I'm Done With You
This was not the first time things had gone this way between the two of them. Amanda was angry with him yet again. Her intelligent mind was highly attractive to him but it was still illogical and given to waves of anger toward him over things that, in his opinion, were easily resolved.
The only difference, this time, was she'd told him she was 'done with him'. When she'd said it she hadn't been emotional like the other times she'd been angry with him. No, this time her face was straight and her voice level though her eyes were blazing with anger. And she had also not spoken to him now for one week, three days, six hours and 10.5937 seconds. In the past they usually made up within 72 hours. What did it matter? She would come around.
He turned back to his desk and continued to work. Ever since coming to the Vulcan Embassy on Earth life had become unexpectedly complicated. And Amanda was one of the biggest complications. But he kept telling himself, she would come around soon enough.
Amanda awoke that morning and lay in bed looking up at her ceiling. She had most certainly been angry with Sarek over a week ago. Yes, the man had a penchant for being quite insensitive sometimes. Other times he surprised her with his thoughtfulness. Well what did she expect? He was a Vulcan. He was not human. Even human men stepped on their girlfriend's toes from time to time. But when having his attention called to whatever it was she found unbearable he could be so pig-headed. And that pig-headedness usually set her off pretty badly. But this last time had been the final straw. She would not continue to be with a man that insisted on their relationship remaining a secret. No, that was it for her and she'd told him so. She was not something to be ashamed of.
He'd since left two messages on her comm. She got the point of said messages, all right. He thought she was having another 'irrational display of emotion' and would get over it in time. He wasn't even taking what she had to say to him seriously. She only bothered to send him one return message and that was last night. She didn't send it to his comm, but to the embassy so he wouldn't do something like call her right back. She hoped it got through to him on a deeper level and she wondered if he'd opened it yet.
Sarek saw he had a message from Amanda that morning. Although he would admit it to no one, there was a sense of relief that washed over him. Finally, she was speaking to him again. He pressed the button to hear her message. To see her face again after so long had an unexpected effect on him. His muscles relaxed further, and then he registered the look on her face. She was not smiling. But at least her eyes were no longer angry.
"Sarek, I've received both your messages." She paused for a second and seemed to exhale nervously. "I've decided to be as clear as possible in this message to you so there are no doubts in your mind about my position. I will acknowledge, you are quite correct, I should endeavor to learn to control my emotions better and I will do so in the future. But I refuse to stay with a man who makes me feel as if I am on level with a child anytime I bring up something I disagree with in the way that things are going between us.
"Furthermore, I will not be hidden in your life like something thrown in a closet or under a bed. I've been my own woman for a while now so I'll be fine continuing to do so from hereon out. You don't respect me, it's obvious, and a relationship like that can't survive." She smiled then, but it did not reach her eyes. "Just because things are over between us doesn't mean I see you in a bad light. I understand why you think you have to keep things between us a secret, but I can't go along with it anymore. It might not be logical to you but it is to me. And since our logic does not see eye to eye there is no logic in the two of us remaining together. I release you. We are officially over and done with." The connection was cut then and she was gone from the screen.
Sarek's mind was hung up on the words at the end of her message. He must not have heard her correctly. No, he had heard her correctly. It was not logical to pretend one's hearing was off when you heard what you did not wish to hear. She had told him the week before that things between them were over. He had not listened to her then. Here she was, now, in a message with her emotions well controlled. She'd presented what she'd needed to say and was not shouting. It bothered him on a deep level that she assumed he did not respect her. He would never have embarked on a relationship with a woman he did not respect!
Everything she'd said in that message kept replaying itself in his mind. He couldn't concentrate for the rest of the day. Only half his work got done but no one noticed because the Ambassador was always notoriously ahead of schedule.
By the end of the day he had already resolved to reason with Amanda to induce her to open herself back up to their union. And more than anything she needed to know he did respect her.
Amanda was at her second job doing backup work on the Universal Translator only three blocks from the Vulcan Embassy. It hurt her to be so close in vicinity to Sarek and yet so far, but she had already told him things were over between them. Twice. She flinched when she remembered what she'd said to him the week before.
"I'm not something you can just put into or remove from a box when the whim strikes you! I'm a person, but you insist on believing that just because I show my emotions they are unimportant and always illogical. Well you shouldn't have dated an Earth woman. If you were so LOGICAL, Sarek, what were you thinking dating me? Or was it some kind of experiment on how much illogic a Vulcan could bear before having to drive himself to Mount Seleya?"
"Amanda, I fail to see why it is necessary for this conversation to disintegrate into harsh words and wholesale emotion."
"I guess you would feel that way. And you're right. I shouldn't at all be angry with you for feeling the way you do, but I am angry with you and that's why this will never work out."
That's when she'd calmed down and took a good look at him, his handsome face, his proud bearing, though he would never admit to something as foolish as pride. She really loved him. But he didn't respect her as an emotional being. "You can't help who you are anymore than I can help who I am."
"That is a logical conclusion," he admitted.
It was hearing the 'L' again word that pushed her over an edge. "I'm done with you." She'd turned around and left him standing there in the botanical gardens, a date that had turned into a disaster.
She wondered if he'd even cared since he hadn't bothered to come after her. She was then upset with herself for assuming he wouldn't care. Just because he was a Vulcan didn't mean he wouldn't care. She just didn't know what affect it would have on him. Well fortunately, she remembered, he had meditation. He would probably get over the two of them being finished way before she had. Because she wasn't over him yet, not by a long shot. She was just beginning to feel the first pangs of regret for ending things the way she had. But she knew she was right. A relationship like this could only lead to her feeling badly about herself all of the time. And that she would not do.
"Amanda, are you all right?"
She looked up. It was John, one of her co-workers on the Federation Standard-to-Vulcan side of the software section of translation. He was one of the few humans working on the translator, though to be fair the bunch working on it happened to be an eclectic mix from all over the known Federation for that time. John had always been obviously attracted to her but she had never been attracted to him. He knew that and he seemed to be all right with it. But that never stopped him from trying to get her to go out on a date with him. "I'm fine, John. What's going on with the program today?"
He sat down next to her and smiled, his blue eyes warming over. "Forget that. You've been looking lost since the last time I saw you. What was it, last week Wednesday?"
That had been a few days after the not-so-nice confrontation with Sarek. She almost cringed again thinking of her words to him. "I'm done with you." It hurt to think of those words, over and over again. "Well what's going on, John?" she asked, trying to put her problems to the back of her mind for now.
"How about we go out to dinner?" he said, on a whim.
She smiled. "Why would I do that?"
"Because you look like you could use a night out with a friend."
"With a friend?"
"I can tell that look on your face, Amanda. You're having some kind of man trouble probably. But I want you to know I'm here for you as a friend. I'm not going to try to put any moves on you right now…even though I really want to," he joked.
They both laughed about that for a second. It was the first time she'd laughed in over a week. "Thanks, John. I appreciate your concern."
"So what do you say?" he asked with a big smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes.
And she automatically thought of that twinkle Sarek would get in his eyes when he was suggesting something just inside the realm of mischief. "Dinner?"
"Between friends," he mentioned again.
She shrugged. "Why the hell not!"
Sarek knew where she went on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She was one of the consultants for the second phase of the Universal Translator prototypes. Her mind truly was intriguing. He found it commendable that despite her emotions and not being able to meditate in the same way as himself, she was always an efficient worker. Admiration wasn't the only way he felt for Amanda. He was at the door of 'adoration' for her and was having difficulty accepting it. Anytime he came close to allowing that emotion into his mind concerning her he became stiff and formal toward the thought of the two of them and it always set their relationship back by weeks. Perhaps it was time for him to let that part of himself come through with her? And then he remembered, she was 'done with him'.
As he drove himself to her second job that Wednesday night he decided, he was not done with her! It was not logical for only one of a unit to decide to end a relationship. It should be a mutual decision. And he had not decided he was ready for things to be over between them. She had released him from their relationship but he had not released her. And it would take a lot more than one argument and one good-bye recording for him to do so. Amanda was about to learn what women on Vulcan knew from time immemorial. You can't break up with a Vulcan male quite that easily.
As Sarek pulled his vehicle into the parking lot of the office building that contained the new Universal Translator prototype his demeanor became dark and instinct was fighting to take over. Because emerging from the building he saw a male walking, talking and laughing with the woman whom he had decided was still his. He knew the male, a human by the name of John who had had undisguised interest for Amanda for quite some time. And now he was taking advantage of her single state and…
But no one knew the two of them had been dating. He'd insisted on things being kept secret between them. So how would this male know? Unless Amanda told him of her newly single status. The only reason she would do that was if she were seeking another male to replace him. His jaw muscles flexed and it was a wonder none of his teeth cracked from the amount of pressure being applied to them.
Before he could think out the logic of his actions, Sarek exited his vehicle and walked straight up to Amanda and John. "Amanda, it is imperative that I speak with you now."
She jumped. What the—"Sarek?" she asked. She'd never seen him look quite so…enraged? He was angry? What for?
"Ambassador Sarek," John greeted him. "Nice to see you again."
He looked over at the human with an expression on his face that held nothing but a silent warning not to say another word to him.
John had the sensation of one about to be punched out and didn't understand why. He looked at Amanda. "If you have something you need to take care of over at the embassy-" he began.
"Don't be silly!" she told him. "We're going out to dinner."
"Well I'll go sit in the car until you're done," he said and beat it out of there as fast as he could.
Amanda watched John disappear into his vehicle. She then turned to Sarek with a controlled look of annoyance on her face. It was so good to see him, but she couldn't let on. They were broken up, she reminded herself. "What do you want, Sarek?"
She'd never spoken to him in this dismissive manner! "The recording you sent me-"
"Oh, you got it?" she said, trying to remain calm. She was determined this would not end in shouting on her part. She would remain as cool as possible. Becoming animated would only make her feel disappointment in herself later.
"I have not consented to an end to our relationship, Amanda," he let her know.
Some part of her thrilled to hear those words. But another part of her saw them as just words. "Sarek, it doesn't work that way here. It only takes one party to dissolve a union of any kind unless there's a written contract which I don't remember signing when we got together." And she saw the muscles in his jaw clenching. He was really angry! She wouldn't point it out, though. That would be kicking him while he was down.
"I believe our differences can be resolved. Logic dictates that we resolve them before a decision can be made."
She sighed heavily. He wasn't taking the break-up too well. She hadn't expected this from him. If she was honest with herself she wasn't taking things too well either. She could at least hear him out, but she was busy right now. "How about this? Why don't you let me come by the Embassy tomorrow during business hours? I can schedule an appointment and we can see what we can resolve during that timeslot."
Why was she speaking with him as if they were simply another item of business? "I would speak with you this evening, Amanda!" he said while trying to maintain his composure.
She nodded. "All right. I'll go out to dinner and then I'll come by your place afterward, I promise."
It took all of his might to let her walk away from him. But he needed her to know he respected her. And she had never once lied to him in all the time they'd known one another.
They'd gone to a semi-nice place. Not exactly a fast-food restaurant but also not date material as far as the cuisine went. It was a buffet with several types of ethnic cuisine. John ate well, but Amanda only picked at her food the entire time.
"What's going on with you, Amanda?"
"Huh?" she asked.
"You've just been sitting here the entire time. I've had three plates of food and you're still on your first plate."
She smiled over at him. He really did have nice warm eyes. But they didn't compare to Sarek's. "I'm just trying to get over something, John."
"Is it a man?" he asked.
She smiled even wider. "Yes, it's a man."
"Tell me about him."
She thought about it. So long as she didn't mention the ambassador's name, what harm could it do to talk this out with herself with John as a sounding board? It wasn't as if she could call her mother or her best friend to talk about this. Her mother didn't agree with her dating the ambassador in the first place. And her best friend was had already taken Sarek's side. She felt Amanda should work things out between the two of them. "Sometimes I just feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall," she admitted. "That's all there is to it."
"So is it something like he won't change?"
She nodded. "That's something like it."
"And you won't change either?" he asked.
She frowned. This was not what she needed to hear. "Not you, too, John."
He nodded. "Think about it. Compromise is a big key of relationships."
"I guess you're right."
"And the Ambassador is a smart man. He's not going to let you go without a fight."
"How did you know?" she asked, her mouth open wide.
"Are you kidding me? You two are the biggest known secret to everyone in the Universal Translator department. Probably the Vulcans have already figured out what's going on between the two of you at the embassy but their manners won't allow them to breach the subject to either one of you."
Amanda put her head in her hands and just groaned in embarrassment. Here she thought they'd been discreet. But she should have known. Meet someone for dinner often enough, go to their office once or twice a month, have them meet you outside your job…they'd basically asked to get busted. And she'd only ever been to his apartment twice by that point! "Wow," was all she was able to get out.
"And I got the distinct vibe the ambassador was about to punch me into the pavement tonight when we were walking together."
"Sarek? He would never-"
"Well isn't that his car out there?" asked John.
Amanda turned and squinted. Through the glass front of the restaurant she most certainly did see a vehicle matching the description of the ambassador's. It was the VEE diplomatic license plates that gave him away. She turned back around and even though she was sitting she felt distinctly weak in the knees. He always made her feel weak in the knees, even when he was pissing her off. I've got a stalker on my hands she thought to herself, trying to inject some humor into the situation. But this just wasn't funny. "I better deal with this as soon as possible," she said to John.
The two stood, paid their bill and exited the restaurant.
Sarek saw Amanda exiting the restaurant with John. He didn't attempt to duck and hide because he saw no shame in what he was doing. His woman was out with another man and he was there in ensure no harm came to her.
Fortunately the rival male left in his own car and Amanda walked straight to his vehicle. "What are you doing here spying on me?" she asked, obviously annoyed.
"You did say you would come to my residence after you were done with dinner this evening," he reminded her with his most reasonable tone.
Amanda held onto her temper. She most certainly had said that. So he'd taken it literally. All right. She could deal with that. "Fine. Let's get this over with," she said as she stepped into his vehicle.
The ride to his place was quiet and tense. Usually she engaged in either some type of small talk that he only contributed to on a cursory basis or they engaged in some type of deep discussion that engrossed them both. Even when they said nothing at all, it was a companionable silence filled with contentment. But not tonight. Tonight you could float a piece of paper on the thick silence in the air. Sarek was beginning to understand what the expression 'cold shoulder' meant. He could almost swear he felt waves of ice coming off of Amanda toward him.
Amanda had indeed decided she was done with him, it seemed. He knew it was going to be a long night to convince her otherwise.