Captain James T. Kirk stood looking out at the storm as the snow swirled in the wind and built up against the walls and buildings, covering everything, hiding everything.. He was dimly aware of the conversations going on behind him. All was just noise when he wanted to hear a beloved voice. There was an empty space beside him. And there were the questions, far too many unanswered questions, even more questions with answers that somehow seemed wrong. Questions and possible answers kept squirreling around in his head as they had for days.

His Chief Medical Officer had come over and handed him a drink, "You're going to have to join the higher echelon group soon, Jim. Apart from meeting them when we got here you have been standing over here just looking out there. The search was called off ten standard hours ago. It has been five days. It hurts but we have to,"

Kirk had turned and looked at his friend; saw the pain in the blue eyes that looked back at him, "Don't. Don't say it, Bones. He is out there. Spock is out there and he is alive. He is alive. I know he is alive. I can feel it. I know you and the others do not fully understand what we have but I know he is alive. I would know if he was dead. I would know."

"Jim, all the,"

"I know! I have seen and read and know all about all the evidence, all about all the facts, and how all of the reports and findings point to them being dead but I can't believe it. I won't believe it. I can't explain it but I know he is alive. I don't feel it. I would know, Bones. I would feel it if he was dead. I would feel it and I don't, I don't feel it."

A reassuring hand rested on his shoulder, "You saw the condition that officer was in. You heard what he said."

"I saw him and I heard him but I know what I feel, Bones. I know what I feel."

The hand on his shoulder gently squeezed, "We leave the day after tomorrow. If you refuse to then Commodore Bebram will take command of the Enterprise. He already has an officer lined up to be the First Officer and one to be the Science Officer."

"His own men or,"

"His own men, says they have had starship experience and were able to get here." The hand on his shoulder squeezed slightly, "Don't read more into it than that, Jim. You know we have to have a qualified and experienced crew on the bridge."

For a long time Kirk just looked at his friend. He had told both McCoy and Spock his distrust of Bebram after the man's second day on the ship. The bridge crew had not responded well to him either but they had respected the rank. Bebram had never captained a starship, had not logged many hours on one, but if he did not follow the orders from Starfleet Kirk knew Bebram would be given command of the Enterprise.

Briefly Kirk looked over at the throng of Starfleet's higher echelon and knew he had to go over, exchange a few words and then could beam up to the ship. Just a few words and then he could leave.

"Bones, I,"

"You listen to me, Jim, we might not be him, but we are here for you, we are all here for you."

"Ahh, there you are Kirk. I was just telling our guests how I was sure you would say a few words tomorrow morning in honor of your two crewmembers. My officer thought, and I agreed, it a fitting way to say farewell to them." It had taken Kirk a moment to still the words, to not say what he wanted to say. Bebram was looking at him and Kirk saw that self-assuredness that had been there all along. Right from the start he had thought this man was a danger, this man was after something he had and now he knew without doubt what it was. He knew what it was and just what the man like Bebram was prepared to do to get it. Over the years he had encountered many like him but few as almost openly calculating.

"I will return to the ship and write an appropriate eulogy befitting of their lives and deaths." It came to him as he looked at Bebram. "What time did you have in mind for the service?"

"As we leave at oh six hundred hours the day after," Bebram looked at him as though challenging him to say otherwise, "the service will be at oh nine hundred hours tomorrow. I will begin and you will finish with your fine words. We understand you will then want to spend time with your crew and will need the night to prepare your eulogies so I will see the guests off."

Remembering protocol Kirk nodded to the Starfleet senior officers and said, "If you gentlemen will excuse me."

One of them nodded, "It was a tragic waste of two officers, Kirk. Mister Spock was a most exceptional officer, a leader in his field, and Officer Rallon was more than outstanding in his field. Their loss is not just to you and the Enterprise but to all of us."

"Thank you."

Instead of going to his quarters when he beamed up Kirk went to Spock's. Just for a moment he walked around looking at how orderly it was, how it always was. Echoes of all the times he'd been in here discussing a mission, just talking, or sharing the silence seemed to be surrounding him. He sat on the bed, leaned forward with his elbows on his knees and buried his face in his hands.

"Oh, Spock. I know you are out there. I know you are alive. I can feel you. I cannot get them to believe that you are still alive. The bastards won't let me go out. I'm watched all the time by Bebram. Our orders are for us to leave the day after tomorrow. Dammit! How can I leave without you? There has to be a way. There has to."