Summary: The events leading up to the ceremony at the beginning of the novel "Vulcan's Heart."
Archive: Anywhere you want, but please let me know where.
Author's Note: Sherman and Schwartz's beautiful novel pairs two of my favorite characters right from the beginning, but leaves open to fanfiction writers the question of how they came together.
Disclaimer: Saavik and Spock belong to Paramount/Viacom; the book "Vulcan's Heart" belongs to Josepha Sherman and Susan Schwartz. I thank them for the nonprofit use of their ideas.
"Instead of a dead moon, a living, breathing planet..."
--The Wrath of Khan
In the beginning, the world was barren.
The Genesis effect swept across the lifeless craters, stirring up sterile atoms and building them into compounds, molecules of DNA, living, growing, reproducing cells...
Eons of evolution took place in minutes; algae sprang up, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, trees pineapple-shaped and then palm-leafed and then thousand-branched and glittering with foliage...
Somewhere in the newborn jungle the fires of life seized on a two-meter-long module of shining dark material, resting in the soil, full of death...
First it touched on the tiniest germs on its surface, shocked them till they sprang into growth and development, and evolved... eventually it penetrated to the inside.
On the few cells still waiting to die it worked its regenerating power...
They reproduced, divided and multiplied, grew and formed into the shape patterned in the genetic coils within them, feeding on the deadness around them...built up again, clone-like, the body that had grown once long ago in a way distantly akin, had been born and lived a life, had thought, dreamed, loved and died with the plan for itself hidden all the time in each of these tiny cells and now was stimulated into rebirth and lay there containing, supporting, nourishing the embryo of itself that grew minute by minute more like it as time passed and life sprang into being all around it...
"All my life, I have longed to be precisely where I am now."
Saavik woke from a dream. It had seemed so real--and yet she had known it was a dream, because it was the same dream she had dreamt so many times, sometimes sleeping, sometimes waking, always longing for it to be true. She sat up, reached for her uniform and pulled it on, every touch of the fabric reminding her of the caress of strong hands on her body, the thing she had never felt except in dreams.
The thing that could never happen now.
There had never been any chance of it anyway; one might as well be logical. She fastened her uniform and stood up. It had not been logical, in any case, to go to sleep as soon as she boarded the Grissom. She had been tired, but not enough that it would have impaired her performance of her duties. She didn't know what had made her want an hour's nap before exploring the planet, but she felt curiously refreshed after resting, as though she had been doing something very pleasant.
The door buzzer sounded. She sighed softly. "Come in."
David entered, smiling. Saavik raised an eyebrow, knowing how unfamiliar the human boy was with Vulcan body language and how unlikely it would be for him to distinguish this eyebrow lift, which meant irritation, from another expressing surprise or curiosity. She felt an unreasonable anger at his intrusion, and didn't know why. Maybe it was the extent to which his blond curls and childish face contrasted with the features she wished she were seeing. But that was not only illogical but indecent, and she pushed down the feeling fiercely.
"I was inquiring as to your reason for coming to my quarters."
"Do I need a reason?"
Her brow went up again. She knew what David felt about her, and she suspected strongly that this was one of the manifestations of that feeling. Such manifestations had become far harder to bear after her teacher's death, when every feeling was pain, and emotions of any kind brought up her own grief inside her, while pleasant ones seemed sacrilege. Did he have to show her his feelings right now? "I do not know what your tradition is," she said coolly, "but among my people it is customary to have a reason for every action."
"Really." He tried to sound flippant, but Saavik saw the pain in his face and was ashamed. She could never love him in the way he wanted her to, but she could never hate him either. Since she'd first met him she couldn't help liking him. He was like a child, a creature of passion and impulse, and his feelings, though intense, were sensitive ones that she was sorry she had to hurt.
"We are all hurting right now."
"Yes. I know. No one could help feeling bad about Captain Spock."
"Not even I. Feelings are dangerous things."
He shifted uncomfortably. "Is that why Vulcans decided they had to get rid of them?"
"Yes." She made herself keep looking into his eyes as she forced out what she had to say. "Yes. But even a Vulcan could not 'get rid of' emotion, David. Everyone has it, and it causes everyone to suffer at times. Perhaps Vulcans more than most. But we spare others the suffering of knowing what we feel... if, when we have an unpleasant emotion that cannot be ended...a desire that *cannot* be fulfilled..." She looked him straight in the eye. "...If, when this happens, we control our expression of this feeling somewhat."
David blushed hotly. It hurt and she could see it. She had tried to be gentle but she had still hurt him.
And logic fled from her in an instant at the pain she saw reflected in his eyes, too much like her own pain, her own love denied. And suddenly she did not care what happened, only needed to forget her pain, forget everything, drown her sorrows in a blur of physical sensation.
Her Vulcan half and its pitying but detached motives for pushing away the human boy were in an instant crushed into the background, where they could do nothing but look on with raised eyebrows as she moved voluptuously toward him, smiling provocatively.
"I, however, have gone beyond the point of control. So you shall have to bear my suffering for a while," she whispered as she put her hands on his shoulders. Logic and morality gone, she felt only satisfaction at the emotions his face revealed at his interpretation of her meaning. Surprise. Relief. Excitement. Let him feel them. The future did not matter. All that mattered was now, and the pleasure she could lose herself in, dreaming that it was brought by other hands. His arms had not even finished closing around her waist before she forgot they were David's, forgot the whole last month of her life, returned his embrace passionately, whispering over and over again in her mind, as though speaking to a bondmate, the other name.
It was dark. A child was in the dark and did not want to be. At first he cried, hearing the noise for several minutes before he connected it with the movements of his own mouth and lungs. The sound made a biting feeling in the sides of his head and his hands explored there, wondering what was touching him in that painful way. He found only his ears, investigated them with his fingers, discovering, as he probed their complicated shape up around the sharp little points at the tips, that they were attached to his head and that they could feel the sensation of his touch.
Something soft and smelly was wrapped around him. He didn't know what a burial robe was. He wrestled against its tightness, knowing nothing of physics, knowing nothing of how to disentangle or untie things, until by random luck it slipped off him. He stretched out his hands to explore his surroundings, to discover how big the world was, how far in how many directions the darkness went.
As he reached up, he felt a surface that moved as he pushed on it. The harder he pushed, the more it moved, until with a great shake it swung away and seemed to disappear completely.
Light shocked his eyes and he covered them instinctively in pain. He would have been two years old. He had known nothing yet but darkness, and the feel of the shroud against his skin, and the smell of death, before his body had absorbed it all and begun to call for nourishment.
He looked out over the edge. Blurs of color surrounded him. Green and blue in one direction, green and brown in the other. As his pupils dilated the light and color began to intrigue him. Bending his head farther downward he found the brown coming closer. He smiled at the visual sensation. Seconds later he cried out. Something had pulled him toward the brown and it had collided with him. He knew his third pain after the bite of his voice and the surprise of the light. Now he could no longer feel the hard coldness of the container he had been in. He felt the brown that made up the floor of the world. It was soft, but not soft like the burial robe; cool, but not cool like the casket. It was a pleasant feeling. Light was all around him now, coming from every direction except below, and a little less from the direction of the casket. He was in its shadow. But he knew nothing of shadow.
He lay on the brown surface for a while, feeling it, learning how it felt and reacted, how to move against it. He felt stronger now that he was out in the open air. Genesis filled the air with molecules of nourishment; his body absorbed them as the plants did. He did not know this. He did not know how the life-giving forces of this world fed him; he did not wonder. He knew only that he felt stronger and that he understood a little better the way in which the brown drew him toward it and that he could push himself forward and see the colors and the light shift around him.
Enthusiastic lips captured Saavik's as she was pushed back on her small bunk by amorous arms and wildly embraced.
"Yes," she replied, her hands clasping behind the head poised above her and pulling the face violently against hers. In the dark the hairs at the nape of the neck were indistinguishable from the ones she wished she were caressing, and the lips were enough like the other lips that her fantasy remained undisturbed. In this insane explosion of the senses she had lost all real consciousness, and she moved in a dreamlike trance where nothing existed but two embracing bodies, and one had forgotten completely who the other was.
It was Spock in her arms, Spock easing her soft red robe down over her shoulders as he kissed her, and *Spock* was the only name that whispered in her mind, spoken with no need for her voice, certain to reach the mind of the master telepath entwined with her. It was utterly forgotten that she was a weak telepath in the arms of a non-telepath, that there was no mind touch in this coupling, that this blaze of sensation that incapacitated all reasoning was sensation only-all forgotten in that same incapacity of reason as her thoughts shorted out from physical pleasure.
It was *Spock* that her mind cried out as the lips met her neck, *Spock* that it murmured to the hands running through the curls of her hair, *Spock* that it moaned as eager fingers clutched at the sash of her robe and began to rip apart the knot, fingers pressed between her body and the other one whose heart pounded wildly against her side...
Except the heartbeat wasn't in his side, it was in his chest. And that shattered the fantasy.
With a shudder of anger and shock she pulled away, and all that saved her from having to explain the rejection to him was the communicator terminal sounding shrilly at the same moment, giving her an explanation she didn't even have to say aloud in their simultaneous rush to the bridge.
The action of the following hours was a merciful distraction; Saavik might otherwise not have been able to bear her shame.
The child moved through the blurs of green and brown. At first they were blurs, but as he grew to know them better he found that they had outlines and detailed shading, though sometimes the light disappeared and he couldn't see them for several hours. He missed them then, and they became so intriguing to his eyes in the daylight that he sometimes lay for hours on the ground looking around him at the shapes and lines of the world.
Other times he traveled farther, moving forward by pushing on the ground with his hands and feet. It was slow and he began to feel the soil drying on his body and leaving him covered with dark marks. He experimented with new ways of moving himself, and discovered crawling. He learned to rest his weight only on his knees and the palms of his hands, and shift these parts of him to propel himself in one direction. Now only his hands and knees became dirty and scratched, and the moving was faster. He smiled. By the end of his second day of life he was four years old.
It was late morning on the third day when his exploration randomly chanced upon the edge of the jungle. Here the trees parted abruptly at a border between moist soil and dry sand, where smooth pebbles mixed with the tiny grains in a texture that intrigued his eyes. The colors had changed and the light brightened; driven by curiosity he touched the sand, pushed at it, picked up some of it, watched a small stone make a splash in it after being tossed. It was soft and warm and made a more comfortable crawling surface than the dirt of the forest floor. He could sink into it. He rushed on his hands and knees through its softness, laughing when sand sprayed up as his palms hit the ground. Sometimes he stopped to lie in it, looking up at the sky he had barely seen among the trees. He buried himself in it, feeling its heat covering him pleasantly, and lay there till he almost slept.
It was pain that roused him--pain and a terrifying sense of movement. He had thought the ground, whatever was on top of it, to be always motionless, but it was trembling, vibrating--a spasm shook the sand--
And the child was engulfed in a staggering wave composed in equal parts of miserable pain and uncomprehending fear.
It was not just the discomfort and shock of being moved unexpectedly. It was agony, it was terror, it was a feeling of destruction and death, of distortion in reality and imbalance in nature, it was the feeling of being a dying planet and being shaken to the core with earthquakes and disintegrated in avalanches and feeling death all over his skin...
It brought up in his mind the sense he had had in the first moments of his life of being drawn to the brown soil of the ground, and now he felt he was one with it, that more than gravity bound him to the planet, and when it hurt, he would too...
He barely noticed that the shock had caused him to leap up from the hot ground and that he was now balancing, in the strangest way, on his feet. The convulsion of the ground was over, and the painful terror had left him, but he still trembled with what he had felt. He was sweating and as he had leapt up in the sand he had found that even the air was unpleasantly hot now. The warmth had been comfortable at first, but now that he had felt it for a while it had become stifling. The sudden pain and fear of the tremor had accelerated his over-acclimation to the heat and caused him suddenly to notice it. Not only was the climate now beginning to feel uncomfortable, but apprehension was growing in place of the terror. This place was not safe. He had to get back to the trees, the place of green and brown. He did not know that he was in as much danger there as here; it was the first environment in which he had found himself and it was the nearest thing to a home that he had. Instinctively he felt it would be safe.
But where was it? He had been crawling for some time in the sand... he had lost his sense of direction in the quake and could no longer see the forest because a sand storm was swirling up around him and the tiny stones were hitting him painfully... he had thought sand was soft, but apparently when the grains were separated from each other they were hard and sharp and could hurt if they flew against him. He couldn't see far at all, he could hardly open his eyes... He tried to plunge forward in motion in some direction, any direction at all, but he had forgotten he was standing, and fell. Struggling to his feet the next time was harder, but a sudden instinct told him that he could move better when he stood. All he needed was to move, to move quickly, to get himself away from this place.
He moved, staggering awkwardly at first but soon running through the wind and sand and heat, running desperately...
...running with such blind intensity that he was surprised when he fell into a snowbank.
Looking up, he realized that there were more than two kinds of places in the world, and one of them was cold and white. He pushed himself to his feet--standing up was so easy once he had done it a few times, though forced into it by fear and necessity--and looked around in awe. The air was cooler than it had been in the desert, and before him was an expanse of pure white, so consistent in color that he couldn't identify where the hills and valleys were, the usual irregularities of the ground. The whiteness beneath his feet was colder yet, and when he scooped some up in his fingers he found it soft. When he had touched a handful of it for a few moments it became wet, and no longer white. He laughed, pushed his arm elbow-deep into it, dove into it and enjoyed the strange sensation of its coolness against his skin. His skin was dirty and scratched; the cool wetness cleaned and soothed it, eased the pain it had felt in the heat of the desert.
And the ground shook again...
If it had happened twenty times to him he could still not be prepared for it. The screaming, blank, nameless fear, the waves of *I am the planet, I am the brown ground that draws me to it, and the life that grows from me is falling and smashing in my spasms...*
This one had been a little shorter, but more intense, and this time it had knocked him off his feet instead of onto them, and he sat in the snow and shivered slightly. It took him longer to make himself move again, to get up and press forward, to find a way to someplace where the air was comfortable and the ground was stable and he would not hurt. Once he had begun to walk once more the child moved with a desperate persistency that, he found to his dismay, brought him deeper into the whiteness, farther from anything he could recognize.
The cold became painful as quickly as the heat had. The pain of heat had been the pain of being smothered, of feeling that the breath one drew was not sufficient, but the pain of cold was sharp and it cut and stung. When it began to numb him against itself, it became more bearable, but his limbs began to feel heavier, and clumsy, nearly paralyzed.
He could no longer move. The wind was hard and it bit him. He fell.
His chin and lower lip were without feeling and seemed swollen as he sat in the cold whiteness watching flecks of it fall through the air around him in thick swirls. They blew against his face and stung his eyes with their cold fire, like the sand, only soft, and harder to understand why it hurt when they touched him. If he moved the wind slashed against him harder, drawing tears to his eyes and hurting his skin like something sharp cutting him. If he stayed still the numbness crept over him further. He tried to stay still but he shook violently, and with each motion the cold wind cut him deeper. He opened his mouth and let out a breath and found it coming out in a loud scream, tearing at his throat. Screaming hurt a little but it brought air from inside him into his mouth and it felt warm.
He screamed. He let out loud warm breaths of noise until his throat felt raw and he kept on screaming. He did not think. He only hurt. Cold was painful and screaming felt warm. Tears of exertion from screaming felt warm as they streamed down his cheeks.
The planet screamed with him.
The ground convulsed as he did, again and again, and its seizures intensified his, and his screaming became louder, more desperate, filled with the agony of what the ground felt and stirred up in his own feelings, the uncontrollable violence and destruction and crushing of life that shook the dying world...
Saavik turned to David in shock, and David looked back at her with the same astonishment mirrored in his eyes, over the depths of feeling farther inside. Even in the excitement of this bizarre discovery, Saavik could see and identify those deeper feelings--love, disappointment that the love could not yet be fully shared, anticipation of the sharing to come--and she did not know how to address them. She had run out of curses to hurl at herself for the events of hours past. Now there was only exhaustion in the face of an emotional tangle beyond the comprehension of the most brilliant minds in the Vulcan Science Academy, and she would have to wait to sort this out--there were even more confusing things happening now.
The child looked up at them, knowing nothing, understanding nothing, and Saavik was understanding more than she could bear at the moment.
In Vulcan, she told him her name... prayed he would understand... received only a blank look. *Spock must have experienced something similar when he first found me... me, a confused, violent half-breed child... how much I have changed... how much he taught me... how I loved him...*
The memories flowed back on her, unbidden, inconvenient, illogical, and she strained to hide the feelings David might see in her face.
*...loved him, always, passionately, more than the gratefulness of a rescued child, the love of my deepest katra, the love of desperate desire, the love of a female for her mate in the heat of pon farr! Loved him always, always... all my life longed to be worthy of him, no one will ever know how much I screamed, alone in my quarters, when he died...
If this is... If he has come back to me...*
The child was just as startled. The creatures bending over him were unlike anything he had ever seen--and yet familiar, because they were like him. He had never before encountered things that moved in the way he did...animal life forms, that could get up and walk from place to place...he had always assumed he was the only object that did that, and these beings amazed him.
And yet they were unlike him too. They were taller, and except for their hands and faces, their skin was colored differently. At least the child thought so, he had never before seen clothes. Their hair was also different. On one of them it was a different color, on the other a different length. The one with the long hair was the one closer to him, and she was making some sound with her mouth; he wondered why. He reached up and touched her face. It was warm and it felt the way his own face had felt when he had touched it. When he reached up around her ears, he found they were shaped like his too...though they looked different from those of her companion. She seemed to be similarly interested, for she was brushing aside his hair and examining his ears as well. She made some more noises into a little object she was carrying with her, and he watched with fascination as the machine spoke back to her.
He was glad when she lifted a black cloth and wrapped it around his shivering body. It brought a wonderful warmth... and a texture and smell that were in some mysterious way familiar.
"Trust me. You did once."
Hours had passed that could have been seven years. And the dark-haired creature knew.
Saavik clenched her fists, anger washing over her in painful surges with only short respites of logic in between. Near-disbelief still, at what David had said to her, at what she had said to him. Life was an insane nightmare, each bizarre twist setting new horizons of horror.
David had done it. The boy who still loved her and thought she loved him, in whose arms she had taken refuge from the loss of her beloved teacher, was as good as his murderer. And the revelation had driven her, for a moment, dangerously near insane.
Her mind had reacted perversely to the shock. In her appearance and bearing she had become more coldly Vulcan than ever. Inwardly she was chaos, too hurt and confused even to plan her words before she spoke them. The mixture was a volatile one, and under its influence she had shamed herself: casually, emotionlessly, as though discussing an everyday issue that he was expected to know all about, she had somehow mentioned to David the deepest secret she was to share with Spock.
*Why did I tell him about it? He does not deserve my confidences. I don't care how old he is legally and physically, he is a child at heart, and so many lives should never have been put in a child's hands! And how could it ever have occurred to me to tell him of this? It is a private matter, a private Vulcan matter, and it is what I have wanted for years, forever. It must be near at hand by now...*
When she looked at Spock she knew she was right. Oh, he had changed once more! He was aging so rapidly that she was always shocked by his growth spurts, and this time the change made her heart race. He was no longer a Vulcan boy who had to be Spock because there was no other explanation...he was Spock, she could see the features she knew so well beginning to show in the face that was younger than it had been when he had first found her... he was Spock at seventeen, maybe nineteen, possibly as old as twenty-one. Yes, most likely twenty-one, a multiple of seven--the first multiple that showed the Vulcan biological demon; seven was bonding age and it seldom occurred by fourteen. For a half-human it might be different, of course...
Memories whispered back from childhood: a beloved voice explaining strange things, changes in people's bodies, things people did with each other... the same voice, now edged with hesitation, recounting a story about madness and challenge and combat and rejection...
That would have been at a much later age than this...but the Genesis effect would induce some changes...
As soon as their eyes met, he screamed again, an animal roar that was only a little like the cries of pain and fear he had emitted with the ground tremors--he *was* in pain now, the terrible blood fever pain she had read of in T'Pau's biological texts, set forth in the calm, logical, scientific detail that did little to prepare one for seeing it in an actual Vulcan male, when he was shaking uncontrollably and heaving with the rapid breaths and looking at her with such a desperate hunger in his dark eyes that she wanted to cry for him--and he *was* afraid; what he was going through was known to be frightening in the best of cases, far more so the first time, and Saavik could only imagine what it must be like for someone who had never heard of the seven-year cycle, had never read the biology books, had no idea what he was going through, knew only the feelings of it...
But with the pain and the fear, Saavik could see his dawning hope... she knew it in the way his eyes lingered on her, the way he was beginning to move toward her and the scream he had let out when he had seen her... he recognized in her the possibility for life and he was ready to do what it would take to save his life...
Spock was on fire. It was the biting of the sand on his face in the heat and the burning sting of the snowflakes and the terror of the dying planet melted together in one blazing, urgent drive toward something he knew he wanted but couldn't identify, and it had seized him more suddenly than any cold or heat he had ever felt; had latched onto his heart as he had been sitting peacefully in the forest clearing--one moment he had been resting calmly, looking into the little fire that the dark-haired creature and the golden-haired creature had built in the center of the clearing for light in the late hours of darkness, listening to the two of them making sounds at each other and wondering what they meant...and he must have looked into the fire a little too long, for flames had infused his soul and now he was burning up, convulsing in pain and screaming in terror and reaching out frantically over and over for something he needed and then forgetting what it was that he reached for...he doubled over in agony as the blaze of his need thrilled to his fingertips and he almost fell into the fire, but he wouldn't have felt it if he had...
A fern rustled and Spock whirled around to face the creature standing at the edge of the clearing. It was the one with the dark hair and the ears that were like his, and she was looking at him in concern.
And he knew...
As though a ray of light from heaven had indicated her he knew...
He knew the purpose of his burning, he knew for whom he had been reaching, he knew that she was the one who would heal his pain... instinct had taken over and he knew in urgent, intense detail what he wanted to do with her... he wanted her as he had never wanted anything else in his short and confusing life, and he felt his mind and his body becoming desperately ready for her...
As she moved closer to him, knelt by him murmuring one of the sounds he did not understand and reaching out a hand to him, fire engulfed his entire being.
"Will you trust me?" Saavik whispered to him in Vulcan, knowing he couldn't understand but needing to say something to soothe the wild fear. She knelt by him, looking into his terrified eyes, watching his desperate trembling. She was Romulan enough never to have experienced pon farr, but she had read T'Pau's texts and knew as much about it as any full-blooded Vulcan.
She reached out two fingers in the traditional way and braced herself for the heartbreaking reminder that this reborn Spock was empty, that he had lost the brilliant mind she had fallen in love with, that it would be only his body he was giving to her...but she had somehow forgotten to prepare her mind for the obvious condition he was in, and she caught her breath at the waves of passion and desire that rushed in on her when their hands touched. She had been completely right; the pon farr was deep into the plak tow stage when the mating fever burned out all inhibitions. Fire raced along his every nerve, desire ached in his entire body, and Saavik's touch was a pleasure that made the burning blood sing with anticipation. Her heart leapt in her side at the sensory explosion of their contact, a silent shudder wracking her soul.
Through the flames she still felt what she had dreaded: this was not the Spock she knew. When she'd longed for this, she'd always imagined his beautiful thoughts being half the enjoyment, caressing and mingling with hers through their physical contact. Here there was none of the mind she had loved, just a confused soulless body, something between a terrified child and a wild animal, and younger than she had ever seen it, but she could recognize the mouth she had fantasized about kissing, the ears she'd wanted to touch, the intoxicatingly slanted eyebrows she had dreamed of tracing with her fingers, and all of these combined with the thoughts that she felt in him lusting after her sent a thrill of desire through her. This would not be what she'd imagined, it would be something she never could have imagined...
She stroked his hand with her paired index and middle fingers, feeling with delight the pleasure she was giving him, and closed her eyes in rapture as he returned the gesture. His face was flushed the color of the leaves on the branches above them and he knew by instinct that this was the linking touch, the mind-locking ritual to prepare them both mentally for what was to come...an incredible, beautiful, intimate contact but still only the beginning...
Their thoughts swirled together passionately, and the young Vulcan was overwhelmed through the blaze of his fever at the incredible complexity of the mind to which he was joining himself. He had been alive only days, had seen nothing but a few hundred meters of jungle, desert and snow, and he was being caressed by thoughts that had been from star to star, probed into the secrets of atoms and galaxies, learned thousands of times his lifetime's worth of information while struggling to unite the hybrid identities of two worlds that warred inside the body he was touching... he was growing, knowing, learning with every millisecond his mind remained in contact with that of this strange creature to whom instinct had driven him for a relief he still did not understand!
But he felt he would understand it in a few seconds, for while their minds intertwined with one another a torrent of thoughts cascaded down on him and he knew that there were millions of creatures like him and like her, and things that they made that could take them into the sky to other worlds, and that she had been created by two people from different planets, and that someone else also had, someone who was somehow identical to him and yet different, that she had known well... he knew that the world they knelt on had been also created by these omnipotent people that a day ago he hadn't known existed and now knew he was one of... he knew that the strange and complex noises that she and the golden-haired being made to each other with their mouths had meanings that people had devoted their lives to understanding, and that those who lived on other worlds made different sounds with different meanings, and that millions of lives ended over the differences between people from different worlds, and that this very planet was about to die because of some feeling experienced by one of its creators, and that *someone he himself had once been* had died because of the same mistake...
Deserts stretched on endlessly between their minds and called themselves his home...
And even under the waves of knowledge she could not help but send surging through him, he could feel the trembling anticipation in her mind as she ran her fingers over his and caressed his face, while the planet destroyed itself around them and the ground shook beneath them and worlds warred above them, because they both wanted to touch each other in this way, and that knowledge made the overwhelming, confusing thoughts that crashed over from her mind into his feel like spasms of passion, and he responded to them as he did to her caresses. Her skin was hot...almost as hot as his...and yet somehow touching her brought a delightful coolness that eased even the horror of the planet's death throes around them. Tantalized by it, wanting more, he wrapped his fingers around hers, stroked her face, her hair, her ears, eager to hold her, to pull her close to him and quench his flame...
To Spock, the next hours were a supernova, fever-hot and fire-bright and blindingly violent, sometimes fearing that he would die from the pleasure, sometimes that he would kill her, sometimes that both of them would turn into a dying star and consume the whole planet in a blaze of white-hot flame.
With unsteady fingers Saavik folded the robe around the youth, finding his flushed cheeks and tangled hair incomparably beautiful as he lay sprawled on the dark soil, breathing heavily even in his seeming rest. Almost as exhausted as he was, she collapsed beside his sleeping form, interlocking her fingers with his.
"My mate," Saavik whispered as she relaxed against him, not thinking about what she was saying, not caring. "Forever." And though her murmur was utterly illogical, there was a sense of forever in the back of her mind, that she was too tired to explore right now.
But to Spock, though he barely knew even now what speaking was, the words seemed, though incomprehensible, somehow touching... appropriate... it must have been the voice in which she spoke them, and the feelings he read in her while they passed her lips...
...and the only thing he could do, as he lay there in her arms feeling the pleasure of her heat against him and the pain of the dying planet around him, the only thing that seemed to express his feelings sufficiently, was to repeat the same words to her, simply, gently, in the first speaking voice he had ever used.
"My mate," he answered her. "Forever."
His fingers joined hers in a gentle handclasp and Saavik wondered sleepily, as she drifted into a world of vague dreams amid the smoke of the campfire's dying embers, why she felt as if at the center of her soul a door had been built through which she could wander into someplace very beautiful.
And then alien interruption, bargaining, threats of death...
As the Klingon's weapon fell to stab the human heart, David's eyes met Saavik's for a split second. She had never imagined that so much thought and feeling could be transmitted by eye contact. It was a look that gave her his love, thanked her for the love she had given him, grieved that they could not have shared love again. The admiral's son spasmed into death believing that Saavik loved him.
David was dead. Spock was resurrected. And another life was just beginning. It was all too much to grasp at once.
She turned to face him. Only one with her Vulcan training--and her knowledge of Spock--could recognize the anxiety in his eyes.
"I know why you are staying behind on Vulcan."
She blushed emerald. "How did you know?"
"I know logic, I know biology... and I know you."
They were in the hall. No one was around. Spock was looking at the front of her red tunic, and she could see the signs of nervousness... *nervousness, in Spock!...* and she knew what he was thinking about... "But you understand, don't you? I have to stay on Vulcan! I have to have the child!" He actually saw tears in her dark eyes, and wished he had the right to comfort her.
"I understand. I was...concerned when I realized what must have happened to me on the planet, and I was--I was dismayed to discover that you were the one present at the time. I knew that you had the loyalty to give me your help at... at any expense... and I am grateful to you. But my feelings do not matter. I only wanted to ask if you can forgive me."
"Forgive you!" She looked him in the eyes.
He looked away. "I should have known. There is no forgiveness for what I have done to you."
He had said something very similar many years ago, orbiting Vulcan after he'd thought he'd killed Jim...it was a similar situation altogether...if only it could clear up as conveniently as that one had...
"Forgive you!" He couldn't read the look in her face. Was it rage? Passion? "How could I forgive you?" And then she went against all Vulcan tradition, and reached out to him and took his hand in hers. He felt the tightness of her fingers. "I can only thank you."
Spock had always disliked the idea of forcing a mind-meld, and knew that if duty ever demanded making use of his touch telepathy against the will of the one touched, he would be ashamed at doing it. But this time the feelings of the mind that reached out that gentle hand to him were so strong that he couldn't help it. He read her mind, against her will and against his. He felt what she was thinking, he knew everything she felt, more than he wanted to know... *I never thought... I never imagined... my student, I never perceived such feelings in you...* Spock met her eyes in a blank surprise that he could hardly manage to conceal. *Saavik!* He forced his hand to release her, and their fingers broke apart, both trembling.
"I am sorry," she said, realizing that they had touched minds, turning her gaze away from him in a burning shame. "Can you forgive me?"
"I cannot forgive you any more than you could forgive me, " he whispered to her. "You have done nothing that needs forgiveness. But I cannot thank you either. You have...given me much to think about. Let us leave it at that. Go to Vulcan. I shall see you again... someday. Only when I have decided what to do." He turned to leave, driven by confusion. Confusion always brought him a need to be alone. She stopped him, calling his name. He turned back to her. How much she had changed in appearance since his death--was it lovesick pining through which her once-childish face had become gaunt and severe, her well-kept hair been reduced to a wild tangle, her body shed kilograms of weight? Had she cared that much?
"Spock--what should *I* do?"
"I assume you are referring to the care of the child?" Uneasy tremble in the words.
"I am. I cannot tell anyone else, of course... but it is your child, you should have some control over what happens to it...even if..." She stopped herself. She had almost said *Even if you had no control then...*
"Do what you think is right. It is yours too." He tried to control the illogical shaking of his voice at the thought of the child.
"I don't know what I think is right!" She was crying again. It must be an intense emotion, for Saavik to show it so openly.
"Saavikam, you said you couldn't tell anyone. Can you tell my parents?" Forcing down the tremble. Forcing logic on himself. Forcing his mind to accept the fact that Saavik was going to have a child and it was his.
"Yes, in fact, I plan to tell them. I have agreed to stay with them on Vulcan; they cannot help but know."
"Then they will help you care for the child. I will finance its upbringing, and they will be loving grandparents to it. I know that with their assistance you will be a good mother... I wish I could be as good a father."
"Perhaps you can," Saavik burst out. "If you stay behind on Vulcan too... with me..." She realized that what she was saying amounted to a proposal of marriage, and stopped herself. "I am sorry. I cannot ask you to leave Starfleet."
"That is not the reason! Saavik, I need time... time to decide if I... if I would be the right mate for you. I know that you want me now, but your opinion might change if we rushed into this too hurriedly. We are both half Vulcan, but our other sides are quite different...and I am much older than you. We may be compatible, but we may not."
In Saavik's mind, a brief flame of anger at the rejection... a deep hurt... then a reluctant acknowledgement of logic. "Very well. I will go to Vulcan and your parents, and I will...await your return, as far in the future as it may be."
"Live long and prosper, Saavikam."
She burned as he called her by her name in the Vulcan way.
Excerpts from Spock's Personal Journal
Though the first of my repressed memories to resurface was Jim's name, the time I spent among the master healers of Seleya brought up certain new recollections rather quickly. Many of the small details of my past were returned to my conscious memory only through hours of mind-melding, as my removed katra was, piece by piece, reconnected to my physical brain--some of it I never recovered, and was forced to relearn--but other pieces of knowledge seemed to come back to me almost immediately. Many of these were unimportant memories that I had no logical reason to have recalled so quickly, but among the earliest of them was Saavik.
After I discovered that my former student experiences an attraction to me which I had never before perceived in her, my own thoughts of her have altered considerably. I wonder now whether my initial response--informing her that I needed more time to evaluate my own "feelings" for her--appeared at the time to be an attempt to escape from the responsibility I have to her and to the child with which I apparently impregnated her on the Genesis Planet. I hope she did not interpret it that way. I do not lie, particularly not to people whom I value and respect as much as I do Saavik (even knowing what I know now about her). I did and do take her suggestion seriously, and my request for more time was fully and legitimately aimed toward obtaining an opportunity to determine whether or not I believe myself to be suitable as a husband for her. I have not yet reached a satisfactory conclusion.
I may admit in this personal diary that I do experience a certain attraction to Saavik. I consider myself to be closely attached to her as a result of our years of working together, and the difficulty I face is one of determining whether my affection for her is romantic or parental. Having first met her at a time at which I was a young adult and she was a preadolescent child, and having cultivated a relationship with her that was predominantly the relationship of a mentor to a student, to such an extent that many have even assumed that she was my daughter, the most obvious inference would be that my attachment to her more closely resembles that of a parent to its offspring. Surprisingly, my instinctive inclination is not in this direction; at times I actually find myself imagining experiences with her (which I will not describe, even in my personal diary) that I find enjoyable in a way that strongly suggests my attraction to her is of the type that is commonly expected to result in marriage.
The difference is likely to be an important one. My experience in observing interpersonal relationships indicates strongly that successful marriages are most often those in which both partners are attracted to one another in the latter way, and if my attachment to Saavik should prove to be the former, any marriage between us would have a substantial chance of being unsatisfactory. It does trouble me that Saavik has a child of which I am the father and is not receiving the customary assistance from me in dealing with this situation. I wish so badly that I could see our child... does it look like you, Saavik? I dream each night of seeing it, of seeing you...but you deserve no less than a perfect marriage, Saavikam my love...my mate... forever...
Delete the final sentence of the above paragraph. No--cancel. This journal must be an accurate representation of my thoughts. But how illogical. My mate, forever? What did I mean by that? Rephrase: I value my pupil too highly to subject her to the risk of an unsuccessful union with an incompatible spouse, which would have long-term negative effects, for both her and the child, significantly exceeding those of delaying a marriage between Saavik and me, and I believe it to be necessary for me to carefully consider the matter before making a decision.
I continue to debate the issue concerning my former student. If my own desires were the only barrier to my accepting her proposal, I should do so immediately, for her interests are of more importance to me than my attachment to Starfleet and my captain. But I am convinced that, should we prove to be incompatible, marriage would eventually become a situation contrary to those interests. No Vulcan makes a decision as important as this without first seriously considering it. I sincerely hope Saavik does not think me insensitive. But she will not. She knows insensitivity and she knows Vulcanness, and she can distinguish between them. I am Vulcan. I am not insensitive. So why do I worry so much?
There are days I still cannot accept the fact that I am a father. I know that it would hurt Saavik to say anything to me at the moment, but at times I cannot help wishing that she would tell me about that part of it. I do not even know if the birth has occurred yet. If the child were full human, she would be more than an infant by now.
Most curious. I used the word "she" despite the fact that I am unaware of the child's sex. This is uncharacteristic for me; usually I employ male pronouns when the gender in question is uncertain.
It has been twenty-eight Earth days since I last discussed Saavik in this journal and I believe I may do so now once more. I cannot stop thinking of her.
Memories of her thoughts surface in my mind from time to time, thoughts from the time she touched me in the hall after I told her I knew... intense desire for me, equally intense gratefulness for what I gave her in that time outside my memory, recollections of dreams and fantasies from her early youth on, and of agony at losing me after I was left on Genesis. I cannot believe that I overlooked the desires that must have been there even when I mind-melded with her when she was a child and I was her mentor. But then, of course, I was never looking for such feelings... and she would have been carefully hiding them. The emotions she showed me that time in the corridor were under no control whatsoever.
Perhaps she was not completely unwilling for me to feel them. Perhaps for one impulsive second she wanted me to touch her mind, to know what she felt for me, to be released from the guilt of believing I had done something to her that she had not wanted. But what other difficulties have arisen because of this! If she had never told me about those feelings, I would be spared this endless battle over how best to serve her needs. Half the time I am trying to convince myself that we are logically ill-suited to one another, the rest of the time I am imagining, in such detail that I can almost feel it, the touch of her two fingers against mine...
I am looking back on my personal logs from Saavik's early childhood. She was a difficult child, rebellious and illogical and, once she learned logic, quite apt at using it to her own benefit, which was not always convenient for me. Instructions to go to bed, bathe, do her homework and so forth were all subject to syllogistic analysis in which their validity was found wanting with unsettling frequency. Perhaps she was such a quick study in logic because of her experience with it; the ability to reason was an indispensable survival aid in the harsh environment of the planet on which she found me...
Correction: On which I found her.
How can I even consider marriage? She was almost a daughter to me. I remember her so clearly as an intelligent but misbehaved child that the thought of taking her as a wife is practically the thought of marrying my own daughter, and, as such, is ludicrous.
When I tried to begin today's log entry, the computer terminal was not functioning well, and I was obliged to disassemble it to find the source of the problem. Said source was immediately obvious, for as soon as I opened the case, a near-explosion of dust flew out at me; the device appears not to have been cleaned in a long while. Although a common and usually benign problem, the dust particles in my eyes seemed for some reason more painful than they would normally have been, causing a curious sensation of uncomfortable heat all over my body at the same time, and I went to sickbay to have the situation examined. I am still here, completing the entry in my portable log computer, because, while the room is not otherwise crowded, there is only one doctor on duty and he is currently occupied. I wonder why Dr. T'Selis is not called; though strangely I do not have any direct memories of her, I have a strong feeling that there is a physician named T'Selis who would be particularly suitable.
I am thinking of Saavik today. Though less than civilized as a young child, she was quick to mature mentally, though her emotions did not fully become controlled until later; before my death she was occasionally known to smile, speak in varied voice tones and even swear, and it was losing me that forced her to "grow up."
I have many pleasant memories of profound discussions with her in her late adolescence and early adulthood. Her cognitive skills have always been above average and she would often startle me with an intelligent insight, whether on physics, logic, philosophy or sociology, so obvious once brought to my attention that I was surprised I did not think of it myself. The most ingenious ideas are often like that. Once she said that infinity is easier to imagine than most people think, for one can see it just by closing one's eyes. I did, and noticed for the first time that indeed there were no edges to my range of vision. Perhaps the answers to many of our great wonderings are to be found in such a way, by looking within ourselves.
Saavik has not contacted me since I left her on Vulcan. This does not surprise me. Though she succeeds in behaving calmly and rationally in the presence of humans, and can often conceal her emotions to the point that I cannot identify them myself, though I know they are present, I am aware that the degree to which she herself feels the emotions, no matter how well hidden, is greater than that present in most humans. If my past experience with her allows me to make an accurate assumption, she would consider it painful even to attempt to establish a correspondence with me. It is likely that she wishes I would send messages to her, and I wish I could, Saavikam, I wish I could tell you how much I want to see you, to touch you, to--
Why am I experiencing these lapses in logic? Rephrase: I would not consider contacting her to be an altogether disagreeable experience, except for the issue of the aforesaid highly intense nature of her well-controlled emotions. At the moment I am rather inconsistent in terms of my views on the subject of our marriage, and if I contacted her during a time when I considered it an unwise idea, I would disappoint her, and if I were to do so during a time when I was fully in favor of it, I might raise her hopes only for disappointment later. Despite my admiration of her skill at mastering her feelings, I have no desire to incite unpleasant emotions in her.
Little has happened recently. For three days this spacecraft has been in a field of spatial turbulence which causes the floor to move irregularly beneath one's feet, and most non-vital duties, especially those requiring precise motions, have been suspended until such time as we leave the anomaly, the majority of attention being devoted to navigating us out of it. Strangely, however, I experience intense sensations of discomfort each time there is a significant vibration of the deck beneath me. In fact, they are such that...
Stop it. Stop!!!!!!! No! No!!!! Terminate.
A most extraordinary occurrence took place today. I was engaged at the time in what has become a common pastime for me of late: attempting through meditation to resolve the question facing me concerning Saavik and marriage. The difference in our ages and the roles we have played in relation to each other throughout the time of our lengthy acquaintance surfaces repeatedly in my mind as evidence that my interest in her cannot be what Saavik wishes it were, and yet, just as often, the emotions I attempt to control refuse to be mastered and insist instead upon indicating exactly the opposite conclusion. I was lying in meditation on the bunk in my quarters, trying to probe the two conclusions to which I was coming, identify their sources and select the stronger, and, as usual, I had met so far with little success.
As soon as I entered the trance, I began, quite contrary to my plans, to imagine, or dream, that I was with Saavik. I distinctly felt her touch me and say, "Spock. My mate. Forever." I remember that at the moment I did not understand the words, but I found them pleasing and imitated them. It was then that the trance ended, of its own accord.
The theory that springs to mind to explain what has happened is a strange one and raises fascinating questions concerning the fal-tor-pan and the katra. I have been researching Vulcan's ancient legends on the subject and have in fact found some material to support my hypothesis.
The Vulcan soul is not merely born, it is a complex marriage of the identity acquired through experience in life and the genetic personality naturally present in the body. A katra is built of both "nature" and "nurture," and it continues growing throughout one's lifetime.
When my body was regenerated on the Genesis Planet, it existed for several days before being brought to Vulcan and reunited with my living spirit. During this time it was closely bonded to the planet, feeling great discomfort each time the world experienced geological disturbances... and it underwent pon farr and...became intimate with Saavik, whom it did not know before that. Could the memories I accumulated before the fal-tor-pan have formed some sort of minute, immature katra that continued to exist after the older one rejoined it in this body? It would explain much.
Do I now have two souls, then? Will this tiny, extra personality be with me forever, a separate week-long memory of confusion and fear that I can call up only by accident?
"The fires she had kept at bay so long could no longer be resisted. Her last thought was wonder. She had survived pon farr before with no difficulty at all. But she had never been bonded mind to mind before."
Excerpts from Saavik's Personal Journal
It has been a long time since I conceived this child I am carrying, and the due date is uncertain considering that the average human gestation period is only a fraction as long as the Vulcan and Romulan. My offspring would be half-Vulcan, one quarter Romulan and one-quarter human; I am curious as to which side it will favor in appearance and demeanor. Since the family physician informs me that it is female, I intend to prefix its name with the traditional Vulcan "T" and apostrophe. I am still debating the remaining part of the name.
I have accepted the starship position I have been offered, and will commence my duties as soon as the child is ready to be apart from me for short times. But I will not leave her on Vulcan. She will live with me on the starship and go to school there and perhaps learn to be a starship officer herself someday. Somehow I feel she will want to have that kind of life.
I feel that it should be somewhere recorded that Spock's parents have been an indispensable help in my pregnancy so far. Amanda has counseled me from her own experience and Sarek has taught me meditation techniques to ease the pain and calm the child when it is uncomfortable itself. One of them is a fascinating method of in-utero mind-meld that it is surprising Vulcans have not documented to a greater extent; I would imagine that the thoughts of children before birth would be a subject of great interest to some. Those of my daughter are certainly intriguing to me. She is amazingly intelligent--not that it amazes me that Spock's child should be clever, only that I appear to have underestimated the mental power of the unborn. She has clear records in her mind of all the physical sensations she experiences; she classifies them in quite ingenious categories and studies which tend to follow which, so that she can predict from one the succession of another and thus have a very detailed understanding of her environment. (I must ask Sarek if such advanced levels of consciousness are common prenatally.)
Amanda's help has been just as instructive; she has given me extensive information on the diet and exercise routine that is most beneficial to the unborn child and she tells me about her own experiences with pregnancy. Hers was, of course, different from mine, and she can give me no advice particular to a half-Vulcan-half-Romulan carrying the child of a half-Vulcan-half-human, but she shares with me at least the basic experience of interspecies reproduction, and she is understandably interested in the subject, having been one of the first humans to marry an extraterrestrial.
Illogical, how strange it seems to think of anyone being pregnant with Spock--everyone was an unborn child at some point--but it does seem strange to me; I never even saw him when he was young... except, of course, for that once...
And I miss him terribly.
I am not well. I have come to the conclusion that Spock can never want me. I am practically his daughter!
It is considered normal for young people to be attracted to older people; students at Starfleet Academy and even in grade school I often observed to have "crushes" on teachers far older than they, and the smallest human child may fall in love with a holovid actor born many decades earlier. But for that adult to return the affection is out of the question; it is seen as unnatural and shameful, and I am a fool to have hoped Spock could feel that way for me. Why did I not control my emotions and spare him the pain of knowing I want what he cannot give me?
It is over. I have had the child.
It happened yesterday. I was cooking a Vulcan soup Amanda taught me to make--she said it was very nutritious for the pregnancy--and I was turning off the stove to let it cool off when I began experiencing the sensations I was told occur prior to birth. I called to Amanda; Sarek was at work at the time--and she contacted the doctor, but my daughter was born before T'Selis could arrive. Amanda delivered her. It was not as painful as I had expected it to be, though the child was of more than average size. She is very healthy and looks Vulcan--or Romulan; I can't tell which; the two species are so similar. I held her close to me immediately, before she could even be bathed--so illogical, but as soon as she was born I instantly felt such a close bond to her that I could not control myself...and she is such a wonderful daughter...
The healer T'Selis came shortly afterward, and did all the usual things for a new baby. She is a very kind lady and very loyal to Sarek and Amanda. Of a wealthy family, she was betrothed at seven but her bond-mate died, I believe, at a young age. Or perhaps she was never betrothed at all...I can't remember anything anymore, I am so excited about the baby! In any case, T'Selis was of great help and she is an agreeable person. Besides me, Spock and his parents, she has been the only one to know about the child. It seems that even Vulcans have some irrational sense of shame about the birth of a child to unmarried parents. No--it is the pon farr. Telling anyone about my daughter would necessitate discussing that part of it, and that is one thing Vulcans do not discuss. Which is illogical in itself, but if Spock and his family have taught me anything, it is that even Vulcans are not fully logical.
Sometimes, they feel...and love...
I have calmed somewhat; the confusion of birth is over, and I have time to rest, holding his child in my arms, and think of how I shall raise her so that she may remember her caregiver as fondly as I remember mine. Even if Spock was a father to me, he was a good father; I was not only taught and cared for and perhaps spoiled somewhat, but also respected.
It is so uncommon, to respect a child... and yet it is among the most important parts of raising one. How can the supreme lesson parents attempt to transmit to their young--the lesson that one should be polite and kind to others--be learned if the teachers do not themselves demonstrate it to the learners? Spock knew that. He was always careful to use words that I understood and topics that would interest me, but his voice tone was no different between conversations with me and conversations with his parents or colleagues, and he did not assume anything about my interests or abilities from my age or my background, but relied on the knowledge of me that he gained from direct experience. I was loved and honored from the beginning as a friend as well as a student and ward. Though he has never in my life shown interest in me of the kind I would like, throughout his tutorship he confided in me things of importance to him, showed interest in the things that were important to me, and delivered lessons as simple transmissions of information from one friend to another, and praise in the same way he would compliment an equal.
He always had great esteem for my mental capacities, thinking me perhaps more intelligent than I consider myself, but invariably pleasing me that he should think so. His long-ago compliments on the creativity and insight of my mind are surfacing in my memory now, to hoard and to glory in to help me through the loneliness. Perhaps he does care for me; perhaps the difference in our ages is not so important now that we are both old. I shall not give up hope yet.
He has not contacted me. Is it because he is afraid he will hurt me or because he does not wish to talk to me? I am overemotional. Sarek would be ashamed of me. I shall try to be logical for him...and for Spock. I shall try to please Sarek and Amanda. They have been kind to me. A half-Romulan child picked up on some war-torn world is so fortunate to have friends like this.
And a daughter like T'Mandi! She is so beautiful...she has his eyes and the very same points at the tips of her ears...and she is learning to walk already! I mind-meld with her and feel her baby thoughts and she is so happy and innocent...but clever, and curious, I have to watch her every moment she's awake because she is always exploring, trying to discover things, hurting herself if she is not careful and if I do not manage to stop her. Perhaps she will be a scientist like her father...she is very like him; Starfleet officers get into trouble so often for being curious. She is sleeping now so I can make a journal entry without worrying about her. She does not sleep peacefully as it is said children do. She murmurs things in her sleep that only she can understand and she moves her hands and feet as if she were exploring even in her dreams.
Oh, Spock...will you ever see your daughter, will you ever come to live with us? I do not tell her of you when I touch her mind; I want to spare her beautiful happy thoughts that pain for a while. When she is older and knows pain already--oh, I wish I didn't know that that will come to her someday, but it comes to everyone--I will tell her, I will tell her how you saved me when I was a child and taught me your ways and how I loved you and how I saved you when you needed me and yes, I will tell her how we parted, and I will tell her that I believe you made the right choice, but I will also tell her how much it hurt me to accept it--
I am being illogical. I will end today's entry here.
I dreamt of Spock last night. I dream of him often, but this dream was more intense than usual. I shall not say what it was about--it is too private even for my journal--but it is the last of a series of dreams of growing intensity. I miss him terribly, desperately, painfully. I can still almost feel him pressing me against the soil of the Genesis planet but it does not satisfy me, I cannot remember clearly enough, I need to touch him, I need to feel his arms really around me, I need him really here with me... I feel sometimes that I am going mad!
I cannot say much today, I am so exhausted.
*It happened to me four days ago...for the first time...*
Oh, I thought I would be spared this...I hoped my Romulan side was good for something...It was terrible! I was on fire, I was burning to death, I wanted Spock so much I screamed for hours, screamed his name and threw things and kicked things and nearly broke everything in the house! Amanda had to restrain me, Sarek had to calm me with a mind-meld--the only one I didn't try to hurt was little T'Mandi. She was so frightened! She cried and tried to embrace me even as she saw my violence. That was what finally drove me to want to be calm. I managed to heal myself by meditating in the way of the Kohlinaru; it is a rite that seldom succeeds for the average individual and it would never have worked for me if the fever hadn't been tempered by my Romulan half...or if I had been Spock's bond-mate...and still I want to be, I want to have his thoughts with me all the time and feel him drawn to me every seven years and live with him and let him see his daughter and love her and give her brothers and sisters...he has been true to his promise to pay child support; his most recent monetary gift came yesterday...but there was no message with it...there never has been...
"Two people who've been friends and colleagues for decades. His mind wanted very much to make something romantic out of that. But Picard rather suspected that this late betrothal was more a matter of convenience, or maybe politics. You never knew motives for sure, if Starfleet scuttlebutt was correct, when someone as, well, cunning as the father of the groom, Ambassador Sarek, was involved."
Spock wandered the sands of his desert home. He did not know why he was there, only that Sarek had summoned him to discuss something with him. It had to be important, or his father would have told it to him in a message. In fact, his father should have used a message even if it were important. This must be something so important that even Ambassador Sarek experienced the sentimental feeling of needing to discuss it face-to-face.
They were to meet in Sarek's office in the heart of the city; he was not to see Saavik and their child. it hurt him, but he thought it was best; he should not see her until he had decided for sure about their marriage. A meeting with that uncertainty hanging over them would only cause both of them pain.
He walked into the efficiently furnished building of Sarek's office and found his father at his desk. "Ambassador," he said formally. "Live long and prosper. I have come."
"Peace and long life to you, my son. Our discussion concerns your pupil. Saavik."
Spock caught his breath at her name. "What of Saavik?"
"She sends her greetings. As does T'Mandi. Contrary to expectation, the child does not show any interest in living aboard a spacecraft, and prefers at the moment to plan a life at the Vulcan Science Academy." Something in his voice hearkened back to a long-ago memory of another half-Vulcan faced with the same decision, and there was a note of triumph that this time the chooser had chosen correctly. "Though she is still a very small girl, she has startling mathematical and scientific talents, and has been enrolled in an Academy class normally reserved for those in late adolescence. Rumors of her origin are beginning to circulate, but she has already distanced herself somewhat from the family. Her logic and emotional control are quite remarkable for her age."
"I am surprised that you summoned me here merely to tell me this," said Spock coldly.
Sarek shifted some communication pads to the side of his desk, adjusted the position of a small potted plant. *Is he nervous? Upset? Has something happened to my--* Spock tried to meet his father's gaze, stricken.
Sarek avoided eye contact. "I have found," remarked the Ambassador, "that the current popular view among several factions within the Federation favors the reunification if the Vulcan and Romulan species."
"Small talk is illogical," said Spock.
"My son, that was not 'small talk.' It was an explanation of circumstances, and it was necessary to your understanding of our conference."
Spock forced himself to relax. "Continue."
"As I said, such is the case, which implies that one who displays a viewpoint agreeable toward the concept of such reunification, or possibly even a viewpoint agreeable toward any friendly relations between Vulcans and Romulans at all, will be seen in a more positive light by much of the general public."
Spock forced himself not to ask what that had to do with Saavik.
"But I see that you are experiencing the emotion" (Sarek stressed the word) "of anxiety as to when I shall reach the thesis of my argument, so I shall do so immediately. My public relations would improve if my son were to become bonded to an individual of partial Romulan heritage."
Spock jerked his head up, finally looking his father in the eye. "You are encouraging me to marry Saavik for your personal benefit!"
Sarek sighed, a rare expression of feeling. "Spock, I was trying to show you a necessary matter from a logical point of view. I see I have failed. Very well. Here it is from an emotional viewpoint. Saavik wants very badly to marry you. She is beginning a career as first officer of a major Starfleet vessel and appears to have a bright future, but increasingly we have noticed she is losing interest in nearly everything because of her desire for you. Furthermore, I am of the opinion that you experience similar wishes but are unwilling to admit them. I sincerely believe a bonding between you is in order, is in fact, in a way, necessary."
Spock began, slowly, to speak. "She was my student. I was her mentor. There was no logical reason for that kind of interaction between us."
Sarek's eyebrow went up. "You are confusing logic with tradition, Spock. Not being the stereotypical couple of Earth romance fiction is not sufficient reason to--as humans would say--'break the heart' of an individual who deeply desires to be your wife. Furthermore, numerous marriages take place between students and their teachers, many with a considerably greater difference in age than yours. And Spock--even if logic were tradition, and even if tradition didn't accept marriages like yours and Saavik's--is love logical?"
Spock's eyebrows went up sharply. That was an extremely uncharacteristic statement for Sarek. But his father was looking at him as though it were a necessary thing to say. "Spock, I do not expect you to know everything about logic. You are half human. So all I will say at the moment is that if love *were* logical, you would not *be* half human."
Father and son contemplated each other for a moment. A barrier seemed to have suddenly gone down between them; Sarek had said things he would not have been willing to say if he did not consider the cause vitally important.
"It is true," continued the elder Vulcan, "that your marriage would improve my reputation among certain groups at the moment--even without considering the issue of...your daughter. It would be a statement of Vulcan/Romulan friendship that you should welcome in any case, given your passion for reunification. But it is not the only reason I encourage you to take Saavik as your mate. It is merely that it is one of the very few *logical* reasons."
"Are there other logical reasons?" Spock found he had been searching for logical reasons himself, for a long time, and wanting very much to find them.
"There is one." Sarek paused uncomfortably. "Something... biological... happened to your former student some time ago-- Spock, don't panic! She's fine!"
Spock had leapt up from his seat, breathing heavily and shaking, as though he too had been struck by the blood fires that had claimed Saavik. His father actually had to walk around the desk to him and help him back into the chair. *My son is surprisingly obtuse not to recognize his attraction to that half-Romulan female, if this is how he reacts. Shameful how incapable he is of controlling the expression of jealousy in his face. One who feels a fatherly affection for a woman would never look that way.*
"She was not forced to either koon-ut or kahl-if-fee," he assured Spock. "She attempted... addressing the matter through an ancient meditation rite, and was successful. The reason I bring it up is that in another seven years--or however long it is for a half-Romulan--she may not be so fortunate. For that matter, it has been several years already since the... unfortunate incident... involving T'Pring--and depending on the degree of influence your human side has upon you, and the effect of warp drive on your physical sense of time, you may soon be...in similar danger. Having a bond-mate would be... advantageous... for either of you in those circumstances, and no other candidates for the position seem to have presented themselves to you or to her. I think it is time you admitted to yourselves that you are compatible... as I am convinced you are." Sarek ended his sentence, looking at Spock with imperfectly hidden concern, hoping he had not been too blunt in discussing that which a Vulcan does not discuss.
Spock didn't remember afterwards how he had agreed to the bonding, what he had said, how illogical, how overemotional he had sounded--he knew only that in a few minutes he was at the door of his own home. His father typed in the code to unlock it, and it slid open.
Her composure was remarkable; the only expression of her delight that she allowed Spock to see was a gentle wrinkling of the corners of her eyes--a smile with no motion of her mouth. She was older than he remembered her, but still beautiful, her hair still in the thick curls she had worn on Genesis, her face hard-lined and yet somehow enticingly sensual, her eyes bright as stars and dark as the space between them.
"You will be linked by T'Pau," said Sarek matter-of-factly. "We are not sure of the month or year the ceremony will take place; preferably when you have fewer concerns with Starfleet."
"It is enough to know that it will happen," said Saavik softly, her eyes not leaving Spock's.
And from behind her a small figure approached, crowned with hair as lustrous as Spock's and as textured as Saavik's that curled around ears that had her father's points but were otherwise her mother's, and looked solemnly up at Spock with his own eyes, raising Saavik's eyebrow.
"Live long and prosper, Father," said the baby voice, and the world was complete for a moment.
"Not *that* different."
Day 2, Week 1 of Sharveen, 2329
The priestess adjusted their fingers at each other's temples as though they were in truth only seven years old, and the first spark of contact flickered from mind to mind.
A gentle whisper of voice, unnecessary but demanded by tradition, as their thoughts meshed. "My mind to your mind."
And the answer, as a soft light was kindled within them: "My thoughts to your thoughts."
"Parted from me and never parted..." Brightness glowing between their souls, spreading wider and wider until it filled their entire union and there was no border separating them, only light everywhere, illuminating for each of them everything the other had ever known.
"Never and always touching and touched." Neither of them knew now whose voice was speaking.
The warmth and light was incredible, the clarity of their sudden discovery of each other's minds, the sudden remembering, as though of one's own past, the other's experiences...
Their faces had no need to express emotion; every feeling belonged to each of them as to the other, and this contact shared them beyond the capabilities of any smile or sigh of contentment; only they existed in the whole universe, and no others needed to see any sign of their indescribable joy.
They explored each other for hours, years, a lifetime. Saavik wandered among the still-healing connections between soul and body where they had once been severed in her mate, and Spock dreamt the dreams of Saavik's loneliness and knew his daughter as she had known her. They journeyed through their halfbreed heritage, human to Vulcan, Vulcan to Romulan, a path from sunlit calm to midnight savagery that was no less enticing when it tangled and lost its way in wild darkness.
And at the center of Saavik they found the door.
It was not new, but it had not been born with her, and it glowed with the promise of beauty on the other side. Together they opened it and helped each other through.
Through, into a wilderness of forest and desert and frozen wasteland, permeated by fever madness and planet death spasms and shuddering and screaming in fear and pain...
...but in pleasure too, flashing memories of warm sand against young skin, wet snow soothing wounded legs, freezing flesh wrapped in warm familiar cloth, a child rescued and cared for by a woman he had rescued and cared for as a child, a young man burning and cooled by a loving touch, so that the screams began to sound like cries of joy in this wild undiscovered corner of Saavik's soul.
And as they explored it further, ventured deeper into the wilderness, they came upon another door.
And this one opened into Spock.
*You have the little katra in you still!*
*And you are bonded to him!*
*I never knew...*
*I had no idea...*
*Genesis is our link, then.*
*Genesis is the pathway from me to you.*
*We have been linked since Genesis?*
*Only through closed doors.*
*That opened sometimes, by themselves.*
*We open them now, forever.*
And the doors opened and did not close again.
Their fingers left each other's faces and they rose and faced one another for the first time as a bonded couple. Their faces still showed no expression; that was within, to be shared only between them.
They could hear the unspoken question of the onlookers:
*Something feels different, doesn't it?*
Their eyes met, clung a moment, remembering all the times the doors had swung open a moment and allowed a brief touch of minds through the Genesis wilderness between them. All the mysteries that made sense now.
The doors had been there a long time. They had only now been opened. The two bondmates, long linked, the link only now fully completed, let their expressions give the assembled crowd their answer.
Not *that* different.