835 words; about a 4 minute read
Location: Starfleet academy
Timeline: 4 months ago
They had been waiting for hours now and both Vulcans were starting to show signs of anxiety. Twice now, their attempts at adoption had fallen through, the child in question assigned to parents more suitable to their origins or whatever other excuse that had been used.
"Zhi you're starting to wear the carpet thin," Sethan murmured as he rested a hand on his husband's arm to stop him from pacing. "It'll be alright, you'll see."
Zhi cast an anxious look towards the door when it finally cracked open. A young woman walked in, holding a young girl by the hand while cradling a small bundle to her chest with the other. "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting," she apologized while taking in their anxious expressions. It was a little unsettling to see not one, but two extremely expressive Vulcans. The little girl hid her face against the woman's thigh as she was guided forward.
"These are Saeihr and Mnheia, they're blood sisters who recently lost their parents. They're both born here on Earth." She gently lowered the bundle into Sethan's arms, then nudged the little girl towards Zhi'rev.
Zhi crouched to be at eye level with the girl, unable to keep the tears from flowing. "I'm Zhi'rev," he said, touching his own chest before pointing at the other male. "My mate, Sethan. But you can call us what you like."
Crouching as well, before finally just sitting down on the floor, Sethan shifted the baby in his arms for the other two to see. "She's sleeping," he said as the girl peered closer. "And we'll need your help as you know her best. You do want to come with us, right?"
The girl froze, looking up at the woman, who nodded encouragingly. Then she nodded slowly. "Mnheia," she finally said, then pointed at the baby. "Saeihr." Her expression became even more inquisitive. "Papa?" She asked, pointing at both men. She had been told extensively that she and her sister would get new parents, even if she didn't really understand why . "Where is mama?"
Sethan looked sideways at his husband, then back at the girl. "Two daddies," he finally explained carefully as he shifted the baby in his arms to offer her to Zhi, not wanting him to feel left out.
With the shift of her sister from one to the other , the girl's attention shifted too as clearly she was watching the infant like a hawk. "Why are you crying?" She asked, reaching out with a small hand to wipe away the tears.
"I'm happy," Zhi explained simply.
The woman, who had been observing the interaction closely, stepped forward and crouched down as well. "This is the most she's spoken so far," she explained, "she flat out rejected anyone else."
Mnheia studied the fair haired man in front of her, watching him as he sat still, seeing the emotions in his face and his eyes. Her eyes shifted to the dark haired man, and back to the first man. For several minutes, she said nothing, then simply hugged the one that was crying.
Carefully, Zhi hugged her back, giving her all the room she might need to withdraw. "So, do you approve of us?" He asked as he handed the baby back to Sethan, "we will do our best to take care of both of you. And make sure you will grow up to be wise and beautiful."
They got back to their feet and Zhi reached out to lift the girl up into his arms. "You will be part of our family." He gestured between Sethan and himself.
Sethan drew closer, smiling at her. "But you will need to come up with a way to call us and tell us apart when you need one of us," he added, "and you will need to teach your sister the same, when she gets older."
Mnheia nodded slowly, then looked at the woman who had taken care of her so far. "Are you coming too?"
"No dear one," she smiled, "they're all yours. I need to find homes for the other children. Just like you have a home now." She looked up at the Vulcans, gesturing them along. "We'll just need to finalize the paperwork, and then you can take them home. A counselor will check in, in a few weeks to see how she's settling in. And if you need anything just let us know."
"We will," Zhi promised, "but for now I think we'll just spend some time together."
Sethan smiled too. "Thank you ma'am, you have made us very happy today. We were nearly losing hope and giving up. These two will be cared for and loved as if they were our own."
"I have no doubt," the woman smiled as she handed them a PADD. "She chose you," she clarified, "that means something. She's special, though we haven't discovered why yet. Perhaps in time, you will." Once they had signed the documents involved, she left, leaving the new family to themselves.