Title: Scion of Two Worlds
Fandom(s): InuYasha, Star Trek AOS/2009/Reboot
Categories: AU, gen, het, Crossover, xover, drama, action
Summary: The aftermath of the Final Battle does not go as expected. Kagome is trapped within the Shikon and Sesshoumaru is her reluctant caretaker. In an attempt to break the curse he gives the Shikon to a young Spock who grows up under the care of a compassionate and accepting Kagome. When the Narada comes calling the Enterprise has allies.
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Kagome/nu!Spock, Sesshoumaru, Sarek/Amanda, Enterprise crew
Warnings: off-scene deaths, violence,
AN: AU Reboot the movie. OOC nu!Spock. No Spock/Uhura. Less focus on Kirk. None of the canon-events that makes Kirk the hero.
Spoilers: Reboot the movie. Skewing the timelines for the Eugenics Wars. Moved to start in the first decade of the 21st century. Chunks of dialogue almost exactly from the movie.
Word Count: ~17700
Disclaimer: Kagome and InuYashaverse were created by Rumiko Takahashi. Spock and Trekverse were created by Gene Roddenberry, rights held by Paramount, J.J. Abrams and a whole bunch of other entities. I do not own any of them, or make money off fanfics; it is for purely entertainment purposes
For: LJ Community AU_BigBang – Alternate Universe Big Bang 2012
Summary: The aftermath of the Final Battle doesn't go as expected. Kagome finds herself trapped in the Feudal Era and still dependant on others. But then she meets another half-breed boy who makes it all worthwhile.
~ooO In the Beginning Ooo~
Kagome sighed and inhaled deeply. The Inu-taichi and their allies and had fought long and hard to defeat Naraku. And they had, but not without paying a heavy price. The young miko looked at the complete and purified marble-sized orb resting in her the palm of her hand. She could see traces of jyaki swirling within the purified orb like drops of coloured oil in water. Despite her promise to InuYasha Kagome was no longer willing to let the hanyou wish on the Shikon. Kagome did not believe a pure wish would destroy the Shikon. There was no such thing as a pure wish. By its very nature someone would be benefiting. After struggling so long to restore and purify the Tama she was not willing to risk it being tainted. Even a wish for the Shikon to vanish was selfish, because she would not be burdened by the responsibility of protecting it.
"The hanyou is waiting," Sesshoumaru announced.
She turned to look at her ally, the one being strong enough to protect her and help her clear a path through the horde to Naraku and Magatsuhi. InuYasha had protested but Kagome had remained firm. Staying close to Sesshoumaru allowed her to get close enough to purify both her targets.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, my instincts are telling me it is wrong to make a wish. The Shikon is not meant for that." She looked at him pleadingly. "Everyone else keeps telling me a pure wish will destroy the Shikon but deep down I doubt it is that simple."
He tilted his head to one side. "You were born with the Shikon within you, correct?"
"And you have a strong enough connection with it, a link that allowed you track down the shards," he commented neutrally.
"Then if you feel wishing is the wrong thing to do it most likely is."
Kagome stared at the daiyoukai stupefied. "You believe me? Just like that?"
Cool gold eyes lanced into her. "You are a foolish headstrong female, but you are loyal and honourable. You wish do what is right, not what is easy." She was stunned by the flash of compassion she glimpsed in his eyes. "You allowed a being that has no place among the living to take the affections of one you loved."
Kagome blinked back tears. "InuYasha loves Kikyo. He always will." Her expression turned fierce. "I won't be a stand-in. I won't be second-best for anyone!"
The daiyoukai nodded. "Good." He waited a beat before continuing. "What do you plan to do? With the Shikon?"
She bit her lower lip. "I'm going to try something," she said before focusing on raising her power and directing it into the orb.
A swirl of raw power flowed out of the orb and coalesced before the miko and the daiyoukai. When it finished condensing a translucent figure of a woman in old-fashioned armour over red hakamas and a white haori stood before them. Her silky black hair flowed back from a widow's peak and in the centre of her forehead was a four-point red star.
The ancient priestess beamed at the younger woman. "I'm so proud of you Kagome."
"Wha? What did I do?"
"You realized a truth many much older and experienced than you failed to grasp: there is no such thing as a pure unselfish wish."
Kagome blinked back tears. "Then what should I do?" she asked softly.
The spirit studied the modern girl intently. "Your original plans would have worked. For a time. But eventually the Shikon would have reformed and drawn negative attention in a world and time where there were no beings capable of resisting and containing it."
"I won't live forever," Kagome whispered. "I may never find someone suitable of looking after the jewel when I die. I mean look at Kikyo! She was better trained than I was and look at what happened!"
Midoriko nodded soberly. "I know. You have a strong connection to the Shikon. It must become stronger. Strong enough to be tied to your life force, so when you die it will be extinguished."
"Okay. How do I do that?" Kagome asked.
"You will have to be bound within the Shikon for a long time. Centuries at least," Midoriko warned.
Blue eyes widened in dismay. "What?!"
"I'm sorry Kagome but it's the only way," Midoriko told her. "You will have to remain contained within the Shikon until a Child of Two Worlds bonds with you. One born to a human mother, sired by a powerful and influential non-human father."
Kagome was confused. "What do you mean by bond? Do you mean mate?"
"Perhaps," Midoriko murmured. "It could easily be a very strong friendship."
Kagome nodded and inhaled deeply. "If I agree, what will happen to my family? My friends?"
"They will live their lives. Your blood kin will assume the well was sealed trapping you in the past."
Kagome bit her lip and considered her options. She had discussed the possibility with her mother, her family in the future. They knew it was a very real possibility and had reluctantly accepted it. It was her family in the past that she was concerned about.
"Can you make it so the well is sealed?" she asked the spirit. "So InuYasha can't go to the future and find out I'm not there?"
"Then I agree." She glanced at the daiyoukai. "Tell them I made a wish and I vanished."
The daiyoukai frowned faintly but nodded. "What of the jewel itself?"
"It will need a guardian. One strong enough to resist the lure of power," Midoriko told him.
Sesshoumaru growled softly. "This one does not need false power."
Kagome bowed her head. "Please Sesshoumaru-sama. There is no one else I would trust with this responsibility. You are the only one who scorned the Shikon shards, who resisted So'unga." She blinked back tears. "InuYasha was easily taken over. He needs a tool to control his youkai blood. He was lured astray by the promise of power."
Sesshoumaru was taken aback by the blunt analysis from one who was his half-brother's strongest supporter. She smiled faintly at him.
"I am InuYasha's friend but it doesn't mean I don't see his weaknesses. And he has too many of them for me to trust with this responsibility." She bit her lip and look away. "He failed to protect me in the past but then there were others with me and I could fight myself. But if I'm trapped within the Shikon…" she trailed off.
The daiyoukai could see her point. "Very well miko. This Sesshoumaru accepts guardianship of the Shikon no Tama, future container of the miko Kagome."
She smiled brilliantly at him. "Arigatou, Sesshoumaru-sama." She turned to the miko spirit. "I'm ready Midoriko-sama."
The world dissolved into white light around her.
The sun had not yet reached its apex as an attractive black-haired businessman dressed in a pale grey tailored suit and blood-red tie climbed the ancient stone steps up to a weathered-looking shrine. Unlike most businessmen he wore his hair long, restrained in a pony-tail that reached the small of his back. He ignored the empty, dusty structures and approached an ancient tree draped with cord strung with sutras. He stepped over the low fence surrounding the tree and approached the base of the trunk.
The sun climbed higher in the sky. He thrust his hand into his pant pocket and removed a green silk pouch. Deftly he emptied the contents, a pink pearl-like orb, into the palm of his left hand. As the sun approached its highest point the pearl began glowing. The moment it reached the apogee there was a blast of white light emitting from the orb.
When it faded a slender young woman dressed in a colourful furisode stood before him. Her blue-black hair was twisted and secured with two wooden kanzashi decorated with carved butterflies. She tucked her hands into the opposing sleeves and bowed briefly.
The air around the man shimmered briefly before the illusion dissipated to reveal the businessman really had knee-long white hair, gold slit-pupil eyes, and markings on his face: twin maroon strips on each cheek, magenta lines covering his eyelids, and a Prussian blue crescent moon on the centre of his forehead.
"Kagome," he responded in a deep voice.
She glanced around the deserted looking shrine, her old home. "It looks so… worn," she said finally.
"Your brother was not interested in living here when your mother passed away. None of his children show any interest in the shrine so he made the logical decision to sell the property. I knew you would want it to be preserved."
Kagome inhaled deeply. "Thank you. It's just hard, seeing it happen and knowing I'm not, I can't be part of it," she whispered.
And it was the honest truth. She had witnessed five centuries of events and change. Throughout the years she had given advice to the daiyoukai, how to avoid the worst of the wars, to keep his assets, to accumulate wealth and influence. The first ten years in Sesshoumaru's care she had held her tongue. But when he had begun negotiations to marry Rin to a ningen lord who Kagome knew too much about she refused to stay aloof and insisted he stop. Being Sesshoumaru he insisted on knowing why and she had been forced to tell him she knew a lot of history, what was coming, what could not be avoided, events that had to happen in order to shape the world she came from.
"Do you have regrets Kagome?"
Regrets? Sure, she had regrets. But even if she was given the chance for a do-over Kagome knew she would make the same choice.
Yes she had made the choice hoping InuYasha or some hanyou would qualify, would count as a child of two worlds, would have freed her from the Shikon… but he hadn't, none had. But she'd had a good life. She'd had great influence on an entire race of beings. Youkai would never have survived to her time without her whispering in Sesshoumaru's ear.
"The future is uncertain now," Sesshoumaru announced.
It had been uncertain for a while, fifteen years, ever since the last day she had travelled into the past via the Bone-Eaters well. Kagome had been using her knowledge of history and modern current events, and experience to extrapolate and give advice to Sesshoumaru. Youkais did not think and react the same way as humans. They needed a human to provide the necessary insight into the human psyche. Kagome had developed such expertise through her centuries of observation and study.
"The rumours of a breed of super-men in India have been confirmed. Khan is one of them."
Kagome frowned. There had been such rumours for decades. Bits and pieces trickling back to Sesshoumaru who paid his agents who kept an eye on any biological projects seeking to breed strength and extra abilities into ordinary human. Kagome had advised Sesshoumaru to track down such whispers. Such projects could easily consist of those trying to graft youkai abilities and bloodlines into humans, to create artificial hanyous.
"Khan is trouble." Kagome said with some finality. "He is mad."
Sesshoumaru glanced at her. "Does it matter to me and mine?"
She turned her eyes to him. "It should. He's like Hitler. He will set the world on fire and watch it burn if he doesn't get his way."
He frowned faintly. "Should I order an assassination?"
She bit her lip. "No. He is a focus. If he's gone his faction will splinter and each seek to go their own way. They will divide up the world between them. He is needed to contain and control them. At least until humans are in a position to act."
"Then what would you advise?"
She looked up into the sky. "Take precautions. Create strongholds with supply caches that can be sealed away from the outside world for extended periods of time. Sanctuaries for youkai and ningen."
He nodded slowly. "I will." He watched her wander around the Goshinboku, touching the trunk, caressing the strips of rice paper fluttering in the wind. "Do you have any requests?"
He always asked her that question. Kagome was trapped, bound within the Shikon and in the daiyoukai's care. She could only emerge and experience the world through her physical senses one day of the year, the anniversary of Naraku's defeat, of her binding. The rest of the time she could only watch and observe and speak to her caretaker, Sesshoumaru. For the first few decades it had been an awkward day, the one day there was a miko walking around a daiyoukai's stronghold. But as time passed, and they became more comfortable with each other, Sesshoumaru made an effort to indulge her whims, like he did Rin's. Kagome did not like taking advantage of it but she did have weak moments and Sesshoumaru had become very wealthy thanks to her advice and his cutthroat business tactics. He had also become more relaxed and willing to join her on her excursions.
"I'd like to go to Okinawa."
He stepped close to her and wrapped his arm around her waist, drawing her close. An orb of light formed around them and shot off. Kagome had only one day in the physical world and Sesshoumaru wanted to ensure she experienced as much as she could.
Many decades later a seemingly young couple watched Zephram Cochran greet a group of aliens, slim strong beings with green tinted skin, glossy black hair, sharp strong features and pointed ears.
"I told you." The woman's voice was rich with satisfaction.
The man sighed. "All right Kagome. You were right to insist I fund Cochran's research. There is life on other planets." He looked down at her. "What do you want?"
Kagome's expression turned serious. "Sesshoumaru, I want you to start funding exploration and colonization missions. There are many planets out there. There will be enemies out there, enemies of both ningen, youkai, and any thinking co-operative alien race. There may be worlds that are perfect for youkai, unclaimed, untainted, rich with prey."
Sesshoumaru nodded slowly. "Very well. I will make inquiries, if there are any youkai interested in leading such expeditions."
Kagome grinned broadly. "Good." She turned to look at Cochran who was leading the aliens into a make-shift structure. "Our future is in the stars."
S'chn T'gai Sarek was not one easily taken off guard but today his usual placid composure was shaken.
"I would like to meet your younger son."
The famed Federation Ambassador had met many races and beings, each seeking to exert influence on the Federation, on Vulcan, through Sarek. Never had they asked to see his heir in such a direct manner.
"Forgive me but I do not see any relevance my son may have to this meeting you requested."
Slit-pupil gold eyes flashed briefly and Sarek wondered if he had been unwise to agree to a private meeting with an unknown alien that had such a predatory aura with fangs and claws.
Thin lips curved into a faint smile. "I specifically requested this meeting to see your son."
Sarek stiffened. Was Nagasawa a xenophobe? Against the mixing of races?
"There has been a prophecy spoken among my people referring to a child of two worlds. I have looked a long time for such an individual and your son seems to be the best fit."
Sarek blinked once, surprised. "There have been many other hybrids."
"This one has tracked and observed them, the Terran-hybrids especially. The prophecy fits your son. His dam is Terran and his sire is highly-ranked from a different world."
Sarek thought hard. "I am a logical being. Prophecies are not logical."
Cool gold eyes did not look away. "Perhaps. In my experience prophecies do not make sense until they have come to pass. And sometimes they come to pass whether we wish them to or not. I rarely concern myself with them but this one is special. I have an obligation to present a relic to the child of two worlds."
"Is it dangerous?" Sarek asked.
The other male was clearly amused. "Not at all. In fact many have considered the relic as holy, or blessed."
"And you wish to give it to my son?" Sarek asked carefully. "It sounds like a cultural treasure that belongs to your people."
Amusement vanished. "It is a burden and a legacy that must be fulfilled."
"What if my son is not individual referred to in your prophecy?"
"It will not react," Nagasawa assured him.
Sarek thought for a minute. "I wish to be there, and scan it before you present it to Spock."
Sarek pressed a button and spoke to his bondmate, asking her to bring their son down to his private study. He wished Amanda and Spock were in the family estate, that he had a legitimate excuse to delay and do more background checks into Nagasawa, to find out more about his race and culture. He knew he still could but Sarek like most Vulcans had one weakness: curiosity. He wanted to know what Nagasawa wished to give to Spock. And Sarek knew the household scanners would have identified if anything dangerous had been brought in. And there had been no indications of Nagasawa carrying a shielded containment unit.
Five minutes later the door opened and Amanda appeared guiding their son in front of her. He was understandably wary of Nagasawa, a stranger.
"Sarek?" Amanda asked carefully. Her eyes fell on the sharp claw-tipped fingers idly toying with a string of jade beads.
"Amanda, this is Nagasawa. He wishes to present a relic to Spock."
She stiffened, her hands tightening on her son's shoulders. "Is it dangerous?"
"My word of honour the Shikon, in its current incarnation, will not harm your son."
"Shikon? That means Four Souls in Japanese." Amanda was always interested in linguistics.
Nagasawa bowed his head. "Yes. I am the current caretaker but it is meant for a child of two worlds."
Amanda looked down at her son who was studying Nagasawa curiously.
"How do you know the child is Spock?"
"That is the test; if it reacts when your son holds it."
"It will not harm him?"
"No. If it is not meant for him it will remain inert."
Amanda hesitated before nodding. Sarek would not have agreed if there was any danger. She pushed her son forward.
"Spock honey, the nice gentleman wants to give you something."
The little boy hesitated for only a moment before taking two steps to stand before Nagasawa.
Sesshoumaru inhaled sharply. For centuries he had looked for the child of two worlds and failed. Kagome had not blamed him but the daiyoukai had blamed himself, because if the Shikon remained in his care the miko would never be freed.
He reached into the collar of his jacket and pulled out the slender cord braided from his own hair. Weighing it down was the Shikon that was contained within a lattice net pouch woven from his own hair. It was unbreakable and laced with his own power, deterring thieves and masking the Shikon's distinctive energy signature.
He waited while the Vulcan Ambassador used his scanner on the Shikon.
"It has an odd energy signature but no visible power source," Sarek observed.
"The power lies within the crystalline structure itself," Sesshoumaru explained casually. "A self-perpetuating resonance effect." It was a lie of course. The power was the soul of the Shikon Miko herself.
He then used his claw to slice the strands, to roll the Shikon into one cupped palm and hold it out to the wide-eyed child of two worlds. He could see faint pink sparks swirling within the translucent orb. The miko was aware.
"This is the Shikon no Tama," he intoned gravely. "A relic of power that can only be used by the rightful guardian. If one attempts to misuse the power it will turn on the abuser."
The child looked up at the daiyoukai. "You want sa'mekh to protect it."
Sesshoumaru shook his head and went on one knee, to be on the same eye-level as the half-breed child.
"No, I want you to look after it."
"I am too weak, small."
"You will grow up, strong and capable. You are honourable, to fulfill duties and obligations, to protect her."
Sesshoumaru smiled faintly. "To me the Shikon is a very powerful lady who deserves my respect and best efforts."
The boy absorbed the explanation. At least he was wise enough to understand this was a responsibility and not a toy. After several seconds he held out his small hand palm up.
Gravely Sesshoumaru placed the Shikon in the boy's hand. He heard the parents gasp when bright pink light flooded the room from the orb before fading. The boy was cupping the Shikon in both hands now, staring into the now fiercely swirling pink depths. Did he hear her voice? Was the miko speaking to him right now? Wide brown eyes looked up at him and the small head nodded once.
"I will look after her Nagasawa-sama," he said formally and bowed his head.
And the small concern within Sesshoumaru eased. "Good. You will need to be instructed, in how to defend yourself and your new charge. I will provide such instruction until I am satisfied you can look after yourself."
The boy looked confused "That will take years," he pointed out uncertainly.
Sesshoumaru smirked. "Once I am satisfied with your progress I will only visit occasionally to ensure you have kept up with your training." He rose from his kneeling position and turned to the Ambassador. "I hope it will be acceptable. My lessons will be in addition to whatever self-defence or martial arts you wish your son to master."
The Ambassador looked shocked. "My son is Vulcan. Violence is not an acceptable course."
"Lessons in control and discipline will serve him well," Sesshoumaru pointed out blandly. "You are an important Ambassador and there is always the threat of kidnapping."
Sarek subsided and was forced to concede. "I have intended to instruct Spock in suuhs mahns and using the lirpa and ah-woon."
"Katas for naginatas and kusari-gamas can be modified for your weapons," Sesshoumaru allowed graciously.
The Ambassador's wife who had been silent until now spoke.
"Do you have a place to stay Nagasawa-san?"
"I have rented a house near Spaceport One," he said. "I have business concerns and will need to make frequent trips into orbit since my associates do not have visas to land on Vulcan. If you provide me a calendar of days I can visit… at least two-hour blocks every four days for now. It can be reduced to ten days once Spock has learnt enough of the basics to practice on his own. I will need a dojo, or a large open room with wooden or stone floors and plenty of exercise mats."
She nodded. "I'll make the arrangements for such a room."
Spock listened to his parents and Nagasawa-sama discuss the details his martial arts lessons.
"Nagasawa-sensei," the spirit within the gem whispered in his mind.
"Sensei?" he whispered back mentally.
"Yes, Sesshoumaru is your sensei now."
"But why is he teaching me? He must be an important and busy person."
"Yes he is, and you should be proud. He does not teach anyone he sees as unworthy."
"Because I have to look after you now," Spock noted.
"In part. But if he really wanted to he could easily hire the best teachers to train you. He is teaching you because he wants to. Do not disappoint him."
"I will not," Spock vowed silently.
And he didn't.
After Nagasawa-sama left his parents questioned him and had the Shikon scanned and examined in minute detail. There was nothing dangerous about the relic, just the odd energy signature that no one could identify and Spock had refused to allow it to be studied in more detail. It was his responsibility and Nagasawa-sama would not be pleased if he shirked it. Secretly Spock did not want to share Kagome with anyone. She was unique like Spock and he wanted to protect her. Having no real reason to confiscate the Shikon, his parents allowed him to keep the relic and study under Nagasawa-sama. Under the watchful eye of Vulcan martial arts experts who could only find things to admire in Nagasawa-sama's techniques and skill.
In the months that followed Spock grew to genuinely respect Nagasawa, no Sesshoumaru-sensei, inu-daiyoukai. When Kagome had whispered the name and race in his mind the young hybrid had immediately begun researching the names. What he had found had scared him at first.
Sesshoumaru, the Western Lord, Killing Perfection, the Aristocratic Assassin.
Inu, canis lupus, domesticated dog.
Youkai, mononoke, natural spirit, animal-demon.
Daiyoukai, the highest ranks of power a youkai could reach.
Sesshoumaru-sensei had been born a daiyoukai and progressed through ranks of the upper power levels through his own efforts. He had carved an empire and protected his lands with his own power, and when the time of magic began fading he retreated gracefully and then forged a new empire in the stars. All using his own drive and the advice of the spirit within the Shikon, the miko Kagome.
Spock had seen her memories, seen the violence, the battles, the powerful attacks capable of tearing up vast stretches of land in one attack. And he knew no one would believe. And even if they did… the potential for violence was too high.
He had been wary, of the spirit and the daiyoukai, because of those memories. But eventually he grew accustomed, even soothed by the daiyoukai's impassive, stoic aura, even the potential of restrained violence. Because he had 'seen' the destruction Sesshoumaru-sensei was capable of if the daiyoukai ever lost control. And he hadn't in almost eight centuries. It made Spock feel better about his own lacking control. At least when he lost his temper he didn't destroy whole cities. Sesshoumaru-sensei's expression was always set in the same cool controlled mask; nothing ever affected him, the snubs and slights of other Vulcans, the whispers and gossip. Spock wanted to be just like him.
Spock had always believe T'Pau to be the oldest and wisest living being ever. Now he knew there were older beings that did not claim to be wiser but were definitely more experienced and knowledgeable than any Vulcan. Kagome and Sesshoumaru-sensei had seen so much, done so much, it made Spock wonder how much more they could do if they didn't have to hide, from the Terrans, the Vulcans, and all the other alien races. Sesshoumaru-sensei had said youkai traded with the Klingons because they had similar values and attitudes towards violence. The daiyoukai rarely started fights but he always finished them. Permanently. Spock didn't think he could be so ruthless and unforgiving but deep down he knew he had never been tested. If his loved ones were endangered… Spock hoped such an event never came to pass.
"You have learnt all I can teach you," Sesshoumaru-sensei announced at one lesson. "To progress any further you must kill and you are not ready for that."
Spock bowed his head and did not protest saying he was Vulcan and that he would never kill. Between Kagome and Sesshoumaru-sensei, Spock had discovered he was human enough to do anything necessary to protect his loved ones.
Sesshoumaru-sensei studied him intently. "It is time I departed. I have obligations elsewhere and your father cannot renew my visa without an adequate reason."
Spock nodded. He understood. Sesshoumaru-sensei's business affairs on Vulcan had been concluded long ago. The daiyoukai had only stayed to teach Spock.
"I understand. Will you stay in touch?" he asked carefully.
"Not with great regularity," he said bluntly. "Many have been asking questions and what interests us cannot be safely discussed through electronic channels."
Spock bowed. "I understand. But please visit when you can. Kagome and myself, we will appreciate it."
Gold eyes softened. "I will try."
Kagome smiled within the jewel as she felt the buffered emotions of her caretaker-charge. Today he would be finding out if he got into the Vulcan Science Academy.
"Spock, come here. Let me see you."
"Spock. There's no need to be anxious. You'll do fine."
Kagome did not think the Vulcan Science Academy was the best choice for Spock but he desperately wanted to make his clan, his father, proud so she did not voice her reservations and only encouraged him.
"I am hardly anxious Mother. And fine has variable definitions. Fine is unacceptable."
"Liar," she whispered to him alone and smirked when he ignored her.
There was a moment of silence and Kagome could feel the emotions roiling in her caretaker.
"May I ask a personal query?"
"Should I choose to complete the Vulcan discipline of Kolinahr, and purge all emotion, I trust you will not feel it reflects judgment upon you."
"You'd better not be thinking of that," she told him sternly.
"Oh Spock! As always, whatever you choose to be, you will always have a proud mother."
When he ignored her the miko deftly channelled her power to activate her connection and slipped into his conscious mind, to see and experience through his senses. It was a technique they had developed, a quasi mind meld that gave her more sensory input and a direct connection to Spock. They rarely used it once Spock was bonded to T'Pring but today was a special day and Kagome wanted to be there.
In her secret heart of hearts Kagome had long ago faced the truth of her feelings for her caretaker. She loved him. She grew to love him when he was a lonely brilliant little boy, scorned and hated by his peers and ignored by most adults. She had shielded him from the verbal slurs, soothed his hurts, comforted him when he wept, and supported him in his quest for knowledge, strength, and control. She was his greatest champion, right beside his mother. Kagome knew exactly how strongly he was affected by the varying attacks on his hybrid status, unbalanced control, and ferocious intellect. And yet she had refused to let him give up or suggest he back down and concede.
"Bullies never let up. You have to stand your ground and fight, teach them that you are just as good, if not better, than they are. Denying what you are, who you are… it never works in the long run."
"I know that," he told her silently. "I wished to hear her response."
"Amanda is your mother. Mothers always support their children. My mother was the same."
Spock was silent.
"It is time to go," he said out loud.
Kagome retreated into the background content to observe in silence as the S'chn T'gai family were flown to the ancient VSA campus. She watched as several applicants were presented with their admission offers from the VSA Academic Board. Now it was Spock's turn.
Kagome did not like the look on the lead Minister's face. It reminded her of a particularly sadistic teacher who enjoyed grinding students down.
"You have surpassed the expectations of your instructors. Your final record is flawless. With one exception. I see that you have applied to Starfleet as well."
Spock remained calm. Kagome had to admire his cool.
"It was logical to cultivate multiple options."
"Logical but unnecessary. You are hereby accepted to the Vulcan Science Academy. It is truly remarkable Spock, that you have achieved so much, despite your disadvantage. All rise!"
Kagome stiffened at the last bit. So did Spock.
"If you would clarify, Minister. To what disadvantage are you referring?"
"Your Human mother."
If she could have she would have jumped on the bigoted bastard and strangled him!
Spock did not have to think on his next actions. "Council, Ministers, I must decline."
The prick had the gall to look offended. "No Vulcan has ever declined admission to this academy."
"Then, as I am half-human, your record remains untarnished," Spock responded with a bite.
Sarek stiffened and made an attempt to reason with his son. Far too little, far too late, as far as Kagome was concerned.
"Spock. You have made a commitment to honour the Vulcan way."
A slur on a loving parent, a mother who had supported you through thick and thin, it could not be forgiven or forgotten. No matter how illogical others might view it.
The Minister looked baffled. "Why did you come before this Council today? Was it to satisfy your emotional need to rebel?"
"The only emotion I wish to convey is gratitude. Thank you, Ministers, for your consideration. Live long and prosper."
"And fuck you," Kagome whispered silently giving the old buzzard the mental finger. She was relieved by Spock's hidden reaction to her comment; he was amused.
She wondered if he had expected something of this sort all along, if that's why he had made a serious effort in his application and back-up plans to study in Starfleet.
"Yes," he told her mentally. "Minister Tarkesh is a major proponent of withdrawing from the Federation. If I attend the VSA my academic career will be sabotaged or stalled."
"I understand. When are we leaving?"
"In three days there is a commercial transport to Earth. I need to confirm my reservation."
"I support you. I always will," she told him softly.
Spock carefully dressed in meditation robes and knelt before the asenoi. He inhaled deeply and exhaled sharply, preparing his mind to slip into a meditative trance. With the ease of practice he reviewed his recent accomplishments, current goals, and the progress towards said goals.
The young Vulcan cadet was in the last month of his accelerated self-designed course of study. He had just handed in the last of his projects and all that remained were the final exams that were no real concern. Within six weeks he would have his degrees and be considered a fully-graduated Starfleet officer, the first Vulcan to enrol and graduate from the Academy, in order to join Starfleet.
Whenever anyone had asked Spock why he had chosen to join Starfleet he usually gave vague, non-committal answers. No one would ever know how much courage had been required, to board the commercial transport to Earth, to sever the option of turning back. How much fortitude it had taken to stay in the Academy and complete his course of study, to ignore the crushing loneliness and sense of isolation. He would never tell anyone but if it wasn't for his companion, if he didn't have Kagome he probably would have given up and fled back to Vulcan in disgrace.
He was in the middle of the Forge, a very accurate representation of the harsh desert. The red sun blazed down on his uncovered head, warming his flesh to Vulcan-comfort levels. The Forge had been his playground and his refuge, a place where he could allow himself to relax without concern. The only other place he felt the same was in the sanctuary of his own mind, with her.
"Do you know how grateful I am to you Kagome? To you, Mother, Sesshoumaru-sensei?" he whispered to her in his mindscape.
Spock could see her smiling at him, seated elegantly on a wind-polished boulder, dressed in an elaborate-looking kimono robe, her hair twisted up into an elegant knot. Not for the first time he wished she was not just a spirit, formless and bound to the Shikon, only visible to him in his mind.
"I am grateful to you Spock. For sharing your mind with me, for agreeing to look after the Shikon. I know being responsible for a relic like the Shikon is a heavy burden."
"I never considered you a burden. You were a curiosity and then you became my friend. My only true friend." He looked sad. "I still do not understand why you chose me of all the hybrids in existence."
She laughed, the sound like bells tinkling. "Oh Spock!" She touched his cheek lightly. "I chose you because I knew you were special. You are intended for something more."
The young Vulcan-hybrid looked confused. "I do not believe I am the only Terran-Vulcan hybrid, just the first to reach adulthood without serious health issues."
She shook her head. "It's more than that. When you touched the Shikon I felt your soul, your katra." She looked away struggling for words. "It vibrated with mine, it sang to me. I knew you were the one best suited to look after me, the Shikon."
"Sesshoumaru-sensei is more powerful and capable of protecting you."
Kagome sighed. "Sesshoumaru looked after the Shikon for centuries without complaint but our agreement was always to find the Child of Two Worlds who would take charge of the Shikon."
"To break the spell that binds you within the Shikon."
"Midoriko said I would be freed when a Child of Two Worlds bonds with me, one born to a human mother and sired by a powerful non-human father. But honestly, I don't think it will ever broken." She smiled wistfully at him.
He stared at her dismayed. "You have always spoke of your desire to be free, to live…"
"Being bound within the Shikon isn't so bad if I'm with you. Oh if I was stuck in the Shikon I'd want to escape, but you're kind enough to allow me to share your memories, your senses. Sesshoumaru is too incompatible for me to slip into his mind, to experience through him like I do with you. Vulcans live long lives so I don't have to worry about you dying on me." She grinned impishly. "The only thing that would make it better is if you were a girl I could share gossip with."
Spock blushed light green. "I would not be interested in gossip even if I were a female," he told her repressively.
"You should," she told him chidingly. "HumInt and first-hand experience can never replace files and reports."
He looked thoughtful. "A single event can vary depending on perspective."
She snorted softly. "When a law-enforcement officer interviews many witnesses to a single incident they will get conflicting stories. They have to examine all of them to see which pieces fit best together, not take a single witness account as the gospel truth."
"So what is the correct option to me will not be the correct option to another?"
"Definitely! Both of you may be right, only one of you may be right, or both of you may be wrong… but the key is to accept any of those possibilities. What may seem obvious to another may not be obvious to you. That is why team work and team building is very heavily emphasized in Starfleet, to cover each others blind spots." She cocked her head. "Is there a reason why you are asking me about this?"
She did not have to wait long for his answer. "I have been offered the opportunity to design a special computer simulation, to test Command-track students."
Kagome looked thoughtful. "Were you given any suggestions? Or qualifying criteria?"
"I was informed the simulation should test their ability to handle stress, the difficult decisions a Captain will be forced to make."
"Hmmm." It was a sound of intrigue. "People handle stress differently. Even the best leaders will buckle and bend under the strain."
"But they must not break. Starfleet cannot afford to have deep-space Captains experiencing breakdowns due to combat stress."
"Then perhaps you should test how the candidates handle extreme amounts of combat and ethical conflicts. The best ones will not break despite repeat failures, they will persist, refuse to give up no matter what."
Spock was silent as he absorbed her words, his clever mind spinning the framework for what would eventually become the Kobayashi Maru simulation.
Kagome smirked as she watched Spock explore the astralscape created from his memories and her power. He was always amazed by the level of detail she could mimic. He could easily spend hours examining and testing the flaws in scattered stones. But today Kagome was not interested in watching him explore her creation.
"She likes you."
Spock blinked twice and looked in her direction.
"Who is she?"
"That pretty student. Dark skin, flashing eyes, ring a bell?" Kagome grinned broadly when she saw the comprehension in her companion's eyes.
"You mean Cadet Uhura. And you are mistaken Kagome. She is my student."
The miko made a face. "That doesn't stop her from liking you and trust me, she does."
Spock turned his attention back to the fist-sized stone he was examining. "She is my student. It would be most unprofessional."
"She won't be your student forever," Kagome pointed out carefully.
Spock put the stone down and focused on the conversation. "It would not matter. I am not interested in a romantic relationship."
"Most Vulcans aren't and they don't know what they're missing," Kagome murmured. "You should give it a shot. She could be good for you."
Spock stared at her directly, catching her eye before responding. "She is not you."
Kagome started. She stared at him uncertain of what she had just heard. Was she misinterpreting things? Had he just implied…? "Spock?"
"Your mind is far more compatible to me."
Kagome inhaled deeply. "Spock, I'm a spirit, I don't have a body."
His head angled slightly. "Physical intimacy is not a necessity for Vulcans except during pon farr. But even then a strong compatible mental bond can stabilize a male in plak tow."
If Kagome could have blushed she would have. But she had seen far too much to be affected by such talk.
"Spock. Find someone you're compatible with and sleep with her. Sex adds an intimacy that a purely platonic relationship cannot compete with."
"Perhaps among humans but I am not human, not entirely. And for Vulcans a strong mental compatibility is the foundation to a strong relationship." He made a throwaway gesture. "Besides I am not romantically interested in Uhura. She is a good student and will be a fine officer one day. I am thinking about making her my TA."
Kagome shook her head. "Oh Spock!" But she did not press the issue. Nyota Uhura would just have to deal with her crush. Kagome just hoped it didn't turn into an unrequited love. Spock was rather careless with emotions. It had taken a great deal of effort to improve his people skills, pointing out they were important if he was going to lead a team of science officers or researchers, which was pretty inevitable considering his skill set.
Spock was in shock though he would never admit it. It was impossible. It was not supposed to happen.
"How the hell did that kid beat your test?"
"I do not know." Spock did not know but he also knew he was not going to rest until he found out exactly how Cadet Kirk had passed the Kobayashi Maru simulation. The only logical explanation for the simulation to execute like it just had was because someone had changed the parameters. Cadet Kirk must have compromised the simulation security to do so and Spock was going to prove it.
It took eighteen hours of work to backtrack electronic fingerprints and to undo unauthorized modifications to the security logs, but Spock had accomplished what he had set out to do. He found proof of Cadet Kirk's illegal actions. He had submitted his findings and requested a public forum, to make an example of Cadet Kirk. No one was above the Rules and Regulations, even the son of a renowned hero.
Kagome sighed and made a disapproving sound. She had tried to turn Spock from this course but unfortunately he had chosen to dig his heels in on this matter. The more she had tried the more stubborn he had become. The miko was afraid her championship of Jim Kirk had been a factor in Spock's request for a public Academy Hearing, instead of the usual closed room session. She knew Spock intended on pushing for the maximum Academic penalty, for expulsion from Starfleet Academy.
"You are allowing your pride to skew your judgment," she whispered in the Vulcan's mind.
He settled into a light trance and responded back.
"He broke the rules Kagome. If he breaks this one now, how many others will he break?"
"You know my view on rules Spock, they are guidelines not set in stone. Besides, he does not need to cheat. He's a good student. His marks prove that."
"And how do you know he did not cheat for them?"
"A cheater would not have done something so openly audacious. Kirk would have just skewed the parameters enough to just pass, not completely demolish the simulation like he did. It was a clear red flag that it was compromised. And it was his third try Spock. He made a very good showing on his previous two attempts."
"True," Spock allowed grudgingly.
"And how many other students even came back for a second try?"
"But Kirk did. He made a tremendous effort for his second attempt. And he would have passed… I mean come on Spock! What are the chances of an entire fleet of Klingon ships preying on one civilian ship? With no other back-up at hand?"
"Zero point zero three two five percent," Spock allowed. "But it is not the point Kagome, Kirk cheated and he must pay the penalty."
"Commander Spock, the session is about to start."
Spock looked at the Ensign and nodded. "Understood." He rose and entered the auditorium, taking a seat near the front.
It was fifteen minutes before Admiral Barnett called the session into order.
"This session has been called to resolve a troubling matter. James T. Kirk, step forward." Spock watched the cocky cadet step up to the stand. "Cadet Kirk, evidence has been submitted to this council suggesting that you violated the ethical Code of Conduct, pursuant to Regulation One-Seven point three of the Starfleet Code. Is there anything you care to say before we begin sir?"
The Cadet nodded sharply. "Yes, I believe I have the right to face my accuser directly."
Spock had not expected this. Or perhaps he should have given the Cadet's arrogance. He rose from his seat.
"Step forward please." The Vulcan obeyed, moving towards the other stand. "This is Commander Spock. He's one of our most distinguished graduates. He's programmed the Kobayashi Maru exam for the last four years. Commander?"
Spock scrutinized the cadet, noting the bright defiant blue eyes. "Cadet Kirk, you somehow managed to install and activate a subroutine to the programming code, thereby changing the conditions of the test."
The cadet lifted his chin. "Your point being?" Did he not realize how much trouble he was in?
"In academic vernacular, you cheated," Admiral Barnett said dryly.
Kirk turned towards him with an unexpectedly serious expression. "Let me ask you something I think we all know the answer to. The test itself is a cheat, isn't it? You programmed it to be unwinnable."
"Kirk is right, the test is a cheat," Kagome murmured to Spock. "There is always a slim chance of success in real life."
"Your argument precludes the possibility of a no-win scenario."
Kirk's expression hardened. "I don't believe in no-win scenarios."
"I don't believe in no-win scenarios either Spock," Kagome whispered in his mind. Spock ignored her.
"Then not only did you violate the rules, you also failed to understand the principle lesson."
"Please, enlighten me," Kirk said sarcastically.
"You of all people should know, Cadet Kirk, a captain cannot cheat death."
There was a hushed murmur of whisperings. Kirk went very still. "I of all people?"
"That was cruel Spock." But Spock refused to acknowledge her.
"Your father, Lieutenant George Kirk, assumed command of his vessel before being killed in action, did he not?"
Kirk's lips were pressed together in a hard line. "I don't think you like the fact I beat your test."
Spock ignored the comment and continued. "Furthermore, you have failed to divine the purpose of the test."
The cadet gave him a challenging look. "Enlighten me again."
"The purpose is to experience fear. Fear in the face of certain death. To accept that fear and maintain control of oneself and one's crew. This is a quality expected in every Starfleet captain."
Spock was certain the cadet was about to attack him, further proving his unsuitability to be a Starfleet officer, when an aide stepped up to the panel and handed a PADD to Admiral Barnett after murmuring apologies. Barnett scanned the device before speaking.
"We've received a distress call from Vulcan." Spock went still and listened intently. "With our primary fleet engaged in the Laurentian system I hereby order all cadets to report to Hanger One immediately. Dismissed!"
Spock dismissed Cadet Kirk from his mind. He had responsibilities to fulfill.
Jim resisted the urge to fidget as he listened intently for his assignment.
"Tracy, USS Farragut. McGrath, USS Enterprise. Vader, USS Hood. Welcome to Starfleet, Godspeed."
"He didn't call my name." He pushed to the front of the crowd of dispersing cadets. "Commander! Sir, you didn't call my name. Kirk, James T?"
"Kirk, you're on academic suspension. That means you're grounded until the Academy Board rules."
His best friend tried to reassure him. "Jim, the board'll rule in your favour. Most likely." He looked around impatiently. "Look Jim, I gotta go."
Jim shook off his shellshock. "Yeah, get going. Be safe."
"Excuse me," the Commander muttered before moving to his own assignment.
"Yeah, yeah sorry." Jim felt horrible despite his best efforts to pretend otherwise. He worked his ass off and he was grounded before he could even fly? He had never expected things to spin so out of control… He just wanted the bastard to face up to the fact that the stupid simulation was a lousy test and ultimately creating a self-defeating mentality but the Vulcan had refused to respond to his repeated requests for an in-person meeting.
He must have looked really down because McCoy scowled then snarled, "Damnit! Come with me." Then he grabbed Jim's arm and jerked him along.
On the other side of Hanger One another large group of cadets were receiving their assignments.
"…USS Neutral. Uhura, USS Farragut. Petroski, USS Antares. Go to your stations and good luck."
Uhura ignored the jerk Kirk and made her way to Commander Spock. She deserved a better assignment than the Farragut.
"Commander! A word."
Spock halted and Uhura resisted the urge to reach out and touch him.
Now's the time to show him you're serious girl, she told herself sharply lifting her chin. "Was I not one of your top students?"
Spock inclined his head. "Indeed you were."
"And did I not, on multiple occasions, demonstrate exceptional aural sensitivity, and I quote, 'an unparalleled ability to identify sonic anomalies' in subspace transmission tests?"
"And while you were well aware that of my own qualified desires to serve on the USS Enterprise, I'm assigned to the Farragut?"
Spock looked at her blandly and Uhura wondered if she was pushing too hard for what she wanted, the assignment on the Enterprise and to be with him."
"It was an attempt to avoid the appearance of favouritism. You were my TA for several terms."
Uhura shook her head. "No, I'm assigned to the Enterprise." She dared him to refuse her.
He gave her a long veiled look before nodding once and tapping some keys on his PADD. "Yes, I believe you are."
Uhura relaxed a fraction. "Thank you."
Spock watched her hurry off to her assignment wondering if he had done the right thing. What if she took it the wrong way…?
"It's her choice, to cling to faint hope. But you have to understand Spock, all sentient beings need to know that tiny miniscule chances exists, it gives us the incentive to continue and fight, or else we'll give up before we even try."
Spock was beginning to see that. Correction, he could now see it was a cornerstone to the more emotional races, especially humans. Kirk believed that there were no such thing as no-win scenarios, it gave him incentive to fight and keep searching for options, a way out. He had never given Uhura any encouragement or reason to believe he would ever return her feelings, but she continued to cling to the hope, the possibility.
But it was out of his hands now. Kirk's punishment would be decided by the Board. But perhaps he could push for some leniency. After the current crisis was resolved.
He tucked his PADD under his arm and began making his way to one of the many shuttles transporting crew to the Enterprise.