Kyle checked the lines of his dress uniform as he stood at the front door and then signaled. A human woman answered that he had once met as a diplomatic aide.
"I would like to see Ambassador Spock and Ambassador Sarek, please."
She stared in open surprise. "Uh… do they know you're coming?"
"No, ma'am. But if you could let them know I'm here and that I only need a couple minutes."
Her light skin and dark hair somehow managed to stay that way despite being under Vulcan's sun. "Do you have any idea what their schedules are like?! Let alone the people with appointments in line to get hold of them since they're actually both home?"
"That's why I came – because they're both home. So, if you could let them know, just a couple of minutes, and I'm out of their way. Yours too."
She took a closer look at him. "You work for Saavik, don't you?"
"Everybody on Vulcan works for her, ma'am," Kyle answered. "She's commander of Starfleet forces here."
"Right, sorry. So, it's a Starfleet matter?"
"No, ma'am. Personal. And the captain didn't send me. I'm here on my own."
She sighed. "Look don't count on it, but tell me what to tell them."
"I'm Commander Nachson and I have a declaration to make."
She repeated that even louder from escalating disbelief, but she waved him inside and told him to stay right there. He barely had time to look around – he was new to Vulcan and this marked his first time here in the house – when the aide returned looking even more stunned. "They'll see you right now."
He snapped his sleeves, settled his shoulders as he tugged his jacket, and followed her. Spock met them at the other side of the foyer and the aide's expression said, this doesn't happen often.
"My father or I should have greeted you as a personal guest at the door, Mr. Nachson. Our work delayed us. I believe we have met." Spock's light ambassadorial robes became brighter with the sun coming through the high windows.
Nachson raised his hand in the proper salute. "Yes, sir. When you came aboard the Armstrong after your wedding."
"I remember. Saavik speaks of you, of course." He gestured for Kyle to follow and excused the aide. She watched them go, now so interested that she hated not going with them.
Kyle trailed Spock into a large office where Sarek waited. After exchanging greetings, the elder ambassador got right to the matter.
"Mr. Nachson, you have us quite curious. Maya informs us you have a declaration you wish to make?"
Different features between father and son, same look of engaged curiosity.
"Yes, sir." Kyle settled into standing between a parade rest and being at attention. His dark blonde hair, unlike the aide, was already lighter from the sun that tanned him as well. "I did not give my full name before. I'm Kyle Nachson and I followed Captain Saavik from the Armstrong to Vulcan. She might have told you she objected."
Sarek frowned, puzzled. "Why did Saavik object?"
"It's wrong, but Starfleet forces here can be looked down on. The captain didn't want that to backlash on my career."
Spock knew. So did Sarek, but his disapproval showed. "However, you requested your post here?"
"Yes, sir. To serve the captain. That's why I'm here in your office. I believe these kinds of things need to be said formally. You're her husband and father-in-law – sorry, sir, I forgot the Vulcan practice. Her husband and father." Sarek nodded. "I'm declaring to you that as a formal commitment, I will do whatever I can to see to the captain's safety and be of good service as her officer."
Spock and Sarek exchanged a glance before the father went first. He let himself weight the tall figure before he spoke. "Impressive, Commander, most impressive. And highly appreciated."
Nachson nodded and thanked him.
"Are you Saavik's protégée?"
"Kind of. She says – you know this term, sirs, she said Lady Amanda taught it to her – she says I'm her–"
"Stray," Sarek finished softly.
"So," the older ambassador said, still gentle, "my wife's favorite has a favorite of her own."
"I don't know if I'm her favorite. I'm not complaining, Ambassador. It's okay if I'm not."
"Her actions say you are." His eyes were in the past before he turned to Spock who crossed the room to Nachson. As the husband, he got to make the final statement.
"You are aware of my own Starfleet career, so I understand the task I am setting you." His head came up. "Wherever it is you go, bring her back safely to me."
"On my life, sir."
He excused himself and said he'd find his way out. He had promised to only take a couple minutes and he wouldn't abuse that. He got a little turned around and came across a cozy living area. A man, human and older, sat with a Vulcan toddler on his lap, and a massive animal like a sabertooth bear laid to the side. The boy played with what had to be the cutest toy doctor kit ever made, each piece fashioned of soft plush; it was a good thing because the child tended to shove the pieces in his mouth. That was after holding things up to the man for his approval and instruction.
Kyle smiled and walked in; he reminded Leonard McCoy they had met before and said hello to Saavik's son. He held still while he supposedly got scanned but with the toy hypospray and to see if he was pregnant.
"We're a work in progress," the doctor explained with massive amounts of pride as he swapped the wrong piece for the toy scanner and a lecture of who could carry babies.
Nachson left after a few more pleasantries and got two steps when he stopped.
His bearing drew up and he snapped his sleeves and tugged his jacket again. He spun neatly and strode back into the room to face the little boy once more.
"Can I take hold of his hand?" he asked McCoy.
"Sure! He's not old enough for telepathic development and now you got me real curious, son."
Kyle first spread his hand in the Vulcan greeting. "Hello, Setik. We've seen each other before, but we didn't formally meet. I'm Kyle Nachson and I work for your mom. I'm here to make a declaration to you. I will do anything it takes to help her, so you can grow as big as your dad and granddad with the best mom ever." He took the tiny hand and shook it. "Some humans do this and for lots of reasons. It's called shaking hands. You and me, we're doing it to show respect and to make a deal. That means we're making a promise to each other. Your sisters aren't born yet, so you're making this for them too. You grow up, I make sure your mom gets to see it. That's my declaration and that's our deal."
McCoy cleared his throat. "Well… I liked it. I liked it a lot. Almost Arthurian. Jim would have loved it," he said under his breath. "You know, you could help me out. I can't always be here, neither can Nyota – that's Admiral Uhura. And we're sort of the boy's godparents. So, if we can contact you, have you pass something on to the boy or run him around on your younger legs, that'd be great."
"It's an honor, sir." He shook that little hand again and the boy spoke something in Vulcan, then gave a squeal as if cementing their arrangement. Kyle adored it. "We'll talk some more, Setik. One day, I'll say this again so you'll remember."
"He'll do that already. Amazing minds, but don't tell his parents I said so. When he's older, he'll remember it and be able to understand the words. How 'bout I accept on his behalf until then?" McCoy held his hand out and shook Kyle's. "Well done, son. You're always full of surprises and you make for the best stories. This one, like I said, was very-"
"Medieval," came a woman's firm voice. A Vulcan woman in Starfleet uniform showing the swell of pregnancy.
Setik threw his hands up in the air and began bouncing on McCoy's lap. "Me'ina!"
Nachson smiled as he pointed to Setik. "He's great, Captain."
"I am fully aware of it."
"Yes, well. Language progression and motor-development skills can develop later in children with sedate temperaments. His social skills, however, are ahead of schedule."
"You can see that too. He's the best, ma'am."
She swooped her son into the air and then to her hip. The boy tried swinging around and stretched a hand to pat her stomach with an enthusiastic ko-'ailar.
"Sisters," Saavik translated. "Although his odd habit of not using the k sound in the middle of words remains. I was bringing you here tonight, Mr. Nachson, to introduce you."
Kyle felt a strong instinct to snatch the squirming Setik from his mother's hands to prevent a foot kicking her abdomen, but he had been through this. Saavik had inherited the Romulan woman's ability to give off pheromones while pregnant, making all males around her protective. Kyle went through this and learned to control it back when she was pregnant with Setik and since she became pregnant with the twins. "Better this way, ma'am. It shows I'm doing this on my own."
She shot a look at him. "You did what on your own?"
McCoy got up and remarked as he passed by, "Showed he's got what it takes to be a good Fun Uncle."
Saavik's frowned in confusion. "I do not know the term. What is its meaning?"
Two deep voices behind interrupted the exchange which ended anyway because the doctor had left the room.
"My wife," Spock called, Sarek right behind him. "I heard your voice. Mr. Nachson, I am pleased to see you remain."
Sarek began, "Saavik." She grew wary of the tone. "Your officer is most remarkable. His declaration to us is immensely respectful."
"Agreed," Spock approved, "and most uncommon."
"We do not recognize the cultural practice," Sarek said.
Saavik explained as Setik burrowed under her hair, "Kyle Nachson is a culture of one, Father."
Kyle grinned at her. "The Nachson nation. I'm an orphan, sir, from the Frontier. My personal code is a grab bag of things I saw there and then more things that I made for myself. 'The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.'"
Spock identified the quote. "Socrates."
"Yes, sir. I appreciate what you've said, Ambassadors." He locked eyes with Spock. "And I remember my promises."
Saavik interrupted this male party. "Did he inform you he turned down my offer to be first officer?"
Spock's head cocked to the side. "No, he did not."
Nachson shrugged. "Best way for me to serve the captain – and meet my promises – is to be her second, not her first."
Sarek dipped his head. "Most respectful."
Saavik shot him a glance and then pinpointed Nachson, but with a light in her eyes. "I am certain I will hear of this repeatedly." She handed her son to her husband. "We must leave. We have a beam out in five minutes."
They walked out the front entrance, passing McCoy on the main comm station. "Ny, remember that kid from the Armstrong? The one who told Spock-"
Saavik warned Kyle, apologetic. "You may be hearing from a few, select people."
"Yeah? …I can see that. Is that for you, ma'am, or for the boy?"
"For Setik. They are quite protective."
"OK." He grinned more and held up his forefinger and thumb with a chunk of distance between them. "Bet some of it's for you."
They barely reached Headquarters when a harried officer, paling under his caramel brown coloring, asked in a near shout, "Are you Nachson?"
He said yeah while Saavik narrowed her eyes at the other man's behavior.
"We got people demanding to talk to you! Admiral Sulu, Admiral Chekov-!"
"And this," Saavik cut in, "is not how you spoke with them. Correct?"
The man swallowed. "No, ma'am. I actually didn't talk to them at all." He jabbed a padd at Nachson. "But they're waiting. For him!"
"Him is your superior officer and you will remember that in the future." The man mumbled an agreement and she told him to go ahead, they would follow. "I will speak with them," she said to Kyle.
"Nah, I'll do it. I don't mind, they got a right. Give me a couple minutes and I'll meet you, Captain."
He strode into the comm center and the same frenzied officer gestured to one of the small screens. Nachson shook his head and moved in front of the main one.
He looked over his shoulder. "Put 'em up here."
"Which one first?"
"All of them. Best way."
The staff in the room looked at him like he was insane, trying to explain how – powerful – each of the waiting officers were, one saying he'd wet himself if he had to stand in Kyle's spot. They finally did as they were told. The main viewscreen filled with the three remaining people of James T. Kirk's command officers that Nachson hadn't talked with today. Each a legend, each calling separately from somewhere in the universe, and each drilling a stare into him. McCoy probably said he was okay, but they would see for themselves.
Today certainly had expanded from what he thought it would be; but what was right, was right.
"Sirs, ma'am." This time, he snapped to attention in perfect form and used his rank because of who they were. "I am Lieutenant Commander Kyle Nachson and I'm newly promoted to Captain Saavik's second. I have a declaration to make to you."