Personal Log, supplemental: “So much has happened I can scarcely articulate it all. But I need to; I need to put everything in its proper place, hopefully wrap my head around it so I can move forward.
Spock died. That’s what I keep coming back to. He died, burned to death by radiation as he saved the entire ship from that madman Khan. Oh God, Khan. If I had known, if I could have foreseen, what that bastard would cost me, I would have blown his ship to Hell all those years ago. But there is no use in thinking that. Khan is dead; his evil is gone from the universe. And Spock is alive once more. Somehow, by some miracle, the love of my life, the other half of my soul, is lying in the cabin next door instead of in a torpedo tube on an alien world. He is warm and breathing; he is perfectly healthy. While his mind and memory are still healing from the fal-tor-pan, the reunification of his body and soul, he is back with me. It is Spock. He is gloriously alive.
But David is not. My son, the only child I ever had—at least as far as I know. I hardly knew him; I knew he existed, but his mother kept us apart, and I can’t blame her. She didn’t want her son to follow in my footsteps. She wanted him to grow up happy and well-adjusted—and safe. And that’s what it comes down to. Carol didn’t want David to be like me, didn’t want him racing around the galaxy and throwing himself at obstacles and threats. And she was right. As soon as David became like me, it killed him. David’s dead, a Klingon knife buried in his heart, and I bear the weight of that, just as it was my mistake that allowed Spock to be killed. And now that David is gone, now that there is never any chance of us developing a relationship, I mourn for what I’ve lost, rather than rejoicing in what I have gained. And the worst, the most terrible truth is, if I had been on the Genesis planet, watching yet helpless to stop it, if I had been forced to choose, I would have let David die and Spock live. If I could only have one of them in my life, it would have been Spock. It’s always been Spock. And what kind of a father makes that choice? What kind of a monster have I become?”
Captain—once Admiral—James T. Kirk clicked off the recorder, unable to say any more, even if he was the only one who would ever hear it. He sat in his quarters aboard the new USS Enterprise, a captain once more, his loyal crew around him, his life back on track. But at what price? He and his people had saved the Earth from the alien probe, had gone into the past and brought back humpback whales, of all things, animals that had been able to communicate with the probe and deflect it from Earth. Jim had been rewarded by being punished, had been demoted to captain and given the new Enterprise, a new mission to explore the galaxy. He had everything he’d ever wanted. Most of all, he had Spock at his side. Then why did he feel so terrible? He knew the answer. Guilt could poison any life, and Jim Kirk carried a heavy load of guilt.
The door chimed, and Kirk looked up, rubbing his hands over his eyes, trying to pull himself together, face whatever problem or challenge walked through that door. “Come,” he called out.
The door slid open. Much to Jim’s surprise, it was Spock. Jim rose to his feet as Spock entered, met him halfway.
“Ashaya, you didn’t have to knock,” Jim chided gently. “You can come in any time; you know that.”
Spock simply looked at him, and Jim caught the faint shadow of pain and wariness in the Vulcan’s eyes.
“Spock,” Jim gently laid a hand on his mate’s arm. “What’s wrong, love? Is the ship all right? Have you had bad news from home? Sarek and Amanda—they’re all right, aren’t they?’
Spock nodded. “Yes, they are well,” he said, his voice oddly—stifled, for lack of a better term. “However, I need to speak with you.”
“Of course.” With a hand beneath Spock’s elbow, Jim gently guided him into the living area, seating him on the couch Jim had brought from Earth. But when he would have settled in at Spock’s side, his mate held up a hand.
“Please,” he said softly. He pointed to a nearby chair. “You may want to sit there.”
“Okay.” Jim sank into the chair, still looking at Spock, puzzled by the sudden tension between them.
“Spock,” he said softly, “t’hy’la, what’s wrong? You’re upset, I can tell. What’s going on?”
Spock looked down at his hands, which were knotted in his lap. “Forgive me.” His voice was so quiet Jim could scarcely hear him.
“Forgive you?” Now Jim was really puzzled, and worse, he was uneasy. “Love, I cannot imagine I have anything to forgive you for.”
“You do not know,” Spock whispered.
“Obviously not.” Jim rose from his chair and sat down next to Spock, despite the Vulcan stiffening in his seat as Jim settled in at his side.
“Spock,” Jim said gently, “whatever’s going on, you need to simply tell me. It can’t be that bad, and whatever it is, we’ll face it together. Haven’t we proved that in the last year?” He reached out and gently took one of the knotted hands into his grasp, gently stroking the back of Spock’s hand until he felt his mate’s rigid posture relax ever so slightly.
“I need to tell you of my time on the Genesis world,” Spock said at last in a low voice.
The Genesis world—where Spock had been reborn and David had—died. “All right.” Jim swallowed hard, forced his voice to be steady. “But I thought you didn’t remember anything of that time, love. Your body was there, but your…essence, I guess I’d have to say, was riding around in McCoy’s head. From somewhere, Jim found a smile. “I don’t think Bones will ever be the same,” he teased gently.
“I owe him a great debt.” Spock’s face and voice were somber.
“He’s just glad you’re back with us—as we all are.” Jim kept Spock’s hand in his. “Now, what about the Genesis planet?”
Spock took a deep breath and raised his head, forcing himself to meet Jim’s loving, concerned gaze. “I…my body grew up on that world,” he said softly. “Saavik told me that when she and David found me, I was a child, perhaps seven or eight years of age.”
Jim nodded. “Yes; she told me that too. When we were staying on Vulcan, she told me about finding you. Of course, by the time we got to you, your body had grown older, close to your real age, I guess.”
“Yes,” Spock replied. “But what Saavik did not tell you is…while I was on the planet with her I went through all the stages of…growth, the normal stages for a Vulcan male.” Now there was a brilliant green flush across Spock’s high cheekbones. “While I was on the planet, I….I….my Time came,” Spock finished in a rush.
Pon Farr. Oh my God.
“Oh, Spock. I never even thought of that.” Jim’s voice was soft with concern.
“Nor did I,” Spock replied, “and I have only the vaguest memories of my time on the planet. However, I am certain that Saavik did not give me faulty data.”
“No, of course she didn’t. Saavik would have no reason to lie, she….” Jim stopped dead. “She…helped you, didn’t she?” he whispered. Being half-Vulcan herself, Saavik almost certainly knew about Pon Farr.
Spock nodded, misery in every line of his body. “I…betrayed you,” he whispered.
“Oh, Spock.” Jim put his arms around his love. “Ashaya, you didn’t. You were…fragmented, in pain. You didn’t cheat on me. Love, we’ve been through Pon Farr together; you know that. I know what it does to your body, how it drives you. You did nothing wrong; Saavik did nothing wrong. I’m glad she was there for you, that she could help you through it. Please, love, don’t blame yourself for what your biology drove you to do.” He tried to draw Spock closer, to coax his head onto Jim’s shoulder, but the Vulcan was still tense, rigid in Jim’s arms. Jim drew back and looked at his mate.
“Love, what is it? Why are you doing this to yourself? It’s all right, truly it is.”
“No.” Spock shook his head violently, his fingers suddenly digging into Jim’s arms, almost painful, but Jim welcomed the sensation, the feel of Vulcan strength holding onto him, something he had feared he would never again experience. “No, you do not understand, what I have done, what has happened…”
“Hey.” Kirk gently but firmly drew the dark head to his shoulder, cuddling Spock, feeling the tremors running through the rejuvenated flesh. Spock was so stoic, so stalwart, that when he did break, it was almost shocking in its intensity. “Hush, love, it’s all right. Don’t do this to yourself, t’hy’la. Shhhh, easy now; relax, my love.” Jim soothed with soft touches and softer words until he felt Spock relax slightly, felt him take a deep breath.
“There is…more,” Spock whispered at last, his voice sounding so defeated, so desperate, that Jim would have forgiven him any sin under the sun, just so he didn’t have to hear that note in the beloved voice.
“Tell me,” Jim ordered tenderly. “Tell me, love. Whatever is weighing on you so let me share it.”
Spock of Vulcan had never lacked courage. He raised his head, made himself look into those golden eyes, steeled himself for the moment that the love which filled them would fade forever. “There is a child,” he whispered.
Jim looked at his mate, stunned. “A child.”
Spock nodded. “I…I knew when we left Vulcan, but I did not wish to…to burden you at that time, when you were facing a court-martial. In addition, Saavik was not even certain that the pregnancy would come to term; there were genetic factors to be dealt with. However, I received a sub-space message from her today. She gave birth four days ago at the Vulcan Science Academy hospital.” Spock swallowed, preparing to say the hardest words he had ever uttered. “It is a boy, completely healthy.” Spock dropped his head, waiting for Jim’s response. He knew how deeply Jim mourned his son, the child who had grown to manhood without his father, the child Jim had never known, the child who had died defending Spock and Saavik from the Klingons. Jim had lost his son thanks to Genesis; Spock had been given one. Spock stiffened, waiting for Jim’s anger, his sense of hurt, his disgust. Spock was ready.
But not for what occurred. Jim’s arms came around him, wrapping Spock in a fierce hug. “A son,” Jim’s choked voice whispered in Spock’s ear. “Oh, ashaya, that’s wonderful!”
Bewildered, Spock could only return Jim’s embrace. Would his human never cease to amaze him? “You…you are not angry, not hurt?”
“Oh, love, of course not.” Jim gently freed himself fro Spock’s arms, reaching to cup his mate’s face in his hands. “Spock, how could I be angry? For you to have a child, when you never expected to, when you gave up that chance long ago for my sake…”
“Jim.” Spock, deeply moved, reached up to cover Jim’s hands with his own. “I never saw that as a sacrifice. My life was with you; it was the only life I wanted.”
But now, now you have a child, your own child. Your parents have a grandson; Saavik is a mother, and you have a son.”
“And you do not,” Spock whispered. It had to be said. “That was my fault, Jim, David died to protect me, and how do I repay you? I father a child, the child you should have had.”
“No.” Jim shook his head. He felt the tears come to his eyes, and he didn’t care. “No, love. David didn’t die because of you. He died because of me, because I came back into his life; I put him in harm’s way; I….” Jim broke down then, as he hadn’t since the day David had died. He felt Spock’s arms go around him again and he gratefully laid his head on Spock, sobbing quietly as he remembered that golden youth lying still in the long grass on the Genesis planet.
At last, they were both still, half-sitting, half-lying in each other’s arms. “Thank you,” Jim whispered. “Thank you for being here, ashaya.”
‘There is nowhere else I could be,” Spock replied, softly kissing a lingering tear track on that beloved face. “Jim, you are sure about this? Can you truly accept my child?”
Jim raised his head and looked into Spock’s eyes, his own still filled with love. “I already have,” he said with a sad, tender smile. “I already have.”
Six weeks later, in a Clan gathering on the planet Vulcan, the infant son of Saavik, the orphan child of the planet Hellguard, and S'chn T'gai Spock of the House of Surak, was christened. He was named S'chn T'gai Solkar David. His sponser was a former Starfleet Admiral.