trekwriter151: by <lj user="cedarrapidsgirl>" (malcolm hoshi)
[personal profile] trekwriter151
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, don't make money off 'em.

Note: This is the epilogue to this story.(And R/S fans, you'll like this.) Thanks for your patience.

"Kagan's Law of First Contact" was mentioned in the wonderful novel "Uhura's Song" by Janet Kagan. It's one of my favorite original ST novels.

Rating: T

Pairings R/S and TnT

Please R&R. Thanks.


Five

Epilogue:

The "reception" party lasted until the wee hours of the dawn. The Iz(Cluck)Yeen knew how to throw a party, with songs, stories, and aerial ballets. Chef was in his element; when he heard about the impromptu 'weddings', he threw himself into the preparations. Bowls of "snack mix" appeared on the buffet table, among the normal Terran and Vulcan delicacies. He even found time to bake a chocolate-pineapple cake for Hoshi and Malcolm, and a peach torte for Trip and T'Pol.

Phlox beamed down along with Liz Cutler, Quartermaster Antoine Desgauld, Lieutenant Anna Hess and Ensign Michael Rostov. To Hoshi's amusement, Phlox scribbled cultural notes on his PADD with ferocious speed. She thought, I bet his next article for Xenocultural Journal Today will be interesting. I need to ask him if I can read the abstract...

"You doin' all right, Hosh?"

She smiled at Trip, who had seemed to appear out of nowhere. "I'm fine. How does it feel to be a 'married' man now?" she joked.

He rolled his eyes and laughed. "Considerin' the circumstances, it isn't that bad. T'Pol and I've got some issues to hammer out, but we'll be okay. It's about time we addressed some things anyway."

"I'm glad you two are working things out, Trip. If there's anyone who deserve to be happy, it's you and T'Pol."

"Thanks, Hosh." He gave her a hug, then stepped back and winked at her. "Don't sell yourself short. So do you, and Malcolm's one of the best men I know."

She smiled and nodded back. "He is. Thanks, Trip."

Eventually, the Enterprise contingent beamed back to the ship, but not without hugs from Phlox, Liz and Anna. Mike and the various members of the Engineering department ribbed Trip about "after the reception", while Ensign Mueller and the Armory team did the same with Malcolm. Hoshi steered clear of the ribald teasing and deliberately turned her thoughts elsewhere. The younger Iz(Cluck)Yeen took Travis and Jon under their wings(so the speak) and the fliers left for their own celebration. Eee-yania curtsied to Hoshi and she returned it. May the wings of peace be with you and your dashek this night, Eee-yania said directly into her mind. Cherish each other and fly together, Star-singer.

Hoshi had to fight tears of joy as she sent back, Thank you for everything, Eee-yania.

She blushed as she felt an affectionate brush against her mind. It felt like the most natural thing in the world, both wonderful and scary at the same time. Malcolm's ease with it surprised her, but Eee-yania explained it best: "He has always been in control of his deepest emotions, Star-singer. Do not be alarmed...once he becomes comfortable with sharing them, the process will be not be as startling."

"When we leave your planet, will we still be able to hear each other? And Trip and T'Pol?"

Eee-yania gave her a sage nod. "Yes, but not as intensely. You are all connected with kinship as well as friendship bonds. Commander T'Pol will have to teach her dashek the art of fine control, but as long as he heeds her instruction, they will thrive." She took a deep breath and emitted a sound that sounded like "cluck", but surrounded by musical over- and undertones that softened it. Hoshi understood it. Cluck, 'farewell for now'.

Now the pavilion was thankfully quiet. Trip and T'Pol had withdrawn for their own private time. T'Pol sent a wordless reassurance; they would face and deal with their issues together. Hoshi relaxed at the promise and then closed the mental link that now linked her with them. There are some things that should remain private.

Now she lay on a rainbow-colored blanket and gazed upward at a colorful nebula in the night sky, the colors reflected in the glass dome. She sighed and rested her head on Malcolm's shoulder; he tightened his hold around her waist. It had been an interesting First Contact for all involved, especially her. She murmured, "Kagan's Law of First Contact."

"Oh?"

"'You'll surprise you more than they will.'"

Malcolm chuckled again and she felt his smile. "That's very true. What happens on this planet, stays on this planet."

"You sure?"

"A gentlemen never tells."

She chuckled softly and asked him, "Are you reading my mind again?"

"Not on purpose, love, but isn't it strange how synchronized our thoughts are now?"

"Eee-yania said it's normal for bonded couples."

"I think I understand what Trip's going through with T'Pol. It can be terrifying, but wonderful at the same time."

Hoshi laughed; she'd used the same words to describe her feelings to Liz Cutler. "You are reading my mind."

"I'll try to minimize it when the situation warrants it, love." He sobered. "We may be 'bonded', but you're entitled to your privacy when you want it."

She nodded; Malcolm was a very private person, and the loss of the privacy bothered him. "And you know it goes both way, Malcolm." He visibly relaxed, then she felt a wave of amusement from him. "What?"

"You realize that the Iz(Cluck)Yeen- and the Vulcans- consider us a married couple now, because of the mental bond, but according to Earth traditions, we aren't?"

She rose up on one elbow and turned to face him. He wore a slight smirk, but the intensity of emotion in his eyes nearly took her breath away. Hoshi raised her free hand to his cheek. "Is that a proposal, Malcolm?"

"Do you want it to be?" The words were teasing, but the tone was not.

She smiled and brushed her lips against his, then whispered, "Yes."

The stars overhead sang their approval and the shadows danced.

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May 2012

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