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Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em, don’t make money off ‘em.

Notes: 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”.

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. Please R&R.

Rating: K

In this chapter, R/S. You’ll see TnT in the next chapter.

 

One

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.

Hoshi smiled as the seed of an idea took hold in her mind.

 
Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em, don’t make money off ‘em.

Notes: 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.

Rating: K

In this chapter, TnT. You see Phlox in the next chapter.

 

Two

Aramis (aka Gou Xun Zhao)

(Trip and T’Pol)

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!

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May 2012

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