|The characters of Tracy Fairgate McQueen , Melissa Peterson and Tiffany Fairgate McQueen belong to Karen Evans This is a sequel to "Miracle." Thanks to Marcia and Gabrielle for pushing me to write this.|
2081 - Alexandria, Virginia
General Tyrus Cassius McQueen frowned as he stared at his reflection in the full length mirror, he carefully buttoned the jacket of his dress uniform and sighed loudly. Tonight, he was going to do two things he detested, wear the damn dress uniform, and go to a formal social function, an opera of all things. The tickets weren't his, but were given to them by Secretary General Diane Hayden, who claimed illness this evening; no doubt her enemies probably hoped this would be the illness that would take her out for good, since she kept winning elections, death seemed to be the only way someone else would be the leader of the world.
McQueen frowned thinking of her. At least she hadn't taken credit for ending the Earth Forces war with the Chigs. That war hadn't been won by negotiations, or talking, it had been won the old fashioned way, by bombing the hell out of them, using a combination of Sewell Fuel and a biological weapon that caused an AIDS type virus to spread among the Chigs. The war lasted three and a half years, but it took the Chigs only weeks to surrender when the bombs started dropping. Now, the former Chig homeworld was controlled by Earth forces, and Aerotech had benefited, building giant shopping malls and theme parks on the planets, the surviving Chigs still lived there, in reservation type housing. McQueen wondered if they'd ever rebel.
He was so into his thoughts, he didn't sense that there was another person in the room, he didn't realize Tracy was there, until she put her hands on his shoulders. McQueen jumped and nearly pulled out his ever present butterfly knife, but he smiled easily as he looked at Tracy in the mirror.
"Gosh, you look delicious, General," she said.
McQueen turned to look at her, and his eyes nearly popped out of his head. She wore a black, velvet gown that hugged her body nicely, it was strapless, and he was about to say something regarding her bare shoulders, when she produced a black, velvet Bolero jacket.
"So do you Madame Speaker," he managed to say. She was just as beautiful as she was that first time he saw her, when she stepped onto the Saratoga. There were some lines in her face, but he knew they were in his as well. Sometimes McQueen could not believe that she was really his wife. They married after the war ended, he'd asked her two years before, and she'd said yes.
"We'll get married when the war's over. I don't want to make you a widow," he'd said then.
Tracy just sucked her teeth, but said it was alright. And when he'd landed on Earth, with the rest of the 58th, Tracy was waiting for him, in a white dress, holding their daughter, Tiffany.
"Okay, McQueen, the war's over. Let's do it," she said.
They got married in a civil ceremony, but later had a larger, more formal and public ceremony, that included the 58th, Commodore Glen Ross, who gave Tracy away, and Melissa Peterson, who acted as Maid of Honor. Diane Hayden had given Tracy a motherly kiss and said that she hoped she'd be happy. Tracy wanted to say that she'd be happy when McQueen was Secretary General, and she Ambassador, but kept her mouth shut.
Now, McQueen looked with pride at his wife, she looked very, very sexy in that gown. "Are you sure we have to go to this thing?" he said, pulling her close.
Tracy put her arms around his neck, wanting to stroke his navel, but deciding against it. "Oh, Ty, it's not going to be that bad. It's just a few hours."
"I hate these damn things, people fawning over you, smiling at you, I know what they're thinking. I'm still a tank to them, last Angry Angel, combat veteran, but still a goddamn tank."
"And they say, there's that ex-gangbanger who's first husband blew her away so they put her in the deep freeze, hey, they should've left her in the 20th century. If I worried about the shit people thought about me, I'd be bugging."
McQueen smiled at her 20th century expression. "Besides," Tracy went on, "I've got to start showing my face, I'll have to once I'm ambassador."
He frowned. "That's not confirmed, Tracy."
"Oh, come on, who the hell else is the dragon lady going to name?" The "dragon lady" was Tracy's name for Diane Hayden.
"Well, you know what happened to the last ambassador."
"He was an asshole, he was opposed to InVitro affirmative action."
"He died in Diane Hayden's home."
"It was a dinner party, Ty, he went to have a drink, collapsed and died. You act like she killed him...and no, Melissa wasn't there either." Melissa Peterson had been Ambassador Johnson's personal assistant, a position given to her by Diane Hayden. "I know you still don't trust Melissa, but she's over it, Ty. She goes to therapy and she meditates, and plays the harp and she's even got a boyfriend."
McQueen shook his head. No sense in arguing with Tracy about politics, she was a political animal and that was all there was to it.
"At least we'll see Shane," Tracy said.
The mention of Shane Vansen brought a smile to McQueen's lips, Major Shane Vansen now. She hated formal affairs as much as McQueen did, but as a possible cabinet appointee, she too had to show her face. Shane Vansen and Captain Cooper Hawkes were the only two WildCards that McQueen kept in touch with on a daily basis, since they were the only ones still in the military. Nathan West married Kylen Celina and they now lived on a farm in Iowa with their two children, Paul Wang and Vanessa Damphousse both worked on a nuclear power plant in Arizona, and had married two years ago.
McQueen nodded. "Okay, Tracy...you win."
"Don't I always?"
He sighed. "No."
He looked at her, she looked at him, and they both smiled at the same time. "I'm glad Cooper was able to come and stay with Tiffany on such short notice."
Tracy nodded. "Which reminds me. Let me check on her now. I'll be quick, don't want to be late."
McQueen shook his head. "Can't do that," he said sarcastically.
Tracy knocked on her daughter's bedroom door. "Come in," Tiffany said.
Tracy walked in and saw Tiffany sitting at her soft, white vanity. She looked at her mother in the mirror, turned around and clapped her hands together.
"Wow, you are the end," she said.
"I hope that's slang for something good," Tracy said.
"It's like all that, mom."
"Oh," Tracy frowned as she stared at her daughter. At sixteen, Tiffany Fairgate McQueen was a beauty, she had smooth almost blemishless skin, the color of tea rose, long, light brown hair and her father's devastating blue eyes. She went to an exclusive girl's school in Alexandria, where there were four other girls from InVitro/InUtero parentage, there was prejudice, but McQueen and Tracy shared a lot of their past experiences with their daughter, so by the time Tiffany was faced with her first "nipple neck" insult, she knew just how to handle herself.
"Tif, are you wearing lipstick?" Tracy said.
Tiffany sighed and shook her head. "It's only gloss mom."
"Gloss. You're not going somewhere tonight, are you?" Tracy winked.
"No mom. I just wanted to put on some gloss...that's all."
Tracy sat on the bed and beckoned for Tiffany to sit next to her. Tiffany sighed in protest, but did as she was told. "Now Tiffany, I hope this doesn't have anything to do with Cooper coming over."
Tiffany blushed, looked down and shook her head. "Mom...Cooper's an old man."
"Yeah, right, sine when are you so concerned about age, Tiffany?" Tracy said.
Tiffany and Cooper had been close ever since Cooper held baby Tiffany in his arms and stared into her eyes. The young InVitro, who looked like a man in his 20's was more like a child of 4, a fact made worse because he ran away from the InVitro facility before he had a chance to learn many of life's lessons. Tiffany had taken to him right away, she even said "Cooo...Cooo." before she learned to say "Mama". Of course, her first words had been "DaDa." After the war, Cooper was a frequent visitor to the McQueen house and he and Tiffany discovered the world together. As the years passed, Cooper and Tiffany became close, not as godfather/goddaughter, but as friends and contemporaries.
Tiffany wasn't quite sure about age. Technically, her mother was 122 years old, or something like that, though she appeared to be in her early 50's, and her father was around fifty something, but since he was born at eighteen, he really had lived only 37 years. That made Cooper twenty-five or something like that.
"Well...you know what I mean mom."
Tracy patted her daughter's hand. "Tif, behave yourself when Cooper comes over, okay? You know what I mean."
"I always behave myself, mom, I'm a general's daughter."
"You're also my daughter, Tif, that's what I'm worried about."
Major Shane Vansen was more than glad to see McQueen and Tracy, she was relieved. She was with a young congressman from Texas, who seemed far too young for the tough as nails major. Shane wore a long light blue gown and her hair was up, though she looked nice, Tracy could tell she was uncomfortable.
"I feel goddamn foolish," she told Tracy in the lobby, a few minutes before the performance was to start. There was a mini reception, and McQueen had gone off to speak to a young Marine captain, an InVitro no doubt, by the dreamy way the young man stared at McQueen, as if he'd met his hero.
"You look beautiful."
"And I hate opera."
"Well, I'm with you there."
Shane watched her former CO and smiled. "Still giving orders," she said.
Tracy looked at her husband and remembered the many summer nights she'd find him standing, at parade rest, staring out into the stars. She knew he missed being out there. One day she asked him if he missed being on the Saratoga, fighting the Chigs. He'd turned to her and touched her face gently.
"A part of me will always long for that, Tracy, but I've got the one thing I never thought I'd have, a family."
To keep from crying, Tracy had shook her head. "God, you're getting sappy in your old age."
"Want me to show you how sappy I am?"
"I dare you."
And they'd made love right there, on the back porch under the stars.
Now Tracy cleared her throat. "Shane, I don't think he'll ever stop doing that. I'm afraid he'll send Tiffany to a convent."
"He should make her a Marine."
Tracy nodded. "Better than a politician, I guess."
The two women shared a laugh. "Gosh," Shane said, "I wish you guys were sitting with us. Harry's sweet, but so goddamn boring. He thinks it's cute that I was in the Chig Wars."
"Society boy, huh?" Tracy said.
Shane nodded. "I guess I have to get used to it...can't believe I'm really considering a cabinet position. I remember how I hated politicians, oh...you know what I mean."
"I hate most of them too, Shane. Well, Diane Hayden's wonderful for trying to keep a delicate balance, InVitros, women, shit, she'd even have Chigs and AI's in her cabinet if the senate didn't keep a tight reign on her. Well, considering the AI's are practically all non functional now, it would be hard to tell them from some of the human politicians"
"So, is there any young man on the horizon?" Tracy said.
Shane sighed. "You sound like my sisters. They worry about me because I'm not married. I tell them, I'm already married."
"To the Corps."
Tracy sighed. "You're probably better off. It's hard slugging through the dregs to find that diamond."
Shane nudged Tracy and smiled. "You did."
"True, but don't forget what I had to go through."
Shane remembered Tracy's first husband, Donald Reed shot both she and Melissa, sending them into their cryogenic sleep of sixty plus years. She nodded sadly.
"Maybe in some strange way, it was worth it," Tracy said more to herself than to Shane.
Shane laughed and sipped her drink. "So, are you going to be the next ambassador? That's why everyone's looking at you."
"And I thought it was the dress. Ty doesn't want me to do it, even though he doesn't say anything. I think it would be an interesting world with me as ambassador and Ty as Secretary General."
Shane's eyes widened. "I couldn't see General McQueen in politics." Even after all these years, Shane never referred to her former CO by his first name.
Tracy looked at her husband. Maybe Shane was right....then again, maybe she wasn't. "We'll see," she said.
The lights flickered, Shane groaned. "Oh God, I hope I don't fall asleep during this thing."
"You won't be the only one," Tracy grinned.
"I wish we were sitting together at least."
Tracy nodded. "Me too. Figures the Secretary General would have a stupid box seat, huh, in the front no doubt."
"While us peasants sweat in the orchestra seats."
"Try to have fun," Tracy said, she looked over at McQueen. "I know I'll be trying."
During the first act, of "Tales of Hoffman," Tracy looked from the action on the stage, to McQueen who sat with his head resting on his chin, shifted his body and his leg several times and sighed at least twenty times. Tracy felt the same way; she'd been to operas when she was a teenager in that exclusive girl's school and developed a dislike for them then, they were too long, too overblown.
McQueen hoped he didn't fall asleep right there. They were sitting in the front, and he was aware that many were looking up just to see how this "tank" behaved at such a cultural event. They were probably betting money that he'd do something tasteless, like talk out loud or fall asleep.
Tracy sighed and knew that if she didn't do something before the first act ended she would explode from sheer boredom, it certainly wouldn't look good if she fell asleep. She looked at McQueen and realized that he needed a reason to stay up. Slowly, she leaned over to him and whispered in his ear.
"Ty, you know why my gown looks so good on me?"
That was a strange question, McQueen thought. Why the hell would she ask that now? He didn't respond, just looked at her and shrugged.
"Because I'm not wearing anything underneath."
It took a few seconds for McQueen to fully absorb what Tracy had just said. Then, he looked at her, eyes trying not to widen in shock. Tracy just smiled and nodded. McQueen allowed his hand to "accidentally" graze his wife's breasts and felt no fabric of any kind. He silently cleared his throat and shifted in his seat as he was starting to become very hard. He looked at Tracy and imagined her naked underneath the gown. He imagined kissing and sucking her breasts, pushing her soft hips close to him. McQueen put his arm around Tracy's shoulders and gently caressed her neck and inner ear. She made a hissing sound and inhaled deeply, then cleared her throat, to keep from groaning, as McQueen's fingers continued their caressing.
The lights went on, signaling the end of the first act. McQueen leaned over and whispered to Tracy, as the audience applauded. "Let's get the hell out of here."
Tracy smiled and shook her head. "We can't go yet, it's just the first act."
McQueen frowned. "Either we go home now, or else I'll throw you down on the floor, and ravage you right here."
Tracy blushed imagining that. "Well...I can say I've caught the same bug Diane has."
"Sounds good to me," McQueen grabbed her arm as they rose. "You say you're sick, I'll be the dutiful husband who takes you home."
Tracy allowed her fingers to graze McQueen's navel, causing him to nearly groan out loud. "And you say you're not a politician."
Captain Cooper Hawkes sat on the floor, setting up the simulator game in the den, connecting wires, to the 37" television, making sure the joysticks were hooked up, while Tiffany sat on the love seat watching him. One of the things they enjoyed doing, was playing sim games, Cooper wasn't surprised Tiffany did better than most girls on the flying sims, after all, she was McQueen's daughter.
"This game's the latest, Tif," Cooper said.
"I heard some girls talking about it in school. How'd you get a copy?"
Cooper just grinned. "Connections."
"Doesn't hurt being a captain, huh?"
Cooper shook his head and smiled at her. He could always joke around with Tiffany and not wonder if she thought he was nothing but a "dumb tank"
"No, doesn't hurt."
Cooper smiled as he'd finally set the game up. "All set, come on Tif," he said.
Tiffany turned off the lights and sat down next to Cooper. He frowned. "What'd you do that for?"
"It'll look better in the dark, Coop," Tiffany smiled.
He nodded, she was probably right, after all, she was going to that fancy school, a lot better than he ever did. Tiffany took her controls from Cooper and moved over so she was sitting in front of him. He was taller than she, and was able to look over her head. The game started, it was a sim of Earth Forces Vs the Chigs. As usual, Tiffany was doing quite well, though Cooper kept beating her. Tiffany liked that Cooper didn't let her beat him, he treated her like she was his equal, just the way she wanted him to treat her.
Tiffany moved over and sat against Cooper's legs, she leaned back so her head touched her knees. Suddenly, Cooper felt something strangely familiar, familiar but terribly inappropriate now, he was getting aroused, by Tiffany...Jesus, she was just sixteen, and worse, McQueen's daughter.
"Tif, don't sit so close," he said.
Tiffany looked at Cooper and frowned. "But I always sit like this." Inside she smiled and tried to remember what she'd seen mom do to dad, just before they'd look into each other's eyes and disappear upstairs. She inched closer to him.
Cooper tried to shift away, but then felt the pressure of his skivvies against his groin, making him even more uncomfortable, he smelled something faint in the air, something sweet, and refreshing "Tiffany...." he sniffed. "Are you wearing perfume?"
She grinned and flashed her blue eyes at his. "Do you like it?"
Cooper cleared his throat. "Tiffany, do you know what happens when a woman and a man..."
Tiffany laughed. "Of course I do, Cooper. My mom and dad still do it...once, I sat in front of their bedroom door and listened..."
"Tiffany, that's not right," Cooper didn't want to hear any details of McQueen's sex life.
"It wasn't anything bad, Cooper...I just know how much they love each other." Tiffany reached back, and found Cooper's navel, before he could stop her, she started to stroke it.
Cooper closed his eyes as his erection was slowly becoming unbearable. This is McQueen's daughter, he kept telling himself, as his body was telling him to throw Tiffany on the love seat and passionately make love to her.
"Tiffany..." Cooper said, "stop it, now," he didn't sound too convincing.
"Do you want me to stop?" Tiffany whispered.
Cooper's breathing was coming in near gasps. He had to keep thinking, McQueen's daughter, McQueen's daughter. Then he opened his eyes and faced Tiffany and was suddenly startled, he'd never realized just how beautiful her eyes were, how beautiful she was; it was as if he was looking at her for the first time.
"Tiffany..." he began.
She turned around now and was facing him. "Cooper, I love you, I've waited my whole life for you, really," then Tiffany kissed him lightly on the lips.
For a few seconds, all time stopped for Cooper as he looked at Tiffany. She was the only person outside the 58th that he felt completely safe with, the only person who loved him just the way he was and didn't laugh at him when he did something silly, something that made others call him a "stupid tank."
"Tiffany I...I...love you...I'm in love with you..." Cooper didn't know where that came from, but he knew he meant it. He moved closer to Tiffany and gently pulled her in his arms, their mouths met, tenderly, awkwardly at first, he didn't want to shock or hurt Tiffany, but as she slowly responded to his kiss, and opened her mouth to take him, Cooper relaxed and kissed her back passionately, feeling the soft skin of her body against him as they gently lay on the carpet.
Next : Part Two