At an urgent summons, she'd transported down to the planet, amidst the ruin and rubble of Khitomer Station. Sergey stumbled towards her, clutching a small figure wrapped in a dark blanket. She dashed forward, touching her husband's face and reassuring herself that he was all right before turning her attention to the one he carried.
"Helena, I found this child in the rubble. He has no one left."
"Sergey, you can't mean … we cannot keep him."
The blanket shifted and a small face peered up at her, russet and ridged. Her heart lurched in her chest when terrified brown eyes met hers. A sudden wave of fierce affection washed over her, a feeling she hadn't felt in years, since the moment the nurses had placed baby Nikolai into her arms and she'd first seen her son.
Tearing her eyes away from the child, their child now, and meeting Sergey's gaze, she nodded wordlessly. She leaned in to touch the boy, sure that a frightened Klingon child who had just lost his family would shy away from contact. The little boy's lower lip trembled. He leaned into her tentative touch and she lost her heart all over again.
* * * * * * * * *
Fighting. Her baby was fighting. She had feared that the other students wouldn't accept a Klingon classmate. Had they hurt him? Had they even bothered to get to know him? She was terrified at the prospect of seeing her little one bloodied and even more withdrawn than usual.
Rushing around the corner and into the school office, she saw her son sitting, arms crossed and dour expression firmly in place. He looked all right. Thank goodness! The Principal cleared her throat and Helena turned to see five teenagers, each nearly twice the size of her small son, sitting in a row of chairs. All had bloody noses and the largest had a nasty black eye.
"Oh, Worf," she muttered, more to herself than anything. "What happened?"
"Your son claims they were being disrespectful," said the Principal dryly.
"Oh, Worf," she repeated, searching his face for answers. Her poor boy. He had to learn to control himself and he had to learn to air his grievances without the use of his fists. This had been a recurring problem since he'd first joined their family, and she had hoped that this fresh start in a new, quieter community would help.
Taking a deep, shaky breath, she schooled her face into a neutral expression. Six sets of sullen eyes watched as the two women stepped into the Principal's private office, letting the door click shut behind them.
* * * * * * * * *
Would he forget about them? About his family, the ones who loved him so much, the ones who had been there for him since the day he'd come into their lives? Would he forget his mother?
She looked sadly at the small pile of gifts on the kitchen table. Sergey had gone overboard this year—Worf's absence had affected him, too. It would be her first birthday since her family had become complete that all of her boys would not be there. Wiping back tears, she tried a put on a brave face. Nikolai would be coming by soon and she didn't want him to see his mother like this.
A chime rang out indicating there was a message coming through. Assuming it was Sergey calling from the Station, she did not rush. He often called to tell her when he was running a little late. She pressed the button to accept and gasped when her baby's face filled the screen.
"Worf!" she exclaimed and let out a stunned laugh. She clutched her hands to her chest and took in the image of her son and the wonderful young man he'd become. He looked so proud with his shoulders back and head high and she felt a strong rush of affection for the brave young man that her little lost son had grown into.
"Happy birthday, Mother."
No, her Worf would never forget his mother. For the first time in the months since he'd left home, Helena felt a sense of peace.