Kirk turned his back on the journalist with relief as Chekov approached. His gaze lingered briefly on the bright eyed young woman standing with him. She had dark hair and dark eyes and was, Kirk guessed, of Asian descent. She smiled as Chekov cut off the journalist's next question.
"Excuse me, Captain." He said cheerfully. "I'd like you to meet the Helmsman of the Enterprise B." He nodded to the young woman, and Kirk was struck with the strangest feeling that he knew the person before him. "Demora Sulu – Captain James T. Kirk."
Kirk gaped at the woman before him as she replied, "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir." She went on mischievously, "My father's told me some interesting stories about you." Kirk realized suddenly that he was staring, and scrambled to recover.
"Your father? Hikaru Sulu is your father?" He asked, then mentally kicked himself. He sounded like an idiot.
Demora Sulu either didn't notice anything odd about his response, or was good at hiding it, though Kirk noticed a flash of, well, something, in Chekov's eyes before he, too, seemed unbothered by the awkward response. "Yes sir." The response, from Demora, was innocent.
Chekov had recovered by this time. "You met her once before, but she vas…" He trailed off, his hand measuring the height of a child.
Kirk started, remembering. "But that wasn't that long ago." He protested. "It couldn't have been more than-"
"Twelve years, sir." Chekov finished for him.
Kirk pulled himself back together and managed to convey his congratulations. He felt his smile fade to a frown as the two turned back so Demora could show Chekov something on the navigation console. He sighed as Scotty moved in on him and demanded his attention.
* * *
The Captain was distracted, Scotty knew. He followed Kirk's gaze to where Demora was standing there with Chekov, Scott's observations unheard. Scotty wondered if Kirk had even noticed his arrival.
He had, Scott realized as Kirk addressed him. "You know, Scotty, it amazes me."
"What sir?" Scotty asked, though he had an idea. He also noted, out of the corner of his eye, that Chekov was only listening with half an ear to Demora.
Kirk confirmed Scott's suspicions when he replied. "Sulu. When did he find time to have a family?" Kirk was too busy watching Demora to see Chekov's response.
And even if he had, Scotty guessed, Kirk wouldn't have been able to interpret it. Scotty let it go. He didn't have the heart to tell Kirk that Sulu wasn't the only one who had managed such a feat, and he suspected that if Chekov wanted someone to remind Kirk, that he would do it himself.
He would have sworn, though, that Kirk would have remembered those two, both Demora and her "cousin." How on earth could anyone have forgotten an encounter with those two?
* * *
Twelve years before…
Admiral Kirk stared down in surprise as the two "intruders" stopped short just barely in time to avoid colliding with him. Both stood frozen in place, unmoving save for their heavy breathing, as they stared up at Kirk with wide eyes and scarlet faces.
"May I help you?" He asked after a minute, somewhat at a loss for words. The last thing he had expected was for the intruders that had been reported sneaking around the simulators to be the two small girls standing before him.
Eyes went wider, and Kirk got the distinct impression that he was being tested, measured up. He studied the silent duo before him, and could not push away the feeling that he knew them from somewhere.
The taller and, Kirk guessed, older of the two had shoulder length dark hair and equally dark almond shaped eyes. She was dressed nicely if simply, in dark black jeans and a light blue turtleneck, and had an air of grace about her in spite of the fact that she was flushed and out of breath.
The younger was shorter than her friend, with brown hair pulled back into a braid and large, soulful brown eyes. She wore a pair of too loose jeans with the knees torn out and a t-shirt that was a bit too big. She blinked up at Kirk, and elbowed her friend, who elbowed her back in reply.
Kirk tried again. "Are you lost?" He asked politely, not wanting to frighten either of them into bolting. They needed to be returned to their parents before they got into even more trouble.
Indignation flashed plainly in those large brown eyes. "Of course not!" Her voice was high and soft in her protest. "Sir." She added belatedly. She looked to her friend for confirmation. "Right, Demora?"
Demora laughed nervously. "Us? Lost? Never." She affirmed timidly.
The other girl flashed Kirk a disarming smile, one he wasn't sure how he knew not to trust. The two children before him had an eerie, déjà vu like quality about them, as if he had done this before.
"Well," Kirk said sternly, "this is no place for children to be running around unsupervised."
Both girls stared at him. "But we aren't running around unsupervised." Demora explained.
"Oh?" Kirk asked. They looked pretty unsupervised to him. Her friend flashed him another disturbingly familiar smile.
"Papa said as long as we stayed out of trouble…" She trailed of and turned to Demora, who winced.
"That probably doesn't count as staying out of trouble, does it?" Demora asked.
"Probably not." The other girl agreed ruefully. "I've never seen anyone so mad."
"Dad's gonna kill us." Demora announced decisively. She turned to Kirk. "Can we come home with you? We'll be good, honest."
"You mean run away?" The other girl demanded with wide eyes. Demora nodded.
"Do you want to be killed?" Came the reply. Kirk watched in amused confusion as the other girl seemed to think about it.
"I guess not." She finally conceded. Then skeptically, she asked. "Do you even know who that is?"
Demora huffed. "Of course I know who that is!" She retorted. "I wouldn't run away to live with just anyone, you know."
"No one's running away anywhere." A familiar voice cut in, and Kirk turned to see none other than Sulu approaching. Kirk had known the man was teaching at the Academy, but hadn't seen much of him lately. Come to think of it, he had seen much of anyone from the Enterprise lately.
"Augh!" Demora let out a yell. "He's gonna kill us!"
The other girl looked up at Kirk beseechingly. "Save us!"
Sulu rolled his eyes. "No one's killing anyone." He insisted. "Yet." He turned to Kirk. "Admiral." He nodded as he turned back to eye the two girls before him.
"Sorry." Said Demora quickly, before Sulu could say a word.
"Yeah." The younger girl echoed. "We got lost." Demora elbowed her, and she hastily corrected herself, "I mean, we got distracted."
"We never get lost." Demora said solemnly.
Sulu eyed them both. "Uh-huh." He said. He didn't seem convinced. "Of course, that doesn't really explain why security ran you out of a simulator. Or why you nearly ran over Admiral Kirk."
"How did you know-?"
Sulu eyed the two. "I know both of you." He said. "You're always nearly running over someone." He frowned at them both for a minute, then shrugged. "Pavel's explaining to security that neither of you are a threat, though, and Admiral Kirk seems uninjured, so I don't see that any harm's been done."
Both girls flinched, then blinked. "You aren't going to kill us?" Demora asked cautiously.
Sulu rolled his eyes. "Of course not."
"Oh." Demora said, then eyed Kirk. "Sorry for nearly running you over." She said.
"Yeah." Came the echo.
Kirk frowned at the girls, and then at Sulu, trying to figure out just what was going on. Finally he gave up. "Sulu-?"
Sulu started. "Oh. I'm sorry. I don't suppose you've met Demora." He said with an odd smile.
Demora curtsied and grinned at Kirk. "Nice to meet you, Admiral." She said.
"Demora?" Kirk asked, shooting a look at Sulu.
"My daughter." Sulu explained.
Kirk stared, taken completely off guard by Sulu's proclamation. "Your…daughter?" He repeated. Sulu nodded.
Demora beamed up at him.
The other girl, feeling ignored, crossed her arms over her chest. "I'm Nakita." She announced.
"She's my cousin." Demora chattered. "Well, not my real cousin. More like my fake cousin, 'cause her dad isn't really my uncle, though I used to think he was, he's just friends with Dad, you know, and I think-"
Nakita interrupted her. "You actually get to meet the James T. Kirk and you're going to give an explanation of your family relationships to him?"
Demora blushed. "No." She said with a scowl. "I'm gonna ask for his autograph."
"No way! I was going to!" Nakita protested.
Sulu fought back an amused smile. "We don't have time right now, girls." He said. "Maybe some other time." When the two started to protest, Sulu held up his hands in surrender. "All right." He said with a shrug, "It's your lunch time that's being used."
"Lunch?" Nakita said. "Oh."
"Let's go." Demora added. "Nice to meet you, Mister Kirk."
"Admiral Kirk." Nakita corrected.
Sulu nodded to the bemused Admiral and hustled the two girls off. Kirk just stood there and watched them go, one thought swirling around and refusing to settle in his mind.
Sulu had a daughter?
* * *
"So how is Nakita?" Demora asked as Pavel shook off Kirk's comment.
"Graduating this year." He replied proudly. She too had felt the call of Starfleet.
"Dad says hi. To both of you. He said he couldn't believe either of us were even old enough to be cavorting around the universe." She continued.
Pavel chuckled. "Time certainly has flown by." He replied.
"Send her my congratulations too, will you, Uncle?" She said, and Pavel nodded.
* * *
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Star Trek universe.