An End…and A Beginning
Amanda got home from work and was dead tired. She was so tired, in fact, she felt as if she could sleep for hundreds of years. Zurel's eyes were full of concern as she dragged herself to the front door. "T'Sai, are you in need of assistance?" asked the Vulcan. It was the closest to alarmed she'd seen him come in quite sometime.
"No, I'm fine. I'm just really really tired that's all. Whew! I don't know what's come over me. I need some vitamins or…or something."
"Yes, you do appear to be extremely fatigued," he commented. "Perhaps you should take rest immediately once you are inside."
"Trust me, Zurel, no one has to tell me that twice. My body is going to make me lay down as soon as I get through that door."
Sarek sensed how tired his wife was. He was slightly upset with her and himself. She had not heeded his warning that perhaps her body could not take a regular workday in the heat and thinner atmosphere of his planet. And he had not tried hard enough to have her rethink taking the position. But he knew he would have to distance himself from her fatigue. She would wish to keep her position no matter the danger to her health and he knew he needed to respect her feelings as an individual. He instead diverted his attention to the pleasing news he wanted to deliver to her.
He followed her into their bedroom and saw her lying down in their bed, clothing still on. Some part of him knew that that was not at all like Amanda. She usually enjoyed a comforting shower after working and only then would she take rest. A lot of things had been this way with her lately. Perhaps fatigue caused Terran behavior to change markedly? But he had already told himself to give her space on the work situation. "Amanda, I have a gift I wish to present to you."
She sat up tiredly and smiled at her husband. She saw he had his hands behind his back. "What's that?" she asked.
He removed the parcel from behind his back and handed it to his wife. She pulled it into her lap, opened the plain wrapping and found herself staring at what was in front of her. Her vision began to cloud over. "Sarek!" she said in an amazed tone. "How did you…" She nodded in disbelief. "'Mahatma - The Biography of Mohandas K. Ghandi; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Life and Death in Shanghai; The Kama Sutra; The Complete Works of Epictetus'-" Her throat nearly closed as emotion clogged her up. "Sarek, you got the banned books back! How did you do this?"
"I am a Syrranite, Amanda, and I am still seen as the ambassador to Terra Prime. Though we are largely mistrusted by the Empire, we are seen as, in a way, incorruptible. Our logic, lack of emotion and seeming pacifism makes the Empire feel safe to hand certain items over to us for study and short-term safekeeping."
She wanted to jump up and grab him into a large hug. "I'm so happy about this. But really I wish I wasn't so tired. And I wish this nausea would go away," she said seemingly out of nowhere.
"Amanda you have been unfailingly nauseated for the past week," he said as he sat next to her.
She had a feeling he was about to start in on her job. "Sarek, I'm fine."
"No, Amanda, you are not. You seem to be quite unwell."
She sighed tiredly and not only at the way she was feeling. She didn't have the energy to deny how ill she felt anymore. Then she thought of what Maya had said the week before. "Your ward seems to think I'm pregnant."
His eyes grew wide. "We must get you to T'Niye, immediately."
"Oh, Sarek, we don't have any proof-"
"A telepath told you she thought you were pregnant, Amanda! Do you not understand the meaning-"
"She suspects I am! She didn't check me out expressly. She said she didn't want to check without my permission."
She shrugged, half ashamed. "I never gave her permission so she never really checked."
"I will call T'Niye, at once."
"Oh, Sarek, I can do that myself tomorrow. I'm just so sleepy right now!"
"Amanda, what of-"
"If you're so concerned with the baby, Sarek, you'll let the mother sleep!"
"I am so concerned with the mother of my child because I do not know the side-effects this pregnancy will have. What if the reason you are so tired is the pregnancy is having deleterious side effects on your being and perhaps something can be done to counteract them?"
Amanda's tired eyes looked up into Sarek's concerned ones. "All right, call T'Niye."
"I will have her come to you. You may sleep until then."
"Thank you!" Amanda said with honest gratitude as she lay back and he went to leave the room to call the Healer. She was asleep before her head hit the bed.
It was going to be a busy day. As per T'Pau's orders, Sarek had seen to hiring a permanent housekeeper and cook. They were a married couple from Bajor and they were staying in Sokam's old abode.
He watched his wife dress in her best robes. For not the first time he found his breath catch in his chest at the sight of her. She was beautiful. She was glowing. He would never say these things aloud, but she could detect them and as a result she was blushing. "I'm ready, Sarek," she said to him as he squelched an inner burst of pride. He had more than one reason, but he continually reminded himself it was not logical to feel as such.
Their friends had all come that day, and some had brought their own guests. Zurel, of course, was present along with Shin. Sokam and Maya had come, together, looking more harmonious than before. Sarek was satisfied that things had worked out between the two. He forcefully restrained the urge to tell Sokam he was watching him. He reminded himself that the two would be fine as they grew and learned together, just as he and Amanda would grow and learn together. He knew he could not accuse Amanda of interfering with Maya and then do the same with Sokam.
T'Niye herself had also graced his home with her presence to keep an eye on both his wife and his ward. He knew that when Maya was not at work or with Sokam, she was at T'Niye's side, learning. She needed the elder female that was soon to be clan mother, the same elder female that was grooming her to raise the next clan mother of T'Niye's family.
Dana had also come and brought Turan with her. The prison guard would always be welcome in his home since he had taken such an active role in securing the safety of his household. Mariana had also arrived and brought her scientist, the Cardassian by the name of Jhuleem. He had never seen Mariana so happy and carefree as it was as she stood at the scientist's side. And it was obvious he was quite taken with his Terran woman. He noticed Zurel could not look at her and knew that his wife's guard had hoped somewhere within himself that Mariana would be the woman for him. But she was not. It would not have gone well to force it, either. That was not logical. Amanda had made such a foolish promise, he knew, to find him someone in time. How was his wife going to accomplish that? But today was no the day to dwell on such thoughts.
Patricia and Soryn had come at the insistence of Amanda. The teacher whom was also married to a Vulcan met Dana and Maya with a glow in her eyes. Sarek could tell the woman was very gratified to meet more Terran females who, like herself, were attached to Vulcan males.
Demek arrived last of all and the get-together was complete.
"It is a time of announcements, this time of year," announced Sarek. "In the old days this was the time of planting, for those who lived in areas well watered enough to plant. For the areas that did not, we had the custom of sharing news of the nature to allow our guests to rejoice with us. All in the room must share positive tidings. I am the host, therefore as custom dictates I am to go last."
Demek stood, signaling his voluntary decision to go first. "I am well and in health, which at my age is not a thing to take as ones natural right."
Patricia and Soryn were standing next to Demek and found themselves on the spot. To her surprise, Soryn was speaking before she could stop him. "My wife has learned to make a proper plomeek soup without overcooking the stalks beforehand."
"Soryn!" she hissed.
His eyebrow raised. "My wife, I have complimented your culinary skills in public. You are not pleased?" She put on a strained smile. He then continued. "I have also gained a 'sense of humor' recently. Have I learned well enough, wife?"
She couldn't resist laughing. "Yes, you have."
Turan and Dana looked at one another. "Now is as good a time as any," said Dana.
Turan nodded. "Dana and I shall bond in three months time," he announced. "We shall have a formal joint Terran/Vulcan ceremony. T'Niye has agreed to officiate our bonding."
That news caused the non-Vulcans in the room to throw out spontaneous shouts of 'congratulations!' while the Vulcans simultaneously nodded once at the both of them and intoned, "I rejoice with thee."
After the well-wishing had died down, everyone looked at Sokam and Maya who had been standing next to Turan and Dana. "Um…" Maya looked at Sokam and the two seemed to communicate quickly through their bond. "My wife and I are both satisfied, she in her career of choice and I in my studies," he said. Then he looked at her and added, "We are learning to…understand one another."
T'Niye was next. "As a geneticist, it seems I shall soon have the joy of ensuring the safe delivery of many hybrid children."
All of the couples in the room, Jhuleem and Mariana included, looked at one another contemplatively and then back at T'Niye.
Shin was next. "When I came here, I had no idea of the culture I was walking into. But I'm glad I came. I've learned so much since then. Thank you for hiring me, Ambassador."
Sarek hadn't expected that sentiment to exit Shin's mouth. He thought about it and realized he did not know overly much about the Terran male. But he had been unfailingly loyal to him and his family, he had to acknowledge that.
Zurel, whom was standing next to shin, had nothing to say but, "I have met several Terrans this year that I did not know previously. And every one of them has enriched my life in different ways," he said as he looked at Maya, Dana, Shin and lastly Mariana.
Jhuleem looked slightly uncomfortable as he said, "I left Terra Prime because I didn't care for the way I was being treated. And Mariana left Terra Prime because…she was kicked out. I'm grateful for coincidences and weird timing."
The Terrans laughed at his declaration, but the girls were all looking at Zurel out of the corner of their eyes. Then Dana and Maya looked at one another and decided to get in on Amanda's wife search for the seemingly doomed Vulcan. Nothing was going to happen to him if they could help it.
Sarek and Amanda stood together. They were the hosts. Their news was to come last. He looked down at his wife and nodded at her to tell their guests the news. "We're pregnant!" spilled from her mouth with a huge grin.
They were swarmed with well-wishes and felicitations, then.
Amanda lay on the examination table as T'Niye examined the fetus once again. She had been going to the office every other day to make certain the child was developing properly. Almost every other time she went, T'Niye would have to go in and adjust the child's DNA to ensure he was not only viable, but more Vulcan than Terran. Amanda had insisted that this be the case. Sarek had not pushed for that, but he was inwardly pleased that Amanda was determined for their child to be a Vulcan.
"Do you have a name for the child?" asked T'Niye as she examined the developing child's vitals via her instruments.
Sarek was standing at her side as his emotions became caught in his chest and he found that he inexplicably could not speak. He would have to control that tendency to strong emotion concerning this child. There would be no room for error with him. The child must know what it was to be a Vulcan at all times from him since he could not know from his mother.
"His name?" asked Amanda as her face beamed with pride. "His name is 'Spock'."
I want to thank everyone who has come along for the ride. Things happened in this story that I didn't even foresee when I sat down to write this! I have to tell you now that I have finally decided that there will be no drabbles for this story.
But some of you have made me see reason about some serious leftover issues. Even though it feels right to me to end this here (seeing the chapter numbers continuing to go up was starting to make me cringe), I have decided to commit to doing a sequel for this. I hope some of you are interested in reading it because where am I without the readers, right? - J.S.