Story [Star Trek 2009] "East of the Sun" (UDC7) Week 17 up 8/11

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  1. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    East of the Sun”


    Genre: Everything
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Everywhere
    Characters: Everyone

    Summary: My collection of replies to the Ultimate Drabble Challenge Seven.

    Author's Notes: Because you knew that these were coming. ;) With the new film coming out, I hope to see my Trek muse return something fierce, and these seemed to be as good a place as any to start. I am going to do my best to keep two drabble threads going throughout the challenge again, so wish me well. :p

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)






    Week I: “take to the skies”

    I. Baby

    The ship had been in its infant stages when Christopher Pike saw the blueprints that first time. The drawing was nothing more than white lines against blue, suggesting where steel would form her ribs and iron coat her skin. He could imagine, though, the starlight on her hull, the wealth of new worlds in her eyes.

    She was nothing more than paper and ink - ideas and dreams, but he could feel the heat of her settle under his skin.

    “What will she be called?” he asked, and in his heart, rising like a sun, he felt -

    Enterprise,” the engineer answered.

    - longing.



    II. Child

    The ship had been in its growing pangs when James T. Kirk had first looked upon her steel bones.

    The day was dim, the light over the horizon just enough for him to make out the shape of towers supporting the massive rise of the ship that grew to reach the heavens - like a child opening its hands to the starlight above. He had passed the shipyards many times before, but that night, with Pike's words fresh in his mind and his father's ghost close enough to touch, Kirk looked upon the rise of the Enterprise . . . and for a moment he felt . . . belonging.



    III. Teenager

    The first day of official service aboard the Enterprise was full of smiling faces everywhere one looked - from the ridiculous grin on Jim's mouth to the not-quite-unamused glow to the Vulcan's eyes.

    “Like a bunch of teenagers at prom,” McCoy grumbled under his breath, ire thick in his voice as he passed into his office to get away from his nurses – who were one step away from singing, he was sure of it.

    . . . if he was to let his hand pass fondly over the metal of the walls as he past – it was not a caress (a welcome) - not one bit.



    IV. Adult

    “A month, and I still can't sleep.”

    Her voice was whispered, but he was awake as soon as he felt the cool touch of her skin against his own, felt the slightness of her weight as she joined him on the bed.

    “Is that childish of me? I'm a full grown adult, but I'm still too giddy to sleep. She . . . she keeps me awake,” Nyota whispered against his chest. “She whispers, and I want to translate her song . . . Is that silly?”

    In the dark, he held her close; he felt the thunder of her heartbeat. “Not at all, ashal-veh.”

    Not at all . . .



    V. Elderly

    The hum of the ship at dock was quiet when, after the years, they were used to her engines on full, her great halls alive with the song of stars.

    And Kirk paused before leaving, his eyes fond with memories. “We really did grow old together, didn't we?” he whispered, not to McCoy besides him, but to the ship herself, saying his last goodbyes.

    The lights dimmed behind them, and when Kirk was gone, McCoy turned, and fondly patted one of the silver walls. “Still as beautiful as the day we met,” he confided like a secret, and around him he was sure he felt the ship smile.



    ~MJ@};-
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Aug 11, 2013
  2. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Awesome little snippets into the Enterprise's life along with its crew. =D=
  3. Master_Jaina1011 Force Ghost

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    I love them ALLLLLL!!!!!!

    Yes Mira I squealed seeing ST from you again. And one about the Enterprise nonetheless. I love that ship, and you showed how even Bones love the ship!
  4. brodiew Force Ghost

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    Beautiful as always, Mira. I liked that you used Enterprise as your subject, but it was this line that stood out among the group:

    "but that night, with Pike's words fresh in his mind and his father's ghost close enough to touch, Kirk looked upon the rise of the Enterprise . . . and for a moment he felt . . . belonging."

    I really enjoyed the image of his father's ghost just out of sight.
  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    That was wonderful! The ship really felt like a character. I teared up a little at the last one.

    This is going to be awesome :D
  6. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

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    Taking us through how they think of the ship... loved it, Mira. :)
  7. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    RX_Sith: Why thank-you. [face_love]

    Master_Jay: And it is so good to see you here as well! [face_dancing][:D] Bones is such a softy - which was fun to show, along with showcasing the great lady herself. [face_love]

    brodie: First off, thank-you for dropping by, my friend. Your words are always valued! [:D] Funnily enough, that line was the first one I wrote for this set. I'm glad it struck a chord. :)

    Nat: It is going to be awesome indeed! :D I am glad you are enjoying the ride so far. [:D]

    Daena: It is wonderful to see you here as well. Thank-you so much for your kind words. [:D]






    Week II: “in sickness, in health”

    VI. Healthy

    McCoy fell sick after their first 'official' mission aboard the Enterprise. A routine mapping expedition on a planet with what looked to be cotton floating in the air turned into the flu from hell – his face flushing green as his throat flooding with more phlegm than he was sure was healthy.

    His scaring all of his nurses away to tend for himself did not detour Kirk – who came armed with non-replicated chicken noodle soup (which Jim boasted of proudly and McCoy considered trepidatiously) and a get-well-soon card, vowing to patch his friend up now that their situations were finally reversed.



    VII. Injured

    Automatically, he opened his mouth to send Kirk away, a dozen clipped comments at the ready. But there was a stubborn hook to the kid's mouth that McCoy recognized (proof that Jim had spent too much time with him), and an arch to his eyebrow that McCoy recognized even more (proof that Jim was spending too much time with the Vulcan).

    “You're no Florence Nightingale,” McCoy grumbled, dutifully taking a bite of the soup. “But this isn't horrible.”

    Jim beamed - triumphant, and McCoy told himself that it was the meds that made him unable to keep from smiling in return.



    VIII. Sick

    She'd taken ill; their great bastion of steel and stars. She held her breath (her legs casted at dry dock), and carried her bones tight (foreign engineers like ants in her halls), while Scotty passed a soothing hand against her walls as he shimmied under yet another access tube, welding torch in his hand.

    The genesis was painful; as crude as any operation of flesh and bone upon the good Doctor's table - but as he worked, he whispered of the stars beyond like a promise, an incentive.

    “But only if you get better, lass,” he added, and the great ship quieted around him. Slowly, she healed.



    IX. Stressed

    The rolling language of Juxca-Jaxca gave Uhura a migraine she was sure would last a month.

    Her teeth were on edge and her shoulders were tight, her spine a steel beam as she leaned over the PADDs before her – readying herself for a mediation of peace between two rival factions on a far out system. Phaser beams popped behind her eyes as she worked. She rubbed at her temples, but felt as if she were rubbing stones against stones.

    Then warm hands were at her shoulders, strong fingers slowly massaged away the hurts of the day. She leaned back into his touch, soothed.



    X. Frustrated

    “You are over-taxing yourself,” Spock said matter-of-factly. And of course, his rubbing her shoulders was a logical way to restore her body's equilibration. Nothing more, she smirked.

    But then, his mind was warm against hers, smoothing over the honeycombed holes in her thoughts – easing the frustration she felt for the language's lack of logic. Her psyche filled with contentment and peace. She would try again, his thoughts declared. She would then succeed.

    But later.

    She lifted a hand to cover his own, and returned his thoughts with a few of her own as she let him pull her to her feet, smiling.

    Later indeed . . .



    ~MJ@};-
  8. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    I love Healthy. That is just so Bones :D
  9. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Healthy definitely sooths Bones' demeanor and chicken noodle soup is a great way to treat anything. :D
  10. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

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    I liked sick, with Scotty working on the ship. Awesomely done, Mira. :)
  11. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Mira - buya! buya! [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Baby -- :) Child -- =P~ but Adult SQUEEEEEEEE & for week #2, Stressed & Frustrated gooified. ^:)^ ^:)^ !!!!! Later, oh yeah, as in, as if. Angel boy has magic hands, and other genius skills, -- Nyota feels the power of the "Force" -- and it reverberates .. and sings. [face_laugh] You got me started. [:D] [:D] !!!!!
  12. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Nat: The big softie! That one was fun to write. [face_laugh]

    RX_Sith: Bones is an utter and complete burnt marshmallow, that's for sure. He's a fun character to write. [face_love]

    Daena: That one was my favourite too. What fine taste you have. ;) :D Thank-you for reading, as always.

    Jade_eyes: [face_laugh] As always, your enthusiasm is catching! I am so glad that you read and enjoyed. [:D]







    Week III: "at your back, a hand"

    XI. Attraction

    Kirk started it.

    But the Alflexions finished it, and as sure as a magnet - Kirk ever being a center of gravity, holding danger close like a star holding planets in orbit - the kid ended up in his sickbay, holding an eye that had caught a face full of shrapnel, calmly asking if he would ever see again.

    It was the first time McCoy had ever heard a trace of fear in the other's voice – that alone broke some fundamental law of the universe, he'd have the Vulcan figure out which - so he put on his best not-smile and said, “Of course kid.”



    XII. Love

    “If the eye patch draws one pirate captain joke before Kirk makes them himself -”

    “ - pain, certain death, unimaginable horror,” Christine patted his arm. “Got it.”

    McCoy had the feeling his nurses didn't take him seriously.

    But Kirk looked pathetic and miserable squinting through one eye, and McCoy was thinking of that – only that, and not his reputation – when he came later with chicken noodle soup (homemade, non-replicated) and a get-well-soon card.

    “You do love me,” Jim muttered, and McCoy rolled his eyes, but not before making sure that the card was positioned just so next to Kirk's bed.



    XIII. Commitment

    “It is merely a graze,” Spock said levelly as she cleaned the burn on his ear – where a phaser bolt had come that close.

    “Your hair smells like smoke,” she informed him. “It was close.”

    His eyes crinkled in emotion – something human in him more miffed over his burnt hair than his burnt skin. She tried to hide her pleas about heroics and close calls behind her amusement, reminding herself that Starfleet had called to him – to both of them - for a reason. She wouldn't ask anything different of him.

    Still, when he took her hand, she latched onto him like a lifeline.



    XIV. Marriage

    “You know, as ship's captain, I can -”

    “That really won't be necessary.”

    “Oh, come on Spock – think about it, we can decorate the observation deck, make sure we are passing some breathtaking nebula or starcluster, and you can say your vows - ”

    “We already have two ceremonies planned - on both Earth and New Vulcan.”

    “Then what's one more?! Those are for family anyway - this one can be for you - us.”

    “ . . . we may consider it.”

    “Ha! That totally means yes!”

    “May I point out that a fist pump, as a gesture of ecstatic triumph, is premature -”

    “Trust me, if ever a fist pump was needed, it's now.”



    XV. Anniversary

    It was not illogical to mourn the dead - on the contrary, mourning freed the mind from grief. It was, however, illogical to observe the yearly passing of what no longer was.

    Sarek told himself that he was not observing the anniversary of his wife's death. He was merely lighting a candle that smelled of cinnamon – a scent Amanda had preferred – in his evening meditation. His thoughts were not filled with the shape of her mouth, the memory of her voice.

    And yet, at the day's end, he exhaled with his missing, and felt ready to endure the year without her.



    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited by Mira_Jade, Feb 19, 2013
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  13. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Such a great mix! I felt so bad for Kirk. And Marriage -- my favorite :D -- was hilarious and so very Kirk. And anniversary was so sad :(
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  14. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Another great set with more moments for Spock and Nyota to grow closer due to his close call. And then, marriage and anniversary are both opposites of each other with Spock and Nyota's marriage against Sarek's loss of his wife anniversary. =D=
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  15. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Love [face_laugh] [face_laugh] How utterly classic. :D :D ;) Commitment -- oh yes, I can taste her biting back her words; I can feel it and her utter profound relief: You are here, my darling, angel, love. [face_love] Marriage - woohoo!!!!! But Anniversary -- Sarek deserves a big, fat, hug. And a lady to give a shoulder rub and back rub in a scented bath... :D I just read an L/M story update where he did that to she. It's absolutely yummy and romantic. And there were candles in the 'fresher surrounding the tub. [face_dancing] [face_sigh] I feel a bunny. Yumsy! You do inspire. [:D] [:D]
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  16. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

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    Loved all of these, but most especially Anniversary there with Sarek and the candel.

    “Trust me, if ever a fist pump was needed, it's now.”

    Hee!!!!
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  17. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Nat: Thank-you! Marriage was a blast to write. How could Kirk do anything else? [face_laugh]

    RX_Sith: That's one of the things I love about these drabbles - you can explore such a juxtaposition of feelings in one set, and it is so much fun to play with. Thank-you for reading. [:D]

    Deb: My emotions precicsly upon reading these! And woohoo for the more bunnies that were sparked. :D That is always the fun thing about the drabble time of year. ;) [:D]

    Daena: Thank-you! I could so see Kirk fist pumping there. It just had to be written. :p








    Week IV: "as moons are to tides"

    XVI. Snow

    It was illogical to 'dislike' a phenomenon as natural as weather, but it was logical enough to admit that he preferred warmer, drier conditions than this. Much warmer.

    At his office window, Amanda gave a pleased sigh. “Isn't it beautiful?”

    “It is merely the precipitation of crystalline water,” Sarek recited, not disagreeing outright. “I had known of such weather in theory.”

    Amanda raised a brow. “So . . . you've never seen snow before?”

    A pause. “That is correct.”

    Her grin split her face. “I don't know what we are doing indoors, then,” she decided, turning to find her scarf. “Come on Ambassador, follow me.”



    XVII. Sand

    Amanda's first impression of Vulcan was sand.

    As far as the eye could see, Vulcan was coloured by flames. Warm golds and shades of rust and red blended in with the mountains in the distance, the severe rise of Shi'Kahr on the horizon. The planet was fiery and hot, pressing in against her. Sweat already plastered her collar to her neck, while her lungs felt like paper stretched around the thin air.

    Taking a deep breath, Amanda reminded herself that it was illogical to dislike a planet based on her likelihood to sunburn. She would give her new home every chance it deserved.



    XVIII. Water

    In theory, he knew that such large bodies of water made up most of Earth's surface. So different from desert-like Vulcan, the ocean had entranced him from the beginning, its tides ever charging and retreating, answering the invisible command of the moon above.

    But it was not until Nyota that Spock actually swam in the ocean – her laughter sweet on the air when he mentioned that Vulcan had no seas; no moon to control the tides.

    She stepped into the waves and held out a hand. He knew then what the tides felt like as he followed her, unable to resist.



    XIX. Heat

    The heat of New Vulcan was thick enough to touch, even though Nyota was told that Vulcan of old was even hotter. 'Crisp' was the exact word Spock had used, though Nyota believed him not. Already sweat beaded on her brow, even after a childhood spent in the Nairobi sun.

    There was a cool hand at her elbow, and when she turned, Sarek was holding a canister of water to her. “Amanda would not complain of the heat unless I first took the initiative. It will become bearable in time.”

    Nyota took the water, touched, and felt the sun above her cool, just slightly.



    XX. Clouds

    Vulcan of old had no moon, neither ocean nor tide. But this world had all; an ocean in the west and two moons above. Clouds gathered in the distance, threatening rain. It was not home as it was . . . but Spock understood why his older self had chosen this world.

    “Mother would have approved,” Spock whispered carefully.

    Beside him, Sarek inclined his head. “It will rain soon,” he said instead of agreeing. “Your mother would not have suffered such a thing indoors.”

    Spock watched his father go, understanding then just how much he was ignorant to. And now, for the first . . . he wanted to learn.



    ~MJ @};-
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  18. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    I was eagerly anticipating these. Happy, happy sigh. Rhetorical question of the Millenium: [face_laugh] What sane woman could not drool over, squee over, fall in love with, Sarek or Spock, either one? Foot, but Amanda and Nyota have uber!!!!taste. [face_love] [face_love] !!!!!!!!! Amanda and Nyota bring fun and discovery to their soulmates, make love an adventure, a thrill in the heart, the soul... ^:)^ Sarek and Spock are divinely gifted. [:D] [:D]
    Last edited by Jade_eyes, Feb 19, 2013
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  19. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

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    Amanda introducing Sarek to snow!!!! Loved that!!!!

    “Amanda would not complain of the heat unless I first took the initiative. It will become bearable in time.”

    And this... awesome that he knew her so well, terribly upsetting that she's gone, and even more awesome that he took the initiative and got Nyota water because he knew she'd never admit it, either.
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  20. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Deb: [face_laugh][face_love] It's true, these girls have catches! It is so much fun to dabble in their bonds. [face_love]

    Daena: That really was the bittersweet thing about these - bringing them full circle with Amanda's loss. I'm glad you enjoyed these. :)







    Week V: "what's given in return"

    XXI. Seek

    The novelty of being able to touch her new husband whenever she wished was slow to wear. Curiously, her fingers traced the point of his ear, seeking every whirl and dip that was different than her own.

    “May I inquire as to the source of your fascination?” Sarek requested dryly.

    “Because I am your wife now, and I can,” Amanda teased in return, eyes glittering.

    His mouth twitched, as if he wished to speak, before he swallowed his syllables away. When he turned back to his reading, Amanda grinned and wondered just how many words on the page he truly absorbed in the end.



    XXII. Sneak

    It was illogical to sneak any book out of his father's library, and yet this particular tome – with actual paper pages and leather binding – drew his fingers in curiosity, almost like shame. It was a book of human poems – his mother's sprawling signature on the first pages proclaiming it as a gift.

    Spock sat on the balcony of his room, hidden behind the curtains as he curiously read the sonnets, unsure of whether not he liked them. The words were superfluous, illogical and emotional – with one flowery metaphor after another. It was undeniably . . . human.

    And yet, Spock could not put the book down.



    XXIII. Steal

    The dying fields were fragrant as he tromped through the dry stalks, picking up stones as he went. In the night sky, the stars twinkled merrily above - lies, all of them, Jim thought. He counted carefully, three to the right and then one above - there, his mother's station that night.

    He threw the rock as hard as he could at the star - hardly striking the heavens, but chipping away at his own discord in a small way.

    The stars had stolen all, the child reflected moodily - father and mother and sunlight too.

    He never stopped to wonder what they would give in return.



    XXIV. Share

    He was a child of two worlds.

    He meditated. His thoughts were in the Vulcan tongue, but raced with human shapes. He wore cotton about his skin, human woven, but in dark russet tones of earth and stone, Vulcan begotten. He squared his hands against the mat, hearing Nyota in the kitchen beyond. He could smell the sharp scent of her coffee, the cool aroma of Vulcan herbs in the tea she prepared for him. He could not decide which was more appealing.

    Nyota hummed as she worked, human vocal chords forming a Vulcan song. He exhaled, content.

    Balance, his mouth pulled at the thought, ready to face the day.



    XXV. Sell

    The markets of Plok-II were colorful enough to pull the eye in a dozen different directions. Distracted, McCoy tried to remember the rudimentary Plokian Nyota had taught them – namely, no-thanks, and go away.

    But one vendor was selling smooth blue stones set into intricate silvery swirls, as lovely as the sky and silver linings. McCoy stopped, considering.

    The jewelsmith immediately spotted him as a sucker – at least, that's what he told Jim instead of saying that the stones reminded him of Christine's eyes. The kid seemed to know anyway – damn him – and McCoy put up with his teasing all the way back to the ship.



    ~MJ @};-
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  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Seek: SQUEE! SQUEE! That kind of novelty would never wear off if it were me. =P~

    Sneak: Awwwww! I have a weakness for sonnets, especially those of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. (Those, also, belong to S/U.) [face_laugh] My tummy got all gooey at the mental image this one painted. [face_love] !!!!

    Steal: =D= =D= And his own destiny lies there. :) :) !!!!

    Share: Oh, delicious! A truly tangible reflection of what they bring to and share with one another. ^:)^

    Sell: [face_laugh] Niiice! Bones+Christine .... ;)

    [:D] for this weekly treat! LOL I eagerly anticipate the prompts and then wonder: How will Mira on NSWFF and Hazel on the SW side use them to make me [face_dancing] :D
    Last edited by Jade_eyes, Feb 27, 2013
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  22. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

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    “May I inquire as to the source of your fascination?” Sarek requested dryly.

    “Because I am your wife now, and I can,” Amanda teased in return, eyes glittering.

    Ah, the simpleness of this, a woman fascinated by her man...

    The kid seemed to know anyway – damn him – and McCoy put up with his teasing all the way back to the ship.

    Hee... he knows because he's not blind or deaf...


    Loved these. :)
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  23. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Love everything about these two sets as you show more of Amanda and Sarek in their best of times. And with Nyota and Spock are uniquely special in their affections and experiences.
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  24. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    It was illogical to 'dislike' a phenomenon as natural as weather, but it was logical enough to admit that he preferred warmer, drier conditions than this. Much warmer.

    [face_laugh] I see Sarek and I would get along :p I laughed at his and Amanda's different opinions abot the weather.

    It was not home as it was . . . but Spock understood why his older self had chosen this world.

    “Mother would have approved,” Spock whispered carefully.


    So beautiful! [face_love]

    “May I inquire as to the source of your fascination?” Sarek requested dryly.

    “Because I am your wife now, and I can,” Amanda teased in return, eyes glittering.


    [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    The stars had stolen all, the child reflected moodily - father and mother and sunlight too.

    He never stopped to wonder what they would give in return.


    This is so sad, but so full of promise, too. Gorgeous.


    Wonderful sets!
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  25. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Deb: Your enthusiasm is so catching! I always look forward to what you have to say here. [:D]

    Awwwww! I have a weakness for sonnets, especially those of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. (Those, also, belong to S/U.) My tummy got all gooey at the mental image this one painted. !!!!

    And that fits so perfectly! Forever and ever, amen. [face_love]

    for this weekly treat! LOL I eagerly anticipate the prompts and then wonder: How will Mira on NSWFF and Hazel on the SW side use them to make me

    And I can ask for no greater compliment than THAT. I am so glad that you continue to enjoy these. [face_love]


    Daena: Again, I have to thank-you for the thoughtful words. [:D]

    Ah, the simpleness of this, a woman fascinated by her man...

    The drabble just kind of spilled out after that. It was a wonderfully simple moment to convey. [face_love]

    Hee... he knows because he's not blind or deaf...

    [face_laugh] And McCoy isn't as grumpy as he thinks he is, that's for sure. :p


    RX_Sith: It's a great compare and contrast to write - both equally lovely, in their own way. [face_love]


    Nat: I see Sarek and I would get along I laughed at his and Amanda's different opinions abot the weather.

    [face_laugh] I am normally the opposite - as much as I love the summer sun, there is just something magical about snow. Thankfully I live where we are blessed with all four seasons at their best. :D

    You picked some of my favourite lines! As always, thank-you for reading, and I am glad that you enjoyed. [:D]







    Week VI: “a no win scenario”

    XXVI. Serious

    If there was anything to prove that there was justice in the world, it was James T. Kirk finally having his ass handed to him by a computer program. McCoy would drink to the Kobiyashi Maru that night – glad that's Kirk's swirling-in-the-chair laid back attitude was for naught in the end.

    The kid had to learn, even if artificially, the weight of no way out, you've failed us all – for while there was a genius in Kirk's mind and a heart like no other in Kirk's chest, it would be for nothing if he didn't let that heart out to see the light of day.



    XXVII. Silly

    “Of all of the ridiculous, silly ways to take a test - swirling in his chair like it was a joke! He even had the gall to look confused when he lost.” There was satisfaction in Nyota's voice – vengeful satisfaction.

    From the whispered mental link between them, Spock raised a brow, tasting this new emotion of hers in his mouth. The emotion turned thoughtful as she tilted her head, considering.

    “There is no way to beat that test, is there?” Her question was frank where many had whispered.

    But Spock tilted his head, his eyes betraying nothing. “I have no comment on the matter.”



    XXVIII. Charming

    Of course, Kirk's loss became McCoy's when he was forced to join the kid in drowning his sorrows that night, watching as Kirk struck out with a pretty brunette.

    And McCoy snorted. “Someday, you'll learn that mile-a-minute-flirting and one-night-invitations are nothing compared to some good old fashioned charm.”

    Kirk snorted. “Like you could do any better.” There was a challenge in his voice, a challenge that McCoy was much too old for.

    But apparently just young enough to leave with the girl's number where Kirk did not – who muttered that, obviously, the universe was out to get him.



    XXIX. Rude

    The second time Kirk failed the test, he at least put his all into it. He spoke his orders with crisp authority, the determined light in his eyes enough to match the simulated burn of the stars around them.

    But the Kobiyashi Maru took its pound of flesh, leaving Kirk stumped as he lingered in the captain's chair long past the test's end.

    “Well,” Kirk muttered, a forced levity in his voice, “that was just downright rude.” His laugh was choked, but the light in his eyes had yet to dim – a decision made that McCoy was not yet privy to.



    XXX. Funny

    “The simulation was unbeatable – admit it.”

    Spock took a pawn. “You speak as if you know the answer.”

    “And you are deflecting,” Kirk responded mildly, attacking.

    “'Winning' would be defined based on the prize,” Spock remarked.

    “I couldn't beat it honestly,” Kirk admitted, defending his king. “Thus, I didn't win.”

    “I would not say that,” Spock said evenly, pushing the board towards him – where a stalemate had been reached.

    Finally, Kirk laughed. And the whole thing was suddenly funny as understanding hit. The Kobiyashi Maru was not a test of skill, but of character – revealing one's inner-self with their back to the wall and everything to lose.



    ~MJ @};-
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