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Always in the Family

USS Excelsior Logs and Narratives


by Malinda McMillian & First Lieutenant Peter McMillian
[Stardate ]

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Always in the Family
JPL: 1st Lt Peter McMillian, Kalendra and Malinda McMillian (By Taz)



Peter was still a little shocked over Kalendra's surprise proposal. He had been in love with Kalendra and had wanted to marry her for a while but he just hadn't been sure he -- or she -- was ready.

Malinda cleared her throat, still standing a bit away in the doorway. "You two sure took long enough to get here."  She said chuckling.  Her laugh sounded just like her mother's.

"I'm so glad you were here for that." Peter said motioning for her to come over to him.

She promptly went over to him and gave her father and future step-mother loving hugs.  "Can I be in the wedding party?"  She asked.

"Yes, of course you can Princess but right now can you come help me put your brother to bed?  Maybe the three of us can do something together."

Malinda looked between her father and Kalendra.  "Nope." She said with determination.  "I'd love to do something with the two of you but you should be spending private time together right now, having a fancy meal or dancing.  I can watch Rennie."

Peter was still getting used to the "new" Malinda.  After her kidnapping and rescue she had voluntarily suppressed her mental abilities and in the process, what she had done seemed to have matured her a bit emotionally -- there was no doubt she was still a seven year old, but she was....different. Neither Taz nor Zach thought any part of what Malinda had done was a problem, but the entire scenario made Peter feel uncomfortable. 

Kalendra whispered to Peter.  "She's right, we should be doing some celebrating." 

"But...I really wanted to have a bit of family time with my princess..." Peter protested.

Malinda rolled her eyes at her dad.  She knew when he got like this, it was best to let him have his way.

"How about this.  I'll fix the four of us an early dinner but when we get to desert, Rennie and I will go to mom's so the two of you can have some alone time." She turned around and started toward the kitchen and then turned back.  "Oh yeah, dad, this would be a good time to go dig out that box you have hidden under your socks."  She grinned and bounced away to start the meal.

Peter smiled and said. "I should have figured she knew about the box...let me go get it."  He then went into his bedroom and grabbed the small box from his drawer. As he walked out he bent down on one knee in front of Kalendra.  "How about we do this right?" 

"Kalendra, I'm sorry this took so long.  You are the sweetest woman I've ever met and you've always been patient and kind. You took care of T'Valra and me through her pregnancy and stayed to take care of Lobren when he was born.  After I lost T'Valra I didn't think I'd ever be able to love again but you've proved me wrong. You even followed me to Vulcan when you didn't have to. I love you and you make my heart soar and I'd like to ask you to become a permanent part of this family. Will you marry me?"

Peter opened the box to reveal a pure platinum Claddagh ring with the heart crafted from a glittering green emerald.

Kalendra gasped when she saw the ring and held out her hand for him to slide it onto her finger.

"Well since I asked you first, you should know my answer silly, but yes!"

After getting her answer, he kissed her tenderly and placed the ring on her hand.

"Hey, if Malinda knew about the ring,  how long have you known it was there?" He asked.

"I don't know what you're talking about." She smiled slyly.  "Okay, I knew there was a box the size of a ring box in your sock drawer since before we went to Vulcan.  But unlike Malinda, I resisted peeking."

Peter looked toward the kitchen where the unmistakable sounds and smells of food actually being cooked were coming from. 

"Speaking of Malinda, I can't shake the worry that she was so hurt by her ordeal that she's cutting herself off from her telepathy in order to punish herself and in the long run such a drastic action is going to backfire on her and make things worse."

Kalendra ran a finger across Peter's forehead.  "How can one man worry as much as you do without exploding?"  She shook her head.  "But I do understand your concerns.  Being kidnapped by the Purists was really hard on her and for someone her age, she's seen a lot of tragedy, but she's not a normal child in any way. She's very self-aware and even without the extra abilities T'Valra's people "gave" her, she's very much in touch with the feelings of others and her own. I think we should trust that she knows what's best for herself in that respect."  Kalendra sniffed the air.  "Just like we are trusting that she can cook better than her mother.  No offense, but outside of replicated stuff and Tesshuan food, Taz's cooking sucks."

Peter managed a smile.  "I'm still not convinced she's really okay...would you be mad if we didn't "celebrate" after dinner and just stayed in with the kids after all?"

"Of course not, we'll have the rest of our lives to celebrate."  She put a finger over Peter's lips.  "Let me handle Malinda,  I'll convince her that it's me who wants to stay in.  That way she won't be upset with you or think you're being too over protective."

Peter smiled again, ever so slightly.  "Okay, but she's always going to be my little girl and I'm always going to be over protective of her. I'm not sure you, Taz or Zach will ever convince me that her pretending she's not the powerful telepath that she is could possibly be a good thing.  She was making so much progress handling things when we were on Vulcan....I wish we could have finished what we started.  I see a lot of myself in her, and a lot of Taz. Neither her mother nor I were raised to love ourselves and to be accepted for who we were.  I just want Malinda to be happy Kalendra, I don't want her to spend even a tiny part of her life unhappy with who she is and what she can do."

"Then it's a good thing that her mother and soon-to-be step mom are both telepaths.  Dads can be over protective of their little girls,  but mothers....let's just say we can take it to a whole 'nuther level." She kissed Peter on his lips. "I promise I'll be alert for any sign of trouble and I know Taz already is on high alert.  OOH!..." Kelandra suddenly exclaimed and jumped off the couch. She rustled around under the vid-player and came back with a wrapped box. 

"Speaking of Taz.....she gave this to me after Matthew got everything straightened out on Earth and gave me the cryptic instruction -- 'Open this when he asks you.'"  Kalendra ripped the paper off and looked into the box.  She reach in and dangled a huge yellow stone on a chain from her hand. "Oh...my...is this..a diamond?" She asked incredulously.

"Uh huh, that's Grandma McMillian's diamond." Malinda answered coming in from the kitchen and putting two plates of food on the table. "I'm named after her."

Peter spoke up.  "This seems strange...." He said looking at the stone.  "It's not like Taz to do something to upstage me.  And technically, that's the Audra Lynn McMillian Diamond.  Just a little over twenty-two carats of internally flawless, natural, fancy intense canary yellow diamond in a radiant cut.  It's been in our family since the early 1900s.  My mother gave it to Taz as a wedding gift..." He seemed lost in thought and memories.

Malinda admired the huge rock, then picked up the box.  "Hey you two missed something." The girl held out a small slip of paper.

"Read it hun." Kalendra urged.

"This should be yours to wear Kal, it belongs in the McMillian family."

Kalendra's eyes teared up. "She wasn't trying to upstage you Peter, she just wanted me to know that she was glad that we are together."

"Dinner is getting cold, come eat guys."  Malinda beckoned them to the table. She picked up Rennie and put him in his safety seat then set two more plates on the table.  "Fried chicken, sauteed oskoids, sweet potato fries and a mixed salad." She said sounding quite proud of herself. 

"And a big bowl of Canine Supplement Fourteen for you Mini Mav." She said holding out a bowl over a placemat shaped like a bone. 

The dog whimpered piteously.

Malinda winked as she set down his bowl.  "Just kidding, boneless fried chicken tenders for you, just like Rennie's."

Kalendra laughed as she sat down.  "Yep Peter, she is a LOT like you."

END







   
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