The Homecoming

Driss grinned as the last of the dishes were washed.  She was glad that Hars had come to help.  It was very much appreciated, considering how many people had shown up that evening.

Thanks so much, Hars."  she smiled at him and turned to head back to the table for a last cup of tea.

That's when she saw them.  A tall dark man that could be no one but her brother.

"Souleymane!"  she screamed and began to run towards the man and woman.  Souley and Fleet Captain Toocool.

Poison Toocool slowly walked through the Colony proper, leading the way to the path that led to her residence, Souleyman and Shenshi beside her or behind her, depending on the space available. They had to dodge several people - cadets, officers, civilians - coming along the same path towards them. She wondered what they had been doing on her lands..?  Those she passed thankfully did not pay much attention to her - she had deliberately changed out of uniform and had requested no fanfare upon landing, so she could avoid the usual avalanche of requests and reports.  She wanted this arrival to be calm and easy for Shenshi.

It felt good to be home, a creature of the earth, she tolerated ships and stations as a means to an end, but did not enjoy spending time aboard.  Except for the brief visit to Gati, she had not stepped foot on a planet for weeks.

The thought of Gati brought the memory of the few hours she had spent there with the little girl, and the man. She glanced at Souley out of the corner of her eye, remembering that moment by the fire when he had told her exactly what he wanted and punctuated it with his lips. Then they reached the steps that would take them over the boundary and into her garden. "This way," she said, memories of Gati mingling with the reality of Hars, and home, and the work that would be waiting for her.

They turned the corner, and Driss was suddenly there, calling her brother's name and running towards them. Behind her, a towel in his hand, was Hars. He smiled and waved. She knew he couldn't run like Driss, so she did instead, running to him with a laugh, letting it all go for a moment, but not flying into his arms, just running to him with a huge grin and stopping beside him to put her hand on his shoulder and say breathlessly, half giggling like a child at her own non-stuffy fleet captain exuberance, "hi!"

Souleymane walks slowly.  Mostly because he was holding onto Fukujuso.  The little girl stayed close, betraying her anxiety, but outwardly she was relatively cool.  He marveled again at how quickly the child had healed, considering.  But it confirmed to him that he and Driss were not as abnormal as he'd feared they were.  But it was all good.  There were a lot of people on this so called private land of the Fleet Captain.  But he knew more about that than she did, thanks to his communication with Driss.  He simply had not shared any of it with Poison.  It would amuse him.

When Poison nodded the way, he nodded and followed.  When he saw Driss, he almost smiled, even though the people were behind him now.  The man beyond her was a stranger to him.  He only knew that the guy knew Driss, but not much beyond that.

He would have been shocked when Poison began to run towards the man, even as Driss ran past her to he and Fukujuso.  But he didn't really have time to examine her behaviour before Driss was in his arms, murmuring into his ear in their tribal tongue.

It was mere seconds before he set her down and formally re-introduced Driss to Fukujuso as his daughter. The two obviously remembered each other, as the females hugged as if they were relatives.  Souleymane stood to one side as Idrissa knelt with the little girl.

He found himself looking for several seconds at Poison and this man she was greeting.  Certainly not a boyfriend.  Poison's behavior let him know no such man existed and if another was in contention, he had missed those signs, and he would not have missed those signs.  Not with this woman.  His face was stoic ... his public face.  No one else was around, except the man, and while he knew Driss considered him a friend ... Souleymane did not know him at all, except through the images Driss had sent.

Fukujuso soon turned her attention to the bag and the females opened it together.  Driss 'oohhed and ahhed' over the fabrics, which were of fabric she was familiar with and quickly promised to make Fukujuso some clothes. Then she stood, and smiled up at her brother, following his gaze to the man with Poison.

"Come, I must introduce you."  Driss sounded very formal, which made Souleymane look at her again.

Souleymane, however, did not move.  He tore his eyes from the friends.  "Let them say their hellos, my twin."  he rumbled, but they did move slightly closer, but remained out of earshot.  "We will wait."  he looked down at the bag, the colorful fabrics now spilling onto the grasses and flowers.  "Let me guess."  he picked up a handful of sunshine yellow cloth.  "You will BOTH have a dress like this, so I can see you clearly the next time I am in space."  he grumbled and knew his face looked stoic, but he winked at them and both of them laughed loudly.

Hars Darax dries the final plate with a little sigh, wincing. He shifts his weight from one leg to another. Hopes Driss didn't see. Pushing himself, the wee nurse Kat would say. He'd enjoyed the dinner. The company too. They trod all over Po's grass. He frowns slightly, wondering when she'd be home. Half wanted this time with Driss to go on and on. Half wanted to put the thing with him and Po to rest. Suddenly Driss rushes away, calling at the top of her lungs.  Sees her dashing towards a man, a women, and a child. Reaches up to resettle his glasses on the bridge of his nose.  Po?  Po, out of uniform, with a child and a man. Judging by Driss's shouts, her brother.

Hesitates. Suddenly Po is running toward him, hair unbound, a huge grin on her face. He steadies himself. Reluctant to have her leap into his arms. Tumble him over in front of the brother. Make Driss uncomfortable. Somehow she seems to know. She stops by him, touches his shoulder, says hello breathlessly.  He pulls her in and gives a quick hug. Together they move towards the other three.

Fukujuso hugs the bright yellow fabric to her, rubbing it against her cheek.  It's so soft!  She sees a man heading towards them and she watches, but she can already tell this is one of those grown up things, so she begins to look in the bag at the other fabrics, as she knows some of them may be made into clothes for her.

Driss is smiling and holding onto Souleymane's hand.  Her speech is rapid fire, as the other man and woman approach.  When they are close enough, Driss speaks.  "Souleymane, this is Hars Darax."  she introduces the men to each other.  "Hars has been watching out for me while you are gone."  she looks between them and then turns to Po.  "Please.  Forgive my taking advantage of your home and grounds.  I will repair any damage I caused.  It's just ....  I got bored and I found one hungry person ... and .. next thing I knew ...."  she turns a little bit darker.  "I will have them stop coming.  Hars has helped me so much."  she turns back to her brother, almost hyper with the energy of being so close to her twin again.  She begins again to speak in her tribal tongue to her brother, whose frown deepens, then smooths, then deepens, then smooths out again.

Souleymane looks at Hars .. almost stares at him.  What he is hearing is causing his reaction .. the smoothing and deepening of his naturally stoic face.  For most of the time Driss speaks, Souleymane stares at Hars ... clearly sizing him up.  His deep voice rumbles a reply, to which Driss also replies, straightening in pride and looking at her brother, even if he is not looking at her.  Part of that reply, Po may recognise as 'Kattell'  not w aord, but a name.  That is when Souleymane tears his eyes from Hars and looks at his twin for a long moment.  Then he nods.  Once.

Turning his eyes back to Hars, Souleymane cants is head, almost bowing.  "I thank you for watching over my sister."  he says, albeit a bit stiffly.  "You have my gratitude."  Driss relaxes visibly and smiles a bit in relief at what is an apparent acceptance.

Fukujuso looks around at the adults a moment, not really trying to figure out what they are really talking about.  She looks around the expanse of grases and shifts nervously.  Looking up she sees Souleymane looking down at her.  "You have ants in your clothes."  he grumbles, but she knows his grumble is full of love, even if no one else can hear it.  "Run them out, but be careful.  Do not leave our sight."

"Yes, Soul-san."  she replies and bows to all of the adults.  "It is good to meet you, Hars-san."  and then she takes off running and exploring, obeying and staying in sight at all times.  The place is so pretty and feels so ... safe .. like her home once upon a time had.

Poison Toocool walks towards the other two with Hars, matching her speed to his. Souley's eyes seemed to be penetrating into Hars as Driss chattered to him in a language she didn't know very well. Their home language, she guessed. Her eyes glanced up to Hars, wondering how he was feeling. She could tell from his slower than normal gait that he was tired.

As they approached, Driss introduced everyone. She also apologized for running this... Po looks around at the campfire, stove, and eating area... eatery? The girl then began talking Souley again... maybe Swahili? Her ears picked up what could be the name 'Kattell' in amongst the other sounds. She did not indicate she understood.

Hars Darax drew Po's hand through his arm. Moved together towards the twins, and the little girl. Nods as Driss introduces him to her brother. Eyes Souley as the man judges him, then finds the words to thank him for looking after Driss. There is a brief commotion as the child is given permission to play.  She bows to him, he grins.

Back to Souley. Something between him and Po? Po seems to be almost ignoring the man. Might be a signal. One he can read. Bet she likes him, and doesn't like the liking.

Finding his voice: "Pleased to meet you," he says to the brother, glancing towards a figure just coming up the path from HQ.  Yellow. Po's Yeoman?

Souleymane watches as someone in yellow approach them.  Another Starfleet.  Even when Poison is trying not to be found, they find her.  He frowns.  Yes.  This would be a life with her.  Starfleets to the left of them, jokers to the right and here they would be stuck in the middle.

Fukujuso is scampering off to look at the local flora and fauna, so is not there when the man announces that some ambassador has died.  SOuleymane's never heard of him, but that is hardly surprizing.  Poison looks almost devastated, even though this ambassador had lived to a ripe old age.  It is hard for him to feel any sympathy about the death.  He didn't know the man.  Just another Starfleet to his mind.

But it is obvious that Po is gearing up to leave.  He moves his hand to touch hers and she looks back at him.  Their eyes connect.  For a moment he considers asking her to stay.  Why do they need a Fleet Captain at an ambassadors memorial, anyway?  Bu he knows Poison, even if he didnt know the dead guy.  And Poison looks for a split second torn.  Would she stay if he asked her to, he wonders.  He decides he doesn't want to know any more than she probably does.  Not yet.

"I'll be good.  I promise."  he rumbles low.  It's possible that no one hears him except for Po.

=^=