Jim sat next to the biobed, his fingers interlaced with Spock’s. He was desperate to feel a twitch, a squeeze, any reaction at all.
But there was nothing.
What in the Hell had happened?
He and Spock had just spent the last four weeks in a marital retreat: the best four weeks of James Kirk’s life! And now his bondmate, his husband, his soul, his absolute love, his very existence was in some rare Vulcan coma, apparently caused by their bonding.
Jim squeezed the limp hand, and kissed the back of it. When his lips touched green skin, he jerked back. He felt a prickly sensation in his brain!
There was no answer, verbal or non-verbal.
He picked up Spock’s hand, and quickly kissed it again.
Yep, there was that damned brain itch!
Kirk stood next to the bed, and leaned over so his cheek was touching Spock’s. “I love you. I felt you along the bond, so I know you’re still with me. I’m going to talk to the Healer and to Sarek, and together we’ll find a way to bring you back to me. You told me you had been waiting for me, and that I had finally found you. Well, since I’ve found you, I’m NOT letting you go.”
Gently, Jim brushed his lips over Spock’s in what he called the “butterfly wing kiss.” He waited…and yes, there was an infinitesimal spark in his head. As he straightened, he used his hands to scrub the wetness from his face, and then he wiped the few of his tears that had fallen on Spock.
Kirk met with the Healer and Sarek outside in the meditation garden. He sat on the shaded bench, and propped his elbows on his knees, and stared at a pile of rocks that was next to another pile of rocks. “Okay, I appreciate that you’ve tried to explain this to me before, several times, but just for the Hell of it, could somebody tell me again what is wrong with Spock?”
Sarek nodded to the Healer, and began: “James. The Vulcan marriage bond, the Consortium bond, is very intimate. It can be a source of great pleasure and untold joy to the participants. But this joy is only for them. The newly-bonded traditionally spend the first few weeks in isolation, to establish the bond, and to revel in the wonder of exploring and learning about each other.”
“Yeah, okay, THAT part I get. It was pretty damned fantastic.” Kirk ducked his head and blushed furiously. Even his ears turned bright red.
Sarek continued. “Vulcans are intense in everything they do. The emotions generated by this bond, while meant to be shared by the bonded couple, is not for display to others. Because Vulcans are a telepathic race, they can sense the emotions of those around them, especially emotions that are particularly fervent.”
“Spock was teaching me to shield my thoughts.”
“Yes. The Healers and I have conferred, and it is thought that a very unique set of circumstances had to occur. You are almost esper null. Spock has been living among humans for many years, and his shielding skills have diminished somewhat. And then the consortium bond was increased exponentially because the two of you are T’hy’la.
“There is evidence that Spock was shielding you both, because of the intensity of your bond. He may have known your screening skills would take a longer time to develop. It has been proposed, too, that his prescient center is smaller than a full Vulcan because he is a hybrid.”
Kirk dropped his head on his arms. “Oh, God. So now what?”
“He must be taken to Gol.”
The Healer stood up, and moved to face Kirk. “This is too complex for our skills here at the Medical Center. Spock needs the expertise of the priests of Gol, if he is to recover. We have discussed transporting him in a stasis chamber, and then gradually acclimating him to the restrictive mental surroundings.”
Kirk leaped up from the bench, and spun around so he could look at both Sarek and the Healer. “You can’t do that! It’s dangerous to put a living being in stasis, let alone keep him there for any length of time!”
“It’s the only way.”
“You could kill him!”
Sarek stood, and placed a hand on Kirk’s forearm. He waited until Kirk looked directly into his eyes. And Kirk could see a very thin sheen of tears coating those Vulcan eyes. “James. He’s already dying.”
The Healer stood, and murmured, “I take my leave of you now,” and glided out of the garden.
Kirk stumbled to his knees in front of the bench, and pounded the seat with his fists. “No! No! Not Spock! No!”
Kneeling next to his son-in-law, Sarek placed an arm around Kirk’s shoulders. And the two of them slid into grief-stained misery together.