Disclaimer. Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the creation and property of Mistress V and is copyright 2006 by Mistress V. Rated R.

 

This Is Us: A Wedding Story

Mistress V

 

"Sarek, where are you?" Amanda asked again, tapping her foot somewhat impatiently.

She looked at her son, so handsome in his dress uniform, standing in their kitchen. For a moment, she saw the little toddler, caught in the act of stealing a treat from the cookie jar. Then she saw the small boy who had just come home from school for the first time, his heart heavy with the taunts his classmates had piled upon him in a most un-Vulcan way. The youthful man-to-be, intent on his career in Starfleet, his face devoid of the pain he was obviously feeling. The different son, home from an interrupted attempt at Kohlinar, determined to make his future for himself. And the son she had just seen the other afternoon, kissing his fiancee with quite a bit of ardor in between searching for a pre-endmeal snack, oblivious to her and Sarek's presence.

She sighed. "SAREK!"

Knowing this tone all too well, Sarek hurried to join them.

"We'll be late, what on earth were you doing?" she asked in her best schoolteacher's reprimand.

"My apologies, I was just taking care of last minute details. Are we that tardy?" he replied.

Spock took over the conversation, as placid as ever. "The ceremony begins in 1.37 hours, so no, we are in plenty of time." He activated his communication device. "Spock to Enterprise."

"Enterprise, Dillon here."

"Three to beam up, Mr. Dillon."

* * *

 

"Now sit there and relax, Miss Chapel," Kala instructed. "This is one of the last times we can call you that, right, Ny?"

Nyota nodded as she sipped some more of the fruit punch Pauulu had supplied to the spa. "In another few hours, her life, as she knows it, will never be the same," she sighed. "Poor thing."

"NYOTA!" Christine's voice came from the treatment table she lay prone upon. "I swear, I will kill you for this." But she succumbed instead to the attendant's makeup application.

"Now we need to go meet the guests, we'll be back soon," Kala said. "Whatever you do, don't let Spock in here. He can't see her before the ceremony."

"Affirmative," Lt. Singh, the yoga instructor cum makeup artist (with talent for both, in addition to being a serving botanist) replied with a smile. "He will not set one centimeter of his foot in that door."

"Let's go greet the VIP's." Nyota opened the spa's door and looked around. "He's nowhere to be seen, time to make a run for it!"

"He's not even on board yet," Christine laughed.

"It never hurts to be sure."

* * *

 

Kirk moved forward to greet Ambassador Sarek. "It is good to see you again, sir, Lady Amanda." He looked at his first officer. "You, too, Spock, are you ready?"

"Indeed, Captain, I am. Now if you could see my parents to where they need to go, I must take my things to quarters." He indicated the small overnight bag he carried. "I shall see you in the chapel."

"Lady Amanda, I believe Commander Uhura here will escort you to the spa for a few moments, and I would be pleased to take charge of the Ambassador. Shall we?"

Just as the doors whooshed shut, the transporter hummed once more. A moment later, Worf, K'a'tya and Mogh appeared on the platform.

"NuqneH and welcome!" Kala said to the guests, who were as splendidly attired as she was, a far cry from the casual attire everyone had sported just the evening before.

"Qatlho'," Worf replied. "It is a great day for a joining."

"Hello, Kala, I am looking forward to your magical touch," K'a'tya said a little shyly. She was dressed in a stunning red satin gown, with recently purchased, Vulcan-made gold earrings and necklace shimmering against her dark skin. Like Worf and Mogh, her family's Tuq Hu'quj was proudly displayed across her outfit.

"You look wonderful already," Kala complimented her sincerely. "But a quick pit stop is always a good thing. Come with me." She looked over at Ensign Pauulu. "We'll see you in a half hour at the spa?"

Pauulu nodded. "Worf, Mogh, I am Mr. Pauulu," the Ensign said. "Spock has asked me to see to your needs before the ceremony. After the wedding and reception, I'll be giving you a tour of the hydroponic bays and the arboretum, but for now, how about a quick trip to the observation deck?" He looked at Mogh. "Are you the botanist who grew the Klin-ta plant I am caring for?"

"I am," Mogh replied proudly, "but my Father assisted me."

"It's a healthy specimen." Pauulu's eyes were twinkling. "And later you can both tell me the best way to ensure it grows large and strong."

"Where are you from?" Mogh asked honestly.

Pauulu leaned down. "My family is from Tahiti, on Terra. It's an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean."

"An island? Is it warm there?" Mogh's natural curiosity was always at the surface of his personality.

"It sure is, very humid too. We grow lots of interesting things there, like coconuts and pineapples. I'll show you later, we have some plants here in the arboretum."

"He is of the lands that the Terran sea Captain Cook visited, Mogh," Worf offered. "Remember your history studies?"

"You are? Cosmic!" Mogh said. He, like every Klingon student (and likely students of every other race in the quadrant), knew that the desire to explore the galaxy's seas had eventually led to space journeys. The final frontier.

"Yep, and I can tell you about the route he took, too," Pauulu replied, glad to share some of his native history. "Let's head to the observation deck, shall we?"

* * *

 

"Your Tuq Ha'quj is fine," K'a'tya said to Kala as they entered the spa. "You are which tuqnlgh?"

"My father is of the Tuq of Koth," Kala replied as she seated the woman in a comfortable treatment chair and began to work on her hair. "Are you planning to wear your headpiece now, or for later?"

"Later," K'a'tya told her. "So you can make me beautiful then." A giggle passed her lips. "I feel like a maiden again. This was my Oath-taking gown."

"It's just gorgeous."

Amanda, who was giving her own hairstyle a last check, looked over. "The color suits you so well, K'a'tya. I'll bet you were a beautiful bride. How long have you been married to Worf?"

"Twelve of your solar years," K'a'tya sighed. "But it seems like just yesterday when I wore this dress for the first time." She looked back at Kala. "The Tuq of Koth you said? That is a house of mech."

"It is," Kala stated as she deftly pulled the woman's tresses into a simple updo. "He was the captain of a suy duj that called at Celeba Colony on a regular basis. That is how he met my mother."

"Really?"

Kala could tell she had an interested audience, so she continued. "His ship had a cargo of excellent Terran wines, from the California states, that he had apparently won in a poker game from some Ferengi. My mother, a Federation bureaucrat, needed several cases for a banquet the Federation protectorate office was holding. According to my father, she marched herself into the spaceport bar and went looking for him to strike the best deal possible. My father was, after all, a merchant first."

Amanda and K'a'tya looked at each other then back at Kala. "What happened?"

Kala blushed and laughed. "My father claims he got exactly what he wanted -- the fairest price for his goods, and a beautiful wife into the bargain."

"And a beautiful daughter," K'a'tya said. "You are indeed Klin-tai."

"Thanks," Kala mumbled. From a full-blooded Klingon woman, this was a real compliment.

"And your parents, what became of them? Are they still on Celeba?" Amanda recognized the similarities of her own marriage here, even more so in this case. A Klingon and a Terran -- that was quite a match. But it was obvious to her that Klingon women often wore the trousers, based on the ones she had met.

"Mother has accepted a consulting job in New York," Kala replied. "And Father just opened the Klub Klin."

"At the New York spaceport?" K'a'tya was quite impressed. The bar had only recently begun trading, but its good reputation had already spread to Qo'noS. "I have heard there are excellent Klin Martinis to be had there."

Kala gave her a conspiratorial wink. "I hear a club called Delta's Dawn here in Shi-Kahr has a fairly good version as well."

"And tonight is Lady's Night," Amanda added mysteriously, just as the buzzer sounded.

"Come in!" Kala called.

The doors slid back to reveal Sarek, Ensign Pauulu, Worf and Mogh. "We've come to escort you ladies to the chapel," Pauulu said.

* * *

 

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome," Scotty said as he and Lt. Dillon pulled the chapel doors open for the entourage.

Dillon caught Kala's eye and winked. "Beautiful," he whispered as she passed by on Pauulu's arm.

* * *

 

"He's been here," Christine remarked as Nyota gave her hair the final once-over. "There's his stuff." She pointed to Spock's overnight bag that sat next to the bed.

"For heaven's sake, Chris, you're not going to be beaming down there in dress uniforms, you have to change again anyway. " She slapped Christine's back gently. "You silly woman. You'll be married, the next time he's in here. Now let's get your flowers ready."

Christine looked at herself in the mirror. Apart from the earrings, which were, she had to admit, a knockout, she looked just like she would for any ceremonial occasion. Then Nyota handed her the bouquet of delicate tropical flowers Pauulu had arranged for her.

"I look like a bride," she whispered to her reflection.

"You sure do, honey," Nyota replied. "I am so happy for you, baby. See, I told you, and not that long ago. The time just had to be right. And it's now.

The doorbell chimed. "Come in?" Christine said.

Dr. M'Benga entered, resplendent in his own dress uniform. ''Ladies, it's about that time."

Nyota gathered up her own bouquet and walked out ahead of them. Christine looked at herself in the mirror one more time, her last view of herself as a single woman.

"Let's go," she told M'Benga as she took his arm.

* * *

 

Stark looked at his uncle. "I am ... glad you invited Mom and Dad to stay with you." He sipped the strong Vulcan Mocha they had made in the stillness of the predawn kitchen. "This is great stuff. Maybe I'll serve it at the cafe?"

The dawn had just begun to break, promising a warm day. Birds sang here and there in the garden's lushness. Apart from the two men speaking, all else was silent.

"Your grandmother taught me how to make it when I was beginning my studies at University. She said the correct combination of chocolate and coffee made the perfect tasting beverage, and I favor this still. I shall give you the recipe. It would ... honor your grandparent's memory to serve it at your facility."

Stark took another sip of his coffee and decided to jump in. His father, a Deltan, had no qualms about doing just that in most things. "Tell me, uncle. Tell me about my grandfather. I know it must be painful for you to look at me -- I've seen his holo. He looks just like me." He paused. "Apart from the hair, I guess."

"Your grandfather also had hair issues, Stark." His uncle's mouth twisted upward at a corner, as if he was remembering a long-buried image. "His passion for the sea gave him much the same coloring as you have. The sun and the seawater bleached his tresses in the hotter months and he looked almost as you do. Though he did not quite favor the red streaks you also sport. He did enjoy what the Terrans called surfing, both the longboard and the sailboard variety. Your grandmother, on the other hand, was an avid snorkeler. She documented much of the sealife that inhabits the seas surrounding K'lan-ne Xir'tan."

"So the sport part passed on to me, I guess? Maybe I should show you the holo they sent me? The one before he and Gran went on the Intrepid? It might give you an idea of why I have so many questions."

"That would be good," his uncle replied. For a moment, he was silent, looking out at the horizon, lost in his memories. Then he turned back to his nephew. "Stark, as difficult as this may be for you to understand, or for me to say, I am ... sorry. You were made to feel at fault for that which had nothing to do with you. It was myself to blame. When your grandparents perished, I spent the next years buried in my thoughts of what might have been ... had I not been so illogical. I blamed myself, I blamed your mother. It was a time of darkness that lasted many foolish years. And then I saw your victory at Polaris and it was as though my parents were there watching with your Ezyet and I. We were so pleased for you, and the sight of your face, looking so much like your grandfather, made me think again. And so here we are."

"Stark?" A male voice interrupted their dialog. Stark looked over to see his father's familiar figure walking towards them. "Good morning, Salmu."

"It is a good morning, my brother-in-law. What has you up so early?"

"I am warp-lagged and badly in need of coffee. Can you help me find some?" Stark's father, D'aav, was the typically handsome Deltan male -- tall, muscular and bald. Stark had inherited his height and frame, but his mother's tresses, a fact he was secretly grateful for. Chicks dug hair, he had found out. Even Miss Prissy T'Lara.

"It would be my honor," Salmu replied. "Stark and I were just discussing the finer points of a good Vulcan Mocha."

* * *

 

Christine looked at M'Benga. The doors had closed behind Nyota's entrance and now they were waiting for their cue.

"Well, Chris, this is it," he said simply.

"Aye, Doctor," Scotty echoed. "Are ye ready?"

"Yes," Christine honestly replied.

"Then let's go, laddie." Scotty addressed Dillon, who was lost in his own daydreams of a certain beautiful woman he was falling for. "On three."

"1-2-3..." and the doors swung open, only this time, it was no rehearsal. Spock and McCoy were there waiting for her with Nyota, and Jim was at the lectern, a broad smile on his face.

As if in a dream, Christine let herself be led down the aisle. She saw guests filling the facility to capacity, and smiled in acknowledgment, but all she was really aware of was the man waiting for her at the altar.

E'tum.

* * *

 

Kirk began.

"From the days of the first wooden ships, it has been the privilege of the Captain of a vessel to unite those who wish to marry." He paused to regard the couple who stood before him.

"In my time, I have married many people. But today, I have the distinct honor of bestowing that status upon not only two of my senior officers, but also two of my friends. So let's get started, shall we? Join hand please."

Christine handed her bouquet to Nyota and let Spock take her hands. His eyes, full of emotion, gazed back at her own.

"Do you, Christine, take Spock as your husband? Will you honor and stand by him, in good times and in bad, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?"

"I do," she replied firmly.

"And do you, Spock, take Christine as your wife? Will you honor and stand by her, in good times and in bad, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, as long as you both shall live?"

"I shall," Spock stated with equal firmness.

Kirk paused. "I don't suppose there's anyone out there who has an objection to this ceremony proceeding?" Silence greeted him. "Just checking, didn't think so. Let's keep going, then."

McCoy handed Spock the ring.

"Repeat after me," Kirk instructed. "Christine, accept this ring as a sign of my love for you and know I shall honor our vows as long as we both shall live."

Spock slid the platinum band onto her finger, re-stating the vows from the depths of his heart.

"And now, by the power vested in me by the Federation, I pronounce you husband and wife..."

He looked at his First Officer, who needed no invitation to kiss his bride.

The audience broke into applause.

* * *

 

"Can I have your attention, please?" Nyota asked. "OK, it's a Terran tradition for the newlyweds to feed each other wedding cake. Well, we decided to do it a little differently this time."

The Quartermaster, known as Cooky, appeared, bearing a plate. On it rested a tiny palm tree, under which a couple stood looking at each other. The male was passably Vulcan, thanks to Kala's artistic expertise. On either side of the couple were two small tartlets.

"It's a long way from the coconut palms in our arboretum to this place," Nyota continued, smiling at the couple before her. "But that's really how it all began, with a coconut. And I should know, I was there. So, instead of traditional boring old wedding cake, some of us got together and baked some coconut cream tarts. Chris, Spock ... would you do the honors?"

Spock held out his hand to his wife and helped her up. They both took a pastry in hand and followed tradition to the letter. Then Spock broke with tradition and planted a soft kiss on his wife's lips.

*Delicious.*

*Uh-huh.*

* * *

 

"I loathe these dress uniforms," Christine sighed as she ran her fingers between the collar and her neck. "I feel like I'm being strangled."

"Yes, I am inclined to agree," Spock replied. He had already unfastened the first snaps of his tunic.

They had just finished seeing his parents off in the transporter room. This was just after they made their first exit of the day. Christine had aimed the bouquet like a rocket, which fell into Kala's surprised grasp right on an invisible cue. In a few short hours, it would be happening all over again on the planet's surface. But not just yet.

The turbolift opened onto Christine's deserted corridor. In a quick moment, Spock had her hoisted in his arms and began walking down the hallway.

"I believe this is the way it is done on Terra? As my mother has instructed me?" His eyebrow raised upwards as he looked at his wife.

"Computer, unlock," Christine replied as the doors to her quarters slid open.

* * *

 

"I am rather surprised at your choice of undergarments." Spock glanced at the knit camisole set that still bore the faint red handprints from the prior day's ardor.

"It's a custom to wear something old. So I am wearing a reminder of the most wonderful day I have ever spent..."

Spock's arms enfolded her closely, his hands sliding down to caress he backside as he loved to do. His eyes were blazing pools by now, full of the passion he showed just to her.

"Touch me ... my .... wife," he whispered.

Her lips nipped at his earlobe as she sank both hands beneath the waistband of his briefs to find him hot, hard, waiting for her caress. He moaned at the contact.

"Let yourself go, Spock ... my husband..." She stroked his length firmly. "For me. You always ask me to lose control. Do this now ... for my pleasure." She murmured against his lips. "Please. Spock, for me. Lose yourself. I love you."

He willingly obliged, pulling her closer still. He stuttered out a combination of Vulcan and English phrases in a jumble of primal sounds, and it soon became obviously he was reaching his summit.

A thought slid across Christine's mind, soft and pleading, almost fearful of asking. *Please ... finish this ... in your...*

She eased him back between the cartons that were everywhere until they both fell across her bed. Her hands took him purposefully as she closed her mouth over the erection that was about to detonate itself.

"YessssssSSSSS!" he gasped.

* * *

 

"This is highly unfair."

"What?" It was a lazy mumble against his furred lower abdomen. Her fingers were lightly playing with his now spent member, which still bore some signs of life.

He drew her up his body and touched her face with his hands. His eyes were passionate once more. "You are still clothed, Christine ... my wife ... and while I have been sated, you are still to be pleased."

"Oh?" She slid across his chest, closer still. "And how would you please me?"

His hands moved above her head, miming a very familiar scenario, while his protruding tongue's action left no doubt to the imagination. "I want you," he whispered as he moved to free her from her garments. His fingers slid low into her warmth, seeking the spot that always made her writhe.

"Oh, Spock, what you do to me," she sighed.

"I have not even begun," he whispered, pulling her up to stand beside him. His fingers continued their ministrations as he kissed her senseless.

Then he dropped to his knees, savoring the journey that was before him. He stopped to rub his face over her curls, a sensation they both enjoyed. "Mos," he said. "So soft."

His mouth journeyed lower, seeking the place he loved to pleasure. "Slor," he growled as he began to lick her nectar. " Sweet, like honey. And it is mine."

* * *

 

"I would love nothing more than to stay here like this for several days," Spock said after awhile. "But we have our bonding ceremony to attend."

"Mmm." Christine was still getting coherent speech back. "I suppose we should get up."

"There is still time to partake of our first official shower as husband and wife, however." He smiled as he held out his hand. "Shall we, my beloved?"

* * *

 

"So how did you meet Worf?" Kala asked as she worked on K'a'tya's more elaborate evening hairstyle while Nyota gave her nails a once-over buff and shape. They felt like they were readying Cinderella for the ball, and it was obvious K'a'tya was enjoying the treat.

"We were students at the Science Institute. I had noticed him -- he was a handsome brute even then -- but apparently my reputation as the niece of one who served a High Council member preceded me. The males in my classes avoided me like a slime devil and called me the Queen of Polaris, which is neither flattering, or true." K'a'tya giggled at the memory.

Kala sighed. "Men are the same everywhere. Most men, that is," she added, thinking of a certain lieutenant. "What they fear they ridicule."

"Amen, my sister," Nyota laughed in agreement.

"Indeed," Lt. Singh added.

"One day, I was conducting an experiment to find a new cure for a plant virus that was affecting much of our most remote outposts near Khitomar. My calculations were incorrect and a messy, noisy explosion ensued. I was covered in a fine white dust, as was much of the lab.

"Worf must have been nearby because he rushed inside almost at once. I was, understandably, furious at my error, so I was not very welcoming of his inquiry as to my welfare."

Nyota raised her eyebrows. "What did you do?"

K'a'tya laughed this time, a delighted smile creasing her pretty features. "I swore at him, a very unflattering oath, I might add. One my uncle had been fond of. Then ... I threw a beaker in his general direction and ordered him out of the lab."

"And what did he do? Isn't that kind of behavior generally meant to indicate a female's willingness to mate?" Kala asked, curious if what her father had told her was true.

A flush colored K'a'tya's face. "In some cases, this is so, yes. But not this time. Worf took me at my word and raced from the lab while I started to clean up. Had I been able to cry, I would have, believe me. I was as you say, livid." This was a reference to a Klingon's lack of tear ducts.

Kala and the others joined in the laughter while she started fitting the traditional Klin ceremonial headpiece onto K'a'tya's elaborate coiffure.

"Poor Worf, he was obviously worried about me despite my anger, because a few moments later, he crept back into the lab. I'd been sitting on the floor, in despair of my project. He sat down next to me and asked if he could not help re-calibrate the data and perhaps the two of us could try the experiment once more."

"Ahhhh," Lt. Singh sighed rapturously. "A gentleman."

"He certainly was helpful. We remained in the lab most of the night until the results pleased us both. And then...he asked me to take the Oath with him. We were joined after we had completed our studies later that year. And we still work together as agriscientists. Although I must admit right now, I feel like anything but a scientist." She looked at her reflection as she got up from the chair. "Qatlho', Kala," she said softly. "We shall always remember the kindness of this visit. And this evening, I am hoping we can all celebrate a little?"

"Definitely," Kala replied. "By the way, your Standard is excellent, K'a'tya, all your family's, I might add. Where did you learn to speak it so well?"

"Ah. Did you think non-Klingonese music, holovids or publications never reach the homeworld? Much of our populace is fascinated by such things, especially ones from Terra. You would be quite surprised at our tastes, but generally, the official 'party line' as was practiced even on Terra years ago, is one of disdain. Of course, we all know better..."

"Oh yes, I can tell you about a little incident involving me, some pizza and a young Klingon Defense Corps cadet, back on Celeba..." Kala began the funny anecdote. Soon feminine bonding laughter filled the spa.

A few moments later, the entry doors whooshed open and Pauulu, Worf and Mogh returned from their extensive, enjoyable tour of the science department.

"K'a'tya...." Worf said as he beheld his wife. "You look ... fetching."

Pauulu knew the look very well. He leaned down to Mogh. "Hey, it's going to be awhile before we get some food down on Vulcan. How 'bout we head to the galley and I see if Cooky can rustle us up a couple of those burritos you liked so much at breakfast?"

"With gwaka-mollie?" Mogh squealed. He had been introduced to the burritos by his father that morning and had made short notice of declaring his fondness for them.

"Let's go, I'm starving too." They passed by Mogh's parents, who were looking at each other as if for the first time. "You might want to take your wife to the observation deck, Worf," Pauulu suggested with a wink. "We'll meet you there in, oh, an hour or so, in time to start beaming down?"

"Yes ... thank you..." Worf murmured as he took his wife's arm. "Come with me, K'a'tya..."

As the doors closed, Kala sighed. "I love happy endings." But in her heart she was a bit worried. Things were going well with Tex. However, she was planning to leave for New York soon and wondered if romance was such a good idea. What really bothered her, though, was her woefully inexperienced state. The men she had dated had largely been curious, all talk and no action. When it came down to things, there had really been nothing. She was a 28 year old virgin. Not entirely inexperienced, but a virgin just the same. Tex would probably laugh out loud if he knew this. Kala pondered her situation.

"How about an ayurvedic neck and shoulder massage for all of us? There is still some time before we must beam down to the planet." Lt. Singh moved to mix some fragrant lotion.

"Just what I need," Kala replied.

"And me," said Nyota.

* * *

 

"Let's go, brownie boy," Christine said as she disengaged the lock on her door. "We can't be late to our kali-fee!"

Spock embraced her from behind. "You persist on using that term," he replied as he nuzzled the back of her neck. "Although it has been some time since we consumed the last of my mother's brownies."

"Maybe you should ask her for some more?" Christine turned to face him, delighting in the fact that he, like she, had chosen to wear the joke t-shirt Leonard had given each of them. Hers read "Property of a Starfleet Science Officer," while Spock's said "Property of a Starfleet Medical Officer."

"We are doing quite well without them," he whispered as he started a kiss filled with sensual promise.

The kiss grew more insistent and Christine pulled back. "Come on, we can't get sidetracked. Your parents are expecting us, you know."

Spock sighed as he picked up their overnight bags. "Let us go, then, you are correct, my wife."

In the elevator, things started heating up once more.

*You are insatiable!*

*So are you, Doctor. But I must state that we have only indulged in the appetizer and I, for one, find myself wanting the main meal.*

They were rescued from further impropriety by the lift's arrival at the transporter room. "I have your coordinates right her, Mr. Kyle," Spock said as he placed their things on the transporter pad then returned to the console. He took Christine's hand and led her up the stairs. Not that surprisingly, he pulled her onto the same pad that he stood on and wrapped his arms around her. It was, he reasoned logically, their wedding day and some interesting behavior was allowed. Best to give the crew something real to talk about, not endless speculation.

"Energize, Mr. Kyle," Spock commanded just before his mouth came down on his wife's.

*Are you insane?*

*I am beaming us to my bedroom, so no, I am quite sane.*

Kyle, who had seen plenty of goings on, even between the couple he had just transported, just stood there, his usually silly grin formed into a small "o".

* * *

 

From the quiet of Spock's bedroom, where Sarek and Amanda had gone to steal a moment of romantic privacy, away from the catering staff that filled the rest of the house, Sarek heard the hum of the transporter beam. He pulled back from the kiss he had just bestowed upon his wife and they watched the light begin to shimmer.

Spock and Christine materialized across the room from them, near the door. Neither was aware of their presence. Sarek's eyebrow raised as he saw his son's hand under Christine's short skirt. It was clear he was making a tactile survey of her posterior, but whether beneath her undergarments or not was not something Sarek wanted to speculate upon.

Their erotic kiss continued for a moment or two before Sarek cleared his throat discreetly. He had expected the couple to jump apart immediately. To his surprise, his son merely opened his eyes and drew his wife against him in a loose embrace.

"Hello children," Amanda began.

"Mother, Father." Spock's reply was his usual calm one.

"We were just checking that all things from your room had been taken to the guest house for this evening," Sarek told them. It is clear this is so, right Aduna?"

"Yes, Sarek." She was trying very hard not to laugh out loud. So, apparently, was Sarek, from what she felt in their link. "Shall we go see to the first guests?"

"Yes, my wife." He turned to the couple. "My son, I shall see you in my study for the pre-ceremony preparations in perhaps thirty minutes or so?"

"Agreed," Spock said, still calm, though his thoughts were clearly elsewhere. He and Christine watched his parent depart.

"Oh my lord," Christine giggled against him.

"Perhaps not a deity, but yes, I must share in your observation." Spock returned to his investigation of her rear end, this time sliding a bit further forward. "If you see that desk there," he indicated with a nod, "it is where I first studied about biological reproduction." He picked her up and moved across his bedroom. "I propose we use it to see if I have retained this information, my wife."

* * *

 

On the observation deck, Worf and K'a'tya sat regarding the view.

"We have so little time for this," he said. "And you are more beautiful now then you were the day I met you."

"My husband, I was covered in dust, if you recall," K'a'tya replied glibly. "I was not beautiful."

"You were, and you are, my wife. QamuSHa', my be'nal. Now shall we kiss, as these humans always seem to be doing?"

"That would be agreeable, husband."

 

* * *

 

Earlier that same morning Vulcan

 

Stark and his father followed Salmu into the kitchen.

"It would appear that the males of the household have arisen," Stark's aunt, T'Cheryl, said to his mother, T'Joan. "Good morning, my husband ... Da'av ... Stark."

The men regarded the females, who were obviously ready to depart the vicinity. "Are you going somewhere, my wife?" Salmu asked.

"Yes, we are off to the Deltan dayspa to get prepared for this afternoon's festivities." T"Cheryl indicated the fridge. "There is ample food if you desire anything, but I fear we must leave you to your own devices for some hours. We shall return in plenty of time before the transport is due to arrive."

They were gone in a flash of soft feminine chatter before anyone could say a thing. From the drive, snippets of their conversation floated back to the bemused men of the house.

"And I have booked us both for a Thracian mineral gas facial treatment, sister-in law. They are supposed to be simply divine..."

"Well, as we say on Terra, we've been dumped," Stark's father noted matter of factly. "Gentlemen, how do you propose we spend the morning?"

"I could use some assistance with the re-laying of the patio," Salmu replied.

"Yeah, and I've found that shared work is a great forum for discussion," Stark added. "And I need some advice from both of you."

"On what?" Stark's uncle raised an eyebrow as they headed to the patio,

"I ... plan to formally ask for T'Lara's hand, but I have no idea how to do so."

"Have you asked her yet?" Da'av asked.

Stark nodded. "Of course. But she says that her parents must approve of the match, and that a marriage broker needs to be involved?" Stark looked perplexed. "Am I really for sale?"

"Of course not, nephew," Salmu said placidly. "In the outer regions, there is still much of the old traditions being practiced. But I think in your case, the young lady's family will be agreeable to the match. It is a logical one, I am certain." His eyes twinkled. "And I have it on good authority they will give assent."

"You do?" Stark was curious. "How do you know?"

Salmu and Da'av exchanged a glance. "T'Lara's father is unable to be here for the wedding today because he and his brothers are dealing with bottling issues from the latest vintage. He called to say to us that he had no objection to the proposal and that you could ask his daughter for her hand formally. Her mother will grant the blessing in her father's absence."

Stark looked at his father and his uncle. "For real?"

"For real, son," Da'av replied.

"Yes, indeed, for ... real," Salmu agreed. "When do you plan to wed?"

"Not for awhile. We both have our degrees to finish up, and I want to keep competing through the nest SportsFest. But the great Terran skateboarder, what was his name, Tony Hawke? He was married when he competed. So I wouldn't be the first." Stark glanced at his father. "How did you ask mom to marry you, then?"

Da'av smiled, which he was allowed to do, being Deltan, a vice-consul, and among family. "We were going skiing to Lake Tahoe with an Vulcan Embassy trip. I said it might be a good idea if we eloped while we were there, it would save time and all."

"And she said yes?" Stark and Salmu said almost in unison.

"She sure did. The embassy staff was scandalized. We didn't give a hoot. In fact, I don't think it really mattered, though for your sake, son, know that whatever you and your affianced choose, we stand behind you 100%."

"As do your Ezyet and I," Salmu added. "Now shall we set some bricks on my new patio?"

* * *

 

Back in the present Ambassador Sarek's home just after ... never mind...

 

"If you ask me, Sarek, you got a taste of your own medicine," Amanda said with a smirk.

Sarek raised his eyebrows. "Oh?"

"All week you were just dying of curiosity about what those two were up to. Well, if what we just saw is any indication, now you know. Are you satisfied?"

"Indeed, my wife, I am." Sarek sighed.

"And," Amanda giggled the special laugh Sarek knew well, "it appears Spock is his father's son after all, given his ... preference for the female derriere."

"Amanda!" Sarek pretended shock but gave his own wife's anatomy a pat. "Let us see to our guests, shall we?"

* * *

 

"I simply do not know what this neighborhood, or our neighbors, are coming to," T'Glad pronounced as she smoothed her gown into place. "I mean, husband, Klingons? Stark? Deities only know what he got up to! A Terran dog? Single women? Did they have ... Reldai as well, at their ... orgy?"

"My wife." Skrav began his usual task of undoing his wife's speculation. "Beshu Sarek is a diplomat. Therefore it is logical to presume he would entertain a wide variety of guests in his duties. No doubt we shall see many of them this afternoon. It is not a nice thing to speculate on what goes on in his home. Certainly nothing as scandalous as you imagine!"

"But Klingons?"

Skrav sighed to himself. "Why not? The Federation is not at war with the Empire, and from what I viewed, the family seemed quite ordinary. You can see for yourself later."

"My mother would be shocked, shocked, I tell you!"

The woman's mother was far worse than any Klingon, Skrav thought to himself, wondering yet again how his father had selected this woman as his bondmate. Had he been at the Saurian brandy himself?

"SKRAV! Let us depart." T'Glad was far more curious about the upcoming festivities than pursuing the argument over her mother, an old and tedious one.

As they crossed the road, Skrav offered a silent plea to the ancestors that Sarek had remembered to lay in a good supply of strong drink. He badly needed some, and, he suspected, Sarek did as well.

* * *

 

Spock entered his father's study, unconsciously smoothing his damp hair into place. It had been his third shower of the day, the last two decidedly more pleasurable than the first one, which had been cold out of necessity.

"Father."

"Come in, be seated, my son" Sarek indicated a chair. "Are you ready for the occasion then?"

"I am, and I suspect, Christine is too." Spock replied.

"A splendid day for you both. So ... Spock ... my son ... it is the custom for a father to give his son some ... advice ... prior to the ceremony." He hesitated, as if uncertain what to say, given what he knew. "In your case, I would think that to be ... unnecessary."

Spock felt his ears flush. Better that than his face, he decided. "I -- do not know what you mean, Father." Oh yes he did, and all too well.

Sarek continued. "Let me say instead that I am sorry your mother and I happened to be nearby when you and your wife arrived. It was unintentional. We did not mean to disturb you."

"Understood, Father. I believe it must have been quite a surprise."

"Spock." Sarek searched for the right words. "Understand, it is ... all right ... logical, in fact, for bondmates to enjoy each other's ... company ... outside of the mating time."

Spock did battle with his face staying a relatively normal color and won. For once.

"I realize you have been offworld for some time, but ... what you have with Christine ... your wife ... is a good thing, my son. It is obvious you are content with each other. Do not be ashamed of that. Strive to keep what you have, to build upon it, as your mother and I have done."

"I thank you, Father, for your honesty," Spock replied sincerely. "Now I must be honest. The celebration this evening for our shipmates will be quite Terran in its nature. Christine will be herself, as she almost always is, and I shall be also. I do not wish any scandal brought upon our house, but we may dance, or kiss, or even sing karaoke, or be seen enjoying ourselves. I trust this will not cause problems."

Sarek shook his head. "Do not trouble yourself, Spock. It is your wedding day. Yours and Christine's. Perhaps a trifle unconventional, but it belongs to you. Celebrate as you wish -- within reason, of course. But I am certain that next week's festivities here in Shi-Kahr shall far eclipse your celebration, and the press will pay little heed to your affair."

Spock exhaled. "Thank you, Father."

"Now, shall we have a small brandy? It should help calm the nerves I know you must be feeling. You are lucky to only be having this ceremony of blessing, my son. I could not see your mother for two entire days before our bonding."

Two days? Spock was amazed. It had been difficult enough being without Christine for one night.

* * *

 

Kala put the last touches on Christine's simple updo. "You look fine. Ny, let's see how the scarf drapes, okay?"

Nyota swiftly placed the chiffon headpiece in place. "Fabulous," she said. "Chris, you okay?"

"I'm scared to death!" Christine laughed.

"Of what?"

"Of breaking some taboo, I guess," Christine replied with a sigh. "Oh well, too late to worry about that now."

The door opened and Amanda appeared. "I know it is custom to wear something borrowed," she said, "and I have just the thing." In a swift movement, she had attached a beautiful glittering brooch to the shoulder of Christine's gown. "There. Just like in the film, right?"

The women looked at the pin which was stunning in its simplicity.

"Sarek gave it to me on our wedding day," Amanda continued, indicating the design. "The diamonds are the galaxy. The platinum disc is our world and the ruby and sapphire symbol is the ancient Vulcan sign for a joined couple, Sarek and me, Vulcan and Terra." She paused, a tear forming in her eye, which she brushed away. "I hope you and Spock have as much happiness as Sarek and I have had these years."

Christine looked at the pin once more, then at her future mother-in-law. "I don't know what to say."

"That's just about what you should say, my dear," Amanda replied, smiling once more. "Now, are we ready, ladies?"

* * *

 

Spock stood next to his father, resplendent in his new ceremonial robe. He realized that had this been a full traditional bonding ceremony, he would not have seen his betrothed at all until her arrival. But the more modern Ceremony of Blessing, done when one partner had been unbonded by death, or, in some cases like his, divorce, dispensed with some of the formality on the logical grounds that repetition was unnecessary. In Spock's case, he was quite pleased with the prospect, as was Christine. The entire atmosphere of the day was almost relaxed, something they both had welcomed.

His eyes were drawn to the sight of his mother leading Christine to stand before himself and T'Pau. Jim had been correct. The first view of her did indeed take his breath away. He instantly recognized the dress design, from a Bond film they both enjoyed viewing, and its cut and color transformed her into someone even more beautiful than she already was. Nyota held the dress' short train, then, as the ceremony was about to begin, took Christine's bouquet of Vulcan orchids.

T'Pau raised her hands above the couple's heads and began to speak in slow, accented Standard. "Since before our people have had a written history, legend spoke of the souls whose destiny lay only for fulfillment with the other. The Vah'Ren, the soul-bonded. And so today we come together that the katras of Spock, son of Surak, and Dr. Christine Chapel may at last find this fulfillment."

She looked at Spock. "Does thee accept this bonding, Spock?"

Spock answered in a strong clear voice. "I accept the bond and my bondmate."

"And thee, Christine, does thee accept this bonding?"

Christine replied in kind. "I accept the bond and my bondmate."

T'Pau took the couple's hands and placed them on each other's contact points and intoned, "Repeat the ancient words to each other, my children."

Spock and Christine began the traditional vows. "Parted from me but never parted..."

When they had finished, T'Pau then placed her own hands on the couple's faces to begin the bonding process, saying, "And now it is tine they are joined." For a split second, as she encountered their energies, she hesitated. The shan'hal'lak, the engulfment bond of the marriage, was the most volatile of ones to initiate due to its expressly sexual nature. She had fully expected the couple's thoughts to be filled with wild abandon, with almost uncontrollable urges, desires to know each aspect of the other.

This couple had the requisite carnal desires, she realized, very strongly in fact, but the desperate urgency to mate immediately was not there. It was as T'Ser had said. The Vah'Ren bond had already partially established itself. T'Pau could see the this, a rich shining golden light that held the couple's katras firmly in its grasp. She moved swiftly, joining the last remaining parts of the bond, a relatively quick process, then she drew back. Even she was surprised at how simple it had been to join the couple, but she saw at once that the bond was stronger than any other she had encountered over the decades, even that of Spock's own parents.

"It is done," she pronounced, replacing the couple's hands at their sides. "What has been joined this day remains so for the life of the bondmates. And so I present to thee, Spock, son of Surak, and his wife, T'sai Christine."

The couple looked at her, clearly enjoying the sensations of their new bond, but obviously wondering what they were to do next, as Vulcan ceremonies did not include a Terran kiss.

T'Pau paused. Ordinarily, she would hand the bonded ones over to the chaperons so they could be escorted to the place of shan'hal'lak, of engulfment and consummation. Somehow, in this case, it did not seem to be what she needed to do. The usual invitation to go and celebrate the union was somehow not the right thing to say.

So instead, she simply took their hands and placed them in the traditional symbol of unity, with two fingers outstretched.

"Ozh'esta," she said softly.

The couple joined their hands in the ancient form of affection. And it was done.

Sarek spoke to his wife through their own bond. "It would appear that they do not need to be taken to the place of shan'hal'lak yet, my wife. You were correct. What shall we do now?"

Amanda looked at her husband, feeling his own affection for her as strong as their own bonding day. "I think we should simply proceed with the reception, my husband. When those two are ready, they shall undoubtedly make their own way to their wedding night."

The couple moved back through the guests, stopping now and then to accept congratulatory wishes, handshakes and hugs. The energy was calm and serene, clearly reflected in their faces. Christine's hand was on her husband's arm, his hand resting affectionately atop it.

A toast was offered to the newlyweds, who joined in, and then they fed each other bits of flat biscuit coated with a sweet syrup akin to honey, to ensure the bond would have sweetness for its duration.

* * *

 

*Prepare yourself, Christine.*

*For what?*

"SPOCK! Skrav and I offer you and your wife our sincere good wishes on your bonding. Right, Skrav?" T'Glad gave her husband a meaningful look.

"Yes, my wife," he agreed.

"Thank you, " Spock replied for both of them. Christine was feeling an intense wave of laughter across their link and was mightily trying not to laugh herself.

*Now it comes, my wife.*

T'Glad looked at the couple. "I am surprised to find you both here at your reception," she continued pointedly. "Surely by now you would be at the place of shan'hal'lak?"

Skrav shot his wife a decidedly un-Vulcan look, which went unheeded. By her.

"In time, T'sai T'Glad, we shall be there," Spock replied smoothly, patting his wife's arm. "But now we must see to our guests, and then attend a celebration this evening with our shipmates. Time enough for shan'hal'lak later."

As they moved on, both of them could hear the woman's loud whisper. "Later? Is this a bonding ... of convenience? My husband, I remember, his first consort rejected him! This is scandalous!"

"No, my wife, it is not as you think," came Skrav's patient, if tired voice.

"*Oh, no*.

*Oh yes. Fortunately, her words are taken without much heed.*

*About this bonding of convenience?*

*My wife, surely you know by now that is hardly the case.*

*Just checking.*

* * *

 

"Come, my wife," Spock said, indicating the patio door.

"Just a moment." Christine fetched her bouquet, then they went inside to Sarek's study.

"Spock! Christine! Our congratulations!" Stark rose from the small group that had been viewing the ceremony from the privacy of the terrace adjoining Sarek's study. He swiftly made introductions. "My mother, T'Joan, and my father, Da'av. My Uncle Salmu and my Auntie T'Cheryl. And this is T'Lara, and her mother, T'Ron." He paused. "T'Lara is now officially my ko-kugalsu, my fiancee, but we won't be announcing this for awhile yet."

T'Ron offered her wishes to the couple. "I am sorry my husband could not join us, but this is a busy time at the winery, with the latest vintage to be bottled and all that entails, however, you are enjoying our house's champagne this day, so he is at least here in his spririts."

As they left the room, Christine called out to the young woman so enamored of Stark. "T'Lara?"

She turned. "Yes?"

Christine tossed the bouquet into her surprised grasp. "It's an old Terran custom, T'Lara. Best of luck to both you and Stark."

Stark put his arm around his fiancee. "Thanks, Spock, Christine, see you soon!"

"Matchmaker," Spock remarked as they went back to the festivities. He put his own arms around his wife and gave her a kiss, away from prying eyes, in the same hall where they had been stealing kisses all week.

"Just gilding the lily, my dear."

"Painting a flower with gold? Why would you do that?"

"Never mind, Spock. Remind me to get you the complete thesaurus of Terran slang, will you?"

* * *

 

"So there you two are!" Amanda said. She looked at the couple, who were sitting next to the fountain. Spock was feeding his wife some grapes. Christine was barefoot, her shoes having gotten the better of her.

"Is there a problem Mother?" Spock asked.

"Come along, you two. You know it's time!" she admonished. "It's getting late."

"But our guests...?"

"Your father and I will see to them. Now, will you go already? You won't get another chance like this. Shoo!" She made the appropriate motions with her hands.

"I guess we'd best do as she says,' Christine grumbled as she slid her aching feet into the pretty, but deadly, shoes. She took Spock's hand. "Come on, mister."

They headed off to the guest house.

FIN