A series of coincidences reunites Porthos and his beagle siblings, thanks to the Enterprise crew.
Het > Tucker and T'Pol, Het > Reed and Sato Characters:
Genre & Keywords:
Family, RomanceStory Type:
November 02, 2010 Updated:
November 02, 2010
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, don't make money off 'em.
This is actually one of the first ENT stories I wrote. It's been sitting on my hard drive for over a year and I've decided to dust it off. A series of coincidental meetings lead to a reunion of Porthos and his siblings. In "A Night in Sickbay", Archer says he got Porthos from the mother of an ex-girlfriend, and he'd had the beagle since he was six weeks old. This is set after "Terra Prime".
1. Artie (D'Artagnan) and Porthos by Lady Rainbow
2. Aramis (aka Gou Xan Zhao) by Lady Rainbow
3. Athos by Lady Rainbow
4. The Reunion Gets Planned by Lady Rainbow
5. All for One and One for All by Lady Rainbow
Artie (D'Artagnan) and Porthos by Lady Rainbow
I'd like to give a shout-out to the military personnel stationed in the Hampton Roads, VA area. (Which includes Norfolk Naval Base, Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Langley Air Force Base in Hampton and Fort Eustis in Newport News.) My dad's a retired Navy chief and I was a military brat growing up. My parents still live in that area.
And yes, Mount Trashmore is an actual park in Va. Beach, and it does have a Skate Park (modified for hoverboard skaters in this fic.)
You can see a pic of it at http (colon)(double backslash)en(dot)wikipedia(dot)com(backslash)wiki(backslash)Mount(underscore)Trashmore
This is a different kind of story than I usually write.
Porthos and Artie
(Malcolm, Hoshi and Travis)
Hoshi sighed as she lay on the picnic blanket under the shade. She gazed at the towering green mass of Mount Trashmore high above her. The huge hill had been a fixture in Virginia Beach for nearly two hundred years, a monument to Earth's first attempts at environmental awareness. The entire park had been built on the site of a former landfill; Hoshi thought it looked so much better now, even if the name was a bit corny.
Laughter rang out to her right and she smiled. Travis and Malcolm took turns tossing a ball to Porthos, who dashed to and fro from one end of the picnic site to the other. Hoshi flipped over onto her stomach to watch as Malcolm picked up the soggy ball, ignoring the dog slobber that soaked it, and threw it towards the man-made lake. The beagle woofed and took off after it, followed quickly by Travis.
Malcolm's grin widened as he glanced over his shoulder at her, then he followed the two. Hoshi couldn't remember the last time the Armory officer had enjoyed his vacation like this. She was glad she'd insisted on visiting the piers at Norfolk Naval Base; the new fleet carrier USS Enterprise had asked for a representative from the NX-01 at the ceremony. Since Admiral Archer wasn't able to get away from Starfleet Command, Hoshi volunteered herself and Malcolm.
You can take the sailor out of the ocean, but not the ocean out of the sailor, she mused. Despite Malcolm's on-again, off-again relationship with his father, the naval tradition still held strong within him. At first Malcolm had protested, but then Hoshi mentioned the Aviation Museum at Langley, and Travis leaped at the opportunity. Malcolm had made some comment about being outvoted and given in with good grace.
Hoshi chuckled; it was amazing how Commanders Reed and Mayweather could act like a pair of young boys around Porthos. The beagle was eight years old now, not a spring pup anymore, but to see Porthos now, you couldn't tell the difference.
A snuffling sound broke into her thoughts. She blinked, then realized she was nose to—snout?—with a furry quadruped. A pair of brown eyes gazed back at her, accompanied by the white flash of a—sandwich?—in its quivering jowls. They stared at each other in shock for a full minute, then the dog reversed itself and took off. Hoshi yelled as a white tail smacked her across the cheek.
"Hey! That's my husband's cheese sandwich! Get back here!"
The dog flew like a tan, black and white torpedo. From her vantage point, Hoshi realized it was an English Beagle, the same kind as Porthos, but its coloring was slightly different. It was more of a tri-color, with a black band around the beagle's middle, with ears of a deeper chocolate hue. Its snout was pure white, as well as its stomach and four paws. Those paws propelled its forward with the speed and accuracy of a rocket, leaving Hoshi scrambling in its wake.
She found herself in front of the Skate Park, where the hoverboard skaters practiced their routines. The beagle skidded to a stop in front of a group of skaters, sat down, and dropped the stolen cheese sandwich at one of the skater's feet.
"Oh, Artie! What have you done now?" cried the skater. Hoshi heard a definite Australian accent. Sydneysider, she thought. The young woman knelt in front of the beagle and picked up the now-chewed sandwich with a gloved hand. "Where did you nick this from? Oh, your Papa is gonna be furious with you, mate!"
The beagle lowered his head as if in shame, brown eyes suddenly contrite. Hoshi couldn't help but giggle at the sight. "Sorry, I shouldn't have left the sandwiches out. I guess he decided to help himself to one of them."
"Cheese isn't good for him; it gives him indigestion," the skater said, with a shake of her head. "Doesn't stop him from trying to gorge himself on it, though." She patted the dog, then straightened to her full height. "I'm Lynette Waterston and this is Artie."
"Hoshi Sato-Reed. I'm pleased to meet you." She shook Lynette's hand. "From Sydney?"
Lynette chuckled and her blue-gray eyes sparkled in response. "I reckon you can gather that from my accent? We've heard of you, even in the Land Down Under. You were on Enterprise during the Xindi thing, weren't you?"
Hoshi suppressed a shudder. "Yes, I was."
"Yeah, well," Lynette said with a shrug, then she changed the subject. "Artie's pretty mischievous, just like his namesake, though he isn't quite as young anymore. He's still an adorable rugrat though." She gave the beagle a fond look. "He actually belongs to my dad; Dad's a liaison from the Royal Australian Navy."
"Ah. My father-in-law was with Her Majesty's Royal Navy," Hoshi said.
"Then we've got something in common." She laughed again and adjusted the anti-grav hoverboard under her arm. Hoshi noticed that Lynette must be quite the athlete; she was about a inch or so taller that Hoshi, but her frame was much more lean and muscular.
"Artie? Short for Arthur?"
"Nah." Lynette rolled her eyes and added, "Dad got him from a friend of his in San Francisco who was a big fan of 'The Three Musketeers'. It's short for D'Artagnan. Can you imagine such a long name for such a tiny anklebiter like him? That's why we shortened it to Artie."
Hoshi blinked, blinked again. "D'Artagnan? And you got him from someone in San Francisco?"
"Yeah. Why?" Lynette gave her a strange look, but before Hoshi could answer, a new chorus of barking interrupted her. She whirled around to see Porthos, soggy ball in his mouth, followed by a breathless Malcolm, then a staggering Travis. Artie (D'Artagnan, Hoshi repeated in her mind), looked up from his mostly-eaten cheese sandwich, saw the game in progress, and was off again.
Porthos saw him coming and veered off at the last minute, but Artie kept on him like a heat-seeking missile, barking and howling like only a happy dog could. Hoshi couldn't help it; she laughed so hard that she had to clutch her sides. Lynette watched the chase in progress with a wide smirk. Malcolm stopped next to his wife and tried to catch his breath.
"Bloody—hell," he gasped. "That dog should be an Olympic distance runner."
"Funny how they surprise you, eh," Lynette said. She gazed at him. "You must be Commander Malcolm Reed."
"Pardon? Have we met?"
"I was chatting with your wife, here. It seems that Artie stole your cheese sandwich and she took off after him and we bumped into each other." She inclined her head. "Artie's the other beagle."
Hoshi trembled with excitement. "Lynette said that Artie belongs to her dad, who got him in San Francisco, Malcolm. Artie's short for D'Artagnan."
Malcolm's mouth dropped a little, then his gaze snapped toward the cavorting beagles, who were now double-teaming an exasperated Travis. "Dumas? The Three Musketeers? What a coincidence." He turned his attention back to Lynette. "Admiral Archer's beagle is named Porthos."
Lynette blinked, stunned, then started to laugh. "Oh. My. God. Why didn't I make the connection before? I mean, I knew that, but—" She grinned and added, "I suppose that makes the admiral and I kinda related in a way, since Artie and Porthos are brothers. This is too weird. I take it Porthos is a cheese hog like his brother?"
"The admiral still feeds him cheese, even though it gives him gas."
"Figures. Dad does the same. What is it with indulging these guys?" Lynette rolled her eyes. "Oh, you've got to meet my father. He's gonna really be surprised at this."
"Maybe we can find the other two Musketeers and have a reunion," Malcolm commented.
Aramis (aka Gou Xan Zhao) by Lady Rainbow
In this chapter, Trip and T'Pol meet an old—and a new—friend. Hong Kong Park is located in Central Hong Kong. It includes an aviary (Edward Youde Aviary) and a greenhouse (Forsgate Conservatory). There are many smaller gardens that are used to practice Tai Chi. (Ironically, it can be accessible through an escalator through a modern mall, Pacific Place :)
Hong Kong Park at Wikipedia: http (colon)(double backslash)en(dot)wikipedia(dot)com(backslash)wiki(backslash)Hong(underscore)Kong(underscore)Park.
Language note: Xiao Leung is pronounced "shee-yow (rhymes with cow) lung" and lit. means "little dragon" in Mandarin Chinese. Gou Xun Zhao is pronounced "goh zhun zhow (rhymes with cow)" and lit. translates to "searching dog" i.e. a literal translation of "beagle", since beagles aren't that common in China and Hong Kong.
Aramis (aka Gou Xun Zhao)
Trip Tucker usually didn't get up at the crack of dawn during his vacation. He figured it was his time to relax and not worry about schedules and work lists. This time, he was glad he'd done so, for this sight was just spectacular. The morning mist hung low over the lush greenery and cloaked the little stream in mystery. A heady perfume permeated the air: Jasmine, he thought, I can see why Hoshi loves coming here. She was right; this is the perfect place to get away from it all.
In fact, this shore leave was definitely unique. He and T'Pol had met Hoshi, Malcolm and Travis at Kota Bharu, Malaysia, where Malcolm's parents lived. After two days exploring that city, Hoshi suggested that he and T'Pol check out Hong Kong. He had never been here and it was a culture shock at first, for Hong Kong was an eclectic mix of the old and the new. Hong Kong Park was smack dab in the middle of a busy business district, but he could hardly tell. It was as if he was in the middle of a rain forest.
"Captain Tucker?" asked a soft voice.
Trip got up from the marble bench with a wide grin. "Ni hao ma, Xiao Leung?"
"Hen hao, xiexie ni," replied Xiao Leung. "I am doing fine, thank you. Your accent is improving."
"Lieutenant Sato-Reed's been helping me," Trip admitted.
"You are doing quite well. Is your wife already here?"
T'Pol stepped out of the mist with the dignity of a fairy queen revealing herself. Like Xiao Leung, she was dressed in loose-fitting clothes and soft-soled slippers. T'Pol's shoulder-length hair was tied back in a simple braid. "I am here, Ambassador."
Xiao Leung chuckled and shook her head, brushing long silver strands from her eyes. "No need to address me so formally, T'Pol. I am no longer officially Earth's ambassador to Vulcan. Even Soval calls me by name now, so you certainly may do so."
T'Pol nodded and said, "Very well."
"Shall we begin, then?"
"Of course." Xiao Leung gave Trip a humorous glance. "You are welcome to join us at any time, Captain Tucker."
He shook his head. "Nah, I'm content to just watch. And speakin' of titles, I'm off duty, so call me Trip."
"Trip." Her mouth twitched in suppressed laughter. "I will remember that."
She led T'Pol through a series of breathing and centering exercises, then the two women launched into their tai chi routine. Trip watched them, fascinated, at the slow, precise movements that still showed strength. T'Pol followed her old teacher's unspoken instructions as if she had never spent the last eight years apart. Xiao Leung had been a good friend of both Soval and Admiral Maxwell Forrest and had also been injured during the Vulcan Embassy bombing. Those injuries had forced her to retire and now she taught tai chi.
Trip's gaze was riveted to his bondmate. Damn, she's beautiful, he thought, when she's doin' some kind of meditation, which this is. Movin' meditation, as she calls it— A rustling sound caught his attention and he glanced over to his left to see movement within the bushes. Silently, he got to his feet and moved in the direction of the noise. The source of it migrated away from the small garden, toward the well-manicured hedges.
There, right next to the rose bushes...Trip blinked at the delicate purple butterfly that rested in a nearby shrub. At the base of the greenery sat a...dog? It gazed up at the butterfly and Trip swore the insect glared back at it. The dog jumped up and tried to use its paw to knock the butterfly off its perch, but it wasn't successful. Instead, it hovered over the dog's head, as if daring another attack. Trip saw the pooch in profile and his mouth dropped.
The dog's face was white and tan, with an unusual fringe of white around its head that reminded Trip of a monk's tonsure. Its body was a deeper brown, with black at its ankles and at the base of the tail. Otherwise...
My God, it's a mirror image of Porthos. If I didn't know better, I would've thought he was here, just painted differently! The beagle—for yes, it looked like a regular English beagle—jumped at the butterfly with more enthusiasm than skill. Trip chuckled at its exuberance, even if its success rate was nil.
Then the beagle's nose twitched in the air and swung its muzzle around to look at a caterpillar on a leaf. It gazed at the caterpillar, fascinated, for half a second, before the insect reared up and hit it on the nose. The dog scrabbled back with an dumbfounded expression, as if saying, I cannot believe you did that! Trip laughed and the dog whirled in a full one-eighty degree turn to face him.
"Sorry, little guy," Trip whispered. "You just remind me of someone else I know."
They gazed at each other, then the beagle slowly approached Trip, who sat in front of it and extended his hand. A slobbery tongue darted out to investigate the engineer, then a wet nose nudged Trip's hand. For a timeless moment, the two just sat there in the middle of the garden, just enjoying each other's company.
"Where's your owner?" Trip asked quietly. He noticed the beagle's medallion around its neck, shining brilliantly in the morning sun. On one side was a set of comcode numbers; the other side was a series of Chinese characters drawn in red enamel paint. Below the characters was a line of romanized lettering: Gou Xun Zhao. Trip frowned and asked again, "Is that your name or is that your owner's name?"
The beagle only gazed up at him in response, barked once, then padded back into the bushes. Trip stood up and followed at a safe distance. Along the way, the dog paused to check out distractions in its path: a squirrel, a bird, a spider in the middle of its dewy web, and another group of tourists just getting off a wooden bridge. Trip had the impression that the dog knew exactly where it was going and that it had visited the park many times before.
"There you are!" Xiao Leung called. "Come here!"The beagle raised its head and barked again in joy, then took off towards its mistress. Xiao Leung laughed and rubbed the dog in affectionate welcome. "I see that you've met our friend Trip, Little One."
"Wait a minute, he's yours?" Trip repeated. He pointed at the medallion. "So that's his name?"
"Well, yes, in a matter of speaking." Xiao Leung ran a finger over the characters. "It literally means 'dog of searching', which is what a beagle does. His kind is uncommon in this country, so I gave him a Chinese name, in addition to his English name."
T'Pol knelt gracefully and the beagle padded to her. To Trip's amazement, T'Pol didn't seem put out by the dog's smell or joyous demeanor. "I do not remember your ever owning a dog, Xiao Leung."
"He was a gift from Admiral Forrest's aide, one who died in the Embassy bombing," Xiao Leung answered quietly. "The aide had acquired the dog from his sister, who worked at Starfleet Command. I take care of my little Gou Xun Zhao in his memory."
"So Forrest knew about him?" Trip asked. Again, he felt a pang of loss at Jonathan Archer's mentor and friend. Starfleet Command had never been the same without Forrest.
Xiao Leung nodded. "Yes. I always thought that the admiral knew something about little Gou that I didn't. Every time I mentioned his English name, Admiral Forrest would laugh knowingly and shake his head. He would say, "Aramis, you live up to your namesake, boy. Sometimes, you are as quiet as a monk, and sometimes you are as impulsive as a warrior.'"
T'Pol's hand paused in mid-pat. "You say his name is Aramis?"
"Yes. It is difficult to say in Chinese, so I rarely use it." She glanced at Trip, who was exchanging stunned looks with his wife. "What is it?"
"Aramis is the name of a character of a novel called 'The Three Musketeers', by a French author named Alexander Dumas," Trip explained. "He was one of the King's Guard, but he really wanted to be a priest. His fellow warriors were named Athos, Porthos and D'Artagnan."
T'Pol nodded and added, "And the name of Admiral Archer's beagle is Porthos, one of those warriors."
Xiao Leung considered that and said in a hushed voice, "Ah, now that makes sense. That must have been the admiral's private joke...I wish he would have told me before. I knew Archer had a dog, but I admit I never made the connection. Perhaps they are from the same litter, then."
"You know, Jon would be tickled pink to find out where Porthos's sibling has been," Trip commented, "especially considering Aramis here lived on Vulcan with Xiao Leung and knew Max Forrest."
The Vulcan nodded. "Indeed. It would be gratifying to Admiral Archer to know that a link to his mentor and friend exists."
"Yeah. It's been a while, but I know Jon still misses Forrest's presence at Command." Trip grinned as an idea began to form. "You know, Jon said there were four pups. Porthos and Aramis are two, which means the others are D'Artagnan and Athos. I wonder if it's possible to find the others."
"The logical way is to find the original owner of the pups' mother," T'Pol commented, "and ask to whom the others were sold."
Xiao Leung nodded. "And perhaps we can surprise Admiral Archer with a reunion."
"Sounds like a plan," Trip said with a wide smile. "Let's do it. I can't wait to see Jon's face when he's inundated with not one beagle, but four!
Phlox meets a member of Doctor Lucas's family...and a member of Porthos's. Feezal makes a guest appearance in this one, as well as Zoesia, their granddaughter (a link with my earlier fic, "Four Weddings and a Funeral for my Sanity". Zoesia is the daughter of Treesal (Phlox's and Feezal's daughter) and Lieutenant Commander Johannes Birkenwald, one of Malcolm's Armory team).
I rewrote this chapter after I had my children...and this is dedicated to the staff at Sanger Clinic at Carolinas Medical Center Main, in Uptown Charlotte, NC, for their awesome work in pediatric cardiology, esp. Doctor B., my daughter's doctor.
(Phlox, Feezal and Jeremy Lucas)
"Phlox! Feezal! So glad you were able to come! I'm sorry I wasn't able to greet you earlier, but it's been a madhouse here with all the guests."
Phlox gave his old friend a wide Denobulan grin. "Hello, Doctor Lucas. It is good to see you. Don't worry about us; we've been taking in the sights and sounds of Luna as we wait for the conference to start."
Doctor Jeremy Lucas's round face was wreathed in smiles and his eyes sparkled in humor. Phlox marveled at the change in Lucas's demeanor, for the Human doctor appeared so much healthier than the last time Phlox had seen him. Lucas's trademark moustache was peppered with gray, but he'd lost some weight and gained some muscle on his stocky frame.
"Unca Jeremy!" Zoesia Phlox-Birkenwald launched herself into her adopted uncle's arms, much to Lucas's genuine delight. Lucas swung the three-year old around a few times, then set her back down on the ground.
"And how are you, Zoesia?" Lucas asked her.
The girl's grin was as wide as his grandfather's. "I'm doing good, Unca Jeremy."
"Doing well, Zoesia," Feezal corrected her. She reached down and patted her granddaughter on the shoulder. For a three-year-old, Zoesia seemed older than her actual age. She was a perfect blend of her parents, Phlox's daughter Treesal and her husband, Johannes Birkenwald; her reddish-brown hair curled around her shoulders and her wide eyes was the same shade of green as her father's.
"I'm doing well, Unca Jeremy," Zoesia repeated, but her enthusiasm was still unbridled as she tugged on Lucas's hand. "Guess what? We saw the Lunar Aquarium this morning and I saw a Risian dolphin! It talked to me!"
"Indeed?" Lucas gave her a curious expression. "Are you sure?"
"It said, 'Pleased to meet you'. It talked a lot, Unca Jeremy."
Lucas shot Phlox another humorous look. "Let me get his straight, Zoesia. It actually talked to you?"
"Yes, it was very polite, but its voice hurt my ears. I wish it could talk more quiet."
Lucas glanced up at Feezal and said, "She's quite verbal for a three-year old."
Phlox chuckled and shook his head. "Denobulan females tend to walk and talk earlier than their male counterparts, and Zoesia's ahead of the norm in some areas. Treesalfinds it exasperating at times."
"Yes, when our children become parents themselves, it's funny how history can repeat itself, isn't it?" Lucas said with a laugh. He refocused his attention on Zoesia. "Now, would you like to meet your new playmate for today?"
"Yes, Unca Jeremy." Zoesia's face dimpled as she laughed. "Is she my age? Is she nice? Does she know how to play ghator? Sorry, my mama says I ask too many questions—"
"Curiosity is a good trait to have, little girl," Lucas told her. "Don't ever lose that. Come, I'll introduce her to you."
Hand in hand, he and Zoesia walked through the halls of the Luna Convention Center, with Phlox and Feezal close behind. Zoesia took in all the decorations with eager eyes. Flags hung from the ceiling, each one representing a planet who was an ally of Earth. Andoria, Tellar, Vulcan, Risa, Denobula. Zoesia pointed out the flag of her mother's people with pride, then her father's flag next to it. Denobula and Earth.
The topmost floor of the Convention Center held apartments for guests and VIPs. A dark-haired woman sat on one of the couches next to the turbolift with a baby in her lap. Nearby, a six-year-old girl tossed a biscuit to a dog. The dog snapped it up, then began to whine for more.
"No more, Marianna," warned the woman. She glanced up to see Lucas and the Phlox's. "Over here, Uncle!" Marianna smiled as she saw Zoesia and ran to greet them. The dog followed at her heels.
"Hi, I'm Marianna," the girl said artlessly. Her black hair moved with her movement as she reached for Zoesia's hand. "You must be Zoesia."
"Yes," Zoesia said, suddenly shy. "I'm pleased to meet you, Marianna."
"C'mon, I want you to meet my dog. This is Atti." It actually sounded more like "Athi", but Marianna spoke so quickly that Phlox nearly missed the name. Marianna proceeded to make more introductions. Athi sat on his haunches and looked up at Zoesia with bright eyes. He nudged Zoesia's free hand with his nose; she patted him with a delighted laugh.
"Athi, is it?" Phlox asked. "Unusual name for a dog...he's a beagle, isn't he?"
"Yes," said Marianna's mother. She extended her free hand to Phlox and added, "My name is Patricia Lucas-Miglioni."
"My niece is in her last year of medical school," Lucas said with a smile. "She starts her internship this autumn."
Feezal squeezed Patricia's hand. "Congratulations on such achievement. What are you planning to specialize in?"
"Pediatric cardiology," she replied, "specifically Human and Denobulan children. Both of my children were born with heart problems—corrected with surgery, thank goodness—but it got me interested in the subject." Patricia chuckled ruefully and stroked her younger girl's hair. "I think we need more interspecies cooperation in the medical field...Uncle Jeremy's been a great role model."
Lucas chuckled and blushed. "Well, I try to set a good example to the younger generation."
"Come, come, let's give credit where credit is due," Phlox admonished him good-naturedly. He watched as Zoesia held a bone-shaped doggie biscuit in front of Athi's nose. Phlox's nose caught a whiff of—cheddar cheese? "Is that wise, to feed the dog cheese?"
Patricia shook her head. "It's specially formulated for him, Doctor Phlox. Athi has a sensitive stomach, but like a lot of kids, his favorite food is the one thing that's supposed to be bad for him. From what I understand, Athi's litter mates were just as rambunctious and curious."
As Phlox watched the beagle interact with the girls, a niggling thought occurred to him. Athi was tan and brown with black on his muzzle, as if someone had penciled in a thin mustache on his face. Of course, dogs of the same species all looked similar, thanks to genetics, but still...
"Athi looks about, what, eight years old?"
Lucas nodded and agreed, "Just turned eight. Not quite a tiny puppy anymore, but he acts like a dog half his age. You know, Patty got him when he was about seven weeks old from a friend of my brother's...second to the last left in the litter, if I remember right. Patty wanted to get both of them, but their old house didn't have the room."
"Otherwise, I would've taken him and his brother," Patricia said ruefully. "The last one looked so sad when we left...I hope he found a good home."
Feezal's brow wrinkled in thought, then she gave her husband an odd look. "Didn't your Captain—Admiral-Archer have a beagle as well, Phlox?"
"Yes, he did, but the beagle is a rather common breed—" Phlox tried to convince himself this was all just a crazy coincidence, but after hearing Patricia's story, his inner instincts didn't believe that. "Were Athi and his brothers born in San Francisco?"
Patricia nodded. "That's right. He was in a litter of four. When Marianna was younger, she shortened his name to "Athi" because that was what she could say at the time, and the name stuck. His real name is—"
She blinked. "Yes, from 'The Three Muskeeters'."
Lucas's face dawned in comprehension as he said, "Wait a minute. Admiral Archer's dog is named Porthos, isn't he? The Musketeer who was rather vain and quite the dandy?"
"And the one who lived life with enthusiasm. It fits him. You don't suppose—?"
A low growl interrupted them and Phlox looked over his shoulder. Athos stood at the top of the stairs, blocking the girls' path, growling in warning. "Marianna!" Patricia called sharply.
"Zoesia, keep away from the stairs!" Feezal added. "Stay on this floor where we can see you!"
Both girls reluctantly turned away from the landing and back towards the elders. Athos nudged Marianna with his nose with a rather impatient gesture. He wasn't satisfied until the girls were a good distance away from the stairs; it was only then that he smoothed his fur and his hackles subsided.
"He's fiercely protective of Marianna and the baby," Patricia said. "It's as if he's a older soul in the body of a dog. Always thinks of the girls first and himself last."
"Just like his namesake. Athos was the elder statesman of the Musketeers and protected his charges, almost to the point where he didn't take enough care of himself." Lucas's voice was dry. "If that isn't proof, I don't know what is."
"This is extraordinary, meeting Porthos's brother," Feezal said. "We must tell Admiral Archer of this. I think he would be pleasantly surprised."
"I agree, my love," Phlox heard a distinct chime from the lower floor, "but the first session is about to begin and we don't want to be late. I suppose we can call the admiral on the lunch break and tell him this wonderful news."
Patricia chuckled and added, "Go on, I'll watch over Athos and the girls. I still have some connections in San Francisco; maybe I'll call around and see if I can locate the other puppies."
"Splendid." Phlox nodded and said, "Well, you be a good girl, Zoesia, and try to stay out of mischief, hmm?"
"Yes, Grandfather," Zoesia said happily. "I have Athi to watch over me!"
As Phlox, Feezal and Lucas headed towards the stairs, Phlox mused, "She seems to have an affinity for animals, first the dolphin and now the beagle—"
"Maybe she'll become a veterinarian," Lucas said. "Wouldn't that be a wonderful thought?"
"Indeed, it would."
The Reunion Gets Planned by Lady Rainbow
The plan comes together. In this chapter, you meet the "mother of the ex-girlfriend" who gave Porthos to Archer...as well as the ex-girlfriend herself. And Hoshi marvels at how the Universe seems to align everything just right for the reunion...
And you will see Archer in the last chapter. I promise, and he's in for a surprise.
BTW, the sequel to Dumas's original Musketeer novel had been titled, "Twenty Years After."
The Reunion Gets Planned
(all the senior staff, except Archer, with a few surprises)
Isabella de los Reyes had to sit down after the third call in a row. Three different calls from three different parts of the galaxy regarding a litter of beagles from years past. A silly grin stretched her mouth and she started to laugh. Dios, all in one hour. Sandra will find this hysterical as well, in a good way.
She tapped her daughter's comcode and waited a few moments. Her daughter's face appeared on the screen. "Mama! This is a surprise! Is something wrong?"
"No, chica, nothing is wrong, but I've just had a blast from the past." Isabella chuckled and added, "Do you remember the time when our little Conchita had four puppies?"
Sandra nodded, but she still looked confused. "I remember. Javier was reading 'The Three Musketers' and named the puppies after them. We gave them away to good homes...one of them went to Jonathan and became the first dog on a starship." She chuckled. "Is this about Jonathan?"
"Indirectly." Isabella sighed, thankful that Sandra still had fond memories of Jonathan Archer. Her daughter and Archer had dated in the years before he accepted captaincy of the Enterprise, but Sandra wasn't willing to wait five years for him to return. So they'd broken off the relationship, but at least Isabella was able to give Jonathan a fond memory of their family: Porthos.
"Porthos's siblings are alive and well. Jonathan's crew located them and now they're thinking about surprising Jonathan with a beagle reunion."
Sandra blinked, blinked again, then clapped her hands together in glee. "That would be a surprise! I want to be there to see the look on his face!"
"I thought you would," Isabella said, "but now we have to figure out how to get everyone to San Francisco and how to keep this a secret from Jonathan."
Sandra inclined her head and then the smile turned wicked. "I have an idea, Mama. Leave it all to me."
Hoshi still felt like someone had hit her in the back of the head with a board. She cradled her communicator in her ear and repeated, "You found Aramis?"
"Yeah, T'Pol and I were visiting Xiao Leung and turns out she's his owner," Trip said, his voice cheerful. "Didn't make the connection, though, because she gave him a Chinese name, and it was only when Admiral Forrest came up in the conversation that we found out his English name."
Hoshi felt a pang at he mention of Forrest. "So the admiral knew about Aramis."
"Yeah. We were thinking about surprising Jon with a little party, but we gotta find the other Musketeers, too."
"I think we've already done that."
"Are you sitting down for this?"
There was a long pause, then he said, "Yeah, I'm sittin' down now. Spill it, Hoshi."
And she told him about meeting D'Artagnan (also known as Artie), then about Phlox's excited call from the medical conference on Luna about Athos. Trip was silent on the other end for so long that Hoshi thought she'd lost the connection, but then he laughed.
"I'll be—what are the odds that would've happened? Never mind, I can see the wheels turnin' in T'Pol's head from here and I'm gonna get the answer soon enough. So...now we can skip the searchin' stage and deal with the logistics of gettin' everyone in one place."
"The dedication ceremony of the fleet carrier Enterprise will be this afternoon at the Norfolk Naval Pier. Artie's owner—Captain Waterston of the Royal Australian Navy—will be one of the dignitaries. Malcolm's talking with him right now...Captain Waterston's heading to Sydney after the ceremony, but maybe he can make a stop in San Francisco on the way."
"Perfect. Xiao Leung's been thinking about dropping by Soval at the Vulcan Consulate anyway. Now what about Athos?"
"Doctor Lucas's niece has never been to Starfleet Medical in San Francisco. This might be a good time for her to do a sightseeing tour and take Athos with her."
"Think Phlox can convince 'em?"
"I think it won't be too much of stretch, once Phlox explains the reason."
"Yeah, he can be pretty convincing. All right, I'll let T'Pol and Xiao Leung know and I'll get back to ya."
Hoshi's smile widened at hearing one of Trip's most favorite expressions. This time, she knew he would "get back to her". "Thanks, Trip. I'll talk to you later."
She snapped her communicator closed and went out to the deck. Lynette and her father owned a home overlooking Lynnhaven Bay in Virginia Beach. Malcolm and Captain Waterston—or John, as he insisted on being called—were on the deck, arguing over the superiority of the Royal Navy versus the Royal Australian Navy. Hoshi was tempted to point out that Great Britain and Australia were still connected in many ways. Lynette and Travis were down in the sandy beaches along the Lynnhaven River with Artie and Porthos.
Malcolm noticed her and asked, "So, how are Trip and T'Pol enjoying Hong Kong?"
"Sounds like they've been having a good time," she replied, "but it seems that we've found the last member of Musketeers."
John Waterston's eyes widened. "Already? Seems like you weren't kiddin' when you said your intel net was top-notch, mate."
"This is a surprise to me as well, sir," Malcolm responded with a shake of his head. "Let me guess: Trip and T'Pol found him in Hong Kong."
"Aramis belongs to Xiao Leung, the former ambassador to Vulcan."
Waterson blinked. "The dog's been out in the galaxy too, it looks like, just like Porthos. Figured they'd be star travelers too." He chuckled and shook his head. "So now we know where they are, so how're we gonna get 'em all together?"
Hoshi was about to tell them about what she and Trip had discuss, but then her communicator went off again. She glared at it, then gave both men a look of apology. She flipped it open and said, "Sato-Reed."
"Lieutenant?" came the voice of Ensign Richardson, her back-up comm officer on Enterprise. "Ma'am, we have an incoming call from a Sandra De Los Reyes in San Francisco. She's trying to contact you or Commander T'Pol."
De Los Reyes? Why does that name sound familiar? Oh...She remembered where she'd heard the name before...she'd been an ex-girlfriend of Jonathan Archer, and it had been Sandra's mother who had given him Porthos. Hoshi was speechless at the Universe's twists and turns at yet another coincidence.
"Go ahead and put her on, Richardson. I'll talk to her." She raised a hand at Malcolm's and Waterston's looks of curiosity. "Hello?"
"Hola. Soy Senora Licano-de los Reyes. Tenente Hoshi Sato-Reed, por favor."
"Lieutenant Sato-Reed, my name is Sandra Licano-de los Reyes. My mother's the original owner of the Musketeer beagles." Sandra's voice sounded warm, with a touch of laughter. "She told me that she received a call from you and two others about the Musketeers. I think surprising Jonathan with a little reunion would be wonderful."
"I think he'd appreciate it. And seeing the look on his face when he's inundated with beagles—"
"I understand you have a bit of logistical problem getting the dogs to San Francisco and finding a place to hold the reunion. I happen to be a travel agent by profession...I'd like to contribute my services in this matter. After all, I think it's about time the Musketeers were reunited...and it shouldn't take twenty years to do it."
"You're right, it shouldn't." At the men's confused looks, Hoshi flashed them a grin and a thumbs up. "All right, Senora, I'm willing to hear your ideas."
All for One and One for All by Lady Rainbow
Here it is, the reunion! Everyone comes together...and Soval makes a guest appearance.
"And at four-thirty, you have a meeting with the Committee of the Daughters of Cochrane's Commons—"
"Is this about the anniversary of Zephram Cochrane's warp flight? That isn't for another four months, Hena."
Lieutenant Hena Zahriyal winced and consulted her PADD. Admiral Jonathan Archer sighed and stifled another wave of sympathy for the most junior of his aides. Her relative youth was usually hidden by her calm aplomb, but it were times like these that it was so obvious.
"Um, no, sir. That meeting's next week, with the Sons of Cochrane Commons, Beta Centauri Order. This is about flowers for Mister Cochrane's mother's grave. Tomorrow's her birthday and they don't want anyone to forget it...sir."
Archer sighed, rolled his eyes and prayed for patience. "All right, put in an order from Stacy's in downtown San Fran...purple lilies and white irises, just like she'd wanted."
"Very good, sir." Zahriyal made a note next to the appropriate date; it joined a long list of similar notes for the upcoming meeting with Starfleet Engineering R&D, the dinner with the Alcadian representative and a chess game with Ambassador Soval. Then she began to outline the rest of the admiral's evening with her normal attention to detail.
Archer listened with the requisite nods, but his mind was far away. He should never have let Gardner and the others talk him into a desk job. He missed the thrill of space exploration and the reassuring presence of his old NX-01 crew. Granted, Enterprise was under the steady command of Captain Charles Tucker the Third, with Commander T'Pol as his XO, Commander Reed as his Tactical Officer, and Lieutenants Sato-Reed and Mayweather as part of his staff. Archer missed them all; even Porthos hadn't hesitated to go with Malcolm, Hoshi and Travis to Norfolk for the fleet carrier commissioning.
He resisted a sigh. Maybe I can hop a transport and see Phlox on Denobula or Shran on Andoria. Ouch. It's bad when I'm wishing Shran would walk through my door just for the theatrical aspect.
Zahriyal put a hand to the earpiece in her ear and frowned intently at the message. "Sir, change of plans. It seems that Ambassador Soval wishes to speak with you as soon as possible."
"Former ambassador Xiao Leung, sir."
Archer flinched, though his sudden dread had nothing to do with the former ambassador. She'd been injured in the same attack that had killed Admiral Maxwell Forrest. The memory of his dying brought up memories he'd thought long buried. Nevertheless, he set his own personal discomfort aside.
"Relay to Ambassador Soval that I'll see him at the Vulcan Consulate—"
"He's not at the Consulate, sir. He's in the Western Courtyard."
"What's he doing there?" Archer sounded as mystified as Zahriyal looked. The Western Courtyard of Starfleet Command was hardly what Archer called "private". It was a popular spot for lunch, assorted gatherings, and the daily morning tai-chi group's practice.
"I don't know, sir, but he was very adamant on meeting you there."
"Thanks, Hena." He grabbed his uniform jacket and nodded at her. "Hold down the fort till I get back."
"Will do, sir."
As soon as he disappeared, Zahriyal smiled and tapped her earpiece. "He's on his way, sir. Yes, I canceled all his evening appointments, save yours. His schedule's clear. And yes, that shipment of special doggie biscuits arrived an hour ago."
The Western Courtyard faced the Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Archer heard the loud thrum of the engines of a landing shuttlepod and involuntarily ducked his head as it came in close overhead for a landing—too close, in his estimation. If he could redesign the landing strips adjacent to Starfleet Command, he'd put them where they'd have enough room without shaking the duraglass windows.
There's a reason why they made the Nevada desert an alternate landing site for the old space shuttle. Archer shook his head and winced. That pilot's a rookie; Travis needs to give him or her some pointers before that 'pod takes out the comm tower.
It took him ten minutes to cross the Command grounds and he had to return all the salutes that were aimed at him on the way. Archer sighed with relief when he turned onto the path that led to the Western Courtyard. Again, he wondered what the hell Soval was up to—wait a minute? What was that noise? A dog barking? Soval had a dog? That couldn't be right. A sehlat, maybe, but a dog—?
Four whirlwinds of brown fur charged through the Western Courtyard's gates. In the lead was Porthos; Archer saw the silver tag on the collar around the beagle's neck. Two beagles paced slightly behind him on either side and the last one took rearguard, like a perfect diamond formation in flight. The other beagles looked eerily familiar...Archer automatically went down on one knee to greet his loyal companion, but he didn't count on the two wingmen (wingdogs?) literally running him over and the rearguard parking itself square in the middle of his chest. Then not one, but four rough tongues licked his face with enthusiastic dog slobber.
"Okay, okay! That's enough, guys!" Archer managed to sit up with Porthos on his lap, the second dog clinging to his uniform by his paws, and the other two squatting down around him with tails wagging faster than wiper blades. "Where'd you guys come from?"
"All over the galaxy, Jon," came a familiar voice. "You'd be surprised to find out where Porthos's brothers have been."
He craned his neck upward and grinned. "Sandra! It's good to see you again! How'd you—"
Sandra de los Reyes matched the wide grin. "Actually, I just helped out at the end. Your old crew found them and got them together." She knelt and rubbed Athos's shiny coat. "This is Athos, Aramis is on your far side, and that's D'Artagnan clinging to your chest like a vine."
"Artie f'short," said a brassy Australian-accented voice, "and he's a cute little devil."
"He sure is," Archer agreed. He inclined his head at the uniformed man who was leaning against the gate in a casual manner. "Royal Australian?"
"Cap'n John Waterston, at your service, sir." He smiled and beckoned to Artie, who jumped off Archer and padded back to him like an obedient soldier. "D'Artagnan's mine. He stole your Armory officer's cheese sandwich and his wife ran into my daughter and...well, that started the whole thing."
Xiao Leung laughed and Aramis's head shot up at the sound. "And my Gou-Aramis- was with me on Vulcan and was a favorite of Maxwell and Soval. He used to follow Max everywhere, just like he was his protector."
Archer's smile became sad. "Except—"
"That one time, he was not present at the Embassy, or it would have been likely Aramis wouldn't have survived." She sighed, her eyes shiny with tears. "I thought it would be wonderful to bring you a piece of the joyful memory, of him who had meant so much to both of us."
Archer got to his feet and walked over to her, with Porthos, Aramis and Athos nipping at his heels. He embraced her and whispered softly, "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Xiao Leung's smile returned and she gestured for Jeremy Lucas to step forward with his niece. "And I would like to introduce Athos's relatives."
Archer blinked at the coincidence; was the Universe playing a trick on him? "Doctor Lucas? You're Athos's owner?"
"My niece is," Jeremy Lucas replied, as he ushered a smiling, dark-haired woman forward. "Patty, this Admiral Jonathan Archer. Sir, my niece, Patricia."
"Pleased to meet you, ma'am," Archer said, automatically extending a hand, then realized it was damp with dog drool. Patty didn't seem to mind; she grasped it and shook it firmly.
"Don't worry, I'm used to it," she said in a cheerful voice, and Archer immediately knew where she'd gotten the sunny, optimistic expression from. "Doctor Phlox and his wife brought their granddaughter along and Zoesia got to meet Athos."
Then a Southern drawl interrupted, "You look like you've been smacked upside the head by a horde of doggy paws, Jon."
"If you keep surprising me like this, I'll have a concussion," Archer retorted. Then he grinned at Captain Trip Tucker and added, "but I'll let it go this time."
Trip laughed again and made beckoning motions with his hand. "C'mon, Jon, there's a reunion goin' on, and you and the Musketeers are the honorees. Get in here and join the party. You realize that dog hair on your uniform is pretty becoming?"
"Don't push it, Captain Tucker," Archer growled playfully, but he did as ordered. To his surprise, a long table had been set up along one side of the courtyard, filled with treats for both humans and canines. The smell of Tex-Mex food, courtesy of Sandra's mother Isabella; Vulcan delicacies from Soval and the Vulcan Consulate, and other goodies made his mouth water. Plus, the distinct aroma of cheddar cheese came from the biscuits in the basket at one side of the table.
"Ghericks," Hoshi said, referring to a pet supply store in downtown San Francisco. "Porthos can eat as many as he wants without getting sick. Patty told me about it."
"Hoshi." Archer said and gave her a warm hug. "Thanks for organizing this surprise. I'm floored...the Musketeers are all reunited and I'm glad for it."
"Your welcome, Jon," Hoshi replied. "Now, let's enjoy the party, shall we?"
It lasted until sunset; the Humans swapped tales while the Musketeers frolicked to and fro among the partygoers, and gorged shamelessly on the doggie biscuits. Archer noticed that Soval spent most of his time talking with Xiao Leung and avoided the beagles whenever possible. The Vulcan ambassador glanced down in distaste as Aramis put his paws on Soval's pristine Vulcan robes.
"Give him a biscuit, silly," Xiao Leung told him.
Soval gave her a long-suffering look, but padded obediently to the basket and gingerly picked up a biscuit with two fingers. He bent and carefully put it in the waiting dog's jaws. Before Soval could escape, the other Musketeers surrounded him and began clamoring for treats as well.
Soval's expression was priceless.
"Gotcha!" Trip said, as he snapped a picture with his camera. "You're on Candid Camera, Ambassador."
Soval gathered up the tattered remains of his dignity and asked, "Was that necessary, Captain Tucker?"
"Hey, we needed a keepsake of the event," Trip replied, with no trace of remorse. "Best a time as any."
Soival sighed and looked over at T'Pol and Xiao Leung with an aggrieved look, but he didn't find any sympathy there. Xiao Leung was doubled over with laughter and while T'Pol didn't smile, mirth shone in her eyes.
Finally, Archer raised a glass of wine and called for silence. "I want to thank everyone for arranging this surprise for me...and Porthos. I'm glad his family's reunited once more, as well as ours." He smiled at Hoshi, firm in Malcolm's embrace, then at Trip, T'Pol, Travis, Phlox, Captain Waterston, Jeremy and Patty Lucas, Xiao Leung, Soval...and finally at the four exhausted beagles at his feet. "For family and friendship."
"For family and friendship," they all echoed. Then Travis, Trip and Malcolm grinned at each other and all three chorused:
"All for one..."
The reply rang over the courtyard. "...and one for all!"
I couldn't resist ending with that iconic quote. Can you really blame me? :)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.