TimeSkip: Part the Ninth

Spock had been made Captain of the Enterprise, and Jim, of all people, Commander.  When Spock had confessed everything that had happened since the Enterprise left dock, before she had appeared on Delta Vega, his hands skating up her naked ribcage as his pointed ear was pressed above her heart, she had been stunned. 

She had let her fingers feather through his hair as she listened to it all, wondering if this was all the future—her planet’s future—and feeling more confusion than she really knew what to do with. 

When he had finished telling her, he had reached up and kissed her slowly, all his gratitude that she was with him present in their bond, his unending love for her that she didn’t quite comprehend, his need to show her that she meant more to him than any other being alive or dead in the entire galaxy.

“If Terra is Earth,” she murmured into the darkness, aware only because of the bond that he was still awake, “and I was born on this planet—does that mean that I’m already dead, long, long ago?”

“Negative,” he told her, pressing a kiss against her skin.  “I know that you live because I feel you all the time, I have felt you, adun’a for seventeen years.”

“It’s been two months for me.”

“I will discover what is happening,” he swore, his beautifully human eyes looking into hers.  “You are my wife, ‘to have and to hold’, to protect, to cherish.”

“I don’t want to ever leave you again,” she whispered desperately, her fingers running down the shell of his ear.  “I don’t want to go back to Forks.”

“We will solve this,” he swore and then he made love to her again.

It was utterly strange, these sensations that ran over her bond, through her fingers, deep inside her as they joined.

Now, she vaguely understood why Renée had married Phil, even if he was a bit unintelligent and couldn’t even play ball all that well.  Then again, she’d paraded various men through the house when Bella was a kid—but still.  She understood a little now.

She was coming back from the library, having memorized several scores of baseball games in American history for her own nefarious purposes if she ever went back to Forks.  Cutting through the shipyard, she was almost certain that the figure up ahead was Sarek, although she sensed boredom through the bond.

“Sarek!” she called, picking up her pace and running even though she had never seen a Vulcan run.

Spock had assured her that he didn’t want her to emote any less just because she was a citizen of Vulcan.  She was his wife, not his property as Jim Kirk had suggested.  He desired her to be the woman he had fallen in love with, all those years ago on a desert planet.  Even Sarek seemed to be genuinely fond of her and her emotions, and she wondered if she reminded him of Amanda in that way.

The figure paused and turned and she immediately stopped, taking only a few extra steps in curiosity.  Standing in front of her was none other than the Vulcan from Delta Vega.  “I’m sorry,” she told him honestly as she came up to him.  “I thought—you look like my father-in-law—from behind.”  She paused and sought Sarek through the parental bond and inquired as to his health, and got an affirmative reply immediately.  “I think, though, he’s at the Embassy or a meeting somewhere, from what I can tell.”

The Vulcan, whoever he was, showed emotion on his face—surprise.  Bella was confused as she had only seen Spock show any hint of emotion, and it was minimal compared to Terrans.

“You have a parental bond with Sarek of Vulcan,” he stated, not asking.

“Are you so surprised?” she responded immediately.  “I know you believed that I would never be—allowed—to marry into the House of Surak, but I am an accepted member.”

“I can see by your robes, Lady Isabella,” he responded carefully.  “Is Commander Spock well?”

“Captain Spock,” she corrected, “is indeed well, thank you.” 

Confusion flitted across the Vulcan’s face.  “Captain?”

“After leading a successful rescue of Captain Pike, who was a prisoner on the Nerada, and saving Terra from destruction, my husband has been promoted to the rank of ‘Captain’ and given the Enterprise.”  Pride laced her tone, and she felt the echoing question from her husband through the bond, wondering at her swell of emotion.  “Forgive me,” she corrected.  “Christopher Pike is now an Admiral in the ‘fleet.”

“Indeed,” the Vulcan remarked. 

A flit of approach came through the bond, and she called out mentally to her husband. 

“I must confess, I still do not understand how you are married to Spock of Vulcan.”

“I don’t see why it’s your concern,” she stated, a little angry.  All the Vulcans she had encountered since she arrived from the Enterprise met her with obvious curiosity but then acceptance when it became clear that she was the sole representative of an unknown telepathic species.  Spock thought it was because they—despite themselves—empathized with her status as the only known member of her race, many assuming that she had somehow survived some great tragedy, not unlike the destruction of their planet.

She felt and also heard footsteps approaching and within less than a minute, a hand was placed on the small of her back and Spock was standing by her side, strong, wonderful, and undeniably hers. 

“We are not acquainted,” Spock greeted, love for her and wariness of the situation flowing into her.

“This is the Vulcan who I met on Delta Vega.”

“Indeed,” he agreed.  He turned his head, obviously looking.

“Your wife,” the Vulcan informed him, “mistook me for our father.”

“I have only one brother,” Spock argued, his voice calm and betraying nothing.  “You are not he.”

“Negative,” the Vulcan agreed.  “Still, with so few Vulcans left, we cannot afford to ignore each other.”

Shock and realization hummed between them and Bella was left confused.  “You do not acknowledge my wife.  Explain.”

“I am curious why you took a wife,” the Vulcan confessed, “when we do not suffer from ‘the time’ unlike full-blooded males of our species.”

“A wife,” Spock explained pointedly, “is not simply for satisfying the flames that seek to destroy us.”  Bella had no idea what they were talking about.  “Our mother was Terran.  Terrans marry for love.”

“You embrace Terra and her emotions, then,” the Vulcan mused.  “Fascinating.”

Spock’s thumb gently stroked her back and then he confessed, “I cannot imagine ever turning away from the Lady Isabella once I had met her, even at the tender age of twelve.”

“Twelve,” the Vulcan murmured, as if to himself, glancing between the two.  “Alas, I never had a similar experience.”

Curiosity spun into Bella’s thoughts, and Spock simply uttered one word: “Fascinating.”

She looked between the two Vulcans in confusion. 

“Why did you send Kirk aboard when you alone could have explained the truth?” Spock began again, trying to decipher the reasons of this strange Vulcan.

“Because you needed each other.  I could not deprive you of the revelation of all that you could accomplish together.  Of a friendship that would define you both in ways that you cannot yet realize.”

Then she felt anger snap in Spock’s mind.

“You were lovers,” he determined.

Bella looked up at him, confused.  “No,” she returned.  “Jim’s married—I don’t know who his husband is, but I know it’s not this person.”

Spock looked down at her, reassurance in his gaze, before he continued to the Vulcan, “It is illogical to take a lover if you do not suffer from your time.”

“Illogical, perhaps, but then again you have taken an alien wife when you also do not suffer from the curse of our blood.”

Okay, Bella really had no idea what they were fighting about.  Logic, definitely.  The right to marry or even just have sex.  She knew that she was Spock’s first kiss, as he was hers.  She was his only love, and she would never want anyone but him.  From what she could determine, Vulcans were monogamous in the extreme, but this seemed to be something else, tinged with something different.

“You assume.  You infer.  You do not comprehend,” Spock returned.  “Did you love him, your Terran lover?”

“Negative,” the Vulcan answered.  “I felt only friendship.”

“Then I am glad, here, now, Jim Kirk has found a husband that satisfies his emotional needs.”  Spock’s tone was dismissive, nearly insulting.  “I know that Father married our mother because it was ‘logical’ and I have mourned for her for nearly two decades as she did not know what true love and mental compatibility was.”  He paused.  “Still, you seem to have persuaded Commander Kirk to keep your secret.  May I inquire, how?”

“He inferred that universe ending paradoxes would ensue should he break his promise.”

“You lied.  That is not logical.”

“Oh—I implied,” the Vulcan refuted. 

“A gamble,” Spock realized, the slightest hint of wonder moving through the bond.

“An act of faith.  One that I hope you will repeat in future in Starfleet.”

Spock turned now toward Bella and that strange, half-smile he had only for her lit his face.  “I vowed to myself many years ago to search for the Lady Isabella’s planet—to find her—to bring her home to Vulcan formally, although our planet is now gone.”

“That was never my intention, as I am certain you can determine, when I joined Starfleet.”

Turning toward him, Spock agreed, “Perhaps not.  However, I believe my motives are truer and purer than yours ever might have been.”

The Vulcan nodded his head to the side and agreed, “Perhaps.”  Once again, he looked between them.  “Have you ever considered that her motives for being here, with you, are not pure?”

Anger flitted through Spock, but he did not speak, he remained resolute as he stood there, the two of them presenting a united front.  “You suppose that the Lady Isabella travels across space to do me harm?”

“It is a theory,” the Vulcan agreed.  “Perhaps she is aligned with Nero.”

Bella’s eyes scrunched up in confusion.  “Isn’t he—from somewhere called Romulus?”

“Nero is obsessed with us.  He wishes to harm us in any way possible,” the Vulcan stated calmly, factually.  “He destroyed our planet; he murdered our mother.”

“Who are you?” Bella asked in utter confusion, wondering who this Vulcan could be that would suggest that she had anything to do with such a psychopath.

The Vulcan turned to her.  “I am Spock of Vulcan.”

They stared into each other’s eyes and then she laughed.  She hadn’t laughed so hard in recent memory, but the idea was preposterous. 

Spock’s hand was warm against her back and his reassurance present in the back of her mind until, suddenly, she realized he believed it.  Looking up into his beautifully Terran eyes, she quirked her head to the side in silent question.  Finally, she looked again at the unknown Vulcan and declared, “That’s impossible.”

“You don’t believe in time travel?”

“I didn’t say that.”  After all, how could she?  That would make her a hypocrite.  “However, I cannot feel you within my mind.  I do not know your emotions.—And you implied that you had a sexual relationship with Jim, which is not only disturbing but ridiculous.  It’s also a little hypocritical of you if you think that I cannot marry into the House of Surak, but you can carry on with a Terran.”

“A bond has not been placed between us by an adept,” the strange Vulcan responded.  “You would not know my mind.”

“Our bond,” Spock informed him, “did not even require the sense of touch to form.  We simply had to look at each other for the first time, and it was present, whole, and unbreakable.”

“Do you not perceive that as a mental attack?” the Vulcan asked quietly.  “She could perhaps be more talented than Sybok.”

Sybok.  Again.  She wondered briefly why he had been banished and what these telepathic talents were that he possessed.  She would simply have to find out.

“You speak evil,” Spock stated, his tone deathly quiet. 

Shock appeared on the other Vulcan’s face.  “We do not have a concept of evil.”

“No,” Spock agreed, “Vulcans do not.  Terrans, however, do, as do Lady Isabella’s people.  When I was a child she taught me a fascinating idea of good and evil, of a vengeful God that learned to love, and I am forever grateful to her for it.  You speak evil, Spock, son of Sarek, and I proclaim it as such.”

The two Vulcans stared at each other, Spock clearly poised to attack, and Bella felt that more than just what they were saying was passing between them. 

“I see that she is, indeed, dangerous,” the other Vulcan concluded.  “But I will leave you and ruminate on the matter further.”

“If you harm her in any way,” Spock threatened, “or speak or move against either of us, I will ensure you know the wrath of the person who saved Terra from destruction and defeated the one who murdered our people.”  His expressive eyes turned toward Bella, and he murmured, “Come,” before leading her away.

She hoped she would never see the other Vulcan again.

“He’s you,” she checked when they were once again in their quarters, a game of three-dimensional chess between them.  “And yet not you.”

“He is a version of me from the future,” Spock returned, “and he appears to have attempted to manipulate events when he came into contact with both you and Jim Kirk.”

“Then he is not like you,” Bella determined.  “He’s an evil twin—but older.”

Spock looked at her in confusion, his desire for clarification apparent to her.

“On my home planet, we have the concept of an ‘evil twin.’  It’s the idea that there is someone out there, just like you, and yet evil.  The yang to your yin, if you catch my drift.”

“I shall see if this idea appears in any other culture,” Spock promised.

“I would first check Terra,” Bella admitted softly.  “If my earth is your Terra—well—maybe one is the evil twin to the other.”

“Perhaps,” Spock agreed.  “Perhaps.”

The Enterprise had not yet left spacedock, and Bella was lying breathless in Spock’s arms.

For some reason, she was beginning to have a headache.  Something deep within her mind was pounding, almost like a scream, and with a deep sense of dread, she slid from the bed and pulled a pale green robe over her head, not sure she had time to find her underthings.

Spock reached out for her, confusion on his face, and Bella didn’t even have time to tell him that she loved him, she truly did, before she was gone.

The first things he was aware of was the intense heat and the dryness in the air.  The scream was filtering through her mind and she clutched her head as she looked around her in confusion.

“Spock!” she shouted, somehow knowing his pain was hers.  She took several steps through the sand in her bare feet, knowing she was going to get a bad burn, but it didn’t matter.  Spock needed her and she desperately needed to find him.  “Spock!” she screamed, and then she made out a small figure, dressed in muted Vulcan robes, curled in on itself, on what seemed to be the edge of a cliff.

Rushing to him, Bella almost tripped.

The figure raised his head, the hair black and cut to show his pointed ears, and the eyes that turned to her were neither black nor purple, but a deep brown.  They were utterly human and they were—the eyes of a child.

Remembering how Spock had first met her on Vulcan when he was little more than twelve years old, she took in the young, anguished face of her husband—who clearly did not know her, if she was any judge of the chaotic emotions that were fluttering through her.

“Spock,” she greeted, carefully approaching him and taking a seat at the edge of the cliff.  Looking down, Bella saw that there was a ravine at the base of it, and she gripped the stones beside her in fear.

The boy beside her started.  “You are afraid.”  This was clearly a revelation, and she remembered how she first perceived the bond between them.

Looking at him, she agreed, “I am.  It’s a far way down—and I’m clumsy.  I don’t want to fall in.”

“I will not permit you to fall,” he stated, his voice strangely awed and full of more emotion than she had ever seen him reveal, even in their most intimate moments.  “It would not be logical.”

Laughing a little, she agreed, “No, not logical.”  Bella took him in with her eyes and gave him a small smile.  “What’s wrong, Baby?”

“I am not a child,” he refuted, a pout on his lips, which was utterly adorable.

“No,” she agreed quickly.  “Of course not.  I—on my planet, husbands and wives call each other ‘baby’.  It’s illogical, I know.  However, I won’t call you that if you’d rather I not.”

He took her in with childlike wariness, but hope appeared within him, small at first and then blossoming until it overtook his mind.  “Then I will not have to bond with T’Pring.”

“No,” she agreed carefully.  “No, Spock.  Can’t you feel me?”

“Affirmative,” he murmured after a long moment.  “You are frightened and scared and yet so pleased to see me.”

His short legs were dangling over the edge and he kicked them back and forth, strangely restless in a way he wasn’t as an adult. 

“Why are you pleased to see me?”

It was an obvious question.  “I’m always pleased to see you,” she told him truthfully.  “You’re my husband.  You give purpose to my life.”

“I am a child,” he returned, “and a half-breed.”

“I’m a telepathic being that can travel through space to wherever you are, Spock, although no one on my planet is anything like me.”  Her dark brown eyes took him in.  “I’ve yet to figure it out.”

“Yes,” he agreed carefully, clearly thinking.  “You must be telepathic for this bond to have been formed without our even touching.”  Spock considered, utterly adorable and the foreshadowing of the man she loved with her very being.  “Only Romulans can form such bonds with us.  It is why intermarriage is undesirable to Vulcans.”

She nodded solemnly.  “Who is T’Pring?”

“T’Pring is a Vulcan female.  My father has been negotiating the marriage for years.  He is desirous that I have a full marriage when my time comes—”  (there was that strange reference again) “—he says it is unsatisfying if it does not exist.”

Uncertain how to respond, she waited for a moment, but Spock continued to speak.

“It is illogical for me to refuse the bond.  However, I find T’Pring as harsh as our deserts and as cold as the highest mountains of Terra.  She is displeasing to me.”

“And you don’t divorce,” she concluded, reaching out and letting her fingers linger on his shoulder.

He turned to her, shock permeating his thoughts, and she began to withdraw her hand, thinking she had mistepped.

“Vulcans do not engage in emotional displays,” he seemed to chide.  “Mother does not even touch me.”

“I know Lady Amanda is Terran,” she began carefully, trying not to feel regret in the fact that she had never known her husband’s mother, “but I imagine as you are her son, she wishes to touch you.”

“Father states it is inappropriate.”

Well, that sounded like the Vulcans she had met in the days following the destruction of Vulcan.  It also sounded like Sarek, although the man had accepted her with little if any hesitation as his daughter. 

“My father rarely shows his emotions,” she agreed, “even though he’s not Vulcan.  It’s the way he is.”

“Do you ever wish it were different?” Spock asked in a small voice.  Shame crept through him, and her heart bled a little at the sight of this child who was clearly so lost, who was in so much pain, a pain even rawer and deeper than the horrible agony he would feel when his entire planet was destroyed.

She thought for a moment.  “I thought it was a good thing until recently,” she told him truthfully.  “However, then I was injured, and I was glad when he kissed me on the forehead.  I was so confused to be on my planet when I had recently—arrived—elsewhere.  As I said, no one back home can travel like I do.  It was disconcerting.  However, his protection of me was—”  She quirked her lips at the word that was on the tip of her tongue “—appreciated.”

Spock was taking her in, his eyebrows slated lines of determination.  “You are my wife.  I can sense it.”

“Yes,” she agreed.

“I am also experiencing an emotion I believe is known as ‘love’.  Mother has expressed it on certain occasions.”

“Yes,” Bella stated again. 

He seemed to accept this and so she looked back over the ravine. 

“I assume your foster sister Michael isn’t being forced into a bond of some kind.”

“She is psi-null,” he informed her, “like all Terrans.”  A sliver of envy ran through their bond and she wondered at its source, at the reasoning behind it.

“Logically,” Bella began carefully, “you cannot be forced into a marriage bond with T’Pring if one already exists with me.  Now, of course, I know you don’t know me—but I hope I am not harsh as the desert or as cold as Terra’s highest mountains.”

“Your emotions are dynamic and fascinating,” he returned, looking at her.  “You are also aesthetically pleasing.”

Bella couldn’t help but laugh a little, at the thought of a twelve-year-old finding her pretty.  Her hair was probably a tangled mess and she could feel Vulcan’s hot suns (because there appeared to be two) beating down on her.  “I can tell, Spock,” she returned with a smile, “that you will be very handsome in a few years.”

“The other children say that my eyes are Terran.”  His sorrow was apparent through the bond although there was little if any emotion in his voice.

“Well,” she determined, “I am neither Terran nor Vulcan, but I like your eyes.  They’re beautiful, Spock.”

“I would wish for my wife to find me pleasing,” he agreed, his gaze taking her in hungrily, the innocent fascination of a child.

“Why are you accepting this so easily?” she asked, curious.  Bella remembered how easily she had herself, and sometimes it still astonished her, but she was wondering what a Vulcan child would think.

“You are my wife, my bonded mate,” he told her as if it were obvious.  “It would be illogical to fight it.”

“And yet,” she told him cautiously, “weren’t you considering ‘fighting’ your bond with T’Pring?”

“You find me illogical,” he stated in resignation.

Right.  Logic.  That was the ideal in Vulcan culture. 

“I am not a creature of logic, Baby,” she told him simply, using the affectionate term to show that she accepted him.  “I also know that you are a child of two worlds.  I would never fault you for using another criterion—such as emotion, a gut feeling, the lessons that history teach us, even.  You never have to lie to me, no matter how shameful you think it is, even if you know I’ll be angry.  Isn’t that—perhaps not here—but isn’t that what true marriage is about?”

“I am a child.  You are a woman grown.”  He looked up at her and she felt his fear at what she would answer.

“I am seventeen,” she told him quite clearly, “and I would guess that you’re—thirteen?”  Bella didn’t reveal that she knew his exact age, but made it close.

His eyes lowered and he admitted, “twelve.”

“I was close,” she suggested.  “When you’re seventeen, I’ll be twenty-two.  When you’re twenty-two, I’ll be twenty-seven.  That’s not that bad in the scheme of things, is it?”

“You would wait, adun’a,” he half-asked, half-stated.

“Always for you,” she promised.  Standing, she looked out over the ravine toward a city.  “Now, I am not used to so many suns, I don’t suppose there’s somewhere to wait until the end of the day?”  She held out her hand for him and, carefully, he took it and allowed her to help him to his feet—their first Vulcan kiss.

There was only the slightest tingle of pleasure where skin met skin, and his ears blushed green, which she found adorable.

“I did not mean to kiss you,” she apologized.  “I know you’re twelve.”

He brought himself up to his full height, placed his hands behind his back as she had often seen back on Terra, and told her quite plainly, “I am your husband, adun’a.”

“True,” she agreed.  “And I wouldn’t change it for Vulcan or for Terra.”

“Nor I, wife,” he agreed, his own surprise taking over the bond for the briefest of moments.  “Won’t you tell me your name?”

“Lady Isabella,” she responded, knowing that was what he called her.  “I hate my name, though.  I would much rather you call me ‘wife’ or ‘adun’a’.”

“Very well,” he agreed as the two began to walk away from the ravine toward a mountain range that appeared to be a good ways off.  “How did you know where to find me?”

“I’m psychic?” she suggested, wondering if that was true, and the two walked off toward shelter.


Published by excentrykemuse

Fanfiction artist and self critic.

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