Title: Thoughts as a Prelude

Author: Starfleetdream

Series: TOS (could be read as 2009 also)
Codes: Sa/Am
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't profit
Feedback: Yes, please
Summary: An awkward prelude to a fateful meeting

A/N 1): This one-shot is part of the "Gratified By Your Company" series. I wanted to explore what must have happened right before Sarek and Amanda bond. Not sure I'll put this into the "Gratified" sequel, edit it into "Gratified" itself, or leave it as a standalone at this point.

A/N 2): The Seeker is an ancient Vulcan poem that strongly hints at the nature of pon farr.

Thoughts as a Prelude

Sarek strode through the embassy's corridors, lost in thought. Having confirmed with the Healer that there were no physical obstacles to what he intended to do, he considered his next step. He must now determine how to propose bonding to Amanda.

That is, assuming she would be receptive to such an idea. He recalled the translated words of The Seeker he had left on her desk, and repressed a shudder. He would have to explain the Time to her before asking her to become his bondmate. The only way to broach the topic, he had thought, was to answer her questions about the poem. Now, however, he was reconsidering the wisdom of doing so. What if she perceived too clearly, and decided she could not accept further attentions from him as a result? He closed his eyes momentarily. He would deal with that eventuality when and if it came to pass. It is not logical to focus only on the negative, he told himself.

Shifting his thoughts, he re-focused on the proposal itself. He would need to secure some time alone with Amanda. That could be problematic. His own research told him that Humans proposed marriage in often shockingly public places – such as restaurants. He had no intention of behaving in such a vulgar manner. Fortunately, his perception of Amanda's sensibilities told him that she would not prefer a public spectacle, either.

But approaching her in very private circumstances could pose other difficulties. He was not sanguine about suggesting they meet in his quarters again. He had not thought it an issue beforehand, but his control had most definitely been tested by the close contact that resulted the evening of their "dance lesson." It would be dishonorable to have an improper physical interaction with his intended, he told himself, even as he acknowledged the depth of his desire to do so. I must meditate on such impulses.

In the meantime, however, his sense of urgency was undiminished; he must take the steps necessary to secure his bondmate. He turned down the hallway toward her office.

ooo

Amanda stared at the envelope on her desk for the umpteenth time that day. Was it simply a translation of an ancient poem, or had he meant to tell her more? She shook her head in frustration at herself. You're not going to find out right now; go get some work done. With that she rose and headed out of her office.

And looked up to see the figure who had been on her mind all day striding toward her in the hallway. In a momentary flash of panic, Amanda considered ducking back into her office. But Sarek had already seen her. She pleaded silently with herself. Please, please don't embarrass yourself. And definitely don't embarrass him with your feelings!

He had reached her. The air was somehow thick with anticipation.

She met his eyes and smiled. "Sarek."

"Amanda." His hawk-eyed gaze was penetrating and Amanda feared she had somehow projected too much with that simple greeting. Was it possible to say, "I love you" merely by speaking his name? She was afraid to know the answer.

Sarek noted her flushed face, heard her voice tinged with emotion, could sense her accelerated pulse. She is… embarrassed? He wondered, and then again recalling The Seeker's words, felt fear clench around him. The probability of her rejecting my next overture is high. In that moment, he did not even seek to calculate the odds. He steeled himself, and cleared his throat.

"A… personal inquiry. I realize that it is short notice, but are you perhaps free this evening?"

Amanda smiled, bemused. He prefaced every one of his requests for dates with her – and that's what they were – in the same formal way, as "a personal inquiry," even though they had spent many evenings together each week in recent months. But she didn't feel like teasing him at the moment. She very much wanted to see him tonight.

"Yes, Sarek, I'm free. What did you have in mind?" Why is my heart racing?

Sarek suppressed the relief he felt at her acceptance, and then chastised himself sternly for not having an answer to her question. How am I so illogically unprepared?

"I must confess that I would appreciate some advice regarding a venue," he admitted. "Although I am aware of a number of diverting outings, I am concerned about the intrusiveness of the press," he finished, sincerely hoping that she would not suggest dinner alone in either one of their quarters. Dealing with the press would definitely be preferable to explaining why I am resistant to such an idea.

Amanda thought for a moment. She, too, was tired of dodging reporters. But when they had dined in his quarters before they had been, well, too alone. Lord knows what I'd be tempted to do!

An idea occurred to her, recalling his astrophysics background. "I know," she said, inspired, "Let's meet in Golden Gate Park, at the west entrance to the equestrian field. If we arrive separately, there's less chance of attracting press attention. It'll be dark by nine. We can talk about the stars."

Sarek gazed down at her, working to conceal the burst of affection he felt. "A logical suggestion," he agreed. We will talk about the stars, and so much more, I hope. He resisted the temptation to reach for her hand.

Amanda stared back at him, unknowingly as mesmerized as he was. There is so much I want to ask of you… but I'm not sure I should.

Silence stretched between them and a sudden awkwardness ensued, each not wanting to reveal what must surely be heretical thoughts to the other.

"I, um, have to go right now…"

"I, too, have obligations."

"See you at nine?"

"Indeed."

Neither could know the promise of that meeting in the park, or that, twelve hours later, they would be bound together forever.

THE END