The first two were written as gifts for Christmas, the last one was for the Haiti Auction. They feature Avon/Cally and Amanda/Sarek.
Thank you, jaxomsride. You're awesome! You have a convert to the Amanda/Sarek pairing and you're right that A/C and A/S work very well together.
Conversations, Part 1 (Avon/Cally and Amanda/Sarek)
“So you and Sarek have been married for, how long?” Cally asked as she took another appreciative sip of hot chocolate.
“It's been nearly 40 years.” Amanda smiled fondly. “But sometimes, it seems like forever.”
Cally smiled slightly in return. “I think I know what you mean.”
“So what is it like being married to an alien?” Amanda asked sipping her own drink.
“But aren't you already married to one?” Cally frowned in puzzlement.
“Oh yes, but I was curious as to how you, as another outsider, would view humans.” Amanda laughed.
Cally settled back in her chair, giving the question some serious thought. “They are not so very different from Aurons. But then Avon is not typical for a human, he is so controlled.”
Amanda nodded. “Avon would have made a good Vulcan.”
Cally smiled slightly. “Sometimes it is difficult to know what he is feeling. How do you manage with Sarek?”
Quite well,” Amanda replied with a slight laugh. “No, seriously, it was hard at first. Now I know how to read him and there is the bond of course.”
“It does have its advantages.” Cally smiled in agreement.
“And its disadvantages.” Amanda's lips twitched as she recalled Sarek's first experience of morning sickness. She had been too weak to block and Sarek, fearing a more serious reason had purposely kept the link open in order to monitor her.
“Disadvantages?” Cally frowned thoughtfully. “Yes it took Avon a while to accept it. He prefers his thoughts to be his own.”
“And now?” Amanda asked.
“He's come round to viewing it more as a blessing than a curse.” Cally felt herself going pink.
Amanda giggled. “Oh, yes, it does help then.”
“Do you think they are talking about us?” Avon asked, as he sensed a wave of amusement rippling from Cally.
“So what do you want to show me?” Avon sighed as he entered the refectory.
“It's something Vila introduced me to.” Cally smiled. “He assures me it is quite a treat.”
“If Vila is involved, I'm not sure I'd care to hazard it after all.” Avon turned to go.
“Now don't be like that.” Cally laughed. “I assure you, it has nothing to do with stimulants of any sort.”
“That is rare, for Vila.” Avon raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“True!” Cally laughed. “Sit down and I'll fetch it.”
Avon eyed the two bowls she brought over warily, almost as if he expected them explode.
At first glance it didn't look all that prepossessing. A cold chill emanated from the two spherical lumps as they sat in what looked like a pool of milk. They were white, with flecks of brown in it. It looked almost like two dirty snowballs. Avon hated snow.
Cally handed him a spoon, Avon regarded her suspiciously. “Are you sure it is mean to be eaten?”
“Avon don't be like that!” Cally admonished him. “Surely you've heard of Ice cream?”
“I... scream?” Avon echoed slowly, frowning at her.
“No, Ice,” she paused, then went on, “cream.”
Avon frowned, he'd heard of it, of course. However the prospect of eating frozen cream didn't sound that appealing. He eyed it sceptically and then prodded it with his spoon.
“Avon it's not going to bite you!” Cally exclaimed, exasperated. “Try some, it tastes a lot better than it looks.”
Avon scooped the smallest amount he could onto the edge of the spoon. He took a tentative bite. His eyes went wide in surprise. Unlike Vila's other favourite white food, it didn't taste at all slimy. It was smooth and sweet, he smiled slightly as a chocolate chip melted on his tongue.
“This is good! I'm surprised that Vila shared it.”
“He was in a generous mood.” Cally smiled. “He'd just trounced Tarrant and Dayna in forfeit poker.”
“Dayna wouldn't agree to strip, apparently,” Cally replied as she tucked into her own ice cream.
“Dare I ask what the forfeits were?” Avon smiled in return.
“You'd better not!” Cally laughed. “It might put you off your ice cream.”
“I doubt that,” Avon said as he took a large spoonful. His smile of contentment turned into acute agony as the cold chill seemed to shoot up his nose and arrow straight into his brain.
“Aagh!” he gasped pressing the base of his hand against the bridge of his nose, as if trying to push the cold back down. “I should have known better than to trust anything of Vila's!”
“Oh Avon, you aren't meant to gulp it like that.” Cally shook her head ruefully. “I'm sorry I should have warned you about `brain freeze' as Vila called it.”
“An apt name,” Avon agreed wryly. He studied Cally through narrowed eyes. She was leaning forward, her own bowl forgotten, as she watched him with a guilty expression. Her dark eyes echoed his pain, almost as if she could sense it. Her lips were slightly parted, rosy red from the chill of the frozen dessert. They were tantalisingly close, all he had to do was lean forward. A sharp jolt of desire caused him to forget for the moment the chilling pain behind his eyes.
“I can think of one way to cure the pain, and warm up at the same time.” Avon smiled warmly at her.
“Really?” Cally eyed him in puzzlement. “What's that?”
“This,” Avon replied as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.
The moment his lips touched hers, the small flame of desire that curled in him, flared up like a forest fire. His headache was forgotten as he deepened the kiss. Cally sighed, her lips parting allowing his tongue to probe her mouth. She tasted delicious, of chocolate and ice cream and the dark taste of passion that fuelled his hunger even further.
His hands slid along the length of her spine, up her neck to tangle in the smooth silk of her hair. Cally gave an inarticulate cry and pressed herself against him. As her form moulded to his, Avon's awareness of his surroundings faded. There was only Cally, the feel of her pressed against him. The fierce passion that filled him as she whispered Avon inside his mind.
Conversations, Part 2 (Avon/Cally and Amanda/Sarek)
Amanda settled herself carefully into her chair, wincing slightly as she sat down.
"Are you all right?" Cally asked concerned. Amanda felt her face growing pink.
"Er I'm fine, just a little stiff today, that's all," she replied, as her treacherous mind flashed on just why she was so tender in certain portions of her anatomy. She recalled all too vividly the activities that engendered such soreness. She definitely couldn't explain why she was moving so awkwardly.
Cally's studied her for a long moment. Suddenly her eyes widened slightly, her mouth formed into a soundless Oh. Amanda's blush deepened. Cally had overheard her thoughts! She looked so human; Amanda had the tendency to forget that Cally's telepathic ability was more on a par, if not exceeding that of a Vulcan.
"I am sorry," Cally said as she moved away from Amanda. Distance helped to dim the impressions she was picking up from Amanda. It was her turn to blush "I didn't mean to eavesdrop."
"I should be the one apologising!" Amanda declared. ”I should have better control."
She hadn't meant to embarrass Cally, but her mental shields were always shaky for the first few days after she and Sarek returned from seclusion. When she had first arrived on Vulcan, she had shocked a number of its inhabitants by her lamentable human tendency to dwell on what transpired during what the Vulcans called a time of madness. Sarek might be able to switch back immediately to being logical once the fires cooled, her thoughts were rather less biddable.
"Perhaps, you'd better go," Amanda sighed. A twinge triggered another pleasurable recollection. "I don't think I'm at all myself today."
"I'm not a Vulcan. I don't shock that easily." Cally laughed slightly."Though I can't promise not to blush the next time I see Sarek."
"Oh dear!" Amanda sunk her head in her hands, her shoulders shaking slightly.
"I didn't mean to upset you," Cally apologised immediately. "I was only joking."
She stopped in surprise as a gurgle of laughter came from Amanda's bowed head. Amanda clearly was not at all upset.
"But I thought," Cally continued. "Vulcans well, didn't, I mean."
"But where do you think little Vulcans come from?" Amanda managed, between giggles.
"Well, being green, seeds perhaps, like Plants." Cally grinned. That brought a snort of laughter from Amanda.
"Ordinarily it is rather a very private matter," Amanda said, finally getting her laughter under control. "No doubt you have already been told about Vulcan's violent past."
"Yes and how they adopted the path of logic." Cally nodded. "Avon rather liked that idea."
"He would!" Amanda smiled ruefully. "Well, there are times when a Vulcan can't behave logically."
"Ah, so I don't mention your little slip and it's considered good manners?" Cally frowned thoughtfully.
"Yes. It is considered bad manners to show such feelings in public. It's also not polite to mention the lapse either." Amanda nodded. "Silek, the other day was commenting on how well behaved you two were, in comparison to most humans who visit Vulcan."
"Avon and I don't normally touch, in public. I've seen Vulcans frowning if they see a human couple walking along hand in hand." Cally smiled wryly. "So much for its 'politer not to say anything'. Their careful non-expressions speak volumes!"
"True, it was something I had to get used to when I first arrived." Amanda said, trying to keep her face straight. She was right, Amanda had observed such behaviour. Initially it had served to infuriate her. Now she found it more amusing that a Vulcan, who professed to have no emotion, patently reacting in a manner that they would undoubtedly deny, was emotional. Disapproval, she supposed wasn't classed as an emotion, not on Vulcan anyway!
"I've noticed that Avon is rather reserved, even when it's just the four of us," Amanda said thoughtfully. "You don't seem to mind though."
"Avon doesn't like overt displays of affection when others are around," Cally replied. "I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable. Fortunately, being able feel him through the bond we share means we don't have to touch to be close."
Cally's gaze took on a slightly dreamy, faraway look. Amanda smiled fondly, knowing that Cally was sensing Avon, through the link they shared. She resisted the temptation to reach out to Sarek. In her frame of mind, that might not be such a good idea. She might be physically to tired and achy to want to do anything. Her libido though had a mind of its own!
"You don't broadcast your emotions, like other humans do telepathically either." Amanda smile broadened. "Both of you have very good shields, for non-Vulcans."
"Well, Avon is a very private man and I wouldn't share uninvited." Cally grinned back. Amanda blushed again as Cally's comment served to remind her what she had inadvertently 'shared' with Cally.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to see that, it just slipped out. My control will get better in a day or two too. It's only after..." Amanda stopped, suddenly aware that she had almost broken one of Vulcan's social taboos. One didn't discuss pon farr with outsiders. Besides, she wasn't sure if discussing it was really helping. Her mind was again showing a distinct tendency to stray and she had no intention of embarrassing herself, or Cally, any further.
"So that's why you were in seclusion!" Cally exclaimed, evidently putting two and two together. Or rather, one and one, Amanda's mentally corrected herself.
"Avon thought Sarek might have been ill. For a Vulcan, he had been rather, out of sorts before you went."
"Oh!" Amanda hesitated, how much could she tell the inquisitive Auron? She had guessed some of it already, however Amanda was reluctant to explain what was considered so private to a Vulcan. She hadn't even known until Sarek had experienced his first pon farr after their marriage. "He noticed, then?"
"Well, apparently Sarek was rather, abrupt. Normally he takes losing at chess with better grace."
"Does Avon normally beat him?" Amanda blinked in surprise. Sarek was a Grandmaster and Avon had beat him and on more than one occasion!
"Not always." Cally shook her head. "According to Avon, they are evenly matched. He says playing with Sarek is challenging."
"Well, he'll soon find Sarek is back on form." Amanda smiled; she was going to have to ask Sarek about the chess games. He had never mentioned losing any.
"I'm sure Avon would be relieved to hear that." Cally laughed. She was not going to tell Amanda that Avon had, for a moment, thought that Sarek had been about to strike him.
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"You are recovered?” Avon asked Sarek cautiously, wondering what was behind Sarek's imperturbable mask. Did it hide the fury Sarek had barely suppressed the last time they had spent time together. Why had he and Amanda had spent a week away? 'In seclusion' the Vulcans had called it. Avon was curious as to the convenient timing, but had come to the conclusion it was none of his business, provided Sarek wasn't going to take a swing at him now.
"Yes." Sarek nodded slowly. He studied Avon for a long moment, noting the other man's tense, wary demeanour. "I believe I owe you an apology, Avon. My behaviour last time we met was most, discourteous."
"Apology accepted." Avon said, his eyebrows rising in surprise. It felt odd, most of the people he knew in his own universe, with the exception of Cally, never felt the need to atone for snarling at him. Sarek had surprised him again. Though, considering Vulcan views on emotional outbursts, no doubt Sarek felt obliged to do so. Well, whatever had been affecting the man, Avon noted with relief, he seemed perfectly normal now. Avon was willing to forget the incident, if Sarek was.
"Think nothing of it. So long as you don't react that way, next time I beat you at chess."
"It will not occur again, I assure you," Sarek stated firmly.
"Oh, I'm sure I can beat you if I try." Avon gave a half smile. Sarek nodded slightly in acknowledgement of Avon's willingness to ignore his outburst.
"While you were gone, Cally and I have been talking things over," Avon said, seeking to change the topic of conversation.
"Have you reached a conclusion?" Sarek asked.
"I think so." Avon smiled slightly. "We have decided to stay, if we can."
"You and Cally are more than welcome to remain on Vulcan, for as long as you wish" Sarek replied gravely.