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Long John Silver

Posted on 27 Jan 2020 @ 4:55pm by Commander Jayla Kij & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan

Mission: Epilogue
Location: Guest House by the white cliffs, Trill
Timeline: November 2389

Since her arrival, Jayla had spent every lunch sitting near the little fox. Slowly, she began gaining his trust. After only two weeks, he trotted up to her as soon as she walked into the cafeteria and stuck to her heals until she left. Soon after, she started calling him Sweetie. He couldn’t go by that forever, she knew, but it was easier than “Little Fox.” After another few weeks, he plucked up the courage to follow her to her office, where he curled up in a corner until she left for the day.

Soon, he had moved permanently to her office. She had to go down to the cafeteria and retrieve his little bed and all his toys. But, he seemed happier in her office. And it wasn’t long before he was following her around on her rounds and even interacting with other people. At one point, he even followed her right to the door of the hospital, but turned and trotted back to her office once she left.

With a month left to go in her stay, she decided he needed a proper name. Alex has started calling him Long John Silver after some human pirate who had lost a leg or something. As the little fox seemed to respond to the name Silver, Jayla saw no reason to try to change it. And so he was named Long John Silver- Silver for short.

That very day, he followed her to the door again, but this time watched hopefully as she left. “What’s wrong?” she asked when he stood in the doorway watching her leave.

Silver yipped and did a little jog of excitement.

“Think he’d follow you home?”

Jayla turned to see Doctor Mel also watching. “I don’t know,” she replied.

“He seems attached to you,” Mel commented. “Everyone has noticed. We were thinking he might not want to stay here once you leave.”

Jayla had to admit the thought had crossed her mind. Although Silver has gotten used to other people and was very friendly, he really did seem to stick by her side a lot. “Think I should try?” she asked.

Mel laughed. “He sure seems to think so,” he replied. And with that, he wandered off to let Jayla make her own decision.

Jayla looked back to Silver standing in the doorway. Several other people- both hospital staff and patients who were familiar with Silver’s story- were now watching. She grinned and held out a hand to Silver. “Do you want to come with me?” she asked.

Silver yipped in response and did another little jig.

“Alright,” she said. And she went back into the hospital to her office where she gathered his lead and harness, his little cot, and his food and water dishes. Once she had him in his harness, she began walking towards the door once more. He followed and didn’t even hesitate when they walked outside.

They made it back to the guest house without a single problem and Jayla set the little cot in the bedroom. She could hear Alex in the shower, so she looked around for Lucas before releasing Silver. But she was unprepared for when the two spotted one another.

Lucas spotted Silver first and chittered happily, making a beeline for the little fox. Once Silver spotted Lucas, he did a happy prance with that chittering laugh that meant joy and the two immediately began to play, chasing one another around the guest house and sometimes tumbling around, both emitting “joy chitters” alternately.

It didn’t take Jayla long to do a quick search and find out that the spidermunks and horned foxes were from the same planet and they often cohabitated and became attached to one another.

What were the odds of that?

Finally, she sat on the sofa with a cup of tea while the two animals continued to play around her and waited for Alex to get out of the shower.

Alex heard the commotion and wondered what it was. He pulled on the pair of shorts he'd brought with him and exited the bathroom. He raised an eyebrow when he saw what was causing the commotion. He walked over and gave Jayla a kiss intended to make her toes curl. When he was done, he sat down next to her on the sofa and slipped an arm around her. "Welcome home, sweetheart," he said. "Can you explain why there's a mini-reindeer thingee in our living room playing with Lucas? Not that I mind, you know. Just so I know it's actually here and I'm not hallucinating."

“I know he’s hard to see running around like that, but that’s Silver,” she told him. “He started to follow me home from the hospital, so I decided to see how he’d do with us.”

Alex grinned. "Works for me," he said. "As long as I'm not hallucinating, Silver is welcome. Lucas seems to like him. Though... Neville already got excited about Lucas. We agreed his mom would never go for a giant furry spider, so I've been trying to sell him on a small domestic feline, either an Earth cat or an Earth cat analog from somewhere else. Once he sees Silver, though, he's going to want a Silver for himself."

“Probably,” agreed Jayla. “But unfortunately only a few are allowed to be kept as pets and every one of them is a special case. Silver here can’t jump properly and so it was decided he would probably die of starvation in the wild. They do much better in private homes than in zoos, so here he is.”

"Good," Alex said. "Less explaining to do." Then he laughed. "I think one of the things that helped convince Neville that cats make better pets than spidermunks is that he almost had his hand glued to my PaDD. He showed Lucas a picture of a cat and Lucas spat a wad of webbing at the PaDD, while Neville was holding it."

Alex gave Jayla a squeeze. "This is quite the family we're putting together here," he said.

“It is, isn’t it?” she replied with a grin at the two playing animals. “We’re an odd assortment. None of us are even the same species!”

"Family is family," Alex said. "Whether by blood or by choice."

Which were Jayla’s thoughts exactly.

 

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