615: Thank You

by Commander Salvek and Zanh Liis
Soundtrack: Kind and Generous by Natalie Merchant

-=O’Sullivan Residence, Earth=-

Mary Clare looked out the window and saw Eilish and Molly waving their arms like madwomen to try to get her attention.

The sky was now resplendent in blended blues, all dressed up in shades of nightfall and jeweled with the faint glow of first stars.

It was time to begin.

“All set, are we my dear? Here ya go, this belongs to you.”

She handed Liis a small, traditional bridal bouquet complete with a tiny ornamental horseshoe tucked inside for luck.

Liis had pleaded the night before at dinner that she’d feel ill at ease carrying any such a thing, but seeing how important it was to Mary she had finally relented, asking only that the arrangement be kept as simple as possible.

Mary Clare’s face had brightened and she had, Liis now saw, indeed kept that promise.

Liis couldn’t say a word, but she smiled.

She had been nervous all day, but now that the time had come and she knew who awaited her at the end of the aisle, the only emotion she felt was happiness.

“Well then.” Mary Clare threw her arms up and around Liis’ neck, standing on tiptoes to hug her. “Take good care of my brother, Zanh Liis. I’ve never seen him the way that he is over you, and I know I can depend on you to protect that trust.”

“With my life.”

Mary dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief and moved to the door to allow Liis a moment alone.

“Wait till you see him,” she smiled, “You won’t believe how fine he looks.”

Liis closed her eyes, drew a deep breath, and proceeded carefully to the top of the staircase.

She grasped the railing firmly and, looking down at her feet with every step to be sure she wouldn’t catch her heel in her train, she concentrated carefully.

She considered how, for so long she had been concentrating on simply putting one foot in front of the other in an attempt to keep going without him; now her footsteps were leading, each one closer to him, and she knew she was the luckiest woman alive.

When she reached the bottom of the spiral, she found she was also staring down at two perfectly polished black wingtips.

She followed the shoes up, and she saw a sight that completely blew her away.

Salvek of Vulcan, in a tuxedo.

“You look lovely, Captain.”

“Thank you.” She blushed beneath her makeup. Salvek was not the type to comment on anyone’s physical appearance very often.

In fact, aside from the times he’d told her how awful she looked while telling her she needed rest (and when he said it, he was always right) she could never remember him commenting on hers in all the years he’d known her.

“What’s all this then? You look dashing, Commander.” She said with a grin. He did clean up nicely when properly motivated, and she wondered what penance Keiran would have to pay to Salvek in exchange for the Vulcan actually donning a tux.

“Before you go out there, I just wanted to once again thank you for those years.” He didn’t need to elaborate; those years always referred to her grueling career with Temporal Investigations. “I know they were devastating, painful for you personally…but all I have, everything I am is so because you lived them.”

“Don’t forget,” she whispered, “That works both ways.”

“I always assumed when you did marry, that you would do so on the ship, and ask me to perform the ceremony.” Salvek continued.

Liis’ face turned ashen, as she thought he was disappointed in her. “I’m sorry Salvek, I didn’t think that would want… I could still see if something could be done,”

“No, you do not understand. Had you asked me to perform the ceremony I would have refused.”

“Oh.” She said quietly. He must have been far more disappointed in her than she even realized.

“I always would have considered your decision to finally marry symbolic of the end of your commitment to myself and my family, and, as a gesture of gratitude to you, that it would have been my greatest honor not to perform the ceremony, but rather to be the one to give the bride away.”

Liis’ jaw dropped.

“You’re serious,” she couldn’t believe that the ‘emotionless’ man would make such a publicly sentimental gesture. “Aren’t you?”

“Would I be standing here wearing this outfit if I were not?”

She shook her head, and without hesitation she hugged him close.

“After all you’ve done for me all these years,” she said softly, “I’m the one who should be thanking you. And I do, Salvek. Without you this day couldn’t have come. Thank you.”

Salvek and Liis both looked up as they heard music begin to play, blowing in on the breeze through the open windows.

“Are you ready?”

Zanh Liis fiddled with the loose strand of her hair for the millionth time. “I didn’t know you when you married Kellyn. So tell me, on that day, were you ever really ready?”

“No, Captain. If it helps, your hair appears to be completely in order and you are as lovely as I ever would have expected you to be for your wedding.” Salvek said.

“Then if the Vulcan says I’m ready, then I will have to put all my eggs in that basket.”

She took his hand, and swore as she looked into his eyes that just for an instant he appeared to fight back a tear.

“Don’t do that, Salvek. If you of all people lose it on me, I don’t have a prayer.”

“Let us begin.” Salvek released her hand, and linked his arm with hers.

Commander Salvek
Executive Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


-=/\=-Zanh Liis
Commanding Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012

NRPG: He specifically asked to do this and wrote 90% of this post himself. I never imagined he’d want to...~ZL