TimeSkip: Part the Third

Bella knew intellectually that Spock could feel her trepidation through the bond.  When they had arrived back at their quarters, he had informed her that it was late and she, as far as he was ever able to discern, required approximately seven-point-five hours of uninterrupted sleep.

When she asked him what she should wear, he had looked at her without the slightest hint of emotion, and then stated she always had worn Vulcan undergarments to the best of his knowledge.  He then went to leave her to her repose. 

She had taken off her veil, removing the pins from her hair, and then lifted the smooth silken robe over her head before setting it back in the closet on the only empty hook.

She looked down at herself.  She was wearing some form of camisole that was made of some type of pearly silk that clung to her.  Then again, it was really more like at tube top, clutching to her breasts and holding them in place, and then clinging to her stomach.  It fell to just above her hips and she wore silky bloomers.  Nothing else was covering her. 

As Bella looked down at herself, she wondered if she really wore such flimsy material in the past—in the future—in this alternate dimension.

The chime near the door to the bedroom sounded and she realized it must be Spock.  Grabbing a throw from the bed, she pressed her hand against the panel beside the door and it slid open.

Spock was standing in his uniform, his face expressionless, but his eyes showing his deep concern that fled through the bond.

“It is not my wish to disturb you, but do you require anything before you retire?”

Her throat went dry as she looked into his beautiful dark eyes and felt tempered lust fall over the bond.

“I—” She swallowed and looked toward the bed.  “I’m a virgin!” she suddenly gasped, uncertain exactly what was going to happen.

His gaze softened, and understanding and acceptance washed through her mind, instantly calming most (though not all) of her fears.

“I am aware, adun’a,” he told her calmly and carefully.  “I sought only your comfort before I left you to your uninterrupted sleep.”

“Where will you?” she asked in slight concern.  “Aren’t we—don’t—”  Bella looked back at the bed and confusion hit her again.

“You know me not, ashayam.”  The fondness in his voice permeated through her soul and she wondered what that word possibly meant.

Bella looked down at where she was clutching the throw, blushing at the awkwardness of the situation and looked up with big brown eyes.  “I don’t want to be alone,” she admitted in little more than a whisper.

Spock, however, must have heard her, because he immediately reached out and pushed her hair behind her shoulder, allowing it to fall down in waves down her back.  “If it would bring you comfort, adun’a.”

“Yes,” she answered desperately, wondering if when she fell asleep she would suddenly disappear again and find herself desperate, alone, in the snow and on the ice, at Forks High on Planet Earth.

He barely paused before he took a step forward and she moved aside to allow him to enter.  She watched him as he went to the shelves that seemed to be in a closet—a half memory of Jane Austen permeated through her mind—and removed what seemed to be gray sleeping pants and a toga top.  “If you would allow me to change,” he stated, almost a question, and yet not quite.

Immediately, Bella nodded and she looked toward the bed that seemed large enough for the both of them—and she wondered at it.  She knew Spock was an officer, but from what she knew of Earth—and how far away was that?  How many years by space ship if she could ever even get back through physical human means?—military quarters did not include a bed large enough for two.

Glancing toward the door she knew led to the futuristic bathroom that absolutely astounded her, Bella tossed the throw onto the end of the bed and haphazardously chose the left side of the bed, sneaking in under the thin covers that she doubted were even needed given the warmth of the room.

Less than a moment later, Spock appeared in what might be deemed as sleep pajamas on another planet—and wasn’t that just ironic?—and he took her in for a long moment before he approached the other side of the bed.

He ordered the computer to dim the lights to ten percent—a nice ambient glow just above their heads, enough so that they could see each other, but dark enough to let them sleep—and she turned toward him with her hands folded underneath her head.

She wasn’t startled at all to see deep brown eyes looking back at her. 

Bella could feel the waves of love and adoration, tinged with uncertainty, flitting across the bond and, wanting to offer him comfort in any way she could, Bella moved herself closer until she had rested her head on the edge of his pillow.

The distant sound of thunder rumbled outside the window, and she wondered if it rained here on this strange planet or if that was purely an earth phenomenon—

Licking her lips, she looked into his eyes, and she felt anticipation and patience flow off of him as he waited for her to say something, to move, to kiss him again—

The thought brought a blush to Bella’s face.  Glancing up at his eyes, she asked, “Are these bonds—usual—for Terra?”

“Negative,” he answered factually, his eyes never leaving hers.  “This bond is purely a Vulcan bond that can only be established between touch telepaths.”

She looked at him in confusion and then glanced toward his hands, which were resting by his side.  “We’re not touching,” she told him carefully.

Another wave of affection fell through her mind and she smiled a little to herself.  “You are, of course, correct.  However, Vulcans have the ability to have their minds touch in such a bond.  It has been in place since the first time I saw you—I never understood how or why.  It has remained a mystery.”

“Yes,” she answered carefully.  “The bond wasn’t there until I found myself here on Terra.—Do they just form like that?”

“Negative,” he responded, reaching up again as if he couldn’t help himself to let the back of his fingers trace her cheek.  “One needs an adept to place the bond between two individuals—who must both have active psi readings.”

“But we,” Bella told him, licking her lips again in nervousness, “we’re not—none of us are.”

“I am aware, adun’a,” he told her fondly.  “It is a mystery I have yet to solve.  I have determined, however, that whatever your people are like or wherever you are from, you are truly an extraordinary individual.”  He pondered a moment, his fingers continuing their ministrations, causing her to relax, and she let herself sink into unconsciousness. 

However, she could tell that there was something he desired to say, something on the tip of his tongue, at the forefront of his mind, and she opened up her eyes drowsily, and asked, “What, Spock?  If you can’t tell me—your own wife—who can you tell?”

“My own mother cannot form bonds,” he informed her slowly, his eyes looking down at her lips for the briefest of moments.  “It was always of great sadness to me that I could not feel her parental presence in my mind.  She and my father do not share what we share—I do not understand how it can be tolerable to any Vulcan male not to have his adun’a present even in the deepest recesses of his mind.”

“She’s not Vulcan,” Bella checked.

“Negative,” he affirmed.  “She is Terran.  I am the only Vulcan-Terran hybrid in the galaxy.”

Her eyebrows shot up in surprise but she snuggled deeper into the pillow.  “Well, I suppose I have found myself quite a catch, then, haven’t I, Spock?”

His fingers traveled down her neck, skimming across her collar bone, and resting on her bare shoulder.  “I believe, as Terrans would say, ‘I am the lucky one.’” 

And with that last thought, Bella fell into slumber.

She, however, was not alone in her mind.  Although she dreamt that she was driving in the cruiser, approaching Forks, she knew that Spock was with her, that he was devoted to her, that—for a reason she couldn’t quite explain—he loved her.

Charlie, of course, was driving.  He was in uniform, his mustache a stain against his handsome face, and after several long moments, he glanced over at her.  Bella didn’t pay attention until, ten minutes later, she caught him for the fourth time.

“What?” she asked, clearly confused.

“What’s that ring on your finger?” he asked, glancing down at her left hand.

Confused, as Bella never wore jewelry of any kind, she looked down and saw a thin wedding band of silver—or some metal like it—on her ring finger.  She held up her hand to her face, taking it in, the beaten metal, the impressions of a language she couldn’t understand, and then looked back up to Charlie.

He was waiting, clearly trying to be patient, but utterly failing.  “You’re too young to be married.”

However, Bella wasn’t entirely certain that was true—at least on Vulcan—perhaps on Terra.  Glancing down at her hand again as she set it on her lap, she glanced out the window at all the green.  She hated green.  Perhaps it was a mistake to move to Forks just for that reason.  “It’s from my boyfriend,” she told him succinctly.  “He’s in San Francisco.”

“Boyfriend?” Charlie asked, a little disgruntled.  “Since when have you had a boyfriend?”

Bella, really, didn’t know how to answer him.  Instead, she hummed at the back of her throat, and looked out the window.

After a long silence, Charlie admitted, “Your mother never mentioned a boyfriend.”

“I don’t necessarily tell Mom everything,” she returned, snapping a little at him.  “And, besides, she likes younger men”—and wasn’t that the truth.  Phil, although Bella was sure Charlie didn’t know, was only six years older than her, and she had always found that incredibly disturbing.  “I wouldn’t trust her not to make a fool of herself.”

Charlie’s eyebrows rose in surprise.  “Your mother likes younger men?”

“At least they’re out of college,” Bella remarked casually, not really thinking of what she was revealing, only wondering how she possibly got back to earth and how she could still feel Spock in her mind.  “Usually.”

Grimacing, Charlie said nothing else and they just continued on their drive, Bella uncertain of their destination.

Then Bella was drifting in her sleepfulness and knew that strong arms were wrapped around her and she knew that she was with Spock, that she was loved, that she was wanted.  This, strangely, was where she was meant to be—although she understood little if anything at all.  She was surprised she hadn’t had a full blown panic attack yet.

“I love you, ashayam,” Spock’s voice whispered through her consciousness and she felt her eyes flutter slightly against the light that was stronger than the dull gray of Washington State.

“What does that mean?” she murmured, pushing herself toward a warm body that radiated a pleasant heat.  “I don’t understand.”

“Beloved,” he returned calmly, the palm of his hand resting against the small of her back, underneath her camisole, so that there was skin to skin contact.  “We reserve the term for only those who are truly precious to us,” Spock murmured into her hair.

“And what do I call you?” she asked in confusion, lifting her head a little and her eyes blinking open slowly.

“It is a term that I find baffling and illogical,” he informed her, neglecting to answer the question.  He kissed the top of her head and then pulled away slightly so that he could look into her eyes.  “I will allow you to discover it for yourself.”

“Hmm,” she sighed, content in the warmth of her love.  “There’s the obvious, of course.”

He arched a perfect eyebrow at her in question, amusement resonating over their bond.

She leaned up and kissed his lip softly before pulling away.  “Baby.”

“I am not an infant,” he returned, his voice emotionless, although pleasure and amusement sprinkled into her thoughts.

She pulled back in surprise and took him in.  “I call you ‘baby.’  Huh.  I’m one of those girls.”

“It is a term of endearment,” he informed her calmly as he reached out to stroke her ear of all things—which strangely caused a frisson of excitement to rush through her—“I have never heard on Vulcan or any other Federation planet.”

“Well,” she decided, feeling strangely playful and bold in the assurance that he adored everything about her, “I guess that means you’re one in a million.”

“Although I would remind you, adun’a, that there are more than a million people in San Francisco, I nonetheless accept the compliment.”

“You should,” she told him smugly, leaning up and kissing his nose, only to see his ears tinge green.  “What’s for breakfast?”  In a flurry of movements, she was pulling away and swinging her bare legs out of bed, feeling the bed similarly shift behind her. 

It was the work of only a few minutes to choose a violet robe and pale pink veil, Spock helping her as she tried to put it on herself, a large necklace of plated metal draped over her neck when she was putting on the final touches.

She looked down and took in the beaten metal and the strange characters on it, and then looked up at Spock in astonishment.  “I dreamt of these—symbols.”

“Indeed?” he questioned, once again dressed in the black uniform of officers.

“Yes,” she told him.  “I was in Forks—with my dad—and he asked me about a ring I was wearing and it was like this necklace.”

Spock paused and looked at her left hand, his eyes pointed and thoughtful.  “I had determined you had misplaced it when you first appeared here yesterday,” he told her carefully.  “You have always, before this visit, worn it in my presence.  You said it was a ‘wedding ring’.”

“Vulcans don’t have wedding rings?” she asked carefully, glancing at her hand and then up at Spock.

“Negative.  There are, of course, cultures and civilizations that exchange jewelry upon a betrothal or a marriage.  I had always determined that your planet was among them.”

“We are,” she told him carefully.

“Do you wish for one?” he asked her calmly, no expectation in his voice.

“What do you think?” she asked.  “I—I get that I’m your wife. I can feel it in every breath I take, in every thought you have—”

“It would bring you comfort,” he suggested as he led her out of their bedroom and out again into the corridor of the dormitory building.  “I would deny you nothing of your culture, nothing that I could provide for you, adun’a.”  His eyes looked down at her as they entered the turbolift, several other officers already present.

“People would notice,” she offered hesitantly.  “Charlie noticed.”

“Edward Cullen would notice,” he told her plainly, distaste in his voice, and she looked up in shock.

“How do you know–?” she began and then she realized, “I told you.”

“His obsession with you is disquieting,” he told her, worry and concern shifting through their bond.

That was certainly confusing.  Edward Cullen wasn’t remotely obsessed with her.  He asked her strange questions, but then wanted to avoid her.  When he first met her, without even speaking a word to her, he acted as if she personally disgusted him. 

She tried to sift through her emotions, parsing through them and separating them out through the bond, and sensed uncertainty in Spock.  He thought she didn’t want the Earth symbol of marriage, she realized suddenly.  He did not have the assurance of her love or her affection.  She was his wife, but she did not know him.  She liked him, was fond of him, wanted him to kiss her—but that would probably be paltry in comparison to the love he was probably used to feeling in her presence.

Determined, she nodded.  “Let’s make Lauren jealous.”

He turned to her, relief and amusement shifting through him, and he replied, “I remember anecdotal evidence about that particular individual.”

Bella grinned and looked up at him.  “Be thankful you don’t eat lunch with her every day.”

Officers moved through the hallway, Spock always taking half a step back to allow her to pass before coming up beside her again. 

After a long moment, Bella realized: “Spock, why is everyone—older than us?”

“These apartments usually house the admiralty and other high-ranking officials.  As a member of the House of Surak, my matriarch, T’Pau, has use of the rooms that we use.  They were given to me as a courtesy.”

Bella paused in astonishment and looked up at Spock, her eyes wide.  “Huh.”

She felt amusement run through the bond although, as always, Spock’s face remained impassive.  Bella was not at all surprised after just a moment’s hesitation, that Spock took her hand in his and entwined their fingers, the sparking sensation at the pad of her fingers.  “Come, wife,” he coaxed and he brought her to the turbolift. 

He did not let go until they reached the cafeteria.  It was large, white, and everyone seemed to queue in front of various microwaves. 

“Allow me to assist you, adun’a,” Spock murmured into her ear.  “Select a seat and I will be with you presently.”

“O-okay,” she agreed.  She glanced up at Spock, feeling it strange that someone wished to take care of her, before squeezing his hand and walking off toward the tables to try and find an empty one.

Cadets in their red uniforms were interspersed, some half-asleep in their cereal (and there was cereal here on this planet?), some reading from screens that fit into their hands, approximately the size of a book or even smaller, and still others clustered in groups, clearly socializing.

The officers, obvious in their black uniforms, were all at the edge of the room.

It was clear that among the students were various—aliens, Bella supposed the word was.  There were creatures with blue skin, white blonde hair, and antennas.  Strangely, they weren’t the most peculiar. 

Trying not to stare, she walked toward the officers as she thought this is where Spock would be more comfortable and sat at the end of a long table meant for at least ten.  Two seats down from her were several officers, all older than her and Spock, mostly Terran or Terran-looking, but not completely.  They all gave her a curious look but they went back to their meals.

The only exception was a Terran man with skin only slightly wrinkled, hair a dark blond with streaks of gray.  His eyes were an odd murky color, reminiscent of a cloudy sky.  He gave her a small smile and she smiled in return.

After a moment he stood from his seat after speaking to the woman beside him—who may or may not have been Terran, it was difficult to tell—and approached her.  “Welcome to Starfleet,” he greeted.  “Are you a new recruit?”

She glanced up at him with wide eyes and felt fear grip her stomach.  Spock knew her in this strange alternate dimension, she had an official i.d., but no one knew her planet, knew Earth, knew what humans were—and she didn’t want to end up in a government laboratory.  Wait, Starfleet laboratory.  Bella had no idea what kind of government Terra had—what kind of military tribunal the military had.

“No,” she told him after a brief moment and she tried to smile.  “My—husband is an officer.  I came for a visit.”  She blushed at the thought, remembering how she had once heard Charlie talk to Billy Black about conjugal visits in American prisons. 

The friendly posture of the officer—she didn’t know his name—became a little more relaxed, and he smiled.  “Well, at least you’re Terran.  You didn’t have to travel that far.”

Her face must have paled at the thought of just how far she may have traveled, and the officer looked at her in concern.

“I’m not Terran,” she told him carefully at the questioning look in his eyes.  “I’ve never been to Terra before.”

A wave of concern washed through her, clearly from Spock, and she tried to calm herself down a little in order not to worry him.  He was, after all, only two people away from one of those peculiar microwaves.

“Forgive me,” the officer responded, taking the seat beside her.  “The galaxy is so diverse—I mistook you for a Terran.”

“It happens,” she agreed.

A thought prickled at the back of her mind, one that she hadn’t fully realized.  Earth had been called Terra—once—by the Ancient Greeks.  She was convinced there must be different spellings.  Or it was just a bizarre coincidence—just as she could understand ‘Standard’—whatever that exactly meant.

“You must be Terran,” she tried, wanting to not leave an awkward silence.  “What’s it like here?”

He laughed at this, his head thrown back, and she thought it was terribly human of him, but he wasn’t human.  He couldn’t be.  “Terra is culturally diverse.  There are unfortunately pockets of xenophobia, but that’s mainly in Asia and Northern America.”

At these words—these names of places—her eyebrows furrowed. 

She also took a moment to sort out what ‘xenophobia’ was.  She began to wonder how many populated planets there were out in the galaxy.  She always thought it was ridiculous that people thought the microbes on Mars didn’t count as “life from another planet”—microbes were alive even if not sentient—but this was just peculiar.

“I don’t think I’m leaving San Francisco,” she replied after a short moment.  “Then again, I don’t think I am.”

Warmth filled her and her eyes looked up and connected with Spock who was carrying a tray with two steaming bowls and two glasses of some sort of orange liquid. 

His eyes took her in, fondness running through his mind into hers, and then they shifted to the officer next to her before returning to her.

“Captain,” he greeted as he stood across from them and set down the tray.  “I see you have met my wife, Lady Isabella of the House of Surak.”

The officer—this Captain—looked up with a grin.  “She seemed a little lost.  I hope you don’t mind, Commander.”  He looked over at her, lifted his hand, and separated his fingers into a ‘V’ shape.  “I’m Chris Pike.”

She didn’t understand the symbol and glanced at Spock in confusion.  Still, she gave him a smile.  “Lady Isabella,” she returned, knowing that this was her name here in this strange place.  Carefully, she reached out her hand for a handshake, and she was a little surprised when Pike picked it up after a moment’s hesitation and kissed the back of it.

This was definitely a different place than Earth.  No one did that anymore—at least in America.

Spock watched them for a long moment, not judging, just waiting patiently while introductions were in order.  When Bella had reclaimed her hand, he placed one of the bowls in front of her with what was clearly meant to be a spoon, and the glass of orange liquid.  “I hope this proves satisfactory.”

She looked down and realized it was some soup—except thicker.  “This is—”

“Vulcan,” he responded.  “You have a fondness for alalia, if I remember.”

Well, that meant nothing to her, but a wave of fondness, clearly her own, shivered down her spine.  Looking up, she smiled widely at him.  “Thank you, Baby.”

The term slipped out without her even thinking and for a moment she thought she shouldn’t have said it when she was met with only silence.  Then, the faint hint of pride tickled at the back of her mind, and she realized Spock was pleased.

He took the seat across from her and picked up some peculiar utensil, holding it above his bowl.

Pike looked between them and then glanced over his shoulder, signaling to someone.  A tray was slid down the table, and he pulled it toward him. 

Strangely, it seemed like he was drinking what might have been coffee on another planet—or dimension.

Bella hesitantly took a scoop of her alalia, blowing on it for a long moment before taking a hesitant sip.  The strangest taste slid across her tongue, like milk, almost, with a hint of what she could only describe as purple, and she bit back a moan of pleasure.  She had never tasted anything quite so brilliant before her.

Spock took in her reaction and when she quickly dug a second spoonful out, he nodded to himself in satisfaction and began to eat.

Pike was drinking his—not coffee—taking in the two of them, and then mentioned, “I’m taking a party of cadets to see our ship this weekend.  Perhaps Lady Isabella would like to see it.”

Bella looked at him in astonishment.  “You’re going into space?”

Affection flowed through the bond. 

Spock put down his utensil.  “Negative.  The USS Enterprise is still under construction and in Iowa.  It is the flagship of our ‘fleet, adun’a.”

Pausing, Bella looked at him.  “Iowa,” she checked.  “Iowa.  San Francisco.  America.—Spock, was this planet ever called Earth?”  She emphasized the last word.

“That is an antiquated name,” Captain Pike told her conversationally.  “A great deal of Classic Terran literature refers to ‘Earth’ and her people as ‘humans.’”

Panic swelled through Bella and Spock immediately looked up at her in worry. 

This place was once called Earth.  Now Terra.  The reason why Terrans looked like the people where Bella came from was because—Terrans were once humans.  Or humans were once Terrans.  This was baffling.  Spock’s theory was correct.  Either that or this was an alternate dimension.

Somehow the thought that there were other humans in the galaxy—that they flew ships through the sky—was absolutely terrifying for her.  And she didn’t know what to do.


Published by excentrykemuse

Fanfiction artist and self critic.

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