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Posted on Sunday, 28 June 2020 - 6:06pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Commander Soral

Mission: Operation: Iktomi
Location: USS Standing Bear | XO's Quarters
Timeline: 2393 - MD7 1630 hours

Sipping from a glass of fresh lemonade, enjoying the cool ocean breeze, Laura Kingsley gazed out at the ocean as she waited for the comm channel to open. Tapping her fingertips against the casing of her tablet, watching some surfers making the most of the waves until she realised her call had been answered. Her brown eyes fixed on the man who had appeared. “You are definitely not Alex,” she declared with a bright smile. “You must be Soral.”

Soral recognized the woman straight away from the photos Alex had. He bowed slightly. "Indeed. You must be Mrs. Kingsley."

She laughed, “no need to be so formal, you are family after all! Laura will do just fine. I had called to speak to Alex but what a wonderful chance to speak to you! I take it my daughter is not home?”

To be honest he was glad of getting to speak to her as well. "She is in the lab."

“Good,” Laura said with a nod, “she worries I will say something embarrassing or inappropriate... I have a history so she is quite right!”

"Indeed. It is nothing to feel bad about. I have been told I tend to place her in bubbles so I am on her list as well."

Another laugh, “then I am in good company! Very independent is Alex from the day she was born. Never understood the word no. We had many an argument I can tell you! But I am more curious to learn about you. The man who stole her heart!”

"I am quite uninteresting. Your daughter is....a remarkable woman. I by no means deserve her and she deserves more then I can ever hope to give her."

The woman’s expression softened, as if the sentiment was making her melt in the already stifling midday sun. “Oh, I would not be so sure. My daughter is remarkable but she would have settled for nothing less. She has never been one to make rash decisions so I have no doubt she is sure where her heart lies in marrying you.”

He thought a moment. "It was accidental. She may yet choose to end he bond. I... wish she does not. She has brought much to my life. She tries to learn my ways and the ways of Vulcan. I wish to learn more about her and her wishes. I wish her to have a wedding according to your ways and traditions."

Laura smiles as she leaned in closer, “if she did not want the bond, she would have broken it, not exchanged rings. Have some faith in yourself, and what you have. Now... Alex. I’d imagine with a bond you must know one another well but I can try. As for the wedding ...

Alex is not religious, and I wish I could say she loves grand affairs with lots of people and being lavished with attention. Alas, that would be describing me. My daughter is a very different creature. She would prefer low key, calm. Time to enjoy the moment with close family and friends. Minimal fuss. I am - frankly - her best friend and biggest fear rolled into one!”

"She has a lot of respect for you and love. She talks of you often." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I fear that you have much to teach me. I...have never had a real mother. I may disappoint you."

"Well unless you are intending to break my daughters heart, that would be impossible!" Laura declared, waving away the notion. "She loves you and that is more than enough for me."

Soral thought a moment. "Mrs. Kings...Laura. I wish to ask your advice about something."

“Of course! Ask away.”

He paused. "Alexandra very much misses her father. I wish to give her something special for our wedding. I had thought of something but do not know how she will react."

Laura smiled softly, “they were often inseparable. Two peas in a pod.”

He paused yet again. "I do not know if this is appropriate I wish to set something up perhaps a hologram to have both yourself and her father walk her down the isle as they say. A way to have him part of the wedding or perhaps a compilation of video messages from him to her. A way to include him so that for that day she could have him there."

“Soral... I ...” Laura paused, considering how to explain. “Alex very much knows her father loved her dearly. But she also knew the day we lost him that things like this, walking her down the aisle, would not happen. It would perhaps upset her too much. An alternative... a friend of mine is a wonderful artist. He has often done paintings, recreated from wedding photographs but adding in loved ones who could not be there. Something to keep, but after your wedding day.”

Soral gave a nod. "Of course." He then thought a moment. "I will defer to your suggestion. If you could commission your friend. I will send my estate manager to Earth with the funds for the art as well as funds for the wedding. Alex and I had our personal bonding a small one with us two this wedding should combine all you wish it to be."

"Oh, no need," Laura said with a shake of her head. "It will all be my gift to the two of you. Besides, it sounds as if you already gave her the wedding she would have wanted. Ceremony, material things... they have never mattered much to her. Now, put her in a library! Completely different story."

He gave a nod. "Then she should love my library on Vulcan." He thought a moment. "As for gifts you have already given me a gift more precious then my very own breath. You have raised the woman he is vital for my very survival. You must let me assist." He paused. "Will you allow me to host you in my home on Vulcan soon?"

“I have never been to Vulcan so I could be persuaded,” Laura smiled.

Just as he was about to say something the doors parted and he sensed his beloved walk in.

“Sorry, time ran away with -“ Entering their quarters Alex stopped mid sentence and mid stride. “Mum?”

Laura offered a wave, “hi! I was calling to talk plans but you were at work. You look thinner. Are you eating? Is she eating? Hmm. Well, anyway, Soral was suggesting a trip to Vulcan! Doesn’t that sound wonderful!”

Alex glanced at Soral, “you did?”

"Indeed." He stood and walked over taking her hand and, as he often did, kissing the inside of her wrist. "Your mother and I have also come up with a viable plan for galactic domination." His lip twitched as he teased.

"Oh really?" Alex replied with a hint of amusement, "she normally only does that on Tuesdays."

He briefly touched his forehead to hers and then turned to Laura. "It was lovely to meet you. I will let you talk with Alexandra. I look forward to meeting you in person."

"And you," Laura smiled, watching as he retreated. Her eyes fixed on her daughter, "so tell me, when can I start knitting?"

"Mum!" Alex rolled her eyes in exasperation, sitting down as she as shook her head. "Very subtle. And since when do you knit anyways? The last time you tried it was a disaster."

"It was simply unique, dear," Laura retorted, trying to hide her own amusement. "Everyone is so into straight edges and perfect lines - it is good to be different, yes? And nobody made scarves like mine! Perhaps I'll knit one for Soral. Although I suppose he wont have much use for it on Vulcan... I'll have a think. Actually, I started an ice sculpture class! It is very interesting."

"But, doesn't the ice just melt?"

"The instructor has a climate controlled workshop. It's like Siberia in there! I'm not made for cold weather, Alex, as you know. I do prefer to be on the beach. But it passes the time when I'm not working," her mother confided. "I have met a few more of the locals, they are very nice. But it isn't the same."

Alex smiled sadly, knowing that look well. Her mother and her friends had always been at the centre of all the social engagements when she was a child, knew everyone and everything. She had willingly left it behind to accompany Alex to Earth but had never imagined the separation to become permanent. Final. "I know mum. But you know nobody can avoid you for long and before you know it, you'll be running the place," Alex reminded her with a bright smile, "remember Cambridge? I think they are still recovering from your New Year party!"

"That was good, wasn't it?!" Laura laughed.

"The best, mum," Alex assured her. "What did you call for?"

"Party ideas. Although perhaps mute. But if you are on Earth, we must celebrate. I've missed you! And look at this beach behind me, Alex! Doesn't it look amazing?! But we can decide nearer the time, your husband is waiting for you. I can call you next week and we can talk again."

"If you're sure," Alex frowned.

"I am. Take care both of you and stay safe!" Laura said as she reached for the control to end the call, "Love you!"

"Love you too mum," Alex replied just before the connection ended. Grinning when her mother managed to sneak in a 'and eat!' at the last possible second.

As the screen went dark their quarters seemed decidedly empty with the sudden silence.

Climbing to her feet, Alex retreated to the bedroom where Soral was waiting. Trying to give them privacy but she suspected his hearing meant he missed very little. "So, taking over the world, huh?"

"Indeed. I was thinking. You and I have had our small intimate wedding. Perhaps this one should be as your mother had imagined it."

Alex looked horrified. “Ooooh no, nope, no way. Never ever give my mother free reign. The universe would never survive! She always means well but it always goes mad. I had two hundred people and a three day celebration for my birthday one year.”

When Soral seemed confused she added, “I was three!!!”

She threw herself down on the bed, exasperated. “I wanted quiet and small, we did that.”

He sat down. "I realize that but your mother loves you. Perhaps not three or two hundred people but work with her to make it something that she will treasure as much as you will." He took her hand. "My wife sometimes we must bend a little for those we love."

“Stop being so reasonable,” she pouted.

He smiled. "Impossible." He crawled in beside her. "I am very much looking forward to the knitted scarf. I find the ship very cold so I will get use out of it."

“Ha! You’ll regret saying that...” she warned as she curled up against him. “Besides, I can be plenty flexible in the right circumstances. I’ll think about it. A tiny bit.”

He wrapped his arms around her. "I think this calls for one of my famous distractions."

“Famous huh?” She teased.

He smiled. He held her for a while allowing their link to show her how much he loved her. "Thank you,” he simply said.

She shifted to peer up at him, curious. “For what?”

"For the gift of being my wife. For giving my life meaning."

"You have it backwards," she countered as she kissed him before falling silent. Her hand gently resting over the site of his now healed wound. "When you were hurt... I was more scared then than I ever was trapped in the lab. And then you refused to rest... Bond or not. I don't want anything to happen to you."

He realized her feelings. It was bad enough the first ship and then when Vali was kidnapped he had to go on that too the next day. "I am sorry for that. It was necessary and I could argue that but it was not right of me. I shall be more careful in the future and I shall try to rest when required." He paused. "I was afraid too but not of dying but... of never seeing you again. It was our bond, your presence in my mind that kept me alive and that gave me the strength I needed." He rested his forehead against hers. "I cannot express how this time waking up with you falling asleep with you my arms has changed my life for the better."

"I think it was ninety nine percent your Vulcan stubbornness, one percent my amazing storytelling abilities," she countered playfully.

"Indeed. When we do have children though I do have one hope."

"One?" she asked, sounding amused.

"They all look like you and have your ears would be nice." He grinned at her, his smiles and grins had been only reserved for her.

"Or, look like you, have your hair and my ears," she countered with a broad smile.

He smiled. "I like mine better. I am, as you say, a stubborn Vulcan." He kissed her. "Now about that distraction we spoke of."



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