Title: Duty versus Desire

Author: Jenny

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: Characters belong to Paramount, not me.

Rating: PG 13

Character Codes: Saa/S

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From Bridging the Gap:

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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Saavik paused the recording and fought to compose her facial features, her breathing and posture. Only seconds ago she has been sure she could do this. She *could* indeed present her case to her oldest and dearest friend and mentor. She could explain her actions and why they were not only necessary to his survival on the rapidly decaying Genesis planet, but also necessary to her basic belief in destiny. So, why now was her breathing so harsh and rapid? Why was her pulse erratic and wild in her throat?

‘Because, Saavik’ she began to lecture herself, ‘this is a confession of major impact on both your life and Spock’s. He could take your words at face value and think nothing further of it. However, that would not be like him and you know it. He takes nothing at face value. He will take this message and dismantle it for hidden meanings and as he knows you better than you know yourself, he will find them. And what he chooses to do with them will be his choice. And you will abide by that choice, out of respect, duty, and the desire to see him… happy.’

Fortified by this, she drew in a deep breath and squarely faced the view screen. Even as she reached for the keys to cue the recorder back into action, she took in her neat appearance as it was reflected in the paused, black screen. She took in the schooled features, her neatly pressed and precisely worn uniform. Her hair tumbled about her shoulders in its usual tangle of semi-ordered curls. She sighed, considered attempting to tame the mass of dark hair then decided against it. She would get this message recorded and out today. ‘No more procrastination, Mr. Saavik!’

She cued the recorder and began to speak once more.

"As I view your message, Spock, I find myself recalling a long ago lesson tape. It seems you felt the need to insure that I could discern duty from desire. I admit now, that tape perplexed me for days. How was one to discern duty from desire? Duty, nearly by definition, is one’s responsibility to act in a certain manner, to be in accordance with the accepted norms of one’s society or culture. To me, it seemed the next step in that line of thought was that one would need to... feel... the desire to conform to those accepted norms in order to have that sense of responsibility, obligation or duty. One must have a desire to fulfill one’s duty. Yet that seemed entirely too simple for me to accept. It was a rather incongruous lesson that I was never sure I had learned properly and completely. That is, until the incident on the Genesis planet."

Saavik halted once more and debated for mere seconds how to continue. Truth, she decided, and respect and honor were what she must offer him. They were, after all, what she would want from him in return. Easing her stance just a bit, she leaned back into her chair and sedately crossed her legs while laying her hands gracefully in her lap. Calmly, she continued her message.

"My *duty* was to my crewmates, my Captain, my mission. I fulfilled that duty to the best of my ability. Once you were found on the planet’s surface, my duty changed somewhat. I was conflicted, torn between my duty to Starfleet and my duty to you. It was then that I think I finally realized the true lesson on that long ago lesson tape. Duty and desire *can* indeed be present at the same time. They can even be one and the same. My duty to preserve your physical form, in any way necessary, and to ensure that *you*, your soul, your knowledge, your essence had every chance to survive... it became essential, and it changed."

Another pause; a hard swallow. This was the crux and what she had to impart as clearly as possible. She leaned forward once more, her eyes wide and directly aimed at the recorder’s center. She was determined, illogically and foolishly, that Spock be able to see into her soul as he viewed this tape.

"Spock, in that cave, on Genesis... duty became desire. I had no choice or alternative, nor did I wish for one. This desire was *not* a duty, an obligation or a responsibility. I knew exactly what I was doing and why."

Her cool composure slipped and for the first time, her frustration with the situation showed. Her voice tightened and she could not keep a tiny bit of censure from creeping into her next words.

"Despite these facts, you thank me for performing a ‘task’ that was necessary and vital to your survival and therefore to mine. You see, I’ve thought about this for many years and I believe that we are destined to remain linked. From the first minute, I’ve felt a compelling drive to preserve your safety. First on Hellgaurd, I saved your life out of sheer instinct... in return, you saved mine out of duty. Then again, on Genesis, instinct led me to the actions that saved your life yet again. If we continue in this manner, it would seem, as humans are known to say, ‘It’s your move’, Spock..."

"Instinct or desire versus duty... a truly complex lesson. And one I would like to speak of with you at depth."

Shaking her head ruefully, Saavik added in an amused tone, "I fear, as I am want to do, that I once again jumped head long into the lesson. I skipped the social niceties. I am exceedingly pleased to be in contact with you again, Spock. I look forward to more tapes and more discussions." The amusement fled and her voice softened. "I’ve... felt... their loss keenly. Live Long and Prosper."

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