Disclaimer: All characters (except for the mentioned Graeme) belong to Roddenberry-Kirschner and Tribune, although Vikki's name and personality are mine.

Note: This is set a month after "The Quietest Change" and won't make a shred of sense (or at least not a huge amount) if you haven't read that first. I had to get a certain eagerness on Vikki's end before I even thought about a sequel for "Quietest Change".

Shivering In The Night
by Estirose
copyright 1999

Vikki stood on the back porch of her family's latest dwelling. She'd lost track of where they were, even what town they were in. All she knew was that they were hoping for permanent refuge here. This isolated place gave them the breathing space they needed.

Ha'gel had shifted forms again, taking the form of a man centuries dead, having run across a bone fragment and taking the opportunity to use a form the Taelons didn't have on file. The rest of them had gotten new identities, thanks to a combination of Graeme's and Siobhan's knowledge. She hoped the Liberation really believed them dead this time, or at least believed her dead this time. The Taelons knew that Ha'gel still existed, but hopefully the Liberation had no clue.

Wrapping her coat tighter around her, Vikki stared off into the distance. Running, running, always it seemed they were running. Graeme was a month old now and had spent his entire life so far running from the Taelons. Until Ha'gel found a way to sever the Commonality's awareness of him, they all had to be running scared. They were all fortunate to have Siobhan.

Of course, Siobhan had proved to be a blessing. The former Companion Protector had taken their ragtag group and taught them what a family was all about. Now, Graeme and Liam were starting to have the opportunity to be the children they were, and she, Siobhan, and Ha'gel had had many talks about the future of their family.

A month ago, she didn't have this family. She hadn't ever dreamed that she'd be discussing childraising, religion, and even how big their family could be. Now, she was doing all that, and more.

Her normal life, the one she'd had before meeting Ha'gel, seemed so distant now. What was sitting in a cubbyhole for hours, handling callers, compared to the fate of a species? Now her life was no longer predictable, but she no longer missed that predictability. She wouldn't have missed Graeme's continued development for the world, or the chance to meet quiet, introspective Liam. Siobhan was always there to dispense advice, even if it wasn't always called for, and Ha'gel was always there to help coordinate the meshing of human and Kimera cultures.

She couldn't go back. She loved them all too much.

And soon, she reminded herself, there would be more. Rubbing her stomach, she was glad that Ha'gel had deemed it safe to have one more child, the child that she'd asked for. A daughter, this time.

Vikki knew she'd keep this precious gift safe, that they'd all keep her safe. It was hard to remember, in the cold of the night, that she was not alone, that her family was not that far away. After a month of running, it was too easy to fear the shadows that threatened to take her family away from her.

Taking one last look at the night, she went back in, circling herself with her family.


Earth: Final Conflict fics