Welcome to Linda G.Hill’s Just Jot it January, Day 2! For a month, we jot. Whatever. However. Wherever. Whyever. It’s not necessary to follow the prompts, although I intend to.
It’s also time for Stream of Consciousness Saturday… this week’s shared prompt is, “pause/paws”.
I promised I’d share more of Animals and A Kiss at Midnight – the final stories in my IDIC Romance Advent Calendar series. So, in the interest of efficiency and challenging myself, I incorporated one of these prompts into each story..and there’s even a bonus paragraph…
OK, then – just one last thing – a moment’s pause, before we dip our figurative paws in…I don’t own them, or want to. I’m not looking to profit, only to play. No infringement of anything is intended or implied – I just want to share the love.
Trip visits with Captain Archer, desperate to help a grieving T’Pol after the death of their fourth child.
He was getting off the point, and he knew it. Jon was working up to another stream of intended comfort – but what the hell comfort could there be, with all this emptiness inside him? Not just the emptiness of their four dead children – that emptiness, jagged and slicing as it was, he understood. But the abyss within his bond – the absence of T’Pol – that terrified him. He could feel her, even now, being pulled closer and closer to the edge of a black hole of grief that had hold on her. Vulcan grief that went deeper and wider and higher and lower than he could imagine….and, damn, he was off in his own head again, and Jon was murmuring empty condolences that were a hell of a lot more substantial than Trip’s wife’s consciousness…
“No. I’m not gonna let that damned Vulcan black hole swallow her up, Jon!” Trip burst up so fast he tipped the bourbon – didn’t matter; he wasn’t drinking it anyway – and started pacing the length of the Mess, staring out at the stars, then coming back to the table, where the pool was spreading out across the tablecloth, like the emptiness that was yanking her away from him, and herself, faster and faster. “Me being human has to stand for something, Jon, you get that?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “Sense of humor. Illogic. Might be all she has, the only thing that can pull her back out of this before she tips over the event horizon.” He reached out to right the glass, but stopped. Jon must’ve recognized his shorthand brainstorming for what it was; he didn’t say a word, or even move, letting Trip work it through. “Like fixing those Xyrillian engines,” he muttered. The pool caught him again; something about it, and something his mom had said, when he talked to her this morning – “Don’t cry over spilt bourbon,” he whispered, wondering where the hell his mind was going with this, but with that shivering feeling of being on the verge of epiphany. “Should be milk; kittens like that, right? Poor Mom; she’s exhausted; Dad, too -” He scrubbed a hand through his hair; he’d been beat when he came in, but afraid to sleep for fear the grief would gobble her up while he was out – “Too old; they’re too old now for newborns – but we’ve got all this emptiness, and we want a baby – she needs a baby, maybe more’n she needs to breathe, right now -”
Trip stared at the table, imagining two kittens wreaking havoc on the place settings. A flash of memory – cradling a small creature defensively as it clawed his chest; biting his lip to keep from giving any sign of the pain. The fountain lay shattered, the pool of precious water at its base evaporating in the zenith heat; Mother’s mouth formed a tight line that proved the strength of her emotion. Not his memory, and not exactly a kitten – the sehlat cub was nearly a quarter her size, already. But Trip threw back his head and laughed while he was still crying, because it was the closest he’d had to an answer. “Cap’n – Jon – I’ve got it! My folks – they were cleaning out the old shed yesterday, and they found two tiny kittens, eyes not even open yet, and only a few whiskers away from starving to death. No sign of Mama. They’ve been nursing them round the clock ever since, taking shifts – but, if you’ll let me, when we get there, T’Pol and I’ll take them off their hands. It’ll give us somewhere to put our focus – now, and later. Cats’ purrs have gotta be soothing for Vulcans, too, don’t they? ” He looked beseechingly at the man who held the power to grant or deny the request. “C’mon, Jon, whaddya say?” He put on his most charming Southern grin, or as near to it as he could manage – a hell of a lot more than he could have managed if he wasn’t so damned scared for her. “Will you let me try to soothe her yearning after the pitter-patter of little Vulcan-human feet with the scampering mischief of eight tiny little feline paws?”
T’Pol’s recovery takes a turn for the celebratory and surprising.
When they became aware again, they were alone, and the full moon was lowering in the sky as the tides rolled out. The scent of the bonfire’s remains hung in the air, like the caress of their friends’ presence, or the way Trip’s hand slipped over the curve of her hip,without pause, his blue eyes somehow holding his smile. “Well, that might be the briefest New Year’s Eve Party appearance in human history, pepperpot, but I can’t say I’m sorry. Did you get what you wanted out of it?”
Well, that’s my jotting for today. If you want more of any of these, click on the links, and have your own party!
I’ll say nothing to how they DID end this series – but this would’ve been absolutely perfect!