Pleasant People, Poisonous People
by Satin Ragdoll
Joanna was nervous. Her father was taking her to meet his new wife, "Are you sure this is such a good idea, Dad? I'm not the easiest person to get along with, you know. What if she doesn't like me?"
McCoy smiled, "She'll like you. She liked me, didn't she? And in this case, like father, like daughter. Thank goodness!"
Joanna laughed. Her mother, Jocelyn, could be difficult. How well she knew.
Yolanda II was a very pleasant planet, lush and green. Leonard had taken Joanna to one of the public parks, first. He couldn't help himself. There, in the center, was a life-size marble statue of himself. Joanna elbowed him, gently, "Nobody here has a big head, do they?" He laughed, "After all, I was instrumental in saving them."
Natira was waiting for them. She held out her arms, "Welcome back, my husband!" They embraced. Joanna wanted to roll her eyes, but she just smiled. She hadn't seen her dad this happy in a while. It was good to see.
McCoy took Joanna's arm and led her forward, "My dear, this is Joanna, my daughter."
Natira smiled at her warmly before embracing her, "I am honored to meet the daughter of my husband. It would please me if you let me consider you my daughter, as well."
Joanna teared up a little. Warmth and welcome. How nice to have those things, without the accompanying drama. How very nice.
McCoy had left them alone to talk. Joanna looked at the older woman and raised a brow over ice-blue eyes, "So, it was love at first sight for you?"
Natira nodded. "Yes. It was. He was a stranger to me, but something in his manner touched my heart."
Joanna smiled, "Yeah. My dad can be a real charmer. I'm glad it wasn't just because he was ill. A lot of women have this thing where they fall for sick or dying men. I guess it's a need to be needed."
Natira laughed gently, "I felt none of this. I was already needed, being high priestess to my people. His kind words, his gentle manner, his bright intelligence and his sharp, blue eyes are what drew me to him."
Joanna raised her brow again, "My father isn't always gentle. He can get very riled up at times."
Natira lowered her eyes, "So I have found, but he has never gotten violent. I have found that time, and a gentle voice are usually enough to get him to calm down. Plus, a drink known as a 'mint julep' does wonders as well."
Joanna chuckled. Natira did know her father well. Then she sobered, "Natira, do me a favor, please."
Natira's brows drew down a touch, "What do you require of me, my daughter?"
Joanna sighed, "Never, ever make contact with my mother."
Natira shook her head, "I do not understand. Would not knowing your mother help me to understand your father better?"
The younger woman bit her lips, "Look, when they were divorcing, it was bad. First, it was fire. Then, it was ice." She looked at the sky, "Dad had space. He had his medicine, plus his ship and his crewmates. He had a way he could drain at least some of the tension off." She looked into Natira's eyes, "My mother had none of that. All of her emotion just went inside and started to eat her alive. It turned to poison, and the poison is still there."
Joanna looked at the floor, "I have had to be very strict with Mom. We do not talk about Dad, not at all. I won't allow it. Because if she starts, she will pour out as much of that poison as she can. She doesn't care who it falls on. If she found out you love him, and you show any weakness at all, she will pour it all over you. She will do it to hurt you both."
Joanna put her hands on Natira's arms, "I like you. You're pleasant people. My mother, she's not pleasant people. She's poisonous people. What you have with my dad is good. It's so warm! I don't want anything to spoil it for you. So just stay away from her, okay?"
Natira smiled, "My daughter, do not worry. As priestess, I have seen many poisonous people. I know of that which you speak. It is a sad, sad thing but I know well there is nothing I could do to ease her pain, or her poison. I will stay away."
They hugged and that is when McCoy came back in. He took them in and grinned, "Now, that's good to see! What were you two discussing?"
Joanna grinned back, "Pleasant people and poisonous people and how much we both love you!" With that she threw her arms around his neck and covered his cheeks with kisses, while Natira just laughed. It was nice to have a family.