Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek, although I love it so. I make absolutely nothing from this work other than a happy little buzz.
A/N: A holiday gift for the ladies over at the WA and all of you that take the time to read what I throw out here.
Spock sat quietly observing the people moving past him. Some were traveling at high velocity, others slow, while a third group moved in lurching, arm-flailing stops and starts. It was easy for him to calculate which group he would be in when he was forced to join in. But he did not express dismay at his mother's chosen activity for him. He listened to her dutifully, giving her his utmost attention as she strapped the instruments of his impending torment onto his feet.
"I enjoyed ice skating so much growing up, Spock." Amanda said. Her excitement infused her every word as she smiled at him. "It's so wonderful that we can do this together. San Francisco only has outdoor ice rinks open one month out of Earth's year."
"The weather in this region of the planet does not support such an endeavor, Mother."
"Then why would the city devote resources to…"
"The city does to it as a way to help the people celebrate the holidays dear. There are lots of things that humans associate with this time of year that truly has nothing to do with the origin of the holidays themselves. For many, myself included, it reminds them of holidays past, when they were children sharing special time with their family. I got my first pair of skates for Christmas when I was four. I used to skate with my father on a small pond behind our house every winter thereafter. It didn't feel like Christmas time until we took a turn together on the ice."
Spock stared back at his mother as he listened to her explanation, his face devoid of emotion, the picture of the perfect Vulcan child that he strived to be. Amanda gave him a small smile knowing full well that what she had said made absolutely no sense to her son. She shook off the creeping tendril of sadness that tugged at her, telling her that he never would. She truly believed the Vulcan way was the better way but at times like these…
"Now I get to do it with you." She went on, regrouping and seizing her initial excitement. She practically jumped to her feet from where she'd knelt down to tie his skates. "So…let's go!"
As he'd predicted, Spock moved at his mother's side with his arms outstretched and swinging in a manner his father would surely find undignified. Regardless of the equations he formulated in his mind concerning the task his mother had given him to learn, his feet seemed unable to apply them effectively so as to allow him to traverse gracefully on the man-made plane of ice. But he continued to struggle steadfastly beside her; he reasoned her boisterous, delighted laughter alone, so rarely heard at home on Vulcan, was worth the effort. And, he thought to himself, unlike many of the adults around him, he at least had yet to fall or collide with anyone.
Unfortunately for Spock, he no more than had the thought when he heard, "Look out!" even as the body that owned the voice saying the words smacked into him, sending his body as well as theirs crashing to the cold, hard ground.
"Sorry! I'm so sorry! Are you ok?" The young human girl asked as she looked down from her position on top of a way-laid Spock. She took in his appearance and let out a little gasp. She swallowed, tried to steady her voice and whispered, "Ni'droi'ik nar-tor." (I am sorry.)
Spock did not respond verbally but merely looked back at her, his face perfectly blank, even though he was startled that the girl was apologizing for what was clearly an accident—and in his native language no less.
She suddenly looked shamefaced as she scurried from atop Spock and tried in vain to regain her footing. She turned her face to her guardian, forgetting about her previous thoughts of modulating her voice to keep emotion out of it and using proper speech patterns like she had moments before out of respect for the young Vulcan and all but wailed. "Mama! You see! Now I'm not just hurting myself, I'm hurting Earth's relationship with other planets in the federation. Please…" she dropped with a soft thud and a defeated groan back onto her bottom "I don't want to do this anymore."
"Come on, Nyota." her mother, M'Umbha replied, trying to keep her laughter to a minimum as her daughter and the Vulcan boy untangled themselves. "You look no worse for wear. This is supposed to be fun!"
"Yes. I couldn't agree more." Amanda said with a gleam in her eyes as she looked between her son and the girl. "I promise this crash will in no way negatively impact Earth and Vulcan's relations." She pursed her lips and gave Spock a sideways glance as he got his feet beneath him. "I had similar crash years ago and it brought interspecies affairs to a whole new level."
Spock's eyes went wide and his feet sailed out from under him dropping him flat on his back.
"We're from a desert climate for goodness sake," Nyota grumbled, ignoring her mother and Amanda completely. "We're not meant to ice skate. This is…this is just so…"
"Illogical." Spock supplied.
"That's the word!" Nyota exclaimed, pushing herself up and wobbling as she got her feet under her while stabbing a finger in Spock's direction. "This is completely and utterly illogical. And I would also like to put forth that I think I've bruised my butt." She punctuated the last three words with a pause between each for added emphasis.
Spock blinked and raised a small, slanted eyebrow. As he regained his footing once more, carefully rising to a standing position with his arms stretched out, his eyes drifted curiously to the girl's posterior.
"You would like to put forth…? Oh, Lord girl." M'Umbha said with a shake of her head. She and Amanda shared large, longsuffering smiles.
The two children regarded each other, both standing—feet and arms sprawled—giving the appearance that they were expecting an earthquake. After a moment, Spock extended his hand to Nyota, seemingly in an attempt to steady them both on their feet. Amanda couldn't stop her eyes from widening in disbelief. Nyota instinctively grasped the hand as it reached for her while she continued to teeter precariously. Seconds passed and the two's balance stabilized after which they simply stared at one another for a beat. Then in unison the children turned their heads and looked to Amanda and M'Umbha in ice-skate-hating solidarity.
The women could no longer stop themselves and loud peals of laughter broke free from both of them. As one they flanked Spock and Nyota, each mother taking an elbow and then guided them off the ice. Amanda noticed with equal parts bubbling amusement and interest that Spock kept a firm, protective grip on Nyota's hand as they made their way. However, upon her and M'Umbha deciding not to let the kids spoil their fun and retaking the ice together, she failed to catch the pair of six year olds as they made their way to the refreshment stand.
It was on Amanda's fifteenth lap around the rink, happily visiting with M'Umbha and enjoying herself thoroughly that she realized there was a problem.
"Look," M'Umbha said. "The kids are waving like mad."
Amanda looked and almost crashed into a young couple.
The kids were waving like mad alright. Both of the kids. Each of them waving and smiling with unfettered glee while brandishing matching hot chocolate mustaches.
"Oh, Sarek's going to kill me." Amanda whispered as she looked for the nearest exit off the ice.
"Smiling…my son is smiling."
"Yes, well…oh…" M'Umbha started and then stopped as she looked again at those little perfectly pointed ears. "Oh, no…Vulcan's don't…Lord, the chocolate right?"
Amanda began to answer only to falter when she saw Nyota tug on Spock's sleeve and point to the other side of the rink from where she currently was. Spock looked and then took off in the direction Nyota had pointed, grabbing the girl's hand in his own and towing her along with him, leaving their shared hot cocoa behind.
Amanda shouted, "Spock wait…" as her eyes flitted to the area the children were headed; it only took a second for her gaze to land on Sarek. She let out a groan.
"Your husband I presume." M'Umbha said as she followed Amanda's stricken stare.
"He looks just like Vulcan's Ambassador to Earth."
Amanda looked at her new friend.
"Wow…I…well, you don't think…?" M'Umbha looked utterly sorry, even as she started shaking with laughter. "We have an extra room in our suite at the hotel."
As the woman approached Sarek, Nyota darted to her mother's side.
"Mama, Spock can speak Romulan just like me! And he knows all the bad words too!" she said in an attempted whisper that failed miserably. "Guess how you say…"
"Nyota hush your mouth this instant." M'Umbha said, clamping a hand over Nyota's mouth for good measure.
"Greetings, Mrs Uhura."
Before M'Umbha could return the acknowledgment, Amanda blurted "Sarek, I'm sorry. I didn't think…"
Sarek's eyes slipped over her. "My wife, Spock was just introducing me to his…" he looked to Nyota who pushed her mother's hand away and practically squealed, "Girlfriend!"
"No, Spock." Sarek said firmly while gazing down at his son. "I will not petition T'Pau to come to Earth 'this instant' so you can bond with Nyota."
Amanda's hand went to cover her own mouth as she emitted something between a cough and a strangled guffaw.
Nyota giggled. "He wants to marry me, Mama!"
Amanda thought Sarek was on the verge of rolling his eyes at the two children. It was clear whatever Spock and Nyota had said before their mothers' arrival had gotten her off the 'bad human mother' hook. Sarek was clearly far more amused than appalled at their son's condition.
"Mother," Spock implored, turning his big dark eyes pleadingly on her. "Nyota wishes to be a linguist like you. She is highly intelligent, aesthetically pleasing and she thinks it is…" he looked to Nyota.
"Awesome." She said with enthusiasm, nodding and beaming at him.
"She thinks it's awesome that I am a Vulcan/Human hybrid."
"Uh…that's wonderful dear, but…"
"And her emotions are warm and fuzzy like yours."
"I'm sure she's delightful…"
"T'Pring's were as prickly as a le-matyas' tail" Spock groused, crossing his arms over his chest while shooting his father a disgruntled glare. He had been introduced to his intended days before coming to Earth and had been silent on the subject until now.
Sarek was looking at M'Umbha apologetically. He and Amanda's six year old son was quite drunk and negotiating fiercely for an arranged marriage with her daughter.
"We are a logical match. Nyota is in advanced classes like me."
M'Umbha cleared her throat, smiled at Sarek and Amanda and stepped forward to see if she could stem the tide. "I'm sorry young man but…"
"My family clan is one of the oldest on Vulcan."
"Oh, that's nice, but you see…"
"We have extensive holdings."
"I will be able to provide well for your daughter. We will both be able to pursue whatever occupations we desire."
"We're going to explore the galaxy!" Nyota interjected.
"That's lovely Spock, but my daughter can't bond with you."
Spock fell silent and stared at Nyota's mother. His eyes filled with tears and his lower lip began to tremble. "Do you not find me to be an acceptable mate for Nyota?"
M'Umbha froze beneath Spock's wounded gaze. 'Well, damn. That didn't go the way I hoped it would,' she thought in dismay.
"Mama!" Nyota said loudly in all her six year old embarrassment and mortification. She stepped to Spock's side and whispered, "T'hy'la" as she took his hand in hers again. Spock's sad eyes, swimming in tears, met hers. He slowly raised the hand she wasn't holding and brushed it against her face.
"Spock…" Sarek said, warning him in a low voice.
Spock dropped his hand and scowled at the ground.
"I meant to say," M'Umbha began quickly, crouching down to Spock and Nyota's level, successfully drawing the attention of both, "that on Earth we do things a little differently. Our children wait until adulthood to choose the people they want to marry. You seem like a very fine young man and I'm sure I'd be overjoyed to have you as a son-in-law…then."
"Oh…" Spock mumbled dejectedly. He began to sway where he stood.
"I believe it is time to retire to the embassy." Sarek said, bending to lift a disappointed Spock into his arms, lest his son attempt to grab the object of his desire and make a run for the nearest exit.
Amanda exchanged goodbyes with M'Umbha and Nyota, finding the little girls eyes now filled with tears as well. 'Who knew ice-skating could be so fraught with romantic intrigue.' She thought to herself.
She began to follow Sarek, looking at Spock's forlorn face as it gazed back at Nyota from where his chin rested on his father's shoulder.
"I'll be here!" Nyota suddenly shouted. "I'm going to join Starfleet when I grow-up so I'll be right here where you can find me, Spock. We'll explore the whole universe together!"
"Please, father." Spock murmured longingly.
"Rai, sa-fu." (No, son.)
"Dungi smo'ni nash-veh." (I will wait.)
Spock pushed himself up from his father's shoulder to look at Sarek, trying to convey every inch of his six year old determination.
Sarek stared back unfazed by his son's behavior.
Spock gave a small whimper and then promptly threw up on him.
Nyota Uhura walked briskly into Commander Spock's office when the door slid aside to admit her.
Spock rose from his desk and gazed at her silently for a moment.
"I'au-d fiv?" he asked.
"Ie." She answered.
Nyota laid a small holographic player on his desk and slid it toward him. She worried her lower lip with her teeth for three seconds while he reached for it, then smiled, snapped around and exited without another word.
Spock stared after her for two and a half minutes before taking his seat again. He touched a single finger to the player where it rested on his desk to activate it. The image of two children, a boy and a girl, tossing snow in the air appeared. As the white flakes drifted down around them they announced in unison "The wait's almost over! The ice rink at Union Square will open the third Thursday in November!" The children both suddenly fell to the ground as if they'd slipped on ice and then the holo shut down.
He stood from his desk and walked to his window. He could see Nyota emerge from the sciences building to stride confidently across the quad. He lingered at the window until she disappeared from sight and then walked to the rooms locked storage compartment. Spock opened the closet and knelt to retrieve the box resting in its farthest corner, pulling off the lid to remove its well worn contents.
Captain Pike had harassed Spock mercilessly about arriving from a desert planet to the academy with a pair of ice skates.
"They were a gift from my mother," Spock had explained to his mentor, "in acknowledgment of my acceptance to Starfleet Academy."
I'au-d fiv—Romulan—"Do you know me?"