Amanda realized the following day that she didn't have much to pack. She had left Earth in such a hurry, she didn't have many belongings with her. The only thing she did have was her personal PADD.
"We will stay in touch, as often as you like," her mother repeated for the hundredth time.
Amanda only nodded. She looked behind her mother to her sister, the only one that had been able to convince her parents on letting her leave on her own. She was happy that her family was all right after everything that happened. Grateful that no one else had been seriously hurt other than herself.
"We have a lot of confidence that the program we have for you will work," her doctor told her that morning. "The sooner you go to the Medical base, the better."
Amanda could hardly refuse. Some time on her own to clear her head over the events might do her some good after everything that happened.
While she was very happy her family was back together after David's sabotage, she also felt very betrayed.
She loved her family without measure, was happy to be with them and yet …
She felt a her heart wrench at the thought of her family lying to her all that time. Though as understanding as she wanted to be, she thought that they were closer than that. She thought Doris and her were close. Yet, she'd lied to her too.
She wanted to get past it, she did. Yet, she couldn't.
Hopefully the time for her treatment would be enough to forgive them.
Truthfully, she wasn't sure what she wanted anymore.
"The hangar isn't very far," Doris had said. "We'll take you."
Feeling better than the day before, she decided to walk there. Her father, mother and sister followed and led her to the hangar underground where all the star ships were being kept. Amanda noticed that as she felt better she had developed a cough. The cough was small and could be mistaken for a nervous tick. It didn't happen too often after her treatment but did get worse as time wore on.
She hoped that would stop as soon as she was cured.
Amazingly, they made it to the hangar that held the ship that would take her to the medical base she had been told about.
"They kind of made it seem like a hotel, didn't they?" Doris told her quietly as the doors powered open to let them inside. Amanda and her had laced arms and gently held each other. Amanda knew Doris did it because she still didn't trust her on her feet. "Your own room, bathroom, amenities."
Amanda agreed. "Other than the two separate times for my treatments, it would seem that way."
The spaceship was more modern than the one they had traveled in before. All sleek lines and metal, this was more of a ship used to transport more elite members of Starfleet Amanda assumed. It wasn't at all small and looked it had a number of rooms inside.
Doris noticed. "Well, this sure is luxurious."
Her father spoke up. "After what Amanda did, I wouldn't be surprised they are doing all they can to make her comfortable. Larger ships will be more comfortable for you to be in rather than smaller. Better capabilities as far as speed and comfort."
Doris froze, gently tugging at Amanda's arm. She nodded her head towards a group gathered near the door. "Amanda, look, it's Sarek."
Amanda froze too and felt her cheeks grow warm. His tall slender figured stood out in the crowd of Starfleet uniforms.
Amanda immediately felt the need to freshen up her face – but with what? She looked down at herself. She wasn't dressed like she usually did, she was still borrowing clothes – all black again. As if she could help it.
In spite of the insecurity of how she looked, she immediately felt drawn to him. All the words she wanted to say, coming to the fore-front of her mind. She let go of Doris and walked toward the group.
Doris caught on and quickly made her way to the group before she could. "Good Afternoon everyone, I hope I'm not interrupting!"
It was a small group with four men and Sarek. Doris drew everyone attention immediately. They exchanged familiar greetings, it looked like they were all old friends.
A taller man "Not all Grayson! I've heard the most peculiar debriefing about you and your family. Is it true that you saved an entire race from annihilation?"
Doris smiled towards the man "Actually, Commander Marcus, that was my sister, Amanda." She gestured towards Amanda. "It's thanks to her that you were called off the Ferengi, saved us from war."
At that, everyone turned to Amanda.
Startled Amanda paused.
The young Commander walked over and extended his hand. "You have saved us a great deal of trouble, Amanda. You should receive a hero's welcome."
Amanda flinched. "I did nothing different from anyone else. I also didn't do this alone."
"She is being modest." Sarek finally spoke.
Amanda took a deep breath. "If it weren't for you –"
Sarek interrupted. "Miss Grayson, may I have a word?"
Amanda nodded sharply and flowed Sarek as he walked away from the group.
Once away from the group, Sarek spoke first.
"I would prefer if you didn't let everyone know my involvement in this."
Amanda looked at him confused. "What do you mean? I wouldn't have been there if it weren't for you!"
His expressionless face gave nothing away. "What I mean to say, I rather that no body know of my personal feelings for you, the reason we searched for your family. Everyone knows of my involvement, but they all believe that it was that I knew about the mission."
"You didn't know?" Amanda couldn't help but hide her surprise.
"No. Your family has been undercover for very long not everyone knows of their missions. As it stands now, they will probably be reassigned since this ordeal has revealed their work to more people than needed."
Amanda didn't know what to say.
"I trust," Sarek's tone seemed more condescending than what Amanda would have liked. "You will take into consideration what I just told you."
Amanda nodded quickly. "I won't say anything."
"Good." He gave a curt bow and turned to leave. "So long, Miss Grayson."
How did he seem to do this to her every time?
She extended her hand and grabbed his elbow as he turned. "No, wait. Please."
Sarek's eyes bore into hers, she wasn't sure how to read his expression. Amusement? Concern? What was he thinking?
His eyebrows knit as if in confusion. He stood close to her, facing the crowd that they had just walked away from behind her.
Did he know? Could he hear her heart beating out of her chest? As close as he was, she couldn't get the words she had wanted to say out. She felt like a small child, somehow insignificant in his presence.
He has better things to do, Amanda, than to stand here and let you oogle him!
"Miss, Grayson," he said, calculated. "Are you all right?"
She wasn't. She wasn't all right. She couldn't figure out what to say.
Finally, she spoke in a hushed tone, more to herself than to him. "I've been wanting to speak to you for so long, to set it all straight. And here, we are, right next to each other and I can't find the words!"
He finally turned towards her, standing in front of her. "What is the matter, Miss Grayson?"
She didn't know how but she managed to spit the words out. "I'm so sorry. For everything. Oh, God. I think I spend more time apologizing to you than anyone else. It's absurd."
He gently turned her away from the crowd so she wasn't facing them. "Miss Gray-"
"No," Amanda insisted. "Let me just say this, please." She huffed. "I am sorry if I got you in trouble with the Vulcan Science Academy –oh, god, I heard you were in a disciplinary meeting- or anyone for that matter – or if it was inconvenient for you – or anything like that. But above all I'm so sorry that you got hurt."
She saw something flicker in his eyes for a second and recognized it immediately. Compassion. "Miss Grayson. The disciplinary meeting – I was a participant, it was not for me. I was also not greatly hurt, not like - not like you." He paused for a moment. "How are you feeling?"
Amanda smiled. "Better than most days, truthfully. I'm going to a medical base to recover – they think they can cure me."
Sarek nodded and paused again. He looked to her then hesitantly raised a hand to her shoulder. A touch that felt so familiar. "I was worried about you – you were dying."
Despite the moment, Amanda couldn't stop herself from asking, "Why didn't you vist me when you were on the base?"
Sarek gave a chuckle under his breath. Or seemed to. Amanda found she was reading him better the more time they spent together. "I was there, the first days. Duties kept me away, unfortunately, afterwards. Doris did keep me informed of your progress."
Of course she did, Amanda laughed to herself. Of course her sister kept him up to date.
Before she could stop herself, she spoke again. "I love you."
Seeing his startled expression, she laughed.
Finally. Finally! She felt so free. Like a burden lifted off her shoulders. "Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I think I've loved you all along, I think I've just been stubborn."
Sarek seem to pull back as if to gauge her more clearly.
Amanda, emboldened by her confession, stepped forward instead. "I don't know about marriage. But I do want to make this work. Whatever it takes. Even if I have to visit you on Earth for your political visits. I don't know. I want to make this work."
Sarek shook his head in disbelief. "I do not believe I have ever met anyone quite like you, Miss Grayson."
Amanda laughed again, giddy. "Is that a yes?"
He nodded. "May I keep contact as you receive your treatments at the Medical facility?"
Amanda nodded fiercely. "Yes!" She reached for the PADD in her slung over bag and handed it to him to exchange information.
Amanda turned to her sister as she called. "They're ready to take off."
Sarek handed her back her PADD. "Allow me to assist." He gently took her hand and placed it on the crook of his arm and walked her back to her waiting family.
Wanting to make it short, lest she cry, she hugged each person in her family.
"You write back."
"She better write back."
"William, she will!"
"Constant contact, please."
She nodded at everything they said. "I promise. I will let everyone know how it goes."
She held on to her sister the longest. Doris couldn't let go either.
"Thank you, Amanda. For fighting for us. For saving us." When Amanda pulled back she saw the tears in her eyes. "You are the best sister, ever. Please take care of yourself."
She turned to Sarek.
"Miss Grayson," he bowed his head slightly. "Please keep in contact."
A man appeared from the door of the shuttle Amanda had to board. "We're ready for you, Miss Grayson."
As Amanda ascended the stairs, Sarek held her hand tightly. Maybe he didn't trust that she was strong enough yet. She was grateful.
As soon as Amanda was inside, the door shut behind her.
The young cadet greeted Amanda. "Please step this way, we will be on our way shortly."
Amanda made her way around the small shuttle and found a vacant seat close by. Finally relaxing, she let out a long breath.
Shortly, the shuttle took off and Amanda watched as the Starbase large at first began to grow small.
Amanda looked to the woman who called her. Admiral Jones – the Admiral that had told her of her new accommodations. Who made it all happen.
Her ebony eyes seemed bright. "May I?" She gestured to the seat next to her.
Amanda nodded and she sat.
"I have found an assignment that I think you will enjoy while on the Medical base."
Amanda frowned. "Assignment?"
She nodded enthusiastically and handed her a PADD of her own. On the screen was a picture of a handsome man with dark features. He had a robust nose and high cheekbones and blue eyes. His white complexion seemed to wane compared to the dark clothes he had on.
"We would like to employ you, Amanda. Temporarily until you are better. Perhaps your experience will help us with this man."
Amanda tapped on the device looking for more information or a profile. "What does he need help with?"
She sighed. "It seems that he had a terrible accident and he is having a hard time communicating with us. I believe that your experience with children and your specialization on those having issues communication will assist us greatly."
"Don't you have people already in Starfleet with this kind of experience?"
She sighed. "Yes. And we've tried them all, we're at the end of our rope. He isn't opening up to anyone. We are hoping that someone that is not part of Starfleet will help bring him out of his shell and help us decipher whether or not he will recover."
Amanda was about to speak when the Admiral interrupted.
"Of course, you will have the full support of the medical staff – you will not do this alone."
Amanda looked through the file. "I suppose I could help as much as I can while I'm there."
The Admiral nodded then stood. "Perfect."
Amanda extended the PADD towards her.
She shook her head. "Please keep it, it's yours now. Consider it a gift for everything you've done." She winked. "I think you were due for an upgrade anyway."
Amanda nodded. "Thank you."
"Please make yourself comfortable, it's a longer trip that perhaps what you're used to." She left soon after leaving Amanda alone in the small room in the shuttle.
She looked back at the PADD, the man's picture still on the screen with his name. "Well, John Harrison, let's take a look at your file now, shall we?"
And that's it!
Finally! It took me long enough.
Truthfully, as much as I loved this story it was actually one of the most difficult to write. I never had time to write it seeing as I had number of life events happen in the lat 7-8 years since I started. Unfortunately it did not have the same energy once I finished that I had when I started. This, to me, is not fair to you, dear reader.
That is why I would like to continue (yes, continue!) the Grayson Chronicles. There are many questions that were left (purposely) unanswered so that a sequel would answer them.
For the sequel, I am breaking A LOT of my personal rules of writing but this character was one I felt I needed to work with. Amanda and Sarek have been with me for a while and I just cannot let them go either!
Please review and let me know, honestly what you think. I also welcome Private Messages which I do answer!
Thank you for sticking with me, it has been one hell of a roller coaster.