Home Sweet Home
It took Zachary Smith five seconds to pace the very brief length of his
tiny apartment. He stared blankly
out of the window, musing ironically on how little the Earthly vista outside of
it impressed him. During his three
years in space, he'd thought that no sight would be as lovely as the blue sky,
green grass, and red brick buildings at which he now gazed.
But almost from the very first moment of homecoming, events had not been
as expected. Within the first
supposedly joyous day of the travelers' triumphant return, young Will had had
his heart broken by the announcement of the Earth-officials that the Robot was a
piece of scientific equipment, not a being, and would be separated from the
family. After the fanfare and
celebrations in honor of the heroes, the family and Smith had bade each other an
awkward farewell, promising to keep in touch, and expressing all of the niceties
that people say, but never mean. Of
course, in all fairness, Smith had been invited to Judy's and Don's wedding.
But as almost the only non-Robinson or non-West there, he'd felt like the
proverbial fifth wheel. Since
then, he'd exchanged Christmas cards with the family. Period.
For almost two years now, that had been the extent of their contact.
Smith turned away from the window, and reached out to touch the
photograph of the Robinsons and Major West that he kept on his bureau.
He wished he were still lost in space.
Gingerly, Smith picked up the phone and began to dial.
Nervous without really knowing why, he was suffering sudden shyness,
feeling like an intruder. He almost panicked and hung up when the kindly voice
said hello. But he forced himself to respond.
"Mrs. Robinson? It's Zachary Smith."
"Why Dr. Smith! How have you been?"
"Oh, fine, just fine. How are all of you?" he asked with more
warmth in his voice than he would've thought possible.
Then Smith blurted, "Ma'am.... Could I see you? All of you? Sometime
soon?" Instantly he was weeping, and he was even more surprised at the fact
than she was.
"Oh my goodness! Of course! What's the matter?"
"I...I...I don't know!" he blubbered.
"Why certainly you may come see us! Now don't be upset. Whatever it
is, we'll help you work it out. Tell you what. Every Friday night, Judy and Don
come over here for the evening. It's become a weekly tradition. Why don't you
join us this week?"
"If...if you...think it would be all right," Smith sniffled.
"As a matter of fact I insist!
It'll be a Jupiter II reunion! Oh,
except for the poor Robot."
"Are...are you sure that Professor Robinson and Major West won't
"Now you know very well they're really quite fond of you.
They just try not to show it."
"You just relax. And we'll see you Friday night."
Ringing the doorbell was even harder and more awkward than dialing the
phone. But Smith was put somewhat
more at ease by the door being opened by young Will, although he was not as
young as Smith remembered. But
the boy greeted him warmly and affectionately, as did everyone else, although
Smith had difficulty meeting the two men's eyes, and found himself blushing
Presently, Smith was urged to tell his troubles to the family.
"It's...it's hard to explain," he began, "I have found
myself missing you severely. It
would seem that I had grown quite dependent on you in more ways than just the
practical. As you know, I have no
family here: just my cousin Jeremiah whom you've met, and you know that he and I
don't get along. I find the closeness of your family phenomenal, and I got used
to it, and then suddenly it was gone. I've felt lost without you."
Don West couldn't resist, "So for three years, you were lost with
us, and now you're lost without us." He chuckled.
"Oh now, Don!" Maureen admonished.
"No, it's all right, Mrs. Robinson," Smith hastened, "I've
missed the Major's barbs. There've been lonely days and nights when I'd've given
anything to hear him tease me. Insult me, please, Major; it'll be like old
Instead, West's smile faded, and he looked uncomfortable.
John Robinson put in, "Smith, we had no idea you were going through
this. Frankly, we'd assumed you'd be glad to get away from us, finding us to be
a reminder of what you thought of as a ghastly space flight. Why didn't you tell
us how you really felt?"
Smith was dumbfounded, "And I thought you wouldn't want me around.
To you, I was the nuisance of the trip, the thorn in your side."
West spoke up then, "After all the times John and I threatened to
pulverize you, we thought that you'd view seeing us as a traumatic ordeal."
"Oh no!" Smith said tenderly, almost reverently, "In fact,
I.... Well, I guess you think I'm awfully foolish, but I think of both of you
with great affection."
Robinson smiled easily, "And we feel the same way about you."
"I've got the solution!" Will piped up brightly.
He went close to Smith and put a hand on his shoulder, "Both of our
grandfathers have died. I think you
should be our new grandfather."
"I think so, too!" Penny chimed in, her eyes shining.
"Yes, please do," Judy smiled warmly.
Smith's eyes filled with tears, "You want me?
You really do?!"
In response, each of the three Robinson children went to hug him.
After the hugs, crying liberally, Smith turned to their mother,
"Mrs. Robinson? Can you permit this?"
"I would be delighted," she assured him, "I'll adopt you
as my second father." With
that, she embraced him as well.
"Welcome to the family, Granddad," Will beamed.
Smith hugged him again, and cried even harder.
Then Judy took his hand, "And I have something special to tell you,
Granddad. You're going to be a great-grandfather."
Smith had thought he couldn't cry any harder than he was already doing.
He'd been wrong. "Oh my dear Judy! And will you let me hold the
He kissed her on the cheek.
Then Smith knew it was time to face the inevitable. He looked at the two
men for their reaction. They were smiling. He took one hesitant step toward them
John held out an inviting arm, "What the heck?"
Smith falteringly approached, and was treated to a gentle hug.
Don grinned, "Well, I can't be left out, can I? Come 'ere!"
Smith nervously cooperated, and was warmed by the kindness and
carefulness of the embrace.
"I love you all!" Smith knew that he would never be lonely
Smith awoke and looked around him in astonishment. He was in his quarters
on board the Jupiter II. It had all been a dream! He wasn't back on Earth,
facing an uncertain future, having to search out the Robinsons for consolation
and belonging! They were here with him now, and possibly always would be! His
Smith bounded from the bed and dashed through the ship with more energy than he'd had in years. He charged through the hatch and drew in the joyful sight of the entire group sitting around the breakfast table: the family he had learned to love.
He startled everyone with, "Good morning, my favorite family! What a
charming sight you all are! And Robot, my dear friend! How I've missed
"Missed me?" the mechanical man was bewildered.
"And Professor! Major! How are you this morning? Can I help you with
any of the work?"
"What??" they chorused. It was the best that either of them
could come up with.
"Why of course!" Smith bubbled, "At the very least, that
would give me the pleasure of your company!"
West almost choked. Robinson merely blinked.
Smith devoured them with his eyes, smiling radiantly. He was thinking
about two very special hugs that he knew he'd never receive in reality, but
which would warm his heart for the rest of his life.
Smith glanced back at the Jupiter II and sighed. He was home.
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