An Unforeseeable Development
I do not own Star Trek. I make no money from the words that follow...no money at all. But I do sooo love little Spock. The Vulcan Healer Sorel and Dr Daniel Corrigan are the creations of Jean Lorrah, first seen in The Vulcan Academy Murders.
I have not abandoned The Experiment! I promise I'm working on it. My muse is restless and prone to flights of fancy. And my life is prone to extreme over-booking of disagreeable commitments (i.e. the killer of the smut). But fear not, as my restless muse (whom looks like Mirror Spock, if you're asking) is never far away and generally holding a rather agreeable riding crop.
This story was written for my kind readers who requested it over at Spock_Uhura on lj. I hope it does not disappoint.
TFTSS was kind enough to beta and give encouraging words. *hugs and kisses*
"I saw your naked butt."
Sarek managed to restrict his response to the giggle-ridden statement, made by Cadet Nyota Uhura, like Spock, still in the guise of an approximately four year old child, as she lay on the floor on her side facing his son, to a single raised eyebrow. Amanda, however, unable to contain herself, hid behind a pillow to conceal her overflowing amusement.
Spock pursed his lips for a moment, his face taking on what Amanda had always referred to in his childhood as his 'long-suffering' look, then responded tersely, "The human race's preoccupation with nudity is baffling."
Sarek heard a pillow-muffled snort from Amanda and contemplated whether she was going to need his assistance to avoid choking at their son's statement. She had most assuredly heard those same words from Sarek on more than one occasion—in the exact same tone, no less.
Nyota buried her face in Spock's shoulder, hiccupping with laughter until he spoke again and silenced both her and his mother.
"I believe we are now, as the human expression goes, 'even', K'diwa."
Nyota pulled back from Spock with remarkable swiftness and gasped in apparent mortification. Her free hand flew to her backside as if her posterior had—at that very moment—become bare, before she squeaked out the scarcely audible, "When?"
Spock edged forward until he was comfortably close again, although avoiding eye contact, and murmured with a small smile, "Your roommate talks far too loudly in the mess when she regales your mutual acquaintances with the less than appropriate plans you share with her on occasion." He drew Nyota's hand into the small space between them and began to play with her fingers as he finally met her eyes with his own. "I followed you on one such occasion, concerned for your safety. And you should know, skinny dipping in San Francisco Bay is a misdemeanor crime, ashal-veh (darling one)."
Nyota covered her head completely with her arms as she began to laugh even harder than before. Spock simply lay quietly beside her and looked on, clearly pleased with himself for causing her continued mirth. Her laughter was a sound he appeared to enjoy greatly.
Sarek was completely captivated. They were so very much like him and Amanda.
Amanda's fingers tightened around his own.
"Any word yet?"
Dr Cliffton looked up when he heard Captain Pike's question as he entered the ward from where the physician stood, leaning against the wall outside Commander Spock's room in the infirmary.
"The ambassador joined them about an hour ago," Cliffton replied, looking curiously at the door. "I thought he'd bounce right back out here after giving them the good news and green light us to administer the hypos, but he hasn't come back out." He shifted uncomfortably.
Chris's eyes went from the doctor to the entrance to Spock's room as he nodded in understanding. Vulcan's ambassador to Earth was intimidating, and if he hadn't reemerged from the room, there was a reason. Chris didn't want to be the one to go knocking and intrude on whatever was going on between the Commander, his parents and Cadet Uhura either, but he feared he didn't have a choice.
Admiral Komack was on his way back to the infirmary to check on the status of the situation in person.
'Correction…situations,' Pike thought as he rolled his shoulders, tight and uncomfortable with tension.
Captain Pike received his first communiqué from Admiral Komack regarding, 'the troubling emotive interaction displayed between Commander Spock and Cadet Nyota Uhura', before Starfleet made an announcement concerning the accident. He didn't need to ask the admiral to specify to what 'interaction' he was referring.
The instant the de-aged Commander Spock had rushed into the hallway and took hold of Cadet Uhura, his body language had screamed that he considered what he held to be unequivocally his. Chris wouldn't have been any more surprised if Spock had growled 'that's mine!', like a human child discovering another kid in possession of his favorite toy, as he hauled Uhura's little body away with him.
The show of Spock's feelings in connection to her had played, plain as day, across his little rounded face for the whole damn world (including, unfortunately, his commanding officers) to see; sorrow, confusion, hope, anger, joy, relief, and then…
Christopher couldn't bring himself to even think the word and what it would mean for the man he had selected to be his first officer on the Enterprise.
Of course, not thinking the word wouldn't make it any less than what it was.
None of the unexpected and explosive emotions paraded out by Spock's regressed self had shone as brightly as the last of them to manifest. It had been a poignant finale—when each emotion, in its turn, fell away, revealing the underlying one that had evoked them all. It emanated from Spock, soft and aching in the ensuing stillness, like sunlight pouring out through clouds after a violent storm.
More than one onlooker had felt compelled to avert their eyes from the intensely intimate moment.
Pike began to pace the hall, a slight smirk on his face despite the situation, as the memory of the infuriated, just downright dirty look Spock had thrown at the nurse who had dropped the apparent object of his subjugated Vulcan affections onto the floor swam to the forefront of his mind. He'd thought for a split second that the poor woman was about to be on the receiving end of a far greater physical assault, via the little Vulcan, than the slap in the face she'd taken from the distraught cadet.
Christopher knew, in truth, that the Commander's temporarily four-year-old-self unleashing a miniature, Vulcanized can of "whoop-ass" on the beleaguered nurse would have been far and away better to deal with now, compared to what Starfleet Command and all others present saw, in reality: a small Vulcan boy, actually a decorated and respected Commander in Starfleet, adoringly embracing and taking gentle care of a small human girl, who was actually a cadet and his subordinate, and therefore off limits…because he was in clearly, deeply in love with her.
Spock was in love with Nyota Uhura.
Chris returned to his place across from Dr Cliffton and settled, like the physician, against the wall. He stared, unseeing, at the floor, and recalled the calculating grimace on Komack's face as the captain and Admiral Barnett accompanied him back to headquarters in silence, after Ambassador Sarek had purposefully stepped forward, blocking the view of his son from the watching eyes of Starfleet's top brass and physicians, and literally closed the door in their faces.
Pike sighed and scrubbed his hand across his face for what felt like the hundredth time today.
He needed to talk to the ambassador ASAP. He hoped together they could play off the whole thing as some sort of aberration, just another symptom of the accident, brought about by the same noxious gases that had caused the de-aging. Spock was Vulcan, after all; it was plausible the effects of the accident would be different for him.
There was, however, the problem of how Cadet Uhura had responded with equal zeal to his affections, but Spock was a touch telepath; it could be argued his behavior while in contact with her had provoked the response.
Christopher knew the argument was flimsy at best.
He, like Komack, was in no doubt of what he saw. Spock was in love with Uhura. Uhura was in love with Spock.
Pike looked to the door again.
A logical explanation from the implacable Ambassador from Vulcan would trump anything he could come up with, he was sure. And he was certain Admiral Barnett and everyone else at Command eagerly wanted a way around the issue as much as Pike did. Starfleet didn't want to lose an enormous asset like Spock or the wildly promising cadet. Everybody except for Komack was looking for a way out. Christopher needed to stall or figure out what to tell Komack, or else the worst or the ramifications of the accident, for Starfleet (in his opinion) as well as his Vulcan friend and the bright young cadet, were yet to come.
Amanda and Sarek watched as Nyota Uhura rose from where she had been curled next to their son. Spock got to his feet as well, intent on following her wherever she intended to go, but when Sarek realized that place was the lavatory he stopped the boy with a hand to his shoulder.
He could feel the illogical, residual fear from the accident within his son. Spock was terrified to let Nyota out of his sight, regardless of the fact that he understood they were no longer in danger, that she was alive and well.
While Sarek had observed the 'little ones' as they lay quietly, whispering back and forth to each other and utterly ignoring the world around them, a few things had become clear. Both Spock and Nyota were fully aware of what had happened to them—a number of of their hushed exchanges revealed that they retained the mental faculties of their adult selves. However, their focus and emotional control was definitely representative of their child-like physical state; Spock's irrational fear for her, among other things, was proof of it.
There was also the touching.
Sarek knew Spock would have never freely touched Nyota in the presence of others under normal circumstances, yet in his current state any form of separation seemed absolutely unacceptable, no matter who might be looking; both frequently reached for each other, unconsciously touching one another's hand or face. When silent they lay with their palms pressed together, their foreheads lightly touching. And when Nyota, in one such quiet moment, unexpectedly let out a tiny, anguished sob, haltingly sharing in a small, trembling voice, 'I thought…you…you were dead,' Spock had swiftly engulfed her little frame with his own, wrapping his body entirely around her shaking one, creating a quivering mesh of little limbs.
Spock's control over his emotions at present was far less than he had mastered in his true childhood. But Sarek was unconcerned, considering the cause sufficient in the wake of his son's belief that she who he desired to be his wife had been taken by death. The best of Vulcan control trembled at the loss of something so great.
Sarek logically took the strange circumstances his family was now in as a fleeting opportunity, a gift for Amanda and himself to see those elements in Spock which marked him, in the best way, as his mother's son. Sarek was at peace, reveling in the tiny traces of his son's humanity flowing forth, that which he had trained Spock, in his youth, to hide away.
Captain Pike sighed.
"We need to get in there."
Dr Cliffton nodded his head in agreement and started toward the door when a large group of Vulcans entered the ward, led by Admirals Komack and Barnett.
Before their escorts could speak, the tallest of the Vulcans, easily half a foot taller than Spock, stepped forward and spoke.
"I am Sorel, chosen healer of Ambassador Sarek and his family. My associate, Dr. Corrigan, was unable to leave Vulcan at this time."
Admiral Komack cleared his throat.
"The ambassador understandably desired the physician most familiar with Commander Spock to be present in case complications arise," Komack explained shortly, looking quickly at Sorel, and then allowing his eyes to sweep the rest of the group, before turning back to Cliffton and Pike. He was clearly bewildered by the healer's entourage; a few of the Vulcan males were massive, seemingly more like soldiers than scientists.
Nyota reappeared from the lavatory as the chime requesting entrance to the room sounded. Dr Cliffton appeared , followed immediately by Sorel, before Sarek or Amanda could verbally acknowledge his request to enter.
Dr. Cliffton looked apologetic as he spoke.
"I thought you would wish to be informed that Sorel had arrived," he said, politely deferring to the Vulcan healer, whose eyes had fallen with open curiosity on Spock, then shifted and lingered on Nyota. "We have the hypos ready to administer to Commander Spock and Cadet Uhura. I believe it would be best if we removed the cadet to a room of her own before we proceed."
Sarek kept his hand in place on Spock's shoulder as he agreed with the doctor's assessment, attempting to assist his son in controlling his emotions swelling in response to Nyota's impending departure. He could feel Spock's desire to take hold of the girl and retreat from Cliffton. Spock wanted to keep her with him, with the thought that he could aid her in dealing with the pain of transformation that he had heard Sarek disclose to his mother earlier.
Dr Cliffton extended his hand to Nyota while giving her a gentle smile and she took it obediently, though when she looked at Spock and Sarek there were tears welling in her eyes. As she was led away, she passed close to father and son, and Spock reached out his hand to hers, his index and middle fingers extended. Sorel's eyes widened marginally at the action, but he said nothing, even as Nyota met Spock's fingers quickly, touching them with her own small fingers in the ozh'esta. As their touch broke apart Sarek heard her whisper, 'I love you, Spock'. He felt Spock's little body lurch forward, desperate to follow, but Sarek held him fast.
When the door closed, Spock looked into his father's eyes, his own dark and glassy. He raised his hand, palm up, to him and said, 'Sanoi (Please).'
Sarek touched his hand to his son's and his mind was filled with the image of his clan's koon-ut (place of marriage). Spock showed him the cold image of T'Pring, as she had been the day she and Spock were bonded, and then swiftly replaced it with a glowing, dark skinned woman with large dark eyes, a small smile and long loose hair. Sarek easily recognized Nyota, though she was in her true, adult form in the image.
Sarek did not believe he could deny Spock the very thing that he himself had also so desperately desired when he found Amanda.
Sorel stood silently by the door observing the wordless exchange. Spock's pain at the girl's departure was acute and his discomfort as well as his longing for her was perceived by the healer without effort on his part.
"It appears you require my assistance beyond preparation for any eventuality resulting from the antidote," he said quietly, drawing Spock's imploring gaze.
Sarek looked from his son to Sorel. He knew the healer maintained a close friendship with his associate, Dr Daniel Corrigan, and he had the impression that Sorel would not hesitate to allow his child, a daughter, to bond with a human someday. He understood.
"Yes. It does indeed appear thus."
Sarek had learned from the meld with Spock that the bond established with T'Pring in the boy's youth was tenuous at best, shunned by the girl and neglected by both herself and his heir. Sarek would not require T'Pau's skill to dissolve it, but he was uncertain he could establish the bond his son sought with the human girl. Sarek had not touched Nyota's mind and was therefore unaware if a traditional bond, like he and Amanda shared, would be possible to forge, binding Spock to her.
Sorel approached the bio-bed and motioned for Spock to join him. He would meld with Spock before he gave him the hypo that would restore him. Sarek led Spock over and placed him on the surface of the bed. But before Sorel could touch Spock's mind the door hissed open again, this time forgoing the chime completely.
Captain Pike entered. Behind him Sarek could see Admiral Komack pacing the hall.
"Please forgive the intrusion, Ambassador," Pike said, looking at Sarek and then Amanda, tipping his head to her respectfully. "But we need to talk."
Sarek sat with his wife, each pondering all that Captain Pike had said to them. The Captain was deeply concerned for their son and the cadet, and it pleased them both to know Spock had such a friend.
Sarek turned his mind to Spock's memories of the accident which he had shared with his son through the meld.
Spock became cognizant that the containment fields had failed, three point four seconds before the alert signaling the impending danger rang out. He shouted out calm commands, but several first year cadets in his charge panicked, nonetheless. Unknown smoke and gas filled the air, creating a frenzy to get away as loud alarms finally began to sound. Sarek saw Nyota as Spock had in the rising disorder, staying calm, assisting one who had fallen to the ground in the chaos before the billowing smoke concealed her.
He felt Spock's mounting fear at being unable to visual confirm Nyota was with him and well. Then he felt his confusion as the group's escape route became impaired by an unknown variable. The cadets began crowding together, their uncontrolled fear pummeling Spock's weakening mental shields as they pressed against him, clamoring and blindly pushing forward, disregarding his instructions. All were unaware of the transformative process already taking hold of some of the individuals within the group.
Spock's frustration and anger flared, as biting and sharp as it had been in the moment, as Sarek relived with him his success at finally distinguishing Nyota from the others. His eyes found her directly in front of him, in a brief reprieve from the smoke, only to see a cadet, in an attempt to break from the push of bodies, give a great shove to those around him, and then vault his body over the stairs railing to drop to the next flight ahead of the others. The cadet's boot connected sharply with the side of Nyota's head as she reached to steady one he had pushed, causing her to stumble toward the rail as well. Spock saw a flash of red blood streak across Nyota's face before she disappeared, following the cadet who had struck her over the railing.
His mind had screamed her name.
The rest of the meld was darkness and calculations.
Hours later Sarek was able to view all video logs available that had captured the incident while researching the compromised lab. When the smoke was effectively cleared it revealed Spock to be the only victim of the accident who remained conscious, though barely, when aid arrived on the scene, crawling in his transformed state, on his hands and knees.
Spock's eyes were open but obviously temporarily blinded by the smoke as he felt his way from one victim to the next. The others watching the log with the ambassador deduced the commander was bravely and dutifully taking a head count to ensure that he had successfully evacuated those in his charge. Sarek knew that part of Spock's mind had indeed performed that function, but that it was a secondary goal. His son had dropped his already weakened mental shields, intent on laying his hands on one individual after another, searching the tangle of small bodies for Nyota.
The fear and desolation Sarek felt within Spock as he spent those moments seeking Nyota in the darkness had almost been too overwhelming to share. Sarek sensed Spock's coming loss of consciousness and had ended the meld there.
The video logs showed Sarek what Spock himself had not known…that when his small body had succumbed to the effects of the smoke and gases and he lost his hold on consciousness, it was at Nyota's feet, the tips of his fingers on his outstretched hand mere centimeters from the toe of her loose and dangling boot.
Sarek struggled to suppress and conceal his pride at his son's tenacity.
Amanda had always loved Sarek, but never as much as at this moment.
Starfleet, or more precisely Admiral Komack, really didn't know what they were going up against in their 'unofficial' meeting with her husband. She almost felt sorry for the pompous man.
Amanda sighed to herself, thinking of the wasted time they could be spending with Spock, but was comforted that he was in good hands with Sorel.
Sarek answered all of Starfleet's questions in his usual logical and methodical manner.
Failing to acknowledge what was obvious would have been illogical, indeed. Starfleet had evidence their son and the cadet shared an attachment to each other, but that was all. Their interaction in the infirmary in no way proved that at any time in their adult forms they had acted on said attachment.
There was nothing in Starfleet's own records that could show even a whiff of favoritism on Spock's part. In fact, in the few classes in which he had actually been her instructor, the transcripts clearly showed him to be her strictest and most unforgiving teacher. Being a Vulcan, he wasn't predisposed to handing out praise and her records looked very much as all his other students' records did. When one compared the gushing recommendations and notes made by her other instructors with the comments made by Spock regarding Nyota, his looked positively banal.
And Sarek had read Starfleet Academy's fraternization policy. While he reiterated that there was no proof that either had acted on their regard for one another, if Spock and Nyota chose to do so, it was allowed. The Lieutenant was no longer Spock's student, she was his aide. While a relationship between the two at this time would quite plainly be frowned upon by Command, the regulations were vague, it was not technically prohibited; they need only inform their commanding officers of their intent.
The officers sitting on the panel seemed more than happy to take what Sarek had to say and close the issue. Only Admiral Komack seemed to show a desire to continue, stating that what he had seen transpire between Commander Spock and Cadet Uhura clearly conveyed a deep level of intimacy that he believed was tantamount to misconduct.
The admiral was furious for some unknown reason and he wasn't letting it go. When that fact became perfectly clear, Sarek looked at him with face devoid of expression and stated evenly, straight to the heart of the matter.
"Cadet Uhura and Commander Spock are not lovers, Admiral Komack."
Several of the officers flinched and had the decency to appear embarrassed at the Vulcan Ambassador's bluntness.
Sarek abhorred speaking of such intensely private matters, but he was growing weary of Komack's continued pursuit of the matter, and what he shared was simply the truth. Regardless of the fact that Spock deeply admired and desired Nyota, the cadet had only hours ago seen his son's posterior for the first time, and then only a four year old version of it.
Sarek could feel Amanda's amusement at his thought.
Spock's father knew his son positively ached for Nyota, but he had not touched her intimately. He would not mate with Nyota while he was bound to T'Pring, however weak the bond was; it would dishonor both women and himself to do so.
He was well informed T'Pring had not been so honorable.
Sarek felt regret in his new awareness that Spock had been striving to form unemotional arguments to present to his parents in order to break the bond with T'Pring almost from the moment he had met Nyota, delaying only because of what he believed his father's response would be. It was of no consequence now, as Sarek had spoken via sub-space with T'Pau before he met with Pike, informing her of Spock's desire and Sorel's intent to dissolve the ill-conceived match.
"You can't really expect us to take your word for that, can you, Ambassador Sarek? Forgive me, but most grown men don't share their sexual indiscretions with their parents."
Sarek blinked at Admiral Komack's insulting remarks, but otherwise gave no outward physical response.
"I cannot control what you choose to believe, Admiral Komack. Nor am I at liberty to produce the physical evidence of the truth of my statement, evidence that you appear to so desire. However, Starfleet is perpared to do so; you need only consult Ms Uhura's medical records with the academy to obtain the proof you seek."
Komack stared back, his eyebrows drawn together in confusion for forty seven point four seconds before he realized what Ambassador Sarek had actually said.
Admiral Barnett was horrified… and done, just absolutely done.
He shot his peer a very noticeable glare as half the esteemed panel blanched and squirmed uncomfortably at Komack's obscene question and the revealing answer he'd forced the ambassador to give. Barnett, along with the few others there, appeared absolutely ashamed to be sitting in front of Sarek of Vulcan, unofficial or not, even with their concerns over the emotional display many had seen between the Commander and the Cadet.
Commander Spock and Lt. Uhura were members of Starfleet with exemplary records, who had always exhibited behavior beyond reproach. As far as Barnett was concerned Komack was the one who needed to be concerned for his career at this point.
Admiral Barnett began to apologize profusely when Ambassador Sarek's assistant Soran entered the room, stating the Ambassador and his wife were required at the infirmary immediately.
The ward was curiously devoid of activity when Sarek and Amanda returned to the infirmary. Two remarkably large Vulcans were the only beings in sight, standing quietly as they flanked the entrance to Spock's room.
As if he sensed their arrival, Sorel emerged from the room adjacent to the one Spock occupied.
He looked…bemused and inclined his head in greeting as he moved forward to meet the ambassador and his wife.
"The conversion was successful and transpired for Spock much as it did for the humans impacted by the incident. His physical form is as it should be, as are his mental faculties."
Amanda let out an exasperated breath.
"Sorel, please. Soran wouldn't have practically run into our friendly little get together with Komack if there weren't something seriously wrong."
Sorel drew closer to the ambassador and his wife and lowered his voice.
"It appears the sudden and rapid shift in Spock's physiology has prompted the unfortunate onset of his time." He raised his hand in a silent human gesture he had unconsciously picked up from his human medical partner, one which begged patience when Amanda's eyes widened in horror.
"His present symptoms are mild. I believe his human biology, while not overriding the mating imperative, seems to be tempering it. At this juncture his demeanor is far more…amorous than aggressive."
"Your son and his betrothed are quite resourceful, as well as determined. We were unsuccessful in keeping them apart."
Amanda's mouth fell open as Sarek's eyes locked on the entrance to Spock's room.
"They are, Ambassador. Quite vigorously, in fact."
Amanda could not stop herself and burst out laughing.
Sorel could discern Sarek's need for more information, though he had been rendered speechless and therefore unable to request it verbally.
"Sarek, I discovered much in my meld with Spock. His mental abilities are remarkably formidable for one so young. When he showed you the koon'ut, he was not seeking your assistance in dissolving the bond with the mate you had selected for him, but rather your approval—I believe the more precise, human term is 'blessing'-to do so. He allowed you to see the weak link to T'Pring, while diligently shielding and hiding away the one he himself had already established with Nyota Uhura. The feat was quite extraordinary considering his de-aged condition at the time of your meld and the vibrancy of his connection to the human.
"Upon your departure from the infirmary, he requested to meditate alone for a period of time. He meditated long enough to effectively sever the bond with T'Pring and then used the rest of the time he had requested utilizing his PADD to infiltrate the infirmary computers, locate Ms Uhura, and plant a virus in the computer system of this facility."
"It took the staff one hour and forty seven minutes to locate their hiding place, under the desk in the office of a surgeon Spock had learned is currently taking holiday with her family. He used their time together to assist Nyota in practicing shielding techniques he had already taught her, in to help her deal with the pain of transformation and to strengthen the bond between them in ways he was unable to while the bond with T'Pring, however weak, was in place."
"He was undoubtedly successful in fortifying their bond. When he felt the first stirrings of Pon Farr after being restored to his adult form and called to her, Nyota heard him. And as Starfleet personnel are, even at this moment, still working to eradicate the virus Spock planted, the diversionary tactic was as effective at assisting Nyota to go to Spock as it was at enabling him to go to her."
Amanda had reined in her laughter and was trying very hard not to start up again. The look on Sarek's face as he continued to stare at the door was priceless. Although she was bewildered as to why he would be so unprepared to see such behavior in Spock. He was, after all, very much his father's son.
"So," she said, clearing her throat. "A direct beam-out from the room here to a prepared room at Vulcan's embassy would be the most prudent course of action?"
"Yes, T'sai." Sorel replied.
"And my husband should inform Admiral Komack that while our son and Cadet Uhura were not lovers previously, they have, since that discussion, become lovers and are now, in fact, married."
Sorel looked at Sarek, who turned and narrowed his eyes infinitesimally at his wife.