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Favored Son: The Second Meal

Favored Son, the Second Meal
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:13 PM

Harry took in the sweet spring air after hopping down the back steps from the kitchen. It was cool and still, and very dark--save the light coming from the side house where Tom and B'Elanna had recently taken up living. Not a month past, their mama had taken the young couple out back and pointed--"That's where you'll be sleeping, so y'all don't keep us up all night." Tom's face fell into a shocked smile, and B'Elanna whirled around and kissed her new mother's grinning cheek.

Still grinning at the memory, and since they were still awake, Harry moved across the back drive to pay a visit before turning in. Oddly, though, the front door was locked, so Harry decided to try around back. There, he noticed the curtains were pulled, and the back door locked as well. Harry shrugged, wondering maybe if they'd taken a walk but left the candles lit...But they never go leave Beata unless someone's with her.

Harry rounded the back of the house again, and was assured they were home when he heard Tom saying real low, "That stove too hot, B'Elanna?"

"Just right," she replied. "You sure you know what to do with that tenderizer?...Oh! I guess so...Mmmm, oh that's heatin' up just fine."

They got the kitchen stove working? I thought they'd decided to keep eating in the big house.

"Just takes a little kneading to..." and Tom's voice faded out into mumbling, and hers, too. He heard the scrape of burner lids being adjusted, then..."Grease all the...corners of the.......Woah! that sauce of yours got some bite, love."

"Ahh, that's that way I like it....I thought you liked it spic-aaah."

"Oh, I do, B'Elanna, I most certainly do," he chuckled low in his throat.

Harry tilted his head as he heard some shuffling, a few Klingon Indian words, and more stuff he couldn't quite make out, though they seemed to be really enjoying whatever meal they'd fixed up. Must've picked up some recipes on the reservation.

Finally, as Harry turned to head back up front, he heard B'Elanna growl loudly and a lid slam. Several moments passed. "Oh, my, do I love home cooking," she breathed.

Harry clawed a bit at his stomach, thinking he might do with a late snack. He walked back to the front door and knocked. Knocked again. And again. Another minute, and the latch pulled and Tom's slightly flushed face appeared. "Hi, Tom. Just thought I'd drop by and say hello, seein' as you're up."

Tom's lips twisted up. "Yeah, well..." He glanced back inside, said a little louder, "Come on in, Harry."

As Tom backed away, Harry walked in. But he didn't smell any food. "What've you two been cooking? I heard y'all in the kitchen."

"Just a little foolin' around," Tom replied with a grin."And B'Elanna would kill me if I told you what we were making. Take a chair, Harry."

By the time Harry had gotten himself seated and was looking around at the proudly displayed items Tom and B'Elanna had brought back from the reservation, B'Elanna bounced out of the kitchen, her eyes bright as she crossed the room. "Hey, Sourdough," she said lightly, giving Tom a little kiss before sitting down on the bearskin rug by the fire to poke the flames. "What brings you by?"

Harry grinned and shrugged. "Just callin'." He looked around again. Tom's bat'leth, which Harry, not a little nervously, watched Tom practice with, hung there. "Y'all miss the reservation?" he asked, trying to drum up some conversation, maybe get them to say what they were cooking.

The couple smiled at each other. "Yeah, we both do," B'Elanna admitted. "We'll probably visit again sometime, when we can."

"Now what about you?" Tom asked. "You little ferret, Mama had to tell us you'd had yourself a little adventure while we were gone. Told us we should have you tell us about it."

Diverted, Harry grinned, shrugged. "Well, I guess I did have a little adventure."

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 2
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:23 PM

B'Elanna shared a wise eye with her husband, then turned back to her little brother. "Well? Are you going to tell us?"

"Yeah, Harry," Tom said, lowering himself to sit on the floor beside B'Elanna. "We told you everything. Your turn."

Harry looked down at the two, who looked up to him with a mixture of curiosity and...amusement. It wasn't often either of them asked him to tell them things. "Well, it was a couple weeks before y'all got back, when I was helping my brother..."


"Good," Qwai Chang said quietly, smiling to himself. Harry had come far, made him proud enough to share the singing stick with him--mainly so the boy would meditate more and talk less. Plus, a good chant never hurt anyone.

Still, it went without question that Harry had done a good deal of work. The new garden would go a long way in paying off the debt he owed Max for his kind service to Harry and himself. Though Qwai-Chang did wonder what Max had meant by 'double compound interest twice the going rate'....

[Tom snorted, and even B'Elanna tried to keep a straight face. But soon, they'd leaned into each other, snickering.

"What?" Harry asked, looking at them both in turns.

Tom shook his head. "Never mind it, Harry," he said. "I'll talk to Max."

"Go on with your story, Sourdough," B'Elanna giggled.]

"How many more bushels do you think?" gasped Harry as he emptied another load of dirt--haul on, haul off, five bags, change arms--into the new garden.

Qwai-Chang perused the garden with his wise little eyes. "Six, Gadfly. Three bags, change arm. Looks good. Perhaps Madame Maxine will permit you to rest on the, porch when she sees." His younger bother smiled brightly and hurried off. Qwai-Chang closed his eyes, returning to his mantis meditation. "Then, perhaps not," he said to himself.

Harry went back out to the wagon to get another sack. Well, if anything, I'm getting better at this, he thought. Last week, I could barely drag those sacks of stone. Reaching in for the next bag, Harry hauled it up, and, turning, he heard a gasp. Nearly dropping the sack, he backed against the back of the wagon and turned to see Jenny Delaney.

"Oh, I didn't see you there! I'm sorry."

But Miss Jenny's eyes were pointed more at the young man's bare chest. They hadn't called Harry Janeway 'Sourdough' for nothing. But looking at his sweat-bathed skin in the still cool air, she could almost see muscles. Jenny blinked, shooting her eyes up to his. "That's all right, Mister Janeway," she said, a little softly. "I heard you were helpin' fix up the Provencal's yard, but I didn't know you had such a...talent for that kind of work."

Harry smiled at that, consciously toning down his voice. "Well, Miss Jenny, it's okay, once you get used to it." Feeling her appraising eyes on him, he managed not to squeak when he spoke again. "Uh, while we're here, Miss Jenny.., if you'd already been...uh, asked to the Icebreaker Dance."

Miss Jenny grinned. Men didn't ask her to dance...well, not unless they put two bits in her pocket first. "I might be free," she said coyly, taking a step closer to him, hip first. "Are you asking me, Mister Janeway?"

"Uh, yeah. I reckon I am, Miss Jenny."

She considered it, watching his eyes fly everywhere but out of his head, watching him squirm a little. Finally she said, "Okay."

["Well that's just like her," B'Elanna smirked, "Miss Jenny always had fun with vir..." She coughed when she felt a jab in her ribcage. "...virtuous gentlemen."

Harry frowned. "Miss Jenny ain't all bad! If you'd take the time to get to know her--"

"Humph! Maybe she'd best know Liberty's back hooves. Little Delaney slu--"

"Harry, why don't you go on?" Tom cut in, his best poker face in place. "I'm interested in knowing what Qwai-Chang gave you. Tell us about this singing stick."

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 3
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:29 PM

Harry shifted. "Well, I still haven't tried it yet, though the reverend said it was okay."

B'Elanna gave him a stare. "Why'd you go to the reverend? What'd he know about Shaolin stuff?"

Harry shrugged. "More than I thought. After Qwai-Chang gave it to me, I'd actually gone to talk to him about it--you know, see if it was sinful to use such a thing. I didn't know if Mama would approve or not--"

"More than she would've Miss Jenny," B'Elanna commented.

"Believe it or not, Mama was fine about me taking Miss Jenny out."

"Relieved is more like it," Tom muttered.

Harry furrowed his brow. "Huh?"

"Nothin', Harry," B'Elanna grinned. "Miss Jenny's just fine, and I'm being mean. Go on. So you went to see the Reverend?"]

"Ah come in, Mister Janeway," said Reverend Windes cheerily as the straightened the front pews. "Come and sit down, please. What can I do for you?"

Harry swallowed, complying with the holy man's request. "Much obliged, Reverend."

The reverend sat too, grinning kindly at the young man. "What can I do for you Harry?"

"Well..." Harry thought for a minute. He was scared, and he knew it, and tried to be as subtle as possible. He certainly didn't want to hear he'd burn in h*ll for using what many people thought of as a pagan device for meditation. "I have this, uh...little problem."

The reverend eyebrows rose. "A little problem?"

"Well, yes. I guess you know about my brother...and that he's, well, not from these parts." The other man nodded. "Well, there's something he suggested I try. I've always had a little trouble, uh, expressing my...wishes. He offered a little advice to, um, working that out. You know?"

The Reverend nodded. "And you took it, I suppose."

"Yes, Reverend Windes. But I haven't used the singing stick yet."

"Singing stick? That's what he calls it?"

"Yeah. Qwai-Chang uses his all the time. He holds it in his hands and...well, I guess you could call it singing--it all with one note, and ringin' bells, you know? He showed me how to do it a couple times. It was sorta neat." He saw the Reverend's face pale.

[Tom rolled his lips together, B'Elanna's tightly closed mouth trembled at the corners.]

Harry shrugged. "He suggested I use the stick as often as possible like that." The Reverend slid a few inches away. "Is it sin, Reverend Windes? 'Cause I really want to give it a try."

"B-b-but why?"

"It might help my problem."

Reverend Windes looked concerned. "My...son, aren't you at all interested in...propriety?"

Harry slumped. "Then it is sinful. I'll never understand yin and yang now."

The reverend sighed. "Harry, I know these...personal things can be confusing. I think it'd be just fine for all involved if you kept your yin and yang to yourself. Sometimes, keeping these...urges to our own private council is the best way of handling little problems like these. I think you can...sing with your stick, if you kept it very, very private."

Harry seemed relieved. "You really think so?"

"I most certainly do," Reverend Windes said, nodding assuredly. "But...I thought you'd been interested in Miss Jenny Delaney."

Harry was confused. "Well, yes. I had asked her to the Icebreaker Dance. But I don't see what that has to do with my problem."

"You poor lad," the reverend said sorrowfully. "Well, it'll look good enough, you and her together. You two would make quite an impression."


"Oh yes. And, with any luck, Miss Jenny might help you with that stick of yours."

"But I thought you said I should keep it private."

The Reverend smiled. "I think she might want to share it with you. Miss Jenny has a lot of...spirit. In her case, I'd say go right ahead."

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 4
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:36 PM

[B'Elanna crawled to her feet. "I'm gonna get the kettle. You want coffee?" Without waiting for a reply, she went to the kitchen, snickering all the way.

Tom pushed his grin down, regarding his brother. "Harry," he said, "did you ever tell the reverend it was for Shaolin chants?"

"Well, no. I didn't want him to think the wrong thing."

Tom rolled his eyes. "I'll talk to the reverend tomorrow."

B'Elanna returned and started to prepare the coffee as Tom relayed the last bit of information to her. "So, that's how the fuss started," she said.

Harry was a little more serious then. "The next day, really..."]

Relieved by the reverend's advice, Harry skipped off to Garek's shop the next morning to buy a new tie, and just grinned at the dizzying selection the storekeeper offered. Harry simply leaned back and said, "I'll be wearing a ruddy brown suit, so you take your pick, Mister Garek. I trust you."

Garek peered over at Harry, a grin on his clever mouth. "You seem rather confident today, Mister Janeway." It was all he needed to say, as Harry happily explained the reason he wanted a good tie. "Ahh, Miss Jenny. The Reverend told me all about it. Well, then, I would suggest the sable silk with silver tabs. That'll be five bits."

"F--five bits?" Harry sputtered. "Ain't that a bit much for a tie?"

"You do want to impress Miss Jenny? It's the best, and it'll go with your suit." His smile was broad, and the pat he gave Harry's arm when he got his money was full of care. "I know you won't regret it. A woman like Miss Jenny is always keen on good taste and sensitivity, Mister Janeway..."

[B'Elanna rolled her eyes]

"Oh! Speak of the...lady."

Harry spun and saw her passing by. Taking the tie, pocketing it, Harry grabbed his hat. "Thanks, Mister Garak. Maybe you're right." He dashed out of the store and caught up to Miss Jenny's side. "Mornin', Miss Jenny."

"Mornin, Mister Janeway," she smiled back.

"Where you off to? You aren't often on this side of town."

"And just how do you know what side of town I frequent, Harry?"

Harry blushed. "Well, I guess..uh..." She gave him the eye. "Okay, I've watched you."

Jenny giggled. "Okay. I was off to Mrs. McCormick's to pick up my new gloves for the dance."

He blushed again at her coy stare, cleared his throat. "Would you like a ride over? I've got Libby here."

"I thought you'd never ask."

["More like she was waitin' for him to," Tom muttered in B'Elanna's ear, then waved his brother to continue.]

And so they set off together on Libby up the north trail, Miss Jenny sidesaddle behind him, her arms around him. He felt her fingers tracing his ribs, descending, and turned a quick smile back to her. "It won't be long, Miss Jenny."

"It won't?" she asked suddenly. "Oh, that...Say, what is that stuff you're doing with Mister Chang, anyhow?"

Harry raised his head. "Oh, nothin', just a little bit of martial arts training."

"What's that, like funny hedge clippin'?"

"Well...uh, yeah, he's got a few of those little trees, but it's more than that, it's learning how to concentrate, lots of physical training, learning to focus you body in harmony with--"

Suddenly, Harry felt a WHACK! on his head and himself flying off his horse, rolling in the long grass after hitting the ground. He heard Miss Jenny scream and drug himself up to find her. Dizzy, he could barely stand. The last thing he saw was a group of men--judging by their hairdos, Kazon--moving in quick. One swept in and grabbed the young lady up, who kicked and screamed, onto his horse, while another one grabbed his arms from behind.

"Let go, darnit!"

"What's wrong, Janeway?" snickered one. "Thought you'd had the last of us?"

Before he could turn to see who'd spoken, the man head-butted him, knocking Harry unconscious......

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 5
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:40 PM

When his eyes opened, he found himself in a dirty, windowless shack. Wisps of sun were peeking through, but very few, there were ropes hung on the walls, a few sacks of grain, but no tools. His hands were still bound, as were his feet.

"Well, it's about time you got up," Jenny mewed, and he looked to see her similarly bound and pouting. Her face was dirty, and her dress sleeve was torn. "I shoulda figured every man in this dang town's got some kinda trouble. What's yours? You owe them money?"

Harry shook his head. "Oh, no, Jenny! I really don't know why they keep taking me. I guess they think I'm good for ransom or somethin' like that."

Jenny snorted. "Proves how stupid them Kazon really are."

"Yeah, pretty dumb, aren't they?"

"Yeah, but guess what? We're the ones who're caught, not them."

Harry sighed. "Sorry. I didn't exactly plan it." He looked over at her. "I hope they haven't hurt or...taken advantage of you in any way, Miss Jenny."

"No, that didn't work." She struggled against her ropes again. "Maybe we can find something to slice these binds? A loose nail or sharp edge?"

"There doesn't seem to be anything in here," Harry said. "But maybe if I hop outside and find a rock, or maybe an ax--whatever."

Jenny shrugged. "Whatever." She watched him squirm to his bound feet, tipping hard as he got his balance. He closed his eyes for a moment, relaxed. Fixing his eyes on the wall, he hopped over to it and peeked through a crack. Jenny eyed him. "See anything?"

Harry smiled back at her. "Nope." He hopped over to the door and pushed with his head. "Darn, it's latched from the outside, he moaned. "We'll never get out now."

Jenny's eyes widened when he turned--and she drew her eyes up from his behind. "Harry, come back here and sit by me. We can sit back to back and untie each other."

Harry's smile widened. "Gee, Miss Jenny, you're a smart one."

[Tom squeezed B'Elanna hand hard before she could even say a word. She went back to sipping her coffee, and Tom smiled at his brother. "So you got yourselves loose?"

Harry smiled. "Her hands kept tickling me--she couldn't see where she was reaching--but we finally got the knots undone. Took us another hour to get the latch on the door up. We got a stick and stuck it through the crack, lifting it up. But getting out of there was something else entirely."]

Finally untied, Harry gave Jenny his hankie so she could wipe off her face. "Ready now?" She nodded and he opened the door for her. Following her out, he found himself looking right at the backs of three Kazon. "Darn."

Hearing his voice, they turned and glared at the two. Grabbing their guns, the oldest stared at Harry. "Get back in that shed!"

Harry put himself in front of Jenny. "No way, Kazon! You can't hold us here!" The Kazon got closer, and he gulped, turned a glance to Jenny. Her eyes were bolt wide, and, seeing that, Harry steeled himself, looking back at their captors. "You'd better stay away," he said, using his lowest, meanest voice. "I'll warn you only once."

The Kazon laughed. "What you gonna do, Sourdough Janeway? Send your woman after us?"

Harry's eyes narrowed. "It's Harry. My name's Harry," he told them and leapt up on his attackers.

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 6
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:44 PM

With a wild cry, he whirled a circle, jumping into the air and thrust his boot into the teeth of one of the Kazon, landing solidly after on both his feet. The man moved to get up and Harry dropped his elbow into the Kazon's chest with another yell, knocking the man's breath out.

He spun--the other Kazon approached fast, and Harry sacked him, tossing the man easily over his shoulder and dropped him on the ground. The man grabbed his gun as he got back up, but Harry's hand swept a circle, throwing the gun aside before the heel of his hand caught the Kazon's nose, The man's head came back up, and Harry poked in him the eyes.

The oldest Kazon watched his cousin scream in pain, grabbing his face and running off. Then Janeway had turned to take him out, too, too. But the oldest Kazon was ready with his rifle.

They stopped--met each other's eyes.

The Kazon cocked his gun, but Harry Janeway didn't flinch. Instead he lifted his arms up like a bird, raised his knee, looking like he was in some sort of trance. The Kazon tilted his head. "What the heck are you doing, Janeway?"

Harry opened his eyes. "I'm gonna put you outta commission," he said assuredly.

"And I'm gonna blow your brains out."

"Go ahead and try, you Kazon scum. You won't keep us here."

The Kazon sneered. The younger man looked as thought he was readying himself to fly. "You're nuts."

"No," Harry replied, "I'm Gadfly."

Minutes later, Jenny was holding his hand tight, and he found Libby tied on a post near a chicken coop. Her eyes shone with pride...

[Harry grinned. "It was great. I'd never felt, you know? Anyway, after the Kazon was knocked out, we got Libby and went back to town."

B'Elanna squinted at him. "But how'd you kick him if he was out of your reach?"

Harry shifted. "Well, I didn't kick him," he admitted, then found both his siblings giving him the eye. He sighed, grinned sheepishly.]

"No," Harry replied, "I'm Gadfly."

Jenny sighed fast. "Dangit, is this gonna go on all day? I really want to get my gloves and go home."

Harry looked over. "Just give me a minute, Miss Jenny, and I'll--woah!" His supporting foot suddenly wasn't under him, and his butt hit the ground. "Darnit!"

The older Kazon loomed over him, pointing his rifle straight at Harry's mouth. His dirty smile was almost as mean as the slits that glared at him. "Bye, bye, Sourdough."

BOOM! And Harry saw four locks of Kazon hair go flying and the man grab his head.

"Sh*t," Jenny muttered in the distance, "I never did know how to shoot these things."

Harry grabbed the Kazon's rifle, and from behind, he saw two small hands whack the rifle against the man's head, knocking him aside.

When he fell, Jenny Delaney was revealed behind him, holding the still smoking rifle and staring into his eyes. Her mouth curled into a smile. Harry smiled back, sure he was in love, and took her hand when she reached down to him. "Let's get outta here."

She nodded and dropped the rifle to take his hand and run off to find Libby. After mounting her and pulling Jenny up to sit behind him, he set them off south, back to Voyager City. Her thin arms held him tight, her fingers dancing all over as she chatted on about how gross it was when the blood was spattering out of the Kazon. "But you really got 'em good, Harry Janeway."

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 7
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:51 PM

They got back to town nearly at sunset, riding in slow. Meeting his mother in front of Quark's, he quickly explained why they were so late getting back, an initially disappointed Miss Kathryn nodded with relief.

"At least you're all right. I'll have a...word with the Kazon soon enough." She sighed. "Well, it's time we got back to the Delta Q. Miss Jenny, I'm sure, needs a bath and some rest, and you too."

Harry nodded. "Yes, Mama."

Miss Kathryn eyed the two, grinned. "After all, you do have a dance to get to tomorrow night, and should be well fresh and pretty for it."

Harry smiled brightly. "Yes, Mama!" Turning to Jenny, he took a proud breath, then helped her down from Libby.

Jenny beamed up at her date, her hand still holding his, her fingers doing a little dance on his palm. "Six-thirty tomorrow, Mister Janeway," she said. "Don't be late."

"I won't," Harry promised, and kept his smile all the way home.

["Well, good for you, Sourdough," B'Elanna said, meaning it. "Mama said you two were quite a sight, but she'd never seen you so happy."

"That wasn't all she'd said," Tom grinned, and caught her smirk.

"Really?" Harry asked. "I was sorta curious why she was so friendly to Jenny. I was all prepared to convince her Jenny was okay. But Mama ended up being the one who made sure I wasn't late. Not that I minded, but...What did she tell you?"

Tom's lips pursed a bit. "Well, to be honest, Mama was sort of cryptic, then told us we should have you tell us yourself. And as for what she did tell us, I can't really remember all the details"...]

Miss Kathryn arrived in town at high noon, looking for her boy, who'd promised to meet her there. She searched the shops, finally going to Garak's, where scowled at the news she'd ridden off with Miss Jenny. Finding Miss Megan, she learned that Jenny was off to Mrs. McCormick's.

On her way back to her horse she crossed the Reverend's path. He seemed disturbed, and she asked what was troubling him. The reverend was hesitant at first, especially as he noted Betsy slung over her back. Finally, he sighed and whispered into her ear...

"He's WHAT?!?" Her hand went over her shoulder, grabbing Betsy at the neck and pulling her into position. "Where's that priest?" she snarled.

She found Qwai-Chang in the kitchen over a pot of something. There, she confronted him, fully prepared to blow his brains to snot.

Staring placidly into the barrels of her pointed gun, he said, "There has been a, mistake," and explained to her the use of the singing stick. Told her [it wasn't a pagan practice] but simply a meditative technique to increase concentration and restfulness.

Miss Kathryn rolled her eyes, throwing up her hands as she shook her head. Humbly, she apologized accepted a plate of food. While her ate, Qwai-Chang asked where his brother might be so that he could explain--again, just in case. She told him he'd left town with Miss Jenny. "Ahhh," he breathed, nodding solemnly. "This is good."

Miss Kathryn swallowed her bite even as her eyes narrowed. "My baby boy running around with that [social butterfly]?"

"It would be well if Harry would get [an education in the interpersonal arts]."

"Maybe you're right. It'd certainly ease my mind. After all, he's in his twenties, and he hasn't [enjoyed much company]."

"Perhaps he will acquire [inner peace] with some [hands on experience]."

Miss Kathryn nodded. "Yes, that little [lady] Miss Jenny would probably [fill the position just fine]."

And so they finished their meal and walked out to the street together. Miss Kathryn invited him to the Delta Q whenever he wished, thanking him for his devotion to Harry. Just as she was turning to return to her horse, she spotted Harry riding down the mainway, looking a mess and with Miss Jenny clutching to him.

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 8
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 12:56 PM

["Anyhow," Tom said, helping B'Elanna, then with Beata held close in her arms. sit again, "you can thank Qwai-Chang for clearing up at least a little of it."

"I'll have to thank him," Harry said.

B'Elanna had opened her blowse to let the baby nurse, and grinned as Harry's eyes politely turned away. "So," she asked. "how did the dance go? You and Miss Jenny have a...good time?"

Harry blushed, his eyes still pinned on the wall until Tom told him it was okay to look back. "Well, we danced a long time. Talked a lot, too--and ate. I never thought I'd meet a girl who liked to eat as much as me."

B'Elanna's brows rose. "Well, you've met your match, then. But what happened later? Didn't you...walk her home after?"

"Well, we did tale a walk."

Tom perked at that, thinking he might not have to go through with the damage control his mother had requested of him and B'Elanna. "Really? Harry, you sly dog, you didn't..."

Harry grinned. "Well, I did show her..."]

The moon shone bright and a gentle wind brushed over the grass as Harry walked with Jenny well off the path in back of town. Her little fingers danced in his palm, and he giggled. She giggled, too, and faced him when they took a seat by the pond.

"Jenny," Harry said softly, "I'd like to share something with you."

Her eyes lit up in the blue-white light. "Really?"

Harry nodded. "It's called a singing stick. Reverend Windes said it'd be okay if I showed it to you."

"Well, bless his soul," Jenny said, slipping closer as Harry unbuttoned his jacket. She stopped, though, when Harry pulled out an oblong rod from his inside pocket. He was smiling at her. She looked at the rod again, at Harry again. "Whatever floats your boat, Harry. But why don't we try it
my way first?"

Harry stared at her. "I didn't know you knew about chant--" His words were cut off when Miss Jenny pounced on him, kissing him full on the mouth. Harry gasped and stared up at her. "Jenny! What're you doing?"

She giggled again. "If you don't know that, Harry, then you're in worse shape than the reverend said."

"The reverend told you about it?"

"And told me I had some soul savin' to do," she replied, slipping her hand into his shirt, "and I intend to do so."

Harry took her wandering hands and stared her in the eyes. "I just wanted to show you my stick. I didn't mean to make you think I was wanting anything ungentlemanly. I think you've misunderstood the reverend. And I'd never do anything like that. Mama didn't raise me to act like them other men."

Jenny sat up, straddling him. "Oh you'll show me your stick sometime--maybe not tonight, but I will break you, Harry Janeway. Mark my words."

RE: Favored Son, the Second Meal, 9
D'Alaire — 18 Oct 1998, 1:05 PM

Finished with his story, Harry let his hands fall on his lap, sighed slightly, though his face was still pleasant. "Jenny's been after me since--and for some funny reason, Mama keeps asking about her, too....And you know, I think everyone's got this idea I've been...with her, you know? You know how people talk. But I swear I've been a gentleman."

B'Elanna sighed, a little disappointed, but she shrugged. "Well, I guess Miss Jenny wouldn't mind a chall...chivalrous man every now and again." She glanced to her side. Tom's eyes were still closed, his smile one of pure patience. "Maybe I should call on Miss Jenny," she suggested, "while Tom's talking to the reverend."

"Why? I thought you hated her."

"Well, might as well make nice, since you like her. 'Sides," B'Elanna smiled, "seems like she could use a little..sisterly guidance. I think she's misunderstood the way to your...heart."

Harry smiled warmly. "What would I do without a great brother and sister like you two?"

Tom didn't answer him, only grinned.


"What do you think?" Jenny asked.

Harry looked around, having stopped rowing to enjoy the sight of the supper picnic Jenny had set up at the end of the boat. She'd really gone all out, right down to his favorite dessert. "This is really nice, Jenny," he said. "I didn't know you liked picnicing, too."

Jenny smiled, said nothing, just as B'Elanna told her not to. "Why don't we make ourselves more comfortable, hmm?"

Harry nodded, and, following her cue, felt free to take off his jacket. A few minutes later, she convinced him he might enjoy putting his feet in to the water, so Harry removed his boots as well. Sitting on the seat in the middle of the boat, he dipped hid feet in, smiling over at her. "Yep, this is nice all right. Wanna join me?"

She smiled. "I was hoping you'd ask."

As she crawled over, he stopped her. "Uh, Jenny, you'd better take the other side, else we'll fall in."

Her smile grew. "I wouldn't worry about that Harry," she said, coming nearer still.

Sure enough, the boat tipped--but before she fell over and into the water, Harry grabbed her hand, pulling her into his arms. To balance the boat, Jenny leaned him back on the seat, crawling close up on him.

"My hero," she whispered, reaching over for a pastry from the picnic spread, putting her neck in close proximity to his nose and mouth as she did. "Hungry yet? --No, no. Don't move. Let me serve you, Harry. It's the least I can do for all the nice things you've done for me."

Harry breathed deeply to insist otherwise when he suddenly smelled her strong perfume. He could almost...taste it, it was so strong. His stomach started to rumble a little. "What is that you're wearing?"

Jenny's grin was feral. "Cinnamon and pumpkin oil," she whispered, and smiled when she felt him quiver beneath her, his breath get warm on her skin. "Want a cream horn?"

As he felt the confection pastry touch his lips, Harry simply could not say no. "Much obliged," he breathed.

"Oh you will be," Jenny purred. "You will be."