Title: Kindred

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not.

Rating: K+

Notes: From the old Star Trek XI Journey to Drabble challenge, prompt "#45 - Kirk, Spock, the persistence of memory."

The sensation I experience as the hand touches my shoulder is indescribable.

Humans are fond of saying, 'I know how you must feel.' Even between beings of the same telepathically limited species, I find this unlikely; when spoken, as I have heard all too often in recent days, to victims of a loss of which the speaker has no experience, particularly a Vulcan whose emotions run too deep for any Human to fathom- impossible. And yet.

Under the surface of this unknown Human's skin, I feel the echo of a grief, a sense of loss as powerful as my own. For a moment, it is as though our katras are resonating like a pair of struck bells, identical in tone; I suppress the urge to gasp, and then the hand removes and the dual awareness fades.

I turn my face away from the holoprojection of Vulcan, incredulous- and feel an eyebrow rise at the sight of the Captain, expression grave and serious as he stares at the commemorative display.

He appears entirely unaware of what has passed between us, his surface as controlled as any Vulcan's.

the revelation of what you will accomplish together, I abruptly recall; a friendship that will define you both.

I had put little stock in the elder's words that day, more convinced by the logic that his existence would free me to pursue my chosen career than by his... emotional language. I had not thought it possible, even given the rapport we had achieved aboard Nero's vessel, that any circumstance could bind James Kirk and I as close as the elder's choice of words had implied.

I close my eyes, and relive that moment of resonance again.

Perhaps there is more to the other Spock's assertions than I was willing to believe at the time.