Co-written with Daphnie_1
"Each of us, at some time in our lives, turns to someone – a father, a brother, a god – and asks: Why am I here? What was I meant to be?" - Spock, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
He felt isolated, even here among the human children his own age.
No one would approach him; no other child showed any interest in sharing his company. Even though he was four standard years of age, and shouldn't be bothered by such things when there was Vulcan control to learn, he felt the rejection keenly.
Then his eyes fell upon a flash of blue, shining brightly in the face of a golden haired child. The child, who looked to be his own age, if not a little younger, smiled brightly at him from across the room and toddled over to where he stood.
"Wanna play wif me?" the child asked, holding out his hand.
And even though Spock wanted to say that he was four years old, he did not play - infants played, Vulcans of fourwere old enough to begin their lessons in the suppression of emotion - something held him back. The boy was the most beautiful being he'd ever laid eyes on. And his smile shone like a star. And he was looking at him, him - whom all other children had ignored - with such warmth and acceptance.
So instead Spock nodded and raised his arm to take the offered hand into his own. When their skin met, Spock felt a shock, and…. knew the other boy's mind as if it were his own.
She had needed the money. Three years into the Academy and she had already gone through the trust her parents had set aside for her education. Baby-sitting at Federation parties had seemed like the perfect solution. It was only a few hours a week so it didn't cut too much into her studying, she made a ton of credits doing it, and she was rather fond of children.
All things considered, she could have done a lot worse in the menial job department.
In fact, she was in the process of mentally congratulating herself for landing such an easy and accommodating job, when two of her young charges caught her eye. One, a young dark-haired boy, had his hand rested on the temple of a tiny blond. Norella would have thought the scene ridiculously cute, except the boys, both of them, looked completely out of it, even from a distance, their eyes dazed, their minds clearly occupied elsewhere.
This, she knew, fear lodging like a lump in her throat, couldn't be good.
Norella took one cautious step, then two. A closer vantage point revealed just who the boys were, and with that recognition the young cadet felt her heart sink to her toes. Little Jimmy Kirk, the Kelvin baby, the one she had cooed over when his mother had brought him in and Spock, son of the Vulcan Ambassador, and the only human and Vulcan hybrid known to exist.
With her heart pounding loudly, and her palms sweaty, Norella reached for her communicator to page the Ambassador's wife, wishing that she had accepted that job in the Academy cafeteria instead.
She wasn't the type of parent who had grand dreams for her children. She'd always figured, especially in the aftermath of George's death and her subsequent thrust into single motherhood and single income households, that happiness was a thing you had to find on your own, in your own way.
Her boys would grow to be what they wanted to be, no more, no less. And as long as they didn't kill, steal, or covet their neighbor's wife (and really, who'd want to? The neighbor's wife was ninety and had a cat fetish) she figured she'd let them at it.
But for all her liberal views on parenting, she drew the line at this.
Jim was three. Three!
And while he was both vagarious and precocious for a three-year-old, damn cute genius kid, being accidentally bonded to a Vulcan toddler who shared 'rare mental compatibility' - or some such shit - he'd chance encountered at a party his mother had dragged him to was so out of the realm of okay she wanted to scream.
She shouldn't have brought him with her. Hell, she shouldn't even be here, herself.
She hadn't even wanted to come to this thing but her crew mates had sort of insisted and well, at the time it hadn't seemed like such a bad idea.
The party was to be held in San Francisco. She didn't like her Earth-side time disrupted from spending time with her boys-when she was on Earth, she was theirs-so the boys came with her. At the time she had patted herself on the back at her brilliant solution.
The party even had a room set aside with a sitter, it was convenient.
But of course what was supposed to be some standard Starfleet party would turn into a cluster fuck. Of course it would. Such was her life.
"Don't you think we should get an ambassador or something?" Winona asked, trying her damnedest to remain calm. Pretty hard to do when all she could think about was George turning over in his grave.
'So you married off our toddler, did you, Winnie? What a brilliant spot of parenting. Gonna marry our six-year-old off next? Wouldn't want Sam to feel left out.'
Lady Amanda gave a half smile and absentmindedly tugged at her dress to straighten it. Winona wanted to punch the woman for looking so unscathed.
"I understand your concern, Mrs. Kirk, but this is about our children. I do not think it needs to become a diplomatic incident."
Which was all so damn easy for her to say because she was an Ambassador's wife and undoubtedly trained to keep insane shit on the down-low.
It wasn't as if Winona didn't like Amanda; the woman seemed smart enough, both pretty and serene. Winona even suspected that in another life they could have been friends. They had boys roughly the same age, one of them had married into an alien race, the other had pursued employment rubbing elbows with all kinds of alien races, it was rather obvious that they were both embracers of the unknown.
But Amanda seemed too much a part of her adopted planet - too much a part of Vulcan. She didn't seem to react to anything and it had long since started to hack Winona off.
Spock wasn't that much older than Jimmy-surely Amanda realized that this whole thing was insane?
Winona absent-mindedly ran a finger around the top of her glass, and, for a second, considered telling Amanda to get the fuck away because at least that might elicit a reaction. And that urge exemplified pretty well why she was an engineer and not a diplomat. She forced herself to look up from her glass and smile, but there was no joy in it.
"It's Lieutenant Kirk, and I think there's something I need to make clear."
Amanda glanced back at her from across the table, but Winona couldn't read the expression. "And what is that?"
"No way am I handing Jimmy over to you. Whatever his being 'bonded' to Spock means, you can't have him." For Pete's sake, Jim was a baby, and fuck, he didn't need this. She didn't need this. One minute he was safe in a room filled with toys specifically set up for the children of officers so the adults could mingle, and another this woman was pulling her aside and telling her that her youngest child had somehow gotten himself spontaneously Vulcan-married, telepathically, to another, equally young, boy.
At her side little Jimmy did not not look up at this outburst from his mother. In fact, Jim was sitting calmly on the floor beside her, eyes distant as if he were looking at a far-off star. She couldn't help but reach down and lightly touch him on the head, though the tactile reassurance did little to quell her unease.
All the while she felt eyes boring into her.
She looked up to find Amanda looking at her with something that might almost be surprise.
"I assure you that we have no intention of taking your son. The fact that your son and mine have formed a mental bond is extraordin-"
Winona cut her off with a gesture.
"Can I be blunt?"
This was met with a nod.
"I would expect little else," the Lady Amanda responded with clear amusement shining from her large brown eyes, and yeah, Winona knew she deserved that. She would undoubtedly look back on how she handled this whole incident and cringe, some time in the distant future, maybe even tomorrow.
But Jim was three. Three!
The panic welled once more.
"This is bullshit. Our kids can't keep this bond- you do know that, right?"
Amanda didn't even flinch. As if she had expected this outburst and wondered what took Winona so long to play to form.
"We have little choice. The bond, once formed, even accidentally, cannot be dissolved. With respect, I do not think you understand the importance bonds like these carry to Vulcans."
Winona laughed, yes, a little hysterically, but under the circumstances she thought she could be excused.
"Why don't you enlighten me?"
Amanda's gaze was sympathetic.
"Are all Jim's family psi-null, Lieutenant Kirk?"
Winona didn't answer. They might well not be – she didn't know much about George's family, or her own for that matter, it wasn't as if discussing one's psychic ability was common in their household, but fuck if she would admit to that ignorance. Instead she tilted her head and asked: "Does that matter?"
"This type of bond is...unusual between a Vulcan and a Human. In truth it is rare even between Vulcans. It is a very, very, special linking of the minds."
That much Winona had managed to figure out for herself. She didn't know a whole lot about Vulcans or Vulcan culture but she'd kind of picked up on the fact that this was a thing. Apparently a very important thing. Especially considering how important and powerful Amanda's family actually was.
But Jim was three. Three!
"Yeah, not so concerned about that. What does it mean for Jimmy?"
It was a fair question, she thought, because she had no clue what any of this meant in practicality and she was too high strung for a detailed lecture on the subject at that precise moment in time. She would read up on Vulcan bonds later. The most important details, she thought, were that they didn't want to take Jimmy away from her, but they couldn't get rid of the bond, either. Amanda could talk about bonds and Vulcan tradition and custom all she wanted but it didn't mean anything without an underlying point.
What was going to become of her child?
Amanda considered this for a moment, seemingly choosing her words carefully, before announcing, "It means that Spock is going to be a very important part of his life."