mang". But Blair was right; Casey's case is a lot better than his, so hopefully it would take less time for him until he could get his recognition.
"I don't know, Casey. All I know that it WILL take time. But not how long. You just have to be patient and work hard. And I'm sure one day you'll make your own legend. Not as 'The Iceman's son' but as Lance Casey." With those sentences, Blair patted Casey's shoulder and made the move to leave. "Now you should rest. It won't do you any good being half awake in the cockpit and being blown up into pieces as the consequence."
"Thanks a lot for the advice, Sir. I will always keep that in mind." Casey said with a small grin.
"Nah, don't mention it." And with that, the Commodore left Casey to sit by himself for a few more minutes before he too left for his own bunk, heart felt a lot lighter than an hour ago.