STARTREK-The Original Series


I want to start off by saying thank you to all the friends I have made through this story. Also to the beta-readers and my Cheering Section, especially Salatrel and Selek.

Also a message... Yes Fizzbin, there really is a Tome Seven...

I hope it is enjoyed...

SUMMARY: In the final tome of the series, T'yshen deals with aging and the discovery that even late in life there can be beginnings.

DISCLAIMER: The Great Bird of the Galaxy created 'The Universe' we play in. Paramount owns 'The Universe' that we play in. They will have all the monetary gain and all the headaches... we will have all the fun!!

Tome Seven- Shadows of Time
By Gayle Rochefort-Potts


Standard Terran Year: 2425.2

Standard Kavifemai Year: 144.4 pos'Lashan

Shades of pink gently crept along the sands as the suns rose slowly. Dawn remained her favorite time. She looked to it as a new beginning each time, especially before his death. Now it was just another indication that another day would be lived by her without him. Without most of the individuals she had come to care about over the years.

Her salt and pepper hair revealed her age; her hands ached every now and then. She had only recently ceased to plant crops with the others, at the insistence of her only offspring. The artist in her had not stopped but had ceased to find the patience and the dexterity for the fine details. She watched as the sand brightened just beyond the tips of her feet then as the warmth traveled up her legs and to her body. She sighed.

Loneliness was becoming too often her company for the day. There should have been a point when this aching for another stopped. When she ceased to desire company. She lifted her hood to shield her aging eyes from the dawning sun. She returned to her charcoal drawing of the continued tradition of the sailing ship that was anchored in the bay.

She was one of the few original colonists still alive. Carl, being Human, had been the first to die a natural death. Five years after Carl's death, a virus had crept through the population reducing it by half. The only thing that saved her was her Vulcan blood. Just enough of a difference, that the virus only made her violently ill for some time. That was referred to the year of Mourning. Luckily, most of First Generations were off-planet. A good number of them serving Starfleet and were on deep space missions. Others were told to remain off-world until the virus was either contained or died out naturally. It had been contained and an inoculation had been discovered to fight it. Further generations would be safe from it.

Time took Di'on from her, a warrior-sister to T'yshen. She buried her only ten years ago.

Now she waited for her time. She had always possessed a good constitution, as Dr. McCoy had stated, and she had been granted a long life. Too much of it had been spent alone. After Carl had died, Sholtan insured that she was never alone. When she informed him that he should be dealing with his own family. He bowed to her logic and agreed to visit only once a day and attempted to refrain from being overly protective towards her. He had not been offended. Others made themselves available should she require anything.

One other had become a constant in her life for a time, K'tar. He was lonely for company as well. He would spend time with her, playing chess, talking or walking with her along the beach. Then came the day when K'tar asked her to consider a more permanent relationship.

She had remained silent for a time then stated that it was not possible. She had felt that he would not satisfy, his mind did not have the power she craved. She had wished that it could have been otherwise, but it was not to be.

K'tar understood and found others to spend time with after that. She returned to her solitude.

There was little for her to do on a world that had grown up and no longer required her. Another had been chosen to take her place as Matriarch, as was natural. Children, that had grown and no longer required a mother. Friends, that had died, far too soon.

Her head turned before the young male touched her shoulder; her hood fell back with a touch of her hand. The gesture had become automatic. She noted with some pleasure at his resemblance to his father, along with a hint of sadness. Carl had been most impressed with Sholtan's accomplishments. He always seemed to be surprised that Sholtan was not more controlled in his displays of emotions. He began to understand that the controls came from a lifetime of practice and expectations. T'yshen had seen to it that Sholtan was at least capable of controlling his reactions when necessary.

"Mother. There is someone here that wishes to speak with you..." He crouched down beside her. There was a note of distrust and concern in his voice. "He would not indicate what this was about, only that he wishes an audience." His blue-black hair was tied back and his grey eyes held a concern for her. "He asked for you by name but he will not reveal his identity."

She nodded. "I will speak with him." She had looked over Sholtan's shoulder noting the heavily robed figure.

"You do not know who it is, Mother!"

"I have an idea." She allowed his assistance in collecting her things, but not in standing. That, she could still manage on her own. "Put them in the car. I will see him. Alone." She met the younger man's eyes then touched his face with a brush of her fingers. She thought again of how emotional her son was compared to a Vulcan... To have Terran blood and to call this world home, it had been unavoidable. "I am quite capable of taking care of myself, Sholtan."

His eyes dropped. "I am aware Mother, but..." He sighed then looked over his left shoulder to the mysterious figure that stood draped in the dark fabric. "I will remain by the aircar. If I am needed." He held the strapping of her art bag in one hand, then reluctantly moved from her. He walked a few steps away then stood to watch as his Mother approached this dark stranger. Sholtan was far from comfortable with this visitor. This 'visitor' had spoken very little and with an odd accent. He would not state his name, just 'She will know me' in a deep tone.

She walked with practiced steps in the sand towards the tall figure. She lifted the veil of fabric onto her head then stopped a few feet from her visitor. "What do you wish?"

"To talk." The voice that came from him was deep and soft.

"After all this time?" She could not contain her curiosity.

"It was the first opportunity." He stated calmly.

"Yes, so few years have passed since we have seen one another." She felt a tightening in her chest. His voice had become deeper, mellower. "For what purpose?" She looked to the water's edge that lapped onto the shore, anywhere except at him.

"To make amends." The tone of his voice was soft but firm.

"Amends? I require none." She turned away from him for a moment.

"To ease the pain of being alone."

"Time has dulled most of my pain." She was not going to make this easy... whatever 'this' was.

"I came to find a place to find peace and rest."

She turned to face towards the stone structure that was down the beach, indicating the direction with a wave of her hand. "Our place of rest is just beyond the place of challenge. Many are buried there." Her hands clenched into fists hidden in the folds of her tunic.

He paused. He deserved that remark. He cleared his throat softly. "That was not the type of rest that I speak of."

"Then go home to Vulcan." There was a sharpness in her voice that was rarely heard.

"There is no place for me there."

"And there is here?" She continued to watch the water's movements.

He was silent. This had been the wrong thing to do.

"You have family."

"He died."

"How unfortunate." She too had grieved that day.

"No offer of shared grieving?" He knew that was proper etiquette.

She was silent as her gaze fell to the sand. He had not been there to offer her comforting words. She still felt the aching in her chest over Carl's death and the remembered pain at Spock's. She turned slowly to face him again. "Do you grieve for him?"

He lifted his head studying the sky for a moment. "His actually death has been... in question. I spoke to him just before he left Earth. When it happened... I felt his expectation of death, his good-bye, if you will, but not his cessation of life."

"How fortunate for you."

He had not spoken to the majority of his 'family' since his travels beyond the Neutral Zone. He had not even seen Saavik in almost twenty years before her death. Her daughter remained at Mount Seleya as she studied the Kolinahr. T'Arol favoured the Vulcanoid race in her appearance, but her eyes and her hair had been similar to David's. Spock had met her only twice, he suspected that T'Arol would achieve her goal.

"I, on the other hand, have suffered the death of two lifemates." She started to walk away from him. "And the leaving of one that was bonded."

"Reldai...!" He moved to close the distance between them, his hand reached to touch her arm.

She spun to face him. The words automatically in Vulcan, a language she had not really spoken in years. "Kroy'kah! You have no right to touch what is not yours!" Her eyes flashed with the old anger at his death so long ago. She was so angry that he had left her alone for so long. That he had not remembered her. That he had left her, and not James. That he chose not to contact her in all the years that had passed.

She felt her son's concern through their link. She calmed his concerns then calmed her lack of control. Her head bowed. "I ask forgiveness..." She could not speak his name yet.

"It was yours before you asked for it, as it always has been." He caught the movement of the other in the corner of his eye. Hovering to protect her, he assumed. As he turned his head slightly, his hood fell back.

Her hand covered the gasp that escaped her lips. He looked so much as his father had! She had not seen this man in over a century; his aura had not changed. His eyes still held the darkness that drew her to him. His hair had grayed and his skin had wrinkled. She still felt his power and his strength. "So much like Sarek...!" She hid the smile that she felt. She had a special place for Sarek.

Spock lowered his head; he was never sure how to react to that remark. She was not the first to make the remark. He looked to the second sun as it rose up in the sky. "You spend much time on the beach?"

"My children have said that they should have built my house here." She looked to the tall figure. She tried to hold the firmness in her voice. "Why have you come?"

He had controlled his reaction to the shock at the knowledge that she had a family, he had not heard. He had not paid attention to even others that spoke of her. Not even from Sarek. He had always found it strange that his father was never willing to talk about her. "To find a resting place. A home for the short time I have left." He took a step towards her. "To heal some of the hurt I have caused and to warm my soul before I die."

"I am one hundred and eighty-seven years old..."

"And I am one hundred and ninety. Your point?"

"There is no youthful fire to warm your soul..." She looked at him, meeting his eyes directly for the first time. ".. not here." She lied to him, the attraction was still there.

"I do not need a youthful fire.... It is your fire that I require." It had taken him years to work up enough nerve to utter those words. To admit the words to himself. He had begun to contemplate this action after hearing of Carl's death. That is when he should have acted on it.

"I have no fire to offer you, youthful or otherwise." She crossed her arms over her chest and held her own arms tightly. Why now? She debated simply walking away but she could not. She felt herself firmly rooted in place.

"I will leave, if it is your wish." He looked to the sky knowing that the starship that brought him here was still in orbit and would be for another ten hours. The few Rihansu that they had given safe passage had beamed down with him. They would remain and the population here would grow by fifteen. "The vessel returns to the Rihansu border when it leaves here. I was expected to return with it." He bowed his head low, a sign of deep respect for her. "I will take leave of you, Reldai T'yshen. I am pleased to find you in good health, and honored to have spoken with you again." He lifted his head and turned in one motion as he walked towards the aircar. His steps were not slow and he wished only to leave here before his control slipped. He was angry... angry with himself. He had expected too much on seeing her again and in her acceptance of his return to her. He had been wrong to ask this of her. She had been right when she had stated that he had no right to what was not... his. But she had been his once... long ago and it had been agony to relive the fractured memories after Jim's death. After a time, he found he needed to leave and went into Rihansu space.

Ambassador Spock bowed his head to the young male that hovered, watching. The young male would walk just past the grouping of trees then walk slowly back. Spock walked passed him, his head bowed slightly. His intent was to simply beam up and leave her, forever. Return to Romulus. And then?

"Spock!" She felt the tightness in her throat as she spoke his name. A name she had not even dared to speak in almost a century. With James' death, there was no need to speak his name. She felt her own uncertainty in all of this. Was this going to be a mistake to call him back? To do what? What did she have to offer to him? Was he here to stay? Or merely to stir what emotions he could and then leave.

He turned at the sound of her voice then, without a second thought, increased his speed to close the distance between them. He stopped just outside arm's length from her. "I am at your service, Reldai T'yshen." His head bowed.

"I do not know how much I have to offer." She was not certain of anything at the moment. She paced a few steps one way then returned.

"I will accept anything you have to offer." He felt a tightness and an easing in his chest.

"If I offer you only solitude?" She did not want him to leave, but there was much to be considered. She was not sure if she wanted him to stay.

"Then I will be with you from a distance." There was hope!

"What if I require you to leave?" She hid her hands in the folds of her sleeves.

"Then I will make arrangements to leave this city or this world. Which ever will please you."

"I do not have much to offer..." This was better than being alone. Or was it?

"A walk. A discussion. A meal. My needs are simple." He dared to take a single step closer, his hand brushed her hood back. "You have not changed..."

"You have learned deception, Ambassador."

He caught the amusement in her eyes. He had missed that. He pursed his lips then smiled slightly.

"Either that or your eyes are failing you."

"I speak only c'thia."

She should her head slightly. "Reality is that I have aged."

"We both have aged." He tilted his head slightly. "Perhaps it is the perception that has not changed. That is why you do not appear to have changed."

"Spock...." She did not know what to say to him, she shook her head gently. "It is not logical."

"Father always maintained that his actions concerning Mother were always logical at the time."

She leaned towards him slightly. "Your father was a romantic."

Spock's eyebrow raised slowly. "I have never heard that as a description for my father." He considered the notion, then straightened. "It is a possible perception."

"There is a vacant unit that you may use if you wish." She moved in front of him beginning to lead the way to the aircar and her son. How would she explain this to Sholtan! "I do not know the condition, no one has lived in it for years."

"It will serve."

Sholtan stood beside the aircar watching the two. One walking away from the other, the distance would close then the visitor began to walk away. His mother called to this stranger; she did know him! He had no idea of what went on, his Mother could shield her thoughts too well at times. They spoke in Vulcan, he had not heard the ancient form in a long time and he was having difficulty following what he could hear. They moved closer to him. He had noted that this man was also Vulcan and had an aura of power about him. That is what had made him hesitant to allow this meeting. His head bowed to his mother as he offered his hand for support as she sat on the edge of the car then swung her legs up and into the car then slid down into the seat.

"Sholtan, permit me to introduce Ambassador Spock." She paused as her son bowed his head. "Ambassador, Healer Sholtan'cha Carl."

Spock bowed his head. "An honour." He climbed into the position behind T'yshen.

"To your unit Mother?" He climbed into the driver's position.

"No. To unit zero one four. Ambassador Spock will be remaining for a time."

Sholtan nodded once. "As you wish." He tapped in the programming to take them to the front of the long vacant unit. It was only a matter of minutes and then he accompanied them inside. So many questions ran around inside his head. Obviously, his mother knew this Vulcan. But from where? He knew the reputation of Ambassador Spock. But why was he here? There was the secrecy of the hushed conversations? Only to take up residence this close to his mother?

The housing unit was small. It was dusty and the air smelled stale. The furnishings required cleaning but were sufficient for Spock's use. The sleep area was large enough that a meditation stone could be placed easily along one wall. He stated that he would have his beamed down along with a few personal possessions. He had earned some privilege along the way. He helped Sholtan clean then reset the air cleaning unit, as well as restoring the lighting and discussed the positioning of his personal library computer unit.

Spock nodded. "This is more than acceptable. I have become accustomed to a ship's quarters and the darkness of Rihansu conditions." He had seen Sholtan's natural mimicking of T'yshen's habits as well as a few recognized as a human's habits.... Carl's no doubt. This would not be as simple an adjustment as he had originally thought, but he was certain that what ever happened would be worth the effort. "It will require a decent airing and cleaning, nothing more." He bowed to the two. "I am honored at the hospitality you have extended to me."

T'yshen tilted her head. "It is a courtesy that is overdue."

Sholtan looked between the two, wondering of the meaning behind the statements. He coughed from the dryness in his throat then suggested that they leave the door and windows open until after last meal. The cooler air would help to freshen the air and the slight dampness overnight would settle some of the dust.


Spock stood in the open doorway to T'yshen's unit. He had returned with her from cleaning his unit only a short time ago. It was still too dusty and stale smelling to remain. The air-cleaning unit required additional cleaning before they had left. The unit was closed up for the night. Sholtan had offered the guestroom in his unit for the night, Spock had accepted and was expected within the hour. He held a glass of Saurian brandy, enjoying it with the view.

"Do you wish another?"

"No." He drank down the remaining dark liquid then placed the glass on the small table by the door. "I am pleased to see that you have not stopped any of your pastimes." His eyes took in the display of her artwork on the walls. He had been drawn to the ones of some children on the beach and one she had done when he and James had been here. He also noted a series of drawings of Carl with the changes over the years. The pleasure of her was evident in his eyes. Her flute set up in a corner with a music stand and the lyrette his father had given her so many years ago. So many of his memories were fractured, many of them only hint at the actual event.

She lifted the last of her ale and drank it down. "And what do you do in your off-duty time, or have you ever learned when that was?" She had left the glass on the counter and was now standing with Spock as they watched the setting suns.

Spock met her gaze then lowered his eyes. "I suppose that was my biggest error... to allow duty to become more important than..."

"What?" She injected into his silence, maybe a little too quickly.

"Than the people that I cared for. Especially you." He took a breath then let it out slowly. "There were many times that I regretted not accepting Jim's suggestion of remaining here for a time. Many times..." His voice softened as he thought about all the discussions that went on between the two friends. Nothing was ever resolved. Each time Spock's answer to Jim's inquiry about why he had not stayed was made; it sounded more empty and unbelieving. A part of him knew that he would not have been content to remain here, no matter what the motives might have been. "Duty. It had become my way not to choose. I made it seem as if there was never a real choice that could be made. Not to choose duty was illogical and after a time, I believed it."

"And there was James..." She interjected. "... and duty was served as well."

Spock made the conscious decision to finally touch her. He reached for her hand and held it tightly. He lifted it towards his lips but she slipped it out before his lips made contact. "Too much, too soon...?"

"Something to that effect." She tucked her hands into the sleeves of her tunic. Her eyes went to the stars in the dark sky. "Many nights I stood and wondered which point of light you were drifting off to this night. I always wondered that if I had known where you were at any given moment...? Just to know seemed as if it should have been enough...." She wasn't sure how she wanted to end that thought. "The letters helped for a time." Would she have missed having him here with her just as much, or would Carl have seemed less... desirable? No one would ever know. "One can not turn back time and replay all the variables with any certainty of the outcome."

"If one could... what would have changed if I had remained?"

"You would not have died. You would have been here and the bond..."

"And all things remaining the same... my shipmates would have died." He took a very deep breath at that thought. "I am not certain that is something I could have lived through. I perceived you as safe and you did not require my protection... not here."

"And now...?"

Spock smiled, the one he always saved for privacy... it made his eyes sparkle. "Now...? I do not know." He looked to the female that at one time was a part of him. Jim had held the images of their bonding and time together. With time and repeated melds, the images had entered his own thoughts just enough, to finally unlock whatever memories he held. "I wish to serve, to help make amends. Nothing can change what has happened. I can however insure that from now on... you will have a companion." He thought of her, as she was when she was younger. "I do not believe you require protecting..."

"No, I do not."

"But I can ease your pain of being alone."

"There is no pain."

His fingers lifted her chin. He saw things differently in her eyes. "As you wish." He wet his lips as he thought of how beautiful she still is. "To improve your chess. To accompany you along the beach. To help eat the large meals you habitually prepare." They shared a smile at this. His eyes closed as he contained his urge to lean forward and taste her lips for the first time in over a century!

"Sholtan will be expecting you." She whispered the words. She sensed his thoughts and was not prepared for any of the actions that he was contemplating. She was not surprised that she could read his thoughts only that it was done so easily. He was allowing it; there could be no other explanation. She could not believe his control had eroded to that extent!

Spock nodded at the hint. He bowed his head then bid her a peaceful rest. He walked with a long stride that took him across the courtyard to the housing unit that was just around the corner from T'yshen's unit. He paused at the outer gate then entered it and disappeared from her view.

T'yshen sighed then stepped back allowing the door to slid shut. Lights were turned off and she went into the sleep area that she once shared with a Human... her Human! She recalled a time when she had shared it with Spock as well... and James.

She smiled to herself as she showered then changed into a sleep gown. Covers were pulled back and as she sat on the edge. She considered Spock's presence. Her hand smoothed the linen on the bed and on the pillow that was on 'Carl's side' of the bed. How many times had she changed it with the rest of the bedding unnecessarily? Was she prepared to share the privacy again? The intimacy? Could she? Too many questions without any answers. She climbed under the covers to fall quickly asleep... for the most restful sleep in a very long time!

Sholtan had been reading. He tapped the screen off as he heard his 'guest' enter. He stood and moved into the common room. "The guest room has been prepared, Ambassador Spock. I trust it will be to your comfort."

"No doubt it will. Again, Healer Sholtan I wish to extend the honour of your courtesy." He bowed his head slightly then followed him to the door of the small room. He stopped to admire a painting, obviously done by T'yshen. "The child's name?"

"It is my daughter, T'Paya. It was the year of her bonding, she was twelve."

"She is your only child?"

His head bowed. "My mate D'amae holds duty aboard a starship, she serves as the engineering officer. We have not been fortunate enough to have any others." He watched the older male as he studied the painting. "Do you have a family?"

"Not any longer." He wondered if he would have had children if he had remained. "The last of my line serves Kolinahr, not family."

"A most worthy goal." Sholtan assumed it would be perceived as a positive comment.

"Perhaps." Spock recalled his time that he had spent in the rooms and corridors of Mount Seleya and wondered if T'Arol found them to be a stifling as he had. He took a slight breath. "She and I have not spoken in years... my mate died years ago. Serving in Starfleet as I have, with Humans, has left me with very little, except memories."

Sholtan nodded with an understanding, the question was on his lips about how Spock knew his mother but it was never asked. Sholtan had served at his father's death and had understood that Humans did not live as long. He had also seen loneliness grow in his mother since Carl's death ninety-three years ago. "I trust your rest will be complete."

Spock bowed his head then entered the room then slid the door closed. He sat in the large Earth-style armchair and sighed. His arms rested on the armrests, his fingers moved to the familiar pyramid, only his fingertips touching. His eyes closed slowly and he moved into a meditative state, to rest and to control his emotions over this new twist his life had taken.

*****Terran Standard Year: 2425.9

Spock touched his hand to the door chime then stepped in as the door slid open. His head bowed as he removed his cape and hung it on the hook by the door. "I do not believe I have experienced such a heavy rain since residing on Earth." He smoothed the folds of the fabric knowing it would dry in very little time. He removed the wet boots and slipped on the sandals that had appeared mysteriously one day, then remained at the door, solely for his use. Arriving here to share end-meal had become habit. He had slowly begun to adjust to the freedoms that living on Romulus could not afford him.

He had begun teaching again. Teaching as he had on Romulus, about computers and in the sciences. There had been some talk of setting up a prepatory course to enter the Academy. At present they had to attend off world.

T'yshen met him with a cup of hot tea. "It is the season for the rain. Two weeks at the most and things will dry slowly. The crops will jump in their rate of growth and the plants will blossom or bare fruit." She moved to the table that held the chessboard, it was a new habit to share a game of chess before they ate last meal together. "In the mountains there is snow."

"I had noticed." He sipped on the tea and began the game. They fell silent as they usually did as they played. He suspected it was because neither of them knew exactly what they should discuss. "How was your day at the clinic?"

"Two births. A minor stomach ailment and a broken arm." She moved the pawn to a defending position. "And your day?"

"I spoke with the acolytes about the formation of a storage unit for katras. Do you believe that Kavifemai have the ability to transfer their katras?"

"Some have." She looked to the former officer. He still resembled the officer she met so many years ago. His bearing and posture were of a military style. He now wore civilian attire, his robes of office had been discarded after some discussion and his hair was beginning to lengthen. His eyes were still dark and his hair was graying. The lines that had deepened in his face seemed only to be that, no added lines or ones that seemed to age him prematurely.

She nodded to the offer of more tea and followed his movements as he obtained the pot to fill their cups. He had not even lost that confident air about him and he still 'carried' James's ghost, just as she had carried Carl's.

Spock returned the pot to the warming unit then sat across from her again, returning to the silence as they continued their game.

After the first game, T'yshen moved into the kitchen to prepare their meal. They talked of the weather and of the mutual friends. Spock reset the chess pieces then moved to the kitchen to help. She informed him that T'Shal and Sykar would be returning while the vessel was being re-fitted.

"The last I saw of the two was at their betrothal." He recalled with some reluctance that time period. It was the ten anniversary of this colony, the betrothal of the first of the children and the beginning of his lies to Jim.

"A long time ago." She spoke softly as she remembered the time, one hundred thirty four years. A lifetime ago. She remembered dancing with James and felling the bond. She stopped for a moment to listen to the increasing rain. "This will last through the night..."

"No doubt." Spock looked out the window to the streaks of water that flowed down. "Do the sehlats mind the rain?" He had been surprised to see them. T'yshen had explained how Carl had spoken to Sarek and arranged with the Vulcan government to obtain four cubs. They had flourished here and their fur had taken on a burnished tinge. It was assumed it was from the addition of fish to their diet.

"They find shelter." She carried the large platter of rice and vegetables to the dining table. "Small shelters have been built by individuals and they had adapted to the change in weather." Habitually, she reached for the plates and cutlery they would need then sat down at her customary place.

Spock moved to the table across from her then took the napkin and opened it into his lap. He inhaled the aroma of the food and smiled slightly. "My mother's recipe?"

"Yes." She was surprised that he would have remembered the scent but then again he was Vulcan and it was reported that Vulcans never forgot anything. There were times when she wished she could!

The meal was eaten with quiet conversation, nothing really important. The expected yield from the harvest. The latest information from the conferences and what little they could be discussed concerning Starfleet. Trivial information.

T'yshen picked up the glass of ale, drank about half down then pushed her plate away. She stood and moved to the large window that looked out to the fields of grain. The rain had caused most of it to bend, the rain-soaked heads almost touching the ground. The wind sent a ripple through the pink and gold grain. Her finger traced a drop of rain down to the sill then rested there. She took a long deep breath then released it with a sigh.

Spock had continued his meal as he watched this mood surround her. He poured more ale for himself then after finishing the glass, he moved to stand in back of her. "T'yshen..." His hand reached to touch her shoulder when she did not answer him.

She jumped!

His hands held both of her shoulders. "I did not mean to startle you."

She felt silly!

"Are you all right?" He was concerned.

"Yes. Fine." Her hand rested on his and remained there.

Spock turned his hand over, hers fell into his palm. He held it then turned her to face him. "Is there something I can do?"

Her head shook. She looked to her hand that was comfortable within his. She pulled it out slowly then turned back to the storm. Spock remained directly behind her for the next hour as they both watched the storm. She was aware of his warmth and his concern.

Spock had stood for as long as he could without touching her again. He placed his hands on her arms then drew her closer to him. "Tell me what has put you in this mood?"

He spoke softly and his breath was felt on her neck, she shivered slightly. "The rain."

"Why would the rain make you feel this way?"

"Because it does." She wanted to run from him and remain with him in the same breath! She closed her eyes as she remembered all the rainstorms she had watched with Carl... and the lovemaking that followed more often than not. She moved from Spock's hold, this was something that should not be shared with Spock!

Spock's hand reached to hers, turning her to face him. Her face was streaked with silent tears and her eyes were bright. He lifted her chin. "I informed you when I arrived that I was here to serve..."

"I do not wish to be serviced!" She almost shouted! She pulled herself away from him, her arms wrapped around herself trying to protect her fragile state of control! Her hands covered her face as she turned from him. Not knowing one another and knowing too much. This was not how she wished their time to be together.

"I will take my leave." He moved to the cape he had hung by the door. He was stopped by her soft call to him. He turned only his face to her; his hand remained on the hook.

"I do not want you to leave."

"You do not want me to remain either!" He caught the pain in her eyes. "I can not do both! Even I am not that skilled."

She looked everywhere except at him. "Our game, we should finish it...."

"As you should finish your meal." He sounded as he remembered his mother to sound when he studied for too long and would forget to eat. He stared at her realizing that he was chastising a woman that was one hundred and eighty-eight! It was assumed that one became an adult at the age of seven, or there about, that one would have learned to recognize then sensation of hunger and understand the need for nutrients. He took a breath then lowered his hand. "We can not continue trying to talk around certain topics. I want to help you. Help to remember or to forget!" He took a few steps towards her. He reached for a memory of his own. "James had a passion for the rain. Was it not this way with Carl?"

She was holding her breath... he knew! She nodded slowly.

"I am prepared to listen. Do not avoid speaking of him because you believe this uncomfortable for me."

Her breathing was deep as she tried to stop the tears and the pain that were surfacing. "It is... uncomfortable for me." Every other time this had overwhelmed her, she had been alone! She had never had the need to control this. She had not expected this to be so hard! She felt the tears streaming down her face as she closed her eyes.

Spock moved to her, cradling her in his arms then guided them both to sit on the couch. He leaned back and held her tightly as the sobs racked her body. He closed his eyes and brushed back her hair as he began to rock with her slightly. He had not realized that her loneliness could be this hurtful! He had not had the perception of a long lasting bonding. His bonding with Jim was not of the conventional type. He had heard that it often left scars that did not heal and that some bond-mates never fully recovered from the death of their other self. "I... had no idea that..." He sighed and touched his lips to her head. His fingers brushed back the fine hairs then caressed the side of her face. "Tell me of him...."

And she did.

For over an hour, he listened as she told him of their time together. How Carl's favorite time to be with her was during a rainstorm. She had always suspected that it was because it was cooler and he felt more comfortable. She had experienced only the dampness of the air until Carl would concede and move to the warmth of their bed. Over the years it became almost a ritual. The rain would start and the air would cool and then Carl would make his advances. Her sobs slowed and her tears stopped. She remained close to him within his arms and his protective touch. She felt him draw the ever-present comforter around her and as she lay unmoving. Listening to his heart beating, she finally fell asleep.

Spock held her tighter to him and felt his tears prick at the corner of his eyes. Sharing her pain and his loss had not been easy for either of them. He had never imagined that her reactions would have been so strong! He had not expected his feelings of his own guilt to surface quite so solidly! He combed back the wisps of hair then touched his lips to the silkiness that remained. "A beginning...." He whispered to the air.

Standard Terran Year: 2426

Standard Kavifemai Year: 145.0 pos'Lashan

Sholtan stood staring out the window. Earlier in the day he had met with his sister, T'Shal, and her mate, Sykar, when they returned from Vulcan. Her vessel, the U.S.S Darius, was dry-docked for refitting and she would have time to visit. She also had a little recovering to do from some injuries to her back. He had wanted to ask her the moment he saw her about this Ambassador Spock. Now that their mother was spending so much time with him. He bit his bottom lip as he waited for her to unpack and to re-acquaint herself with being home. He turned when he heard the door close to the guestroom. Her unit would be livable by tomorrow.

T'Shal had sensed the discomfort from her brother. He had not discussed anything as he usually did. Normally by the time they reached the house, he had filled her in with every bit of information possible. This time the drive was almost silent. She sat in the chair facing him. "Well, what is the problem?"

"Why do you believe there is a problem?" He sat down in the facing chair with a sigh.

"Because you have been silent. And for you to be silent...." She grinned the way she did when they were a lot younger, when she was trying to tease him.

He shifted in the chair and wondered how he would word this. "Nothing is wrong. There are no problems. There was a visitor and he has remained now for eight months and four days."

"A visitor?" She held in the urge to ask anymore. "Eight months and four days." Sholtan was not one to push for answers. She looked up to the door as Sykar returned from his round of greetings. Her hand lifted and his fingers touched hers then he sat on the arm of the chair, her hand held in his.

Sholtan nodded. "He arrived and it seems as if he will remain."

"Who has?"

"Mother knows him." Sholtan started frowning.

"What is his name?" Sykar added to the limited conversation.

"They spend hours together. He walks on the beach with her. She cooks meals for him and they have even begun to talk of sailing." Sholtan propped his head up with his hand, his elbow resting on the arm of the chair. "Mother has not sailed since just before Father died." His other hand gestured adding to the emotion that was evident in his voice. "She has returned to playing her flute. She did not do any of this when K'tar was with her."

T'Shal frowned then looked to her mate for some calm. There were times when her brother brought her close to screaming at him; this was one of those times. He drew in a breath then asked calmly, "Who is this person?"

Sholtan looked to her as if confused for a moment. He was certain he had already told her. "Ambassador Spock."

T'Shal looked to Sykar totally surprised then leaned back in the chair. "I often wondered if he would return."

"You know him?" Sholtan was leaning forward, his elbows resting on his knees.

"What do you know of him?"

"Nothing! I have been told nothing."

"Have you asked?" T'Shal grinned, as curious as her brother was, he was not one to ask questions of people. He was more content to sit and stew, as her father would say. She looked at him as he stood and began pacing, another habit of Carl's. "Mother knew him when she first arrived here. He was a Starfleet officer. He was second to Admiral Kirk."

Sholtan stopped pacing then faced his sister. "How well did she know him?"

"He was her bond-mate."

Sholtan's face drained of colour then he sat down heavily in the chair. "Her bond-mate?" He frowned. "I do not understand."

T'Shal paused before she answered him. A part of her understanding why her mother had kept this a secret over the years, but curious as to why she had not explained this to Sholtan. "Mother and Spock bonded. He was on a mission and died. He was reborn in the Fal-tor-pan."

His eyes grew big. "I have read the documentation but no names were included." He thought a moment. "But why return now?"

"That you will have to find out from Mother."

Sholtan nodded.

"We are to have end-meal with her, we could ask then." Sykar stated. "There is no purpose in guessing his motives." Sykar stood and pulled T'Shal onto her feet. "We have a date with a beach." They had promised one another that it was the first thing they would do, a walk along the beach. He kissed her. "We can concern ourselves over Ambassador Spock's presence later."

"No doubt he will be there at end-meal." Sholtan muttered.

T'Shal reached to her brother pushing his shoulder back playfully. "She is a full grown woman and capable of..."

"Yes. That is what concerns me." Sholtan was not being taken seriously by his sister. Maybe later, he thought, when she sees how they are with each other she will understand his concerns. He stood. "Go play in the sand. Enjoy your time." He leaned forward and wrapped his arms around her. "I am glad you are home for a time."

T'Shal hugged him back. "I have received word that D'amae's ship is on it's way in. She will be home for a time in about a week." She shared this little bit of last minute information with him. "Matters have not been good for her vessel and they require extensive repairs. The battle for borders is not often a comfortable thing."

"It is time for her to stay." Sholtan stated to his sister knowing that she would understand.

"Perhaps she will." She stepped back from him then pinched his cheek. "She will return to her Vulcan." She teased and was grateful for the smile he gave her.

"Come." Sykar tugged on her arm, still holding the hand he had retained possession of through all of this.

Sholtan shook his head. They had not changed their behaviour since he was young. Always running off to the beach and both of them held this gleam in their eyes that usually meant that they wanted to be alone. He had always envied their time together. How they had found satisfaction within their bond and their careers. He would be anxiously awaiting his mate's return.


It was late in the day and the water was warm. The large cove that they were swimming in was almost private. The footpath here was across a thinly forested area, then through a natural stone archway made all the more beautiful by the fact that it had been cut into the rock over time.

T'yshen had taught him to play in the water and had offered him the freedom to laugh as she did. She had leaned close to him and whispered that there was no Vulcan Master to watch over their behaviour here. There was freedom here that he had not experienced before. She would splash him then disappear under the clear water and he would remain on shore and watch her. He was not as comfortable in the water as she had obviously become, but he was learning.

Spock held the soft blanketing up as T'yshen stood in the shallow water. He waited as she wrung out her hair and left the water then wrapped the warm fabric around her. They had spent hours here today, talking and enjoying the company as well as swimming. They had shared many treasured moments as the afternoon progressed. He had dressed almost an hour ago and suggested that she do the same. He felt much warmer since he had.

"You have spent too much time in controlled atmospheres." She shivered slightly as her body adjusted to the temperature of the air. Her hand popped out of the blanketing to brush her dripping hair back as the warm breeze dried it.

Spock rubbed her arms through the fabric then wrapped his arms around her. "Perhaps." He stood there and watched the water with her for a time. "We should return soon." He felt his body shiver from her cold, wet hair touching his arm and slowly soaking into his sleeve. "Are you sure it is advisable for you to include me in this evening-meal?"

"You do not wish to attend?" She shivered again. If she was not returning to the warm water, it would be advisable to dress, the breeze was becoming cool.

"I do not wish to intrude. Perhaps all the questions should be answered without me." He released the hold on her noting that his top had become damp from her length of hair.

"What if they ask questions that only you can answer?" She was teasing him now.

Spock lifted his eyebrow. She had not changed. He remembered that tone in her voice and the way she would tilt her head just slightly. "Such as?" He reached to tenderly brush the strands of hair that had blown forward.

"Your intentions." She smiled. She adjusted the blanketing around her shoulders; it had begun to slip.

Spock was silent. He met her eyes and considered how he would answer it. He reached forward to help her with the wrap. He brushed his fingers along her jaw then took a step forward and on a sudden impulse, kissed her.

T'yshen had been unprepared. She pushed him back then turned from him. "I'ri." Not yet, she wasn't ready. She turned meeting his dark eyes for only a moment then looked down. Her mental shielding snapped into place as she looked down at the sand.

"Po'ri?" Spock had been surprised at her reaction, but he had seen no indications to the contrary. He had acted on impulse. He had expected her surprise but not this reaction. "How long will it take before you know?" He felt closed off from her almost as much as she had been when he first arrived. Had he ruined whatever progress they had made?

She ran her fingertips along her lips; his lips were still soft and warm. His touch was not unwanted, not totally. She had been alone for so long she was uncertain of herself. Until Spock had come back to her, she had been resigned to living her life alone. She had loved having the company and it was refreshing to be around another Vulcan, with control. So much less work on her part and she had almost forgotten the calm and the peace that was a part of her heritage. "I do not know."

Spock returned to the area where they had been using to eat, to begin cleaning up what was left. This might help with the discomfort he felt. Folding the blankets, returning the cleaned dishes to the basket would keep him occupied until this passed. If he ever did, he thought to himself. He hesitated for a moment as he recalled telling her about his Mother's picnic basket. That was yesterday, then to his surprise this morning she produced it, adding that Sarek had given it to her just before his own death. A seldom-felt sense of nostalgia passed through his thoughts, prompting him to return to consider his life long secret desire.

Spock had always wanted a relationship as his parents had. Even for a short time. He had hoped that he could find it with T'yshen. He had learned that he and she had the beginnings of that relationship at one point. He wished only to... to what?

T'yshen listened to his movements as she lost herself in her own thoughts. She could not feel another death! She did not want to share what would be ripped from her at a whim of someone else. Was his intention to remain here? Or just long enough until he was required on some planet, to help solve some problem? In doing so, putting his life and her sanity at risk, yet again? She could not ask him to give up what was so much a part of him. Being alone hurt less than loosing another mate, that much, she was certain of.

Spock picked up the bag that held her clothing and placed it beside her. He returned to the packing. Had he been wrong to come? Or was his error in staying? Was he expecting too much? Perhaps she had no passion left for him. Their time had been so enjoyable together, at least for him. It had not occurred to him, until that moment, that she might not have shared his expectations.

T'yshen slipped off her wet suit and pulled on the warm clothing. She took her brush and began to work on her hair. She had managed all of this without looking once towards him. Sharing had become easier since that first day. They had, verbally, recalled past memories concerning their mates and shared them only recently. It was a beginning but she wasn't certain she was ready for what ever would follow.

Spock had finished packing and was watching her as she brushed her hair. The blanket was folded and placed into the bag and her suit was placed on top. Her habit was to air-dry the blankets, she said that Carl had liked the smell of them and had continued to do so. "Do you wish to re-schedule the chess game?"

"No." She picked up her bag and walked to where Spock was. She accepted her shoes from him then put them on after brushing the sand from her feet.

"Call after dinner and I will..."

"You are not coming for end-meal?"

"Perhaps it would be better if you spent time with your family." He saw the frustration in her face. "I require the time to myself."

"As you wish." She picked up the bags that held the blankets.

Spock picked up the basket and his lyrette. He sensed the tension beginning. He would deal with it later after they had time to consider matters.


Sholtan laughed at the comment his sister had just made. They were talking about the questionable intelligence of some of the orders, the wording that was often questionable. The meal had been finished and the cleanup was done.

T'Shal cleared her throat. "Mother, Sholtan seems to be concerned about this person that has entered your life." She looked to her brother amazed at how well the subject had been avoided so far.

"This person, has a name." T'yshen looked to her grown children. Right now they had the same look on their faces as they did when they were very young. One asking the question the other was avoiding. "If Sholtan had a concern, he should have brought it to my attention."

"He was here so suddenly and had become so involved so quickly with your time." Sholtan had a difficult time dealing with a total stranger seemingly taking over all of his mother's time. He had never had to ask his mother about her personal life. There was no personal life to question except the brief time with K'tar. But that was long ago. "I felt that the explanation would be offered and did not feel that I needed to ask."

"What is your concern?" T'yshen leaned back in the chair.

"That he is availing himself of your..."

"My what?" T'yshen was aware that she was his parent, however both were adults. "Do you not believe that I am capable of making my own decisions. That age has perhaps done its damage and I am no longer able to make decisions sanely?" She had considered the fact that T'Shal had informed him of the previous association between Spock and herself.

Sholtan sighed. "I do not know." He looked to the half-filled cup sitting in front of him. "I was concerned. I discovered his connection to you and I was not certain why he was here. I could not think of any reason why you would have hidden that fact."

T'yshen looked to her son. "Your name is?"



"Sholtan cha'Carl."

"And my name."

"T'yshen cha'Sholtan kivan Carl Bennet."

"Good. Now what was the name read out every year at the Celebration?"

Sholtan thought about it for a moment. "T'yshen cha'Sholtan aduna Spock."

"There. You have your answers. I should not have had to inform you of our past association. Use the logic that time has awarded you." She looked to the man that sat there questioning her actions. No one has questioned her actions in over a century. "It was not something that was comfortable in discussing."

Sholtan bowed his head. "I shall be more aware in the future." He had merely stopped hearing the name, he knew it was his mother. The fact that the name was different was not important to him, he knew she had not come here as his father's mate. He wasn't sure why he seemed to be acting so protective of her or illogical about the matter.

Sykar came through with a fresh pot of tea. He placed it on the table then looked to his bond-mate. "We have a date with some moonlight."

T'Shal nodded. "Mother." She stood and moved to her side. "Sweet dreams." She shared a smile with her mother, a human saying that had become a part of their lives.

"Vulcans do not dream." She bid her daughter well and then was surprised as Sholtan stood. "You are also leaving?"

"Yes. I promised D'amae that I would contact her. She is on Vulcan and will be home in two days."


"Yes." Sholtan smiled. "And T'Paya is returning from her time at Mount Seleya." He had kept that information to himself until he was certain and he had received the conformation only an hour before end-meal.

"Then perhaps neither of us will be lonely for a time." She placed her hand on his face then accepted his hug.

"One can only hope." Sholtan met his mother's eyes. "Sweet dreams."

She bowed her head slightly. "Go prepare for your bond-mate's return."

T'yshen shook her head slightly. It amazed her how incapable she seemed to be in Sholtan's eyes. She poured another cup of tea for herself, then went into the common room and to the portfolio that held her drawings. She would call Spock when she finished the tea.

She sat down on the couch and slipped out the collection of sketches. She found ones of Sarek and Amanda. They were missed greatly. The sites around the Forge on Vulcan. Captain Kirk, and members of his crew. Her first impressions of Spock, then the ones of Spock and Kirk. She had even found the one she had done of James at Seleya, dressed in the robes that he found so awkward. There had been sadness in his eyes. There were even the pictures that her children had tried when they were very young. The nostalgia began to envelop her. All of this time the sketches were safe within their slips. Her time had become her own, nothing or no one to answer to... this was a frivolous waste of time, not ver logical, then again who was around to point this fact out to her? She began to spread out the pictures and she noted the changes that had been in the people around her. Since Spock's return she had found herself looking back on her life. She had felt an overwhelming urge to see the changes in her life over time.

She moved onto the floor as she began spreading the pictures out, she had run out of room on the couch. There were so many of Carl and of the differing stages of his life. She arranged them, slightly overlapping, according to the timeframe. With Sholtan. One of Doctor McCoy sleeping in the sun on the deck of the boat. She smiled at that one, as she recalled how McCoy had claimed that he had become younger with his time spent here. The way Carl had changed over the years and the changes around them. She ran her finger along the lines in his face that happened over the years. She could recall even the feel of his skin and his kiss. Children that had grown and in turn had children. The newest of the line was six months old and lived on the other side of this world.

A breeze moved across the floor and shifted the display. T'yshen looked towards the door.


"You did not call and you did not answer my calls." Spock was relieved that she was well. "I was becoming concerned."

T'yshen began to collect the papers. "I had not realized how much time had passed."

"Do you mean since end-meal or..." He picked up the few that had moved out of her reach. "...since you came here?" He looked through the few that he had collected.


He found one of Jim, looking relaxed. "When was this done?"

"When I went aboard the Enterprise. We were in the recreational area. We were discussing command responsibilities."

"It is no wonder that he appears relaxed." Spock knew that was when Jim was most relaxed, while he was in command. Jim thrived on it just as he thrived on his scientific studies.

She watched him for a moment then shifted through the pile she had. She pulled one out. "This is the one I prefer." She offered it to him. It was of Kirk walking along the beach, a bucket in one hand, his uniform jacket pulled through the handles and he was bare foot.

Spock looked to her. "You did not finish it."

She shook her head. "There was not the time. It was the time we bonded with him." She looked at the sketch for a moment in silence. "It was the morning we returned to the surface. I met him on the beach coming back." She slid the rest back into the folder. "You may keep it."

"You did this from memory?"

She nodded. "The day you left." She slipped out another sketch, this one of Spock sleeping. She remembered the night she sketched this. They had made love and talked for hours. Spock fell asleep and she could not sleep.

"Jim was anxious for you to come to visit." He sat down on the floor; his voice was soft and low. He looked to the sketch as he continued. "He was so much more relaxed after that leave."

"Bondings have been known to have that effect." She shyly looked away as she remembered the ease they shared after their bonding... so long ago. Her eyes fell on the few sketches she had of Spock.

Spock recalled some of the nights that he and Jim had spent together. "He asked if you shared in our activities at such a distance." He paused, wet his lips and replaced the paper into the folder. "He was disappointed to find that it was not possible on an ongoing basis. But he drew comfort from the fact that you might gain a sense of our activities." He drew his legs up and rested his head on his knees. "He wanted to make your visit exceptional. He would ask about your favourite foods and what you wished to see and do." He missed his t'hy'la. "He was surprised when he received your gift on his birthday and suggested that I had something to do with the event. I gave him a book. The sketch that you sent to him was framed and displayed on the wall in the bedroom."

She remembered sending it to him. It was the sketch of the two playing chess. It had taken over a month for the protected package to be shipped to Earth. She had been concerned that it would not arrive in acceptable condition. "I never knew that he had framed it. I remember speaking to you concerning its arrival. You left Earth the following day..."

Spock stood then offered his hand to her. "It is late. We can play the game tomorrow night."

She nodded. "Come for first-meal."

He bowed his head. "I will take leave of you until then."

Standard Terran Year: 2431.8

Standard Kavifemai Year: pos'Lashan 155.5

Spock moved along the walkway towards the playground. He had found time spent here enjoyable. He would watch the progress of the children as they learned new skills. One morning this young boy, Huryn, had the idea that he wished to reach the lowest rung on the climbing dome. He had to jump to reach it and then he would attempt to lift himself up. He could not accomplish this. But over the past week he had been gaining the skills and the confidence and only yesterday managed to pull himself up. He did not remember being able to play in this manner when he was a child.

"Na'shaya, S'haile Spock." Sholtan bowed his head slightly. Over the past five years he had developed a comfortable friendship with this man. Both being of Human/Vulcan parents gave them a common ground to work from. Sholtan's interest in forming a Kavifemai version of the Hall of Thoughts was another matter that they would discuss at length.

"Na'shaya, Sholtan." Spock slid over slightly to accommodate Sholtan.

Sholtan looked over to the direction of the squeal. A young girl was jumping up and down announcing that she had won. He smiled and looked back to Spock. "They were playing a game of hide and seek. I believe this began an hour ago." He laughed as the group picked another person to hide from.

"Huryn has finally pulled himself up."

"And tomorrow he will be crying to someone because he has fallen." Sholtan's appearance here was scheduled in a manner of speaking. This was the time the park was used most and as a healer he had been called out on numerous occasions to treat one child or another. He began to take time from his schedule to remain here and treat any injuries that happened immediately rather than having to leave his office and have patients waiting. "I received your request."

"Do you question it?"

"No. I question the logic of it." Sholtan had been uncomfortable to say the least when he had received Spock's request that nothing would be done to extend his life should the necessity arise. He was referring to a natural death not with an injury with the odds in his favor of recovery. "I do not foresee a natural death in your near future. Medically speaking."

"I did not want it to be left to others to decide."

Sholtan bowed his head accepting the decision of one of his patients.

Spock stood. "I am expected at T'yshen's for end-meal." Spock moved a few steps from the bench. "I am endeavouring to cease her habit of preparing too much food."

Sholtan smiled. "Good luck. Father tried for years and he did not succeed."

"It has been noted." Spock bowed his head then headed off towards T'yshen's unit that was gradually becoming his regular domain.... Except for rest periods. He hoped to change that soon.


T'yshen walked across the open ground of the common square. She had finished slightly ahead of schedule today and was looking forward to her time off-shift. She no longer performed surgeries but would often assist. Even a Vulcan's hands become unsteady after a time. She walked up the walkway to the small garden and crouched down to choose the vegetables for the stew that was planned. Plomik, mashya, carrots and yams. She was pulling out four of each vegetable regardless of the size. She brushed the dirt off then stood with the collection.

"I trust that you will only be preparing half of that." Spock stated as he approached the garden. He met her eyes and knew that had he not said anything she would have had a large pot cooking away for just the two of them. He peeked into her collection. "Onions and fori-koi?"

"If you wish. There is some in the house." She held the vegetables between her hands and close to her body.

Spock followed her into the kitchen. The vegetables were dropped into the sink and she turned the water on to rinse them off. He began to prepare the tea and find the onions and fori-koi. "We are only two. Neither of us eat a large amount."

"Prepare the tea." She stated with a slight smile. "And remember that there is only two of us."

"Yes, but we do drink a lot of tea." Spock reached onto the cupboard knowing where everything was. He watched her for a moment, deriving pleasure from the teasing and banter. He considered kissing her. It had been five years since the last kiss but only two point seven minutes since he had last considered it. He ran the back of his fingers down her arm then held her wet hand.

She turned slightly to face him. She met his eyes and understood what he was asking but she looked back to the sink and slipped her hand from his. "I found that one piece for the duo that we spoke of."

Spock nodded. "Did you find the ashaya'shok?"

She shook her head then cleared her throat. The title translated to 'Love's kiss' and Carl had teased her about Vulcans having such a song. "I remember playing it for Carl at one time. It should be there." She turned off the water then dried her hands. She went into the common area, separating herself from him for a moment or two. She had begun to question everything, every action that she made. She had begun to feel the nervousness, the quivering in her stomach from Spock's closeness. Was her mention of Carl a reminder for her... or for him?

She sat down close to the instruments and pulled out the case that contained the printouts that she favoured. With the casing on the floor she opened it and lifted out a small stack of music. Over time, just under two centuries, she had amassed quite a collection.

She took a breath and tried to relax from his touch. She closed her eyes momentarily and listened to the sounds from the kitchen. His touch seemed to stir all the feelings that she had for him. Had awakened the desires in her at a time when she thought all of it was dead. He would be out soon with the tea, and she would have to find the calm that she had managed so far. She looked up just as he came through with the pot and two cups.

Spock sat in the armchair and reached for another stack of music. He shifted through it looking for the piece that they had discussed. It had been one of his mother's favourites and T'yshen had remembered the name. He slipped out another sheet of music. He leaned forward passing it to her. "This is the Terran waltz we discussed."

"The one Sarek preferred?" She looked to him as he nodded. She placed it on the side with the others they had planned on playing. "I remember Sarek and Amanda dancing at official functions to this. There were two occasions when Amanda was not with him. I was a poor substitute." She sipped on her tea then continued to search for the piece. She looked up to see him, head bowed, searching through the remaining stack. She held back the urge to run her fingers through his hair and to brush her fingertips along his lips. Were they as warm as she remembered? "It is on a sheet that is pale yellow."

Spock nodded as he continued.

"Do you recall the music?"

He leaned back as he pulled out a different sheet entirely than he had been searching for. "Not directly. Memories are still patchy." It was a manuscript page and in an original scripting. He recognized the hand; it was his own, he swallowed nervously. "There are times that I remember vividly and others that are still blank ... or I recall only the details, as if watching a vid-recording of the event." He placed the remaining sheet music back into the casing. He read through the handwritten music not remembering the tune or even writing it. It was quite good. It was his handwriting, of that he was certain. He opened the folded paper and found the poem he had written.

T'yshen looked up, sensing a change in him. "Do you remember it?" She recalled receiving it and the pleasure that it gave her.

He shook his head. The words spoke of a deep caring and desire for this woman before him. "I should." He rested his head against his raised hand, his elbow resting on the padded arm. He re-read the words and knew that they were his but did not remember writing them or giving this to her. "This is something that I should remember." He sounded frustrated.

T'yshen placed the stack of music down then tucked the case back into its corner. "It is understandable." She sipped on her tea.

Spock closed his eyes as he ran his fingers across his forehead. "Is it understandable because you remember it or because you were there when all of this happened?"

"I remember what happened." She stated calmly. Spock was becoming unsettled. She felt her own recall of the events and how much her choices were discounted. "Do not concern yourself that some matters are not clear."

"Why because we are getting to an age where it is acceptable to be forgetful?" He rested his head against the back of the chair and sighed.

"No. Because you died and then were re-born." She folded her hands in her lap, her fingers interlacing tightly with the memory of the difficult time. She remembered her fears. "The fal-tor-pan was the only way. It was understood by all that were involved that it might not have been successful. It was understood that you may not have recovered in the least and you would have to be cared for." She remembered how difficult that discussion had been. Sarek, Amanda, herself and T'Lar had debated the issue all the time they waited for Kirk to arrive. How would he be cared for if this did not work? If his body ceased to function, his katra would be placed in the Hall of Thoughts. If his body lived and his mind failed to function, what then? Who would care for him if the fusion did not work? To what degree did an acceptable life become unacceptable? And for whom was this decision being made? She took a deep breath. "The quality of your life was the issue. Missing memories was an acceptable loss." She had not spoken to anyone concerning her thoughts on the matter, in all this time! She recalled how she had feared that he would not want her, not know her and she would be left with this emptiness.

"Perhaps." He closed his eyes and rested his head against the back of the chair and sighed. "Logically, I can comprehend how it was considered an acceptable loss... but the loss of my bonding to you and the memories... that, is not acceptable."

"It was, if you compared it to not having you at all." T'yshen stood and moved to the large window that was beside Spock and that looked out into the fields. Her arguments had been drowned out for those that would benefit Vulcan and the honour of the family. "Those were the choices we were faced with. Sarek was the one that finally decided. When you were brought out of the vessel on the stretcher... Sarek wanted you to be given the chance to live."

"There are moments when I have not agreed with his choice." He sighed again; he had not spoken of this to anyone in a long time. His perspective had changed on some things.

"He saw this as a way of healing the hurt he had caused so many years ago. A re-birth. A new beginning."

"You seem to have an understanding of my father." He looked, wondering what had happened in her lifetime that Sarek should been a part of.

"I spent much time with him serving as his aide." She pulled from her thoughts, a fleeting moment, during that time of the re-fusion. Her eyes met Sarek's and something had been communicated because that is when he chose to proceed with the fal-tor-pan.

Spock placed the music sheet down and turned in the chair to face her. "Do you understand how much I want to remember?"

"No more than I wanted you to remember." She spoke softly. She ached for him to remember all those years ago. Now there was a fear that he would remember... and then she would have to admit to her wanting of him.

He noted that she spoke in the past tense. "Why did you not force the memories as they did with the knowledge?"

"It was not permitted." She wanted to tell him about the almost violent argument she had with the Masters. How she wished nothing but to lay with him, meld with him, and slowly bring him to the present. She had his thoughts, James had his thoughts... between the two of them more could have been accomplished... but the Masters were overly cautious.

He allowed the silence to be between them for a time. He wondered how many times he tried to remember it all. That night that he started to remember, James was holding her. He had wanted to share in that, but she was bonded to another.

She looked out into the field. The suns were setting and spreading the colours across the sky. She recalled the few sunsets she had shared with Spock. The one that she, Spock and James stood and watched. There had been so much passion between them. Could it be there again? Or would it be a shadow of what was?

"Is it too late?" He asked softly, the words almost catching in his throat. He swallowed.

"Is what too late?" She was startled for a second then turned to face him. He was still the man she had given herself to. The first. Her bondmate, he shared all that she did. His blood. His heritage. Was she ready to trust him again with all that she knew?

Spock stood and moved closer to her. "Is it too late... for us?" His fingertips lifted her chin as she tried to look down. He waited, studying her eyes. Trying to find the answer before she said anything. He wet his lips then brushed his fingertips along her jaw.

"Don't ask this of me." She thought that her first reaction would be to refuse. She did not want to refuse... but she was not ready to succumb to him... yet... or was she?

"Is the answer no?" He drew in a slow breath as he waited. "Is it too late?"

Think fast. Think as a Vulcan would, she told herself. The arguments of the obvious first. "If you expect the fire of youth, yes it is too late." She spoke softly and her body shivered. She was reacting to him, still, even more now than she did the first moment on the beach.

"What if I do not expect the fire of youth... merely your fire..." His hand brushed her hair back gently. She was not pulling away from him this time, but he tasted her desire to run. He felt her shiver. He brushed his lips against her hair.

She felt her own breathing, the actual air moving in and out of her lungs. "I do not know if I have any fire..." She was trying. Trying to relax or trying to run, she wasn't sure. She thought if she could only have another... century or so, to consider the matter.

He watched her eyes close and he leaned forward to kiss her. The first kiss was simply a touch. The second was a more definite kiss but not very long. "Yshen..."

She felt herself losing ground quickly. "Do not ask...." She felt her body being pulled against his. She gave him no resistance. How could she give what she did not have? A part of her wanted this too much. To be held and to be kissed again was something she had only dreamed of.

"Then I will not ask..." He whispered close to her ear. "Feel free, however, to stop me at any time." His mouth covered hers and he wrapped his arms around her holding her tightly against his body.

How was she to fight against the one thing she wished for? How was she to use Vulcan logic when logic failed in these situations? Sarek had told her as much. Spock's touch suggested that she lay her head against his shoulder. She breathed in and then out. He was exactly as she recalled he would be. His hands brushed back her hair then began to loosen the braid in her hair. She inhaled the scent she remembered as his, sandalwood and a unique spiciness. She had to find the courage somewhere. Her hands finally touched his waist then very slowly moved up his back.

T'yshen held her breath, mostly to stop her tears. It had been so long since she had been held and she was so afraid of it. To feel the warmth, his warmth, was something she wished for. He was so warm and inviting. His kiss was gentle and had awakened reactions in her that she had thought were long since dead. Ones that she had only dreamed. His touch lifted her chin; his mouth touched her lips. So gentle and so warm! She had forgotten how warm a Vulcan's body felt compared to a human's when it was pressed tight. She felt her knees weaken and she forced herself to stand solidly.

He stroked her hair, still soft and still long. He brushed his lips on her hair then began a slow path down her face to her lips. He had felt her shivering. He sensed her tension but there was no resistance to his actions as there had been. His hand caressed the length of her arm then his hand lifted hers. He opened her hand and touched his lips to her palm.

She sighed. This was what no other lover of hers could do... they were human. Her thoughts were in chaos for a moment.

He knew he would have to move slowly. They had time to savour each other. Time to re-learn everything about each other. Time to heal the pain.

She felt the tightening in her throat and the apprehension in her body. She still had not made the mental decision to remain or to leave. All of this seemed to be happening as if she were watching someone else. Yet, she felt her body reacting and the touches on her skin. His kiss on her palm caused her to sigh. It was a touch she remembered dreaming about. His body was as warm as she remembered it to be. His lips just as soft but less urgent. Her lips parted and she whispered his name. So softly that she wasn't sure that she had even said it.

Time seemed to be standing still for them both.

Spock opened the closure at one shoulder of her tunic; the other was bared with a touch. The soft fabric slipped down gathering at the bend in her arms, leaving only the swell of her breasts exposed. Slowly, he tasted a path down her neck to the line of fabric. Her breathing becoming heavier and he felt her shiver. To experience even his arousal was almost more than he could deal with at the moment.

She held her breath as his mouth touched her breast. A line was made returning to her mouth. He kissed her again, the tip of his tongue touching her lips. He pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her, holding her tightly. He had even re-fastened the shoulder closure. She drew in her breath finally and brushed her lips against his throat. This was the first time she returned any of his advances. The first time she felt the freedom to. She closed her eyes as he stroked her hair. She wondered what he thought of all the grey. She listened to the beating of his heart and felt it under the palm of her hand that rested on his side.

He held her tightly, beginning to share some of her fear. Not the same, but he had begun to recognize his own. Would she want this to continue? What would he do if she refused? He was not certain he could even ask. Maybe that is why she kept telling him not to ask... for fear of the answer. What would he do if 'matters' did not follow through? Was he too old? He smiled remembering a time when Jim asked him about Vulcans and aging. How Jim had said the Vulcans were a conceited lot at times and they kept quiet about their sex lives because then everyone would want a Vulcan for a mate.

"Do you recall the first time we spoke of bonding?" T'yshen asked. She wasn't sure if she wanted him to remember or not.

Spock hesitated in answering. "No, regretfully."

"We were playing chess. We began to talk about each other. Directly and indirectly. We talked about duty." She felt his fingers tighten in her hair. They broke so many rules on that voyage. "We talked about privilege. You opened the viewing port to show me your world." She took a breath; wet her lips and felt the draw that she had that night. "You asked if I wished to be 'the consort of a legend'."

"And your reply...?" He wished with all that he was that those memories were just a thought away. That all he would have to do is concentrate hard enough or search deep enough and they would all be there.

"I asked if you wished to be 'the consort of the future Matriarch of Vulcan'."

Spock swallowed. "And our bonding, it was shortly after that?"

"Yes. The following evening." She wanted to ask if he still had the vial, then remembered that it would have been destroyed with the Enterprise.

Spock ran his hand down her arm into her hand. "Come." He started towards her sleep area. She followed hesitantly. "Share with me all that I have forgotten..."

"A lifetime was forgotten." She stopped just before the doorway and hesitated. Could she do this? What were the odds of them feeling as they did? Is that what she wanted... to feel the same?

He pulled her into his arms; his fingers ran through her hair then held her and kissed her passionately. "Was there control?"

They moved into the bedroom.

Bed covers were drawn back, lights were turned down and end-meal was forgotten. "Very little." She smiled slightly as they knelt on the bed facing each other. Was she totally sane considering this? Was he? Did it matter at this stage?

His fingers tracing her features and his eyes were growing dark. His hands that ran down her arms then returned to caressing her face. Her hands moved to mirror his touches. They could feel each other's hesitations in the touches, but neither wanted to stop.

He whispered her name softly as he released the remainder of braid from her hair. He pulled back the length of hair then kissed the back of her neck. He lifted the silky length then allowed it to slip through his fingers. He watched it brush the bed as it settled against her back. He ran his hand down the length, clenched his hand in the ends of it then kissed the top of her head.

"Vesh'sanosh?" He knelt at her side facing her, his hand rested with hers on her thigh.

"Ha. There was pleasure." She shivered at his touch. She held his face then kissed his soft lips gently.

"Vesh'so-resh?" He helped her remove his shirt.

"There was always a madness..." She brushed her lips against his throat. "...even more with James." Her palm rested against the side of his face, her hand feeling the warmth of his skin. "James was fascinated when we joined." She felt the slight pressure as he pressed against her hand gently. She had begun to feel as he did. The draw to one another but she had to know before she committed herself if this was c'thia. She watched as his eyes closed and his face turned slightly to kiss her palm. She felt his body's heat from his closeness.

His hand ran up her back then into her hair, onto her neck and then he drew her closer as he leaned forward. He brushed her lips then her soft skin then down her neck. Her top was unfastened again and allowed to pool at her waist. His other hand moved lightly caressing her arms as she freed them from the fabric. There was no denying what he wanted; she wanted it as well. His touch was gentle and slow, giving her time to stop him if she chose to. His lips continued to touch and taste her skin as he moved lower. She moved finally, sliding her fingers into the warm silk of his hair.

He drew in a breath when her hand touched the back of his neck and held it when her lips touched his cheek. She began to mirror his touches on her body. Along his shoulders as she caressed them, his neck, his chest, her hands and her lips felt as if they burned his skin with every touch. He knew this to be perception only but he did not know if he had felt this before.

His hand brushed her hair back giving him access to her neck, her ear and as his lips brushed against the lobe he heard her moan. His lips brushed her shoulder then moved slowly to her neck. He nuzzled her, resting his lips against the pulse point, her throat was warm and he had to stop himself from biting her. He shifted his position slightly, his knees spread apart as he moved closer to her side. He cupped her breast, his thumb brushing across the nipple.

T'yshen arched her back, her breathing was deep and slow as he continued his teasing. Her body shivered and she crossed her arms under her breasts. She dropped back her head... she whispered, "This can not..." She felt the tears tickle her face. "Kroy'kah." She whispered.

Spock lifted his head and stared for a moment. "What?"

She covered her face and drew in a breath. "Slower. This is too much!" She sighed and her body shivered. "A moment or two." She ran her hand down his arm then held his hand. "It has been so long..."

Spock kissed her neck then tasted her lips. He was not going to give in to her words this time nor was he going to offer her a way out. Her surface thoughts spoke to him differently. His hand caressed her neck, shoulder and down her arm. He straightened it with his caress and whispered to her that her skin was soft and warm. First with his palm and then with the back of his hand. His fingers caressed hers... slowly, memorizing each part of her. He lifted her chin brushed his lips across hers. "A dream." He spoke against her lips. "It is all as a dream..." His fingers trailed down her throat then down to her waist then he wrapped an arm around her. His other hand brushed back her hair then rested against the back of her neck.

She leaned against him; all of this was more than her senses could handle. "What dream...?" Her eyes closed as his lips and soft skin brushed her cheek. She heard herself moan.

"A dream, long ago, of you... like this... with me." He pulled her down with him.

"Vulcans do not dream." Her hands ran down his body then slid off his pants, behaving as if this were all a dream.

"I have learned how to..." He pulled her close to him then moved over her. "Jim taught me..." His lips began to taste a path down her body, as he slipped off the rest of her clothing. His tongue ran over her nipple then took it into his mouth. Time had not changed her anymore than it had changed him. The memories he held of her were through Jim's perception. The memories of her that had returned were flashes of moments. Disjointed and unrelated to one another. Her body was warm and he felt the stirrings that had not been felt in a very long time. The last pon farr that he had experienced was just before Jim's death. Jim told him it was not anything like the insanity of the one he had shared with T'yshen. He had taken his word and had wondered what fire he would experience with her.

Spock rolled onto his back, covered his eyes with his free hand then sighed. He understood what she meant. "The privilege of knowing each other... yet feeling as if we are discovering for the first time." He felt the covers being drawn up then she cuddle closer to him. He combed through her hair slowly. "I have waited for over a century to hold you. A few minutes more will not matter."

"It is different to be with someone that is so warm." She had noted that fact earlier.

He smiled. "Or someone that is...." He lifted her length of hair then allowed it to fall back into place. "...that has such long hair." His smile broadened as he brushed back her hair, both understanding that it was not her length of hair that was the difference. "Or one with pointed ears."

She lifted her eyebrow as she lifted herself up on her elbows. "That is the only difference?"

Spock pursed his lips; his fingertip ran along her lips. "For the present." He considered the fact that they were once drawn to each other in the ancient way, then both became bonded to humans and now both anticipated and feared their Vulcan passions. Nothing would stop them... no others to consider... no Human failings... just each other, preparing to complete what had begun so long ago.

He closed his eyes as she touched her lips to his neck. Tasted the difference, the spiciness of his chemistry. She began to move slowly down his body, tasting and marking his skin. She was reliving old memories of a time that had almost been forgotten. His fire that would consume her, she waited for it now.

Her breath was warm. Her touch was feather-light and yet it aroused as much as Jim's firmer touch. She was more patient and calmer than he remembered his Human to be. He felt the beginnings of a bonding fire deep within his mind. The familiarity of that link had remained within her.

His body had not changed anymore than she had expected it to. Her mouth opened and her tongue brushed over his nipple. He shivered then ran his hand along her arm, he moaned. She had sensed only pleasure radiating from him. His breathing deepened and his body's temperature warmed. She rested her head on his stomach, not quite prepared to go any further for the moment.

He waited for a time before he reached to pull her up beside him. His mouth captured hers and his kiss became passionate, almost urgent. He ran his hand down her body then wrapped her leg around his waist. His tongue reached into her mouth and he pressed his hips against her. "I want you to be mine again." He whispered as he nuzzled her neck. His fingers drew a line down her face then he held her chin. He tasted her lips again.

"I require your word on a matter first." She had stopped his hand from moving into position on her face. Her body was hungry for him now.

"Speak it." He kissed her chin then her lips.

"Not to leave me. Here. Ever." She held his face, stopping his kisses. She met his eyes. "I need thee to promise me this."

"It is done." He moved her hands away from his face then kissed her mouth, hard this time. He pressed her back against the bed. His fingers moved into the familiar pattern, then he hesitated. "Do you want this, Yshen?"

Her eyes closed and she nodded. "Ha, Spock. Katelau k'du. Ek'wak."

He placed his fingers against the side of her face, he felt her touch mirror his. "Yshen, mated to me. Forever."

It happened again. As it did the first time. As it did with James. The bonding was like a flame that race through their minds and bodies. There was no time to even breathe between being not bonded and then bonded.

One again. Melding of thoughts, of memories.

He found the memories of the first time with her and cried out her name. Their bonding with Jim and the pleasures that they shared.

The first time he shared with James on the Enterprise.

The feeling of his death and then of Carl calling to her.

His re-birth and looking into the sea of faces that had no names.

Her pain during his recovery, her desires and her dealings with James.

His sudden memory of her so many years later and how he hid it from Jim.

Jim's death.

Amanda's death.

Sholtan's birth.

S'task's injuries and Di'on's pain.

Carl's death.

Sarek's death.

They were one again. The deep bonding was still there! Neither could explain how or why, perhaps it had never died, it had simply been tucked away deep within their minds.

Spock moved over her and into her with a passion he had not shared with anyone in almost a century. He felt her nails dig into his arms as he entered her. She cried out his name as she shared her pain and her utter pleasure with him. He did not move but remained still until there was some indication of control on both their parts.

T'yshen loosened her grip slowly as she wrapped her legs around his. She caressed his back. Her body becoming accustom to this welcome intrusion. His lips brushed hers; she was hungry for him. She felt his kiss on her neck and then a gentle nip. It sent shivers through her. She lifted her hips slightly as she pulled his hips down.

Spock began the rhythm that would bring satisfaction to them both. He sighed at the warmth that surrounded him. He had not realized how much he had desired this. How much he had craved this joining. How much he had missed sharing with someone. The soft feel of her warm skin under his touch. He shared with her how much he had needed her. How much he wanted her. He felt almost complete again.

Her mind teased his with an almost forgotten ease and pleasure. He drew in a sudden breath and then captured her mouth. He whispered, as he brushed his lips on her skin, how much he had missed her. How much he had dreamed of holding her close. He moaned as his seed emptied into her far sooner than he had wished for.

Her body answered his. There was no choice; their minds and bodies were as one again. He held her tightly as they moved onto their side. He held her close as their breathing slowed. He closed his eyes feeling her heavy breathing on his chest and her heartbeat as it slowed.



"You burn." She caressed his face with the back of her hand. Her fingertips traced his lips then traveled slowly down his arm.

He cleared his throat and closed his eyes at her touch. "I had noticed." He drew in a long slow breath. He had not been certain, it had been so long, and he had assumed that he would not experience this again. He felt his body's fight between his need for her and its need for rest.

Her hands moved into position on his face and reached in to calm the fire for now. They needed sleep, neither were young and she felt the rising fever in him. She smiled as he took her hand then kissed her palm. "We should sleep."

"Later." He whispered. He was not content to close his eyes at the moment but wished to touch and taste her again. He moaned softly as the wave of need moved through him. Not a fire as in a new bonding but far different even than the one he shared with Jim. Her thoughts were not enough, her body pulled close to him was not enough, touching her was not enough and her calming touch on his thoughts and body merely slowed what he was experiencing.

She ran her fingers through his hair; it still felt like warm silk. She sighed as his mouth closed over her breast and he teased the nipple then began to suck gently. His attentions were slow and thorough as he moved down her body. She shivered when he marked her skin and when his tongue touched her sending a wave of pleasure along her body.

He positioned himself between her legs then lifted her hips onto his lap. His hands caressed her body, her arms; he lifted her hands and kissed each palm then placed them against his face. He held her hips then pulled her close, entering her slowly. Her body arched as her fingers pressed against his face. She reached into his thoughts opening the pathway between them.

She felt his movements as she sensed his thoughts. She knew precisely what he was going to do and shared in his desire for all of this. She felt herself being slowly engulfed in this gentle burning. There was no direction, no guide except for an all-consuming need to be with one another. She felt his body begin to move in and out, slowly at first then climbing to a rhythm that became uncontrolled. Their breathing was laboured. She could feel the sweat on her own body and the dripping from his. And then it grabbed them, the shudder that held their breath and forced them to move harder towards their goal.

Her hands dug into his arms as his dug into her hips, both knew they would leave marks on the other but these were not Humans they shared with now. No holding back. Less care and their full strength could be used. Their bodies shivered and then a wave of pure euphoria washed over them. Each of them felt their own and each other's release.

Both cried out for the other. Crying out as had been through the centuries, primal, and so in tune with the other there was no division of self.

Spock relaxed his grip on her then took in a deep breath. He felt her fingers loosen from his arms. He opened his eyes and smiled at her. Complete and whole once again. "T'hy'la..." He whispered to her, his hand tracing the shape of her ear.

"Come." She wrapped her arms around him as he lay down beside her. She sensed and shared his exhaustion. She kissed him. A part of her wished for nothing more to be wrapped again in his arms and never to move.

Spock pulled up the covers, brushed back her hair and pulled her close. "Now we can sleep."

Standard Terran Year: 2481

Standard Kavifemai Year: 200 pos'Lashan

Sholtan reached down and brushed the sand from the etched stone. The memorial markers held three names now, Carl Bennett, T'yshen of the House of S'harien and Spock of the House of Surak.

'It had been explained to me that my mother was of an ancient line. In the Pre-Reform times, the lineage had ruled most of Vulcan. One woman had taken over most of the land that is now the Forge and Mount Seleya. She was Vriha, as my mother was. My mother also had the 'power', if that is the right word, to have conquered a world. My father had said many times that she had done so.

'She left here with Spock, only a few months ago, in search of the other... their 'reh'tel-tor', their third in the bond. They wished to feel complete again. According to their last message they were successful. They had taken one of the original vessels, Firestorm, for this journey into the Nexus.

'Their daughter, T'Aitlu, remained, my sister-by-bond. She has my mother's face but there are no sparkles in her hair or skin. Surprisingly the pregnancy had been uncomplicated. It was the result of their second pon farr.

'T'yshen cha'Spock, I was informed through an automated sub-space message, died of natural causes dated a day ago. Spock fell into the darkness with her, as they had planned fifty years ago. Neither wanted to live without the other, if they found the Nexus, as they said, then they are now with Admiral Kirk as well.

'Their katras, transferred before they left, were placed in our Hall of Thought. Vulcan objected. They were sent our answer. Reldai T'yshen and her consort, Spock would remain with us unless taken by force.

'I have discovered many things about my mother since Spock's arrival here. I knew that she was a princess of Gol, the successor for the Vulcan throne, a healer and matriarch to my clan. But what I did not know is that she was the last in her lineage. The last to have descended from the clan S'harien. I also did not know that she had discovered at a young age, an ancient need. She had an ability to bond with more than one. She was not ... satisfied, if one could use that word, to be bonded to only one. That explains her retreat into solitude after Father died. There were no others strong enough to bond with; she would have damaged one not strong enough. None that would have satisfied and so she remained as isolated as possible. It must have been a painful time for her.

'Yesterday, I collected all the personal belongings that were theirs. Myself, T'Arol and T'Aitlu went through them, deciding which were to be considered 'family' possessions and which were to be historical. Most of her sketches we will place in the Archive of Records. The more personal ones will be retained. The music will be placed there as well. The swords will become a part of an historical collection but will remain a possession of our clan.

'With their deaths, none of the Originals remain. This is now the world of the Kavifemai, born to this world and we will not forget them.'

Sholtan closed his journal. Handwritten as his mother had taught him, as her Chosen-Mother had taught her. He looked up as T'Arol entered his study. He was pleased with this second bonding, D'amae died twenty years after returning to him. Her early death was the result of her duty to Starfleet, too many injuries and too many exposures to radiation from the fighting.

"It is time, My Husband."

Sholtan bowed his head. It had been different being bonded to one that had a similar heritage. T'Arol was every bit as controlled as his mother had been but she held a spark of humour that she had received from her Human father. She had been asked to assume the position of reldai just over a year ago, before T'yshen and Spock had planned to leave.

Celebration of Lashan was today and she would preside over the official part of the festivities. This would be the first that she would perform on her own. It had been decided that a tie to one of their Homeworlds was still needed. T'Arol's training was similar to T'yshen's and the transition was logical.

The stone arena was filled. At the appointed time, the gong was sounded. This would be repeated all over this world today.

"Aefvadh." T'Arol held the sword blade pointed towards the ground, both hands wrapped around the hilt. This would be passed around to the children of the Colonists. "Our beginning was of Vulcan. Our journey was of Rihansu. Our present is Kavifemai. What you about to see comes down from the Ancient times. This is the Vulcan heart. This is the Vulcan soul. This is our heritage. I am Reldai T'Arol cha'Sholtan, Child of Saavik, Child of David." She passed it to her mate.

"I am Sholtan, Child of Yshen, Child of Carl." Sholtan passed the sword to his sister-by-bond.

"I am Aitlu, Child of Yshen, Child of Spock." She was aware that she was the youngest of the First Generation.

"I am Sykar, Child of Sariya, Child of L'effa."

"I am T'Shal cha'Sykar, Child of Arehna, Child of Hadaen. Adopted Child of Yshen, Child of Carl."

"I am T'paya Child of D'amae, Child of Sholtan."

"I am Huryn, Child of Ael, Child of Sakov."

"I am Aidoann, Child of T'Pel, Child of Sasek."

"I am Kalieh, Child of T'pel, Child of Sasek."

And the circle continued to form and the sword passed from one to the other until it reached back to T'Arol. And then she spoke the words for the next generation. "And we are all bound by duty, by blood and by bondings in the ever growing Circle of Time."

And the gong boomed again, bringing in the two hundredth year of this world.


They walked along a beach. The sand was a bronze colour and the water a deeper tone than the sky. They looked to the lone uniformed figure that sat on the large flat rock.

The figure stood, waved then jumped down and headed towards them.

The lone figured stopped then grinned. "Feels like I have waited for you two forever."

"One hundred sixty-seven years, three..."

"... three months, seventeen days."

His eyes sparkled with life and the joy of having them here. He caressed the face of the taller figure then laughed. He wrapped his arms around the other then kissed her.

The Vulcan closed his eyes sharing in the joy that was being experienced. Arms were then wrapped around his neck and his arms closed tightly around the Human. "Jim." He kissed him, passionately, relived that he was still here.

"At least you didn't come back without her." He held on to the Vulcan tightly as he spoke to him. "Not sure if I could have forgiven you for that, Spock."

Spock released his hold on the Human then watched as he embraced their consort again. He heard him whisper to her that he missed her, so very much.

Jim Kirk moved between the two, wrapping an arm around each waist. "Okay we have to find a big bed. Lots of pillows." He grinned then laughed. "Chess board and I guess some food. Then you can tell me what I missed."

T'yshen looked to her bond mate. "I had not expected him to be so emotional."

Spock smiled slightly. "It will calm. He will be bearable in a day or so."

"I wouldn't bet on it." Jim piped in then winked at Yshen. He guided them to the house he had left only moments ago and urged them in. He stopped for some wood for the fireplace.

T'yshen stepped into the house and was amazed at the site in front of her. She looked to Spock. "How?" She looked around the room at the chair and the figures that were held on the wall. She looked out the large panoramic window... it was the beach. She noted as well that the grey had gone from Spock's hair. She shook her head. None of it was logical.

Kirk smiled. "Takes some getting used to." He looked around at the change in his house. It had been an old style house that he preferred when he was on his own. He nodded. "Yes this is where we should be." He chuckled as he remembered all the changes that had been made for her visit. "The bigger bed. All the pillows." He headed towards the bedroom. "Have I got a homecoming for the two of you..."



It has been a totally pleasure and joy to write.
Thank you for being my audience.

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