The First Dinner
Baptism by Fire
Location: Pike's Quarters
Timeline: 1800 hours
Vanessa decided that the only way she could hope to make a good first impression was to be herself. While it was technically not a first impression, it would be the first time the boys had to get to know her. So, she chose to dress casually in a pair of worn jeans and a bright yellow t-shirt with a face of a llama on the front. She also went a little overboard on the dessert. She had a selection of chocolate, lemon, and cream cheese torts. She also had apple turnovers and miniature cream pies.
She stopped at the door to their quarters, took a deep breath, and rang the chime.
Nathaniel heard the chime then smiled at his boys, he had already explained to them that Vanessa was coming over for dinner, he also told them that he would always love their Mother and she wouldn't replace her. He then headed for the door, he was wearing tan shorts and a white tank top. He entered the code to unlock the door.
"Hi!" She said, smiling first at Nathan, then looking past him to the boys. "I couldn't decide which dessert I liked best, so I brought several. I hope you don't mind."
Both boys came running towards the door, Nathaniel side stepped as he heard their foot steps, both stopped next to their Dad "What do you say to Vanessa boys?" Michael and Shane both said "Thank you"
"You're welcome." She smiled at the boys. "There's enough for you to have one of each after dinner." She glanced at Nathaniel. "Where should I put the tray?"
Nathaniel stepped back some to let her in then pointed to the table "Over there works." He then went in to the kitchen to check on dinner, the boys heading to sit on the couch.
She set the tray down, then checked to see if Nathaniel needed her. "Can I help, or should I go sit with the boys?"
He turned his head to look at her "No I have it, you can go have a seat."
She smiled. "Okay." She went out and sat by the boys, hoping to get to know them better. "So, what do you like to do for fun?" she asked.
Nathaniel turned back around to finish up dinner. He stood listening to the conversation.
Both boys slightly turned to look at Vanessa "We both like learning martial arts from our Father, and him also teaching us other languages." Michael then spoke up "I might go into security like Dad has been." Shane spoke next "I want to command my own ship one day."
"Those are both worthy goals," she said. "Which languages are you learning?"
"Our Father is first teaching us Samoan then will be teaching us Vulcan." Both boys eyes lit up when they spoke about the languages." Just then Nathaniel stepped out of the kitchen "Supper is ready." Michael and Shane both bolted upright running for the table.
Vanessa chuckled and followed more slowly. The boys were far more serious than her cousins had been at the same age, but they'd been through a lot more, too. She spoke Vulcan, but Samoan was not a common language where she grew up. She smiled at Nathaniel and joined the three at the table.
Nathaniel placed the food onto the table as the plates and other stuff was already on the table "We are having Kalbi BBQ ribs Hawaiian style, hopefully that you will like them."
"I'm sure I will. They smell delicious." She waited for the others to start and followed suit as she didn't know what their dinner norms were. The ribs tasted better than they smelled. "These are excellent," she said, smiling at Nathaniel.
Nathaniel sat there watching as the boys starting eating, he also watched her for a moment "That's good to hear that you like them. I do Samoan food least once a week so the boys know their heritage, I also do Irish food here and there as well."
"It's important for them to know their heritage. They told me you're teaching them to speak Samoan as well," she said.
Nathaniel nodded "That is correct, my Mother was Samoan, so I am teaching them how to speak the language like my Mother taught me when I was young."
She looked at Nathaniel and the boys. "That's wonderful. My parents wanted me to learn other languages, too. I've never regretted it."
"That's good to hear that they did. Best and easiest to learn them when you are younger if possible." The boys had finished their food "May we be excused Dad?" Nathaniel nodded "Go clean up and you may go play for awhile in your room." Both boys got up from the table and headed off.
Vanessa stood as well. "I'll help you clean up." She liked the boys, but she knew it would take more than one dinner for them to feel comfortable around her. She had time, and Nathaniel was the best reason to be patient. For now, she was happy to be included.
Nathaniel looked at her "You don't have to as you our the guest." He grabbed the big plate that had contained the ribs and headed for the kitchen.
Vanessa grabbed another plate and followed Nathaniel. "I know I don't have to help, but I want to," she said. "I don't want to offend you. I was taught to help out."
Nathaniel put the big platter into the recyler then turned to look at Vanessa "You wouldn't offend me dear. That's good to know that they did." He held out his hand for the plate.
She gave him the plate and then a quick kiss. "Good. Be right back." She went back to the table and brought a small stack of dishes. "I think I like this," she teased, handing him the dishes.
He took the stack of plates chuckling "Why do you like this?" He said as he put them into the recycler.
"Because it gives me the opportunity to do this," she said, leaning in and kissing him again before going back to get the rest of the dishes.
"Although," she said when she came back, "This is not quite like back home. My parents like to cook the old-fashioned way, and wash dishes in a sink. But then, they were in the Andes and not on a starship." She handed him the last of the dishes and kissed him again.
Nathaniel kissed her back then took the dishes "I rather cook the old fashioned way myself better, but can be sometimes bit harder when you are on a starship." He turned to put the dishes into the recycler.
"Yes, it's more difficult here," she said. "We have less space and it's more convenient to just replicate what we need. So, what do you and the kids normally do in the evening?"
"It sometimes varies from night to night, most nights the boys go in their room and play, but also make them quite a few nights come out to the table and work on their school work and their language studies."
"And what about you?" she asked. "What do you do besides go to the gym?"
"I do a few things besides being a parent, brush up on my language skills, thinking of even maybe learning a new one." He turned to look at her
"I enjoy learning new languages, and practicing the ones I already know. If I don't, I tend to get rusty. Reading is easy, but speaking takes practice. Sometimes I don't practice enough."
"I know how that can be when feels like don't practice enough." Nathaniel paused for a second "I probably should go check on the boys." He then exited the kitchen and went straight for the boys room.
Not wanting to get in the way, Vanessa wiped off the table and then swat down on the couch to wait for Nathaniel.
Nathaniel came out of the boys room chuckling, he looked at the wall clock then chuckled bit more "The boys are asleep already." He walked over and sat down onto the couch.
"Really?" She shook her head. "Well then, Mr. Pike, what shall we do for the rest of the evening?"
"Yes really, I guess was all of that training that we did today that wore them out." He turned to look at her "What would you like to do Ms. Jackson?"
"Well then," she said, an impish smile spreading across her face. "That depends on how worn out you are. I'd love to learn more about you. And then, well, that depends on you."
"I am not worn out at all." He then reached over grabbing hold of her and putting her facing him onto his lap "What would you like to know about me?"
She put her arms around his neck. "Everything?" she teased. "How about what made you want to go into security?"
He moved his hands up her top a little, resting on the small of her back "I have always liked the aspects of security, that and my martial arts background it made sense. What made you go into Science?"
"Mmm. I've always wanted to learn about ancient people and their cultures. As a kid I would read as much as I could. It was a natural progression to science. Starfleet lets me explore, too." She was very tempted to start some exploring of her own right then.
"Some cultures are fun to learn." He sat there with her on his lap looking up into her eyes "What's on your mind alofagia?"
"You." She smiled and rubbed her nose against his. Then she nipped his ear. "And how much I enjoy being with you."
He ran his hands up alongside her back "I really enjoy being with you as well." Nathaniel smiled as he unhook her bra
"Good." She sat back enough so she could look down at him and smiled.
Nathaniel sat back on the couch looking deep into her eyes
For several moments she met his gaze, her heart beating rapidly. She picked up his hand and kissed the palm. "Should we go into the bedroom and...finish what you started?"
Nathaniel looked at her and smiled "Sure we can. You head for the bedroom, first to the left and I'll lock the door."
Vanessa stood and smiled. "Yes, please. It would not be good if one of our boys walked in on us." She paused in the doorway to his room and turned. "Cariño, I want you to know that I..." But she wasn't sure how to put it into words. So she kissed him.
Nathaniel had went and locked the door to the quarters then kissed her back "Want me to know what?" He stood there looking at her.
"You and your boys are special, and I'm love being here with you," she finally admitted.
"Thanks" Nathaniel stood there looking at her "I enjoy you being here as well, I am sure one day that the boys will as well."
"I know that will take time," she said. "And for now, I'm content with them letting me be here with you."
"True and I am glad that they have and I am sure that they will come around soon enough."
Vanessa nodded. "In the meantime," she slipped her arms around his neck and kissed him. "There are other things we can focus on."
Nathaniel kissed her back, his arms going around her waist "And what would those things be that we can?"
Vanessa chuckled. "I'll leave that to your imagination."
Nathaniel smiled at her then picked her up and carried her over to the bed laying her onto it.
It was a very good place to start.
Lt.Commander Nathaniel Pike
Lieutenant Vanessa Jackson
Chief Science Officer