Disclaimer: If I owned Star Trek, I'm sure someone would have let me know by now.
AN: Written for a 5 Times prompt. 5 Times Amanda attempted to celebrate Earth holidays with Sarek and Spock, and the one time they surprised her.
This section was too much fun, since I've been working on a longer fic along these lines.
"Elise has the voice of an angel and Todd's drawings are legible—it actually looks like a horse, right Mandi?"
The voice drifted up from the small PADD in his mother's lap. The light, golden and blue, flickered across her face as a variety of sounds resounded from the tiny screen. Amanda was seated on the edge of her personal sofa, her favored blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The lights in her study were low, and Spock had to squint to make out her expression as she watched the video.
"Mom is dragging dad back from Mars this year—Elise is in the Cathedral's choir, we're going to see her sing from the front row!"
Spock had learned, over the last couple of years, to identify the voice of Geoffrey Grayson II, his mother's brother. Even though the source was a small, weak PADD speaker, he was able to discern his voice very clearly as well as the standard sounds of his household. A young, sweet, high pitched voice interrupted his and Spock's eyebrows dipped—he'd never heard that one before.
"Hi, Auntie Amanda! I hope you come out for Christmas, mom says you make the best cookies!"
His mother's blank expression took on a dreamy quality as a very small smile lilted the edge of her lips. The girl on the other end rapidly listed her scholastic achievements, the names of her newly acquired pets, and started to sing a song he didn't recognize. Amanda's eyes looked sad as she stared down at the screen, but the smile on her lips conflicted with what he understood of that emotional state.
"That's nice, hun, go make sure your brother isn't running with scissors." The voice of Jeff returned as the girl's voice faded into another room. When he continued, his tone was much more somber. "You're always welcome for the holidays, Mandi. Wav me if you can make it out."
His mother watched the screen as it blanked and the PADD trilled the end of the communication. Spock had trouble focusing on her in the dimness—when it intensified upon the blanking of the screen, he was nearly incapable of seeing her expression. What he did see, however, was the trail of wetness on her cheek—the dimness didn't hide the hitch in her breathing as she tapped the screen, or the sniff she emitted as the wav played again.
Spock moved away from the doorway as she replayed the short communication. His mind raced as he assessed the situation—he had never seen his mother cry, but he was well aware of the symptoms associated with the verb and the nature of what it indicated. His mother was sad and something about that fact was unacceptable.
Assuming that her sadness stemmed from the contents of that communication, or a related variable, Spock determined that the fastest method by which to rectify the situation was to accept the offer of boarding from his mother's brother. If seeing these people made her happy—and the inability to do so brought her to tears—then his solution would bring about her happiness again. The question, now, was how to bring this solution to fruition—even he understood that it was a significantly more complicated task than simply accepting the invitation.
Vulcan and Earth were very far apart.
After several moments of contemplation, Spock concluded that the person most capable of rendering aid was his father. This brought new issues, however—now Spock had to find a way to convince his father to undertake this particular course of action. How? His mind questioned and was simultaneously answered by the word: Logically.
With confidence, Spock started up the stairs toward his father's meditation room. His assuredness, however, was not as solid as the distance and it bled out of him with each step toward the chamber at the end of the hall. He lingered outside the door, his hands clutched at his sides, and tried to formulate a sound, logical argument for his case.
"Spock. Come in, if you intend to." His father's voice was sudden and he flinched in surprise as it resounded through the doorway. As an uncomfortable sensation settled in the pit of his stomach, Spock stood straight and entered the chamber. It was brightly lit, the incense were doused, and his father was standing near the windows that overlooked Shi'Kahr. His father didn't face him as he entered, and waited for Spock to speak. Eventually, Spock gathered his confidence and stepped forward to his father's side.
"I have come to the conclusion that a brief sojourn to Earth would be beneficial," Spock stated quickly and the tense silence that followed his words tightened the sensation in his stomach. "Mother has indicated a preference for this series of events, and it would be logical to cultivate familial ties on both sides of my...family." Spock hesitated as he finished and the silence maintained.
"You are well spoken," Sarek responded and Spock took in a sharp, silent breath. He could count the times his father had praised him on one hand. "But the matter is irrelevant."
"Irrelevant?" Spock asked quickly and his eyes darted to his father's flat expression—a swell of anger twisted through him and he clutched his fists as he quelled it.
"You have seen the communication from Geoffrey Grayson?" Sarek prompted evenly. Spock's cheeks felt hot and he looked back out the window—glad that his father was not watching him.
"I see," Sarek replied and the silence settled between them again. As much as Spock wanted to speak, he couldn't find the conviction to do so, despite his mother's tears. "To keep you uninformed could complicate matters." Spock's breathing caught as his eyes darted back up to his father's impassive face. "I have arranged travel to Earth. Our journey will coincide with the December holidays."
"And mother's brother?" Spock asked—at this Sarek cast him a disdainful look. In no way had his question been a proper sentence, it belied his eagerness all to clearly.
"I have informed him as well." Sarek inclined his head and arched an eyebrow at Spock. "Your mother has also indicated a preference for surprises. Do not inform her of this conversation or its contents."
Spock nodded and managed to restrain his light smile until he'd left his father's sight. When he returned to his designated room, he used his connection to the intercommunications network and accessed every text he could gather on Earth traditions surrounding Christmas. Apparently singing was greatly encouraged—he decided that learning such a trivial thing as a Christmas Carol was logical if he classified it as cultural preparedness.
Amanda Grayson had cried, berated both Spock and his father, and smiled for a solid week once they revealed the itinerary of their journey. She'd professed that she couldn't love them any more than she did and Spock sang for her a tune designated "Jingle bells". She'd been so shocked, she'd stumbled as she bent to hug him. In retrospect, if the ideal outcome was to prevent his mother from crying, he'd failed quite spectacularly.