Chapter 7

Jon sat there for a few moments hugging Porthos and soaking in the comfort of his pup. The dog also seemed to sense the change of his master's emotions, so he stayed close and continued to lick his master. Finally, Jon let go of him and leaned back to rest his head on the back of the bed. He sighed and then looked back at his dog, who continued to look at him with those soulful brown eyes.

"Well Porthos, I guess this answers a lot of questions huh?"

The dog again thumped his tail on the bed and moved closer so his head rested on his master's lap.

"How can I command a ship like this as a teenage boy?"

Jon began stroking the dog's head as he continued to think out loud

"These people deserve a Captain who can lead them and I don't know if I can."

A small tear slide down his cheek, and he quickly wiped it away and berated himself for crying. A captain didn't cry. Why was he crying? He was sixteen and he shouldn't be crying right? He took a deep breath to settle himself. He began to think of his father.

Henry Archer had died when he was fifteen, and he had cried then. He had looked up to his father and missed him very much. His mother had had a rough time of it after his dad had died, and he had done everything he could to make it easier for her. He suddenly realized how much he missed his parents.

The door chime rang and quickly Jon wiped his eyes and then took a deep breath.

"Come in"

He said and as the door opened, he saw not only Trip and T'Pol, but also a Vulcan he knew along with the man who had taken him under his wing after his dad had died, Captain Forrest. But looking closely, Forrest seemed older, and the Ambassador looked older also. He moved to stand and Porthos whimpered a bit at being dislodged from his position. Jon quietly said

"Down Porthos."

The dog obeyed and went to his cushion and flopped down and kept his eyes on his master. Admiral Forrest was the first to speak as he said

"Jon, its good to see you...although not like this."

Jon watched the admiral and the ambassador and he saw the look of pity in the admiral's eyes. The look on the ambassador's face was harder to detect, but he thought he saw...compassion? That look quickly disappeared and the stoic expression of a Vulcan returned.

"Captain, it is good to see you again."

Soval said as he looked at the Captain. He watched him to see how he was handling this situation. He began to remember the boy he had first met at age six. He remembered that the child had been quite curious and had a love for understanding the wonders of the universe. At the time, he had wondered where this child was headed for. Then the incident of the broken arm had occurred and he had watched him grow more angry and distrustful of the Vulcan's. And as he had grown, the distrust had strengthen to the point of openly challenging all the Vulcan's had done. He knew that Archer blamed his people for the delay of Henry Archer's warp five engine, and he knew that Archer had a deep seeded resentment against him. It was something he hoped to resolve.

Now Admiral Forrest came over and placed his hand on the teen's shoulder and said

"We stopped to see Dr Phlox first, and he thinks that you will just continue to grow and within the next two and half months, you'll be back to normal"

He smiled at him and continued

"I know you'll be glad to get back to yourself"

Now Soval said

"Yes Captain I'm sure you will be fine.

Jon looked at Soval and he was sure for the first time that Soval was actually being sincere. He watched him for a moment and then he seemed to relax and said

"Thank you. It will be good to get back to myself"

He looked for the first time towards Trip and T'Pol and smiled and continued

"Although, my perception of the Vulcan people have change."

Soval raised an eyebrow and looked at T'Pol who just gave a slight eyebrow raise to him. She said

"The Captain has been learning about how Vulcan's can be...acceptable. Commander Tucker has been instrumental in helping that along."

Now Jon actually laughed at this and said

"Well lets just say that I have an appreciation for a certain first officer and she has been able to help me with certain misconceptions of the Vulcan people."

Forrest smiled at than and again Soval raised an eyebrow as he said

"Captain, I would be quite interested to discuss this new development with you. This may be a second chance for us."

"I would be glad to discuss it with you. I do hope we have a second chance also."

Now Forrest spoke up and said

"Well, I think that Jon needs to get some rest. This has been a stressful time."

"Yes, I agree We will talk later Captain."

Soval agreed. Now Trip spoke up

"We need to get the Admiral and Ambassador to there quarters to rest too."

Now Forrest gripped Jon in a bear hug and said

"It's good to see you and we will talk later."

"Yes sir. Thank you for coming."

He then turned to Soval and said

"You too Ambassador. I look forward to speaking with you."

Jon smiled at him and Soval inclined his head and said

"I to Captain, look forward to our talk."

They all turned to leave and as Trip was last to leave, he turned and grinned at his Captain as he left and now Jon was alone. He stood for a moment and then let out a sigh

"Well Porthos I think that went well."

He looked at his pup and then he went to his bed and laid down and immediately Porthos jumped up and went to his favorite spot by his master and laid his head on his lap. Jon began to stoked his head and said

"I am tired...its been a lot to take in. I think I will rest."

He continued to pet his dog and after a moment, he drifted off to sleep, and so did Porthos.

TBC

A/N I am sorry this has taken a long time to update. On Sept I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and has to have an operation. The Dr said she had gotten 98% out of me, but I also have Chemo to go through which I had my first session on Wednesday this week. The good thing is I have not had any side effects and feel great! I look at it this way, I only have 2% to fight and as the Borg say

"Resistance is Futile...You will be assimilated"

I hope to be able to update again soon