Eight Years Later- Vulcan
Jamie Lee and Rekar sat in the audience, still and quiet like all others around them. She was a little bit uncomfortable. This third pregnancy was really giving her some trouble.
The couple watched as Giellun walked out on his own, tall and proper, and met the priestess. He bowed once to her and then faced the girl that his mind was about to be tied to. Though she was Jacinda's daughter, in looks she had come out an almost perfect miniature Vulcan Jamie Lee. Her name was T'Nora and this betrothal almost hadn't happened.
Jamie Lee held in her smile as she thought of Jacinda's horrified feelings when she found out all there was to know about Vulcans. Having no one else to tell, she had of course confided it all to her sister. To put the icing on that cake, Jacinda was adamantly against the betrothal process for children.
But a year before, Jacinda was about to walk into the room and stopped short before walking in on a conversation between the visiting Giellun and her daughter, T'Nora:
"I go for my kahs wan next week," the young man said to T'Nora, his friend. They often met after school to do homework together.
"Yes, you are of the proper age," she answered seriously, her mind preoccupied as she continued to work on an equation.
"Would it be permissible to you, if I should survive the test, that perhaps the two of us would be bonded and someday marry?"
T'Nora stopped working and looked at the boy that was a year older than her. "According to law, it is not permitted for me to bond until I am seven years of age. You would have to wait one year until I am old enough."
He seemed to think about that for a few seconds before deciding, "That is agreeable to me. I cannot see becoming bonded to another. It is the reason I ask now."
She sat there at first and didn't speak. "I do not know the reason, but it does not seem correct- you bonding to another," she admitted. "You do not work well with others."
Giellun restrained the desire to balk at her assessment of the situation. But she was correct. The others, already he could tell that their parents merely tolerated his presence. As such, he did not wish to be around them. But she, her parents, her grandparents, they never treated him as such. "Then it is settled. We shall allow the priestess put us together and then marry when we are older."
"Yes, it is agreeable to me." She seemed to stop short, then. "It is not agreeable to my mother."
The two young people sat there, thinking this over for a few seconds. "You have a year to convince her otherwise," was all he was able to come up with.
She gave him a half smile as her eyes turned almost cheerful. "Shall we go and speak with your uncle Spock and my father now? He will speak with my aunt Jamie and then she and father will convince mother, I am certain of it."
He stood quickly. "Yes, that is a logical option!"
Jamie Lee found herself suppressing a major case of the grins thinking of the conversation Jacinda had told her about. She hadn't had to, after all, talk her sister into anything. The scheming children had done it all on their own and hadn't even realized it.
They had picked one another. It was against tradition to do such a thing, but Spock saw no reason to not allow it. And Jacinda had melted at the thought that her daughter already knew her mind. Though T'Nora was adhering to Vulcan norms, she had turned custom on its ear and bent it to her will. That was that girl, through and through, from the time she was old enough to speak. She would do things her way and that was all.
Once the ceremony was over, both clans, T'Nary'Orlon and S'Chn T'Gai, ratified the young people's union in their halls of record.
Soon afterward, however, the families were called to Earth. Their grandfather, Joseph Sisko was very ill and he was asking for them all to come to him.
Jami e Lee was sitting in the hospital waiting room. She was still uncomfortable but doing much better than she had been when she was in Vulcan's heat days before. It was her first time back on Earth for the first time in almost three years. Her twins, four year old boys, had fallen asleep snuggled up on either side of her, their curly heads resting on the swell of her nearly eight month pregnant belly.
Her oldest boy, Jachus, at on the other side of the room, his head close together with his cousin, T'Nora, as they read from a PADD together. Jachus would grin from time to time and it struck Jamie Lee, not for the first time, the irony of the boy's nickname, 'Jake'. He looked nothing like her cousin Jake, was all Rekar in face, body and hair, but he had Jake's personality to a 'T'.
Rekar and Jacinda's husband, Talon, were off to the side speaking with one another. Talon's parents had come, as well, and they were speaking quietly with Jacinda on the opposite side of the room. Jamie Lee had to admit, Talon's parents had done as promised and stepped up for them both.
The original Jake himself walked into the hospital waiting room, then. He saw everyone and tried to put on a smile, but it didn't reach his eyes. "Hey everyone," he greeted. He kept in very regular contact with both families and visited on a regular basis, so he already knew all of the children very well.
"What's happened today?" he asked. "I was here yesterday, but I went home to grab some sleep." He ruffled Jachus' hair and gently tugged on the end of T'Nora's braid in greeting. Both children greeted him in their unique way, the boy laughing a little and the girl greeting him seriously with a formal, "My cousin." But there was a half smile on her face.
"Aunt Judith is in with his doctors now," Jacinda said as she went to her cousin's side and gave him a huge hug.
After returning Jacinda's hug, Jake greeted Rekar, Talon and then Talon's parents, then he went to the still sitting Jamie Lee and kissed her forehead. "Don't get up," he said seriously as he looked down at her stomach. "Again?" he grinned.
She grinned up at him. "Again."
He sat down next to her and took one of the sleeping twins off of the side of her stomach and held him close. Jachus may have come out looking exactly like Rekar, but the twins were a perfect blending of both parents. They had curly hair, very light brow ridges and café au lait colored skin that took on a slight green tinge anytime one of them got sick. "Is it a girl this time?" he asked Jamie Lee referring to her stomach.
"It's finally a girl," she grinned. "And by the way, congratulations. When are you and Korena getting married?" she asked about the Bajoran woman he had introduced his family to during a visit to Bajor a year before.
"We haven't settled on a date yet. We're going back to Bajor to see when her family would be willing to have the wedding, so we'll know then."
Nog showed up within ten minutes of Jake and gave his friend a good long hug. They hadn't seen one another in almost two years at that point, but he had always found his way to Joseph Sisko's restaurant whenever he was on Earth. Everyone was speaking with one another, but then a gradual hush fell over the waiting room.
Jamie Lee and Jacinda's parents, Jacob and Nirmala, walked in. They seemed to be shocked at the amount of people in the waiting room. It was a moment of high discomfort as they looked at all of the grandchildren they did not know. They couldn't tell whose child was whose. Immediately they assumed T'Nora was Jamie Lee's.
Talon's parents, T'Pima and Suvak, stepped forward and introduced themselves. "I am T'Pima," said his mother. "And this is Suvak. We are Talon's parents."
Their parents seemed stumped that the Vulcans had gone directly to them and spoken. "Hello," Jacob said haltingly.
Suvak was not a man of many words, but he knew what needed to be done next as he beckoned to his granddaughter. "Come, T'Nora. Meet your other grandparents."
They could see Nirmala struggling to not cry as the very proper little seven year old approached them. She was the spitting image of Jamie Lee at that age. She was slight and brown with large almond shaped eyes. Her hair was swept back in a long French braid and secured in the middle of her back with an ornate shell tie. Spilling from the end of the secured braid was a long abundance of silken spiral curls. "It is an honor to meet you," the little girl said as she met their expressions full on.
They didn't know what to think as they looked down at the little proper Vulcan version of one of their daughters and realized she was Jacinda's. They looked over at that daughter, then. Jacob swallowed tremulously as he saw that Jacinda still had a look in her eyes as if she were perfectly willing to not say one word to them.
They looked at Jake, then, holding a sleeping little boy that resembled him very strongly and the boy's twin was asleep on their other daughter's very pregnant belly.
Jake got up, then, and brought over the twin he was holding. He gave his aunt and uncle a kiss and hug each as he held the child between them. The boy squirmed and began to awaken a little. He gave his grandparents an accusing glare and then planted his face into Jake's neck, snuggled up and went back to sleep.
"This is Beren," said Jake. And he pointed over at the other twin, "And that's Ellesar." They both looked like they were in a daze as they stood there, looking back and forth at both boys. Jake then pointed at his namesake with a huge grin. "That one there, Jachus, we all call him 'Jake' after me. These are all Jamie Lee and Rekar's boys." He smiled as if years had not gone by since the couple hadn't spoken to the two girls. "She's finally having a girl now," he whispered.
Their Aunt Judith came out then. "He wants to see you all now."
"Everyone?" asked Jacob.
Joseph Sisko lay in his hospital bed. His energy was spent. The operation from a month before had not been a success, after all and he knew he was dying. But he had had a long and well-lived life.
His family were now gathered all around him. His other son, Levi, had been to see him the day before and said his good-byes. He wasn't good with crowds of people, even if they were his family. They all understood. Levi Sisko just didn't function that way.
Joseph looked around the room at each of them. "My family," he half whispered falteringly, "so good to see you all together," he said as his eyes drifted between Jacob and Nirmala, then at Jamie Lee and Jacinda. "Family is family. Stay together. That's all."
He looked over at Judith, "Keep tabs on my restaurant, you hear? Jake will see to it, too. Levi will go in and cook on the weekends." He looked at Nirmala, "Don't be mixing in them southeast Asian spices with my stuff, Nirmala," he grinned weakly.
The woman who never cried had tears in her eyes. "You know you like them," she joked a little.
"I do." He seemed to backtrack. "Shux, just the curry. Add some curry dishes to the menu. The customers will like it."
Most of them laughed a little, but half of them were in tears already. He looked over at T'Pima and Suvak. "You two were good to my girls. You proved us wrong about so much. None of us expected it, but that's what we got. And that's what we get for assuming. From the bottom of this flawed human heart, thank you for that."
"It was our honor," Suvak said in all truth.
He turned to Nog, "Keep on bucking those stereotypes, boy. You've gone far already. You'll keep going far."
Nog was only able to nod rapidly in response, unable to say one word, he was so close to losing it.
"To my great-grandchildren. Beautiful, beautiful children," he said as his eyes closed a little and he gathered his strength. "You will all go far. Listen to your parents, but when it's time to grow up, be your own people, you hear?" he asked as his eyes opened and he looked especially at T'Nora and then Jachus.
Both children nodded solemnly. "We promise," said Jachus sadly as he leaned back into Rekar and bowed his head.
Jospeh smiled up at Rekar. "You have been good to our Jamie Lee." He looked at Talon, "And you to our Jacinda. Both of you were good to our girls. It's been more than an honor to have you as kin."
Both men nodded as Talon said for them both, "It has been our honor, as well."
He looked at Jamie Lee and Jacinda then. "You two. Good girls. You were always good. You're good women now, good mothers, good professionals in your fields, never forget that. I want you cooking at the restaurant, though, whenever you get a chance to stop here on Earth. Whenever that is. I just want a Sisko in the kitchen," he complained on a tiny laugh and then began to cough a bit.
His eyes turned to Jake. "My Jake," he smiled weakly. "Take care of yourself and that beautiful fiancée. Have lots of children if you can, you hear?"
"Yeah, grandpa, I hear," he said as tears burned down his face.
"I only wish-" were Joseph's next words. But he didn't utter them. He sighed resignedly. "I thought I'd stopped wishing for that. But I guess a parent never would," he said almost to himself.
The door to the hospital room began to crack open slowly then. All of the Sisko's in the room gasped with wide eyes as Benjamin walked in, Kassidy at his side and an almost eight year old little Lisa snuggled up in his arms as if he had never left.
Jake was at his side immediately, being hugged by him and his little sister at the same time. "Dad," he sobbed into his chest.
"I'm here now," said Benjamin as he held his son close and ran a hand over his hair. "I'm not going anywhere again. Not for a long time." Just like the old days, he kissed Jake on his head and then looked down into his eyes with the hugest grin.
Benjamin made the rounds and hugged the sobbing hot mess that both Jacinda and Jamie Lee had become. He made sure to give Nog a good long hug as well.
He leaned over his father and kissed his face. "Dad, I came to see you off."
Joseph's face was now truly lined with tears. "I knew you might. I hoped you would, anyway."
"Don't worry about the restaurant," Benjamin joked. "I'll be in the kitchen every day from now on." The two men laughed lightly at that. "I feel like I just saw you yesterday," Benjamin whispered down to Joseph. "If it had been up to me, I would never have left."
"I know, son. I know." He finally breathed easily as he said, "I told those Prophets of yours… I saw them, you know, during my surgery last month. I said, 'Take me instead and give my boy back to his children.' I guess the answer was 'yes'."
Benjamin shook his head as he held in his grief and consternation. "You were always stubborn, old man."
Joseph's smile was half disappearing. "Just hug an old man, will you, son?"
Benjamin lifted his father up into a sitting position as he sat on his bed and hugged him close to his chest for one last time.
The day of Joseph's the funeral, the family got together later in the day at the restaurant for the wake. Jamie Lee was standing there holding Ellesar's hand. He was definitely a mama's boy and he almost never left her side. He was the one that gave his father 'looks' when he put his arms around his wife. It had happened on several occasions when he was just learning to talk. Rekar would sit with Jamie Lee, put his arm around her or hug her close and a little body would wiggle himself between them both declaring, "MY mommy!"
Rekar would grin down at the tiny face and declare, "MY wife!" Then he would tickle the boy until he screamed and laughed and their beef was done for the time being.
"Ellesar, why don't you go and see what your brothers are up to?" she asked her son that day.
He looked up at her, the question of, 'Are you sure?' in his face.
"Go ahead," she encouraged softly and let his hand go. He walked away from her almost timidly and went to where his brothers were eating and joined them.
Jamie Lee saw Jacinda coming toward her. The sisters stood together for a short time and looked over at where Benjamin was sitting next to Jake with little Lisa perched on his lap, Kassidy glued to his side. "I can't believe he came back," whispered Jacinda. "I couldn't sleep that first night for not believing he was back."
"Me either," Jamie Lee admitted. "It feels like a wonderful dream I've wanted for so long wrapped up in a horrible nightmare with grandpa gone. I'm afraid if I go to sleep, he'll leave again."
Jacinda swallowed back tears. "Yeah," she only just got out. And then they saw their parents coming toward them. "Oh brother," muttered Jacinda. Both girls were cautious as to what would happen next.
Jacob and Nirmala stood there with them for a few seconds as neither side said one word. Jacinda was still angry, but Jamie Lee just didn't know what to say. Nirmala then pointed at Jamie Lee's stomach. "How have you been feeling this time around?"
She almost smiled for a second, but this still felt strange. "Okay today. Sick usually, but-" she was going to say that when she felt ill, Rekar took good care of her and T'Pima sometimes came and took care of the children. But she didn't know if that was a good idea to mention that so casually to her mother. It should be easier than this, shouldn't it?
"It must have been hard for you girls having the babies with no one to help," said Nirmala, looking sorry about the past.
Jacinda shot out, "No! My mother-in-law T'Pima helped me when I had Nora. And when Jamie Lee went into labor with the twins, T'Pima and Suvak hauled it over to Romulus and took care of Jachus for an entire month!"
It was very obvious that Jacinda was still really angry with them. The four of them then stood there in an uncomfortable silence. Then Jamie Lee took Jacinda's hand. "It's okay," she whispered to her. She looked at her parents. "It's okay. We're going to be all right. It will take time, but it will be fine."
They saw that Jamie Lee had changed substantially. She seemed to have calmed down a great deal. They didn't know if being a mother or being married to Rekar had done that to her.
"How can you say that?" asked Jacinda, still angry.
She looked at her. "If there's anything I've learned from being in contact with Spock on a regular basis, is there's no use holding onto these things. Let it go."
Her parents stood there with them, terribly uncomfortable and silent as they watched the girls talk this out. "Why should they get off so easily?" asked Jacinda. "Why should I give them what they want so quickly?"
"It isn't for them," Jamie Lee said as she shook her head. "It's for you." She sighed deeply with a half smile. "Now if you will excuse me, I have yet another 'potato head' resting on my bladder. Nature calls."
The day after the funeral, Jamie Lee stood looking out at her boys playing with their cousin Jake on the lawn of the estate Rekar always rented when they went to Earth. Comfort and Bea had come over with lots of food so she wouldn't have to cook.
Little Lisa and T'Nora were pacing around the lawn together, conversing. Most of Bea's six children were there with her, only one, her daughter Bianca, had stayed behind at home. As for Bea, she was pregnant yet again and this time Comfort was holding her own child in her arms. The little girl had fallen asleep on the spot after having eaten lunch. Comfort was pregnant with her second child at that time, but not yet showing.
Jamie Lee went and sat down with Bea, Comfort and Jacinda. She could hear Koval, Letant and Rekar in the next room discussing the burgeoning chocolate trade on Romulus.
Talon and his parents had gone to the Vulcan embassy to visit with Ambassador Spock who had made a surprise visit to Earth.
Just as the ladies began to truly get into their conversation, they could hear the clomping footsteps and loud vocal protests of one of their children as they entered the house. "Mom!" Beren was shouting. "Jachus hit me in the head with a basketball and it made me fall down into the bushes!"
"It was an accident!" the older boy insisted as he chased behind his little brother.
Both boys seemed to be rushing into the room to tell their side of the story. The little four year old Beren's curly hair was in a crazy tangle since he didn't like to have it combed. There also happened to be leaves and twigs hanging out of it.
"Boys," said their father as he stuck his head in the room. "I told you not to bother your mother for now."
"But dad-" Beren went to protest.
Just as Rekar was about to make both boys leave the house, Bea's sixteen year old boys both entered then, also complaining, "Mom! Bretant punched me in the head!"
"I did not!" his twin insisted.
Letant was the one, then, chastising, "Boys, I told you not to add additional stress to your mother while she is pregnant. And think of your aunt Jamie Lee, too!"
"But they're always pregnant!" protested Lentak.
"Oh my goodness," Comfort shook her head. "Is this what I have to look forward to?" she asked Jami e Lee.
"I'm afraid so."
"Isn't it so worth it?" Bea asked Jamie Lee.
She nodded, happy, as she looked out at all of her family and friends that had come over that day. "It sure is."
A/N - I want to thank everyone who came along on this ride with me and enjoyed themselves. This story was made to lift my spirits and I guess it kind of worked! I'm ready to go back to my other stories.
I wanted several things at the end of this story to be okay but other things to still be in tatters a little with the hope that they might get better (or might not) for all parties involved, meaning the situation with the parents. That, I've learned, is just life.