Title: Stumbling Block

Author: Ster Julie

Series: TOS

Characters pock, Sarek, Amanda

Rating: G

Part 1/1

A/N: Fourth in the New Bride series

Oh, and Sarek and Amanda also have a home in the captial city of Shani'kahr as well as the mountain villa outside Shi'kahr. My story, my rules. (P

--ooOoo--

To:Sarek cha Skon cha Solkar,

Amanda Grayson aduna Sarek

Shanai'kahr, Vulcan

Epsilon Erdani 40

Alpha quadrant

From:Spock cha Sarek cha Skon

Aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise

Mother, Father,

I will be on duty during Alpha watch tomorrow. Please call me after 1700 hours ship time.

Mene sakkhet ur-sevah.

Spock.

--

Amanda smiled as she read Spock's message.

"Well," she breathed, "it's about time."

Sarek raised his head at her seeming non sequitur.

"About time for what, my wife?" he replied.

"Spock sent a message," she reported. "He wants us to call him at 1700 hours ship time tomorrow. You can calculate the time difference much more easily than I can. When will that be?"

Sarek looked to the ceiling for less than two seconds. "That will be at endmeal," he answered.

"Tomorrow?"

Sarek put down the padd he was reading. "Tonight," he replied. "I shall report to the office now so that I may leave early. Would it be a hardship to have endmeal earlier than usual?"

Amanda smirked. "We may want to wait until after our chat with Spock," she said hopefully. "He may be making a declaration tonight."

Sarek stopped in his tracks and looked back at his wife. "Do you think that Christine and he . . ."

"Well, it's been nearly a year since our visit and all those little talks we had with the two of them.," Amanda reasoned. "Surely, something has come of that!"

"Speculation is illogical," Sarek commented.

"So is hope," Amanda responded, "but that's okay. I have enough for all of us!"

-

1700 hours couldn't come fast enough for Amanda. She happily anticipated the call to Spock, one that she was just sure would tell her that a new daughter was added to her family. Amanda smiled at the memories of that sweet Nurse Chapel who cared for her men so devotedly during their stay on the Enterprise.

Amanda was surprised when only Spock's face appeared on the comm. screen. Her happy, hopeful smile deflated like an old balloon.

"What happened, Baby?" she crooned before a word could leave Spock's lips.

Spock's eyes were haunted. At his mother's words, he had to turn from the screen lest he shame himself further before both his parents.

"Christine has been attacked," he said bleakly.

"Attacked in what way?" Sarek asked.

"Is she all right?" Amanda interjected.

Spock heaved a great sigh. "Her body is healed."

"How was Christine attacked?" Sarek repeated gently.

"Much of this is classified," Spock whispered, disconsolate. "Suffice it to say that an alien entity exchanged katras with me on a noble venture, but he took advantage of the situation. He took advantage of my Christine." Amanda watched her son's profile intently. When she saw Spock's chin begin to quiver, she wanted to crawl through the screen to her son.

"How badly was Christine hurt?" Amanda said tremulously.

"Her physical injuries were healed quickly," Spock began, "but . . . " He dropped his head in a futile attempt to hide his misery. "But the psychological damage will be much harder to heal. She . . . " Spock lowered his head into his hands as he tried to stifle the sobs that threatened to overwhelm him.

"Breathe, my son," Sarek intoned. "One breath for peace." (Spock took a shaky breath.) "A second one for calm." (Spock took another breath.) "A third one for serenity. (Spock took a deep breath that he exhaled, oh so slowly.) Sarek waited until Spock was ready to speak.

"Christine cannot look at me without remembering Henoch," Spock said woodenly. "He used my body, my face to hurt her." Spock's words came quickly as he poured out his anguish. "How he demeaned her! How he made ugly all that should be beautiful and fulfilling between mates!" Spock paused for a moment as he tried futilely to master his anger. "I do not expect her to want to continue our relationship."

"Why?" Sarek breathed.

Spock turned his misery-streaked face fully to the screen. "Because she cannot stand the sight of me!" he exploded.

"She blames you?" Amanda concluded.

Spock shook his head. "She says that she does not," he answered, "and perhaps time will bring Christine healing, but I cannot proceed from such an illogical assumption." Spock drew a ragged breath. "What will happen during my Time? What if she has a flashback and rejects me? How will I stop myself from hurting her when my control is ripped away from me? What if I kill her?"

Sarek watched the image of his tortured son, listened to the quiet sobs of his wife beside him, and sought a solution.

"Would Christine be amenable to the services of a healer, my son?" Sarek asked quietly. "Perhaps a female healer would be best."

"That is very kind of you, Father," Spock replied, "but perhaps the offer should come from someone other than me."

Amanda wiped her face dry with her hands. "I can do that, she said shakily. "As soon as we have things arranged, I'll give Christine a call." Amanda peered at her soon. "Had you two . . . been . . . together yet?"

Spock looked at his mother in confusion.

"Been intimate, my son," Sarek translated gently.

Spock flashed his eyebrows in response.

"We had only begun courting," Spock whispered.

"Don't give up on her, sweetie," Amanda cooed.

Spock shook his head. "No," he said bleakly, "no, I have to 'give up' the thought of having her for a mate. It would be dangerous to us both . . . "

"Speculation is illogical!" Sarek retorted. "You are proceeding from mere conjecture. I have never known you to concede defeat so quickly, Spock, ever. No one will make any decisions until we have all the facts, until your mother has spoken with Christine, until a healer has examined you both, and all of us have meditated sufficiently on the subject at hand. Have I made myself clear?"

"Understood, Father," Spock yielded meekly.

Sarek took the span of three breaths to allow his orders to sink in, as well as to calm himself.

"Very well," he announced, "I will call the healers. As soon as I have a suitable candidate, Amanda, you will call Christine. In the meantime, Spock, you will check your ship's orders and see what blocks of time will be available to this endeavor." Sarek allowed some warmth to permeate his purposeful mien as he looked once again at Spock through the viewer. "Spock-kam, hope is illogical, but your mother assures me that she has enough hope for all of us. Do not assume the worst."

A slight twinkle entered Spock's gaze.

"Now that would be illogical!" he teased.

Sarek nodded gravely. "Indeed."

End (TBC in New Bride #5)