Write a story where Christine dies................. either illness or accident. She and Spock can be friends, lovers, or married bondmates. How does she die, and how does Spock cope?

Soulmates

They lay side by side, his hand smoothing her hair back, stroking her cheek, never leaving her alone. In her weakened state she alternated between words and thoughts, seemingly not realizing she was switching back and forth. He followed her effortlessly, many years of love providing a map.

"We have been blessed."

"Yes, t'hy'la, we have."

"I wish I could go back and tell her, my younger self, *Don't give up.* I wish I could tell her she was right to love you."

"She already knows. You were relentless in your pursuit of me, she will be too."

"Yes, she will." She gave a weak little laugh, shifted a bit, trying to get comfortable. "Nothing as stubborn as a Chapel in love."

He provided his part to their long running joke, "Unless it is a Vulcan in love." He felt the grief well up, pushed it down relentlessly. We have so little time, he resolved, I can experience grief later.

Her fingers reached out to his face, touched the meld site. "So many years together. You have made me so happy."

He replied tenderly, "How could I not return the gift that you gave me. I had never known true contentment until the night I first sheltered in your arms."

"Such a shy thing you were," she teased.

"You took care of that." For a moment he was in the past, reliving the first expression of their love. He looked at her now, still so beautiful to him, thin white hair and wrinkled skin not masking her strength, or her love. He heard her breathing rhythm alter. Not yet, he pleaded with a god he didn't believe in. Please not yet.

Her voice was so soft as she let her hand drop back to her chest. "Do not grieve overmuch, husband. We shall meet again. We share a soul. No force in the universe can keep us apart if we choose to be together."

He felt a lump forming in his throat. His eyes stung as he fought back the tears. He gave her a small gentle smile, "No force in the universe would dare to keep you from me."

She gave a weak laugh then looked at him, resolve making her expression fierce. "We will meet again, Spock. Never, never doubt it."

He nodded, at a loss for words. They lay together silently then, his hand never leaving her.

He could see that she was pulling away, becoming more and more detached to the process, to him. He fought back the cry that wanted to tear from his lips, rip through the bond, that wanted to scream to her, don't leave me, my love. He sent instead only tenderness, support, calmness. His spoken words alternated between snippets of well-beloved songs and quiet words of love.

He noticed that she seemed to watch something that only she could see. For a moment he beheld a look of wonder on her face, then it was gone and her face went slack, her labored breathing stopped.

He felt the bond dissolve gently but inexorably. His fingers dug into his palms as he fought the tears. Finally he gave up and let them fall. He struggled to control his breathing, to fight the feeling of lightheadedness. He reached over to her face, touched it over and over.

"May your journey be free of incident, my love."

He lay beside her for hours, until finally he was sure her spirit had made whatever departure it needed to. Then he called the nurse that had been waiting outside the whole time, let her in to do the things she needed to do.

He walked outside to their garden. Found the bench that had been their favorite. Mentally mapped out all the things that he needed to do, all the plans he needed to make. And as he did so he began a countdown to the time when he would not have to be strong and he could let go and fall apart. He sat for hours, unmoving, numb. As he sat he thought he felt something, something he had thought he lost. A whisper of presence brushed his mind, a ghost of a finger traced his cheek.

Then, just before the soft touches ceased, he heard in the farthest recess of his mind, "Parted from me and never parted."

FIN