Title: He's My Son
Rating: PG
Author: Nine - .com/docseven2000
Disclaimer: No infringement intended.
Summary: Doc's thoughts.
Archive: Ask first, please.

**
Down on my knees again tonight. I'm hoping this prayer will turn out right.
See there is boy that needs Your help. I've done all that I can do
myself...

A doctor is capable of many things. Healing small cuts and bruises that
happen along life's rocky road. Setting a broken bone, lowering a fever.
Literally bringing a person out of the hands of death. Miracles happen at
your fingertips.

I think back to all the people I've healed, all the sicknesses I've cured
and all the miracles that happened at my own fingertips. It all
seems so vague and far away. And so mundane even.

Why can't I heal him? That little two year old boy lays within the darkness
of Sickbay, has been there for almost a year, and I can do nothing except
sit and watch him struggle to breathe, see the disappointment in those brown
eyes when kids hop off a biobed and leave with their parents. All this
healing I've caused, all these miracles I've done and it feels empty. Like
nothing now. Because I can't cure this one little life that lays asleep not
far from my office. It brings holographic tears to my holographic cheeks.
How fair is it, that I a hologram, a computer generated being, can live life
to it's fullest and this little boy must suffer indefinately? He has so
much life in him. He could be so much.

But it doesn't seem like that's ever to be. I can't heal him. I can't do a
miracle for him. I'm helpless. I gaze out into the main of Sickbay as the
doors slide open and she goes to him. She visits him every night.

**
His mother is tired. I'm sure You can understand.
Each night as he sleeps, she goes in to hold his hand.
And she tries not to cry as the tears fill her eyes...

"Seven," I whisper as I leave the confines of my office. My hands
immediately rest on her shoulders as she leaned back against me.

"I didn't realize you were active, Doctor," she says. I smile. She still
calls me Doctor, despite my chosen name. Then again, most
of them do. The most I can hope for is when I'm introduces as Dr.
Zimmerman.

Leaving all thoughts of that behind, I sigh. "I couldn't sleep. How about
you? Are you sleeping okay?"

She nods, just barely. She doesn't sleep well at all, I know. She was
supposed to be regenerating tonight. Seven, I wish you wouldn't tire
yourself. I can feel her body getting slightly heavier as she rests against
me. She can't afford to spend another night here. She has got to
regenerate tonight. "I will go to my alcove soon," she sighs, almost as if
reading my thoughts.

"Good," I reply gently. She needs this time with him. He isn't awake as
much anymore and I think it panics her. I know it panics me. His time is
running out. I've got to do something. But what?

**
Can You hear me? Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him? Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me, let me take his place somehow.
See he's not just anyone, he's my son...

He's my son. Or as close to it as any child will get. I still remember how
jealous I felt when Seven told me she wanted to have a baby and that she was
going to ask Lewis to help us out. I felt betrayed. Not by her, but by my
own makings. My own wife and we'd never have the privilege of creating a
life together. I suppose it's no different than what some other parents go
through, inter-species marriages suffer that frequently. But I coudn't help
but repeat over and over in my mind, 'If you'd only been human, you wouldn't
suffer this.' Seven said that I was being stupid, but it really bothered me
that I couldn't ever make a child with her. And it didn't help when Lewis,
my creator and father you could say, agreed. I knew she had no feelings for
him, but I also knew his reputation concerning women and it left me less
than thrilled. But he was the best choice. The child would virtually be
mine in
appearance and be everything he would have been had I been human and his
father.

But evertually that jealousy and disappointment turned into purest joy when
she conceived. Her pregnancy was fun. There were the bad times, like when
she was sick to her stomach, but even in those days we bonded closer. And
then the night Aaron was born. I'll never forget it. Ten hours of
seemingly endless labor and Seven trying to devise ways of hurting me
because I didn't understand what she was going through. Things would be
quiet for an hour at a time and then she'd suddenly look at me and size me
up. Things like that can leave even a hologram chilled. But then he came
and we stared at his beautiful face for the first hour. We were sure
everything was going to be fine. We were so damned certain.

**
Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep. I dream of the boy he'd like to
be. I try to be strong and see him through. But God who he needs right is
You...

And for the first year everything went as planned. He had a normal
babyhood. Seven was very particular about just what he was exposed to and
who held him. Why shouldn't she have been? He was our child and too
precious for us to let anything bad to happen.

Then came the night of Voyager's annual reunion and everyone was there.
Starfleet society, ambassadors, you name it. And a lot of attention was
focussed on little Aaron. Everyone wanted to see the son of the hologram
and Borg. Unfortunately everyone included some very bad people. People who
didn't think it was proper for a hologram and a Borg to be acknowledged as
people, let alone a family. Since we'd arrived in the Alpha Quadrant it was
no secret that there were those who thought Seven nothing but a 'freak' as
they put it and that she'd marry a hologram proved she wasn't right. And
there were those who thought that I was some sort of sick program designed
to take advantage of a young woman who was still learning who she was as a
human and that if she'd been a little more experianced she'd know that a
hologram wasn't the right mate. That was I taking advantage of her. Where
still not even sure who did it, but when Aaron wandered away that night,
they took the opportunity to rip him out of our lives. Bio-warfare waged
against
a child! They dared to suggest that my wife and I were wrong for our love
and then they brought themselves to such a twisted atrocity as poisoning a
child? The anger doesn't fade ever. Every time I think of those who might
have done this, I want to rip them to shreds and then put them back together
so I can torture them again. They should could themselves blessed that I
don't know who they are.

I take a deep breath, not that I've ever needed it, and rest my head against
hers. I try to be strong for them both, but sometimes it's
hard not to let it show. It kills a part of me each time I think of what he
could have been. She turns around and touches my face, knowing what I need.
"I love you," she whispers, wrapping herself into me and joining my tears.
Just once I wish I could feel the tears sting my eyes. As if it would
make it more real. But how could it be any more real than this? It's
devastating.

**
Let him grow old, live life without this fear.
What would I be living without him here?
He's so tired and he's scared. Let him know that You're there...

We stand here together for a long time, almost fifteen minutes and then she
pulls away. Her lips brush against my own and she says, "We will be fine."

I tell her that almost everyday and yet sometimes it's just so hard to
believe. How would I ever be all right if he...if he. I can't afford to
think that way. I can't live without this little life sleeping not far.
What would I be without him? How could I ever go on? What would
a day be like without him? I don't want to know. Please don't let me know.
I couldn't stand it. But I nod and try to smile at her. She's so
beautiful. Does she know how precious she is to me? I kiss her once more
and she turns back to Aaron, taking his little hand and kissing it. "I love
you," she whispers. "Sleep well."

Turning back to me, she says, "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Seven. I love you," I answer and she leaves. And I let my eyes
go back to my son. My little boy struggles to rest and my hands shake.
What can I do? I have to find the answer. Seven misses me those nights
that we spend in our quarters and she wakes to find I'm gone. But she never
contacts me to see where I'm at. I guess she instinctively knows that I'm
still here in my Sickbay, still searching for the answer. For the miracle
cure that will save my boy from this terrible fate. I'll never stop either.
Not so long as he lives. I wipe the holo tears from my cheeks and touch
his hand. I love you, Aaron.

**
Can You hear me? Am I getting through tonight?
Can You see him? Can You make him feel all right?
If You can hear me, let me take his place somehow.
See he's not just anyone...Can You hear me? Can You see him? Please don't
leave him.
He's my son.

Creator of this universe, hear me. I would trade this soul you've placed
within a hologram's matrix if it would save him. Don't take
him from this place yet. Let him live life and know the things that I've
been allowed to know. I would be incomplete without him. Give me that
miracle I need to save him. He needs You. I need You.

As I sigh and return to my office I turn my terminal on and stare at the
screen, waiting for that breakthrough to hit me.

I can't help but grin in surprise when it does.

The End.