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Offline Cassidy Alice

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Other Fic Writing Contest 13
« on: March 03, 2014, 04:35:28 AM »
Theme: And The Winner Is...
Info: Insired by the 86th Academy Awards! Develop a story focusing on any aspect of winning. This can be literal or figurative. Good luck and happy writings!
Word count: Unlimited
Start Date: Mar. 2
End Date: 12 a.m. FT Sat. May 3, voting all day Saturday, winner announced May 4.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 07:05:21 PM by A6 »

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Offline A6

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Re: Other Fic Writing Contest 13
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 12:09:14 PM »
With no entries we are extending this a month (May).

Let's get writing everyone! :)  (Me too...)
signatures - gift from my talented friends Water Lily and Honey Badger :3

Offline Water Lily

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Re: Other Fic Writing Contest 13
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2014, 04:45:02 PM »
Title: Flamenco Flame
Author: Water Lily
Rating: K+
Word Count: 1,306
Summary: Strumming once more-eye to eye, blaze to strike- he marks his signature. Mystery incarnate, chilled to the heart of the flamenco dancer. The woman that dances only for him.

Flamenco Flame (click to show/hide)“This girl doesn’t seem to say much at all.”

“I wonder where she’s actually from.”

“Doesn’t seem to be from Andalusia.”

A boy of fourteen years raced through the streets of a run-down town square. The dancer for the Andalusian dance academy was here and was assigned to him apparently. His trousers squeezed the circulation out of his legs as he ran faster and faster, past urban debris and luxuries of the taunting bakery. As he made his way through the ruses of everyday life and entered a nearby building, he saw that three of his so-called masters were huddled around a girl, bursting forth with inquiry. The girl-donned in a long robe- had dark, curly hair and looked about two years younger than him. And towards the end of the robe trailed the ruffles of a worn-out flamenco dress.

“Is she a mute?”

“I don’t think so. She just doesn’t like speaking to us, I’m sure.”

‘I’ll bet,’ the boy thought, rolling his eyes.

“She might have some potential, Franco,” one of the men said.

The fourteen year-old watched in curiosity as the girl staggered forward a few uneasy steps, clutching onto her robe as if her life depended on it.

“She’s a peasant!” Franco roared back. “I am not going to let her join our academy for free!”

“Play your guitar,” the third man ordered, placing a friendly hand over the girl’s shoulder. “We’ll just see.”

“Ten different people have tried playing for her!”

“Then you’ll be the eleventh person.”

“But Señor -“

“I don’t need you to question your boss,” the third man said firmly. He smiled at the apprehensive girl. “Go on. Don’t fear.”

Franco sighed and grabbed the instrument in the corner. The boy, now fully aware that the masters noticed his presence, leaned onto the doorway and breathed in the fresh Andalusian air. He kept his eyes on the mysterious girl. As Master Franco played, however, the girl made no move. Her eyes were kept towards the ground in fear and stubborn reluctance.

A few more moments of encouragement and Franco’s hollers passed, but the girl made no effort.

“She’s a mute, a deaf, and a physically impaired,” Franco rolled his eyes. “I don’t even think she understands the word flamenco itself. How can she possibly be trained in the art?”

“Maybe I can try playing,” the boy offered.

The men looked in his direction simultaneously.

“Teen boys,” the second man murmured lightly. “Always up to help the young ladies.”

The girl miraculously changed her expression-from fear to a frown.

“I have to get used to playing for my partner anyhow,” the boy shrugged, eyeing the girl.

The Señor smiled at the boy, glaring back at Franco. “That is what I call determination. Hand over the guitar, Franco.”

Franco tossed his guitar towards the boy. “Go for it, kiddo. You’ll be a goner by the time she makes up her mind.”

The boy positioned the guitar effectively on his lap, and his quick fingers roughly seized the strings with enthusiasm. Music whispered its way through the men’s ears and tickled past the girl’s rosy cheeks. The girl wasn’t moved.

The boy played an odd sequence, as if coaxing the girl musically to mark her talent.

Her expression was the same, but as the crescendo increased slightly, she made the effort to make eye contact with the Señor.

“Go on,” the man whispered again.

This time she actually made the initiative to let the robe slip from her shoulders. She looked at no one. Her eyes briefly glanced over the boy’s hand as it gracefully played the guitar, but other than that she was not seen from again. As gracefully as possible she melted into the standard flamenco opening sequence.

The men gawked at the young performers. Franco shook his head in disbelief.

The boy smiled as he continued playing, glancing up at her expectantly. Step after step, strum after strum, the girl found herself experiencing the musical rhythm until the flames of dance merged into an inferno.

The Señor smiled profusely. “She’s a prodigy.”


Fingers caress the strings. A stir of the soul. He blemishes the silence and strums again. Crimson dawns over the darkness. Heads swivel to his direction. He’s not moved. An elusive guitarist.

The silence no longer exists as heels tap in parallel to the guitarist’s intro. All but one don’t resist his play of the strings. Strumming once more-eye to eye, blaze to strike- he marks his signature. Mystery incarnate, chilled to the heart of the flamenco dancer. The woman that dances only for him. Her eyes awaken. Dazzling embers, they resemble. Palms shake. His battle for her attention has begun.

The flamenco dancer swings her fiery breath.  Her weight shifts to the other foot, hidden behind a ruffled waterfall. Skirt sways impatiently, and her thirst for dance lingers on. Her eyes move cautiously-right and left, up and down. Surroundings grow darker. Her gaze lowers.

His eyes focus on her breath-defying trance-lips that seldom uttered a word to him, eyes that glanced only at the floor, movements that interacted with nothing except dance… And despite the many years the guitarist had been conducting this starter ritual for her dance, both of them were strangers. Eyebrows raised, he observes the perfection in her denying to glance at him. His fingers move on, composing the symphony for her pulchritude. Her arms trail along the sides of her cascading dress. A tinge of confidence flares in her pupils, a smile a stranger to her lips, like a dragon clad in silk.

The rhythm begins. She is as still as a vagabond under the moon of dance. Cheers erupt from the volcanic approval. The guitarist and the dancer were not moved…yet…but were only subject to the spotlight that drenched them both. The guitarist’s burning eyes didn’t leave the bailarina, and he knew it was only a matter of time before her eyes would meet his.

The music continues with a little more of a beat. It’s not just gentle sways of the arms anymore, but an approaching whirlwind of light spins. The crowd roars, but the dancer shuns it away. Decorous hips conducted a naïve twirl here and there, and a fine transition of facial expressions unknowingly beckoned his attention.

Twelve years of faithfully playing music for her dance only…certainly it would mean something to her. Something she should notice. But the guitarrista kept quiet. His unspoken questions reflected on his attacks of the instrument’s strings.
She dances with her dress. Her skirt fluctuates with the air. Twirls and elegant swivels of the skirt fight the battle with the guitarist. And she is winning so far. Another whirl. Faster and faster. The dancer swishes into action-accompaniment of taps abided by her side. Her feet gently clucked against the ground, and the hem of her dress flutters wildly.

He grows jealous. She still doesn’t spare him that passing glance. Twelve long years of musical penance and she still doesn’t look him in the eye. The flamenco heart is in flames; it’s an inferno now.

The spins and hip sways continue elegantly, but the dancer is raging. Consecutive clapping of the hands set the rhythm in motion. Within seconds she whips out her fan and creates a tornado of attention right beneath her feet. The guitarist’s heart pounds as he bruises his palm from playing so fast. The dancer’s hair unravels from a bun to the individual strands of freedom, the rose in her hair fascinatingly intact.

Lotus dress parades its way as she twists and turns, spins and bows, culture embedded in the depths of her burning heart.

The inferno roars.

The crowd swoons.

The guitarist rages…

And the dancer concludes. The inevitable happens. The impossible takes place… She looks at him.

The battle ends.

And he smiles.

“I win.”

~To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.~

Offline A6

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Re: Other Fic Writing Contest 13
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2014, 12:01:33 AM »
Title: Spock and Nyota's Wedding Day
Author: A6
Rating: T - romance
Summary:  After their five year mission in the alternate timeline, the love between Spock and Nyota bloomed and while they were married due to a pon farr union, they still want a traditional Vulcan wedding.

(click to show/hide)
New Vulcan

Spock and Nyota were anxious to get to Vulcan. Nyota was quietly happy to see Spock privately emotional about their wedding ceremony, feeling him strongly through their link. They arrived in orbit over New Vulcan on the second day of their journey from the Academy. They gave the Captain of the USS Intrepid their thanks and beamed down to his father's new estate. It was impressive, and resembled his original home on Vulcan in many ways. It was no surprise to see the estate in person, based on the images his father had sent during its construction, but he knew it was missing his human mother's touch – a flower vase here, a homey picture there, a floral pattern in a drape, and random pillows in seating areas and the beds. Uhura caught Spock's suppressed melancholy look and felt it, and she took his hand, squeezed, and kissed him. Spock felt the special touch of his own spouse, and gave Nyota that special half-smile reserved only for her.

"Greetings, children," Sarek greeted as he opened the door, interrupting the kiss.

He didn't mind them holding hands, and noticed from their expression they were a little embarrassed kissing in front of him. He knew that look. He'd done the same often with Amanda in private. This was their special time and emotional expression among family was permissible.

Her parents were there already, and as they gathered, she hugged and kissed them warmly. Her parents gave Spock the Vulcan greeting as they had learned, but Spock reached out to shake her father's hand and hugged her mother, albeit a little awkwardly, but it still pleased them. Sarek had been a gracious host to the Uhura family, and through his convivial discussions with her parents, understood better why Nyota was so well-suited for his son. He accepted them immediately, which was rare for Sarek and most Vulcans. Nyota's father was no stranger to interstellar business relationships with many species in his trade profession, so that helped, though not normally with Vulcans. Sarek could see the signs of Nyota's coaching to her parents about Vulcan etiquette, and it made the elderly Vulcan think more respectfully of Nyota than even before, and remembered Amanda's feelings about their daughter-in-law.

Later they were joined by Spock Prime, Christine, and their baby. Uhura fussed over the young child, who was very handsome, with the look of a Vulcan child but very light hair like Christine. For the purposes of formality in light of the ancient traditions, Uhura, her mother, Christine, and the baby would stay at Spock Prime's and Christine's residence, which was elegant in its own right, on the far side of Sarek's large property. Spock, Uhura's father, and Spock Prime would remain with Sarek. It was only for a couple of days anyway. Uhura and Christine joked about 'bachelor and bachelorette pads', which caused Nyota's family to laugh, and although the joke failed to register with Sarek and his sons, they were amused seeing the humans' banter together.

It was a Vulcan wedding tradition for the bride and groom to be separated for some time before the ceremony, a symbol of times of separation of men from women in the old times of constant war and the males foraging for food in the harsh environments of the original planet, but it also reflected the ceremony of joining of the couple at age 7, telepathically linked but kept apart until the time of the wedding. The 'greeting litany' included an eloquent exchange between bride and groom to begin their wedding day ceremony. As a concession to their already recognized marriage due to their pon farr union, Spock and Uhura did not have to go through the ritual separation of weeks apart before a true Vulcan marriage. Their union was considered complete, and this ceremony was only a formality, but an important one.

Spock and Uhura wanted this ritual marriage, even if it was actually a recommitment. She wanted to embrace his culture as much as she wanted to embrace him, and yet still not completely lose her humanity. Spock often described their relationship to others as 'the best of both worlds'. Sarek had promised this day to them, and so they embraced much of the rituals as if they were merely betrothed, and it pleased him.

As serendipity, this particular marriage turned out to be a very special occasion for New Vulcan's society. The 2000 year old nuptial ceremony ring of Spock's family had disintegrated into nothingness like everything else on Vulcan. Sarek's gift to Spock and Nyota to rebuild the ring for their ceremony had greater meaning for New Vulcan. Once consecrated by his son and daughter-in-law through their ceremony, Sarek would offer the use of the nuptial ring to all Vulcan families hence. It was one more way Vulcans could feel more secure in their traditions continuing. Sarek's gift of sharing the new family nuptial ring was particularly generous, as there were not enough financial resources left to warrant each major family to have a place of wedding.

It was getting late and, discreetly but without hesitation, the young couple kissed goodnight. Nyota, her mom, and Carol started toward the separate residence, but Nyota hesitated. It was actually a difficult parting. Everyone left the pair a few private moments.

With their faces inches apart, Nyota whispered softly in Vulcan, "You know this is the first time we've really been apart since our first time together, Spock, even during that… difficult time…"

Spock concurred, "I share your reluctance at parting. It will make the greeting litany that much more poignant."

"I suppose that is the point of it, is it not?" she smiled demurely, still letting her fingers linger in his hand, feeling his veiled emotions soar for her, thrilling her inside. There was no guessing how he felt through their link.

Christine urged gently, also in Vulcan, "C'mon Nyota, you need to be rested! And if you aren't actually parted, then there's no sense in doing the litany! You have the whole rest of your life 'officially' with him starting tomorrow."

Nyota scrunched her face up in a fake disgusted expression, looked at Spock with a wink, and kidded, this time in Federation Standard, "Ewww! Do I have to?"

He just raised an eyebrow at her. Lovers teasing each other ironically was such a fascinating human habit. Most of the time he engaged her and was fairly adept at snappy retorts in private, but with the wedding tomorrow, was too important a matter for him to joke about.

They pecked one more time, and let their loving thoughts remain linked for some time. They'd built their talent to sense each other gradually to over 2000 klicks – giving them the ability to have one of them in contact each other briefly during orbital passes when one of them was on an Away Team and the other was on the Enterprise. That way they could circumvent when communicators were jammed, and yet they could have at least a few minutes contact in an emergency. In more than one instance they used it successfully, though it didn't always work. They wanted to be able to extend their link to light years, like some Vulcans could, in case of extreme emergencies. Not to mention the fact they really could not stand to be parted. Spock noted to Uhura often in their bedroom that it was not logical to feel that way, but logic was irrelevant when it came to their relationship, which usually got him a big kiss in return.

Early the next morning, Spock was absent-mindedly fiddling with making some breakfast. He really wasn't hungry. His thoughts were focused on the ceremony. Sarek entered and noted his distraction, sensing the smell of some burnt bread, "Greetings Spock."

"Good morning Father."

Getting straight to the point, Sarek observed, "This is a good day to wed, my son."

"It is indeed, Father. I have anticipated this day since you blessed our union by the pon farr years ago, and promised us this day in this manner. Nyota and I are grateful for your generosity."

Sarek gave Spock the slightest hint of a smile, "Who am I to object to a union - that from its origin - grew from your choice of each other, and was sealed in the tradition that exists further back than when our society girded themselves with animal skins?"

Spock acknowledged, "It is still traditionally the father's prerogative to arrange his children's marriage. My pon farr union with Nyota took that choice away from you."

Sarek responded, "Perhaps, my son, but the prior events of bitter betrayal by T'Pring and her tryst with Stonn showed how grave my error was in judgment of the selection of the female you would have spent the rest of your days with. You, my son, did not err in your choice. Both you and Nyota daily prove your worthiness to be wed to each other. You and she have brought great honor to the family and to the Federation. And to Vulcan. I sense your constant link with her, Spock. It is as strong and deep as any purely Vulcan-to-Vulcan bond. Even your mother and I did not share that gift but through melding."

Spock was inwardly pleased with that compliment, but downplayed it, "Despite that Father, there are some who would state that mixing with other species will dilute the purity of the Vulcan race to the point we will disappear as a species all together."

Sarek scoffed, "I have faced that prejudice before my son, and I urge you to dismiss any allegations from our society. I would challenge anyone to disprove the evidence that species can mix and preserve traditions, especially in this family. I made that choice, one of the very first Vulcans to do so, faced many pressures, and withstood them all. Amanda was a remarkable woman. You are living proof of that any prejudice is ill-considered. The concept has perpetuated itself to the next generation. Your elder self and Christine have provided further strong evidence in that regard, as have you and your beloved Nyota. It takes a special breed of female to be drawn to a Vulcan for marriage, and those who do are worthy of being considered Vulcan themselves."

"Thank you father."

Sarek fought the catch in his voice as he continued, "Your mother would have been proud of both of you, also. You need to be aware of how much she loved Nyota as a daughter, Spock. She wanted Nyota to have her wedding dress the day you announced your intentions to us. It is so. Your bride will wear it today."

"I am deeply honored by this Father, and on Nyota's behalf as well, that you share Mother's memory on our wedding day."

There was a silence between father and son, but it was not awkward. Unlike humans, Vulcans could handle silence. It was comforting, as they considered the approach of the day's events and the pleasantness of times past.

Spock Prime entered the breakfast nook, smelling his father's plomeek soup simmer, and wondered what his younger self had burned up in the oven. He knew that the most sensitive part of the conversation between younger Spock and their Father was complete, and they could share time together almost like younger and older brothers. Thus began their promise to compare notes on how each encountered and resolved issues during their respective Five Year Missions.

At Spock Prime's residence, all the women were aflutter in getting Uhura ready. It was almost pandemonium with Christine and her mother devoting so much attention to her.

They held up her gown. It was the traditional overall metallic silver color and her bosom would be accented by the empire waist. But unlike T'Pring's gown for Spock Prime, Nyota's dress was floor length with a trailer, custom-made for Amanda to reflect human bride traditions in addition to Vulcan. It did have a front cutout insert that rose above Uhura's knees, showing off her beautiful legs. The historical origin of that design was not spoken of, but was specifically for easier access to the bride's 'attributes' by the groom when the wedding night needed to be consummated, especially for those grooms clouded in every sense by plak tow.

Uhura was ecstatic, "It's beautiful. Mom! This must have cost you and Daddy a fortune."

"No dear, it's a gift from Sarek."

"But that's not tradition. Even Vulcan brides bear the cost of their dress."

"The last wearer of this was Spock's mother," Uhura's mother said affectionately, knowing the attachment between Amanda and Nyota that was cut far too short.

To Sarek's mild dismay, the two mothers had talked. A lot. For a time, the long distance personal subspace communications charges between the two mothers were astronomical. While he complained at the time, Sarek reflected that he would give anything for that to continue now.

"Oh my," Uhura said tearily, "Oh dear… I… I'm sorry, Mom. I will ruin my makeup."

They hugged, "Not to worry, honey. I cried too - right in front of Sarek, even though I know I'm not supposed to. He is a remarkable man… I mean, Vulcan."

"And so is his son, Nyota," her father added in praise of her intended.

They hugged as a family.

The front door visitor enunciator rang, and a hair dresser entered and coiffed Uhura's beautiful hair into the traditional Vulcan bride's style – hair tiered conically with sterling silver beads interlaced in the coils. They didn't want to make any mistakes by attempting to do it themselves.

With her hair and makeup touched up, her mother stated proudly, "Now, dear, you look perfect. A proper Vulcan bride."

"Except for the ears, Mom."

They laughed, but then Nyota got choked up, "Mom I… uh…"

"I know honey, I love you too. Your dad and I are so proud of you. I know you are already considered married, but so happy you get to celebrate it now in front of Vulcan society. You both deserve such happiness. At least so far as Vulcans can be 'happy'!"

Mother and daughter had a good laugh over that.

"Thank you mother. The little girl who dreams of a white wedding still inside of me needed this assurance."

"So are you ready?" her mother asked.

"I have never been more ready, Mother. Let's go. We mustn't be late. Spock will be punctual. He always is. Knowing him, he'd get married to me without me being there!"

The family laughed as they made their way to the ceremonial ring.

Spock stood atop the summit in a long black and gray ceremonial wedding outfit and robe, and entered the single gateway into the ring. It was hauntingly and intentionally identical to his family's original ring, with its high red barrier rocks, topped by pillars and lintels designed to resemble the old ring. As he entered the gateway and its steps down into the ceremonial floor, he could see the elongated hexagonal daïs, smoldering coals, and the inclined, angular, dark metal pillar holding the gong, and topped by a huge boulder that symbolized the world of Vulcan. In front was slender metal pillar on which he and Nyota would place their hands to be joined. Inserted in the apex was the heraldic symbol of Spock's family in the finest cut jewels that only the couple and celebrant would be able to see. Around the ring were several sets of air chimes that fluttered in the light but brutally hot breeze. The skies were dark red even at mid day. By Vulcan standards it was a beautiful day.

The ceremonial ring had multiple meanings to Spock. He often withdrew to the quiet interior of the original ring there to cry and meditate when the bullying ridicule and pressure from the full-Vulcan children got too heavy to bear. His mother and father would always find him there and support him. This was comforting too, in the knowledge of his formal joining with the woman he loved so deeply. Their pon farr marriage was everything this pair needed, but to be formally married with all the traditions was something special.

He was surprised to see a fairly large crowd assembled in the ring, in Vulcan terms, but it was mostly his father's friends and surviving associates from the Vulcan High Command, and even the Federation diplomat from Earth. While normally very private, this marriage ceremony was for all of Vulcan. He understood that. He bowed and acknowledged their presence.

Spock had the first action at the exactly the appointed time. He approached the glowing embers of the fire, representing the flames that burned within those in plak tow, and tended the fire to assure it would burn the duration of the ceremony. Fortunately, Vulcan tradition accounted for weddings between couples not affected by the seven year cycle, though his next one was arriving soon, which he knew Nyota would quell.

He reached for the mallet from the left side of the elongated hexagonal gong, and he hit it once, signaling the beginning of the ceremony. Its haunting ring echoed across the ring and on the nearby mountain tops.

'Brother' Spock Prime remembered the kal-if-fee challenge by T'Pring and Stonn. Not this time. There would be a wedding for the younger version of Spock today. And a beautiful one. He took Christine's hand discreetly and gripped it tightly. She didn't have that memory of Spock Prime's pon farr and encounter with T'Pring Prime. Christine and Spock Prime decided that knowledge of her original time line future was not necessary for her happiness with him, and that they wanted to make their own memories together. She was hopelessly in love with him already, and he with her, and nothing would enhance that feeling by knowing what her older self knew.

Almost immediately, he heard the response from tinkling chimes, which signaled the arrival of the wedding party. Guards carried those chimes ahead of the wedding entourage. They entered dressed their ancient polished metal helmets and body armor, a throwback to a more uncivilized era, when members of the wedding party needed protection, or more ominously, for ensuring that a marriage between conflicting families would be enforced to end or prevent war. Those troubled times were the origin of Vulcan's predominantly arranged marriage practices.

The chimes filled the ceremonial place as they came through the gate. Vulcan High Command member and priestess T'Pau was carried in her sedan chair by other guards to the far end of the ring, and placed on a small red stone dais. Behind her in the procession was the bride, who entered elegantly alone. She fought back her desire to beam her smile at the groom, but knew that overt emotion was not permissible, even in this joyous celebration. He'd get all her smiles from the bedroom soon enough. Seeing Spock in his most handsome flowing Vulcan robes, and not his Starfleet uniform, took Nyota's breath away. The crowd registered their approval of Nyota in her full length Vulcan/human hybrid wedding gown and traditional Vulcan bride's hairstyle. Had they not known she was African American heritage, she closely resembled the rarest of all varieties of Vulcans – the dark brown-skinned Vulcans of the equatorial regions of the planet, and now fewest in number of the remnant. Only her human ears and eyebrows gave her heritage away.

They stood together on the dais and looked at each other discreetly lovingly. As hot as it was, she could feel the additional heat of the hot coals on the back of her legs through the gown and hoped she would not drag the train through the coals. She was grateful for that double shot of tri-ox from Christine to get her through the day.

Spock took the mallet again in his hands, to continue the proceedings.

Telepathically Spock reached her, "Last chance for a kal-if-fee, Nyota. All you have to do is hold your palm out against the gong."

Instantly she responded, "You are my one and only, Spock. I told you that I would have battled T'Pring herself to the death for the right to have your heart, dearest, if I had needed to, and had it been allowed in your tradition."

He nodded. He remembered that conversation. There would have been no stopping Uhura. He would have not wanted to be on the receiving end of her ah woon. Or that angry glare she could get when they quarreled – the 'wrath of Uhura' as he'd put it to Kirk on Q'onoS.

T'Pau could sense their unspoken conversation, stood, and announced, "Kroykah!"

Uhura had her heart in her throat. Had something been done wrong?

But she realized only they heard T'Pau's order to stop. It was telepathic. The chime bearers signaled, T'Pau got out of her sedan chair, and approached the dais, standing in front of the coals between the gong and the young couple. She reached and touched both their temples. Everyone thought it was part of the ceremony, as melds were often part of the pre-nuptial vows, often performed by the celebrant to see if the couples were sincere in their commitment, especially for the grooms, often deep in the blood fever, barely capable of even understanding what was happening to them.

Spock's link with her was kind and gentle. T'Pau's mental power was nearly overwhelming and Uhura almost staggered as she said in archaic Vulcan, "It is true. Both of thee are telepathic."

"We are, T'Pau."

Nyota was astonished Spock was on a first name basis with the most powerful of all Vulcans. There was much yet to learn of his family's influence.

Instead of being upset, T'Pau praised them, "This is most fortunate. This is not a normal human trait. How is this possible?"

"Uhura is very gifted and diligent at communications and alien languages, and we encountered the Talosians, adversaries which demanded we enhance our capabilities to defeat them."

The story of that flooded into T'Pau's mind as Spock offered it.

T'Pau found it disturbing to know what the pair and their crew had to endure, and that there was a race superior in telepathic skills to the Vulcans and virulent in their intentions to invade and deceive peoples' minds.

"You are indeed both blessed. Use this gift wisely in your life of commitment together. It has saved your lives. It will again."

Simultaneously they said thank you.

"Commander Uhura?"

"Yes, Councilwoman T'Pau."

"Thee are more Vulcan than thee even realizes. I am very pleased for thee and thy husband. It is through the intimacy of your link that commitment endures for life between Vulcan spouses. There can be no secrets in thy link. You can only be true to each other in this manner."

"I am grateful for your praise," Nyota replied and the couple looked at each other and blushed. They knew that first hand.

To set the stage for the faithful and for the limited number of outworlders, T'Pau explained to the audience in Federation Standard and Vulcan, "What all of thee gathered her are about to see comes down from the time of the beginning, without change. This is the Vulcan heart. This is the Vulcan soul. This is our way."

She turned to Spock and Uhura, and ordered, "Proceed."

The telepathic exchange only took few moments and the crowd was unaware of the conversation. Spock looked at his bride-to-be one more time, she nodded assent, and Spock sounded the gong with no interruption.

Since they had been together in their arrival, and in fact were nearly always together, they had not done the ritual greeting of all couples. T'Pau nodded.

Spock began the litany, but not in English, but instead, in ancient Vulcan, "Nyota, parted from me and never parted, never and always touching and touched. We meet at the appointed place."

With no hesitation, Uhura replied, but somehow Spock could feel a deeper tone to it than when they practiced, "Spock, parted from me and never parted, never and always touching and touched. I await you."

By tradition Uhura declared her love, "As it was in the dawn of our days, as it is today, as it will be for all tomorrows, I commit myself and all that is within me to you, Spock."

Spock responded, "Joined by choice in the ancient fire and the flame that comes from within, we are joined until the end of our days. I take thee under my protection. All that I have within me and in this world is yours."

They placed their hands on the waist-high silver metal obelisk in front of the coals, and T Pau wrapped their hands in a ceremonial cloth.

Standing silently, the chime bearers circled the trapezoidal dias several times, much like the proceedings of the kal-if-fee, but it was softer and calmer and less urgent for the wedding.

T'Pau stood and all was quiet, "You bring thy beloved to be wed to thee Spock, on this first day of joining at this ceremonial ring. Sarek, we are indebted by thy generosity. We bring the traditions of the centuries to this new place. It is fitting so old a family as thine is first to anoint it. And it is fitting that two worlds so closely linked in history would be joined as husband and wife here today."

"Are thee ready, Nyota Uhura?" T'Pau asked, feeling it as much as hearing it.

In perfect Vulcan she answered an emphatic 'yes'. T'Pau gave a vague expression of satisfaction at her language skills. The rest of the wedding vows were conducted entirely in Vulcan. Ancient Vulcan. Uhura never skipped a tone and uttered Spock's first name flawlessly as always. The mildly xenophobic T'Pau, who had never journeyed in space to mingle with other species other than the evacuation of Vulcan at its destruction, and never attended a Federation Council meeting, was impressed with the demeanor of adopted sister Uhura, unlike many human women. Spock was a blessed man indeed to have found this one. While kolinahr-level Vulcans rarely let even the occasional emotion surface, T'Pau felt very proud to announce them joined as husband and wife, and wished them blessings on the children from that union. Mixed marriages were unavoidable with the remnant few Vulcans surviving, but she was certain this one would last, and would honor their culture.

There was the tone of subdued joy and satisfaction in the quiet wedding reception celebration afterward at Sarek's home. Spock savored the Romulan Ale and Saurian Brandy, a gift from Kirk, one of the rare times he consumed alcohol. They'd received word that Carol had successfully delivered David and mother and son and father were all fine, and a video communiqué showed them all together, including David, giving Spock and Uhura the best of wishes for their own future together. David was very cute and it was had to say which parent the boy favored as a new-born, but he did have a lot of blond hair. To entertain their guests, Spock played his lyre and Uhura sang Vulcan compositions, mostly love songs. The Vulcan guests were charmed by her beautiful voice. Her parents knew they did this, but was the first time they'd heard them sing and play. It was all her mother could do to hold back tears of pride.

Saying their goodbyes, the couple journeyed back to Earth on a Vulcan passenger liner, and started their own honeymoon in a mountaintop cabin in Utah where they planned to ski. They were both experts, having acquired the taste for skiing on several Away Teams to snowbound worlds that extended to shore leaves when they could on the Five Year Mission. On hot, desolate New Vulcan and Vulcan, snow was inconceivable except seasonally at its poles, and it was hardly amenable to skiing.

The couple had no privacy in the sleeper seats of the liner, but they made up for lost time when they got settled in their skiing resort cabin. A trail of clothes and luggage was strewn all the way to the bedroom. Completely tangled together from their time together the night before, with the what was left of the covers not really covering anything, they smiled at each other and greeted each other with very real smiles.

"Good morning, husband."

"Good morning to you also, wife."

The truly formal titles made the them warm with satisfaction, matching the warmth of them together last night.

Spock was the first to say, "Nyota, are you ready to, as you humans say, 'hit the slopes'?"

"Impressive, Spock. There's hope for your human side yet, dear!"

He retorted, "Not even three days 'officially' married, and you're already nagging and criticizing me! My father warned me about women."

"And yet, dear husband, you said 'yes' anyway."

"To quote my father, 'Logic fails when it comes to my family'."

They chuckled, and embraced.

"'My family'. I love that Spock. As much as I love you!"

She stroked his face.

"It is quite accurate. Have I made a mistake?"

"No not at all, dear…" speaking his formal first name lovingly.

Spock suggested, hearing her wanton tone, "Perhaps we are not yet ready for the slopes?"

"Uh-huh…" Nyota closed the distance to his lips and parted them, with their two tongues dancing together.

About lunch time they finally got on their skis. The intensity of that outing almost matched their bedroom activities. In the week that followed, when they weren't under the covers snuggled and joined together loving each other, they were on the slopes.


It was the last day of their honeymoon. They had planned to ski, but it was snowing vigorously outside, so they stayed locked in bed instead, stopping only to eat, pretending to be 'snowed in'. Vulcans were much more virile than their human male counterparts, and they made love nearly continuously until it was time to catch the shuttle home to San Francisco. Nyota had never felt more fulfilled with her husband, and he with her.

… Frisco. Their Apartment…

The morning after they returned from their week alone together, after an exhausting morning's lovemaking in their own bed, the communicators went off simultaneously.

"Don't they know we're taking five years sabbatical?" she complained.

But it was Nogura. She gave him a look. Spock had to answer it.

Tentatively he said, "Captain Spock here."

"Spock. This is Admiral Nogura."

"Sir!" He sat up ramrod straight, and unconsciously thought of getting something to cover himself.

Uhura was happy he didn't. She admired what was going to finally make her pregnant in short order and he pleasantly caught her staring. But he couldn't help what happened to himself, which her staring exacerbated. It was a good thing this wasn't a videoconference call. He noted they should put him on speakerphone, and he did.

"Congratulations, you two. I hope you had a great time relaxing," Nogura said apologetically.

"It was a most pleasant experience," Spock said, betraying his real feelings. Uhura smiled broadly. That barely described their incredible loving retreat together.

"Thank you Admiral. We did," she said softly to the supreme commander of Star Fleet.

"I am very sorry to interrupt you both on your 'leave time'. I know what we promised you. I signed the order myself. But I must insist in your help. You and Uhura need to get here to my office in two hours. Son, I know you and Commander Uhura are on five year of sabbatical. But Star Fleet needs you."

"Can you say what this is about, sir?" Spock asked.

"Can you put your communicator on secure, please Captain?"

He keyed in the proper commands into his communicator, "It's done, sir."

Nogura drew himself and said it simply, "Its about Nibiru, Captain."

They looked at each other in shock.

"Understood. We'll be there."
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