Oh Say Can You See

Chapter 1: Beginnings

Thank you for embarking on this new journey with me into the universe of Clan Short.
This is my first real story, so I hope you enjoy it. The title of the story is part of a quote by Francis Scott Key. You might remember him; he wrote a poem that became a pretty catchy tune.
For those of you who know the Clan Universe, this story starts not in Alpha Prime but in Beta-14. Don't worry though, we will soon join our friends in their home. For those of you who do not know the Clan Universe, I highly recommend that you start with Memories Part 1 by the originator of everything here, AC Fan.
— Samiam

Chapter 1: Beginnings

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End...Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End... ("<span style=\"text-decoration: underline;\">Closing Time<\/span> by Semisonic")

 Sol System. Somewhere in the void between Earth and Mars. Universe Beta-14


Commander Tholok sat behind his desk in his ready-room, going over the last preparations before the invasion of Earth. The Romulan commander was fairly confident in their upcoming fight. His own ship was the spearhead of this eclectic fleet composed of other warbirds and stolen cargo ships that were converted into troop ships. Their industrial-sized transporters that make it so easy to move metric tonnes of cargo were repurposed and enlarged to send battalions of shock troops to the surface of a planet in record speed. What they were about to do would change the nature of this quadrant forever.

The commander was a member of a group of Romulans who were unhappy with the peace the Romulan Star Empire had with the greedy two-faced United Federation of Planets and sought to have them destroyed. To that end, they planned a strike to once and for all destroy the heart of the Federation. The alliance would fall apart without humans leading it, allowing the Empire to rule over their neighbors once again .

For a number of years now, they had had undercover agents on Earth, gaining information and replacing key personnel. Their scientists had perfected a kind of cloaking device that allowed them to look like anyone they chose. Using this technology, the hapless humans have had no idea that many of their leaders were no longer whom they thought they were.

A chime at the commander's door drew him out of his thoughts. "Come in." With a hiss, the door slid open and another Romulan stepped in. "Ah, Sub-Commander Okis. How are our preparations going?"

Like most Romulans, Okis had short dark hair and nearly slate-colored skin. A notable scar ran from the man's right ear all the way to his mouth. A wound sustained by being caught by a Klingon's bat'leth in a previous engagement. While Sub-Commander Okis won that particular fight, the Klingon wasn't so lucky.

Quickly stepping into the room, the Sub-Commander came to a stiff pose and then thumped the fist of his right hand against his chest, before straightening his arm back out parallel to the ground but pointing to his commander. "Commander Tholok," the man barked, "the men are ready to die for the cause."

Tholok looked up at his long-time friend with a hint of amusement and waved a hand in a dismissive gesture. "At ease, Okis, we are not in the military anymore." Okis' posture softened, but he didn't go completely soft. Tholok softly chuckled to himself, you could take the Romulan out of the military, but you couldn't take the military out of the Romulan. The two of them had left the military, disgusted by its pathetically weak attitude towards the Federation. The rebel group they had formed together truly had the fortitude of what it meant to be a Romulan.

Tholok leaned back in his chair. "Besides the almost religious zeal you and your men seem to have, tell me of our plans."

Okis now grinned back at his friend and took a seat in one of the chairs in front of the Commander's desk. "We are ready to strike in ten hours. First, Commander Torrin's compliment of Warbirds will move in and engage the Star Fleet and Vulcan Special Operations Forces orbiting the planet. Once occupied, the main invasion fleet will move in. Three of our warbirds will attack the Federation's capital of the United States. Two more will focus on the Federation's HQ in France. Additionally, three birds will focus on Star Fleet's HQ on the western side of the United States. Finally, the twenty remaining birds will be assaulting the capitals and major city centers around the rest of the planet.

"Then once the forces in orbit around the planet are occupied, the troop ships will begin using their transporters to beam down the ground forces down to the surface. Those troops will quickly secure local areas and cause as much chaos with the denizens as possible."

Tholok nodded, encouraging the man to continue.

"To further crush the will of the people, we have received the location of the headquarters of Clan Short. While all the other ships are engaged. This ship and its two wingmates will go in cloaked and bombard the headquarters of the clan in a place called Orlando, Florida with plasma torpedoes." Tholok felt a stirring in his chest and loins at the mention of the destruction of the clan run by children. "While this is happening, our other ships will target other strategic locations of the clan. Especially Des Moines, Iowa; London, England; Moscow, Russia; and Sidney, Australia. With the destruction of their headquarters and these other locations, the clan should be decimated."

Commander Tholok grinned at the report. "And what of our operatives infiltrating said clan?"

Okis nodded, "They have done very well. In fact, the reason why we have the information about the clan's strategic locations is because we were able to capture three brothers from the clan. One of whom is high up in the clan's leadership." Okis licked his lips. "Humans are so… fragile, especially when they are young," he sneered.

"And you are certain the information they gave you is accurate?"

"Oh yes." Okis grinned evilly. "The oldest brother, who is the one in the leadership position, first saw his brothers be tortured, and then he joined them. He eventually broke, in a desperate, misguided attempt to stop their torture. Then, once we had the information we wanted, we killed all three of them, leaving the oldest brother for last."

"Good, good," Tholok leaned back in his chair, his fingers joined in front of him in the shape of a triangle. Not unlike a criminal mastermind relishing in the thought of the impending chaos that they would soon sow. "By this time tomorrow, we will have accomplished what the spineless bureaucrats on Romulus have failed to do in years. Once we destroy this planet, the Federation will be crippled."

Rio Rancho, New Mexico, USA. Earth. Universe Beta-14
November 3rd.


The wind rushed through Cassian Simon's hair as he sprinted down the street as fast as his legs could carry him. It looked like the boy was looking at something in the sky as he was running. Behind him, he could hear the steady cadence of his best friend Wade Mann running behind him.

"Cass," Wade breathlessly called out, "wait up!"

"We're almost there."

To a bystander, it would look like two boys chasing after each other on a warm summer's day. The one keeping the lead had medium-length auburn hair that lay flat against his head and was wearing a cobalt-blue shirt with shorts the color of gravel.

A brown-haired boy dressed in a raven-black shirt and burgundy shorts was doing his very best to keep up behind him. The boy's short, well-kept hair, more reminiscent of a fancy dinner party—or other restrictive places, such as a church—was a sharp contrast to his carefree attitude and loose clothing. At least, it would seem his hair had been nicely kept, right now, it was so drenched and matted from sweat that one would have to know what to look for.

The boys were good representatives of their kind. Both looked to be about 11 years old and of average height for their age. From the slender, toned muscles on their bodies, it was clear that they were yet to start the throes of puberty.

"I saw it land, Wade, it's just over here!"

The boys kept running a couple of hundred more yards before the one in the lead slowed down.

"I saw it crash into that oak tree." Cassian came to a stop near an old oak tree whose branches soared high into the sky and was full of leaves.

Wade finally caught up with his friend and bent down, bracing himself with his hands on his knees as he gulped in huge breaths of air. "Man, Cassian," Wade gasped, "you make gazelles…look slow."

Cassian smirked at his friend while he waited for him to recover. "If you came running with me more often, then you wouldn't be so out of shape."

"Yeah, yeah," Wade finally replied after he had regained his breath. "You saw it?" Cassian pointed up into the tree. About ten feet above them, nestled between some branches, was their red and green kite that had gotten away. Wade whistled in amazement. "How did it get this far? It must be nearly a mile from where we were flying it."

Cassian shrugged his shoulders, "It must have got caught up in the wind." Cassian walked towards the tree and prepared to jump up to grab the lowest branch before he realized that Wade wasn't with him.

Looking around, Cassian saw that Wade was right where he had left him. His face was slack and devoid of all color. Cassian sighed to himself and turned away from the tree. This wasn't the first time that Wade had gone into this shock, and it seemed to be whenever Cassian went climbing something. Shrugging his shoulders, he walked back to his best friend and tried to get his attention.

"Earth to Wade, come in, Wade." Wade jumped as he felt Cassian shake his shoulder. "Are you okay there?" Cassian's voice was full of concern, "You looked lost for a moment."

 Wade smiled weakly at Cassian. "Just remembering when we were nine."

Cassian understood what Wade was talking about. He personally had no memory of that day, but Wade had seemed haunted ever since.

Wade shook his head. "Okay, yeah, I'll get our kite back." Studying the tree, he saw some lower branches that would make good places to grab onto and boost himself up. He grabbed them and then braced against the tree with his feet, while pulling on the branches and hoisting himself into it. Then carefully testing each branch before trusting his weight to it, he slowly climbed higher until he got to the kite.

The kite had become tangled among the branches and leaves. Especially the string that was used to anchor it. Wade could see how it was wrapped around, tangled and twisted up into knots. From his vantage point, Wade wasn't sure if he would be able to get the kite untangled without damaging it further or the string that was attached to it. Wade maneuvered himself until he could become braced among the tree limbs so that he could freely use his hands. Tugging on the kite and feeling it shudder caused Wade to heave out a heavy sigh. His worst fear had been confirmed, in the crash the kite had broken its crossbar, so it was no longer capable of flying.

Wade yelled down, "Hey, the kite got wrapped up pretty bad here, and its crossbar snapped in the crash."

"Really?" Cassian nearly whined. "Well, I guess since it's broken, there's no use in being careful. You should untangle it if you can, but if not, you should cut it free."

Wade nodded in agreement and looked back at the kite, he couldn't see a way to untangle it cleanly, so he sighed again and reached into his pocket to grab the pocketknife he had clipped to his shorts. It only took a few cuts to free the kite and string. That task completed, he closed the knife and clipped it back inside his pocket. He then grabbed the kite and string and worked them free from the tree. "Watch your head," he warned before dropping the kite.

Cassian rushed over to the kite so that he could see for himself just how bad the damage really was. He found himself absentmindedly rubbing the back of his neck as he observed the broken kite. The damage was worse than he had thought. There was no way it would ever fly again.

Having climbed down from the tree, Wade joined his friend and placed an arm around his shoulders and pulled him into a one-sided hug. "Should we have a funeral service for it?" he teased.

Cassian playfully shoved his friend away. "No, you dork," he laughed. Cassian picked up the broken kite and then looked around him. Seeing a community trash bin, he tossed it inside. "There, now it's buried."

Wade pretended to be solemn, like a priest at a graveside mass. "Our Father who art in heaven," he intoned, "please watch over this kite—" Cassian smiled and jostled him. "Hey! You interrupted the mass!"

"Come on, dork! Let's head back home."

"Alright, fine," Wade easily agreed.

"Mom, dad, we're home!" Cassian shouted as he and Wade walked in the front door of Cassian's house.

"I'm in the kitchen, sweetheart," came his mom's reply.

The boys went to the kitchen as they saw Cassian's mom, Pearl Simon, busy cooking dinner at the stove. In the middle of the kitchen was an island with some bar stools on the side opposite the stove. The boys parked themselves there. Pearl smiled at them. "You boys look sweaty, you should shower before dinner, it's almost ready. Wade, honey, your parents called while you both were away and said that they want you home since you guys are going out to eat."

"Alright!" Wade shouted in joy. The two boys high-fived each other, Cassian was happy for the great news for his friend. "I guess I'll catch you later, Cassian."

"Yeah, sure thing, it was fun hanging out with you today, even if the kite broke."

"That was pretty rotten luck. But catch you later." Wade practically skipped to the door and let himself out of the house.

"What was that about the kite breaking?" Cassian tore his gaze away from the door that his friend had just left and saw the concerned expression on his mom's face. He sighed, "Yeah, we were flying the kite, but then the string broke, and it got away from us. We chased it for nearly a mile before it crashed into a tree." Cassian saw his mom's eyebrows raise and her lips pursed, so he quickly added, "but I didn't climb the tree to get it. Wade did," Cassian relaxed as his mom's expression shifted to a relaxed smile. "The kite had broken its crossbar, so we threw it away."

"I'm sorry to hear that, I know how much you liked that kite."

Cassian nodded in agreement.

"I have to get back to the food, you go take your shower, okay?" Pearl smiled at her son.

"Sure, mom."

The Simons lived in a housing community where the developer had made all houses out of the same cookie-cutter template. The houses were all two stories with three bedrooms and three baths, additionally they had an upstairs living room and a downstairs family room.

What this meant is that the main floor had a master bedroom with an attached full bathroom, along with a smaller bathroom on the same floor for guests, it was also where the kitchen and dining room were. In the basement were the family room, and also the two other three bedrooms, along with a full bathroom, a storage room, and a laundry room. Or that was the original blueprints, at least.

Since Cassian was an only child, the second bedroom in the basement had been converted into a home office so that Shawn Simon—Cassian's father—could use it to conduct his business. He was a successful real estate broker and brought home enough for the family to live comfortably on just his wage. Because of how successful Shawn had been, while the outside of the home looked like all the others, they were able to do quite a few changes to the inside so that it was one of a kind.

Cassian switched on the light as he stepped into his private sanctuary. Besides his bedroom, the bathroom in the basement was his most favorite place in his whole house. Before moving in, his parents had the house remodeled from the ground up. Nothing was left unchanged, except for the floor joists and the load-bearing walls that held up the house. Since Cassian was an only child, his parents wanted to make sure that he had plenty of input on how his bedroom and bathroom looked.

While not extravagant, his bathroom did have a sense of finesse and style to it. The fixtures in the room were a sleek onyx color, which contrasted beautifully with the pearl-colored tile and vanity countertop. In truth, Cassian would have preferred a bathroom that looked more like it was one with nature. But he was happy with this. In addition to a fully tiled walk-in shower, he had a large whirlpool tub that took up one side of the rectangular room. The tub itself was pearl while its knobs and faucet resembled the rest of the fixtures, being that sleek onyx.

Cassian remembered that his mom had said that dinner was almost ready, so with effort, he shook himself free of the calmness that had come over him. Peeling off his clothes, he turned and looked at himself in the mirror. Staring back at him was a boy whose skin had been gently kissed by the sun. Green eyes, a perky nose, and pale lips, with a hint of pink in them completed his face. He liked to keep his auburn hair medium-length so that it was easier to maintain. It cooperated by laying down flat and mostly just conforming to the shape of his head. He had a few bangs, but they weren't long enough to reach his eyebrows. It was your typical low-maintenance little boy haircut. 

Looking further down his body, even though he didn't really work out, he was still an active enough boy that he hadn't accumulated any fat, and even had some definition to his young muscles. All of that contributed to his flat belly. His pubis was, unfortunately, still as bald as the day he had come into this world. Being 11, almost 12, he was hoping for some sign of pubic hair already, but so far, the area was like a barren field. Even though he hadn't started puberty yet, he was still happy with the look and size of his cock and balls. Having had the talk with his dad, he knew that his uncut 2.5 in (6.35 cm) cock was normal for a boy his age.

Like the rest of his body, his thighs and legs were slender, and thanks to his habit of running, his calves were actually well-defined and just as smooth and hairless as the rest of him, which made things easier. He turned his body and then looked over his shoulder so that he could examine his butt. It wasn't exactly flat, but it wasn't big or bubbly either. He shrugged and supposed that it was just like the rest of him; just there, but nothing to talk about.

Having completed his inventory, he walked into his shower and set the water to a comfortable temperature before getting under it and cleaning himself. He would have liked to soak and relax in his bath, but he knew he didn't have that kind of time.

Even though there were only three members of the Simon household, they made sure to have dinner as a family as often as possible, and this night was no exception. Their dining room table was sized to fit eight adults comfortably; as the family liked to entertain guests and neighbors regularly. Once a month, Cassian's parents threw a dinner party for the families in the neighborhood, the adults would have a fancy multi-course meal upstairs, while all the kids descended to the basement where they had their own kind of party. Of course, no party was complete without pizza, salad, soda, and video games. Pearl was pretty conscientious when it came to eating healthy, so she always insisted that their dinner include a salad, even the pizza party dinners. The kids didn't mind, the salads were tasty, and it was a small price to pay for being able to have all the pizza and soda that you wanted and to bask in friendly competition.

After his shower, Cassian got dressed in similar loose-fitting clothes as the ones he was wearing earlier and helped his mom get dinner ready by setting the table for the three of them. His father, Shawn Simon, finally emerged from his office in the basement after finishing his work for the day. Like his son, Shawn was also slender, with only a hint of definition to his muscles. It was a family trait that happened to be in both of Cassian's paternal and maternal lineages. The patriarch of the Simon household kept his face clean-shaven and his hair neat and auburn colored; for a bit now, it had been threatening to turn into salt-and-pepper even though he was only 43, but he kept that at bay by judiciously using hair dye.

Cassian went over to his dad and embraced him tightly. Shawn could tell that something was weighing on Cassian's mind, but also that he wasn't ready to talk about it at the moment. Just then, Pearl came out from the kitchen carrying a serving plate with a heap of juicy pot roast on it and asked her husband to grab the salad that was still in the kitchen, which he promptly did. Once he had returned, they all sat down at the table and began serving the food and enjoying the delicious meal that Pearl had put together. Pearl also had auburn hair that she usually wore up in a bun, to keep things neater. She had a kind smile, and her gray eyes spoke volumes about the compassion that she felt for everyone, even those who would try to hurt her or her family.

Eventually, the dinner time conversation came around to what Cassian had been up to that day. He preferred not to admit that his new kite had broken, but they were a family that didn't keep any secrets from each other.

Shawn wiped his mouth using his napkin. "So, Cassian, what did you get up to today?"

"Wade and I flew the kite I got for my birthday around." Cassian frowned. "But a forceful gust of wind happened, and it snapped the string that was anchoring it to us."

Shawn's eyebrows drew together as his head tilted. "Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that. Were you able to recover it?"

"We had to chase it for nearly a mile, but we finally caught up to it when it crashed into a tree."

Shawn's eyes opened wider, "It crashed into a tree?" he asked his only son, as he looked up at his wife. Pearl simply nodded and then subtly motioned with her head for Shawn to focus back on their son. Shawn did and tried to mask the sudden concern that he had felt.

That momentary look on his father's face, and exchange between his parents, wasn't lost on Cassian. Since that crash two years ago, his parents had always been a bit more concerned for his wellbeing. A part of him wished he could remember that day so that he would have some idea just why his parents and best friend were still so uneasy about it, but he was also glad that he didn't have to remember that trauma either. Recovering from it had been bad enough. Cassian rushed out, "Yeah, but don't worry. I didn't climb the tree to get it, Wade did." The sudden loosening of his dad's posture confirmed to him that it was exactly what his dad had been worried about.

"Was the kite hurt badly?"

"Yeah," Cassian sighed. "The crossbar on it had snapped, so it wasn't flyable anymore, so we dumped it in a trash can on our way home."

"I'm sorry to hear that. We can get you a new one."

Cassian smiled for the first time that night and gratefully nodded to his dad.

After dinner was over, Cassian helped his parents clean up the table and kitchen. They always worked together, it made it much faster that way, and it was another thing they could do together as a family. Once that was done, he hugged and kissed his parents' good night and headed downstairs to wind down for bed.

But before it was time for bed, it was time to check in with the smallest member of the Simon household. Cassian's day was never complete without spending time with Dexter Simon to make sure everything was good with him.

Dexter was a domesticated chocolate-colored ferret that the family had rescued from a shelter years before. His fur was white on his face, with a band of brown around his eyes. As his fur went up and over his head to the rest of his body, the white faded into a brown, like milk chocolate, that covered most of his body. However, on the top of his back and to the sides was a large patch of lighter brown, which resembled more the color of hot cocoa than solid chocolate.

To the Simon family, Dexter was more like another child than just a pet. Part of the remodeling process was to divide the storage room in half by putting a wall that created two rooms from the original one. One half remained a storage room. The other became Dexter's room.

Cassian quickly opened the door to Dexter's room and then gently closed it behind him and turned on the light as he entered the room. The room was dominated by a large cage, on one side of it; where Dexter slept, did his potty business, and safely played while the Simon's were busy with other things. Spread around the floor of the room were different toys that Dexter liked to play with. Since most toys made specifically for ferrets had a tendency to actually be dangerous to them—due to choking hazards—Dexter's toys were mostly all fluffy cat toys that did the job just fine. Connected to the large cage were the transparent hollow tubes that could be seen flowing around the room along the walls.

 Cassian stepped up to Dexter's cage and opened the door to it. One of the features built into Dexter's cage was that the door doubled as a ramp down to the floor of the room. Making it very convenient for the little Simon to get in and out of it. "Hey there, little buddy," Cassian softy cooed. He then sat down on the floor, and just watched as his friend came back to the world of the living. Some people think of pets as something they own or something that is there to entertain them. That wasn't the case with Cassian at all. To Cassian—and by extension, his parents—Dexter was another member of their family.

Dexter slowly lifted his head out of his burrow of soft bedding that consisted of fleece blankets and old shirts that Cassian had grown out of. Bleary eyes squinted in the bright light as Dexter gave out a big yawn as he stretched out his lithe little body. He then lazily flipped over onto his back and began licking his paws and rubbing them on his face, and then doing that over again, complete with more yawning. Cassian let out a contented sigh. He could spend hours just watching Dexter wake up.

After washing his face, Dexter spent some time slithering around his cage, using his back legs to propel him. He had yet to come fully awake, so it was as if he had completely forgotten that he had front paws that made moving so much easier. While he was doing this, he was also shivering. Dexter wasn't cold, the room was actually a comfortable temperature. What he was doing was revving his little engine to get it warmed up and his metabolism going so that he could wake up fully.  After doing this for a few minutes, he finally felt awake enough to take care of his morning business and hopped into his litter box to do just that.

Once that was done, like a switch was flipped—he went from groggy to fully awake. Looking outside the cage, he squeaked for joy at seeing his best friend. The open cage door made a ramp down to the carpeted floor. Cassian sat down on the floor and began to play with some of Dexter's toys.

When Cassian had been eight years old, he had watched a video documentary that showed a stoat chasing and then taking down a rabbit that was at least twice its size. The stoat had gotten close enough to the rabbit by performing a war dance that had confused the other animal. Little did the rabbit realize, but the dance wasn't just to confuse it, it was also bringing the stoat closer.

Maybe it had been the stoat's hypnotic dance or the juxtaposition of such a small and irrevocably cute animal being capable of such carnage that had immediately enraptured the boy's mind. Unfortunately for Cassian, the object of his new-found obsession was fated to be forever unreachable, as stoats were wild animals and not fit to be a pet under any circumstances and begging to his parents would not change that.

Cassian's obsession, however, came with a new insatiable thirst that made him devour hundreds of hours of nature documentaries as well as book after book on topics like stoats, animal behavior, zoology, and domestication of wild animals. While his parent's answer remained the same, the candle of hope still burned brightly in the boy's feverish mind.

Eventually, Cassian had to concede that stoats were to forever remain wild and free from the hands of man, but before the light of hope was extinguished, the boy made the discovery of his life! Stoats had relatives who had already been domesticated and were more than happy to relate to humans and even live under the same roof. Ferrets were the answer the heavens had sent him, and by god he was going to take it.

'Operation Ferret' lasted exactly six tortuous months of systematically proving and gaining points with his parents that he was not only old enough but capable, and responsible enough to warrant having such a peculiar pet. Long arduous summer afternoons of mowing lawns, washing dishes, and doing all sorts of chores around the house on top of bringing several pristine report cards filled to the brim with top grades would eventually earn him his heart's sole desire.

The Simon family had adopted Dexter from a pet store when Cassian and Dexter seemed to have fallen in love with each other at first sight. An employee had tried to warn the family that Dexter was aggressive and wouldn't let anyone near him. They explained that Dexter was nice to the store employees and other ferrets, but he would always hiss at and try to claw or bite any customer who showed any interest in him. Simon and Pearl insisted that they wanted to still check on Dexter and consider him. The employee let out a long exhale but took them over to where the ferrets were kept. Many had said the same thing before, yet none stayed more than a few seconds.

The first clue the employee had that something was different with this group of customers was that when they went over to Dexter's cage, he wasn't hissing. In fact, he seemed to be staring into the eyes of the little boy who had accompanied his parents. Much to the employee's surprise, the boy was also staring right back at Dexter. The employee began rapidly blinking their eyes in disbelief, this had never happened before. They hesitated, but slowly asked the family if they wanted to hold Dexter. The boy quickly began bouncing on his toes as he was nodding his head vigorously and a smile had lit up his face and eyes. The employee slowly walked over to Dexter's cage. Silently hoping and praying that Dexter would stay the loving boy the store knew he was.

Their hands were slightly shaking as they opened the cage and gently grabbed Dexter and held him. They were absolutely stunned. Normally by this time Dexter's fur would be puffed up, death glaring at everyone, and hissing like crazy. But instead, Dexter had arched his back in playfulness and even licked his lips when he was picked up. These were very promising signs to the employee.

Cassian held out his arms to hold Dexter, as the employee got closer to the boy, was still amazed at the difference in Dexter's attitude. Instead of being an angry ball of fur, wiggling and struggling every which way to escape, he was completely calm and was even wagging his tail out of excitement. Warmth began to spread from within the employee's chest. Could it be that this time, Dexter will have found a forever family? The employee laid Dexter in the boy's arms, and the ferret melted into the boy's embrace. Dexter licked his lips again and then started to groom the boy by licking his arm. The wide smile on Cassian's face and the fact that his face and eyes shone with a flash of brilliance, as he gazed upon Dexter, wasn't lost on anyone.

Tears started welling up in the corners of the employee's eye as they softly thanked their god that everything was going so well. The employee glanced at Simon and Pearl, and it just so happened that they had also glanced their way as well. As all three shared their gaze, the parents smiled happily at the employee as they subtly nodded their heads in gratitude, and then looked back at the magical sight of a boy and his ferret bonding together. It was clear, Dexter was a member of the Simon family and the only thing left was paying for him and getting the things he would need.

After Cassian and Dexter had finished bonding and embracing. Dexter climbed up and laid around his boy's neck and got comfortable. This was his spot, he was home. There was no way the employee would ever try to separate the two of them. So, they just left the situation alone and guided the family in finding the things that they would need.

Cassian smiled at the memory of when they first met. It was one of the happiest days of his entire life.

Dexter zoomed out of his cage, and then started to dance and dook around, showing his excitement. Cassian couldn't help but feel a lightness and tingling in his whole body as he watched Dexter dookingdooking ("Dooking is basically a ferret making chortling or clucking sounds. Cats meow, dogs bark, and ferrets dook."), bouncing, spinning, rolling, zooming, and acting his usual silly self and sharing his happiness with his boy.

The two spent a few hours mindlessly playing around in the room when Cassian spoke up. "You won't believe what happened today, Dexter."

Dexter—who was in the middle of a tumble—spun around and wiggled out of it, then seemed to give his full attention to Cassian.

"Wade and I were flying that new kite that Dad got us, it was flying around and looking awesome!" Cassian couldn't help but get animated as he began to tell his buddy about his day. His hands were waving around like the kite and Dexter began to hop and chase after them, getting into the mood as well. "We were having so much fun, and then a really strong gust of wind came out of nowhere—"

Dexter tilted his head and made an expression like he was raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

"Hey!" Cassian called out. "Don't give me that look. There was a small wind that we were flying the kite with but nothing like this one that happened." He paused and took a breath before continuing. "All of the sudden the wind increased a bunch and yanked the kite hard enough that the string snapped. We chased it but it eventually crashed into a tree and got really broken."

Dexter could tell that the loss of the kite upset his boy, so he nuzzled up to Cassian's legs and crawled into his lap.

Cassian picked up Dexter and couldn't help but nuzzle his face with his own. "You always know how to make me feel better. I am so lucky to have you." Dexter dooked in agreement. Cassian felt a yawn beginning to overtake him and attempted to stifle it to no avail. His mouth opened wide as he began to yawn—and Dexter stuck his face right in it.

Cassian quickly backed his head away so that Dexter was no longer in his mouth and burst into laughter. "Dude, that's my mouth!" Dexter's response was to simply lick Cassian's nose, and Cassian swore he saw his ferret grin with a mischievous look in his eyes.

"Well, I know you just woke up, but I think it's time for me to go to sleep. Do you want to come with me or stay here in your room at cage?"

Dexter responded to Cassian's question by scrambling up the boy's chest until he was sitting proudly on his boy's shoulder, like a pirate's parrot.

Cassian chuckled to himself. "I guess that answers my question then." He then stood up and made sure to turn off the light in the room before he went across the hallway to his own bedroom.

Cassian's room was pretty typical for a preteen boy, at least as far as his walls went. It had a queen-sized bed, a few dressers, a closet, and a desk with a computer. Like the rest of the basement, his carpet was light gray, reminiscent of ashes. The walls were painted with a dark cerulean blue that started at the baseboard and faded to a pearl white as it got to the ceiling, which was also painted in pearl white. There was a ceiling fan in the center of the room, and there were also the main lights.

Like most boys, his walls were decorated with posters and trophies that mattered to him. Instead of the bikini girls or swimsuit models, on his walls were pictures of boys his age or slightly older. Some were models and other singers or musicians, but all of them had one thing in common—they were all smoking hot. Some of them were shirtless, and still others were in nothing but speedos, most of them were also in suggestive poses but nothing was over PG. On one of the posters, the name "Clan Short" was displayed in large lettering.

Prominently displayed on one wall was a large poster dedicated to ferrets. It showed the names of the different coat colors and patterns, and other related details. It also covered noses, eyes, face markings, and some sickness or diseases that certain breeds of ferret were prone to. One of those things called out was that except for albino ferrets, ferrets with predominantly white fur on their face have a higher risk of being born deaf than other ferrets.

The reason that the albino ferrets were exempt was that they aren't truly white. They are actually a sable-colored ferret that is missing the gene that tells them to color the fur. So, it's not that they have white fur, it's that their fur is supposed to have color but is missing the thing to turn it on. Having studied the chart so often, Cassian could just about recite it from memory.

Cassian couldn't stop himself from yawning again, which also set Dexter off this time. "Whoa", Cassian shook his body to give himself a last boost of energy. "Okay, it is definitely time for bed. But first we have to take care of ourselves."

Cassian's bedroom also had a door that connected it with the bathroom, so that made it nicer in the mornings for him. However, before he made his way to his bathroom, he walked over to his desk and on the next, connected to the wall was a clear plastic box, that sort of resembled a medieval castle and had the words 'Dexter's Lair' written on it. Connected to the castle was a long clear tube that came out of the wall and then down. Cassian reached over and turned a crank on the outside of the structure which in turn, lowered a gate that looked quite a bit like a drawbridge.

"There you go, Dexter. Now if you need to use the potty you can do it in the litter box in your cage and not in my bed like last time." Cassian rolled his eyes as he could swear Dexter was laughing at him. Having made sure that Dexter could come and go from his room as he needed, Cassian's next stop was his bathroom.

Stepping up to the sink, he set Dexter down on the countertop. Reaching below, he opened a drawer that had a normal-sized toothbrush and a much smaller one. There were also two kinds of toothpaste. One was minty, as one might expect. The other, however, was poultry flavored. Weird toothpaste for a human, but thankfully this one wasn't meant for Cassian, it was meant for Dexter. First, Cassian brushed his teeth and rinsed his mouth. After that, he grabbed the much smaller toothbrush and put a dab of the poultry-flavored toothpaste on it, and then brushed Dexter's teeth. Dexter was used to this by now and didn't give Cassian any fuss about brushing his teeth. Even a ferret could appreciate a clean mouth. Since this toothpaste didn't have any foaming agents, it was safe for Dexter to swallow it.

Now that they were ready for bed, Cassian put a hand on the counter and Dexter scrambled up it and his arm to perch again on his shoulder. As Cassian exited the bathroom, he made sure to turn off the lights so that they didn't bother them while they were trying to sleep. Before lying down on his bed, he first pulled back the covers and then set Dexter down on the bed itself. Once he slipped in and told his room assistant to turn off the lights, Dexter curled up on Cassian's chest and they both went to sleep.

The next day had gone by and nothing noteworthy had happened. But if Cassian knew what lay in store for him the following morning, he would have gone right back to sleep and hoped that it all was just a crazy nightmare. Too bad reality doesn't work that way. That is, unless you are a couple of boys who ignore the laws of what can happen and do what they want. But that is getting ahead of things.

From the author:

Whew, Cassian definitely had an eventful day, and what could those Romulans be planning?  Questions or comments, please reach out to me at SamIam@storylover.us. You can also reach me at The Nook. It's a discord server that brings authors and readers together, so they can chat and get to know each other.

CSU Archivist Notes:

Welcome to the Clan Short Universe SamIam with your Canonical CSU Story. This is a very nice beginning to a hopefully long and very intriguing story.
I am definitely looking forward to reading more chapters, keep up the grat work.

TSL Clan Short Archivist Clan Short Crest PNG