Title: Bridging the Gap 1/1

Rated: PG 13 (no warnings, nothing explicit)

Author: Jenny

Disclaimer: Star Trek and all it’s characters belong to Paramount. I am making no profit from this venture.

Archive: Yes

Feedback: YES!

Notes: Many thanks to Kerry for her unwavering support and feedback! I hope you all really like it. It’s open for a sequel… if there is enough demand!

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On the lower observation deck of the starship, she stood silent and alone. Her uniform precisely fitted, the boots perfectly polished, she was the picture of the properly attired Federation Starfleet Officer.

One could practically count the vertebrae of her slim back, her posture was so ramrod straight. Her classmates had, often and only between themselves, looked upon her just so and called her their ‘perfect Vulcan’. For all their words, look was all they had done. In the entire five years she had spent at the Academy, she had made not one good friend. Perhaps there were a few who could say they were acquaintances, but none would call her ‘friend’. Even now, out of the academy and well into her career, she was often alone. Her fellow crewmembers had found out early that she was every bit the quintessential Vulcan.

If asked, they would merely shake their heads and declare that they supposed she considered herself above them. How far from the truth they were… in their thoughts of her behavior and of her view of herself. Even now, Saavik stood apart from the others… unsure how to join and unable to force herself to try. So she stood before the view port and stared out into the reaches of space as the group that had entered behind her chattered among themselves. No one spoke to the cool, aloof young woman. They merely nodded and passed her by to take a table near the replicator.

She listened to their carefree chatter and wondered what their reactions would be if she were to join them? Would their shock show on their faces, or would their manners prevail? Even as she debated the answer to herself, she knew it was a moot point. She would not be joining them today or anytime. Why? Her Vulcan mind told her that it was because she had nothing in common with them, that conversation would be stiff and unnatural… But that was what they expected of her after all… perhaps she could try… just once. She half turned to glance at the group of human and humanoids just as the handsome young man at the center of the gathering spoke loudly and gestured broadly, and the group around him laughed aloud.

Immediately her senses protested, and she made the half turn into a full turn and headed toward the turbo lift. No, it was better to stay as she was… Separate, an entity to herself. Alone… but not lonely. Lonely was an illogical, emotional state and there was no place for her there. Nor was there a place for her here, among her peers, apparently. Shaking her mind free of this circular thinking, Saavik moved resolutely past the view port’s framed canvas of inky black space, marked brilliantly by streaks of stars moving by at light speed. As she reached the lift and requested to go up and over to the bio-science lab, the communications panel to her left beeped shrilly and intoned, "Bridge to Lieutenant Saavik." Pausing the lift’s progress, she answered the summons.

"Yes, Lieutenant Saavik here."

"You have a subspace message coming in, Mr. Saavik. Would you like that forwarded to your quarters?" The bridge communications officer for the night cycle, also a fellow graduate, awaited her response.

Saavik arched an elegant eyebrow in curiosity. ‘A subspace message?’ Surely, it could only be from one person… She nodded to herself and replied in the affirmative. "Yes, please."

The bridge officer signed off and Saavik restarted the lift, altering its course to take her to the fifth deck where her personal quarters were. The short ride was soon over and she walked quickly, efficiently down the corridor to her door. The dim evening lighting shadowed her face from the few crewmembers she encountered and for that she was grateful. She was, despite telling herself it was illogical and inappropriate, inordinately eager for this message. She feared her manner or expression might betray that.

Entering her rooms, she moved at once to the computer and gave voice command.

"Computer, play incoming subspace message."

"Complying," the computer intoned and the blank screen before her resolved into the standard insignia of Starfleet. Pressing the correct combination of keys that prompted the message, Saavik held her breath as the familiar symbol was replaced by the even more familiar visage of her mentor and more, Spock. He was seated and in uniform, his fingers steepled before him as was his usual ‘relaxed’ posture.

His deep, gravely voice began, "Greetings, Saavik-am."

Two words alone should not have the power to shake her as they did. She released her indrawn breath and paused the saved message. ‘Saavik-am! He called me Saavik-am… could it be?’ Just to be sure, she told herself, she reversed the message and replayed the first seconds once more, this time setting back in her chair and listening to the whole thing through.

"Greetings, Saavik-am. I trust this message finds you well." The man on screen paused, dropped his hands onto the desk before him and stared into the recorder thoughtfully. "It has come to my attention that I have not spoken with you in some time. Past events and circumstances being as they were, it was an unavoidable lapse, yet I seek to repair the breech in communications between us. I have made inquiries and discovered that your assignment to the Starship Grissom and the subsequent mission to explore and investigate the Genesis planet required that you forego the Academy Graduation Services. I am somewhat disappointed that you did not receive the public recognition for the hard work required for you to graduate with your class in such high standing. Yet I recognize that your actions were acceptable and even common for a graduating officer of your rank. Professionally, I commend you on your actions."

Again Spock paused and Saavik watched as he shifted in his chair and glanced briefly from the screen to a point somewhere in his personal quarters. She raised one eyebrow in unwitting imitation and fascination. Spock seemed almost uncertain… unsure of what to say next. This was not the teacher and mentor she remembered. Yet nor was he the newly reborn and empty vessel he had been on Genesis and then again on Mount Seleya. There was recognition in his eyes and she knew his memories of their years together had been returned to him. But somehow, he seemed unsure of what to do with them…

Cocking her head to one side, she waited for him to continue.

"Personally, I wish to thank you for your part in the endeavor to reunite my physical self with my katra. I have had the time to review operation and mission records and I know what personal risks you took to ensure my safe return."

Yet again and for the third time, Spock hesitated, almost squirmed in his seat and noticeably swallowed. Saavik leaned forward and stared hard into the view screen. Just what was he trying to say?

"It stands to reason that if my rate of growth on Genesis was as rapid as the record indicates, that certain biological events must have occurred. As I sit here now, alive and whole, I know that only one who was familiar with and aware of what to do for said conditions could be responsible. That would have to be you, as I know that you were taught well about such things. Indeed, I had no choice but to teach you well, as you would question me to no end until you were satisfied with the answers." At that point, his discomfort gave way to wry humor and he seemed to overcome his discomfort with himself. He nodded his head toward the screen and finished his message.

Raising his hand in a familiar ‘V’ formation, he intoned formally, "I thank thee, Saavik-am. Live long and prosper."

And the transmission ended, leaving her view screen a blur of static and her mind a similar haze. At some length, she reset the screen to the familiar blue pattern. What did she do now? He had thanked her for accompanying him into the fires of Pon farr. She had only done the logical thing in saving his life. His worth to the Federation and Vulcan was immeasurable. His family and friends needed him, grieved for him. And she…?

Saavik took in a deep shuddering breath. She had taken that which she never dreamed would be available to her… a link, a tenuous, temporary bond with the man who had saved her when she was but a heathenish, defiant child-like creature. Taught her as a stubborn but willing girl, attempting to learn how to exist in a world unlike any she had ever known. Nurtured her as a young woman learning to make her way in the galaxy.

She loved him as she had never loved another. As she had never thought to love another. To have allowed him to die would have been to condemn her own soul…

And he thanked her…

She prompted the computer began composing a reply to his message. Just how did one go about telling the most important person in your life just what he was…?

"Peace and long life, Spock. Your message was most welcome. I am well…"

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