Meeting of the Minds
Nyota was worse than nervous as she packed her bag. The Enterprise had been docked at Earth's space station for less than twenty-four hours. They would be there for two weeks on some matter that the crew was not privy to while everyone had the opportunity for shore leave. Then they would be shipping out again for a little over four months. After that, they would return to Earth to put the ship into spacedock for refitting. Spock and she were hoping to marry during that refit time.
She truly hoped that things went well with their families that evening. They were going to the Vulcan embassy as soon as they were given clearance to beam down. Her father would be coming for sure. Her sister and Gavin and the baby would be there, too. Her brother Feisal Jr. would be able to join them, but his wife and children had to remain back home in Africa. Her other brother Amar, as usual, was in the middle of some kind of teaching tour and said he would be able to jaunt over quickly in order to check out the Vulcan that wanted to marry his sister.
She wished very much that her mother was still alive. She could really have used her advice at that moment, especially on how to calm herself down and stop expecting the worse. She kept having a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach that something terrible was about to happen.
The intercom buzzed. "Lieutenant Uhura," came Mr. Scott's voice. "You've received clearance to beam down to Earth."
"Thank you, Scotty," she answered as she grabbed her two bags and ran from her room.
Spock saw Uhura walking into the transporter room with two bags. One looked suspiciously heavy. Without asking, he went to her side and removed the bag from her shoulder. "I will carry that for you, Nyota."
"Thank you, Spock," she said.
"So," said Mr. Scott, his manner slightly awkward, "meeting the families today?"
"Yes," said Nyota with a smile.
Spock didn't bother to answer since she had already done so. He stepped up onto the transporter pad still holding the heavier of her bags and waited for her to join him. Once she had done so, he looked at Mr. Scott. "Energize."
The cool beam took them and in less than a second they were rematerializing at the Vulcan embassy. "Well, here goes something," Uhura murmured under her breath.
"All will be well, Nyota," he whispered to her as they walked closer to the building that would be a very big part of both their futures.
She looked over at him and felt the absence of his gaze as he looked determinedly forward while walking in that direction. Of course, she thought to herself, he wanted very much to see his parents sooner rather than later. She almost couldn't catch up with his stride as he reached the automatic door.
The door slid open and they both walked through, she just a pace behind, as the tiled, quiet official-looking indoor courtyard met them. And there were his parents. Nyota's stomach flip-flopped and she thought it was a very real possibility that she might pass out. But she held it together and pasted on a smile as Amanda practically flew forward and hugged her son.
"Mother," said Spock, half chagrined at her hugging him.
"Spock!" she answered as she put one hand to his cheek. "Still so serious." She looked over at Uhura and her warm blue eyes matched the smile on her face as she said, "I was hoping you could change that a little."
Nyota's smile then became genuine. "He is who he is, after all."
The two ladies then hugged as if they'd known one another for years. "It's so good to see you again, lieutenant, and especially under these circumstances," Amanda teased.
Uhura found herself blushing as she looked up and around her. "I didn't know the embassy was so large," she said as she surveyed the high ceiling and double staircase that seemed to lead off into even more room.
Sarek stepped forward then and greeted his son by raising his hand in the ta'al. "Live long and prosper, Spock. I trust things are well with you?"
"Peace and long life, father. Yes, they are. May I introduce to you she who shall soon become my wife?"
Nyota stepped forward, with only a fraction of the smile she'd had for Amanda. She raised her hand in the ta'al to her future father-in-law and said in practiced Vulcan, "Live long and prosper, Ambassador."
Sarek had not expected the young woman to speak any Vulcan at all. He was more than pleased. "You may call me 'father'."
Uhura didn't know what to say to that. Not only did 'father' sound so very formal, but she didn't even call her own father 'father'. So, "Yes, sir," tumbled from her lips until she could figure out exactly how to address Spock's father as 'father' without feeling strange.
"Oh, don't scare the poor girl, Sarek," Amanda chided.
"Amanda, I did no such thing," Sarek objected. "I only wished to extend a welcome to Miss Uhura as is befitting her station, that of future wife to my son."
"Come on," said Amanda as she picked up one of Uhura's bags. "Come this way and I'll show you to your room."
Nyota smiled at her. "I can stay here at the embassy?"
"We've had official quarters made up for you and Spock," said Amanda.
Nyota and Spock looked at one another. Before she had an opportunity to think of what to say or even open her mouth, Spock answered for them both, "Mother, Nyota and I have not yet consummated our relationship therefore we do not sleep under the same roof."
"As is fitting," said Sarek while Amanda held back a huge roll of laughter.
"Oh God!" Uhura found herself saying out loud, mortified.
"Of course, it is expected that you shall bond immediately," said Sarek, not noticing anything strange in his son's semi-public revelation.
And that quickly Uhura began to feel like she was in a vat of quicksand since Spock was just standing there and wasn't at all saying a thing to his father! "You stop that now, Sarek," said Amanda as she gestured Nyota to follow her. "Forgive my husband. He's just a little bit bossy."
She quickly followed her future mother-in-law up the steps lest her future father-in-law decide to tell her they should bond that very night.
While Nyota was getting settled into the room that would someday be 'their' room, Spock took the opportunity to speak with his father. "How soon do you expect you shall bond?" asked his father.
Spock knew why his father wanted him to bond so quickly. All families on Vulcan were always on their sons to bond as soon as possible. And since Spock was a hybrid, they didn't know whether or not he would follow the approximate seven year mating cycle. Perhaps it would come later than expected, or worse yet, earlier. "I do not know, father. Nyota and I have not had the opportunity to consider that as of yet. She wished to see you and mother first and for me to meet her family before we settled on a permanent date."
"I do not see the reason for hesitation, son. It is better to do it now. We have a healer on staff if you wish to dispense with the formalities as soon as possible."
"Father, Nyota and I, though we do not have a date, have discussed the circumstances under which we wish to marry. We will reveal our plans to you and her family this evening."
"That is understandable," he said. "I too would not wish to repeat myself."
Two hours later, Nyota was greeting her sister, face to face, for the first time in almost two years. The two hugged, laughing for a long time as her husband, Gavin, stood in the background with their baby in his arms.
Then she went and greeted her brother-in-law. And he still looked the same; over six feet tall and muscular with dark wavy hair to his shoulders. Something about such a gorgeous manly man holding a baby made him look even better. "He's still gorgeous!" Nyota exclaimed to Nara while giving her brother-in-law a hug.
"And she's still as cute as a button!" commented Gavin while hugging his sister-in-law. He then presented the baby to her. "Here he is, in the flesh. Little Connor Julian or as he's been nicknamed, CJ."
Nyota found herself with an armful of baby in less than two seconds. The seven month old looked into her eyes deeply and just stared. That quickly, she fell in love with her nephew. "Oh my goodness, he's so beautiful… and serious like his uncle Amar."
The little café au lait skinned baby with the big chocolate brown eyes and unruly large curls automatically threw his arms around his aunt and put his head on her shoulder. "He's in love again!" announced Gavin with a grin.
"That boy and the ladies," said Nara with her own proud smile.
The couple noticed, then, the Vulcan hovering in the background. "Spock, come and meet my sister and brother-in-law," Nyota waved him forward.
Spock stepped forward and uncharacteristically put his hand forward to shake her brother-in-law's hand. Gavin knew more than a little something about Vulcans and found himself frowning at the hand. "Don't worry, brother, you don't have to shake my hand. I know it's uncomfortable for you," he gave him a reprieve.
Relieved, Spock simply nodded. "I am Spock."
"And I'm Gavin," he answered with a jovial smile.
Nara stepped forward then with a huge grin, obviously checking Spock out. Spock couldn't help but notice, "Your resemblance to Nyota is quite striking."
Before Nara could say a word, Gavin grabbed Nara to his side by encircling his arm around her waist. His hand landed on her hip as he said with a playful grin, "You've got your Uhura sister and I've got mine!"
"Indeed," was Spock's only answer.
"Nice to meet you," Nara was finally able to say to Spock. "Nyota's had so many nice things to say about you."
He looked over at his soon-to-be wife and realized that Nyota's nephew, the baby, was staring at him. It was true, the baby was very serious. "Say 'hello'," Nyota whispered to the young child.
He didn't know how or why, but suddenly the baby leaned forward and wrapped his chubby arms around Spock's neck. He found himself holding the child without having meant to. He thought to maybe give the baby back to Nyota, but the child was looking at him with such intense eyes he found himself staring back. The boy was a perfect blend of his parents and he found himself wondering, if he and Nyota produced children, would they resemble this child in some way?
"I think we just found another set of babysitters," joked Gavin in a mock whisper to Nara as she laughed and elbowed her husband in the ribs.
Spock couldn't help but wonder, what was the child thinking when he stared at people in this manner? He allowed his mental shields to drop and was bombarded by wordless thoughts and impressions, pure unstructured emotion, endless curiosity and innocence. He allowed his shields to go back into place, but was rewarded by one smile from the baby as he reached up almost shyly and tested what Spock's chin felt like to his little hand. An indescribable feeling of attachment was beginning to assault its way through Spock's insides for the child and he found himself unsettled by it. He returned him to Nyota. "The child is very aesthetically pleasing," he found himself admitting.
"In other words," Nyota translated to her sister and brother-in-law, "your son is beautiful."
"And he likes you," Nara commented to Spock. She looked at Nyota. "Babies are great judges of character. CJ likes him, so I like him."
"Great," Gavin said decisively. "When do we eat?"
Later that day, Nyota's father and brothers arrived all at the same time. She was the most nervous about this situation, way more nervous than she had been before when Spock was meeting Nara and Gavin.
Her father came forward with a big grin. He was an average height man with big expressive eyes who was just a little bit stocky. "Nyota!" he said with his arms out.
"Daddy!" she greeted him with a hug. Nara also joined them in a hug. "I get to see both my girls at the same time," he was saying. "You two been good?"
They both laughed and said in an inflection that was eerily similar, "DA-DEE!"
He laughed out loud as Nyota's brothers also went and hugged their sisters. "Juney," Uhura greeted Feisal junior by his nickname. "How've you been?" she asked. "How's your wife? And how are the children?"
"Everyone's fine, Nyota," he said. He went over to Gavin and clasped his hand in a very welcoming grip. "My brother."
"Here's your nephew," said Gavin as he gave CJ over to Juney's arms.
The baby went willingly with his uncle and gave him one quick smile before returning to his pensive self.
Nyota was then hugging Amar and asking, "How's the lecture circuit?"
"Harrowing," was his only answer with a slight grin.
Then Juney and Amar both looked over at Spock, just standing there, waiting. Nyota went to his side and pulled him forward. "Daddy, Amar, Juney, this is Spock."
Nyota's father stepped forward and surveyed Spock closely. "I see," he said. "So we finally meet in person."
"Indeed," said Spock. He then looked at Nyota's brothers and nodded once at them both.
Just then, Amanda entered the room. "May I?" she asked.
"Oh, please come in!" Nyota said to her as she went and grabbed Amanda and pulled her into the borderline tense room.
"Hello," Amanda said as she walked in. "I'm Spock's mother, Amanda Grayson. So nice to meet you," she said to Nyota's father as she shook his hand vigorously.
The older man couldn't help but be charmed by the smiling lady in front of him. "Likewise, Mrs. Sarek. Where is your husband? I was looking forward to meeting both of Spock's parents."
"He's on an important call right now, but he'll be attending dinner with the rest of us."
Lady Amanda made the rounds of meeting everyone including little CJ. "Well isn't he a little cutie-pie!" she said of the baby.
And the child unexpectedly brightened and began to smile at Amanda. She began to give him a few baby talking words and at first Spock had the sudden sensation of wanting to sink into the floor. But unexpectedly, the child not only squealed and laughed in delight, the adults in the room started to laugh.
"I don't know what it is, but she reminds me of my mother," Gavin said as he stood next to Spock.
Spock's eyebrow raised. "Does she at all resemble she who is your mother?"
He thought about the question seriously. "Yes and no. The eyes, the smile…yes. But my mother is a wee woman and she has just a bit more meat on her. I think CJ is reminded of his nanna looking at her."
Spock did notice the child was unusually upbeat with his mother. And then CJ went and practically jumped into Amanda's arms. "CJ!" scolded Nara.
"Oh, no, that's okay!" Amanda said as she held the baby to her. "I just love babies. And it's been so long since Spock was a baby. Let me hold onto him for a little while."
Nara smiled at Nyota and unthinkingly joked, "Well if somebody would get to it-" but she stopped speaking when her sister gave her a definite 'I will KILL YOU' look. "Um, anytime. By all means, keep him for now Lady Amanda," said Nara quickly as she gave Nyota a 'I was just joking' shrug.
They retired to the dining room after a time and Sarek joined them. Interestingly enough, he and Feisal Senior both agreed that Nyota and Spock should marry as soon as possible.
"Don't know what's wrong with young people these days, waiting years and years to get married," said Nyota's father.
"I concur," said Sarek.
Nyota knew Spock well enough to know that he was not at all impressed with the line of conversation between their fathers and she found herself rolling her eyes. Dinner was served after that and everyone took their places around the table. Everything went well enough and the couple, for then, didn't have anyone else bugging them about when their wedding should be.
At one point, though, Nyota overheard Feisal Jr. commenting to Spock, "We bought a brand new chainsaw. It's in Amar's shuttle."
Before she or Nara could intercept, Gavin grabbed Nara's hand as he smiled over at Nyota. "Let him answer," he whispered to his sister-in-law with a grin.
Spock was in the middle of saying, "—did not truly expect to build Nyota's home by hand, but if it is what is expected of me, I am certain I can look to both of you for assistance."
The two brothers looked at one another. Obviously this Vulcan didn't realize when he was being threatened not to hurt their sister. "Hmm," said Feisal Jr., "just like that crazy Gavin. Didn't even get the point."
"Cut that out," said Feisal Senior to his sons.
Without question the two men ceased and desisted and then looked at one another. They both then smiled over at Nyota. She, however, was not smiling at them. If looks could kill… They both at least had the decency to appear sheepish when they realized just how pissed off their sister was at them.
After the last course, everyone went to the Common Room to relax and talk. Nyota wondered what else was going to happen that night.
A/N - I'm going to try my BEST to put this 3-shot up quickly, one after the other, since the story takes place over less than five days time in chronology. It's already been written, I'm just editing the other two pieces while writing the next short story in this series and still juggling The Boundaries of Logic at the same time. Whew! I'm beat!