Proper setting: post-series. Exact time: two-and-a-half years post-TAB. Mira, Booster, and XR are no longer rookies. Pure fluff here. Enjoy!
==I'll be Home for Christmas==
I'll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow
And presents under the tree
8:19 pm CCT, Christmas Eve, 3010
"Mira, I've got a vidphone call for you," Booster announced. "It's on our private line."
Buzz turned to his copilot with a frown. "Mira—"
"Hey, I didn't give that number to anybody, I swear," she avowed. "Betcha my dad got it out of Commander Nebula."
"It's from Tangea," Booster supplied helpfully.
"Wishing his daughter a Merry Christmas," XR added in singsong, then froze. "Now there's a good dad—wish my dad would do that…"
Mira sighed and shook her head, rising from her copilot chair. "Booster, patch it to the galley, would you? I'd like to take this one in private."
"Sure thing, Mira!" Booster obligingly pressed a few buttons on the relay system.
"Have a nice talk!" Buzz called after her as she left the bridge.
In the galley, Mira perched on one of the stools and flicked on the vidphone. "Merry Christmas, Daddy," she smiled.
"Merry Christmas, Mira," King Nova returned, a little bit sadly.
"Oh, Father, I'm sorry I couldn't make it this year," she said sincerely. "But one of the teams working the shift got sick—we had to fill in." He frowned and opened his mouth, but she beat him to it. "And hey, feel sorry for them, huh? I mean, you know it's not fun to be sick on Christmas."
"I suppose not," he sighed, "but your Commander could have gotten somebody else."
Mira was suddenly fascinated with the countertop. "Well, uh, every-everybody else on vacation was, um, was already, uh, gone."
"And you and your team weren't."
She nodded wordlessly.
He sighed again. "I knew you should have taken that early liner…"
"Yeah." She chewed briefly on her lip. "Daddy, I'm so sorry."
He smiled sadly. "I know." His dark blue eyes roamed over her as if memorizing every inch of her. "You are so very much like your mother."
It was her turn to smile sadly. "Been thinking about her a lot?"
"It's ten years to the day," he said quietly.
She looked down and nodded again. "I know. Feels… feels like longer, sometimes, and sometimes… doesn't feel that long at all… You know what I mean?"
He nodded. "…I do. I… I remember those dancing slippers you bought for her."
Her smile grew marginally. "I couldn't forget those."
"Her face lit up like a Christmas tree."
"Yeah…" Mira moved her hand up to brush across her eyes, attempting to disguise the motion by raking that hand through her hair. It was difficult, however, to disguise the roughness of her voice. "I miss her."
"So do I," her father rasped. She wasn't the only one having problems here.
"You two were so close." She gave him a watery smile. "Closest married couple I've ever seen. If I ever get married, I hope I can have that."
"I want you to."
A grin flashed across her face unbidden. "Good, now you can start getting used to the idea that I won't marry another Royal!"
She let out a hiccupping giggle. "Weeell!"
"M'kay, Father, get realistic here: no Royal male in his right mind is going to want to put up with me for a wife, and I doubt that's ever gonna change. Simple fact."
"And you certainly haven't changed much over the past few years," he admitted grudgingly.
Her face broke into a wide grin. "Love you, Daddy."
He laughed and shook his head. "Love you, too, Miracael."
She pulled an obligatory sour face at her legal name, then smiled again. "Merry Christmas." She kissed her fingertips and pressed them against the vidscreen, holding them there.
"Merry Christmas." He did the same.
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love-light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
7:59 pm TRPT, Christmas Day, 3010
King Nova stood alone on the balcony, watching the lazy snowflakes drift by. A cold front had blown in a week ago, and it had been snowing on and off ever since.
He wished Mira could be here. It never snowed much in this part of the planet, and she'd treasured moments like these so when she'd been a child.
Abruptly, he felt a pressure on his shoulder through his thick winter coat, and turned.
"Merry Christmas, Daddy."
They hugged there among the falling snow.
Hmm, don't know what's up with my muse and the Nova family. I had two different ideas for a Christmas one-shot, and then this idea popped up, and I went with that, instead. Hope you enjoyed it!
God bless you all, and may you have a very Merry Christmas!