A/N: I've finally reached the end. This one was never meant to be as long as The Hand We're Dealt, and I'm honestly surprised it even made it this long. I might consider possibly doing some one-shots on specific events in Sarek & Amanda's life together(I like the idea of baby Spock and the trouble he could get into), but this was the only part of their story I really felt compelled to write. Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed/followed/favorited, and I hope you enjoyed the ride.
Sarek stared at the sleeping woman as he changed out of his meditation robes. It was only after he'd brought Amanda into his home that he'd come to truly appreciate daily meditation. He found it more necessary than ever when dealing with his reluctant bond mate.
He ached to reach out and touch her, but still carried the memory of the last time he had done so and she'd woken. She'd become physically violent, and while her attack left no lasting damage, he still carried the bruise. When he retired for the evening, he kept well to his side of the large bed.
They could not continue this way. Amanda had been on Vulcan for eight weeks, and she still refused to speak to him. He had expected some silence, especially after she'd first woken on the transport home.
He had been in conference with the pilot when he felt her stirring, and immediately left the cockpit for the private cabin. Amanda was just stretching the muscles that had so relaxed and sitting up on the bed he'd laid her on when he entered the room.
"We are en route to Vulcan," he informed her as she took in her surroundings.
"You knocked me out?!"
"No," he hastened to reassure her. He would never do such a thing as render her unconscious in order to force her into something she objected to. "You collapsed, and I deemed it expedient to bring you to the Healers so that you can be examined."
"You kidnapped me!"
He could feel her outrage, and was fairly certain that the pilot could feel it as well. He reached for her, intent on calming her mind, but she slid away from him, nearly falling off the narrow bed. He stopped his efforts; his eyes narrowing as she tried to move away. It pained him that she should think so badly of him.
"I have not. You are my bonded mate, Amanda, my aduna. It is my duty to see to your welfare and that of our child. You are in need of attention from the Healers, and our bond is too newly formed to handle a prolonged separation such as we would face if I did not bring you to Vulcan with me. I have only acted in your best interests."
"The hell you say! Kidnapping me after I told you to leave is NOT acting in my best interests, you bastard!"
"Amanda, I have not abducted you. As soon as we reach Vulcan you will be able to contact your family."
"Turn this damn ship around and take me back, right now!"
"I cannot do that. My return to Vulcan is imperative, as you are aware, and I could not leave you on Earth. To do so could damage you, and our child. Our Healers are much better equipped to look after you than a human doctor would be. It is only logical to put you under their care."
She looked as if she might resort to violence at that last statement. He wished that she would take this time to think about their situation rather than simply react emotionally. He always valued her emotional responses, but at present they were preventing her from making a logical analysis. He was certain that she would realize that this was the only course open to them, if she could allow herself to step away from her anger at not being consulted. It was not as if she was being permanently exiled from her home. Her pregnancy would not last forever, and his responsibilities as Ambassador meant that they would likely spend far more time on Earth than on Vulcan. Or perhaps she did not believe that she would travel with him?
"When my duties require a return to Earth you will, of course, come with me. It will be necessary for our child to be as familiar with your planet and customs as with mine."
He did not understand why she burst into tears at that declaration. He was familiar with the concept of tears of joy, but he was feeling neither joy nor gratitude nor relief from her. Her emotions were entirely negative. Perhaps it was the hormonal changes due to her pregnancy that caused such a reaction?
"Go to hell and take your damned logic with you! I want to go home."
She hadn't said a word to him since. When introduced to members of his clan, she gave a tight-lipped smile and answered any question she was asked directly, but no more. The servants kept a close eye on her during his necessary absences, and she was allowed her space to acclimate. The Healers had come to the house to examine her, which she only grudgingly allowed, and their report was not encouraging. She was withdrawing deeper into her mind, and his concern was growing. He could not allow her to continue such harm to herself.
He watched as she turned over, muttering in her sleep. Her stomach was beginning to swell, the slightest physical evidence that she was indeed pregnant. She had not been able to deny the scans done by the Healers that clearly showed the child growing within her. He had hoped that with this proof that he had not been deceitful she might realize that he was acting in her best interests, but she did not relent. She would not speak to him, and would barely look him in the eye. Even his attempts to speak with her across their bond were rebuffed.
Knowing that he would not be able to puzzle out Amanda's illogical tendencies any more, he slid into the bed, careful to stay on his side. He considered it progress that in sleep at least she was more receptive. She would gravitate to his body heat in the cool of the night, curling almost into him. He was careful not to try to hold her to him when she did this, feigning sleep when she woke so that she could remove herself without embarrassment.
Amanda woke, shivering, and not just from the cold. Something was wrong, she could feel it. She just didn't know what it was. She was curled into Sarek again, and she cursed herself. She was still pissed off with the man; she shouldn't be snuggling with him. She sat up and slid back to her side of the bed, then froze. She felt a large wet spot underneath her hand as she slid, and looked down. There shouldn't be blood stains on the bedding. And that wasn't a spot; that was a significant stain. Oh no. She started trembling as the implication of that set in, and she immediately shook Sarek.
"Sarek, wake up! Sarek!"
He was alert almost instantly, and looking at her in concern. As the lights dimly lit the room from pitch dark to barely visible she directed his attention to the bright red patch on the bedding.
He wasted no time in sliding from the bed and lifting her as if she weighed no more than a dried leaf. She couldn't even find it in her to protest as he carried her out to the hover car. She was too scared to worry about protesting. Something was wrong with her baby.
The drive to the healers felt unending, as Amanda tried to stop the panic threatening to overwhelm her. Panicking wouldn't help the situation. It might hurt her child. Sarek finally came to a stop in front of an imposing building, and Amanda started having second thoughts about going in there. The decision was taken out of her hands as she was bodily lifted from the car and carried inside. The man sitting behind the desk, who must have been some sort of receptionist, did no more than raise an eyebrow before directing them to an exam room. It was only when she was laying on the bed waiting for the healer to come in that she even noticed the pain in her abdomen, and she automatically reached out to grab Sarek's hand.
"The healer will correct whatever is wrong," he attempted to reassure her. He could not lose Amanda, or their child. It was unthinkable. The healer MUST fix them both. He would not be able to live with their loss.
After an eternity of waiting, the healer finally arrived. Amanda was relieved that it was a woman. She knew it was more than a little juvenile, but she didn't want a man near her.
"I am Healer T'Rine. Why are you in need of assistance?"
When Amanda appeared incapable of speaking clearly Sarek stepped in, stating the situation as simply as possible. T'Rine listened attentively, and after asking permission, laid her hands on Amanda's abdomen. The contact was brief before she stood and reached for a scanner.
"Your son still lives. It is now necessary to perform a medical scan so that the cause of your bleeding can be determined, and prevent it from happening again. Would you like something for the pain?"
Amanda nodded. She was more than happy to accept something for the pain. She was sure the healer would make certain she wasn't given anything that would hurt the baby. After a few seconds a hypo was pressed to her neck and her world became a happier place.
There was silence for several minutes, which Sarek found unnerving. Why did the healer not say anything about her findings? She had to have some information by now, why did she not speak?
"Perhaps you would like to step outside, ambassador?"
"I will stay here."
He would not be ordered out of the room and force Amanda to go through this ordeal alone.
"Allow me to rephrase. Your agitation is causing further undue stress on my patient. Either calm yourself and allow me to finish the examination or remove yourself from this room."
Sarek leveled his most displeased glare at the healer, but the woman was unmoved. He looked to Amanda, who was watching them both warily, and a fleeting inquiry across their bond revealed that T'Rine spoke the truth. His conduct was worrying Amanda. He made the effort to calm, and waited until the examination was complete to speak again.
"What is the diagnosis?"
"The child is out of danger at the moment. I must speak with Ms. Grayson alone."
He protested, quite vehemently, but the healer ignored his argument. He left only after she refused to speak further, but he would keep a close watch on Amanda through their bond. He must know what had gone wrong so that he could keep watch to prevent such a reoccurrence in the future.
"Do you know why I wished to speak to you alone?"
"You're not going to ask me if he's been violent or anything, are you?"
It was standard practice in emergency rooms on Earth to ask about domestic violence any time a suspicious injury was being treated, Amanda was fully prepared for a full-on tantrum if this healer asked her if she felt safe in her home. Vulcan wasn't her home and no, she didn't feel safe being forced to live with a man who kidnapped her because he was an insensitive Jackass, but the Jackass had never so much as raised a hand to her. And she highly doubted saying he was an oppressive bastard was going to get her on a shuttle back to Earth.
"No. The scans would have showed evidence of any physical abuse."
Well at least this woman had sense.
"Your records indicate that there is some tension in your mating bond with the ambassador."
Some tension? And she'd thought it was just Sarek who was a fan of the understatement. Apparently understating the truth was a talent most if not all Vulcans possessed.
"He put this damned bond in my head without my permission. I never said I'd marry him!"
T'Rine nodded, as if that was what she expected to hear.
"It is an unfortunate trait of the Vulcan male that they do not always see the necessity of discussing courses of action. The ambassador's clan is among the worst offenders, in my opinion."
"I think that's just a trait of males in general. Human males can be just as bad."
"I must trust your opinion in that regard, as I am not acquainted with any human males. I am certain that you will find this news unwelcome, but I could find no physical cause for your emergency. I must conclude therefore, based on the available evidence, that this trauma was most likely caused by your rift with Sarek."
"What? How can a fight with Sarek cause a miscarriage?"
"You are not unintelligent, Ms. Grayson. You should know that emotional stress can cause all manner of physical issues. Your pregnancy is already precarious, as I understand you have been told. You are carrying the first naturally occurring hybrid child in a century, and the recorded data from the last hybrid indicates it did not survive infancy. I say this not to frighten you, but to warn you. If you wish for this child to survive you must begin with its survival in the womb. You must mend this rift with Sarek, or it is very possible that you could lose your son."
Sarek watched Amanda in concern as he piloted the hover car back to the house. She hadn't said anything to him apart from "I'm fine" since they left the healers. She wasn't fine. He'd felt great inner turmoil before she managed to shut him out of her mind.
She immediately climbed back into the bed as soon as they reached the house. The servants had already changed the bedding, so all evidence of the earlier trauma was gone. He wished to join her, but T'Pau was waiting for him, expecting an update on her condition. It would not advisable to keep her waiting. Once he finished that conference, he had a call he intended to make.
Amanda was sitting in the garden when she heard footsteps. That in itself was unusual; she rarely actually heard anyone walking outside. It was also unusual because the servants tended honor her wishes for personal space and so rarely came out if they saw her sitting out, and Sarek shouldn't be back from his meetings yet. This was the time of day she actually had a moment's peace from all the Vulcans who surrounded her.
Curious as to who was disturbing her, she turned around, and immediately shot to her feet. She practically flung herself into the outstretched arms of her father, who pulled her into a tight hug.
"Hey there, Baby Girl."
"What are you doing here?!"
"I decided I wanted to see your new home."
"Mamma didn't come with you, did she?"
Amanda looked around for her mother, hoping that she wouldn't find her. Marianne Grayson would only make this already bad situation ten times worse. She wanted to go home; she didn't want to start an interplanetary incident.
"No. She's home with your brothers and sister. What's this I hear about you not taking care of yourself?"
He let her go and pulled her back down to the bench. Brian Grayson was worried about his daughter, and more than a little pissed off at Sarek for letting things get so out of hand before calling. He'd seen how shaken the Vulcan looked when he informed the worried parent of Amanda's near miscarriage and asked for his help. He should have called a hell of a lot sooner than an emergency. A close look at his daughter showed how pale she was; she definitely wasn't taking care of herself like she should.
He'd had reservations from the start about Sarek taking Amanda off the planet, but after much argument with his wife decided that he would give them a chance to work things out themselves before he interfered. Regardless of what Marianne said, it was still a personal issue between his daughter and her husband. Taking it from a personal issue to a public one wouldn't do anyone any good, unless he got a call from his daughter saying that she'd been mistreated. If she'd made that call, nothing would have stopped him from unleashing Hell on the entire Vulcan population.
"Sarek called you?"
"He did. He's worried about you, Baby Girl."
"Worried about me? The bastard kidnapped me!"
She was shocked when Brian burst out laughing at that.
"He definitely made a stupid move, I'll give him that."
"This isn't funny!"
"No, it's not."
Brian sobered up quickly, looking at his daughter's outraged face. If she thought he was laughing at her, this wasn't going to go well. Still, he had to admire the Vulcan's creative solution to his argument with Amanda. Sarek had guts; Brian would definitely give him that. It was unfortunate that he chose to prove it in the worst possible way for his cause.
"I told you before, Baby Girl. You got involved with someone who doesn't think like we do. It really shouldn't be a surprise that he decided bringing you to Vulcan was 'logical'. But that's neither here nor there. I'm worried about this almost miscarriage he tells me you had. I don't care how pissed off you are with the man, you should be taking better care of yourself and that baby. You know, your mother flipped her lid when she heard she was going to be a grandmother."
"Do I even want to know what she said?"
"It's all messed up, daddy."
"I'd say so. Not talking to the man for eight weeks? That's a bit much, even for you."
"The healer said I could lose the baby if I don't fix things with Sarek."
He listened as she recounted her entire conversation with the healer. On the one hand, he wanted to rage at a physician trying to terrify a girl who wasn't even twenty, but on the other hand, he was glad the woman had been honest. Sugar coating things didn't work well when dealing with Amanda. She tended to get pissed off if she thought she was being patronized, and then she would do something reckless just on principle.
"Then you have to fix things with Sarek."
"Can't you just take me home? I don't want to stay here anymore."
They could get on the shuttle he'd come on and just go back to Earth. Then she wouldn't have to deal with any more Vulcans telling her she had to decide to get along with Sarek. She should have called him from the beginning; then she would be home by now. She cursed herself for not thinking of that sooner, and letter her anger at Sarek make her ignore everyone.
"And what good would running away do? It wouldn't help you or that baby. From what you've said, it would probably kill your child, and mess up your mind at the very least. Besides, I'm pretty sure he'd just come after you."
"Can't you just shoot him?"
He had to smile at that. At least she was starting to sound more like herself.
"Somehow I don't think that would go over too well. Shooting him isn't going to fix this. That's something you two will have to work it out yourselves."
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"How can you even say that?" She demanded, outraged. How could her father sit there and tell her to forgive the man who'd gotten her pregnant, who'd put a mental bond in her head without her consent, who'd kidnapped her and taken her not just from her home, but her planet? He'd lost his mind. The travel from Earth to Vulcan had scrambled his brain or something. It was the only explanation.
"That's what you do for the people you love, Baby Girl. You forgive them."
"I don't love him! He kidnapped me!"
Her protest was quelled by the look of utter disbelief and exasperation that only a father could really master.
"You're pissed off at his actions, and you should be, but you still love him. Don't even try to pretend that you don't."
When she opened her mouth to say something that he knew would just be an exercise in denial, he pulled her into a tight hug. She might technically be an adult, but she was still his little girl, and he hated to see her hurting.
"I know you always got the short end of the stick in having to deal with your mom, being the oldest, and I know it's soured you on the whole idea of getting married. But you're not your mom. Getting married isn't going to ruin your life or his. Throwing away something good because you're scared it won't work? That's going to ruin your life, Baby Girl."
"He's hurting too."
Amanda shook her head as the tears started to fall. She didn't know how everything had gotten so messed up, and she would blame it on the hormones to her dying day, but she didn't want to think about Sarek hurting too. She was making a mess of everything, and she didn't know if she could fix it. Brian started rubbing soothing circles into her back as she cried.
"It'll be alright, Baby Girl."
"I've been so awful to him," she sobbed against his shirt.
"It was deserved. And I'm sure he would think the same thing if he actually took a minute to put himself in your shoes."
He looked up at the approaching shadow to see Sarek walking towards them. Brian waved him over when he seemed hesitant to intrude, and quietly passed Amanda off to him. He'd had a long and frank discussion, filled with plenty of veiled threats, with Sarek before he ever stepped foot on the transport that brought him from Earth. He didn't feel the need to say anything else. He decided to take a walk as soon as he heard his daughter start with the tearful apologies, and Sarek's murmured denials. He would stay a few days just to see the planet and make sure that Amanda had everything he needed, but he wasn't worried about her future with the Vulcan ambassador. He was confident that if they could survive this fight, which they looked well on their way to doing, they would be just fine. He would just have to make sure that they brought his grandchild for a good long visit after he was born. Sarek was most definitely not taking away his right to spoil his first grandbaby rotten.