Title: Face to Face

Author: Jenny (please send feedback!)

Rating: PG 13

Summary: The finale of the "Letters" series. Saavik and Spock meet, face to face, at last, after the events of "The Search for Spock".

Notes: Sections under the **** symbol are from Saavik’s POV. Sections under the ^^^^ are from Spock’s POV. Logic would seem to dictate that sections under the ^*^*^*^ would be shared their POV’s.

*****************************

Saavik calmly navigated the shuttlecraft to the preset coordinates of the space station, Outlook. Spock would be waiting on her there and they would return to the USS Odyssey for a three-day visit. His last communication had indicated that he had many things to discuss with her.

Calm discussions should, of course, be the first order of business. There had been so much time between them. To rush the situation now would be illogical and most likely unproductive. Saavik lectured herself on all of this even as she eagerly scanned the star field for visual confirmation of the station’s location. There! On her forward viewer, she could just see the faint shimmering outline of the station that her short-range sensors had been reading for the last ten minutes.

The sight sent her stomach lurching and all the calm sensible thoughts flying from her head. Spock was close. Closer than he’d been in months. Cutting the shuttle back to one-quarter-impulse power, she eased the Aquarius into orbit around the station and opened hailing frequencies.

"Space station Outlook, this is the shuttlecraft Aquarius requesting clearance for docking sequence."

The tinny mechanical voice she’d been expecting didn’t come. Instead, Spock’s rich baritone echoed out, "Unnecessary, Aquarius. Space station Outlook will beam me directly aboard if you do not require any station services."

Her voice did not betray the rapid pulse and rise in respirations that his voice had evoked. "Proceed, Captain. No services are required."

She cut communications and turned to the back of the shuttlecraft. Even as she focused on the single transporter pad, the air began to waver and the high-pitched whine of molecules being converted and reconverted filled the small space. Spock’s tall frame began to coalesce and form before her. Even before his body was solid, his gaze seemed to lock with hers and she felt her blood rush impossibly faster.

Stepping off the slight elevation of the transporter pad, Spock raised his hand in the traditional greeting. "Greetings, Saavik-am. Live long and prosper."

She steadied her breathing, raised her own hand and stepped into arm’s length of him. "Peace and long life, Spock. I trust you had an uneventful trip?"

Moving quickly, Spock pressed his hand fully against hers and watched her face. Sensation sizzled between them at the contact. Heat raced from his hand to hers and sang along her nerve endings to her brain... and her heart. She raised her wide eyes to his and searched desperately for something to say. She found she could only breath and that was a struggle.

Suddenly stepping back, Spock broke the contact and murmured, "It was an uneventful trip until now..." He drew in a deep breath and in a stronger voice continued, "I must apologize. My behavior just now was inappropriate."

Not quite recovered, Saavik abruptly asked, "Why did you do it?"

Spock almost smiled, but settled for a quirked eyebrow. "Touching you seemed to be the only thing I could think of for the entire trip. It seemed unreasonable to deny myself any longer. I fear I was not thinking clearly and for that I must beg your forgiveness."

"No, you did nothing I did not desire.... in fact..." Saavik stepped forward again, her hand raised, when the comm. board behind her squealed.

"Shuttlecraft Aquarius, you are cleared to leave orbit anytime. Repeat, cleared for leaving orbit anytime."

The mood shattered, Spock and Saavik each inclined their heads to the other and moved to the helm to break orbit and begin their trip.

*******************

Side by side at the control panel, the two Vulcans sat in total silence. To Saavik, the slight humming vibrations of the craft in flight were louder than they should have been to even her alien ear. When the flight path was laid in and verified, Saavik swiveled abruptly in her chair and spoke softly, "I am most pleased that this day has finally arrived, Spock."

Spock raised an inquiring brow and waited for her to go on.

"Since our last meeting, I have thought of many things I wish to say to you. I thought of trying to convey some of these in a taped message, but it just didn’t... feel... right. I decided that it would be better to have this conversation face to face." Saavik twisted her hands in her lap, realized what she was doing and stopped in consternation. Standing, she paced away from Spock, stood with her back to him and began to speak again. "You’ve voiced an interest in pursuing a relationship of a personal nature. I also have this interest..."

She paused and turned to look at him, only to see that he had risen as well and was standing only a pace behind her. Her natural equilibrium kept her steady on her feet, but her internal balance shifted and sent her heart racing once more. She stared at him, tall and familiar, only inches away, and struggled to remain calm.

Before she could recollect her scattered thoughts, he grasped her arms and softly murmured, "Saavik-am, I believe that we have already discussed this. I did and still do desire a more meaningful bond between us. That has not changed for me. Has it changed for you?"

"No, of course not." This burst through her fogged mind clearly. She still wanted him and he still wanted her.

"Then I have a request for you."

His voice was grave and his eyes serious. Shivers coursed over her skin, not only from their closeness but also from the gravity that she sensed in his touch and his thoughts. She nodded regardless. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for him...

"I want... need you to share Genesis with me."

"Share Genesis?"

"Saavik," His strong fingers tightened fractionally then soothed down her slim arms to tangle with hers. "I do not recall any of the events that occurred on the planet’s surface. You shared a part of your soul to save mine and I wish to have those memories, those thoughts."

"A meld?"

"Indeed. You have given me that trust before."

"Very well. I..." She paused and looked down at their hands, now clasped together between them. "I trust you with my life, my soul, my mind." She raised clear brown eyes to his and nodded. "Proceed."

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Spock stood before Saavik and gazed at her serious expression. Her face was calm and open. Had he not known her as he did, he would have accepted that she was as comfortable as she tried to project. However, he saw through the façade and to the inner turmoil. Her conflict both puzzled and worried him. He could sense the apprehension rolling from her mind in waves.

Her uncertainty caused him to doubt his own decision to journey into the past and the Genesis incident. He wavered, his hands lifted to her face, his fingers hovering over the PSI points of her delicate face. He questioned her with his eyes, and she met his dark brown gaze steadily, despite the different emotion he sensed.

Before he could speak, before he could reassure himself that this was the right thing to do, she stepped into the cage of his fingers and lifted her face. His fingertips settled, almost of their own volition, into the proper spots, and he softly uttered into her ear, "My minds to yours; your thoughts to mine."

As quickly as his thoughts flew, he found himself entering the familiar confines of Saavik’s mind. He’d been here before, throughout the various stages of her life. Her thoughts were, as always since her training began, ordered, and meticulously sorted like the computer files at her workstation. He smiled to himself; his Saavik indeed had a Vulcan’s soul and a Vulcan’s mind.

Delving deeper, he stepped past the first barrier and into the warm openness of her thoughts of him. Here, the memories of their first years together were sorted into categories of years. Her earliest memories were indistinct and laden with unrefined emotions. Fear, rage and desperation were prominent here, but melted slowly away as the more formed thoughts of her adolescence took over. He began to see and sense the impact of his entrance into her life. He ‘saw’ their lessons, the years of her struggling to master even the simplest formalities of polite civilization. Surprisingly, she seemed to hold these years in a fond amusement and he was pleased that there was no lingering bitterness here.

Suddenly, he bumped into a barrier, shimmering like the energy of low-level force field. Pausing, he waited for her to join him. His foray into her mind, up until now, had taken only seconds, his consciousness speeding along the paths of her mind at an amazing rate. Now he beckoned her to join him before the humming barrier.

"Saavik-am, are you ready?"

"For?"

"To return to Genesis with me."

"Yes, but we are not there yet." She gestured to the barrier and continued; "These are my thoughts of you and I when I was in the Academy. After we met on Earth for my entrance exams, I became aware that I was thinking of you...differently."

Spock arched his brow, "Differently?"

She nodded slightly, "Come, I will show you."

They walked together, toward the barrier and through the shimmering light. He saw himself through her eyes, tall and formal in meditation robes, in a perfect Starfleet uniform and in various other settings on Earth, where they had visited on that single day so many years ago. One memory seemed to shine brighter than the others and he moved closer to peer at it intimately.

Together, they kneeled side by side in his quarters on Earth. A firepot glowed on the hearth before them and smoky incense wafted around them. Shivers rushed over him, transferred from her subconscious memory as he brushed against her to stir the glowing embers in the pot. Amazed, he now turned to Saavik and asked, "Even then, Saavik-am?"

"Even then, Spock." Smiling slightly at the soft memory of him, she moved through that phase of her life and led him to the innermost chambers of her mind. She stopped before a tall, dark, luminescent door. There, he watched her raise her hand to the smooth, glossy panel. Spock saw her face tighten and stepped up beside her.

"Saavik, this is Genesis?"

"Yes..."

"It is well guarded." The door was cool to the touch, and stood firm, unyielding to the first of his attempts to push it open.

"I do not know how to explain to you what you will see here, Spock. So many things are not what you might expect."

"I expect nothing, Saavik. I only wish to know, to share so that I may understand." He grasped her hand and waited for her mind to open to his even further. He waited for her nod, and then together they pushed the looming door open and walked inside.

^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^

The first sensation Spock was aware of was the trembling of the ground beneath his feet. A small cave spread out before them and he peered into the somehow threatening darkness. A wild wind rushed through the opening and he shivered in the cold air. He heard a high keening sound from the rear of the shelter and began to walk forward to find its source. He walked forward two broad paces, then stopped when he realized that Saavik was not following. "Saavik?" He turned back to her, feeling her hand, held tight in his, pull back slightly. He saw her take a deep breath and nod to herself and to him and step forward to his side.

Saavik also felt the shaking of the unstable plates of dying Genesis. The cold air slashed through her uniform jacket; despite its all weather design and she knew the frigid temperature had more to do with her past thoughts than the planet’s tumultuous climate. These memories, stored deep in her subconscious, were both precious and painful. She rejoiced as she recalled that his life had been saved; yet she feared the return of the emotions that had gripped him and her during this time. Such fears were illogical. She could not be hurt by her memories of this...

The young Vulcan male crouching on the floor of the cavern held his head in his hands and moaned his distress. He knew no words to voice his anguish, only primal noises that emitted from his mouth and his mind. He stared up at the lightening in the sky, flashing hot across the blackness and somehow felt a kinship with the blazing electricity.

Suddenly, the other, the one who looked like him only different, touched his hand and he likened this touch to the drops of wet relief that poured down on him from the sky. She cooled him, soothed him and he clutched at her without knowing why.

Touching this Spock’s hot, fevered skin, Saavik shuddered at the chaos that coursed through him and into her mind and body. How could one survive like this? Obviously, they could not. Spock could not live much longer without intervention and she was that intervention. Intellectually, she knew what she had to do; she knew there was no other choice. But could she do it? Squaring her shoulders, she slipped the all weather uniform jacket from her arms and laid it on the stone strewn ground. Gripping his hands, she pulled him over to the sparse cushion and kneeled with him, face to face.

She trembled, her slim body shivering in the thin cavern air. Pushing aside her fear and doubts, she leaned into his body and peered deep into his eyes. Positioning her fingers over the critical points on his face, she closed her eyes and fell into the abyss of confusion that was this mind and soul. Fighting her way to the raging surface of his mind, she sent him thoughts, word pictures of what was needed to release him from his anguish. When he understood what he was to do, she braced herself and nodded without breaking the link. His hands desperately gripped her arms and together they fell hard to the ground...

Suddenly Spock pulled away from this memory. He quickly and with less care than he’d planned, broke the meld, left her mind and retreated to his own thoughts. His hands fell to his side and he took a respectful step backwards. He had suspected that this experience would not be a pleasant one, for Saavik to recall or for him to witness. He’d been correct and much more... He looked to Saavik for her reaction to this scene only to see that she had closed her eyes now as she had then and was trembling violently. Her whole body shook, as she stood on the deck of the Aquarius face to face with him in the present time.

Slowly, as she felt his withdrawal from her mind, she forced herself to calm awareness. She breathed evenly, invoking the Vulcan meditation techniques taught to her by the man before her. Gradually, her trembling ceased and she opened her eyes slowly. She remained silent, waiting.

"Saavik-am... I do not know what to say." He hesitated, then raised his hands back to her face to smooth the errant curls from her cheeks.

"There is nothing to say. I have no regrets." She gazed quietly at him then raised her hands to rest on his.

"I did not know that you would not have... known... how to lead the physical aspects of the Pon farr." Spock spoke quietly, his voice reverent in the light of his discovery. "I would never hurt you intentionally, Saavik. This development bothers me greatly. I assumed you had...experienced others before."

"There are no others for me, Spock. There has always only been you." She flushed lightly under his gaze, her cheeks under his hands burning hotly with rushing blood.

"I cannot say the same, Saavik." He murmured this slowly, letting his hands slide from her face to rest on her shoulders, his thumbs caressing the soft skin over her collarbone.

"I do not..." She wanted to reassure him that this did not bother her. She had long since made her peace with his past, but he interrupted her words.

"I cannot say that there were not others before you. My past has made me what I am today. I cannot say that I do not have any regrets. I have loved before...But I can say, that there will no other as long as you permit me to be with you, Saavik-am. I am yours, completely."

Saavik swallowed hard. This man, her Spock, at last... "As I am yours, t’hyla."

As they stood, face-to-face, gazes locked, simply absorbing the closeness they shared, anticipating the discoveries that the next three days would bring, a communicator whistle sounded. Together, they looked to the forward viewer. The Odyssey lay before them....

 


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