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Say It if You Mean It (2/?) (TBC)

Title: Say It if You Mean It
Fandom: Star Trek (2009)
Author: Nnej 
Disclaimer: If I owned them, Star Trek XI would have ended with homosmex. But it didn't. So I don't 
Pairing: Spock/Kirk, Spock/Uhura (and a little more on the horizon, but I aint spoilin' it).
Warnings: Naughty words, het!yay, homo!yay, and don't run with scissors (good warning for all).
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Spock thought she was dead; he was sure she was dead. But here she was--T'Pring-- on the USS Enterprise. With what she has planned, he's going to wish she had died.
A/N: First and foremost, give glory and praise to the almighty beta proudcockatrice . Without him, this story would not be nearly as good as it is now, so yes. Send cookies to him! All remaining mistakes are my own. Secondly, I live off of comments, so please, supply my life force. Finally, ENJOY! I am having a great time writing this, so I hope you have a great time reading it! 

Spock felt that the planet Starfleet decided upon for the Vulcan colony was an entirely unsuitable replacement. For one, the humidity was 5.6% higher than Vulcan’s was. Secondly, the mineral content in the soil was incompatible with the floral specimens the Vulcan scientist and agriculturalists were trying to transplant. Thirdly, Amanda Grayson was nowhere to be found. Cognitively, Spock knew that it wasn’t the planet’s fault that his mother wasn’t here. Regardless, it was hard to feel ‘at home’ without her.

Walking around the house in which his father now resided, Spock half expected to hear his mother’s humming echoing off the walls, or smell the banana-nut bread that she always baked for him, whenever he came home. Instead the house was silent enough that Spock found himself walking a little bit heavier, just so that his footsteps made some noise. And the only smell in the air was the dry, musky odor of the incense his father favored for meditation. It gave Spock a headache.

He decided to wait outside for his father to finish his meditation. The sky was bright from the light of the dual suns. Some native avian species were flying overhead, and a native bug was biting his arm. This planet was alien. It was not where Spock grew up. It didn’t look a thing like it. How did one adjust to such a drastic change? Watching the people walking by, Spock realized that most of them had had all year to deal with this new planet. They walked around comfortably and with practiced precision. This was the first time Spock had visited; he felt as out of place as he had as a child.

Turning his attention away from the street, Spock focused on the sky. In some areas, it was darkening and a few distant stars were shining through. However, Spock couldn’t help but focus on the areas of darkness. For it was a fact that somewhere out there, there was a black hole. Actually, statically speaking, there were countless black holes. But only one was of particular notice to Spock today; the one that served as a grave to the woman who gave birth to him. Who had loved him unconditionally. Who, no matter what, had been a proud mother.

As this anniversary approached, Spock had found himself attempting to prepare himself for the emotions he now faced. More than once, he had found himself in front of Captain Kirk, debating the most appropriate way to broach the subject of how to deal with the loss of a parent. In the end, he had never asked, instead turning the conversation to how best to improve dilithium performance or something else wholly practical but entirely irrelevant. He had tried meditating and reestablishing the mental barriers in his mind, to block out the negative emotions. However, as the anniversary grew closer, Spock found himself lacking the necessary solitude for proper meditation. Nyota, despite all the positive aspects she brought to their relationship, was singularly unskilled in dealing with Vulcans and their grief. She always seemed to think there was something she could do, as though the gaping hole in his chest could be mended with a kiss or a long conversation— a common human misconception. She had been incessant ,the last few weeks, constantly asking Spock what he needed from her, what she should do, how he was dealing, what she could do to help. In the end, he was forced to request that she simply allow him to deal with the loss of his planet and mother alone. She had been annoyed and had almost started a quarrel, but for the time being, she granted his request and shelved the fight for another, less troubling time.

“Spock,” spoke a familiar voice from behind him, shaking him out of his thoughts.

Spock turned around and greeted his father who looked worn and tired. Spock suspected he appeared similarly weary.

Tushah nash-veh k'du, Spock,” Sarek said carefully, choosing his words with precision, as always.

Spock nodded respectfully, shifting his weight just a little from foot to foot. What does one say in this situation, he wondered. Does one address the proverbial elephant in the room, or does one skirt the issue?

 “How has the colony fared over the year? I regret not visiting at an earlier, more pleasant time.” Spock said, just a little too quickly. His father didn’t seem to notice.

“The colony is prospering. The survivors are committed to its survival and prosperity. Many Vulcans who were off-world at the time of the attack have returned to help with the rebuilding.”

‘Unlike you,’ remained unspoken in the air between them. Spock suddenly became interested in a man carrying something in a bag across the road. Sarek watched his son with an appraising eye.

“Have you been taking precautions to maintain your health?” He asked finally. Spock looked back at him.

“Yes father,” was the vague answer. Sarek took a slow, bracing breath.

“It is not easy. Even in our culture of logic, one must recognize and respect the power of grief. We have traditionally handled loss through rituals for preserving the memories of the deceased, but with the loss of Vulcan, we have lost the temples, we have lost generations of katra, and we have lost many of the people who could have begun to repair that damage. But, we have not lost everything, and much of what is lost can still be regained.” Sarek reached out, eyes soft, and rested a hand on his son’s shoulder. “Your mother was more human than I can hope to comprehend or than you will ever be, but I know that she loved you, dearly. Perhaps it will be some comfort to you, to remember that.”

Spock felt his eyes burn as though dust had been kicked into them. He realized at once that he was keeping his eyes open wider than was natural. It was an illogical attempt to stop the tears accumulating there from falling (which only succeeded in exposing more of his cornea to the dry air, making them tear more severely). Spock closed his eyes tightly, feeling the wetness of his tears soak his eyelashes, but go no further than that.

“I…regret that I never returned the sentiment to her,” Spock said softly, hoping his voice would stay strong and steady.

“Things do not always need to be said explicitly to be understood.”

“Some things should be said explicitly, even if they are understood.”

Spock kept his eyes shut, not daring to risk opening them at the moment. Sarek didn’t push the issue and stood there in silence while his son collected himself. Once he had, Sarek led Spock into the house and brought him into the kitchen area. A replicated mug of tea was waiting for him there. Spock sat and held the mug in his hands, enjoying the warmth. Outside the two setting suns that shone on this planet were casting the room in a warm orange glow.

“Have you met Selek?” Spock asked abruptly, changing the topic to his counterpart from the other reality.

“I have. He has proven invaluable to the rebuilding efforts.”

Spock was glad to hear that; Selek being of assistance to the colony helped assuage the guilt he felt for choosing life onboard the Enterprise, instead of assisting in the transition of his people. Not that he could explain that to his father, who almost continuously supplied Spock with all the logical reasons he should leave Starfleet and help the colony. Privately, Spock suspected his father’s primary incentive for trying to get him to return was loneliness. And that was legitimate, he now realized, since he saw how isolating and cold this house was without his mother around.

“When must you return to your ship?” Sarek asked, watching the setting suns through one of the windows.

“I will not need to leave until the morning,” Spock supplied, following it up quickly with, “However, we shall be returning to the colony in a fortnight. Our mission is to obtain new flora which research has suggested would be a fruitful food source for this planet. The specimen is plentiful on a planet with similar environmental conditions to this one so there is no logical reason for why it would not flourish in the soil here. After the mission is completed, we shall have a month of shore leave before we depart on our first five year mission. I will make it a priority to return here frequently in that span of time.”

Sarek kept his face blank and simply nodded hearing his son’s plans, but Spock could see the worry hidden—furrowed in a small spot between his father’s eyes. So soon after losing his wife, having a son so far away would be difficult for Sarek, Spock recognized. And five years, while short in Vulcan terms, was still not an insubstantial amount of time to be away. Instantly, Spock felt guilt crawl it’s way into the already jumbled mess of feelings lumped in his stomach. It was illogical to feel guilty about doing one’s duty, he knew. His father understood that. That didn’t make Spock feel any better.

Unsettled, Spock brought his tea up to his lips to finally take a sip before it cooled completely. But, before the cup could touch his lips, the vapors from the glass reached his nose and it was all Spock could do to not drop his mug in shock. Banana-nut. His father had replicated banana-nut tea, or at least something that smelled nearly identical to it. For the second time, his eyes burned.

“It is an inadequate replacement for what your mother prepared. But, it is a well established fact that continuing with traditional or otherwise routine activities help alleviate a portion of the loss one feels after the death of a loved one. Memories recollected in such a way stress the positive influence the decedent had in one’s life. Remembering them in such a way can be…consoling. It was my hope that this would be the case for you.”

“Thank you, father,” Spock all but whispered, voice cracking.  Sarek bowed his head, contemplating his own mug. It looked as though it had been sitting on the table for awhile. Like Spock’s, it remained full.

“Though it has only been a year, adjusting to life without her has made the time seem to pass much slower. I find it difficult to accept that this is simply the first of many anniversaries marking her death,” Sarek said honestly.

“I have also experienced that sensation,” Spock replied, still working on keeping his emotions from overtaking him.

Sarek sighed slowly and deliberately. Spock looked up to meet his father’s eye, but found he couldn’t hold it. Throughout the day (and indeed over the last week) Spock had found himself ashamed of his inability to control his grief. Throughout the year, he had successfully managed to push upsetting thoughts to the back of his mind and to meditate away any lingering sadness or anger. However, on the anniversary of the day, it was increasingly difficult for Spock to focus his thoughts—to keep his sadness and fury at bay. He felt like a coil wrapped too tightly or a tea kettle right before the boiling point. Spock looked back at his father and saw, perhaps for the first time in his life, the same almost-breaking -point tension reflected back at him.

 “The genes you have inherited from her manifested most predominantly in your eyes.”

Spock didn’t have a reply. He had heard this same sentiment from others before: “You have such human eyes”. It had always been a weakness to him, but today, Spock felt he should take pride in it.

“I find myself reminded of her by the strangest of things. A scarf on a chair was the most recent example I experienced. It made me recollect the head-wrapping she would wear to shield herself from the sun.” Spock paused a moment, letting the memory wash through him. “I miss her tremendously,”

Sarek looked distressed for a moment before his face returned to its apathetic mask. He opened his mouth to say something, but whatever he was going to say was cut off by Spock’s communicator. With an apology, Spock answered it and was greeted by a voice he did not recognize.

“Commander Spock?” the woman asked, sounding concerned.

“Yes. To whom am I speaking?”

“Steda. My name is Steda. I am the bartender at The Drunken Delta.” She seemed to be worried. Spock excused himself from his father and walked into another room to continue the conversation.

“How may I assist you?”

“I have your Captain in here. Captain Kirk?” Her distress was evident now. Spock couldn’t help but worry over what his impulsive captain had gotten himself involved in now. No doubt a brawl of some sort.

“How seriously was he injured? Be certain that the damage your establishment accrued will be repaired by Starfleet,” Spock said, jadedly.

“Oh! No. He’s not injured like that. He’s been in here for a while and has had a lot to drink. I think it’s safe to say he’s got alcohol poisoning. I’ve called Medical for him to be transported, but you’re on file as his emergency contact. You’ll want to come down here and answer any questions the med team has.”

“How much is ‘a lot’? Captain Kirk has an enviable tolerance for alcohol.”

“Well, he started off with Romulan Ale and kept going from there. Honestly, I’d be hard-pressed to find something he hasn’t drunk here tonight. ”

“Romulan Ale is illegal,” Spock said as though she were unaware.

“Are you going to come for him?” Steda said quickly, “If you’re not, tell me who will. Someone needs to be here for him.”

Spock pursed his lips in irritation. He hadn’t wanted to leave, but if his Captain was in trouble, it was his duty to help.

“I will be there shortly. I request that you monitor his condition carefully until then. I also believe it would be beneficial to know precisely what he ingested. If you could also provide a list of all his drinks, that would be helpful. ”

“I might as well just give you the drink menu.”

“If you believe that to be most beneficial to his recovery, then that is acceptable.”

Steda hung up after that. He closed his communicator with an annoyed snap and returned to his father.

“You have to leave.” It wasn’t a question.

“So it would appear. I apologize for the brevity of my visit.”

“Your apology is appreciated, but unnecessary. If the circumstances surrounding your departure are an emergency, it would be logical to make use of the transporter in the town center to return to your ship. The walk to where it was docked could take as much as an hour. Depending on your situation, you may not have the luxury of that time.”

Spock had been unaware that the colony was equipped with transporters. Had he known, he would have used them instead of wasting the time travelling on foot.

“It is a most urgent emergency,” Spock confirmed, hoping his father knew he would not leave for anything less. “I will do as you suggest.”

Sarek stood up and walked his son to the door. Once there, he held his hand up in the traditional ta’al.

“Live long and prosper, my son”

“Peace and long life, father.”

Spock turned to walk away, pulling his communicator out to notify Doctor McCoy about the captain’s condition, but before he had walked too far, a hand fell on his shoulder, turning him around. For the first time, he saw emotion raw and bleeding on his father’s face; pain painted in shades too vibrant to ignore. It hit Spock like punch in the stomach—the idea his father felt like this. But at the same time, it comforted him immensely.

“Your mother was not the only one who was proud of you, Spock. Nor was she the only one who loved you. I…felt it pertinent to impart this before you left.”

Spock was at a loss for words and simply stood there. Acutely, he was aware that some response was necessary, but could not find an appropriate one.

“I love you too, father,” he settled on after a minute, hoping that that was fitting. Sarek’s face lightened immediately before all residual emotion sank away like water in sponge. Once again, Spock was faced with the stoic face he remembered.

“Stay in communication while you are away. I would appreciate being kept apprised of your activities.”

“I will.”

And with that, Sarek released his son and returned to his house. Spock continued his walk to the transporter, feeling lighter and more at peace than he had all day.

 Chapter 3

Comments

renuki
Jul. 14th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
*shake head at Uhura a bit*

Poor Sarek. *wants to hug him*
usataro
Jul. 14th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Don't you just?

He would probably refuse and claim that such physical attempts at comforting the bereaved are illogical.
renuki
Jul. 16th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Would he nerve pinch me if I still hug him? :P

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