Disclaimer: All Creatures Great & Small doesn't belong to me.


Tristan drew deeply on his cigarette and tried not to shiver. He rubbed his arms, knees drawn up to his chest, and stamped his heels. The doorstep was like a block of ice, numbing his rear, while the house obstinately refused to offer out any heat. He was alone, abandoned, watched only by the distant stars that glinted high above in the darkness.

Siegfried had sacked him again.

He blew a long wisp of smoke into the night air. In front of him the garden was beginning to glisten with frost in the moonlight, looking rather mystical and certainly beautiful, but mostly just damned cold.

He was supposed to be on his way to Brawton, but he had no intention of going. There was no need – all he had to do was wait. As long as he kept out of his brother's sight until morning, everything would be fine. His only regret was that he'd foolishly got himself trapped outside.

The pints that had been keeping him warm were wearing off and the Drover's Arms was now shut. He yearned to reach up for the door handle, slip inside and sneak up to the warmth of his bed. But he knew he'd never make it. Light dimly shone out through the glass pane in the backdoor, not reaching down to where he sat, and he could still hear Siegfried stamping about downstairs.

Tristan raised his cigarette to his lips again, the tip flaring brightly. He prayed that his brother would get called out to a calving.

- - - fin - - -