The Little Miracle

By Honeybee

Rating: PG

Genres: challenge family

Keywords: challenge

This story has been read by 908 people.
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This story is number 6 in the series Family Secrets


A/N: Written in response to the June challenge words: Midnight Confessions. This story bridges the timelines of two of my other, longer stories "Dusk" and "Family Secrets". It serves to unify the two timelines, and it is a preview of what is to come in the sequel to "Family Secrets." It can also be read as a stand-alone story. 

Thank you to my anonymous beta. 

 


 

It was close to midnight, the time when T'Khut was at its highest point in the night sky. The air was clean and crisp, and the only sounds were the soft buzzing of nocturnal insects and a desert breeze blowing through the brush. 

The young girl making her way through the cactus garden made no sounds. The mental discipline and survival training that had been a part of her Vulcan upbringing served her well, and she had chosen to wear a pair of soft boots that would not click against the mosaic tiles of the garden. Her clothes had been chosen to camouflage her in the night, and she wore a cap under which she tucked her straight-brown hair. 

The garden was adjacent to a large house, built on the edge of a cliff. Her mother's ancestor had made the tiles, which were patterned in traditional Vulcan style - geometric, balanced and logical. Yet, the desert colors chosen - purples, yellows and pinks - hinted at suppressed passion. The girl had always loved the tiles. 

Even if she had been foolish enough to want to drive a vehicle to her destination, the young woman, merely a teenager, wasn't old enough. Her father had given her driving lessons, but the law stated that she could only drive with an adult supervisor. So, she was forced to make her journey on foot. She reached the back gate, and absently, she almost punched in her security code to release the door before pulling back. She knew better than that. Her mother and father could easily access the door logs. 

She reached into her bag and pulled out a rope with a loop at one end, which she deftly threw over one of the iron spikes at the top of the wall. She pulled it taut and carefully began to scale the wall. 

She was about half way up when she heard footsteps coming from the direction of the house. She wasn't scared, but she stopped her movements. She awkwardly attempted to reverse her direction but lost her footing. She slid down the rope, landing on her posterior with a thud. 

"Son of a bitch," she declared. 

In was only seconds before she realized she was unharmed, though she would likely have a bruise or two. She looked up to see her father standing there, arms folded. He didn't look angry. It was worse. He looked amused. 

"You're not planning on kissing your Mama with that mouth are you?" 

He approached her and held out his hand, which she took. He pulled her to her feet and she brushed the sand and dirt off her clothes. Her Dad had clearly thrown on some Vulcan robes before coming to the garden - the severe garments always looked a little off on his human frame.

"You wanna show me what's in the bag?" he asked. 

She sighed. She was busted, there was no helping it. 

She opened her satchel to reveal paint canisters and tubes, brushes, a palette and some rags. Her father shook his head.

"T'Mir, you know how easy it is to test the composition of this paint? This is oil-based Earth paint. It wouldn't take the Vulcans very long to figure out who decided to improve the aesthetics of the V'Lar Tunnel - unless you know of another half-human prodigy that lives within walking distance," he said. 

T'Mir looked at her feet, and her cheeks burned. It wasn't as though she was going to do the tunnel any harm. Permission or no, her mural would be a work of art. It would improve the tunnel, the same tunnel where her mother's friend and mentor V'Lar had been killed as she was fleeing an assassination attempt by the Klingons. As far as T'Mir was concerned, the small plaque, tastefully erected on the exterior, did not do V'Lar justice. 

When T'Mir was very small, V'Lar had shown her how to make Tellarite bubble tea. Something had gone wrong with the recipe and most of the fizzy brew had wound up on the ceiling of V'Lar's kitchen. T'Mir and V'Lar had spent the rest of the afternoon imagining what the various shapes on the ceiling looked liked - a bird, a giraffe. . .  a sehlat - before V'Lar decided they should clean the ceiling to prevent corrosion. 

"Not everything good is meant to be permanent," she had told the girl. 

V'Lar had also taken T'Mir to the Vulcan Portrait Gallery, the T'Khut Museum and, when the Ambassador had visited Earth, she had allowed T'Mir to tour her around The Louvre in Paris. T'Mir had taken her to see Vermeer's "The Lacemaker" and explained to her that the painting proved how early some humans had understood optics and perspective. V'Lar had remarked that the cornflower blue of the Dutch Master's work matched T'Mir's eyes. Only after V'Lar's death did T'Mir learn that V'Lar had already been to the Louvre a half dozen times when the seven-year-old T'Mir had given her the tour. 

"Even Mother says that plague isn't enough, and I think my design is a good one," said T'Mir, rummaging through her bag. She pulled out an old fashioned piece of Vulcan parchment. On it, she had sketched a stylized Vulcan ivy plant. She had drawn each of its leaves in such a way as to symbolize an accomplishment in V'Lar's life. T'Mir wasn't stupid, so she had incorporated Vulcan aesthetics into both the color scheme and the composition. The image would be balanced and logical and pleasing - so it would therefor be illogical for the Vulcans to paint over it. 

"You know, your Mama has some pull around these parts," replied her Dad, "She might be able to convince them to let you paint this legally. Had you thought of that?" 

T'Mir blinked. Of course, she had thought of that. She had just rejected the idea. 

"They might have said no," she answered with a sigh. 

Her Dad shook his head and gestured toward the house. 

"C'Mon, I'll fix you some tea," he said, "Then, you need to get to bed. And we best be quiet. We don't want to wake up Charlie or Lorien." 

T'Mir raised an eyebrow. 

"Lorien didn't squeal did he?" 

Her father laughed. 

"No," he said, "He wouldn't have dared, not after the lecture Mama gave him about snitching the other day. I noticed rope and carabiners missing from my workshop." He paused. "Really, T'Mir. That wasn't very smart. If someone had taken an awl or a tube of paint from your studio, I think you'd notice. . . I know you would." 

She flushed at her Dad's excellent point. He knew his workshop backwards and forwards, and she should have known he would take note of the missing items. 

"I'm sorry. I should have asked, but I knew you'd want to know what I wanted to do with them. I thought you'd worry if I told you I planned to scale the interior of the tunnel." 

"That would've been one of my worries, yes." 

By now they had reached the kitchen, and her Dad turned on the kettle. 

"Lemme guess. . .orange spice?" he asked. 

She nodded.

"Chamomile might help you sleep. . ." 

She made a face. She hated chamomile. It was nearly as bland as Vulcan tea. 

"All right, orange spice it is, " he said. 

As he fixed their tea, he was silent. She knew better than to think this incident wouldn't have consequences. She just didn't know what they would be. She waited for him to say something. . .anything . . .about what he planned to do. He didn't. He just whistled softly.

Finally, he handed her a mug. It was one of the many in the household that she had decorated with her own paints. She had painted Earth sunflowers on it when she was about ten years old. Her Dad had chosen the mug on which she had drawn the moon and stars of Earth's night sky on a black background.   

"So," she said with a pause, "Are you going to tell Mother about this?"

Her Dad sipped his tea, and he appeared to be thinking carefully. 

"Well," he said, "You got me to thinking about my workshop. It's more cluttered than I'd like it to be. . .maybe if you helped me do some early Spring cleaning tomorrow. . .for the whole day, it won't be worth my while to bring this up with her. She'll probably want to send you off to the temple to meditate or something." 

T'Mir bit her lip and suppressed a smile. She and her Dad didn't spend as much time together as they used to, but she could think of worse punishments. 

"Okay," she said. 

"Good," he replied as he took his own mug in hand and headed toward the master bedroom, "Don't stay up too late. I want you in my workshop by 0800." 

"Goodnight, Dad," she said.

"Goodnight, kiddo," he said. 

 


 

T'Pol looked up from her PADD to see Trip enter their bedroom, carrying a mug of tea. His eyes sparkled with mischief. As she suspected, her husband was at least partly proud of their daughter's initiative. Initiative that could have gotten her in real trouble with the Vulcan authorities or worse, seriously injured. 

"What did she say?" asked T'Pol.

"Not much," he replied, "Just that she thought V'Lar deserved better than the plaque and that she had a good design." 

T'Pol raised her eyebrow as Trip climbed into bed. 

"It's an excellent design. I looked inside her bag earlier in the evening," she replied, "That doesn't excuse her behavior." 

"No," said Trip, "but we caught her in time. She agreed to help me clean out my workshop tomorrow if I promised not to tell you about busting her." 

T'Pol looked at her husband. They had both agreed that lying to their children was rarely, if ever, acceptable. 

"I didn't lie," he said, "I just didn't volunteer that you already knew. And before you climb up on your moral high horse, what were you doing looking in her bag?" 

T'Pol snuggled against her husband. He had made a good point. Snooping, as Trip called it, was also to be avoided when it came to their children. Avoided. Not entirely banned. 

"Maternal curiosity," sighed T'Pol. 

"You know," said Trip, "It could have turned out worse than this. . .we knew it wasn't gonna be easy." 

T'Pol closed her eyes. Trip always called T'Mir "their little miracle". Unlike her younger brothers, T'Mir had been conceived naturally - accidentally and without the help of a doctor. Phlox had had to work hard to keep T'Pol's pregnancy's viable, but in the middle of a war, a time of death and horror, a Vulcan/Human hybrid had arrived — as if to give the alliance hope that a future of harmonious coexistence was possible. 

But T'Mir had been unusual from the start. Despite being primarily Vulcan in her physiology, the girl dreamed, even as an infant. When she learned to talk, she spoke of visions and alternate timelines. When her parents dismissed this as the ramblings of a child, little T'Mir would draw what she saw. And her drawings were far, far more advanced than was normal for a Vulcan or a Human child. 

When Trip's parents had taken a four-year-old T'Mir to see a 20th Century Art exhibit, the girl explained to them that Picasso was often evoking more than one moment in time in his paintings. She had then used some wax crayons to draw her grandparents in the same manner, only with the addition of other timelines. T"Mir's portraits, while beautiful in their abstraction, often served to disquiet her subjects. T'Mir had pointed to one corner of her drawing and told Elaine and Charlie, "This is where you are dead because the Earth was destroyed." 

She had not been an easy child to raise. Her scientist mother and engineer father were hardly equipped to help her make proper use of her talent, let alone deal with her eccentric personality. But with the help T'Pol and other Vulcans, T'Mir learned the meditation skills  and self-discipline to control her visions and dreams. She attended regular, human school but was allowed to dedicate two hours a day to her art. Instructors came from the finest art schools on Vulcan and Earth just to see what the little girl could do.

Against all odds, the child had grown into a relatively normal adolescent. Or as normal as she could be, considering the girl had already been asked to join the Vulcan Art Academy and had shown her work at Pompidou Center in Paris and the New Museum of Visionary Art in San Francisco. 

"We knew she'd be a challenge," said Trip, "All things considered, a midnight graffiti adventure isn't the worst thing. . . .Did you call Soval?" 

T'Pol nodded. 

"He has arranged for her to paint the outside entrance to the tunnel, not the interior. She will have to change her design, but she'll have time to finish before we return to Earth for the start of school." 

Trip sighed and glanced over at her. They both knew that T'Mir could be very stubborn when asked to change her work. Her vision, as she always put it, was important to her.

"We'll see how she reacts," mumbled Trip as he drifted off to sleep. 

T'Pol placed the PADD on the nightstand and settled down to sleep herself. All things considered, things could have turned out much worse. 

 


 

 

Note: The details of T'Mir's unlikely conception are explained in "Dusk" and will be further explored in the forthcoming sequel to "Family Secrets".


Comments:

Honeybee

TAGGING! I almost used the word, though I wasn't sure if it would be in use in the future - but that is indeed what she is doing. In her own way, of course. Glad you like the story, Aquarius - thanks for the inspiration.

Aquarius

I love this.  I love that they end up with a kid that does the normal teenage rebellion stuff--I mean, I haven't seen many TnT authors come up with a kid that goes TAGGING at midnight! LOL And I love that they already knew, that they've been breaking their own rules because being a parent is much harder than the ideals you initally set out with. But TnT are still *good* parents...without being all syrupy Ward and June. I like the injection of the self-perceived inadequacy--they're more science types, with this crazy artist daughter who sees things, so yeah, sometimes they're not gonna "get it."

 

This was truly a delight. Thank you.

Honeybee

Thanks everyone! I had wanted to write a little coda to Dusk for a long time - showing T'Mir growing up in the RU (Family Secrets is my RU) and this month's word challenge finally gave me the framework to show how TnT would raise a child who turned out a little off beat. So, thanks to Aquarius for that! And thanks very much Mary - I did want to show Trip as a good father - something who understood his kid here. T'Pol, too. Glad that came through.

Mary

I loved this. You've written Trip as such a wonderful father, understanding, inciteful yet taking control with love  so that T'Mir doesn't feel  diminished/ The TnT scene was  so tender, areally pleasant life together. One certainly deserved. This was a great connector to two great fics. Thanks.

Reanok

Honey I'm glad you connected your stories Dusk and Family secrets in such an original and clever way. I liked T'Mir and Trip's conversatio in your syory and thedescriptions of the art was realy intriguind. I'm glad Trip& T'Pol are happily married and have a family.I look forward to reading your sequel to family secrets:)

The Middleman

I know I've been a bad boy; not keeping up with your MU story (something I plan to remedy shortly), but reading this short story made me realize once again, how much I enjoy your writing and your wonderful imagination. You know how much I enjoyed "Dusk" and "Family Secrets" and after reading this little "bridge story", I can't wait until you continue with our favorite couple's story. I have to know how they got here!

WarpGirl

Fear not Honeybee Paris, is alive and well in the 24th century. Along with all of its museums and priceless works of art. But jT is just a teeny bit wrong. Tom Paris had holoprograms of Marseilles, but he also loved Paris. We just didn't get to see it. DARN! Anyway wonderful story. I like that Trip and T'Pol had an artist, I've seen people write Starfleet kids, Vulcan Science Acadamy kids. Even a Vulcan Priest kid. This was a nice change. And wonderfully done.

crystalswolf

With everything going on, I've put off reading a lot of the more involved stories posted before I came along because it usually leads to a few days of every minute of my spare time shut away, reading.  And all because I got sucked into the first page.  Darn it, now I have to read two!!!  No fair.:p :D

Asso

:p

bluetiger

Well, you certainly hit my soft spot. Trip and T'Pol as parents is always welcome.

Of course their children will be gifted, that's just sort of a given to me. I love T'Mir the artist that is a lovely concept.

I must admit, I like this reality much more that the heartache they suffered in 'Dusk'.

justTripn

I'm pretty sure Tom Paris made some holideck trips to Paris. It must be still standing. Both Bether and I have a kid with amazing (spooky amazing) artistic abilities, so I was realting to that.

I'm interested in this: When Trip's parents had taken a four-year-old T'Mir to see a 20th Century Art exhibit, the girl explained to them that Picasso was often evoking more than one moment in time in his paintings. She had then used some wax crayons to draw her grandparents in the same manner, only with the addition of other timelines. T"Mir's portraits, while beautiful in their abstraction, often served to disquiet her subjects. T'Mir had pointed to one corner of her drawing and told Elaine and Charlie, "This is where you are dead because the Earth was destroyed." 

I get the feeling there is much more to this story. I think I better check out "Dusk."

Honeybee

I worried that it was unrealistic to assume Paris was still standing! But then, I thought - who'd nuke Paris? I figure the Lourve is the one we know, but the Pompidou Center might be a new or improved building.

Alelou

Wow.  I would not have believed it possible that you could find a way to link those two stories, but this is intriguing (and a little freaky).  It's nice to see them both achieve a happy ending here, though.

So you really think the Pompidou Center would still be standing?  (I enjoyed it very much but it didn't have quite the same feeling of solidity as The Louvre!)

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