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Posted on 07 Apr 2017 @ 7:53pm by Lieutenant Commander Temerant Bast

Mission: Shore Leave
Location: Trill


A wave of relief washed over him as he could finally see his homeworld through the viewport. Trill was a fairly large planet, with rolling white clouds, and purplish oceans, due to the high concentration of kelp in the water's upper layers. In the distance, he could see two of the planet's three small moons. The third was undoubtedly on the planet's far side.

The transport touched down in the capital city's main spaceport. He gathered his duffel bag from storage, and walked to the nearest transporter station. He would give them the coordinates of his parents' house on one of the southern continents, but at the last minute, something held him back.

There was music in the air. A gentle beat, with something of a jazzy swing to it. Not the kind of music he would have listened to, it was more to his father's taste. Except that he did remember this song, and it was one of his favorites. It had played at his wedding. At Wilem Bast's wedding, to be more accurate. And it was also a song that Lamorra Bast loved playing.

He looked at the transporter operator, and gave him a different set of coordinates.

- - - - - - - -

The house was just as he remembered it from the street. A bit more run-down, a bit more overgrown by the bushes and greenery in the front yard. But that was to be expected - gardening had never been Saphira's forté. But the house itself looked well tended-to. He could see that someone had finally replaced the window in the guest room upstairs, the one that had been cracked by a branch in a windstorm about eight years ago. Wilem had always promised that he'd get around to it eventually. But the ice cliffs had had something else in mind.

He sat at the café across the street for two hours before he finally saw her. She was just as beautiful and elegant as the last time he saw her. She held herself tall and straight, with her hair tied back into a braided bun at the base of her neck. She wore a long burgundy coat, perfect for the somewhat chilly weather of the season. She was walking up the street slowly, holding a small bag of groceries. More than enough for herself - she was shopping for several people. There was something about the way she walked. Slow and melancholy, as if she were still mourning the loss of Wilem Bast. But there was peace on her face, acceptance.

As she approached the door to the house, she stretched her neck and looked out toward the other end of the street. He looked in the same direction, and saw three younger people approaching - only a few years younger than he himself was. His children. Or rather, Wilem's children, he reminded himself.

They greeted their mother, and offered to take her bags. There were smiles and hugs - this was clearly a joyous occasion. Temerant frowned, and suddenly the realization hit him that today would have been Wilem's birthday. His eyes filled with tears as he saw his wife and children gathering together to celebrate what would have been one of his previous hosts' favorite nights of the year, that night when his entire family was in the same place and enjoying themselves and each other's company. He didn't get to spend much time with his children, and birthdays were always a sacred occasion. His daughter hugged her mother, and stepped back. He watched his son take the grocery bag from his mother's hands, and wrap his arm around another woman - one he didn't recognize.

But he didn't need to recognize her to know what she was - apparently, his son had married. To a beautiful woman, he noted. One who looked very kind, and very happy. The warm smile on Saphira's face as she greeted her daughter-in-law said it all. He would have approved. And the bump in front of her was unmistakable, and hit him like a ton of bricks.

He would be a grandfather.

He could hardly believe it. So much had happened here in the past few months. Life had continued.

Saphira dropped her handbag as the children walked toward the house to open the door. She bent down, retrieved the purse, and as she straightened up, her eyes wandered across the street to the café.

And then she saw him. Their eyes locked, and her breath caught in her throat. She raised her fingers to her mouth in surprise, but didn't move.

He held her gaze for a moment, then gave a simple nod, and a smile.

She smiled back, and turned to walk back to the house. She looked at him once more as she closed the door, smiling gently as she placed one hand over her heart. And then she was gone.

He got up from the café and walked away, his heart filled with a warmth that he hadn't felt for a long time. Everything would be all right.


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