Life With A Paris: Where Do Targs Go?
Tom leaned hard against the door to their quarters almost twelve hours after he had dropped off Delta and practically ran to Sickbay. They'd had a long wait before his daughter had finally made her appearance, but once she arrived, like her mother, she commanded instant attention. He could hardly believe that, looking down into her little face, he had helped create this perfect little being.
Now, though his daughter was only three hours old, his mind and body were beginning to shut down, and all he wanted was to fall into his bed and sleep the sleep of the dead. He sent up another thank you to God for B'Elanna's gift of engineering that would prevent his having to take out Delta and delay his sleep, and stepped through the door.
"Computer, one half lights."
The first thing that struck him was the absence of Delta's greeting. Tom knew he was in the quarters, he could hear the dog's breathing, but he didn't come out from where he was hiding.
"Oh, no. What have you done now?"
Tom's foot stepped on something soft and wet. He frowned and glanced down, noticing a nearly unidentifiable greyish mass on the floor. He leaned in closer, poking at it with a finger until he recognized the feel of the material.
"Oh, God, no, tell me you didn't, Delta!"
A low whine came from under the bed, as Tom picked up the piece of material and moved deeper into the quarters. A deep sigh issued from his lungs as another greyish mass appeared next to the sofa. He bent down and picked up that one too before moving towards the bed.
In the middle of the bed, hiding half under rumpled sheets, lay the rest of B'Elanna's beloved Toby. Sodden and soggy with dog drool, he lay in a mass of mutilated stuffing, his hind legs no longer on his body but in Tom's hand, the tuft of fur on his tail no longer existing.
Tom's cry was anguished. If B'Elanna were to come home from Sickbay tomorrow to see what had become of her stuffed Targ, Delta would no longer exist himself. The dog whined louder, knowing he was in deep trouble, but he just couldn't help himself. B'Elanna had left in a hurry, leaving Toby on the dresser, and Delta, unfortunately had found him.
With no one home for hours, he'd become bored, as puppies tend to do. Tom supposed it was their own fault for having left the toy where the dog could find it, but both of he and Delta would be in the doghouse in the morning if he couldn't fix this.
He grabbed up the remains of the stuffed targ and moved towards the replicator, ordering needles and thread, as well as cotton stuffing to refill the empty shell. Taking the materials he moved back to the sofa, smothering a yawn, and grumbling under his breath, sat down, and began to sew.
An hour later, Delta finally peeked his head out from under the bed, slinking slowly towards the sofa where Tom still methodically stitched. He paused periodically to rub at his dry, tired eyes or to cover the yawns that were becoming more insistant, but still he worked. Toby's remains were finally beginning to look like a toy again, his belly restuffed and sewn shut, his legs restuffed. One leg was already reattached as Tom began work on the second. Toby would never quite look the same again; his fur, matted to his body from dog spittle, wouldn't puff up again, no matter how hard Tom tried, and he
looked a little lame with crooked back legs, but at least Tom had made the effort.
Another half hour passed as Tom put in the final stitches and leaned back to appraise his handiwork. True, B'Elanna would know, but at least her precious toy had been resurrected for the most part. Tom had done the best he could do, and now, the rest was up to B'Elanna's hopefully forgiving heart.
Walking back to the replicator, Tom put in an order for a different stuffed targ, this one purple with a squeaky in the body and tossed it to the floor.
"Delta, that one is yours." He held up Toby. "Toby is Mommy's. Do Not Touch."
Delta hung his head sadly, but inched towards the brightly coloured toy on the floor. As his teeth sunk into the belly a loud squeak issued and he jumped back, his eyes brightening.
Tom half laughed and shook his head, returning Toby to his hiding drawer and fell into the bed, exhausted beyond comprehension. He closed his eyes, and slipped into a somewhat light slumber almost immediately.
He jerked awake.
Delta stood in the middle of the living room and tossed his Targ into the air.
"Oh, God, tell me you're joking."
Tom collapsed back onto the bed, and groaned aloud.
He looked at the his ceiling, "This isn't funny, God, not in the least."
Tom jerked upright to see the vase of flowers that used to rest on top of the television now laying upon the floor in pieces.
The purple targ flew across the bed, Delta flying after it, landing on Tom before leaping to the floor and attacking the toy once more.
Tom pulled his pillow over his head and closed his eyes.