"Stuffed and Soaked"
=/ Fellos Homestead, Sydney, Australia, Earth; Earlier in the year \=
"Ah, thanks, buddy!" Jack took the soaked toy. It was a stuffed teddy
bear Jack had given Nic for his second birthday. Nic had wrapped his
lips around an ear within a second of grabbing hold of it. By the end
of the day, the bear was soaked with baby slobber. Jack wrinkled his
nose a bit, but smiled as he reached out for his baby brother. Who
seemed more interested in chasing down the cat who was batting at a
ribbon that was hanging from a chair.
Jack chuckled as he stood, setting the soaked bear on the table.
"You'd think I can catch his attention for two minutes to say
goodbye." As he moved to scoop the little boy up before he grabbed the
cat's tail, his mother gave the same pitiful sigh she'd given fifty
times that day.
Nicholas was still technically one. He would be two in a few months,
but with Jack needing to leave the next morning, they decided to have
the party today so Jack could attend. Only about half the people
invited showed up, but it's not like Nic would even know who was there
or not. Those people were gone now, only about an hour later. The cake
was eaten and the gifts opened, and scattered around the house for
that matter. That left the family to themselves.
Susan had said that his big brother being there would be what's
important. Jack didn't get to watch Nic grow up much since he'd been
in the Academy, so it was important for him as well. He wasn't sure
he'd be around for Nic's third birthday. He had no idea where this
assignment would take him.
Now, Jack looked at his mother, "Didn't you have Nic here so you could
deal with me being gone better? I'm not sure he's helping much." Jack
teased her as he turned Nic, now concentrating on chewing some cookie
he had found somewhere, "Look at him! He's too cute to not distract
So much for joking. His mother just threw her arms around him and
started crying. Which caused Nic to get nervous and Jack could feel
the little body tense up to start his own crying, "Mom, you're
upsetting Nic." He used a hand to stroke her shoulder, trying to
soothe her. "Seriously, tend to him as I say bye to Dad."
Susan kissed her first son on the cheek and grew an immediate smile as
she took her second, "Where'd that cookie come from?"
Jack smiled at the baby talk and stepped into the den, knocking on the
doorframe. He saw his Dad looking at a PADD. "It's too late. My stuff
has already been beamed aboard the Charon. If you find anything wrong,
you'll just have to trust I can fix it. I am going in as an engineer,
His dad huffed, "You know as well as I do, you'll start out cleaning
Jack chuckled, "So. She's a beaut, right?"
The eldest Jack nodded, "You're moving on along, Son." He patted his
son on the back, "I'm really proud of you. We all are. Now if we can
just get Nicholas to hold a decoupler, he'll be right behind you."
Jack smiled, "Thanks. And what if Nic doesn't want to be an engineer?"
His dad huffed at the mere thought. As they came out of the den, his
mother grabbed Jack again, "Another piece of cake?"
"If I do that, I'll have serious sugar overdose. One more cup of
coffee and I've got to get ready to get to HQ so I can beam to
His mother seemed satisfied with that and the three sat at the table
chatting while Nic chased after the cat with the bear hanging from his
Jack Fellos II