The Vulcan Queen
T'Laria stood at the edge of the tallest balcony in Shi'Kahr palace, gazing out at the bustling city below her. The high collar of her rust-colored gown was tight against her throat, and the long golden sleeves flowed down to the ground, rustling lightly in the breeze. She felt the weight of the elaborate, ceremonial crown encircling her head, its presence a reminder of the great responsibility she now carried. The hot, dry winds blew through her raven hair, finally let down in its full length for the coronation ceremony, rather than being carefully wrapped and tucked into a "regulation" style as it usually was.
T'Laria let out a heavy sigh and slowly, carefully, pulled her father's sword from its sheath. She rested the tip on the granite tile lining the balcony, and gripped the handles. Thirty years later, she had not grown any taller, and the sword was still too large for her to wield. Fortunately, the need to wield weapons on T'Khasi had not arisen again throughout the remainder of her father's reign. She closed her eyes briefly – a moment of grief for the father she had known and loved. She was grateful that he still lived, but grieved because he had been stricken with Bendii Syndrome – the condition striking him far younger than it had with most Vulcans who were afflicted with the disease. Sarek hardly reached his hundred and eightieth year before the disease had robbed him of most of his emotional control, and his ability to reign.
T'Laria turned, and smiled when she saw her family standing in the doorway. Jim, Nyota and Leonard were all present, looking at her with varying degrees of affection and concern. Her oldest daughter, only six years old, held tightly to her father's hand, eyes as wide and round as his, if not as blue. Nyota and Leonard each held one of the twins in their arms. It had been quite a long day, but Spock and Amanda were as alert and wide-eyed as ever.
T'Laria sheathed the sword and set it in its case before moving to join her family. She had served with them for several tours of duty with Starfleet, doing exactly as she'd always longed to do – meeting new species, discovering new life forms, and interacting with civilizations that the Federation had never encountered before. Now, they had settled down on Vulcan, and had been living there since Little Winona was born. They were taking what they referred to as an "extended rest", for an indefinite period of time – primarily because Jim still insisted on calling retirement a "four letter word", regardless of how many times T'Laria reminded him that there were actually ten letters.
"Are you okay?" Nyota asked. "How do you feel?"
"I feel fine," she replied. Little Winona slipped her hand into T'Laria's, and she smiled down at her. "I feel wonderful."
"So. Are you ready for this, Your Majesty?" Jim asked.
"I'm ready if you are, Lord Jim." Jim and Nyota snickered, and Leonard rolled his eyes. "What is so amusing?"
"If you have to ask, you'll never understand," Leonard said with a sigh. "C'mon, let's go back inside, this wind is gonna turn me into cured leather!"
T'Laria didn't bother to suppress her amusement. She smiled, kissed Leonard's cheek, took Spock into her arms and headed back inside the palace to begin her newest adventure.