* * *
Dom was in her office as it neared noon, finishing up a last paper
that she wanted to mail before the Seaview sailed.
That she was actually got to finish it was a bit confusing to her
because she had expected to be interrupted, though not in a bad way,
“Hey,” Seamus said brightly as he popped in the door.
Dom smiled at him. She
had expected him hours ago.
“Hey yourself,” she replied as he came around her desk and gave
her a long, warm kiss. Seamus was wonderful at kissing, she mused contentedly as she
played with his very touchable hair while he demonstrated his skills.
“Where have you been all morning?” she asked when he broke off
the kiss. “I half expected
you to be camped out in my office all day today.”
“I had something to give to the Admiral so he could look it over
really good before leaving tomorrow,” Seamus said.
“Weaponry,” Dom assumed aloud, shaking her head at him.
“Self defense measures,” he countered her with a frown.
“I’d try giving you some, but after the lecture two days
“I don’t need weapons to study fish,” she interrupted him.
“So you impressed upon me,” he said with a long suffering sigh,
but then shook off his unhappy expression and smiled.
“So I just put myself into debt with the Admiral and went out to
get you something instead.”
“You don’t need to buy me anything,” Dom told him.
“I have everything I need, including a very attentive fiancé.
I don’t need a thing.”
“No, this I needed to get, trust me,” Seamus told her and
fished a small box out of his pocket.
He took her left hand and then looked up into her eyes.
“You’re sure you still want to marry me?” he asked, sounding
“Yes,” she replied with a laugh in her voice.
Seamus had asked her that question at least a dozen times since
he’d first proposed, as if she would suddenly change her mind and not
“Okay,” he said, sounding almost relieved.
“Then let’s make it official.”
He opened the little box and took out a Claddagh ring and put it on
her hand. “See, you have to wear it facing this way on this hand,”
he told her, then kissed her fingers lovingly.
“It means you’re engaged.
We turn it around on the big day.”
Dom hadn’t noticed until that moment that Seamus was wearing an
identical ring on his own hand. He
lifted her hand and traced over the face of the ring gently with one
The ring stands for friendship, love and loyalty, hands for
friendship, heart for love, crown for loyalty.
When you give someone this ring, you’re saying, ‘With my hands
I give you my heart, and crown it with my love.’”
“That’s so sweet,” Dom said, giving his a soft kiss.
“And I can’t buy one for you.
You beat me to it.”
Seamus smiled a little sadly, twisting his own ring.
“I don’t usually wear jewelry.
I work with my hands and anything on them gets dirty and scraped
and stuff. I’ll probably go through dozens of these, so you can get me
the next one if you want. I
got this so that I have something to touch, something to remind me
you’ll be back soon when you go away.
I can close my eyes and run my fingers over the pattern and pretend
I’m touching your hand when I’m lonely.”
He seemed to shake off his melancholy and gave her a smile and
added, “Plus, it lets the other ladies out there know that I’ve given
my heart away and am off the market, not to bother.”
Dom smiled. “You actually think that a ring will stop some of them?
Some women don’t care if a guy is married or a priest or
whatever. They just
“Wow! Maybe I need
self defense measures,” Seamus joked.
Dom kissed him and he really smiled.
“Do you think everyone had a good time last night?” he asked,
settling her into his arms. Dom
happily cuddled there, smiling up at him.
“I think so. Chief Sharkey certainly seemed to like teasing you about
being unable to follow simple instructions.”
“Hey, he said to run. He
didn’t say where to or to do what.
Is it my fault that he wasn’t specific with his desires?
Besides, Rick was glad I came back bearing arms,” Seamus said
“Of course he was. He
was about to get eaten when you saved the day.
My hero,” Dom replied, stroking his back.
“Too bad I got pulverized right after or maybe I could have
wormed my way into coming with you guys tomorrow,” he grumbled.
Dom stretched up and kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re still recovering, so don’t even think about it.”
“That’s what the Admiral said too,” Seamus sighed.
“A guy could feel unwanted.”
“Really? And I was
going to let you sleep over tonight, since it’s our last night together
for a bit,” Dom said, watching his face. Seamus blinked in surprise, then squeezed her tightly and
kissed her passionately. “Just
sleep,” she said with a little breathless laugh when he let her.
“Same bed, though, right? All
cuddly and close when I’m not half dead or too drugged up to really
appreciate it?” Seamus asked enthusiastically, sounding like that alone
would be a dream come true.
Dom nodded, stroking his face, saying, “I don’t want you to
have bad dreams tonight.”
Seamus smiled brightly at her and kissed her again.
“I won’t. I’m
having nice dreams right now and I’m not even asleep yet.”
Then his stomach rumbled rather noisily between them, making Dom
laugh. “Shut up, you.
You’ve been getting all kinds of attention lately.
Give the rest of me a chance!” Seamus said, giving himself a poke
in the gut.
“Come on. Let’s
take care of your stomach. I’m
hungry too,” Dom said, taking his hand and starting to pull him out of
“But there was kissing going on!” Seamus protested.
“And I just finished the last thing I needed to do for the day,
so I was thinking that we would have a nice lunch, I would make sure there
was plenty of food in my house for you to have while I’m gone, then I
would have nothing to do the rest of the day but spend time with my fiancé
in the privacy of my home,” Dom hummed.
Suddenly, Seamus’ arm was around her waist and he was all but
propelling her out her office door. “You’re
walking too slow. Let’s get
this eating stuff out of the way!” he said, making her giggle.
She was going to miss him so much while the Seaview was away and
she didn’t like to think about him being sad and lonely when she was
gone. Dom snuggled back
against his side as she walked quickly along with him, smiling up at him. She would never have thought that someone could come to mean
so much to her so quickly. She
had never been unhappy with her life, but now she felt like something that
she’d never known was missing had suddenly appeared and completed her.
Gently rubbing her thumb over her new ring, she suddenly found
herself looking forward to the day when she could turn it around and
thinking that six months before being able to make Seamus a permanent part
of her life was too long a time to wait.
Nelson watched silently as Doctor Babin and Harper left the
Institute talking and laughing together, pretty much wrapped around each
other. It made him smile,
glad to see two people he cared so much about so happy.
He was about to turn back to his office when he sensed someone was
near. With almost a sense of
dread, he glanced over his shoulder, thinking he would see Barris there.
He was not at all disappointed when it turned out to be Lee that
had silently arrived to stand just to the side and behind him.
“Dom’s off for the rest of the day?” he asked.
“Yes, she and Mister Harper are,” Nelson replied, rather
pleased that Lee and Harper seemed to be getting along at least a bit
better since the little engineer had recovered from his lung infection.
Nelson knew that Lee was aware of at least part of the truth of
about Harper, but the subject had not been broached between the two of
them. He decided that he
would take care of that now. “He’s
a nice young man, despite everything that’s happened to him.
I’m glad she’s the one that found him after he was torn from
his home and thrown here, into our time.
He needed someone to handle him with a little kindness for a
change. And he’ll be good
for her and to her. They’ll
be good for each other.”
Lee’s mouth went hard for a moment, then he said, “I think
they’re rushing things, but they seem happy, so I guess that’s all
that’s important.” He
looked from the direction that Harper and Doctor Babin had just
disappeared off into and met Nelson’s eyes.
“When you said that he was a lost soul looking to find his place,
I didn’t quite realize how lost you meant.”
Nelson smiled a little, saying, “Does it really matter, when he
Lee shrugged. “I suppose not. Dom
was a little vague when she... inadvertently
told me he was from the future. Do
we know exactly when he is from?”
Nelson shook his head, fighting down a smile over how he imagined
Doctor Babin had told Lee about things.
“No. Even Seamus
isn’t entirely sure about how many years he was thrown back in time.
Apparently Earth adopted a more galactic calendar some time in the
A suspicious look crossed Lee’s face.
“You believe him?”
“I don’t think that Seamus has ever purposely lied to me about
anything,” Nelson said, firmly believing his words.
“Omitted a lot, yes, but I think there is a lot about what is to
come that I’d simply rather not know.”
Lee nodded. “I can understand that.
Should we have a security team keep an eye on him when he’s away
from the Institute? I’d
hate to think about one of our enemies kidnapping him and forcing him to
make things to suit their purposes.”
Nelson shook his head. “As
far as our enemies, the INS and the world in general are concerned, Seamus
Harper is a homeless man who was born in nineteen seventy one in Salem,
Massachusetts. They have
absolutely no reason to suspect he’s anything more than that and I
intend to keep things that way. Aside
for the sound weapon he made, I’m going to see to it that he never has
anything to do with anything destructive as long as he works here, thus
giving our enemies no reason to desire taking him.”
“So his secret project that Mister Fletcher is now helping him
with...” Lee started, but purposefully left the comment unfinished.
“Is the Institute’s new space program.
Lee, we are going to have a Flying Sub capable of achieving Earth
orbit by the end of the year,” Nelson told him, still incredibly pleased
Lee looked impressed. “So
we only need to worry about NASA kidnapping him, then,” he stated rather
“Pretty much, yes,” Nelson said with a smile.
Lee nodded, still looking serious about the matter.
“I suppose we can handle anyone they send our way.
I have some final reports to go over with you before we launch
tomorrow. Have you got a few
minutes right now, sir?” So
Lee intended to treat Harper as another of the Institute’s secrets,
something to be guarded against outside forces.
Nelson could live with that.
“Of course, Lee,” Nelson said, nodding Lee in the direction of
his office as he turned that way himself.
“Admiral, this improved Flying Sub,” Lee started hesitantly.
“Yes?” Nelson prompted him to continue.
“Let me or Chip take the first few test flights,” Lee said.
“After all, Harper’s sound cannon didn’t down that creature
on the first shot.” Nelson
chuckled, giving Lee a good natured slap on the back.
This sort of distrust he could cope with.
|Belonging, Chapter One|
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|Other Fan Fiction Contents Page|