Summary: Post ST:IV -- Saavik's reflections after the Bird of Prey has left.

Poster's Note: I haven't been able to contact the author, but if anyone knows her, please let her know I mean no harm in posting her work and give full credit to her for the story.

Code: S/Saa

Disclaimer: The usual thing about the characters owned by Paramount and the author made no money.

The Garden
by Roslyn Paterson

The red sun made strange patterns through the interlocking vines that formed a protective cover over the garden. Within its walls there was a moist Earth- like smell mixed with the fragrance of flowers... the echo of a planet far away.

The garden was alien to the world in which it grew, isolated by walls and vines, in need of a caring, knowing hand in order to survive. The caretaker had planned well. The garden was a subtle mixture of aesthetic beauty and practicality. The plants were hybrids, hardy and more able to survive the harsh conditions than a pure strain.

Saavik felt a great affinity with the garden. She knelt in meditation beneath a tree, her black robe falling gracefully about her. Her hands were interlocked before her in the required pose for meditation, her dark head slightly bowed. Her face reflected the peace she had found in acquiring this discipline, a serenity she had never thought possible for herself.

The old adept had taught her well. He had trained the Lady Amanda in the early days of her marriage to Sarek. It was at her request he had begun to tutor Saavik. He had found her an easy pupil, eager to discover her Vulcan heritage.

Saavik opened her eyes and looked at the garden, seeing within its boundaries similarities to her own life. Some plants had withered and died, their life at an end. They stood, stark and ugly among the fresh green tones, like angry scars, a reminder that in life nothing lasts forever. But about their twisted roots, new life had germinated -the seeds lived on to take their place.

She found a certain measure of satisfaction in this cycle. She too had been transplanted from her place of origin and nurtured by a caring gardener who had hoped the garden would flourish and grow, spreading the seeds of his knowledge and perhaps more...

"I have grown, Spock."

The thought was directed inwardly, as though the mind link she had once shared with her mentor still existed. There was no reply. Since the Fal-Tor-Pan ceremony all contact with Spock had ceased.

Saavik quivered, the sharp pain of realization cutting through her. He had not remembered her.

She tried to control the pain without success.

She had been living with the Lady Amanda for some four weeks, ever since the Bird of Prey had left without her. She had accepted the invitation out of a sense of duty to Spock's parents but had never thought her stay would be so prolonged.

She had thought of leaving several times to find a dwelling of her own, far away from any reminder of Spock, but each time she had spoken of her plans to his mother she had become quite agitated and distressed, so much so that Saavik had been forced to drop the subject.

Deep down inside, Saavik knew she did not want to leave. As much as she tried to deny it, not a day went by that she didn't listen for his footsteps approaching the garden. Such hope was illogical and self destructive but she had a desperate need to see him again - to be remembered.

The ache became stronger. He had been all things to her - father figure, teacher, and finally (and unknown to him) lover - unshakable bonds that refused to be forgotten.

Saavik clenched her teeth at her own foolishness. Her heart felt as dry and as withered as the dead plants she had been pondering. She refocused her energy and her thoughts. Meditation was not to be used for sentimental wanderings and self-pity.

She began to concentrate on a mathematical formula she had come across earlier in the day. If she could lose herself in its complexities...

In the back of her mind, she thought she heard footsteps.

Emotion welled up within her, anger at her dreaming, her self-inflicted torture.

"Damn!" she swore out loud, her voice echoing around the walls.

"So you haven't lost that habit, Saavikam," a familiar voice drawled with gentle mockery.

The caretaker had returned.

The garden had not been forgotten.

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