Another Sky

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. Sadly enough.

Warnings: Vague spoilers for the recent movie

AN: Can be considered a sequel to my Spock/Uhura story, Acquainted with the Night. Inspired by this super awesome Spock Prime/T'Pol fic over on LJ.

He met her first quite by accident. Hair long and darkened by moisture. Walking with her red umbrella held high to combat the rain. Sarek himself could only stand in the entranceway and watch it pour down. Even after his years on Earth and in this city in particular, he was still not used to the weather. To this world's incessant need to dump such vast quantities of water on his head.

He observes her as she approaches, heeled shoes marking a soft click on the sidewalk, features hidden beneath the haze and the red fabric. Sarek expects her to pass him by, to continue on her way as any stranger would most certainly do. However, she pauses just in front of him and turns, umbrella tipping back to reveal a young woman with liquid eyes that seem far too wise to match the rest of her appearance. She studies him for a moment, calm and serene in spite of the storm around her.

"There's enough room for two," she comments by way of greeting.

Sarek lifts an eyebrow in response. "Your pardon, but I am not certain what you mean."

That only earns him a smile. Small but still noticeable, the edges of her mouth moving up.

"My umbrella," she explains, "it was made for two, so there is room for you as well."

He stares at her for a moment. Silently weighing the offer. The heaviness of the rain. The fact that he has already stood in this doorway for nearly a standard hour.

Sarek slips beneath the umbrella with a nod of gratitude and matches her sedate pace. They walk in relative quiet. Interrupted only by the splash of rainwater and the sounds of others hurrying to get out of the storm. He is intrigued by her, by the fact that she would offer shelter to a stranger and an alien at that.

And as if sensing his thoughts, she looks at him.

"Amanda," she says then, and at his puzzled look, her lips pull upwards once more. "My name is Amanda."

He examines her for a minute. And there is nothing but honesty in her curved yet smooth face. Nothing but acceptance. Even a hint of curiosity. Simply warm like the desert at sunset. Not hot and burning, instead the cool fire that settles into night.

Finally, he inclines his head at her unspoken question. "I am called Sarek."

She who fills his bed now is his lawful and bonded wife, but she is not and never will be Amanda. But like he, she has lost. Her human companions. Her world. Her dearest. She has outlived them all.

They lie together in silent comprehension. Bare skin pressing together. Her belly is ripe and full with life between them but still soft and pliant beneath his fingers. His son will be here tomorrow, come to see the birth of his brother with his mate in tow. And it is not as awkward a situation as one would imagine. Grown son meeting new wife, the woman who has filled his mother's role. They have their own sort of understanding.

She is not Amanda, and Spock is not the daughter she has lost.

They wed three times. The first is their bonding, the Vulcan ceremony with only the bare minimum of guests and Amanda impossibly beautiful in the morning light. The second is not her idea, but she acquiesces if only to smooth the transition and their marriage in the minds of her parents. The third is a wedding fit for a king. Or in this case, an ambassador from one of the most important planets in the Federation marrying a daughter from the other most influential planet. The event of the decade. Nearly a thousand guests with an orchestra and dancing that lasts through the night.

Neither of them is pleased by the last ceremony. Imminently relieved when it is over and done. When they are back at their shared home the following evening and curled together. He is Vulcan and not a young man by any means, but his skin tingles at just the sight of her, and they move together like the world is on fire.

And Sarek knows that he cannot give her a child through natural means. That it is not a logical possibility. Yet, they still try. Enjoyable and pleasurable unions that make her laugh with delight both before and during. Skin against skin and her mind wrapped around him just like her body. Couplings that would leave all of Vulcan scandalized if they knew of it.

Science succeeds where nature has failed, however. A Vulcan-human hybrid. His ears and physiology. But no one can mistake that Spock has her eyes. Dark, curious, and lovely.

She is a rare breed, his current wife. She too understands the pull of humanity. The seduction inherent in their very beings. But she never had the luxury he did. Never had the chance. The opportunity to allow her human lover his proper place at her side.

Circumstances worked against them. Time worked against them. The very universe herself conspired against them. Giving them a son who was merely a figment of an unrealized reality. Giving them a daughter later. Only to steal her as well.

So much loss. Children and mate. Humans and half-breeds. But all beloved.

"Amanda was my wife," he explained just before they were married. "She was my wife, but for the sake of us all, I have to let her go."

"Amanda was my… friend," T'Pol responded in return, eyes full of knowledge. "The two of us were outcasts together. The human who married a Vulcan. And the Vulcan who wishes she had married a human."

Amanda ages faster than he does; she is only human after all. It is expected. But even if he does not say the words, he loves every wrinkle that lines her face. Still worships skin that is no longer as firm or supple. She understands where their son does not and reassures him in her quiet but passionate way that one day he will.

Sarek knows that life here – on Vulcan – has not been easy for either of them. That between the heat and the snub of others, Amanda does not much leave the house or have reason to do so. Spock has his own difficulties. Plagued by the jealousy of his peers and the prejudice unwittingly spread by their parents. He allows them their nighttime strolls without comment, allows them their time together to be free. To liberate the humanity residing within both of them. It is his silent gift to them, to those who he cherishes above all else.

And he is not as surprised by Spock's later defiance as one would think. His son may resemble him physically, but he is still Amanda's child. Still possesses that human fire, the hidden brightness of her soul. While he is equal parts disappointed and admittedly displeased, Sarek is also relieved. Vulcan has stifled his son to a point, has obstructed his natural growth, and Starfleet – Earth – will provide him a welcome opportunity. The chance to explore the other side of himself. The half that is all her and has not been tainted by Sarek or his race at all.

She weeps the night Spock leaves, but her tears are for all three of them. Sarek brushes her hair from her eyes afterwards and silently wonders if he has made the right decision. If choosing to live here and raise Spock as a Vulcan was correct. If Earth, the place he had met his wife and could walk down the street without bringing shame to anyone, would not have been the better choice.

He meets T'Pol again in Starfleet Headquarters. Sarek is leaving Admiral Archer's office, and they pass in the hallway. He has not seen her for years, though she and Amanda kept regular contact. They had a kinship of sorts, a connection that few others could fathom. She was good to his wife where few were. Respectful. Kind.

Amanda spoke of her often and with great affection. It eases the hard knot in his chest to know that sentiment was obviously returned. That his wife could call this woman friend if no one else.

They exchange customary greetings as they near one another, but they both pause then. Halfway down an otherwise unoccupied corridor.

"I grieve with thee," T'Pol says as they stand before each other. Her face is solemn as it should be, but her eyes tell the true tale. Show the pain that her heart doesn't dare speak. The agony of loss and regret that he will also carry until his death.

"I grieve with thee," she repeats softly and steps closer.

Unlike the others, he knows that she truly means it.

There is no grave for her, but he places her name on a marker behind his new house. It is later joined by three others. Another human and two half-breed children. No one aside from T'Pol or he knows that it even exists. They can see it in the distance as they take breakfast outside, a secret comfort that eludes guests no matter how often they visit. It belongs to them and no others.

They do not actively seek a child but decide to let nature take her course. T'Pol conceives within three months of their marriage, a rarity given her age and Vulcan fertility in general. But they are not displeased by the occurrence. Far from it. This only serves to draw them further together. To bring a sense of possibility and optimism to their interactions. Life is never wrong, and new life is better still.

He thinks that Amanda would be relieved… would be happy that he is not alone. That her friend is not alone. That they have found each other. That they have a future.

They name him Stark. A sturdy and solidly Vulcan name that is steeped in tradition. And of course, it is entirely coincidental that this word holds a meaning in Standard as well. That it is sometimes used among humans to name their own children.

Spock's chosen is the first to hold him. Dark skin such a contrast to the pale flesh of the infant in her arms. She is infinitely gentle with him, warm and soft and so impossibly like Amanda that Sarek has to look away. But T'Pol's fingers on his own tell him that she understands completely. That this is a bittersweet moment for her as well.

"Beautiful," his son's mate whispers then, cupping a dainty ear. "So beautiful."

And she holds the boy out for Spock to see. A purely Vulcan child in the arms of a human woman being presented to a hybrid, a half-breed. The perfect mixture of all that they – that both of them – have ever loved.

Sarek's hand tightens around hers, and she softly settles her head onto his shoulder as they watch.

"Yes," T'Pol responds, "it is."

AN: Title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem, There is Another Sky.

Ever Hopeful,