Vine '04: Motivations

Much of what Josiah Sanchez did in his life was done out of spite. It wasn't the common mean and petty version of that emotion which resulted in the sort of actions that ended up inflicting harm upon others or himself, but it was spite nonetheless directed almost exclusively at his father, Jacob Sanchez. From time to time Josiah worried that his motives might have overshadowed his actions, negating the good he'd managed to accomplish.

Josiah sat quietly on the beach watching the waves roll in contemplating his father. He made a point of deliberately thinking about the man on the anniversary of his mother's death every year. It struck him as particularly appropriate since her death seemed to have been the high water mark of his childhood, everything going downhill from that point on. Not that things were particularly good while she was alive, but they were….better. It was a relative assessment that Josiah couldn't help making.

Before she died, his father didn't seem quite so angry, so judgmental and quick to condemn. Although, it was some times to hard to tell. Jacob Sanchez was a latter day patriarch that regarded his word as law in his house. He had been quick to wield words as weapons and using his fists if words proved not to be sufficient inducement. When his mother was alive, she bore the brunt of his father's attacks. After she died, it fell to Josiah and his sister, Hannah.

Josiah sighed softly. He sometimes wondered as a child if he'd missed his mother because he missed her or he missed her running interference, doing what she could to protect him and Hannah. She'd been dead for so long, he could no longer remember what she looked like. His father had maliciously burned every photo of her in a bout of drunken rage.

When he and Hannah were children he used to go to their mother's grave site every year. Josiah wasn't actually sure what he expected to find there. Perhaps he thought he'd find a way to recapture some feeling of closeness, some sense of gentleness and love, but the carefully manicured lawn and perfectly placed headstones seemed to have nothing in common with what he remembered of his mother. When he realized her final resting place was not what she'd have picked, but rather one more example of his father's controlling efforts he stopped going.

Not long after he realized that Josiah started to do things just because his father didn't want him to. His father regarded football as institutionalized violence, a mockery and affront to God. Josiah joined his high school team, and played well enough to get offered a scholarship.

His father didn't approve of the scholarship because it was to Notre Dame. A Catholic school was out of the question for a rabidly Protestant minister's child. Contemplating his father's attitude had led Josiah to conclude his father's conversion to the Baptist faith was in likely his own spiteful reaction to his grandfather's devout Catholicism. Not that his grandfather had ever been the sort to stand on a pulpit and loudly profess is faith…he was more the quiet, confident sort. It was something that must have grated on Jacob Sanchez something fierce. Josiah had figured his father's rhetoric and bible thumping were more for show than anything else.

A parental signature was needed for him to accept the scholarship. His father refused to sign. Josiah wasn't surprised by that, disappointed, but not surprised. So he made other plans. When he turned eighteen he signed up in the service, something he did solely to piss off his father, to boldly announce his defiance.

He did the same thing when Hannah had to be institutionalized. Their father acted as though she'd never existed. Forbade Josiah from even mentioning her name. That didn't keep him from going to see her, of making sure she was taken care of and as happy as she could be. As much as he loved his sister, her mental instability unnerved him, so much so that from time to time he wondered if he'd have continued to see her, continued to make the effort to connect with her if his father hadn't expressly forbade him to do so. Whether it was out of spite or not, the end result gave him chance to connect with Hannah, to have some sort of relationship with her that would see him through some of the darkest moments of his life, so he couldn't ever find cause to regret it.

He read the bible from cover to cover, not so much as an act of devotion but as a way countering his father's efforts to bludgeon him with it. His father was always quoting passages of fire and brimstone. Josiah reveled in having the knowledge to argue a different viewpoint, to state his case in such a way his father couldn't say he was wrong. It usually resulted in his getting up close and personal with the back of is father's hand, but it was worth it. Like his relationship with his sister, Josiah's act of spite managed to garner him something far more meaningful and worthwhile than he'd expected. He found a faith of his own, one that allowed him to have a rapport with God that was more akin to that of his grandfather's.

Josiah elected to become involved in covert operations, signing up as a 'spook' because he knew his father would not approve of the deception the job required. His father would never have accepted his using his analytical knowledge of people and applying that to bring about their own destruction. It was ironic to Josiah since he first learned about people's darker motives by watching and listening to his father.

Josiah shook his head. His father had been dead for years by that time he'd entered the shadowy world of espionage and yet he was still doing things to spite the man. He wasn't sure just what the hell that said about him as a person.

That uncertainty was one of the reasons he felt the need for penance. He couldn't be sure if the motive didn't outweigh the act. And not everything he' done had turned out so well. He was guilty of a great many things.

Josiah sighed, smiling slightly. Joining Seven for Hire had been a way of using the skills he'd gained to do something good, to balance the scales so to speak. It was one of the major decisions of his life that hadn't been made to spite his father.

He could hear laughing and looked up the beach. Vin and Ezra were playing with a Frisbee. It appeared to be something of a full contact sport the way they were playing, although it was decidedly more tantalizing and sensual than combative.

Josiah's smile widened. His father would never have approved. But he couldn't bring himself to really care. His old man preferred Leviticus. Personally, Josiah favored the New Testament.

Josiah nodded to himself. Love was never a bad thing. His father would never have understood. The fact that Josiah did was proof that even at his worst he was still a better man than his father ever was. It was a good thing to know, a very good thing. He only regretted it had taken him so long to realize that.

The Frisbee sailed near him, within grabbing distance. Josiah caught it easily. He moved to toss it lightly back but realized neither younger man was going to catch it. He shook his head tolerantly as watched Vin try to steal a kiss, Ezra playfully dodging him, dimpled grin belying his efforts to avoid his lover.

Josiah whistled shrilly, getting their attention. He held up the Frisbee, eyebrows rising. "Think you boys lost something."

Ezra laughed and danced away from Vin, but not far enough to elude Vin's proprietary pat on his ass. "Not lost Josiah, just misplaced."

Josiah thought that comment applied to more than just the Frisbee. It could easily cover his entire life. He hadn't been lost, he'd simply been misplaced. Misguided perhaps, but with a little help he'd managed to return to where he should have been in the first place.

"You wanna play with us?" Vin asked.

Josiah raised both eyebrows. "Didn't think the game you were playing was meant for three."

Vin laughed and shook his finger at Josiah. "You know better'n that. We'll play a different game."

Josiah chuckled, nodding his head. "I wouldn't want to intrude, brothers."

"If you were intruding, we would have told you so." Ezra countered with an easy, open smile that only those close to him ever saw. "Besides, I think you were here first." Green eyes sobered slightly as they studied Josiah. "Perhaps it is we that should worry about intruding."

"Nah." Josiah waved a hand. He'd come out here to remember his mother, to contemplate the choices he'd made and the reasons why. Somehow he couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate his small epiphany than by spending time with the people who helped him see the light.

He rose easily to his feet. "Let's play for a bit."

As he and the other two men jokingly hashed out the rules for their improvised game, Josiah was damn glad he hadn't missed out on the simple joys God had meant for everyone to experience. Play was something else his father had frowned on. He'd regarded it as a frivolous waste of time that could have been better spent on more worthwhile, meaningful pursuits. For the first time in his life he didn't resent his father, he felt sorry for him.

The man had missed out on a lot of things. A lot of good things for no other reason than his own bigotry and bias kept him from seeing the truth. Spite might have been the reason for a lot of things Josiah had done, but it was never the only reason. And hate had never been a motivating factor for him, ever. He was slowly beginning to see where that had made all the difference.

"Viva la difference," Josiah whispered to himself, grinning broadly. He thought his mother would have approved. No, he was sure she would have.