Posted Aug. 3, 2020, 10:13 p.m. by Lieutenant Commander Jarred Alindor (Chief Engineer) (Steven Sigle)
Posted by Ensign Kalani Kāne (Science Officer) in 10 Forward Dinner Jarred and Kalani
Original post Alindor’s quarters https://www.star-fleet.com/core/stf5/saracen/notes/44421/
https://www.star-fleet.com/core/stf5/saracen/notes/78199/ part two
Kalani walked into Ten Forward holding Lizzie’s hand. The room was the typical Ten Forward lounge however tonight there was an area cordoned off with softer lighting and candles on the tables. Living on a Starfleet vessel did not lend to many options in dinner choices out of one’s quarters. The hospitality crew it seemed to have worked overtime to give the few moms on the crew a night away from the replicator.
Jarred stood in the 10 Forward feeling his nerves course through his body like lightning striking ice in cold winter. He had been trying to keep things feeling normal as he stood wearing his cream suit with a denim vest. It gave a look of dress casual, perfect for an innocent evening with his girlfriend and daughter on this special day he had been planning for such a long time.
She stood at the door looking for Jarred. He had said he wanted to do something special tonight because it was Mother’s Day. Frankly, she had thought Jarred had way overdone it but this was her first Mother’s Day to someone other than Ralph and Maxine. She would have been happy with pizza and some cuddle time watching a movie on the couch, yet Jarred had called her during her shift saying there was a change in plans. His voice was happy and anxious as he laid out the plans for the night so Kalani consented to a busy evening out to dinner with a room full of people.
Lizzie had been a ball of energy as usual for a four-year-old child but in an unexpected way. Tonight she wanted to match Kalani in every aspect. Their hair was long and curled framing their faces. Their nail polish was a soft pink. Their makeup was more challenging but consisted of Lizzie getting to curl her eyelashes and some chapstick. Their clothes were as close to matching as possible with both wearing white dresses. Kalani’s was form-fitting hugging every curve like a second skin. A sheer banding around the center gave the hint of something daring but leaving enough for a man’s imagination. Lizzie’s dress was a white jumper with a sash of sparkly sequence that ties in the back with a bow. Their shoes were all as identical as Kalani could make them, and Jarred would allow. At least she hoped Jarred would allow it all thus the real reason Kalani was pausing at the door. He was not thrilled with the idea of high heels, yet Kalani knew what he was envisioning, and what was on her feet was the in stark contrast.
“There’s Daddy,” Elizabeth blurted out jumping up and down, waving frantically. “Daddy! Daddy,” she yelled as the click of her high heels echoed on the hardwood floors.
Jarred smiled wide as he watched the women of his life enter slowly as he couldn’t help but feel the butterflies forming in his stomach. He wanted this, more than anything. He wasn’t certain if the plan would work though, it was a gamble he was taking on just how well he felt he knew Kalani. He prayed he hadn’t been miscalculating, but love was about risks and rewards.
“Hey peanut,” Kalani said pausing to kneel down to Lizzie’s level. Looking at the little girl, Kalani pushed a lock of hair out of Lizzie’s face. This was the main reason, she wanted to pull her hair back with a barrette. “Remember we need to use an indoor voice and pretend we are super grown-up because only the best behavior is allowed in here late at night okay,” she reminded Lizzie softly.
“But I am so excited,” Lizzie struggled to keep a quiet voice as her body squirmed everywhere still holding Kalani’s hand.
The wiggles and squirms made Kalani happy she had caved in their quarters when Lizzie begged and pleaded for her hair to be long and curled like Kalani’s. Lizzie’s long blonde locks bounced around her shoulders as she tried to listen to Kalani’s talk. “So am I honey. So am I,” Kalani let out a small laugh standing up. The truth was Kalani was excited.
“You two look amazing…” Jarred said with a wide smile as he leaned in kissing Kalani’s cheek before he kneeled down picking up Lizzie as he placed her in his arms as he began to smother her with playful kisses.
Lizzie giggled leaning back with the pure trust only a child had when they were held in someone’s arms. Leaning back she put up a hand to stop him after a few seconds. “Daddy you are going to mess up my dress and make it all wrinkly,” she spoke in a voice trying to be serious. Leaning forward she put her arms around his neck as they crossed the room. “Kalani said that if I am really good she is going to let me have two desserts because I am at the big people’s restaurant. She said that is what you do when you are gone so long on your dates. You have double desserts,” she took on a solemn tone. “I am going to have a sundae and piece of cake,” she clenched her fist smiling as if this was
Kalani tried not to smile as she eavesdropped on Jarred and his daughter. Life perspective was so different from a child than to an adult. Lizzie had been in ten forward numerous times but not at night or this late. The dimmed lights and lack of other kids made Elizabeth Alindor think somehow the main lounge of the Saracen was now a five-star ballroom.
“Nana,” Lizzie squealed no longer caring about her dress the second she saw her grandparents. Lifting her arms straight up she slid down his body aided by the slippery fabric of her dress.
Making the most of the distraction, Kalani slid her arms in Jarred’s walking the last few steps on his arm. “So what’s the special occasion,” she asked with a smile. “Did the Captain approve your project of ripping out the floor of the supply closet under the vivarium and letting me fill it with water,” she teased only partly joking as they reached the table.
Lizzie’s exuberance had only seemed to increase once she saw her grandparents as she stood rambling to her Nana about the girl party she and Kalani had getting ready as she twirled showing off her dress.
“Sit baby, I wanted to make this perfect, and I think I am going to wow you beyond belief today.” Jarred said with a small wink as he helped put Lizzie in her chair before he walked over to Kalani as he pulled her chair out as he waited for her to sit down first.
Kalani’s face light up like a kid at Christmas feeling Jarred’s excitement. In the pit of her stomach she already knew the surprise. Jarred had gotten approval to make her ocean exhibit. The engineering behind what she needed was incredible. That had to be the reason she hadn’t seen him all day. The physics of holding that much water without a forcefield was far beyond her mathematical skills. At one time he joked he would need to resurrect ol’ Albert Einstien to help him. Kalani laughed and simply responded to his reply by saying she had all the faith in the world in him. “I am pretty sure you already have,” she winked at him.
“Well, there is something in mind… if you can guess that means someone can’t keep a secret though…” Jarred said as he looked down at Lizzie with a discerning look.
“I didn’t tell her nuttin’ ‘bout comin’ to the restaurant…at night and that we were havin’ a special suprise,” Lizzie sat up straighter in the chair as if she were prim and proper. Her face was shocked like Jarred had just spilled the biggest secret of the night. Elizabeth Alindor knew what was important news and what you were supposed to pretend not to know about. The dinner tonight was a secret between her and her Daddy until he was ready to tell Kalani.
Kalani’s brow wrinkled some seeing how excited Lizzie seemed to be about the dinner. Still, it was Mother’s Day and the season of hand-painted custom macaroni necklaces. What was confusing Kalani was the idea Jarred thought, she would not be thrilled to have a blue, green, red, and yellow string of painted pasta around her neck.
“I trust you little one, it’s this one I don’t…” he said winking over at Kalani. “She tries to get you to tell things, she looks sweet and innocent but then knows you will tell her all your secrets… or most of them.” Jarred said, feeling the weight of the tiny box in his pocket as he settled in his chair with the ladies.
“Baby,” Kalani leaned over to whisper in Jarred’s ear. “Stop worrying. I am ready for this…want this,” she placed a hand over his squeezing it slightly. Kalani could not say more without ruining the fact she knew, somewhere Jarred has stashed her Mother’s Day gift from Lizzie. Jarred never worried about anything unless it had to do with his daughter. He seemed happy and relaxed but also a bit distracted. Hopefully, the hand squeeze told him a pasta necklace, hand-drawn picture of them as a family or a really bad shirt were going to be a perfect gift because it came from Lizzie and not to worry.
It was then when Jarred looked up at the wonderful sight of his mother and father coming in as well as he got back up from his chair. This was a big day, and a big deal and having them here meant a lot. His father and he always seemed to fight, but he loved him all the same. Now, in this moment more than ever, he needed them by his side.
Following his line of sight, Kalani’s face lit up in a smile. Samantha had said earlier in the evening that she wasn’t feeling well and was going to bed early. The fact that Kalani saw her moving across Ten Forward towards their table brought a huge smile to her face. Jarred had been open about his tumultuous relationship with his family yet when one was talking about their past, some details slipped at times. To Kalani, Samantha was the bridge between father and son. Johnathan loved his son only the saying held true in the Alindor family about not being able to show how much as times. Johnathan had been nothing but loving toward Kalani. She had, however, witnessed a few times Johnathan’s word choices could have been better with his son.
“I am so happy your mom made it,” she smiled.
“Wouldn’t be mother’s day without everyone here.” Jarred said, the plates still empty as the staff all seemed to be standing, almost as if they were anticipating something else at this moment.
“Because she said she was sick,” Kalani mururred as Jarred stood up to greet his mom. Her tone was low, too low probably to be heard. Lizzie wiggled down immediately and jumped into her Nana’s arms smothering her with kisses. As Lizzie and Samantha greeted each other with silly names and ended it with rubbing noses, Kalani couldn’t help but smile. The grandmother and child were as close as any mother and daughter. Since Lizzie had never met her mom, Kalani was just happy Sam had slid into that role for so long.
Leaning over toward Jarred, Kalani whispered. “Remind me to call my mom before bed,” she squeezed his hand gently with a smile. Kalani had spent her entire life traveling with her parents from duty station to duty station. This idea of being a tumbleweed in space never bothered her…until she saw Lizzie and Jarred with Samantha Alindor. It was in these moments, Kalani missed her mom.
“There is one other mother who isn’t here, and I knew you would want her here for this so…” Jarred said as he nodded to the closest waiter who made his way to the door behind them as they slid open, to reveal a new set of faces as Mr. and Mrs. Kane, Kalani’s parents entered. Looking back at Kalani, Jarred smiled, loving every second of her reaction as he waited for them to all come in.
“Oh my god,” Kalani stood up and immediately moved to her mother as she walked across the room. She had no idea how Jarred did this. Her father once was in the diplomatic corps but life was not like the holos. People weren’t just pulled back into service from retirement on a whim nor given free transportation because their name was once commander or captain. Those stories of the seemingly average Joe’s ripped back into service because the Federation had no one else to deal with a crisis made for great dramas and nothing else. For her parents to be standing here meant Jarred had to have planned this for weeks arranging permissions and transportations through civilian and Starfleet channels. It was no easy task to have loved ones standing on a ship half way across the galaxy yet maybe that is why engineering cheifs were called miracle workers. “Mom what are you doing here,” she asked the obvious as Kalani wrapped her arms around her mother.
“That boy of your is quite enterprising,” Mr. Kane raised half an eyebrow at Jarred. The action wasn’t negative or positive. It was a neutral reaction to which Robert had honed like a lie detector over the years. If you were on the up and up it filled you with happiness because you read it as Robert Kane giving you praise. If you had more dubious intentions, your resolve crumbled revealing wool you were trying to pull over his eyes. Right now however, Robert wasn’t sure how he wanted the young man before him to feel.
“Stop calling him that boy,” Halia batted her husband in the arm with a stray flick of her hand. “You are not imtidating anyone. No one here thinks you are anything but a retired old man who spends his days yelling, ‘Halia is that a Hawaiian honeycreeper or Maui Parrot’” she imitated his voice with only the precision a wife could with a husband of thirty plus years. The soft murmur of laughs and chuckles filled the awkward silence of
“They do have trouble thinking we are thier troops at times,”Jarred’s mom stood up and moved around the table to greet Kalani’s mother. “I’m Samantha…that boy’s mother and I feel we need more than just a handshake,” she embraced Halia as Kalani moved out of the way.
“Robert,” Kalani’s father moved around the table to greet Jarred’s dad. “If I wait for her to introduce me I will be dead before I get a handshake.”
As the parent’s exchanged laughs and jokes in the causal way people do when they are forced together for the first time, Kalani cast a small glance toward Jarred. “Thank you,” Kalani finally looked at Jarred with a bright smile. The breakfast in bed, rousing wake up kisses, and framed picture of her, Jarred, Lizzie, Max, and Ralph, Lizzie had colored in art was more than she ould have ever wanted. This was more than she could have ever expected. “You are getting so lucky tonight,” she mouthed again giving him a wink.
Jarred waited, he knew there would be tears and hugs and he had to wait for that moment that was right as everyone began to settle. “I wanted to make today, Mother’s Day special, everyone in here has influenced my life in big and small ways… and my daughters, your daughters.” Jarred said with a tight smile as he tried to calm and center himself as he asked Lizzie to stand up.
“Is it time,” she tugged at his coat trying to gauge what was happening. There was so much going on so Lizzie’s excitement was easily masked by the chaotic, happy crazy of the adults meeting. “What do I do Daddy,” she shifted her weight back and forth focusing a laser like gaze on Jarred. It was so hard being his good girl right now and keeping this secret. She had kept if for hours and it was literally about to explode in her. All afternoon, she had day dreamed about tonight. Her daddy said it was going to be special and amazing and he needed her help. So far it was just a fancy restaurant but her daddy had to have all the other parts hidden like a present. Letting her gaze drift, Elizabeth Alindor knew that everyone in the restaurant had to have flowers and gifts and were just waiting to spring up in song and dances like the movies she watched with Daddy and Kalani from Disney. As her eyes moved across the various tables, subtle eye glances in thier direct had to mean they were waiting for her daddy to do whatever he had planned and ready. Catching the eye of a Klingon woman, Lizzie smiled and held up one figer reminding her to wait until her Daddy gave the signal.
“Stand by momma Kane okay?” he said softly to his daughter with a big smile as he watched as everyone seemed to stand and semi encircle them. It was in something all knew was coming, but from the sight of teary eyes and chocked smiles clear this was still tough for all involved.
“Come here baby,” Halia said in the deep comforting bass tone Kalani remembered her grandmother using.
Lizzie hadn’t met Kalani’s mom except through holocalls. Casting a side glance at her dad, she hestiated for the briefest second before moving around the table to stand between the Kane’s and her Nana and PaPa.
“Kalani, you came into my life when I wasn’t sure about anything… I was renewing my relationship with that little angel by your side, but also making a new life with you. I didn’t expect any of this, and I could never have planned it either, but…” Jarred paused as he knelled down, reaching into his pocket he pulled out two boxes as he opened them both for Lizzie and Kalani to see.
Kalani’s eyes grew huge. Everyone knew what going down on one knee meant. The romance novels painted a picture of the women, overcome with joy, having visions of her future. Kalani’s head however filled with images and scenes from her past. Sharing or stealing his jelly donut was the first to pop into his mind. The second was how easily he was to convince to add her panels of transparent aluminum to his engineering order when she was unable to procure it herself. The images began to speed up in her mind like a flip book showing the trip to Vespa, the arrival of Lizzie, meeting his parents, meeting her parents, and the long hours spent creating her vivarium all led to this one second in time.
“Kalani Kane… will you make me the happiest man, and become my wife… and make our family the most spectacular family in all of the galaxy?” Jarred asked, keeping his voice calm this part was actually far easier than the next.
“Yes,” she instinctively held out her hand eager to get the ring on it and see what he had chosen. While they had been together a while, it was not long enough to roam the stores and have her point out cuts or leave subtle hints of styles she wanted. In this moment however the excitement was not about did he get the exact ring she wanted but more this was the ring he wanted for her. Her heart raced thinking about the time he took searching for what he thought would make her melt. The truth was Jarred could give her anything and she would love it solely because it came from him. “Yes yes,” she bounced slightly making her hand move in anticipation of him placing it on her finger.
Taking one of the rings as he placed it on her hand Jarred came up as he kissed Kalani deeply, feeling a sense of euphoria as he embraced her. It wasn’t until a brief moment later he felt a tug on his pant leg as he looked down.
“Daddy…daddy stop kissing her,” Lizzie whispered trying to sound adult and serious. “You have two rings. You didn’t give her the ring for her other finger.” Elizabeth Alindor had no idea why Kalani was getting to rings instead of one but her daddy did say he wanted it to be special Two was always better than one yet somehow he didn’t finish what he started.
“Of course, I did have two rings.” Jarred said, snapping close the one box as he knelt back down and looked deep into his young daughter’s eyes. “This ring is for you, it’s special. I wanted you to have this today baby girl as a promise ring, that I will never leave you ever again. I know for so long we were apart… and that was hard for us both. I was selfish, and wasn’t the best daddy I could be for you, but.... if you are willing… I want you to have this ring and know I am ready to be better than I ever was in taking care of you, loving you… and making sure you know that my world revolves around you little one.” Jarred said softly as he took the ring off, his daughter’s tears welling as he did too as he put the smaller ring on her finger.
Lizzie didn’t know what to do as she stood stiff and still. She had always loved her Daddy and said she understood when he went away but deep inside Elizabeth Alindor never did understand. He had been there for everything but usually on comm calls or video messages. He never broke a promise when he said he would show for her spelling bee or soccer game, yet it was always from a screen and rarely in person. Lizzie did understand what a ring meant between two people. A ring meant they would never leave you. It meant they would never go away. It meant they would love you forever and always be there. That was what her daddy was promising to Kalani and it was what he was now promising her. Her lip trembled as she blinked back tears. Lizzie wanted to tell him that she loved him more than any other little girl could love her daddy. She also wanted to tell him sorry for all the times she cried when he had to go away and not trust him to return. She wanted to tell him it was the prettiest ring she had ever seen and how she would never take it off ever but right now she wanted something more. Lifting her arms up she waited for Jarred to pick her up and hold her in his arms.
“Come here little one…” he said softly as he lifted her up as he held her tightly. He wasn’t sure what to say, so much at this moment was far more than he ever had expected. He needed to do this for her, he needed to make up for four years of treating her like she was a burden. She never would understand when Jarred was his most selfish and now, more than ever, he knew he had been a fool for so long.
“I love you daddy,” she said softly in his neck as her little arms wrapped tightly around his neck. She didn’t know why she was crying. Maybe this was what the adults called happy tears. Never had she felt so scared with some many people looking at her, so happy she could burst, and so sad for all the times she had been away from him.
“I love you too peanut…” he said as he felt his tears fall down with her as he kissed the top of her head as if he was afraid someone would snatch her from him anymore. “I love you more than you will ever know,” he said in a quite tear-filled choke as he held her close as he felt at this moment his life was changing, and for the first time he wasn’t afraid of the change. No, instead he was leaping towards it with a fevered enthusiasm.
Moments passed as he pulled her off his shoulder as he smiled as he took a deep breath. “You remember the second half of the plan?” he asked as his daughter smiled and nodded softly. “Okay, go with nana and papa and let them help you okay,” he said as he put her down as she ran to her grandparents as the two waved to a very confused Kalani as Jarred looked back at her.
“There was more than just a desire for your parents to see this moment… I am not one to wait, not anymore, so your dad… offered something very special if I agreed to let him do one thing today.” Jarred stopped as the doors opened up once more and crewmen came pouring in, the ten forward had already been reserved but it was more than just some simple mother’s day proposal.
“I know you, I hope very well, so… I wanted to do this as a special one-shot. We can’t guarantee when planets can align for a wedding day, so… I have been doing some planning.” Jarred said as a young woman came in with a beautiful lacy dress that had beautiful hints of color that gave an almost sunset feeling to the dress on a cool Hawaiian night.
“Ma’am… we need to fit you for the dress.” the young plucky Andorian said, her antennas twitching with excitement as she looked at Kalani.
“That is the second half, your dad wants to marry you… and I figured why not today…” Jarred said with an almost grimace smile, unsure of how sudden this would be for her.
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