Family Traits 4

Read previous part

The morning of the Fountain Festival was chaotic. Jimbo was able to remember getting ready for bed and sipping the last tea of the catalyst, but then nothing. He woke with a little soreness throughout his body, but relatively refreshed and energized by his dreamless sleep. Mimi's voice echoed through the home "Wake up, sleepy cubs! Breakfast is ready !!"

Jimbo sat up to find a very large robe hanging outside the guest room's closet. As he put it on, he realized it was a perfect fit. 'How big am I?'

The answer to Jimbo's question came, when he arrived at the dining room table to find Gleph Tarn's entire immediate family standing around it and waiting for him. He was taller than Prite!

Mimi broke the spell. "I'm glad that fit, it was a bit big on Prite."

The whole family smiled. Gleph pulled his daughter from behind Prite. "Let me introduce my daughter Apprentice Counselor Gigi Tarn." She gave Jimbo a hug as Gleph went on.

"And my first born son, Master Merchant Fenis Tarn." Another hug from a Neshan male that was the spitting image of Gleph. That didn't help his morning Chub go down at all.

"And you met Apprentice Engineer Griph Tarn last night, helping his older brother."

"I wasn't told you were becoming an engineer. What form of engineering are you studying?"

Griph grinned as he hugged Jimbo. He was almost a full foot shorter than Jimbo, but thicker than his father or brothers. "Spacial folding and Hyper-Space Mechanics. There was already too much going on last night, so I decided to refrain from bringing up our mutual obsession."

"That is the right word for it. If you aren't obsessed with the factors involved with our profession, you're just not a good engineer." They knocked knuckles as they parted.

"Jimbo." Prite smiled up at Jimbo as they hugged

Before they parted Jimbo had to find out the truth. "We were eye to eye last night. How tall am I now?"

Prite grinned and let Jimbo go. He walked over to the doorjamb leading into the kitchen, and stood his back up to it. Jimbo could see little marks in different colors, ranging from three feet off of the floor, to just under seven feet. Each mark had numbers by it indicating the height and at the bottom mark the color also had a name by it. The Color to Name went through the Spectrum with : Gleph ~ Red, Mimi ~ Orange, Fenis ~ Yellow, Prite ~ Green, Gigi ~ Blue, Griph ~ Indigo.

Gigi noticed where Jimbo was looking. "It's not fair that the catalyst doesn't work on girls. I'm taller than mom, but not by much."

"One inch and that is all. We Neshan females tower over the males by intellect, not physical size." Mimi and Gigi nodded together and the males remained silent.

"Speaking of size, have I grown any since two years ago?" Prite brought us back to Jimbo's question.

Gigi stood in front of her father and Gleph picked her up and held her above Prite's head. She took a ruler and placed it on his head. "A quarter of an inch. You are now six feet eleven and a half inches. I think our new cousin has a few inches on you. But only the ruler will tell."

Prite moved out of the way and gestured for Jimbo to take his place. Jimbo placed his back against the doorjamb and stood up straight. Griph called out "No cheating. Feet flat on the floor."

Gigi giggled and whispered "Yeah. No tippy toes." Jimbo nodded and she put the ruler on his head. "We finally get to use the violet marker." She had a violet marker in her hand and marked on the doorjamb where the ruler indicated Jimbo's height was. Gigi took the ruler away and wrote Jimbo's name by the mark, followed by his height.

Gleph mumbled "I forgot to get his height marked before he started the catalyst."

"The winner ! At seven feet three inches, Jimbo is the tallest Tarn in the house." Gigi smiled down on Jimbo and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

Jimbo blushed as Gleph brought his daughter back down to the floor. "I never had such a cute sister before."

"Aw, why are all the good ones taken." Gleph pulled her into a hug from behind, after that comment.

"Aren't you dating that fine Marsep boy named Orban Zuf?"

Gigi giggled again. "Yes but he doesn't blush like Jimbo. That is such a cute trait of Humans and Marsep."

Mimi had bustled back into the kitchen and with Prite and Griph's help started bringing all the food out to the table. "Everyone sit down and start passing the serving plates around. I know how much Gleph's stomach was growling just a few minutes ago, so let's eat."

All the family's plates were soon filled with a combination of familiar and new breakfast foods. Jimbo could smell all the wonderful aromas drifting up from the food and not a sour one in the bunch. He missed the huge smile on Mimi's face when he dug in to the food, just like his new brothers. Gleph slowed down first and saw the gleam in Mimi's eyes. He caught her eye and winked. That got a tip of her head and a wink back. "Oh no. Mom and Dad are winking at each other again." Fenis had been watching his father as he announced that bit of family gossip.

Mimi tried to defuse the joke her eldest just made. "It's just that this was the easiest delivery of a new son to the family, I ever had."

Gleph sat taller in his chair. "You're not far off by that, my Love. Gigi had it right. As of today, Jimbo is the tallest Tarn in the house. Welcome to your second home, son." The rest of the table held up their coffee or juice in a toast. Jimbo went scarlet down to his navel.

"Of course you know that means that my Mom and Dad just got a new brother and sister along with four new children." Half the table couldn't keep from moaning a Neshan version of "Awww." Family was that important to Neshan and Human alike.

Fenis helped out with a new toast directed at Jimbo and Prite. "To new families and Families made new again. Saraband and Coreel." The table echoed "Saraband and Coreel" and all drank.

The seven Tarns finished their breakfast, then Gigi and Griph helped their mother with the dishes. Prite looked at his old robe on Jimbo. "You need some new clothes. Now that one will serve you well around your house or quarters. But for Fountain Festival, I think something different is in order."

"That sounds good to me. Is this appropriate to wear to a clothing store?"

Prite beckoned Jimbo back to his bedroom and pulled a pair of shorts that looked like they would fit Jimbo's larger hips. He slipped them on, under the robe and smiled at Prite. "Thanks. brother. They fit great." After a brief hug Prite led them back to the family room.

Gleph smiled at them both and handed Prite a credit chip. "The Journeyman Chef for The Fat Otter needs a few more Jackets with the right color cording on the collar. Get Jimbo the right kind of pants for the Fountain Festival, too. Can't have a Tarn looking shabby."

Prite and Jimbo hugged Gleph between them. They both said "Thanks Dad" at the same time.

Mimi giggled and told them "Don't take too long. We'll be having a light lunch before we all head over to the Lover's Fountain."

Prite nodded as they left. "We can take a little side trip to show you The Fat Otter, as we're heading back from the Clothing shop my, Our family always goes to."

"I was wondering where I'm supposed to be at the beginning of the Festival. It's sort of hard to place the right location for me since Dan and I are both males."

"Oh that bit of tradition got sorted out a long time ago. You were the first lover to leave the place where you lived, correct?"

Jimbo nodded. "Does that make me Saraband?"

"Correct. So we have to find you some short pants that wont get too wet in the Lover's Fountain. Your lover.."

"Dan. The love of my life."

"The love of your life, Dan, will be finding the same kind of pants, so doing it early is a good thing, so we miss him at the Clothiers."

"He rescheduled his Shore Leave for an hour before the festival starts, so I don't think we'll have that problem. We're talking about pants that have cuffs just under the knee, right?"

"That's basically it."

"Then he will probably be wearing a pair of his board shorts. I bet it will be his blue pair. He looks real handsome in those with a light blue top to match his eyes."

They arrived at The Fine Thread Clothiers shop moments later and were being shown the array of proper pants for the event when Jimbo saw Trudy enter the store. "Prite. Hide Now!" Prite's eyes went wide and he ducked under the table with bright colored shirts on them.

Trudy looked over at Jimbo and she blanched. She didn't get any closer, but out of respect she greeted Jimbo. "I heard from father about your adoption into the Tarn family. Congratulations."

"Thank you. What brings you to this fine establishment today?"

"Oh I thought I'd get a present for.. But on second thought, I'll be getting Prite something else."

"Good Idea."


"I'll see you at the Lover's Fountain, won't I?"

"Oh Yes! Oh. Uh. See You.."

She fled the shop in seconds. A whinnying sort of moan came from under the table where Prite was hiding.

Jimbo chuckled. "You can come out now. She's gone. You really have it bad, don't you."

"And then some. She's just everything I ever wanted in a lover, friend, wife. And I make her smile. That is such a rush to know you please the one you love."

Prite had gotten out from under the table and the taylor helping them smiled knowingly. "I have those Chef Jackets with the correct color cord, in your size. As for you equally large friend..."

Jimbo had to try on five pants before he found the right fit and color. Prite found a few shirts for Jimbo that would go with the pants and a half an hour later they were on their way to see The Fat Otter. The Host at the door recognized Prite. "I just heard this morning, who will be filling in for Master Chef Dean Siles now that he is a Master Chef. Congratulations, Prite."

"Thank you, Tanut. May I take a look at the kitchen?"

"Better make it a quick look, or else they might drag you in. It's always a mad house on Fountain Festival day."

Prite disappeared for a few moments and the Host bowed to Jimbo "Master Host Tanut Lup."

"Master Engineer Jimbo Sipes. A pleasure to meet you."

"Like wise. Are you visiting to watch the festival, or are you planning on getting wet today?"

"I'm definitely getting wet today. And just yesterday I found out that I'm related to Prite and his family."

"You two sure look related. I didn't think a lot of humans got your size."

"I'm part Vox, so I guess I'm real lucky."

"I'd say the lucky part was finding that someone to get wet with. Congratulations to you, also."

"Thank you." Prite returned and took his leave of the host. They got back to the Tarn residence just as Mimi was serving a light soup and an assortment of sandwiches. Prite and Jimbo ate lunch, got changed into their festival clothes and it was suddenly time for the family to get to the Lover's Fountain.

Gleph walked beside Jimbo. "If you want, I can be the father on his knees for you two. Just let me know with a nod when Dan joins you in the fountain, and I'll wade in. It'll be good practice for when Gigi finally settles down."

Jimbo's hug caused the procession to halt as he told Gleph "Thank you, father."

Gleph ruffled the short hair on Jimbo's head. "Welcome, son."

Prite split off from the family and went down a different street. Mimi saw Jimbo's frown. "That street leads to the side of the Plaza that has the Lover's Fountain in it, where Coreel was said to have entered to find Saraband."

"So that's where Dan should be in just a little bit."

"I know the waiting will be a bit frustrating. But you'll be able to see us at the side of the Plaza, waiting with you. And besides. You know your lover will come to you, just as Coreel came to Saraband. In this world of Free Will, some things were just destined to be." That got her a big hug, before Jimbo walked over to the very wide fountain and stepped into the water. He was not alone in his male sex, waiting there for another male to prove his love. He saw Trudy and they exchanged smiles.

Then Jimbo noticed a large group of people who stood out amongst the rest of the watchers. More than half of his fellow crew were standing by the side of the Plaza. Some looked a little shocked by his size, but the Captain was not. He had a silly grin on his face as he walked over a bit closer to Jimbo. Jimbo waved and was about to speak, when Captain Eastin put his index finger up to his lips. Jimbo nodded with the biggest grin on his face. That was when the crowd all heard a large bell start ringing. It rang six times then stopped. The second set of six rings ushered in the Lovers following Coreel's path. Luckily for Jimbo, he towered over most of the people already in the fountain, and could see when Dan entered the Plaza. Dan and Jimbo's saw each other at the same time and Dan's eyes grew wide at the change in Jimbo. For a moment Jimbo was afraid. His fear was swept aside as a huge smile spread across Dan's face as he rushed over to the edge of the Fountain and stepped in. As he waded over to Jimbo he called out "No more looks of doubt on your face, when I call you big man, is that understood?' Dan was a large man at six foot six inches, and three hundred and twenty pounds of thick, hard muscle. But he was dwarfed by Jimbo's new, massive, seven foot three inch tall, forty inch wide, meaty body.

Jimbo smiled down at his lover and nodded. "Yes, my Love. Whatever you say." The kiss they shared was repeated by close to a hundred couples standing in the Lover's Fountain. After about five minutes of that public display of their love, the couples were joined by the actual or stand in for the father of the lover who first stood in the fountain. Jimbo and Dan pulled back to look at each other as the father figures entered the fountain. As the traditions would have it, the Lover's Fountain water flow increased at the moment the father figures entered the basin of the Fountain. The people around the Plaza cheered as the water overflowed for a moment and sent a small wave of water towards their feet.

Jimbo and Dan were surprised to find their Captain suddenly kneeling at their feet. "I don't know how appropriate this is, since I think of both of you as a son of mine." His hands were on their hips as he looked from one to another. "But in the spirit of the festival, I offer up a gift from the entire crew. VIP Stateroom #5 has been converted to Master Engineers #2 & #3 Residence. The Residence has a Bedroom with six feet of Closet, four foot by eight foot built in Clothing Drawers, an Extra Large King Size Bed beneath a ceiling mounted Three Foot Wide Viewing Screen; a Sitting Room with one Cinema Size Viewing Screen, two Desks with Executive Size Computer Monitor and Interconnects for both, three Couches and a Coffee Table, while having no outside viewport to speak of (which always pissed the VIP's off for some reason); and a Bathroom that includes a Toilet, a Bidet, two Sinks, Storage Space for all the towels needed, one Jacuzzi Tub large enough for two very large men, as well as a Shower Stall that is large enough for four men of above average size. All of this has been cleaned up and shined up to show two of the finest Engineers in the Terran Merchant Fleet, that we are the luckiest crew in the known Universe, to have them on our ship. And if you repeat any of this flowery and well deserved praise to any of the crew, I'll deny it." Through the Captains speech both Engineers had fallen to combing their fingers through his hair.

Dan glanced at Jimbo before he bent down and kissed the top of the Captains head. The Captain chuckled as Jimbo bent down and followed Dan's example.

Dan bent back to tell Captain Eastin "Our lips are sealed, Father."

"Yeah. We won't even think of how you found out four large men could fit in the Shower together. Our Captain and Father for a day would just know those things, so we'll just keep our mouths shut and be glad he doesn't mind getting wet."

Captain Eastin snaughed as he glanced back and forth between the big men. "I could sorta get used to the hair combing bit, but I gotta get off of these aging knees."

Jimbo decided to test his strength by reaching down and pulling his Commanding Officer up onto his shoulder. As he started to do that he realized he would need something else to balance out the uneven weight on his left side. Dan's thick body fit the bill and only over balanced the equation by about sixty pounds. So the crew that was watching was treated to their #2 Master Engineer carrying their #3 Master Engineer and their Captain on his shoulders, out of the Lover's Fountain.

Then Dan had to tip the scales a bit by bending down and kissing Jimbo as he stood dripping beside the Lover's Fountain. Jimbo was able to keep them from falling over, but it was a close thing.

"Hey, you two. Let me down. You won't have that much weight on this side of your body to distract you from the important thing."

Jimbo blushed as his crew was gathered around him and mingled with the Tarns and the Maresh families. He lowered his lover and his Captain to the ground. "Yes, Sir, Captain Father, Sir. Begging the Captain's pardon, but what important thing would that be?" Dan had his left hand laced with Jimbo's right hand, while a goofy grin remained on his face. To Dan, more meaty Jimbo was more to love and more love for Dan. He figured he was really gonna like being the little guy in the relationship. Dan looked to his Captain for his answer to Jimbo's question, as Dan rubbed his right hand up and down the thick bulging muscles of Jimbo's right arm.

Captain hadn't missed how Jimbo's size had reall gotten Dan distracted. He also knew that he needed his Master Engineers focused on their job when they came off of Shore Leave. He figured Two weeks by themselves should get all the new worn off of all the big bulging muscle. At least he hoped it would. "The Important Thing that I would be referring to would be showing each other how much you Love and Care for each other. As Captain of this crew, I may be a bit selfish on that score. Because I believe that kind of Love and Caring for each other, tends to spill over on all the people you live and work around. All the family that you live with day in and day out, get a bit of the love you two share, by osmosis and by example. I know that makes for a tighter ship. It makes us a better Family when we're in the vastness of space and only have ourselves for protection and comfort. So this is the perfect place and the perfect time for you two.." He looked around. "And the whole crew, to learn how to love and care for each other. As your Captain/ Father, it's my duty and privilege to see my people become the best they can be. And so far, I am so proud of you all, you can not believe. But one day you will."

The crew had gathered closer and reached out to briefly touch the man in charge of their home. That was when a cheer went up and the mass of people around the humans let them know that Captain Eastin had been heard by the entire Plaza. Applauding followed the cheer and all the Humans could see as they looked around were smiling happy faces looking at them. Prite pushed through with Trudy to get to talking distance with Dan and Jimbo. "Jimbo, Dan. The mayor of Lover's Fountain just asked my father to ask you and your Captain if he could host all the Humans staying in town, at the Mayor's Mansion. He said.. Oh wait here he is now."

The Marsep Mayor of Lover's Fountain was holding on to his Neshan wife of thirty years as they were allowed through the happy crowds that circled around the Humans. Prite performed the introductions as far as he could. "May I present the leader of Lover's Fountain and his lovely wife, the right Honorable Mayor Barut Dox and Mistress Counselor of Law Noree Dox. My new brothers will have to help out with introducing their Captain and crew. They are Master Engineer Jimbo Sipes and his true love, Master Engineer Dan Stanton."

"And may I introduce my Ship and Crew's most excellent Captain Marvin Eastin and the Father of all my family's heart."

Captain Eastin stood taller as he faced the Mayor and his wife "How may I be of assistance Mayor Dox?"

"You already have. Our Traditions hold that one group out of all those gathered each year, would rise above the other voices and speak of the Love that Saraband and Coreel taught us, over three hundred and seventy years ago. Words of Love, Family, Tolerance and a thread of Unity that runs through every Sentient race, reminding us that we are all Brothers and Sisters of this Great Universe. For such a young race to stop a war with another Race, accept responsibility for starting it in the first place, offer restitution, Respectfully ask for forgiveness, journey amongst the other sentient races with a crew that has members of mixed blood with those you were at war with, then praise the Love those very same members share and use them as prime examples of how to be a better crew, how your crew is a Family......."

The Mayor finally ran out of steam. The Captain decided to reveal the truth that the Terran Merchant Guild had hidden from the Terran Government and most of the Sentient Races. "Sometimes Families fight amongst themselves. They may do and say terrible things. Pain, fear, ignorance can turn the best of intentions into smoke and dust. But they still remain Family. My Grandfather taught me that. My Vox, Grandfather. I am one quarter Vox. So you see, I had an unfair advantage in seeing the power of family and how we can lose our way, But I also saw how to find the way back to the important thing. Loving caring family. Just as the Neshan people helped us find our way back to family. If you wish to honor me or my people, then please think of my voice as Our voice. And my words as Our words. They echo and resonate with you all because it could have just as easily been your voice and your words speaking of how we are all Brothers and Sisters in the same great Family. For we are all Family."

Jimbo thought that the group needed something to let this part of the family get back to what they usually do after Fountain Festival. "Saraband and Coreel ! Saraband and Coreel ! Saraband and Coreel !"

The chant was taken up and the young ones started dancing to the rhythm of the chant and then instruments. That fit in with tradition as well as the more sedate revelers moving to pubs, restaurants, and their own private dwellings to honor Saraband and Coreel. The Mayor was whispering to the Captain and it was agreed that the majority of the Human Crew on Shore Leave would accept the hospitality of the Mayor and his wife at their very large home. Dan and Jimbo danced for a short while with Prite and Trudy, but after a short while, they remembered that they had rooms at the Home that Gleph and Mimi Tarn had built.

Prite opened the door to his home and listened for his parents. He beckoned Trudy, Jimbo and Dan into the house and closed the door. Then he saw his mother's shoes dropped by the family room couch, and his fathers spread a little closer towards their bedroom. Mimi's shawl and Gleph's vest were draped over the back of the bookcase near the hallway. The young Tarns were spared any more displays of Mature Passion, as the doors to Mimi and Gleph's Bedroom suite were closed and locked. Not that the four lovers took the time or effort to check on them. But they did remember to lock the door on their own bedrooms. And it was discovered later that evening, that when Mimi and Gleph left the bathroom window open, the sound they made in the bedroom were no longer sound proofed. The neighbors had a lot of very fine compliments for the two "Mature" Lover, for many a day. Thank Saraband and Coreel, the comments only served to encourage them to share their love in the same loud fashion. As this story hopes to encourage you to loudly share your love, be tolerant of your family and hold them close to your heart.

The End