Empty. That's how he felt. Like something inside, some integral part of him, had vanished. And he knew, just as his counterpart now knew, that this was not how the story was meant to unfold.
Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise was declared dead by Dr. Leonard H. McCoy not very long ago. Cause of death: radiation poisoning. The story seems so hauntingly familiar, but he was playing the wrong role.
Ambassador Spock was still firmly rooted to the spot where he was standing when Lieutenant Uhura told him the news. She had emphasized that Captain Kirk had died a hero, as if to reassure him of something. He could hear his pulse roaring behind his ears, feel it rushing just underneath his skin.
He was ashamed to admit that the majority of his sadness was far more selfish than it would appear. His younger counterpart would live out his life never truly knowing what he and Jim were supposed to become. He would never know what they would grow to mean to one another. He would never feel the peace that his bondmate could have brought into his life. Their love was slaughtered before it even began to breathe.
The old Vulcan was even more ashamed that he felt, deep and fermenting in the pit of his stomach, fury. The captain, always the most loyal of men, had to be the hero. It had to be Jim Kirk that saved the crew. He had to be the one to make everything okay again. The heat of the anger bubbled within the empty cavern that the captain had left behind. It taunted Spock, daring him to drown in it.
The ambassador took a sharp, calculated breath and straightened his posture. The fire was gone, but it left in its wake a throbbing wound that brought the first tears from Spock's eyes. They fell to the dirt floor below in a steady rhythm, nearly matching his heartbeat. He let out a slow, heavy sigh as he gave his sorrow a moment of life. Pain was too soft a word to describe the horrid feeling in his gut.
After a moment, when the tears had slowed he lumbered over to his desk and let himself fall into his chair. He closed his eyes in an attempt to steady his breathing. It wasn't his captain who was lost today; he was fully aware of that. His captain, his Jim, was long gone, a memory of a younger universe.
Spock visibly winced as all his old aches flooded him. He had to bear the curse of living through his lover's death twice. This time, however, he knew he wasn't alone. The other Spock was out in deep space somewhere, feeling the same gaping hole, and the same teasing flames. That Spock and his captain were so young, with all their stories yet to be made. Fate had cheated them out of the love that was rightfully theirs.
The Vulcan was shook from his thoughts by the sound of a comm systems chirping erratically. He leaned forward to inspect, and found that he was receiving a top priority call from a Dr. McCoy.
Maybe there would be a little bit of good news this time.