The adjutant attaché entered the room after Kirk’s hasty exit. He nodded his head towards Sarek. “Ambassador.”
“Please confirm our transport to New Vulcan. I shall give you the actual departure date tomorrow. We will need accommodations for Spock and Captain Kirk, and whatever number of Earth guests they wish to invite. Also arrange for the formal bonding ritual the day after our arrival, and request the Lady T’Pau to preside. I shall file the Federation documents myself.”
With another nod, the adjutant said, “I serve thee, Ambassador,” and left the room.
Sarek shook his head, thinking to himself. It was logical that a Vulcan who presumed to take a human spouse would produce offspring with the same predilection. Spock had only begun the relationship with Kirk, yet Sarek could see no harm in forcing the issue.
Besides, observing the reaction from James Kirk when he gave his approval for bonding was…interesting.
Vulcans enjoyed entertainment, just like anyone else.
There was also the rose.
Sarek set the stasis box in his lap, and removed the lid to the table. He had researched this bloom in the short period of time since Spock first showed it to him. Over three years ago, Kirk had contacted the Pan-Federation Cultivar Registration Authority and paid an exorbitant amount of money to register the “Amanda Grayson.” Then Kirk arranged for a horticultural laboratory to create the new rose with the precise features he described to them.
And the business had been conducted via subspace communication when feasible.
The room began to fill with the perfume from the flower in the box. This money and time and effort by James Kirk failed to impress Sarek. But his concept of something so uniquely representative of Amanda and her life on Old Vulcan made the gift priceless. Sarek ran his fingertip along a petal’s edge again, and recalled the encrustations of red soil under Amanda’s fingernails when she came into the house after working on her roses. She had been singleminded in her task to make the Earth flowers thrive at her new home.
Singleminded, determined, focused—so many stubborn qualities that had first attracted Sarek to the tiny woman. The same qualities he had clashed with so many times during their marriage and they were the lasting memories he cherished of his life mate.
# # #
The faculty of the Universities of the Pacific Northwest had finally established a Department of Xenology, and Sarek had been invited as a guest lecturer for the Xenodiplomacy series of classes. Sarek had agreed to participate, because he considered it as an opportunity to observe human behaviors in an educational setting.
He was also lonely.
Diplomats are sojourners, individuals who live unsettled lives with no roots in any one place. Sarek’s bondmate had died when they were but children, and his family had never contracted for another.
The students were in awe of the real, live alien standing at the dais. Sarek was pragmatic: he doubted few if any were absorbing anything educational from his lectures.
His point-of-view changed following the second class. A tiny sprite with a waterfall of dark hair marched up to the lectern and began to fire rapid questions over the material. What intelligence in those eyes!
Beginning with confrontation and arguments, the new Vulcan-Earth alliance was born.
Sarek had seen the meeting with Amanda’s father to be something of a diplomatic conference. One must show no sign of weakness, yet be open to negotiation.
It didn’t work that way.
Mr Grayson sat on a lawn chair in the backyard of his home, symbolically shielding himself from the encounter with sunshades and a large-brimmed hat. He was in a casual posture of legs crossed, and drinking iced tea when Sarek approached him. Sarek stood in front of Grayson and waited.
Grayson had obviously stacked the deck in his favor with the shades and hat.
Sarek figured he could stand there for days, if necessary.
Michael Grayson finally tipped his head up to Sarek, and removed both glasses and hat. “You do know that Amanda has Asperger’s, don’t you?”
He had never been so blindsided before. “I…no…that has never been discussed between us.” He fumbled with the chair behind him, and sat clumsily.
“Adults with Asperger’s do not socialize well. They can be brilliant, and Amanda IS brilliant, but she functions in her own world. She has trouble expressing feelings, and can often just shut down, withdraw, and become despondent.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“I love my daughter, Mr Sarek. I’d give my life to protect her. I’ve seen her crushed by a past relationship that didn’t work, because the young man wanted more from Amanda than she could give. So I decided to be completely upfront if she ever chose to love again.”
“I cherish your daughter, very much so. We both wish to be joined.”
“Vulcans have no feelings?”
Sarek shook his head. “A common misconception of the Vulcan people, Mr Grayson. Vulcans feel, they have every emotion. The emotions are kept inside.”
“Amanda’s feelings are inside, too. But she does have them.” Grayson nodded. “You keep your feelings inside all the time?”
“Everything is shared within the marriage bond. But it is intensely personal, very private, only between the two joined.”
Grayson grabbed his hat, his sunshades, his glass of tea, and stood. “I told you that Amanda is brilliant, Mr Sarek. I see that she made a smart choice. Let’s go see the family, her mother will want to talk to you about being fitted for a tux.”
# # #
Was it the Asperger’s that made Amanda Grayson such a success at marrying a stone-cold Vulcan? What sane woman would settle on an alien world with no family, no friends, and such isolationist neighbors? Sarek had certainly heard the human gossip. He didn’t care. Amanda was Amanda, and he loved her simply for being herself. Her attributes certainly enabled her to adapt to life on Vulcan with a Vulcan. But Sarek had never considered her to have a disorder or disease or disability. Her straightforwardness and dedication to a task was something he cherished most about her.
That very dedication enabled her to persevere in the tribulations of carrying an interspecies pregnancy to term.
The most incredible gift of Amanda that Sarek ever received. And his foolish pride had almost squandered that gift!
Sarek touched the rose again, and savored the scent. Amanda would have enjoyed having Kirk as a son-in-law.