"Are you well?" Sarek enquired as had become part of his daily routine. Amanda Grayson was sitting in the chair she had practically lived in for the last five days. She had carried their child two weeks past what the Vulcan doctors kept referring to as 'the necessary gestational period'; and she was exhausted, frustrated and generally fed-up.
"Oh," Amanda sighed, "I've been better. I think he's coming today, he's just been taking his time."
She lovingly looked at her belly as she placed her hands on top of it. Inside was her son - their son - and her heart was already bursting with more love than she knew she had. How could she possibly meet the Vulcan standards of motherhood? To refrain from hugs and kisses and laughter? But she had promised Sarek she would do her best. That their child would be raised according to the principles and customs of his culture. It was the logical solution, seeing as the Vulcan physiology would be dominant in their baby. He would have green blood, pointy ears and a Vulcan mind. And no school on earth could properly educate a Vulcan mind.
"You cannot be certain of these things," Sarek reminded her, "We have not been informed of the infant's gender. Nor should you convince yourself that the birth will occur today. It will disappoint you if it does not."
Amanda sighed and looked at him with a mixture of adoration and sympathy. If she told her husband how exactly she knew that the baby was a boy, he would just say that she was being illogical. And really, she knew that she was. But logic didn't have all of the answers. It was a wonderful thing, of course, and her ever-growing understanding of Surakian principles had only served to enhance her relationship and intensify her love for Sarek. But there were some things… some things a mother just knew.
"I've caught you, you know." She extended her finger and playfully poked him in the forearm with a tired smile on her lips.
"To what do you refer, my wife?"
"You scold me and scold me about calling the baby him - but what is the logical substitute pronoun? For when you don't know someone's gender?" She quizzed, sounding every inch a teacher.
"They. Or it. Depending on the verbal structure of the sentence and the nature of the subject." Sarek answered evenly, tilting his head as if to enquire where the conversation was headed.
"And I have never, not even once, heard you refer to our son as either they or it. You always go out of your way to say the infant. It's very telling." Amanda's eyes began to droop open and shut very slowly, and she found herself once again being overtaken by a hazy, sleepy fog. The entire pregnancy had been difficult, and closely monitored by the finest doctors on all of Vulcan. At first, she had been exceptionally prone to fainting thanks to the drain on her system and the planet's thin atmosphere. During the last two months, she had been absolutely forbidden from using turbo-lifts. And now she couldn't go more than fifteen minutes without a nap. It would all be worth it, though, if the baby was alright.
She tried to wake herself up a little bit, and when she did she noticed that Sarek had kneeled beside her chair and was watching her closely. His eyes were narrowed ever-so-slightly with concern, barely a third of a millimetre. A facial expression so borderline-scandalous that he would never dare to allow it of himself in public. Or indeed in front of anyone but his wife. Amanda caught the reflections of the room's light in his deep, dark brown eyes. The only eyes in all the multitudes of worlds within the stars that she could ever lose herself in. Forgetting proper conduct yet again, she reached out and gently placed her fingertips on Sarek's cheek. It was like touching sunlight.
"I am expected at the university," He said in a low, careful voice, "But I will remain here if you require it of me."
"Hmm…" Amanda sleepily continued to gaze upon him, "You should go. If anything happens, I'll request that you are summoned to the hospital. Don't worry."
"Vulcans do not worry." He reminded her gently.
"Then just keep being Vulcan, my husband." She answered, finally falling into a deep, cool sleep.
There was a loud squeaking sound as Sarek slid to a halt in the foyer of the hospital. Apart from his great haste there was nothing that seemed particularly emotional. And his haste was logical. On Vulcan it was traditional for fathers to be present at the births of their children so that they might name them. Sarek was merely accommodating his role and position as head of a new family. He certainly wasn't worried or excited or nervous. Oh no. Not him.
"Greetings," He said to a man at the hospital enquiry station, "What direction is the maternity unit in?" He had managed to speak evenly and catch his breath, despite the fact that he had run all the way from the Academy. There had been a transport malfunction, and no shuttles, street cruisers or staff cars were functioning. Sarek had listened patiently as a traffic attendant had explained the situation and the estimated time it would take to repair the situation. The latter had created sufficient cause for Sarek to begin running. It was the only logical way to ensure he arrived as promptly as possible.
"It is on the fifth floor." The attendant answered courteously, sending the expectant father straight to the turbo-lift.
The hallways in the maternity ward were much quieter than if they had been on earth. In fact, they were almost entirely silent. The floors were a bright white stone that reflected light from the large, open windows from which the architecture of the city of ShiKahr could be admired. It was a purposefully soothing atmosphere, and smelled powerfully of mint.
"Are you Sarek?" An unfamiliar voice asked. He turned inquisitively to face the nurse that addressed him.
"I am he."
"You are expected. Your son requires a name." She told him, and led him to Amanda's hospital room. Sarek was intrigued by the notion that his wife had accurately predicted the child's gender. Particularly since she had made her mind up about the matter three hours after her pregnancy had been confirmed. The statement also meant that, logically, his son was alive and without immediate complications. A satisfactory development. He was aware of the statistics concerning Vulcan-human hybrids.
"What is my wife's condition?" He asked as they stopped in front of the door.
"It was a difficult labour. The doctor was uncertain of her ability to survive. She is sleeping now." The doors opened automatically with a soft sound.
Amanda was resting peacefully in a biobed, her lips pale and her hair damp with sweat. A small but highly noticeable smile was brightening her face. Sarek could tell at once that she was happy. It was always very obvious when Amanda was happy. Next to her was a much smaller biobed, on which lay Sarek's newborn baby. A tiny infant, with wisps of black hair on his soft head and his eyes clenched tightly shut. He had the same long pointed ears of his father, and he held his tiny hands balled in fists as he slept soundlessly.
"Live long, and prosper," Sarek said softly to the baby, holding his hand in the Vulcan salute, "My son."
Breakfast was fast becoming Amanda's favourite part of the day. It was a peaceful, promising time when all three of them could be together. Before the subjects and discoveries of another day came about and filled up all of the conversation. She sat at the table with her baby, who was around five months old. Five months that seemed to be the longest and slowest time of her life.
Sarek had ended up giving their son a name that Amanda simply could not pronounce. Later, they learned that this was because it was entirely impossible for a human to produce the necessary sounds.
His excuse had been that she'd been asleep when he'd selected it.
Try as she might, the closest Amanda could get to properly pronouncing any of her own son's name was Spock. It sounded like gibberish to Sarek, but he permitted the little nickname. He said that it was logical for a child of two worlds to have two names, and went on to explain that it had nothing to do with any kind of guilt over the situation. Amanda had come to think that it suited her adorable, solemn little baby. He was Spock. It worked.
"You must make efforts to smile less in his presence," Sarek informed her as he sat down at the table, "He will begin to automatically duplicate your expressions in an attempt to communicate with you without the use of language. It will be difficult for him to cease such activity if he begins it."
"I can't help it. I always smile at handsome Vulcans." Amanda said in matter-of-fact tones, placing her face in a more neutral expression. But her eyes still glittered with laughter, and the comment earned her a sidelong glance from her husband. She only half noticed it, though. Her attention was glued absolutely to Spock.
He was sitting in his sleek new high chair, swinging his stocking feet back and forth while he dutifully engaged with an educational toy. Sarek had brought it home for him the night before, and Spock was having great success putting all of the red triangles with the red triangles, and the blue circles with the blue circles and so on. In a day or so, Sarek said, the patterns would become more complex and it would begin engaging his mind in logical configuration skills.
"He's so quiet." Amanda observed, mesmerized by Spock's capacity to instantly concentrate.
"He is not as quiet as most Vulcan children of his age," Sarek answered, watching Amanda watch Spock, "I have noticed that he makes attempts to mimic voices and repeat words."
"Isn't that normal?"
"Perhaps it is to be expected of him," Sarek conceded, "But it is unusual."
"Bu-sa usua." Spock replied absently, still intensely focused on his little red triangles.
"Spock," Amanda said slowly and warmly, "Shhh." She placed a finger to her lips to tell him to be quiet. Spock watched her with his large dark eyes, a deeper brown even than his father's, and then delicately put his own finger to his lips.
The outside of the house was beginning to look very aesthetically pleasing to Sarek. Perhaps it was the things Amanda had planted, or the colour she had selected for the exterior walls. Or perhaps it was because he knew that his family lived within. Though, logically, that would do nothing to improve the home's physical appearance. Just Sarek's perception of it, and since Sarek's perception was based in his acceptance of logic then it couldn't be the second reason. It had to be the plants.
He was in the process of reviewing this thread of thought when he approached the edge of the front garden. His mind halted with a sudden interruption when he heard a curious sound. It seemed to be coming from within his home. But it couldn't have been, because of what the sound was.
It was as though a young infant was calling something out. And, strangely enough, it sounded very much like Spock's voice. Logically, it could not be Spock. His son could not speak yet, try as he might. And Amanda would have quieted him if he was being that loud and that persistent. It could not be Spock. Sarek had made it all the way to the beginning of the garden path when he concluded that. Then, the sound became sharper to his acute Vulcan hearing.
"Fa-zure!" He heard, "Fa-zure!"
That was definitely Spock.
Which meant that Amanda was not quieting him, and if she was not quieting him it could only mean she was unable to. Sarek nearly burst through the front door to get inside.
His wife was lying unconscious on the floor, sprawled awkwardly as though she had suddenly collapsed. Spock was standing beside her, his educational toy in his hand. He looked at Sarek with great relief and pointed to Amanda.
"Fa-zure! Way-ka go! Go!" He explained emphatically, and toddled closer to his mother. He examined her face and shook his head. It was just the way Amanda shook hers. "Way-ka, go."
Sarek hurried to a side table and removed a tricorder from its drawer. He quickly scanned Amanda and found that she was essentially alright. Just unconscious. Similar things had happened a few times before; the thinner atmosphere of the planet Vulcan often caused her to become light-headed. If it worsened it became a nasty dizzy spell, and very rarely it caused her to pass out. It was logical to assume that chasing Spock around now that he was crawling at full-speed and getting a good start on walking was more taxing on her lungs than she had thought. He carefully scooped her into his arms and began taking her up the stairs.
As he passed by the front door, he saw the smudgy markings of tiny handprints reaching up to the computer panel responsible for the opening mechanism. Sarek looked at his wife, who was as light as a feather in his arms. There was a strange emptiness to her face; it was very different from looking at her while she was asleep.
"Oof." He heard Spock stumble, trying to get up the stairs and follow him.
"Wait there. I will return." Sarek told him. Under less pressing circumstances, he would have activated the hip-height level one force field. The one that served as a kind of baby-gate. But Sarek had his hands to full, and they had not yet installed a verbal command for it in the computer system.
Spock plunked down at the bottom of the stairs and waited, watching his parents disappear into the second floor hallway. He wore a curious expression on his face and grabbed on to his feet.
Sarek placed Amanda in their bed and retrieved an oxygenation unit from a chest that also contained spare blankets and three photo albums. He placed the device over her nose and programmed it. Then he went back downstairs to check on his son.
"Wuh?" Spock stood up and began trying to climb the stairs again when he saw his father coming. Sarek tilted his head when he saw what the baby was trying to do. He reached down and lifted Spock into his arms. For an infant, particularly one too young to receive much in the way of emotional conditioning, such an experience could prove traumatic. But Spock seemed to be acting very rationally. More rationally than a child of solely Vulcan heritage might. All the same, he was holding on tightly to the front of Sarek's jacket.
"You see? Mother is simply resting." Sarek gently placed Spock down next to Amanda on the bed.
Spock looked at Amanda, seemingly unconvinced, and pointed to the breathing device.
"Hmm." He didn't seem to like it.
But despite Spock's reservations, the oxygenation unit was doing its job and Amanda steadily blinked awake. The first thing she saw was the bedroom ceiling, which was strange because she thought she was in the front room. She glanced over to Sarek's pillow and saw Spock's curious little face giving her a deeply inquisitive look. She smiled at him, and he relaxed. This made her smile even more.
"You fell unconscious." Sarek's voice described from beside her. She sat up, noticing the device clipped over her nose.
"Haven't done that in awhile. Is everything alright?" Amanda looked over at her husband. He was still in his office uniform.
"The current circumstances are sufficient. Except the possibility that you will be disappointed."
"Disappointed? What do you mean?" Amanda looked puzzled.
"You have missed Spock's first word."
"Fa-zure!" Spock said proudly, pointing at Sarek.
"Are you calling our son dumb?!" Amanda recoiled from the statement. She had begun reacting more dramatically than she would have liked whenever someone cast doubts on Spock. Even when it was Sarek, and even when she was well aware that he wasn't.
"I am not," Sarek replied evenly, "I am explaining the situation."
"Because Spock has a wonderful memory! And he's learned everything you've ever taught him! He soaks information up like a sponge, and these experts are the same ones who informed us of his high aptitude scores!" Amanda argued.
"Return to your seat and calm yourself. I have not yet finished relaying the information." Sarek said, watching his wife pace the room angrily. She shook her head in a human gesture that usually indicated disagreement, yet she took the chair across from him and began calming herself. It was obvious to him that she had begun one of the light meditations techniques he had shown her early in their relationship.
He allowed her a few moments to center herself before resuming the conversation.
"There is more to the Vulcan education than memorization, my wife. There is the matter of… emotion," Sarek spoke patiently, his fingers tented in front of his chest, "Spock is simply not mastering certain skills at the rate of his peers. It does not speak to his intelligence, and by no means do I intend this information as some variety of insult. But we must recognize that he is struggling with his studies. It is a social issue."
"I understand, and I'm concerned as well. But I don't know what can be done," Amanda confessed, looking suddenly very sad instead of very angry, "I try so hard. But I know I make too many mistakes in front of him. Is it my fault?"
"No." Sarek answered simply, "It is his first year of schooling, and it was logical that the adjustment would be difficult for him. The educators merely wished to inform us of his progress, as we remain in the best position to influence more productive behaviour."
Amanda sighed and looked at the tapestry that hung on the wall just behind her husband's chair. It had been a parting gift from a co-worker when she'd moved to Vulcan. She had liked it so much, Sarek had put it up for her. He'd never said anything about it. Amanda had told him that she thought it was beautiful, and that the scene depicted looked just a place she knew on Earth. And the next day, she was passing through the room and there it was.
"Did they say which emotions he was expressing?" She finally asked.
"Yes. He misses you."
Sarek was off-world on a brief scientific expedition with several other government officials. Before he left, he had triple-checked everything he had put in place in case of emergency. Except he referred to them as unforeseen circumstances. But Amanda knew what he was talking about. And she was happy to report that everything had been going extremely well. Their house had not been destroyed, Spock was advancing in his studies and she was enjoying her new work teaching diplomats about human culture.
She had spent most of the day in the garden, tending to her spice plants. But the sun had gotten high in the sky, and the heat was too intense to keep working. Amanda made her way back into the house and put down her bag of tools. She removed her hat and her gloves and headed into the washroom. Since she was home alone, she decided to hum an old song as she passed her hand over the motion sensor and washed her face. As she turned the faucet off, she heard a creak from inside the living room and the sound of the front door closing.
She tilted her head in an almost-Vulcan sort of way. She had just spoken with Sarek, and he was adhering to the schedule he had provided her with. And Spock was still at school, not due home for an hour or so. Amanda quickly finished freshening herself up and made her way to investigate.
"Live long and prosper, Wife of Sarek." A young man greeted with the Vulcan salute. Standing next to him, with his eyes glued to the floor, was Spock. He was six years old now, and seemed to be growing taller but not wider. He was a skinny kid, and on his face was a big bright green bruise. His clothes were dirty with red Vulcan sand, and the knee of his trousers had torn.
Amanda returned the salute and appraised the scene in front of her.
"What has happened?" She asked.
"There was an incident this morning. It was logical to remove the students involved from studies for the remainder of the day," The stranger explained. Amanda recognized from his uniform that he worked at the school, but he wasn't one of Spock's three teachers. Then again, they would be too busy with the other pupils to accompany Spock home. "Several older pupils… physically assaulted him."
"They beat him up?" Amanda clarified, trying to keep her emotions from flying away from her in front of this man. She was mindful to set an example to the school employees that she had fine levels of self-control.
"Their logic in the situation was flawed. Please inform Sarek of this." He answered. A few courtesies were exchanged and Amanda showed him to the door.
Spock stayed still in his same spot, still staring down at the floor. His face remained entirely neutral, but his eyes told another story.
"Spock," Amanda knelt down in front of him, "Are you alright?" She began to reach out to touch the area around his bruise, so that she could inspect it. But she remembered herself, and slowly pulled her hand back.
"Mother…" Spock answered in a shaky voice. He finally looked up at her, and when he did his face fell into a deep frown and his eyes welled with tears. Spock had never cried from emotion. When he was first learning to walk, and he had fallen and bumped into things around the house, he would cry when he injured himself. But Sarek had dutifully trained the impulse out of him, and Spock had never cried since.
Amanda couldn't stop herself. She reached forward and brought him towards her in a warm, loving hug. She could feel him shaking with shallow breaths as hot tears fell upon her shoulder.
"It's alright, Spock," She whispered to him, "It's alright."
When he finished crying, she let him go and gave him an encouraging smile. He wiped what was left of his tears off onto his sleeve, leaving tracks of dirt on his face. Amanda laughed warmly.
"Go get cleaned up," She told him, "Have you had lunch?"
"No. I was removed." Spock explained, shaking his head.
"Alright, I'll make something." Amanda decided and sent him up the stairs with a glance of her eyes. Spock walked slowly, clearly in deep thought. His mother was hoping that he wasn't being too hard on himself.
She went to the kitchen and walked up to the replicator. As she scanned through the options - including quite a few earth recipes she had programmed in - she couldn't help but smile. She had a pretty good idea of how to cheer Spock up.
"What is it?" He asked, looking at the dish in front of him.
"It's called a banana split," Amanda answered cheerfully, "Don't tell Father I gave you one."
Spock excelled in his lessons on computers and computer programming. It was logical that he should show aptitude in the field, as Sarek was quite skilled in it as well. He tutored his son, teaching him everything he could in a consistent and methodical manner. Ensuring that Spock would experience no troubles with any variety of technology. And Sarek rarely missed the scheduled lessons. Unless his duties at the United Earth Embassy pulled him away, and even then he attempted to make it up. Not necessarily with a lesson, either. Occasionally it was enough to merely spend some time with Spock.
"He will be a great scientist." Sarek informed Amanda one evening. He'd taken Spock to a museum of Vulcan achievements, and several of the exhibits contained aptitude tests and challenges to help make the experience more educational and engaging to the visitors. Spock had completed all of the activities with notable success.
It was late by the time the pair had returned home, and the day was over. Amanda had sent Spock up to bed, checked on him and made her way back to the sitting room. Sarek was relaxing in the new chair. The old chair had broken the week before when Amanda sat in it. Her son and husband had enquired as to her well-being after the loud crash, and were perplexed when they entered the room and found her trying desperately hard not to laugh while she sat in a pile of wood and fabric.
"A scientist, you say?" Amanda asked playfully, looking adoringly at her husband.
Sarek was beginning to get quite grey. The square angles of his face were softening and thin wrinkles were showing around his eyes. But he was still handsome. And more charming to Amanda than ever. He was wearing his plain brown suit, the one that had no formal ornamentation or Academy markings on it. She liked it. The colour brought out his best features.
"Yes." Sarek answered, and his wife knew at once how proud he was becoming of their son, "It is logical to assume that if he maintains his level of success, his acceptance to the Academy of Science will be inevitable. He will make great advancements once he is an adult. Many will benefit from his discoveries."
"I love you." Amanda decided to tell him.
"You are my wife," He replied, "As I am your husband."
Amanda smiled, and the pair looked at one another for a long silent while. Nothing else really needed to be said.
"What were you doing?" Sarek asked, nodding to the open monitor that sat in front of his wife.
"I'm writing a dissertation for Starfleet Academy on the history of Earth's relationship with Vulcan. They requested it of me, and I said I'd be more than happy to do it." She explained, actually a little embarrassed by it. Sarek flashed her an intrigued expression.
"May I read it?"
"Yes. When it's finished. I think it'll take me another day or two…"
"Father?" A sleepy little voice said from the stairs. Spock stood looking rumpled in his pyjamas, his hair sticking up and his face flushed.
"Spock." Sarek answered, turning to look at him.
"I am failing to understand the logic of one of the exhibits at the museum." Spock announced, blinking from the bright lights of the sitting room. He walked down another two steps and decided to stop for some reason or another.
"Return to bed. I will arrive shortly. If the problem persists in disrupting your sleep, I shall explain it to you." Sarek decided, and watched as his son climbed back up the stairs.
"You see?" He said to Amanda, "That is a scientist's nature."
Spock was fifteen. It didn't seem possible to Amanda, who couldn't believe how long it had been since her son was learning fundamental math, or needed help fastening his coat, or tried to repeat everything his father said. Well, he still did the last one. His mother watched him while their family shared a quiet dinner at the beginning of a new week.
"Your hair needs cutting, Spock." She decided, taking in his appearance.
"It is quite common to wear it slightly longer. It offers no hindrance to function or additional maintenance time." Spock answered her, and took a sip of his beverage. He was still a skinny kid, but his obvious intelligence gave him a very striking demeanour. And Amanda often caught laughter flashing in his dark eyes. She also recognized hints of her own mannerisms beneath his neutral Vulcan expressions. Sarek recognized them too, but he showed no signs of disapproval.
"There is something we must discuss with you," Sarek said to him, lightly pushing his empty plate aside, "It is an important matter."
Spock looked briefly to his mother to see if her human face betrayed any hint of what the important matter might be. All he could determine was that it was not going to be a negative discussion.
"How would you feel about visiting Earth?" Amanda asked, completely blowing Sarek's plan of easing into the conversation. Sarek moved his glass and cleared his throat, to indicate his disagreement with her methods.
"I would not feel anything about it. I am Vulcan." Spock answered.
"You are aware that she does not refer to emotions," Sarek said patiently, "We wish to know your thoughts on the matter."
"My opinion varies depending on several factors. For what purpose do you ask me?" Spock replied after some consideration.
"I have been awarded a promotion of duties. If I accept it, we will be required to relocate to the embassy on Earth. The first posting will last only a few months. Four at the most." Sarek said. He saw Spock's mouth twitch downward slightly before returning to an emotionless expression.
"It wouldn't interfere with your studies," Amanda added, doing her best to be reassuring. She had noticed Spock's frown as well. "They have a wonderful education center at the embassy compound. And there's going to be no shortage of other Vulcans. You don't even have to look at a human if you don't want to."
The last part had just sort of slipped out. She hadn't meant for it, and instantly regretted it. She noticed Sarek lean forward across the table, looking at her with inquisitive eyes. And Spock. Spock seemed very surprised. Maybe he had thought that he was keeping his fears a secret from his mother, that she didn't know how afraid he was of becoming too human. But it was difficult to miss. Amanda knew that her son loved her very much, and his fear of his human nature didn't reflect on his opinion of her.
"Of course," She clarified, "That's just a figure of speech. You'll have to forgive my inaccurate choices of words tonight, Spock. I'm afraid I'm not being very clear."
"Do not concern yourself too greatly, my wife." Sarek reassured her with a slight nod. He waited for Spock to speak and encourage his mother.
"If my studies will not be interrupted, then there is no logical reason I cannot accompany you to earth. I am beginning the application process for the Academy at the commencement of the next educational phase. Provided I may do so unhindered from Earth, then I will go." Spock said, looking at his plate instead of at his parents.
"How long has it been since you were on Earth?" Sarek asked Amanda, making certain that Spock heard this part of the conversation.
"Sixteen years. Really, my husband, I expect you to remember these things…" She answered, shooting him a mischievous glance.
"I have never taken the time to recall it." Sarek lied evenly, managing not to betray the slightest hint of humour. Amanda always doubly enjoyed such statements if he could produce them in the most immensely Vulcan way possible. He didn't know what Spock made of such things. Presumably he found them amusing as well, he seemed to have his mother's sense of humour. And her impulsive love of adventure, though Sarek was hoping Spock would shake that. It would be difficult to reconcile such an inclination with being head of the Academy of Science.
"You'll learn many things there, Spock. The embassy is in San Francisco, not far from the Starfleet Academy. Perhaps we'll be able to take you on a tour of it," Amanda said, brightening up a great deal, "I wonder if they still have handbags…"
"It is likely." Sarek said, considering his wife's musings.
"What are handbags?" Spock asked.
"On Earth, women used to carry any necessary belongings in stylized bags. They were considered an essential part of fashion when I was a young woman. I had about thirty of them. When we took tours of local sites, your father would fill mine with brochure padds. It weighed about a hundred kilos by the time we were done." Amanda laughed, remembering the ups and downs of courtship.
"You will have to purchase a new one if they are still available," Sarek instructed, "There will logically be many updated brochures in San Francisco."
Amanda heard the front door close and tense voices drift up the stairs. She quickly finished making the bed and hurried down the stairs. This morning had promised to bring an important day. A good day. Spock was going before the Academy of Science, and they were going to announce his acceptance. It wasn't necessarily official, but Sarek had used his sway to peek at the records and had been unable to resist sharing the news with her. As she made her way down the stairs, though, Amanda confirmed that there was an argument of some kind going on.
"Your choice is illogical, Spock." Sarek was saying in patient tones. But his voice betrayed itself to his wife. After twenty years of marriage, she could tell when he was in distress. And that was definitely not a very nice thing for him to say to Spock. What had happened? Had the Academy decided to reject him after all? Was it because of his human heritage?
"It is a very logical decision. It is not my concern if you find yourself unable to understand it." Spock replied, keeping his back to Sarek.
"Spock!" Amanda gasped at the insult, and he turned to see her hurrying down the stairs.
Sarek put his hand out with his palm down to placate her and let her know that it was alright.
"It is obvious that you do not realize the weight of your decision. The Academy will forgive you, should you choose to reconsider…" Sarek said, and Amanda flashed him a concerned look. What decision was he talking about?
"I will not reconsider. I am an adult. It is my right to decide upon the path of my education." Spock responded, glancing quickly at Amanda and then returning his steely gaze to Sarek. He knew that he was speaking to his father very harshly, and in that little glance his mother could tell one important thing. He was sorry about it.
"What's happened? What's going on?" Amanda asked in her smoothest voice. Trying to ease the tensions, and stop both of them before they said anything more hurtful.
"I…" Spock began, and hesitated, "I have elected not to join the Academy of Science. I will instead be attending the Starfleet Academy. I will require your assistance making arrangements, Mother."
"Starfleet?" Amanda looked at Sarek, searching for some explanation.
"He rejected his acceptance. In front of the council." Sarek said quietly, and Spock looked away from his parents and at the floor.
"You were accepted?" Amanda asked him, "Why do you want to go to Starfleet?"
"I do not wish to inform you at this time." Spock said, looking into his mother's eyes. His own seemed to beg her not to ask him again. Not to press the issue. Just to leave him alone.
"Well. If you are going, you'll need to prepare. Go upstairs and research what's required for the rest of the application process. I'm sure you'll be allowed entrance, but they'll probably want your records." Amanda said, trying to usher him away so that she could speak privately with his father.
"It is logical to complete the application process without delay. It will allow me to leave sooner." The barb was intended for Sarek, but it cut Amanda instead. It had been bad enough that he would be moving out in order to begin his life at the Academy of Science, but now he wanted to leave the planet entirely. As fast as he could. Amanda tried not to look wounded as Spock hurried up the stairs to his bedroom.
When he was gone, she let out a deep and shaky sigh.
"He does not know what he is doing. Nor what he is saying." Sarek assured her. The night before, she had described her fears of an empty house to her husband, who had used logical conclusions to calm her. Now it was all unravelling.
"Oh, I understand that. I just wish I knew what was going on in that head of his. Why would he join Starfleet of all things? He seemed so… ready for the Academy of Science." Amanda made her way into the kitchen, Sarek following behind her. She poured herself a tall glass of water and began drinking it slowly. It helped to calm her, and she wanted to remain calm for everyone's benefit.
"The administrator made statements that Spock felt were disrespectful." Sarek explained, and it was obvious that there was more he wasn't saying. Amanda knew that there were very few things Sarek would not tell her under such circumstances, and she quickly deduced what had happened. Comments had been made about Spock being half-human. And comments had been made about her.
"The administrator? I'm surprised. You and he have known each other for years." Amanda raised her eyebrows and took another sip of water. It was all coming together.
"I have informed him that his conduct was unsatisfactory, and he concurred. It is why they are willing to accept him despite his own statements." Sarek explained. He was pleased with his wife's mastery of logic, but regretted the facts she had discovered with it.
"Oh no. What did Spock say?"
"That he no longer had a desire to join the Academy and rejected his acceptance. He then informed the entire board that he would be joining Starfleet."
Amanda could tell that Sarek was hurt and disappointed. And her heart ached for both him and their son. It was one of those days that would've be easier if everyone had just discussed their feelings. It wasn't like they actually didn't have them.
"Well, it's not the first time someone's rejected their admission…" Amanda presumed, trying to figure out the future. What had once been clear and simple was now chaos, shrouded in uncertainty.
"Yes. It is." Sarek corrected her.
"But, the Academy is five hundred years old." She shook her head.
"That is correct."
"Interesting." Amanda said, but without the cold tones of a Vulcan. When she said it, it generally meant that she was going to start diverting the conversation while she processed new information. The word had an almost panicked quality to it this time.
"What is best for Spock, my wife?" Sarek asked her with searching eyes.
Amanda considered the question for a long time before answering.
"When he was a child, he was teased for being half-human. All of the time," She began, and Sarek nodded. He raised his eyebrows in an apologetic expression. He knew. "But when you were assigned to San Francisco, he saw another side of what he could be. Maybe he should be given a chance to explore that side. We've given him everything we could - it's time to stand back and watch what he does with it."
"It is time to let him go." Sarek nodded softly.
"Would you like to hear a secret, Sarek?" Amanda asked in just they way she had done when they were first falling in love.
"I have told you. I wish to hear all of your secrets."
"They have science officers in Starfleet." She whispered with a smile on her face.
Sarek raised two fingers in a gesture of affection, and Amanda joined two of her fingers to his. She stood closer to him than a Vulcan wife would have.
He didn't mind.