Insert the standard disclaimer here...I own nothing. Just the start of a little plot bunny I can't get out of my head.
The location was an old horse ranch on the Kentucky side of the Ohio river. Amanda loved it, not far from a bridge, plenty of forest and wildlife. Nothing at all like the cheap flat she had been renting in San Francisco when she began working on the universal translator project. She was sitting on the edge of the bridge with her feet dangling over the edge, reading a PADD. It would be another three days before the chosen delegates arrived for the summer. A Vulcan delegation, a Tellarite delegation, an Andorian delegation and of course a Human delegation would be shuttling in very discretely to work together on both the project and some other top secret negotiations all parties agreed would be best dealt with in the utmost secrecy. Here, Amanda looked around watching a humming bird buzz past her, among the wilds. She heard talking coming from behind her but went back to reading her PADD.
"And this Ambassador Sarek, is the Ohio river, this bridge is one of the few surviving bridges built around1860. " Herbert said to the Vulcan male, and the little boy who had been less attentive than most of the young Vulcans he had been exposed to while in San Francisco.
Herbert saw Amanda and called to her, she didn't see to hear him, "Why don't we take a closer look at the river and the bridge." He said with a sweaty smile.
"We will stay here," Sarak said sharply
"I'll just see if I can get Amanda's attention."
"I'll do it." The little boy said and took off running toward the bridge.
Sarak's eyes widened slightly seeing his nephew running full on. "Get him." he said flatly to their guide.
Herbert started to move but the much faster young Vulcan was already in the middle of the bridge walking on the railing toward Amanda. Amanda looked up, shielding her face with her hand she saw the form of a small child walking toward her, and she gasped. A moment later the child was falling toward the river.
Sarek ran forward, and stopped at the edge of the bridge, he ran down the bank to the edge of the river scanning for his nephew in the water, but saw no sign.
Amanda reacted she kicked her shoes off into the water and stood on the railing, taking a deep breath she dove into the water after the child.
The moment she pierced the water she felt the spring rains had kicked up the current. She broke water again and took a huge lung of air before going below again. She relaxed and let the water take her, figuring if the child didn't know how to swim or had been knocked out he would be at the current's mercy. A moment later her calculated guess paid off, she felt the bump of flesh on her arm. She grabbed him, snaking her arm around his body she began kicking upward. Her lungs were hoping she would break water quickly as she struggled not to try to breathe.
Sarek was pacing up and down the river bank looking for some sign his nephew had not been swept away, and his human guide stood dumbly looking over the rail. Sarek felt like he had failed his nephew by not being able to swim.
Herbert called out, "THERE!"
Fifty meters down the bank bubbles broke the skin of the river, and both Herbert and Sarek ran.
Amanda came up coughing and sputtering, once she cleared the water from her mouth she gasped and pulled the young boy up onto her chest so she could swim easier toward the bank. Once there she felt a man's hand on her helping her and the boy. Panting she came up on her knees and checked the boy for breathing. His heart was still beating, albeit not strong, but from what she could hear he had a lung full of fluid. She rolled him over on his side and began trying to clear the boys breathing. When she saw the boy's mouth erupt water she rolled him back over and put her mouth over his, forcing air into his lungs, he sputtered up some more water and then his eyes parted.
She smiled down at him and fell backward, "Thank goodness." She panted, putting her hand over her eyes.
A young Vulcan woman hurriedly approached them, "Salak?" she asked looking at Sarek.
"He will be well, T'shon," he said lifting him and handing him to her, "Take him to the healer." The Vulcan woman nodded, taking the boy into her arms and away rapidly.
Amanda coughed slightly and rolled up on her side. She was covered in mud, and shaking, the adrenalin was still burning off from the rush. Herbert held out his hand to her, helping her up, "Thanks, Herb."
"No problem, Manda. I think I owe you the thanks…" he added softly.
"Ugh," she said as a big gob of mud dripped into her eyes. Wiping her face she was trying to blink away the stinging yuk. "Could ya grab me a towel or something, Herb."
Herbert saw Sarek tear his robe and hand it to him, "Give this to her."
Herbert handed her the robe piece and said, "Um, Amanda Greyson, I would like to introduce you to, um...Amabassador Sarek, of Vulcan."
She cleaned her face and then her arms, looking over at the man she smiled, "Hi,I'm afraid I don't look so good…"
Sarek stepped up, "You look competent and very brave, Mrs. Greyson. I owe you a debt of gratitude, for saving my nephew's life."
Amanda tossed the cloth piece over her shoulder, "No thanks needed, but you are welcome. " she held her hand out to him, and then retracted it awkwardly, "Sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me must be giddy from all the adrenalin. And it is Miss, I'm not married."
Herbert spoke up, "I'm going to go check on the rest of the group, Manda, do you mind showing the Amabassador back to the grounds?"
Amanada rolled her eyes, "Sure, Herbert, I'm not doing anything…haven't done anything." She rolled the cloth up quick and flicked him hard on the side. "Get out of here." She added, and thought, WUSS.
"Where did you learn this skill?" Sarak asked looking at the water.
"What the towel snapp or the swimming?" She said grinning.
"The swimming, Miss Greyson." He replied raising an eyebrow.
"Oh that, I put myself through school working various jobs, and one of them was as a life guard at the local pool." She started up the bank, slipping softly in the mud.
"Curious, what is this life guard occupation I am not aware of it." He said placing his hands firmly behind his back.
"That's right, I'm sorry again."
"You need not be so apologetic; there is no perceived offense from you."
She laughed, "I'm sorry…err… Well, I am a little un-centered, it isn't every day you dive off a bridge with a child's life at stake. A life guard stands guard at a large body of water where people swim, in case there is an accident like the one your nephew just had. We would go in and save them from drowning."
Sarek raised his eyebrow further, "Fascinating."
"Not really Ambassador." She grinned and looked at her feet her bare feet squishing through the mud, and carefully she pulled her tank top out, so it would stop clinging embarrassingly to her form.
"Mr. Herbert did not tell me what it is you do now. I assume it is not a life guard."
She looked up at the tall Vulcan and grinned, "You made a joke. No, I am actually one of the lead developers on the translator project, Amabassador."
"You are Doctor Greyson then?"
She blushed lightly, "Yes, but I prefer miss when I am not working, to use the title informally seems pretentious to me."
"Interesting." His eyes lingered on her for a while, "I must go check on my nephew, if you'll excuse me." He nodded politely, turning he left her side.
She waved, "Nice to meet you…" shaking her head she walked back to the bridge, hoping her PADD hadn't taken the same dive into the water.
Sarek checked on his nephew he was sleeping peacefully in one of the rooms his delegation had been provided for living. He retired to his suite, an old horse stable converted into a modern home. Lighting his candles he went to his Comm panel, Soval answered, "I must speak with my mother."
The elder Vulcan nodded and soon T'Pau was on the screen, "Sa-fu, I had not anticipated your communication this early."
"We have arrived at the conference sight early, Ko-mehk, as you requested. I called to inquire if it is still yours and the counsels will that I bond with a human female?"
T'Pau nodded, "It is the will of the counsel, and mine as well. Their logic is sound, your appointment to Earth is a permanent one, Sa-fu, you must foster a relationship between them and us. T'Rea has provided you a Vulcan son; he carries the purity of the line of Surak. Now it is time to join the humans to us, and us to them." She paused and raised an eyebrow, "Have you found a suitable candidate?"
Steepling his fingers under his chin he nodded, "It is premature, but perhaps. I wished only to clarify the instructions I received this morning, Ko-mehk."
"You have our will, Sa-fu." She held up the Ta'al, "Live long and prosper."
Amanda went back to her room and peeled off her soaked clothing. Looking at herself in the mirror she had to laugh. She had mud, everywhere. "Thanks river, thanks mud, you look chaaaaarmming" she said twirling around in a circle. She padded into the bathroom and turned on the shower, picking out a night blooming jasmine soap she looked out the window. The Vulcans were gathered outside their cabin, each standing stick straight nodding and waggling their eye brows at each other. She grinned. They were cute in their weird feline like way, especially the ambassador. He was like some kind of giant sexy tom cat, not that she would admit that.
She stepped into the shower and watched the mud flow off her body into the drain. Warm water, scented soap, a beautiful day, and saving a life.
She heard the knock at her door and sighed, "Who the hell is that?"
She wrapped herself in a towel and smoothed down her hair. She padded carefully across the floor. Peeking out the security hole in the door she gasped, it was a Vulcan female. She cracked the door open and poked her head out, "Yes, can I help you."
The woman bowed slightly, "I am T'shon, you saved my son. Sarek has asked me to invite you to last meal this evening in appreciation of your service to our family. Will you come?"
"Sure, T'shon I would love to. How is your son, if I may ask."
"He is well, the healers say that he will fully recover. " she peaked into the door, "May I enter? Sarek has asked me to help you dress, and for me to see to your hair." She pulled a box that she had been holding up so she could see it. "
Amanda blushed, "I don't need assistance."
"You will this is a complicated Vulcan style dress." She said stepping forward.
She closed her eyes and opened the door wide, "Come in. I am going to finish my shower real quick, have a seat, and make yourself at home."
T'shon walked in and sat down on the small couch in the corner. "I shall wait."
Amanda hopped back in the shower, and finished quickly, the relaxation factor gone. She wrapped a towel around her hair and her body and stepped into the living area. T'shon stood up demurely, "May we now dress you and engage in human female small talk. I have been instructed to do such with you if it is permissible."
Amanda laughed, "That's cute." She looked at the young woman's face and realized she was not making a joke, "Oh, you are serious."
"Yes, I am." She said plainly, "I do not jest as a female of your species might.
That was awkward, Amanda thought, a moment before it became more awkward as the Vulcan woman spoke again.
"Are you mated yet?" she asked opening her box with the dress and jewelry.
Amanda turned bright red, "That was a direct question."
"It is culturally appropriate between two females to share such things with each other. Have I spoken out of turn? Do I need to share my status with you first? I am pair bonded to Timok, Sarek's brother. We have been paired since childhood. Now, are you mated?"
Amanda laughed again, it was adorable that his young lady was trying to reach out to her. "Why no, I am not mated T'shon."
"It is surprising to me you are not mated, Amanda. You are an aesthetically pleasing by human standards and given your title in your society it would be advantageous to any man. Will you undo your wrap so I might begin dressing you now?" T'shon began lifting the dress from the box.
Amanda couldn't help but laugh again as she turned away and dropped her towel.
"Does your laughter indicate discomfort with our conversation?" T'Shon asked softly as began swaddling the first silk layer of the garment.
"No T'shon I find you and our conversation endearing. " She looked at the shiny fabric T'Shon was skillfully wrapping her in, "This is gorgeous, T'Shon."
"So why do you not have a mate?" she continued in a single minded way.
"I haven't met the right man yet, I suppose."
"Are you actively looking for a mate?"
"No, T'Shon, I am not. I have a lot of business to do here and it hasn't really been conducive to developing a relationship. " she was uncomfortable with this line of questioning so she decided to turn it around, "How has it been to be pair bonded most of your life?"
"It is advantageous to me. I married well, Timok is of a good family. Other than his sexual need we are highly compatible we are well bonded. Please turn, Amanda, I must center you're the top layer exactly to be able to tie it properly. I cannot do this from the back."
Amanda turned as she was asked and found herself draped again in three more layers of burgundy and silver fabric. "Sexually incompatible, then?" she asked even though it felt weird in her mouth to do, it was a much more personal question than she would normally asked, but at this point anything was better than answering further questions about her own personal life.
"Vulcan females do not require physical intimacy, it is something we do to appease our males and procreate."
Amanda gasped, "No sex drive of your own? You mean you don't enjoy…"
T'shon looked up into Amanda's eyes, "No. It is an illogical desire we suppressed long ago. The Vulcan male has never been able to master their desires, and require it far too frequently."
Amanda rolled her lips inward, mentally thinking of her human girlfriends who would love to know something like that. It wouldn't make a Vulcan female popular on earth, but the Vulcan man would be the hottest new commodity.
"There. You are dressed. Will you remove the towel from you hair now?"
Sarek was looking over a PADD of official business when T'Shon entered, "Osu Sarek, Amanda is dressed and ready for the dinner I told her to be here at 18:30 hours as you requested."
"And what of the information I asked you to acquire?"
"She is not mated and expressed that she has not had time to find a mate due to the nature of the project and its consumption of time. Osu, she is very emotional, but she declared me to be endearing so perhaps she has a fondness for our kind."
"You have done well, T'Shon. You are dismissed."
Amanda walked over to the Vulcan section of the farm feeling a lot silly. She felt like she was wearing some kind of costume, a cross between the hieroglyphics she studied in Egypt and some kind of Geisha. It was beautiful, she couldn't deny that, but not at all…human. She was glad it was meal time and her colleagues were in the dining hall already. She didn't care what they thought, but she didn't need their lip service either.
There were two guards standing outside of Sarek's door who when she approached they parted for her without her saying anything. "I guess, I am expected, "she said softly pushing open the heavy cherry wood door.
Sarek was sitting at the table reading a PADD when she entered, "Am I early? Amanda asked softly not sure if she should disturb him.
"A few minutes, but I appreciate your punctuality." He stood and pulled out a chair for her, "It is a human custom for a man to offer a woman a chair. Have I done it properly?"
Amanda smiled, "Yes, Ambassador, thank you." She sat and looked, there were only two places set. "Won't T'Shon be joining us?"
"No. She is on her way back to Vulcan with her son to be with her bond mate for the next two weeks. We will be dining alone, but if you are worried about propriety the guards are stationed outside for your protection, not mine."
This is awkward yet again, she thought, watching a pair of Vulcans entering placing all their food and drink before them, and then promptly leaving. Sarek looked over the fair and then to his guest, "It is Vulcan traditional, I hope it is to your liking." He said snapping his napkin into his lap.
Amanda was thankful there was no meat on the plate, it had been awkward the first Tellerite conference the attended when they served her what suspiciously looked like dog, whole, complete with tagged collar. "It looks delicious, Ambassador. I must ask though, why would I need guards to protect me? "
Sarek watched her discreetly as she picked up her utensils to eat. He made a measured reply, "Because unbounded male Vulcans should never be trusted, Miss Greyson, especially in the company of such an aesthetically pleasing female they intend on making their mate. Would you like some more water?"
Amanda put her fork down in her plate. Shit just got real.