Title: Picnic in Sycamore Park
Author: Farfalla, the Kitten in a Mitten
E-mail: blueberrysnail at yahoo dot com
Beta: Blue and Sara. Thanks!
Disclaimer: The entire Trek universe belongs to Paramount and will not suffer much from the poking and prodding of our curious collective imaginations. We mean our beloved characters no harm and think that quite possibly they enjoy the variety ;-)
Summary: A sunny day in the park. Late in the life of our heroes.
PICNIC IN SYCAMORE PARK
A warm, friendly, Saturday sun wrapped its golden-white embrace around the gently sloping grassy hills. Tiny pinpricks of blue flowers paid homage to a completely clear sky, and sycamores and tulip poplars nodded lazily in the noontime breezes.
An impossibly tiny young mother sat on a park bench cradling her infant son. "Shh-a-bye, little angel, sweet little angel," she cooed in the secret whispered language of motherhood. The baby slept, squirming charmingly within her arms. Satisfied with his state of peace, she let her eyes wander across the park, taking in the beauty.
Other people seemed to be enjoying the park as well, each in their own way. A teenaged girl was playing fetch with her large Irish setter. Four small boys were playing hide-and-seek around the statues. Three old ladies sat on another park bench, gossiping happily and in earnest, from the looks of it. And here was the young mother, rocking her baby contentedly, and enjoying the peace.
Two older men were walking over the hill towards the pond. They were holding hands and their pace was leisurely. The young mother watched them approach the water and stand for a moment, apparently transfixed by the beauty of the sunlight glittering on its ripples. She knew who they were; she recognized them from the news-vids. They were very famous starship captains, soulmates for decades, heroes together. She watched them with silent awe.
The taller man, the Vulcan with dark hair, was gesturing at a cool shaded patch of grass underneath a sycamore's broad canopy. The other man, who was stouter and carried a picnic basket, followed him there and sat down. Together they spread a cheerful red checkered picnic blanket on the grass. The mother watching from the park bench smiled in sympathetic happiness as two glasses of wine were clinked together and then sipped. Even though they weren't exactly close by, she could see the sweet, quiet joy radiating from the couple's faces. She felt glad for them; she had read about them and knew that after all they had been through, they certainly deserved this moment and more like it. Their exploits and adventures had saved millions of lives more than once, and not without personal tragedy.
She remembered reading that one of them, the Vulcan, had even died once, and that the other had risked everything he had to bring him back. Instinctively she clutched her sleeping child to her chest, thinking that she would do the same for her baby, her beautiful son, because that was what love was. The baby made little mouth-noises in his sleep. "Shh, Willie," she cooed, and kissed him on the cheek.
She watched, touched, as the older couple ate their picnic lunch. The human had snuggled up against the Vulcan underneath the tree and was feeding him strawberries. The Vulcan was slicing cheese. Seeing these two famous men, heroes of the galaxy, enjoy quiet time in the park together gave the woman watching them a feeling of great serenity, as if the universe itself was off on a lunch break and God was playing frisbee with the stars.
Now it looked like they were toasting to something. There was love in their faces, and gratitude at fate for giving them to each other at last. The young mother did not feel ashamed for watching them kiss, because the light and the sun and the grass and trees and spring and everything was so pure so pure so sweet....
A butterfly fluttered through the sky.
The baby's eyes were open now, and he was staring with rapt attention at the moving bit of color. "Eeeg!" he squealed happily.
His mother grinned and watched with him as the butterfly flew past Captain Kirk and Captain Spock underneath the tree. "See these men?" she said to her son in a secret whisper. "They fly a starship. They're heroes and they help people all over the galaxy. You think maybe some day you're gonna do that? Hm?" And she kissed him again.
And now one of her friends from the Lamaze class was approaching with her own new baby girl. She smiled and waved.
"Oh, hello, Mrs. Riker, mind if I sit down next to you?" said the other woman, fumbling for her daughter's bottle.
Mrs. Riker smiled and gestured next to herself on the seat. As her friend sat down, she was going to point out to her the couple under the tree eating lunch, but then she stopped herself.
They had done enough. They didn't need to be bothered now. This time was for them.
The sun spilled warmth over the green slopes
of the park. The two new mothers talked babies, while the babies played with
plastic toys and looked at the flowers. The teenaged girl had fallen asleep in
the shade with her big red dog, and the little boys continued chasing each other
around the statues. And the two Captains of the Enterprise enjoyed their old age
together, tasting life slowly and thoroughly at last.
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