"in solace found"Genre: Romance, Drama
Time Frame: ST-XI
Characters: Spock/Nyota, Amanda/Sarek
Summary: And sometimes you had to remind yourself that you had captured the heart of a human woman.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine but for the words.
"in solace found"
You have a memory that sticks with you of your mother. While your mind is crammed full of the essence of her – a thousand memories making up a lifetime, not even – this stands out when you turn her character over in your head, wanting to derive something other than the usual your musings managed to draw of her.
It had been years ago, when you were but a small child. It was late in the day; over the horizon the dying sun stained the oncoming night a rich and torrid red. The mountains around your home threw shadows into sharp and jagged patterns across the stone floors, tangling with your feet as you walked.
She had been crying. You knew that not even an hour earlier Amanda had received a communication from her sister on Earth. While you had met your mother's family on a handful of occasions, you did not yet have fixed opinions of them save for the feelings of warmth and contentment that emanated from the group as a whole. There had been a death, you knew, a passing marked by Amanda's putting on black. The odd look that had passed over her features the rest of the day was more telling than the somber color ever would be, and you had puzzled over it. While you had seen her displeasure before, her more negative emotions were normally ones she kept to herself. These feelings she wore on her face now . . . they were so different from the smiles and the joy that you were used to feeling from her.
You did not like it.
When your father returned home from the Embassy hours earlier than expected, you felt a relief swim through you that had no logical base that you could discern. You trailed in Sarek's footsteps as he strode briskly across the foyer to where Amanda had appeared upon feeling his presence at the bond in her mind. There were shadows under her eyes, and wet lines staining her reddened cheeks in shining trails. Her hands trembled as she twined them together.
All was not well, you knew.
When Sarek turned to you, he only nodded his head once in a dismissal. Against the part of your mind that was undeniably Vulcan, you could hear your father's thoughts as if they were clearly spoken. 'Peace, young one. All shall be well.' You nodded once in acknowledgment, sharply. The small thought had eased over everything tumultuous and twisting within you.
When you padded softly down the hall to your rooms, something made you pause and look over your shoulder.
You were not a thought in your parents' minds as Sarek gently led Amanda to the small sitting room. She moved bonelessly, listlessly, completely leaning her small weight on her husband as if he was the only thing keeping her upright. When she sat, it was not with the customary distance that they normally kept in front of you, but right next to him. She was pressed tightly to him, her small hands fisting in the ornate material of his robes.
You tilted your head at this. Curiously, you poked around the wall, just enough so as to not give away your presence.
Sarek was mumbling quietly to her in her own language – one which you knew bits of from your studies. You found it easier to speak at times than your father's tongue. At his words, Amanda seemed to calm, which she further did so upon Sarek wrapping his arms around her, fully embracing her. In all of your years, you had yet to see your father hold your mother.
Her tears had stopped. Her shaking had subsided. Grief lingered about her like an unwelcome specter, but she no longer seemed to drown underneath its weight. It had merely become apart of her.
When he moved to press his fingers to the touch points in her temples – undoubtedly to take as much of her burden as he could onto himself, you turned away, knowing that your prying would be unwelcome at this point.
Later that night, when your mother appeared before bed, you rose up and embraced her, holding tight to her. You could feel her surprise, but a moment later she hugged you back.
In the succeeding years, you tried not to think back on moments missed.
It is years later, and you find yourself turning to thoughts of Amanda and her behavior as you spent more and more time with the woman at your side.
Nyota Uhura is a fascination for you. A strong woman whose beauty extended far past form and into the richness of her mind and personality. Around her you are more and more comfortable, comfortable to the point that there is a part of you that calls her yours.
It was a late hour, and both of you had taken your respective work to his quarters rather than continuing on in his office. Nyota had finished her translations earlier than you, and indulged in watching an old-world holofilm while you continued marking PADDs.
If she started at one end of the couch, and ended merely inches from you, you were not one to comment.
The film was coming to an end – it was something done in black and white, with frivolous sentiments aplenty. If you were watching, which you weren't, you'd comment about the numerous plot deficiencies and the rather bold mannerisms of the lovers portrayed.
When the end credits had Nyota holding back tears you would admit to feeling the first stages of alarm, however illogical the said alarm was.
You were thinking of your next course of action when Nyota took the decision from you.
A moment passed of her sniffling before you felt two arms wrap about you, allowing her head to rest heavily against your chest. Her arms were shaking ever so slightly, giving a tremble you could feel even though she hardly touched you.
You stiffened. Your voice held as much of a tremor as it was apt to when you inquired, "Nyota, what are you doing?"
She was silent. You could feel her tears against your uniform. They were warm.
She snorted softly against your chest. "It's a hug, Spock," she said softly. There was a sort of baffled humor underneath the emotion that made her tone heavy and rough. "It's a human thing."
You raised a brow, even as instinct had you hesitantly moving an arm to wrap around her back. You placed a palm above the trailing ends of her hair, not enough to hold her to you, but enough so that you could feel the warmth of her skin under your palm.
"I am aware of the gesture itself," your voice was odd . . . lower than normal. "I was just not sure as to why you were . . . hugging me."
Even she could hear the indecision in your voice. She puffed out a breath of laughter, further cutting through her tears. "It's . . . a comfort thing. We do it when someone needs to feel better."
"Ah." You could feel the tension in her body fall away when you moved a hand in soothing circles over her back. Logically, you continued the motion. "I see."
A moment passed, and she did not draw away. Strange enough, you no longer felt any desire for her to do so. Her weight against you was . . . pleasing. The steady rhythm of her breathing was soothing, and the tremble in her muscles and the flutter of her fingertips made you in tune to her to a must pleasing degree.
You felt comfort in offering her solace.
"It's also a sign of affection," she said softly when she pulled away. "You do it with people you are comfortable with, whom you care for . . ." Her voice was low, bearing the same inflections that you had noticed in your own voice. It was pleasant to hear.
When she moved to sit back at the other corner of the couch, you found yourself moving closer to her until your thighs were brushing. If, somewhere during the next film, you were to put your arm around her shoulders, she did not complain, and you were left to study these curious new emotions in relative peace.
Affection, she had called it. Comfort, even.
. . . it was acceptable.
It was more than acceptable at times, it was needed even.
Desired, even more so.
You were still shaking even though the adrenaline from battle had long since left. The grief that was so tangible merely hours earlier has become even more so. While vengeance had been sought, and justice delivered, you still feel the pain of your loss in every pulse of your blood in your veins, every draw of breath through your lungs.
You feel so much in that moment that you are surprised that you don't burst from it.
The bridge is being run on a second shift now. One of Kirk's first official orders after they began to limp back to Earth was that all of his senior officers take a break for an hour or two. Undoubtedly, the stress of their first mission was particularly harrowing, and it was only logical, but . . . the inaction now made you more uneasy than the weary hours at your station had.
The silence in your quarters is deafening. The pounding in your head overrides your logic as you try to meditate. The candles before you waver on, burn out. You do not move to rekindle their flame.
Your hands are shaking. Even still.
When, not even an hour later, you hear the doors swoosh open to allow a guest entrance, you do not ask who it is. You simply turn into the embrace that was offered before knowing that you did so. There is an absolution here, small things made right again in the circle of her arms.
Her eyes are wet. She cries where you will not. Can not.
. . . even so, you feel something burning behind your vision.
Need, she had spoken of earlier . . . You needed a hundred things right now – time, and control, and a cessation of grief. And yet, you think that you can be content with – happy with – just her. She is all you need right now. You sigh into her shoulder, and embrace her tighter. Your fingers burrow into the fabric of her uniform. You are surrounded by the scent of her. It calms you, offering a peace that you had long since been seeking.
You recalled your mother years ago, her turned into your father's hold. On her shoulders was a great and terrible grief, yet on her face there was nothing but a hope – a knowledge of passing pains and thanks for what was with her, surrounding her . . .
So, you bury your grief in her arms, and find that the loss settled with you and not on you. Slightly, just softly, you find a solace in her arms that allows you once more to breathe.