Title: Hope Never Stops at All

Summary: Post-Journey to Babel. Amanda and Spock have a heart-to-heart talk, or at least as much of one as Spock can tolerate.

Rating: K

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all." -Emily Dickinson

When Amanda had learned that the Enterprise would be transporting the Vulcan delegation to Babel, her long-harbored hope of reconciliation between Spock and Sarek began to gain strength. But they'd made a bad start from the very beginning, and Amanda felt as though she'd been caught up in an emotional whirlwind ever since. Now that Spock had been released from Sickbay, Amanda wanted a chance to speak to him while Sarek remained in Sickbay convalescing.

When he stepped into her quarters, she smiled at him "Welcome, Spock. Won't you sit down? How was your first shift back?"

As he sat down, "It was satisfactory. The conference is ready to take place as planned in two more days."

"Yes, I had heard that. I actually didn't ask you here to talk to you about the conference though, Spock."

"I had assumed as much."

"Spock," Amanda began, "I don't understand why Captain Kirk didn't know that Sarek and I were your parents."

"The captain did have many delegates aboard and many files to review. Undoubtedly, he did not see a need to closely peruse the offspring listed for each one."

"Yes, Spock, I can understand that. What I meant was that I didn't know why you hadn't told him," Amanda stated with eyebrow raised.

Spock stiffened immediately. "I made an error in not realizing that the information might be necessary to relay to the captain in advance."

Amanda cast a disbelieving look at her son. "Oh Spock! I am not asking why First Officer Spock did not relay that information to his commanding officer. I am asking why you would tell your friend so little about your family that he didn't even know you were the child of a very well-known individual in a profession not at all unrelated to his!"

"I fail to understand what relevance…."

"Actually Spock, it had a great deal of relevance! Your friends deserve to know at least the basics of your background, about your life. They're a part of who you are. Not just who your parents are but what you were like as a child, what your hopes and dreams were. That was why I told your friend Doctor McCoy about I-Chaya, though I am sorry for describing him as a fat teddy bear."

"Mother, I would hardly describe Dr. McCoy as a friend."

She wasn't going to let her son get away with such an obviously misleading statement. "Spock, I know you. It is quite obvious to me that you think quite highly of Doctor McCoy and enjoy debating with him." As Spock opened his mouth to speak, Amanda continued, "But, I knew he was your friend before I even set foot on this ship. Whether he knows it or not, the fact that you took him with you down to Vulcan means that he's at least a friend to you, if not more like a brother. And if he doesn't know it, I'd certainly suggest you tell him."

"Mother, can you not be satisfied with the improved relationship between my father and myself? Must you try to manage all of my relationships?"

"All right. I'm sorry…. Actually, I'm sorry for a lot more than just being a nosy mother. What I said to you when you refused to turn over command and how I struck you…. You were right to ask how after so many years I could fail to understand what it means to be a Vulcan." She stood up and stepped over to look out the window. "I did understand. I didn't like it. I didn't agree with it. But I did understand."

Spock's brow furrowed. "Then why did you speak so?"

"It began with Sarek requesting another guide. I wasn't surprised, but it still hurt. Then, only a moment later, I learned that you hadn't even mentioned your parents in passing to your closest friends." Amanda turned around. "I know you don't think about things the way I do, Spock, or share as most humans do, so I did my best to forget about it. But, it made me feel that we were insignificant to your life, unimportant. And then you and your father were making no attempts to reconcile despite my best efforts. When you wouldn't turn over command with Sarek's life at stake," a sigh and a helpless gesture with her hands, "it all boiled over. I'm very sorry."

"Mother, it is unnecessary to apologize. The cause was sufficient."

Amanda said with a slight smile "I suppose that my logic is uncertain where you and your father are concerned."

Spock raised his eyebrow, "I was not aware that it was limited to those circumstances."

"Oh, Spock!" she laughed. "And I am satisfied. I'm very—pleased that you and your father are speaking to one another again."

"Mother, you are aware that everything will not be— as you might say—'coming up roses' now just because my father and I have made a beginning at a rapprochement."

Amanda walked back across the room and took her seat again. "I would never expect it all to be smooth sailing between two men as stubborn as your father and yourself."

"To persist in a course that has been carefully reasoned and determined is only logical."

"Stubborn and opinionated!" Her smile was met by an unrepentant eyebrow. "I am also quite pleased that you have such good friends as the captain and doctor. It was quite amusing while you were recovering in Sickbay to see you persistently act as if you hadn't been raised by a human mother who was quite willing to use idiomatic speech."

"I believe you could be called 'ready, willing, and able,'" he replied.

"Exactly! You and your father are both so quick to tease in your ever-so-logical way."

"Mother, Vulcans do not tease."

"I know. You simply logically point out our illogical statements," she smiled.

"Precisely." Mother and son just looked at each other for a moment before Amanda stood up and Spock followed suit.

"I want to get back to Sickbay now. Will you come down with me for a bit to visit your father?"

"I will be down shortly. I have a few things to do in my quarters first." Amanda nodded in acknowledgement. Before Spock reached the doors, he turned back to his mother. "I am pleased as well. You are not insignificant to me."

"I know, Spock. I know." And as she watched her only child walk out of the room, Amanda pressed her lips together and closed her eyes for a moment to delay the very emotional reaction she knew was coming but would make her son uncomfortable.

When he was gone, Amanda's face burst into a grin, and she twirled in a circle with her arms outstretched. She was happy. She was so very, very happy and felt light and free in a way she hadn't in a very long time. Her hope of so long had been fulfilled. For the first time in years, her family was whole again.