Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom.  This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright (c) 2005 by SterJulie.  Rated G.


Open House

Ster Julie


Passing the great faux-glass windows at the front of the building, Amanda caught a reflection of herself being pulled into the daycare center by a very eager son.  She laughed inwardly at the comical sight of her bright blue gown (Spock's favorite) flapping behind her as she was rushed into the school.


"Please hurry, Mommy," Spock urged.  "We are late already."


"We are not late, Baby," she cooed as she came to a stop in front of the door.  '''Open House' means that the doors will be unlocked during a specific time and that we may come and go as we please.  We are not late."


Spock couldn't grasp the idea.  Vulcan doors were never locked and if an event was supposed to start at a certain time, all participants were expected to be there from the beginning.  Spock dragged open the door and said, "C'mon, Mommy!"


Amanda shook her head ruefully and entered the daycare center with her zealous son.


"I see you were dragged here early, too," a warm, lilting voice sounded.


Amanda turned towards the speaker and found herself eye to eye with a stunning African woman.  Amanda's eyes were drawn to the robes the woman sported.  They were made of a rich, deep red cloth embossed with gold stars and crescent moons.  The woman was adorned with hammered gold jewelry and sported a small girl on one leg.


"I am Penda Uhura," the woman said, extending her hand to Amanda, "and this child clutching at me is my daughter Nyota."


"I am pleased to meet you, Penda," Amanda replied.


Spock remembered his manners and stepped forward before Amanda could continue.


"Peace and long life, " he said extending his small hand in the ta'al.  "I am Spock cha Sarek cha Skon, and this is my mother, Amanda Grayson, aduna Sarek cha Skon cha Solkar."


Penda's gaze dropped to the small Vulcan boy in surprise then back up to Amanda.


"My husband is the Vulcan ambassador to Earth," Amanda supplied.


Penda nodded.  She extended her hand to Spock, saying, "That was some introduction, young man.  I am very pleased to meet you."


Spock hid shyly behind his mother and just turned large dark eyes at the woman and her offending hand.


"Vulcan's are touch telepaths," Amanda whispered.  "They do not like to be touched."


Penda nodded again.


Nyota, for her part, clutched at her mother's legs like a shield.


"Come out here, Nyo," Penda urged in her own tongue, "no one is going to eat you!" but Nyota only pulled back farther.


Amanda listened to the woman speaking and crouched down to eye level with the tiny girl.


"Jambo, Nyota Uhura!" Amanda said pleasantly.


Nyota popped her head out behind her mother's knees in shock.


"Jambo, Missus!" she replied in a sweet little voice.  "You speak Swahili!"


Amanda shrugged.  "Only a little."


"I speak Swahili!" Nyota said happily, "and Ebo and French, and Arabic, and Standard, 'course, and..."


"And you will talk our heads off if we let you!" Penda chided playfully, tousling the girl's hair affectionately.


"My!" Amanda declared, "that is a lot of languages.  What do you do with all those languages?"


"I talk to my friends." Nyota replied, "and I help them talk to each other."


Amanda smiled.  She had found a kindred soul!


"Ah," Amanda remarked, "you are a communicator."


Nyota wrinkled her nose.  "A com-moo-nicator is a talk box," she complained.  "I'm not a talk box!"


Amanda smiled gently.  "Indeed, you are not that kind of communicator," she agreed with the girl, "but anyone that helps two people speak to each other helps them to communicate.  Isn't that what you do when you help your friends to talk to each other?"


Nyota nodded.  She sneaked a peek at Spock who was standing quietly next to the two mothers.


"Madame, j'aime votre fils," Nyota confided to Amanda.  (Ma'am, I love your son.)


Penda's eyes widened at her daughter's declaration of love for the Vulcan boy.


Amanda looked down at her son and back at the little girl.  "Vraiment?" (Really?)


"Oui," Nyota responded.  "Je le trouve beau." (Yes.  I think he's cute.)


Spock noticed that his mother and his classmate were speaking in some foreign language about him! "Tu veux dire que tu l'aimes," Amanda clarified, "en tant qu'ami." (You mean you like him, as a friend.)


Spock grew nervous at the exchange of words, of the looks his mother and the girl were giving him, of Nyota almost predatory smile.


"Non," she corrected, "je l'aime." (No, I love him.)


Amanda was amused at the girl's insistence.  "Mais vous êtes si jeunes!" (But you are both so young!)


Nyota shrugged.  "Ça ne me dérange pas," she said. "Tu lui diras pour moi?" (It's okay.  Will you tell him for me?)


Amanda nodded solemnly.  "Je lui diras," she promised.  (I will tell him.)


Nyota gave Spock a look that made him pull back behind his mother's skirt.  "Puis-je lui donner un baiser?" she asked sweetly.  (May I kiss him?)


"Nyota!" her mother scolded.  Amanda held up a hand to the other woman.


"Il n'aimerait pas ça," she responded firmly.  (He would not like that.)


Nyota thought a moment before asking, "Puis-je lui donner un baiser quand nous serons plus vieux?" (May I kiss him when we are older?)


Amanda shrugged.  "Peut-être," she answered.  (Maybe then.)


Nyota's brilliant smile returned.  "D'accord," she said brightly.  "Merci." (Okay.  Thank you.)


"De rien," Amanda replied, bemused.  (You are welcome.)


Nyota took Penda's hand and dragged her mother to the art display in the corner of the room.


Spock tugged insistently on Amanda's robes until she knelt and came to his eye-level.  He folded his arms crossly in front of himself and demanded, "What did you say about me?"


Amanda smiled gently.  "Nyota said that she likes you very much," she replied.


"And what else?" Spock queried.


"She thinks you're cute," Amanda said with a twinkle.


Spock pulled himself up to his full height.  "I don't want to be cute," he intoned.  "I want to be Vulcan."


Amanda laughed with delight.  "Oh, Baby, I can think of at least two very cute Vulcans," she said as she tickled him.


Spock wiggled and pushed his mother's hands away.


"Did you tell her to stop kissing me?" he asked.


Amanda froze.  "She kissed you before?" she asked.  "When did she kiss you?"


Spock lowered his head in shame.  "When you had to come here 'cuz I was crying."


Amanda remembered the night terror Spock had suffered during naptime, one so bad that she and Sarek had to come and calm him down.  Amanda reached out and pulled her son's chin up.


"That was a long time ago," she whispered.  Amanda noticed that just the memory of that nightmare was enough to unsettle Spock.  A change of subjects was in order, so Amanda stood, took Spock's hand and led him to the Science display.  "I told Nyota that you would not like to be kissed," she said as they crossed the room.


Spock's relief was palpable.  "Good," he sighed.  "Now, maybe you can talk to Chrissy for me and tell her the same thing."


Amanda's surprised, delighted laughter filled the daycare center.