Contact: saavaant @ yahoo . com
Disclaimer: I disclaim Star Trek characters. I disclaim having invented them. I disclaim to be profiting monetarily from writing about them. I am not Roddenberry. I am not Paramount. I am Saavant. So There.
Summary: A wish comes true.
Advertisement: Part of the SAC-2003 at: http://www.kardasi.com/Advent/2003
Warning: Well, it's got spoilers for "Generations," if anyone hasn't seen that yet. As for character death warnings: "Generations" has a death in it, and my story has attempts to deal with that death. Saying any more would give away the plot.
It is December. Many things have changed. Yet another Enterprise has been built; Jim's body has been laid to rest. And I still cannot come to terms with his death. Standing here at the grave of my bondmate, speaking to the captain who saw him die, I am lost in a rather surreal sensation.
It is like dreaming of something impossible: one knows in the back of one's mind that it cannot be happening, but one's senses tell otherwise. Yet, somehow, surprise does not quite enter the thoughts.
In fact, hardly anything does. I am closer to my long-sought goal of emotionlessness than I have been in a long time, although I gave up striving towards that goal many years ago. This absence of feeling, however, is not control, but numbness... left from a shock that deadened my senses almost before I could feel it.
Jim is dead.
And he cannot be.
I felt the bond break, but I still feel it intact, joined to the center of my soul and as strong as it has ever been. How can such paradoxes exist? If Captain Picard is, at this moment, speaking to me so calmly and honestly of Jim's death, how can I still feel him alive... and if I feel him alive, how can I have felt him die?
All three pieces of information, however, are true. I sense no deception in the captain, and he certainly has no reason to deceive. I knew everything Jim felt as he died, and those feelings fit the truth that Picard is telling me.
And I can still feel life, pulsing steadily through this path from my soul to Jim's.
It is similar to, and yet different from, the sensation I had when he was first lost in the Nexus over seventy years ago. Then, too, I could not believe he had died; I felt only that he was very far away from me. This time, I sensed death through the bond when it must have happened... and now I feel both the pain of a broken bond and the sense of life at a great distance. It is as if I had been bonded to two Jim Kirks, and one had died while the other lived on.
"Excuse me, Ambassador, are you all right?" Captain Picard is looking at me curiously, and I realize that I have been staring into nowhere. I struggle to order my thoughts, and finally reply.
"Yes, Captain, I am well. I have merely been experiencing an unusual emotion."
He nods and turns back to look at the simple gravestone that marks where the body of my mate has gone to rest. Picard is discreet; he respects my privacy concerning anything that I feel here. He knows, as everyone knows, that my captain and I were bondmates. He knows that a Vulcan's emotions are not to be spoken of merely to pass the time. I am grateful for this, and I turn my eyes back to the stone, as well.
The bond transcends the body's death. This is well known among Vulcans, and one whose bondmate has died usually continues to communicate with the katra stored in the Hall of Ancient Thought. There are some, even, who claim to be in contact with katras that did not have a chance to be stored.
Can any such thing occur with a human? No one knows what happens to a human's soul after death. Certainly Vulcan rituals for taking the katra have never been successful on humans. When my mother died, I spoke with my father at some length about her. It was clear that he missed her greatly, but he never mentioned sensing her spirit through their bond after her death.
One never knows. There have been so few cases of humans bonding with Vulcans; such a narrow sample for study. So many things are possible, and so few are certain.
I know, however, that I sense more than just a soul. Somehow, somewhere, Jim is alive... both his body and his mind.
"Captain," I say suddenly-- the title still feeling strange on my tongue when used for someone other than Jim. I had not planned to speak, but the words break out of me, uncontrolled. "Captain-- I cannot believe he is dead. I feel within me that he still lives. I..." My voice falters and goes silent, not knowing what to say next, not knowing why I began speaking at all.
Picard only nods thoughtfully. "It is always difficult to believe, when we lose one who has been very close. And perhaps our lost loved ones do live on, somehow." He sighs and falls into silence.
I can see that he does not understand. I can see that he thinks of my feeling as normal denial, or at the very most, a sense that Jim's spirit is alive in some other reality, inaccessible to me except for fleeting emotional impressions. He does not realize that what I feel is life, in the most simple sense: that I feel Jim's soul and body together, somewhere far away but not unreachable.
I should let the misunderstanding go, but I cannot-- for a moment I am utterly illogical, I must share this sensation with someone, anyone, who can be made to understand it fully. I reach out a hand toward Picard, trembling but decisive. "Captain. May I have your thoughts?"
He turns to me, startled. "Yes, certainly," he says, for lack of any other reply.
We are very still for a moment, except for the measured motion of my hand toward his face. When we finally make contact, there is a small jolt, but otherwise our minds come together as smoothly as can be expected under the circumstances.
Memories are a jumble at first. We try to sort through them, to find the most relevant ones. But, disorganized as our minds are from the recent tragedy, scraps of our pasts keep surfacing randomly.
The Kal-i-fee. The first kiss Jim gave me. Our bonding ceremony.
Losing a heart. Being teased by Q. Meeting Captain Sisko.
The Borg. Locutus. Zefram Cochrane.
Resurrection on Genesis. Saavik. David.
Deanna pushed off a boat. Data, overcome with emotions.
"Your name is Jim."
Jim hurtling out through the side of the ship. Jim dying on a bridge.
Jim breaking away from my mind... yet somehow remaining.
Fear of being the last of the Picards.
The first time Jim and I made love. Our first pon farr together.
Being tormented in the streets of my homeworld. "You are not a true Vulcan."
Guinan in the Nexus. "I can't come back. I'm already there."
I step abruptly back from Picard, my fingers breaking away from his face. He and I look at each other, each wondering whether the other has seen what he needed... and how much more has been seen than we planned.
He speaks first. "Your sense of Captain Kirk's continued survival... it is real. You truly feel him, through your marriage bond."
"I do. I know he cannot be dead, even though you saw him die, even though I felt him die. I feel him now, alive."
"Are you suggesting that the body buried here is still alive?" Picard exclaims, staring at me in bewilderment.
"No." I gaze down on the stone, thinking of the intimacy in which I lived with that body, how much I loved and desired the soul that was once within. "It is not here that I sense him."
"And you are certain you are not sensing his soul, in some other plane of existence."
"I am certain. The life I sense is physical life."
Then I catch his eyes suddenly, forcefully. "The physical life of my bondmate's duplicate."
He is taken aback for a moment. "Duplicate?"
"In our meld, you showed me that people who have been in the Nexus leave duplicates of themselves behind. You met the duplicate of Guinan when you were there. I must be sensing the duplicate of Jim."
Astonishment on his face, as he puts the facts together. "I did not realize that these... duplicates... were complete," he murmurs. "I assumed they were visual illusions; shadows, no more. But perhaps they are like the originals in every way. Minds... feelings... souls."
"And bonds. Clearly, the duplicate of Jim Kirk is bonded to me, just as the original was." I lace my fingers behind my back, beginning to pace. "As his bondmate, I have a duty to him."
"To bring him out of the Nexus? Ambassador, I don't need to tell you how dangerous that could be. Not to mention, quite likely impossible. Guinan's duplicate said she was unable to come out of the Nexus. Why should Captain Kirk's be able to?"
"The duplicate of Guinan said that she could not come out because her original form was already outside the Nexus. The original Kirk is no longer here. Logically, there is a possibility that his duplicate could leave."
"That doesn't justify your running off to bring him back. There are too many unknowns. It would be against all sorts of regulations. Not that that's ever stopped you and Captain Kirk before." For a second there is a sparkle in his eye, speaking more of admiration than of humor. "The point is that it would be dangerous. Kirk was a galactic hero, but your value to the Federation is too great to risk all the hazards such a mission would present to you... even for the sake of bringing him back. It would be wonderful for the galaxy to have the two of you, but it can get by with just one, and it can't risk losing both."
I simply look at him. It is wiser, I realize, not to speak now. I let my face fall into an expression that can be mistaken for sad resignation; acquiescence. He gives me a pitying look.
"I have to get back to the ship. I'll leave you... alone here for a while. You are welcome to spend the next few days on board with us. We're having a series of holiday gatherings... but there are also quite comfortable quarters for you, if you wish to be alone." He turns and begins walking slowly away from me. "Think about it."
I watch him out of sight. His earlier words reverberate through me: "The galaxy can't risk losing both of you."
"That is exactly what it is risking," my voice grates. "There are now two possibilities: both of us, or neither."
I have accepted a stay aboard the newly rebuilt ship, as Picard offered this morning. I am arranging my belongings in the sumptuous guest quarters as I think about what to do.
I did not suffer pon farr in the entire time Jim was trapped in the Nexus. The cycle is controlled by the bond; the awareness of the various cycles of one's mate keeps one's own cycle active.
But Jim was timeless in the Nexus, neither growing older nor experiencing any of the physical cycles that are normal for humans. And for almost eighty years, my sexuality was timeless with him.
Then he was pulled out of the Nexus, and all at once I felt him the way I used to feel him: the continuous growth and reproduction and death of his cells, the waking and sleeping of his brain and body, the rising and falling tides of his hormones-- and my own body reacted; my own cycle burst into life, ignited me, unstoppable once started.
I began to feel the first signs that I was burning... the small irregularities in thought and behavior, warning me that in months, perhaps weeks, the pon farr would begin in earnest, and I would find myself in desperate need of my long-lost mate.
And then, suddenly, my mate was dead... but I was still burning.
I have been aware, for several days, of the onset of the pon farr itself. There were moments when I considered the notion that my sense of Jim might be simply a fevered hallucination... but I know that delirium seldom sets in until the late stages of the blood fever.
And my meld with Picard removed all doubt. My sense of my bondmate's life is real. Jim is alive-- somewhere, in some form. And not only do I love him, not only do I have a duty, as his mate and friend, to bring him back... I need him to quench the fire of my blood.
A bonding link is almost always for life. It can be broken, but not easily or without danger. And when one is burning, only one's mate can assuage the fire. If someone other than my bondmate came to me in the deep madness of plak tow, I would refuse violently, striking out in a killing rage.
The only way to seek release without Jim would be to break our bond, then form one with another. Besides my deep desire not to do this, it is impossible to break a bond without standing together before a Vulcan healer.
For nearly eighty years I have forced myself to be content with the knowledge that I could sense my mate alive and well. At first my blind faith in him trusted that he would soon find a way back on his own. Months went by, and years, and by the time I realized that he might be truly trapped, the Nexus was out of the reach of any craft available to me.
But now it has come close again, and is already rushing away. I must reach it while I can. Now I know that Jim will not escape by himself, that he is in need of rescue... and this time my life hangs in the balance as well.
So I must obtain access to a shuttle and fly into the Nexus. If what is there cannot help me, I shall die there. But if Jim is there to ease my fever...
I must not think of such things. If this mission is to succeed, I must keep a clear mind.
My mission is underway. I am speeding in the direction of the Nexus in the fastest shuttlecraft at my disposal. The Nexus is on a course away from me, but I am slowly catching up with it. The machinery of the craft is impeccably reliable.
It is myself I do not trust. As I feel Jim becoming closer, the fire within me is burning ever hotter. In the days I have been chasing this glowing spatial phenomenon that holds my salvation, I have twisted and turned through erotic nightmares each time I have slept... then awakened to an arousal I can hardly bear.
I do not fear that I shall change the course for Vulcan. In the years I have been bonded to Jim, we have never spent pon farr on my home planet. My body has learned to be drawn not to the place of Koon-ut-kal-i-fee, but to my bondmate's soul.
But will I survive to reach the Nexus? If I do, will I find Jim in time to ease my burning? By the time I come to him, will I be so mad that I tear him to pieces in our mating?
I kneel in meditation, trying to calm myself even a little. But my mind will not focus. All sensation is gathered in a hot ache between my legs, where leaking semen stains my robe and runs down my thighs, and yet release will not come.
I need Jim. I need to hold him, to push him down onto the ground beneath me and take him with all the frenzy of my burning. I cannot control my thoughts. Instead of a meditation, I am being caught up in a fantasy.
I groan as the illusion takes over all my senses. The softness of Jim's body, his chest against mine, his legs encircling my hips. My hands locking his wrists behind his back, his pleasure as he strains against the sweet bondage, thrusting his erection against my abdomen.
The slide of his moisture on the hairs of my stomach, the sight of his face tight with arousal, his breath coming fast and hard, his lips swollen. I lower my face forcefully onto his, and claim his mouth in helpless need.
Moaning into each other's throats, undulating against each other... I lunge my hips in the grasp of his strong legs, and feel the head of my erection pushing at the opening to his body. My eyes roll up under my closed lids.
I am so slippery with my own desire that I open him just by pushing-- a slow, agonizingly ecstatic slide, his desire to let me inside him struggling with his desire to make it tight for me, to press me as hard as he can, to make both of us feel every millimeter of the entry in every cell of our bodies. His ring of muscle bites me with every push; his inner passage clamps around me with all the excruciatingly beautiful pressure his strength can manage; the tip of me is locked tight against his prostate, and we both roar in pleasure.
And I am lost; I have no control any more; I am plunging over and over again into that maddening tightness, my body lurching on top of him, my mouth leaving his only for brief seconds, to gasp, to groan. With each thrust I make myself hit that small solid place within him, for the sudden hard pressure against my sensitive tip, for the grunt of uncontrollable pleasure that bursts from him each time he feels it.
I let my full strength loose; I am pounding his body as fast and hard as I can; we are both moaning helplessly now, heated sweat lubricates the slide of every part of my body on every part of his. I feel when he reaches the edge, his erection jerking hard against my belly, his thighs straining to pull me tighter against him, my own hardness caught inside him so tightly that I writhe and scream in desire.
He cries out once, hard, and shudders; he pulses and spills his seed hotly between our bodies. I feel his release in every centimeter of my skin that touches his; I cry out in sympathy with him, but I cannot follow him over the edge-- I cannot-- I cannot--
I come back to full awareness to find my hand inside my robe; I am clasping myself with full strength, working my fingers as hard as I can over the most sensitive parts of my organ, and moaning in frustration. My flesh is so hard I cannot stand it, and has leaked so much of its essence that my hands, my wrists, my legs, my robe are all dripping with it. But there is no release, Jim is not really here, not yet...
I curl around my hand and my aching groin, clench my eyes tightly shut and sob.
I am here. It has taken torturous days, but I have entered the Nexus.
It happened suddenly. As my shuttle approached the bright band of energy, everything sped up. Without any efforts on my part to accelerate, the craft began surging forward, faster than it could theoretically travel. The light glowed brighter and wider, surrounding me, enveloping me... and it was over in a matter of seconds.
I find myself lying in the snow. The sky is dull white, and around me is the black crisscross of a forest of leafless trees. The shuttle is nowhere in sight.
At first the relief of pressing my burning skin against the snow is too beautiful for me to think of anything else. For a moment I dream that Jim is the snow; that it is his coolness in which I bury myself... for his mind is close enough to allow the fantasy that he is in my arms.
But the dream melts as the snow does, for I am so fevered that my touch reduces it, layer by layer, to warm water. It is only minutes before I am lying in a shallow puddle instead of on a snowbank. Or, for all I know, it may have been hours... my sense of time is as burned as my logic.
I am dizzy with need; I cannot think. I expected that once I was in the Nexus, I would rush to Jim like iron filings to a magnet, letting nothing stop me. But the presence of his soul, closer than it has been in over half a century, makes me weak-- clouds me with dreams. I must hurry or I will burn myself to death in a fever fantasy. Once pon farr has started, it cannot stop until death or mating. Not even the timelessness of the Nexus can slow it.
I force myself to my feet and stagger. At first I can perceive nothing but trees and snow, a monochrome kaleidoscope that strains my eyes. But slowly, in the distance, I make out a house.
Running towards it is like running in a dream, forcing my limbs to move as if through some near-solid mass. My body wants to float in all directions; to melt into the ground; to become a phantom and be nowhere. Sometimes I wonder if the house is getting closer at all; perhaps I am truly dreaming, and I will wake up in a moment, alone, aroused, far away from Jim...
But no; the house is closer; it comes closer every minute. Jim is there, I can feel it. I fall to the frozen soil, overcome by my body's response to this closeness. My nerves are aflame; my loins throb with heat. I feel I cannot go any farther-- my need is so great that it will pull me into the ground-- I am too weak from need to move forward and find what will sate it, like a man who dies of thirst while stumbling toward an oasis.
I look up, helplessly. The house is closer than I had thought. I can even see in through the windows. There is soft light, a couch, a table, chairs, a Christmas tree decorated with sparkling silver things. And--
My heart goes tight... hot and cold pain shoots through all my muscles. On the floor in front of the tree is Jim-- in the arms of a woman I have never seen before.
I scream like a damned soul, and fall over into blackness.
When I wake, the air is warmer; my clothes are drier; the ground is softer. I look up and see a tree, but it glitters with silver. And then I realize I am lying not on the ground, but on the couch in Jim's house.
There is a face over me now-- the face that has haunted my dreams for almost eighty years, the face that my mouth is aching to devour with kisses, the face that was kissing--
"Who was she? Jim, who was she?"
"Relax, Spock. Please. Everything's going to be okay." And he lowers his mouth to mine, and I dissolve into pure flame.
There is fierce heat and blessed coolness all through my lips and tongue and jaws, and then fingertips are burning through my hair and I am pressed hard against motion and moisture and a kiss so deep I drown in it and am reborn out of flames to drown again. I hear moaning and do not know if it is my voice or his, but then I hear it again and this time it is both.
Then there is heat and weight on the rest of my body, and around me in a desperate embrace, and I clutch back at it with my arms and my legs and my entire soul, still kissing, not knowing if I am still breathing, not caring. I cannot feel my robe any more, and now the kiss is gone from my lips but moving down my neck and chest, and I twist and thrust and burn and--
Explosion, in the same second that the motion and moisture of Jim's kiss close around me where I need it most, drinking my need with unbearable gentleness. Fire and water and ice consume every atom of my being in a cataclysmic storm, scattering my soul all over the universe in fiery sparks.
It takes eons to build my awareness back together, but when I finally open my eyes, I am still on the couch. Jim is lying on me, happily unconcerned that there is no room to lie anywhere else on the narrow cushions. We are both naked.
"Spock." A breath like a sob. "Spock. I love you, I love you so much, you came for me, it's really you, we have to-- can you wait, do you need-- I have to talk to you."
The madness has calmed for the moment. Now I crave Jim's voice more than anything; I cannot imagine any greater bliss than lying here and talking with him. "Please talk. I love you, Jim."
He catches his breath, there are tears in his eyes. "Spock, I waited for you so long. When I first came here... so many years, no time at all, I don't know how long. I could have anything. I just had to think of something and it would be there for me. I was so confused. It didn't occur to me to want to go back. I started forgetting what was real and what wasn't."
He bends down for a kiss, like pausing for a breath of desperately needed air. "But I knew that when I thought of you, and you appeared for me, it wasn't really you. It looked like you, it felt like you, it even made something happen in my head when I touched its mind-- but it was fake, I could tell, nothing could be really like you, not even an illusion made of all of you that I could imagine.
"I couldn't stand it. I couldn't make love to something that was supposed to be you and wasn't. So I-- I invented someone. I made her so different from you that I couldn't possibly keep being reminded of you when I was with her. I named her Antonia; the name came out of nowhere. She wasn't anyone I had ever known, just a-- a fantasy to take care of my loneliness. I couldn't bear to be with a fake replica of someone I'd known, someone I'd loved."
I take his fingertips and kiss them in pure relief. Something warm blossoms inside me. In this instant I cannot imagine how I lived so long without him. Our fingers begin stroking each other madly, uncontrollably.
"I grew to love her, in a way. I became less and less aware of the difference between real and imaginary. I... started to believe that I'd always known her, always loved her, even before I was here, maybe even before I was in Starfleet. I forgot about you. It was as if I had to forget, or the pain would kill me.
"Then... Captain Picard showed up. We talked. And as I talked with him, things started coming back to me, things from my life before this one... and he convinced me to leave. Suddenly I wanted to leave. And I sat there with him, wanting to leave, knowing that if we wanted it badly enough, it would happen.
"And then... he was gone. I was alone. I didn't know what had happened; why I hadn't left with him. I thought maybe he'd been wrong, and I couldn't leave. I thought maybe I'd imagined him.
"This place is insidious, Spock. It makes you forget things. A while after he left, I lost the handful of memories that had come back to me when he was here. I went back to my old life, and Antonia. We lived together, I don't know how much longer. I don't have much of a sense of time anymore. And then... I wanted it to be Christmas, and it was. And we decorated a tree and made cakes and got each other presents... and then all of a sudden..."
As one, we grip each other's heads and force our mouths into a devastatingly intense kiss that lasts longer than I can keep track of. Even when he breaks away to continue speaking, our faces remain in each other's hands; our mouths stay close together.
"I felt more desire than I had ever felt before. Physical, emotional... I wanted somebody more than I could possibly describe. And I didn't understand it, at all. I did the only thing I could think of... I pulled Antonia down on the floor with me and started making love to her like crazy. For I don't know how long. And then... I heard you scream."
Our eyes lock for moments, hours, years-- there is no time, we are outside the world of time.
"When I went outside to see what was happening, and I saw you... everything came back. Everything." He chokes back a sob. "I knew it was really you... really you, this time. I knew who you were, I knew what you needed... I can't describe it." We kiss again, longer than ever before. "I brought you inside, I dried you off and put you on the couch, I made Antonia disappear... I'll do anything for you, Spock. Anything you need. Anything."
And his mouth is on me yet again; we are devouring each other. I will never have enough of him-- never, never. Pon farr will last for all eternity. I will spend eternity in his arms. I reach up and wrap him in mine, crushing him against my chest. We kiss forever.
"Never let you go," I whisper. "Jim..."
The madness is on me full force; I am throbbing hard against him, and he is at least as hard, locking his ankles with mine, shoving our erections together with helpless, starving lunges, not letting our mouths apart for another instant. The heat and coolness and wetness and movement and pressure of him, right there against my most sensitive flesh, attacking me with each thrust, overloading my senses, so long, it has been so long...
I give in; I let my hips buck frantically up to meet his; I let us collide as hard as physics will permit, let the rhythm of motion and heat and pain and pleasure take over me completely... and I let myself lose control, throw myself into a violent orgasm that shatters the world into bright flakes of fire.
"I love you," he whispers into my ear. "I can't stop saying that. I can't get over it, that you're here. I love you."
"Do not stop saying it. I love you, Jim."
"How did you get here? How did you find me?"
For a moment I do not know what to say. But slowly, between kisses and caresses, I find myself telling him the complete truth. He listens, wavering between joy and sorrow and surprise, and finally lapses into shock.
"So I'm a... duplicate? Do you mean, the real me left the Nexus with Picard, and I'm just some... some impression that stayed behind? Spock... why didn't you... Spock..." He buries himself in my arms, this time more in fear than in love.
"You are far more than an impression. You are James Kirk, with all the memories, all the feelings, all the ties that the other version of you possessed. Until Picard took that version away, there was only one. The part that went was exactly like the part that stayed."
I stroke him, I kiss his hair. "There is no logic in asking which was the duplicate and which was the reality. You were one that became two. Are two boughs of a tree different life forms, simply because they branch in different directions from the trunk? You have the same past. You are the same person. And you are bonded to me, and I love you."
We clutch each other in a frenzied embrace. "I want to go back," he chokes. "I want to go back with you. I want to spend the rest of this pon farr in your room, in your bed, wherever you live now, whatever year it is back in the real world. And then I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want it so much."
And I want it even more, and we kiss, and kiss, unable to express enough of our love for each other, enough of our desire to be home in the real world, together for the rest of our mortal lives. We have walked away from paradise so many times, because true paradise is reality, spent with each other.
"Where are we?"
I look around, then sit up suddenly, clasping Jim still closer to me. "We are where we wanted to be," I murmur. "We wanted it enough."
He laughs in joy and rolls me over on the big bed, no longer a narrow and imaginary couch. Happiness bursts through me, all at once-- for I have succeeded; I have given my bondmate what he wanted; I have brought him back, as he once brought me back.
We will not live forever, without aging, as we would in the Nexus. But we will have many more years together. And they will be real. Years in which we can experience reality to the fullest; years in which we can work to make the real world better for others.
Perhaps his eighty timeless years were for the best. Now, I do not have so many more years left than he does; I need not fear a century of old age alone. My mating cycle will end before he becomes too old to endure the ravages of pon farr. I will never hurt him.
I enfold him in my arms, unable to bear the thought of being away from him ever again. "Jim."
And we lose ourselves in lovemaking, affirming life and love with all the passion of the years we have been apart. The rest of the real world can wait a few days.
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