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Short for Something

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Ambassador Sarek wants to give his family as normal a life as possible. This is easier said than done with a half-human, half-Vulcan son and a fully-human daughter being raised primarily on Vulcan. Sarek, Amanda, Michael and Spock visit Earth when they can, though in Sarek’s case it’s practically part of his job description. They visit Earth most commonly when Earthlings call it ‘Summer’, because it is Amanda’s favorite time of year.

So as not to attract undue attention, Sarek and Spock get into the habit of wearing beanies to cover their ears, no matter how unseasonable it looks. At least it helps ward off some sunburn.

Michael is 9 and Spock is 5. They’re lazing in the front yard of their beachfront house, a charming white-painted two-storey wooden affair. A few of the neighbors’ kids have joined them because Amanda had lemonade to hand out and cool down with. Emma ‘you-can-call-me-Emmy’ Bridges, a talkative brunette who’s just moved into a house down the street, starts pulling Amanda’s daisies out of the ground, conspiratorially pulling Michael over to show her how to make daisy chains.

Michael, caught between wanting to make friends with Emmy and the horror of someone daring to touch Amanda’s flowers, gazes guiltily at Amanda. Amanda, recognizing immediately what Emmy is doing, comes over and curls her arm around Michael’s shoulders in a hug, whispering to her, “It’s alright, Michael, my flowers are meant to be appreciated.” She smiles, “You’ll see.” She disappears inside to refill the lemonade.

Michael turns to Emmy, who is doing something curious with the daisies, notching them together. Emmy shows her what she’s doing, filling Michael’s bewildered silence with a steady stream of chatter about herself. Michael’s a quick study, and soon they’re competing to see who can chain daisies up more quickly. 

Half an hour later, Michael is running out of appendages to drape daisy chains over, not that she's one for over-accessorizing. She looks around to see Spock on his hands and knees in a corner, a magnifying glass held up to one eye as he peers at a buzzing bee. Michael appraises the daisy chains she’s just finished. Only one way to find out if it would fit Spock.

She walks over to Spock, mindful not to dislodge the daisy chains draped over her, and waits patiently for the bee to find some other patch of flowers, her hands half outstretched and a daisy chain dangling between her fingers.

“Spock,” she says, to get his attention, “Are you thinking of becoming a de-tec-tive or a en-to-mo-lo-gist?” (Michael is very precocious, but she enunciates the syllables for Spock’s benefit.)

Spock turns to her with wide-eyed curiosity, eyes immediately drawn to the daisy chain in her hands. He smiles a little, because it’s Michael, and says, “I think I want to be Starfleet. Then I can be many things.”

“Very logical, little brother,” Michael grins back. “Hold still, let me put this on you.”

She tries to fit the daisy chain on Spock’s beanie like a crown, but it’s a tad too long, and slips down around his neck. Spock doesn’t mind, and wraps Michael in a hug as strong as a five-year-old can make it. 

“What a cute couple,” says someone with a booming laugh. Michael turns around to see a woman with the same brunette ringlets as Emmy standing at their gate. Michael thinks the woman has probably just strolled down the street, and it’s probably dinner time for Emmy.

Amanda looks up from the patio where she’s in the middle of categorizing some paperbacks, and waves at the woman. 

Michael turns around, takes Spock’s hand and walks up to the woman. She puts a hand out and says, “How do you do, ma’am, you must be Emmy’s mother? I’m Michael, and this is Spock.”

Spock does a little wave with his magnifying glass still clutched in his hand. 

Emmy’s mother laughs her booming laugh again as she shakes Michael’s hand, and says, “Indeed I am, young lady, indeed I am. You have great manners - someone taught you well. I’m Marnie, pleased to meet you, Michael and Spock. Puppy love just warms my heart. You two are awfully cute together - do you live next door to Spock?” 

“Oh no,” Michael grins, “we’re not together like that.” She can see where Emmy got her personality. 

Marnie smiles indulgently at them.

By this time, Amanda has dusted off her hands is walking towards her children and new neighbor. She stops behind Michael and Spock, having heard Michael’s clarification. 

She, too, shakes Marnie’s hand, introducing herself, “Hello, I’m Amanda. Pleased to meet you.”

“So,” Marnie asks, addressing Amanda, “Spock is an unusual name, is it short for something? I guess he’s your…” She trails off, the implication loud in the languid summer air.

Spock frowns. 

“Yes, that’s my name, it’s not short for anything, and- and Michael’s my sister,” Spock says. He points at Amanda, adding, “And she’s our mother!”

“My brother has a perfectly valid name,” Michael pipes up, managing to hold on to civility.

Emmy is quickly summoned away to dinner after that.

Later, as Amanda and Sarek are serving up dinner, daisy chains having been abandoned along their fence (though Spock is still wearing his), Amanda turns to Sarek with a chuckle and says, “You’ll never guess what happened today, Sarek.”

Sarek glances over as Amanda’s eyes sparkle with merriment. He replies, “I’m sure I’ll never guess, but I’m also sure I won’t have to, seeing as you’re about to tell me.”