“Family Ties” – Part Two
by Lieutenant SG Sara Crusher
and Commander Cyanah Kaelyre
As Sara and Cyanah walked down the shuttle’s ramp, a familiar sound of excitement coming from Cyanah brought Sara’s attention from their surroundings to the woman who held her hand tightly. Following Cyanah’s gaze, Sara saw someone that she had only seen in photographs standing off to the side of the landing pad.
She was maybe a couple of centimeters or so taller then Cyanah; her hair was curly and much shorter, but almost the same shade of red as Cyanah’s. Sara had decided a long time ago that no one’s hair and eye color could hold a candle to her Cy’s. When Cyanah let go of Sara’s hand to walk ahead and greet her sister, Sara could feel the butterflies in her stomach worsen and the lump in her throat harden.
The two sisters embraced tightly, reunited after over five years. Finally ending the long hug, Cyanah looked at her sister, both of them all smiles. “Dhee! You cut your hair! It looks great!”
“After five years, that’s the first thing you say to me?” Dheerah laughed. “You look great too, Cy. Is she why?” she asked, gesturing to Sara, who looked about as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
“She’s responsible for making my life complete. Dheerah, this is Sara Crusher, my fiancée,” Cyanah said as she brushed minds with Sara, urging her to come closer to them. “Sara, this is my sister, Dheerah Kaelyre.”
A smile danced across Sara’s lips as she felt Cyanah reassuring her. She stepped closer towards them and tried like hell not to look shy and scared out of her wits. She hadn’t felt this nervous since her academy interviews. Sara extended her hand and mentally hoped that it was shaking. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Dheerah. Cy talks about you all the time.”
Dheerah shook Sara’s hand and smiled welcomingly. “She talks about you all the time, too, dear. I’m surprised you’re not some sort of deity, given the way she talks about you! But, mortal or not, you must be very special to win her heart. Welcome to Delos and our estate.”
Sara could feel the warmth of her blush clear to her toes, which made her glad that she wasn’t wearing one of Cyanah’s little sundresses. She quietly thanked Dheerah for the welcome and then quickly fell into step beside Cyanah as they began to walk towards the house. Sara was amazed by the beauty around her and suddenly understood why Cyanah would get flustered with her holodeck programs. “You’re right, Sweetie, the holodecks don’t come anywhere close to the real thing.”
Cyanah took a deep breath and sighed contentedly. “The air finally smells right.”
After a ten-minute walk, they stood in the great hall of Cyanah’s home, the house proper of the estate. The room was richly decorated, but in a tasteful manner. Delosian art graced the walls and various sculptures sat on the floor, including a Michelangelo, which surprised Sara. The ceiling support beams were all ornately carved wooden arches, and thick mosaic-like rugs covered floor. Two stairways with carved banisters that matched the ceiling arches converged at the bottom to form a curved Y-shaped grand staircase that dominated one end of the room, while the great double doors to the outside claimed the other, dwarfing the smaller doors along the side walls.
Two women began to descend the staircase, one on each branch of the Y. They joined hands when they came together and walked the rest of the way to the bottom and then started across the floor. Cyanah interrupted their trip by running up and wrapping them both in a hug. “Assarahi!” she exclaimed jubilantly. There were hugs and kisses between the three of them for a few moments, and when the reunion was complete, Cyanah turned to Sara. “Mothers, this is my fiancée, Sara Crusher. Sara, this is my Life-Mother, Ryssah Kaelyre, and my Guide-Mother, Trallah Kaelyre.”
Ryssah was taller than Cyanah and had straight waist-length hair that was the exact shade of Cyanah’s. Her eyes and facial features were strikingly similar, and it was obvious which of her parents Cyanah took after. Trallah was shorter than her partner and had shoulder-length chestnut hair that framed a delicately boned face, her eyes a chocolate brown. They both smiled at Sara and each took one of her hands. “Welcome, Sara, to our home, and soon, to our family,” they said together in accented English, their voices blending almost in harmony.
Sara was utterly floored by her surroundings. She looked around at all the splendor and suddenly felt very small; everything seemed so big, which Sara couldn’t help but think was kinda funny since Delosians tended to be on the petite side. Such elegance, she thought to herself as she gave the room one final glance before turning her attention to the women in front of her, that even the regal houses of St. Petersburg during the Romanoff era would have paled in comparison.
Finally turning towards Cyanah and her parents, Sara smiled as she was introduced. She swallowed hard, hoping that the lump in her throat would squash the butterflies in her stomach. She stood there mentally telling herself not to be a total goof and then nearly blew the whole plan when Ryssah and Trallah took her hands. “Thank you,” she replied to their welcome while at the same time giving Cyanah a ‘help me’ look.
It would turn out that Sara wouldn’t need help, as she managed just fine through the initial exchange of pleasantries. Fifteen minutes later, they were all in the parlor sitting on exceedingly comfortable overstuffed chairs and couches, cups of fragrant native tea in hand.
“It truly warmed us to hear of your engagement,” Ryssah began after a long sip of tea, “and do not worry about being so young, daughter. You’ve accomplished more in your short life than Ladies twice your age. We are so proud of your scientific discovery and your promotion to Commander!”
“Zah, Shael-Assarah,” Cyanah replied gratefully. “Va ke dejan.”
“There was no need to be worried, daughter,” Trallah interjected. “We certainly supported your decision to join Starfleet, unorthodox as it was, and we will continue to support your decisions.”
“Indeed,” Ryssah agreed, and Cyanah felt a little foolish for ever worrying about the matter. “So, tell us of the wedding plans?”
Cyanah answered her Life-Mother with a simple glance over to Sara and a wry smile.
“Well,” Sara bit her bottom lip as she looked over at Cyanah. She sighed a little and wished she’d had more to tell them, other then the fact that her grandmother, despite how much Sara loved her, was driving her insane. “Cyanah and I would like to have it on the Banshee as soon as a close friend of ours returns. We were thinking something along the lines of a blended ceremony of Delosian and Betazoid.”
Sara spoke gently, pausing to make sure she wouldn’t start to babble, and then added. “but that’s as far as we’ve gotten.” Sara mentally winced as she realized she’d put way too much attitude in that ‘we’ve.’ She hoped that Cyanah’s mothers wouldn’t misunderstand what she meant and quickly looked at Cyanah, before looking down at her tea.
“Go on, love, “ Cyanah urged. Her mothers and sister focused their attention on Sara, realizing that something was wrong.
“Yes, please do,” Ryssah said, her voice soothing.
Sara couldn’t help but smile a little as she noticed something very familiar in Ryssah’s comforting _expression_. She took a few minutes to think over her words carefully remembering that at times, even Cyanah still missed the meanings behind English phrases. What would be the best way to explain her grandmother’s intentions? Somehow Sara though that “Hostile Takeover” would go over her future in-laws heads, so she decided to just spell it out the best way she knew how.
“We’ve run into a small problem.” Sara had to fight hard not to laugh at Cyanah’s _expression_ which clearly screamed, ‘small problem?’ “You see, my maternal grandmother has been more then a little, um, well, persistent, I guess you could say, in making her wishes about our wedding quite clear. Certain aspects that she feels need to be included, and certain details that just have to be her way.”
“Oh, I see…” Trallah replied, folding her hands on her lap as she thought. “Your grandmother is…” She hesitated as a few Delosian words that she couldn’t translate ran through her head before she finally came up with a suitable English phrase that she heard in a movie, “Staging a hostile takeover of the wedding plans?”
Sara nearly choked on her sip of tea when she heard Trallah use the very term she’s been thinking of. Her eyes were wide and she smiled despite herself as she looked over at Cyanah and then back at Trallah, “Yes Ma’am. That would be the perfect way of putting it.”
Cyanah snickered at her reaction, since she’d been able to feel Sara’s surprise in her mind. “Ri, Assarah. All of the decisions we’ve made have been overruled.”
Ryssah and Trallah exchanged a long look of concern, then simultaneously turned to look at Sara and Cyanah. “We would like to offer an alternative.” Ryssah began, her voice hanging in the air for a moment. “We would be honored if you would consider having the wedding here. Provide us with your plans and we will make them a reality.”
Dheerah jumped into the conversation and Cyanah and Sara sat in stunned silence. “Yes! Now that is a wonderful idea! C’mon, you two, it’ll –“
“Quiet, daughter,” Ryssah interrupted. “It is their decision to make, so let them think.”
Cyanah glanced at Sara, trying to feel her gut response before any measure of politeness took over. Looking into each other’s eyes, they simultaneously said, “Give us some time to talk about it.”