Author: harmony_bites (Rabble Rouser)
Characters: Sarek and SpockPrime
Word Count: 1,650
Summary: Sarek has to deal with intimations of the future.
Warnings: Spoilers for the new film.
Notes: For wonderfulwrites because she said she'd love to read a story with Sarek and Spock. And for djinn_fic for her awesome betas. And to them both for inspiring me to reach back to my old love--Trek.
As Sarek strode into the conference room at Starfleet Command, the grizzled eminence at the table rose to face him. The room was paneled in wood, a commodity on Vulcan so precious, it would have been less ostentatious had a room's walls been lined in gold. Lush. This gaudy world pained his eyes.
How should he address the man? As Spock? His… son. No, to think of him that way was illogical. The man before him might be many things, but not that. Sarek raised his hand in the traditional salute. "Live Long and Prosper, Honored Elder."
One eyebrow rose in the familiar mannerism he and his son shared. "Peace and Long Life, Ambassador."
Sarek sat across from the man. The man's greeting had been cool, correct, in a way only a Vulcan could distinguish from merely polite, with bitter undertones that said, "I expected no other address."
No, if Sarek were honest, a Vulcan would not be able to read the distinction well. But Amanda always could; she had been like an emotional seismograph, and Sarek credited much of his later diplomatic success to her observations and tutelage... She had--
Sarek stilled, breathed in deeply. This not-son disturbed him on a level that defied logic and emotion both. Hearing him, seeing him, was like hearing a lute strung slightly out of tune. "You have been speaking to my son."
Something flickered over the man's face and was gone quickly at that remark. "I have come to the conclusion that much can be gained by sharing information and no harm. We have lost enough---"
Indeed, this man before him had lost him home and wife, people and planet.
"--and it is illogical to not use our knowledge of our future selves to advantage."
"And that is exactly the assumption I would challenge. That you have any knowledge of our future selves."
"I submitted to a full scan and DNA analysis, you cannot doubt--"
Sarek held up a hand. "I do not doubt you are who you say you are, but I believe what you entered was an alternate reality even before Nero's interventions changed it further. Spock is my son… and you…a relation. But you are not him. Consider identical twins--even raised together, even though they may share a close kinship, they are not the same individual."
"But they often share the same potentials."
"As does the Spock and Kirk of the universe you call a dark mirror. I am not convinced our Kirk is any more suitable for command than the savage you recounted. You told my son that he would share with Kirk a friendship that will define them both." Sarek stared unblinking at the man. "It has defined you."
"Yes. In ways that would be beyond your comprehension."
And in that moment the man before him reminded Sarek not so much of Spock, or of his own father, as of his eldest, Sybok. The same slightly smug look, characteristic of madmen and mystics, of a reality claimed they could not defend by logic or fact and yet they considered superior to the world of the senses. "Because it involves emotion?"
Arrogant, ignorant--but then, this man might never have heard his own father admit he could love. That took-- Sarek felt his nails digging into his hands and released his grip, placing his palms down on the mahogany table, careful not to press heavily; he had broken the desk at the embassy this morning in just such a fashion.
The man inclined his head. "Emotion is not, in and of itself, irrational. Friendship is a consequence of shared values, of shared experiences where each reveals himself to the other. My friendship with Kirk is not illogical. It is based on my deductions about his character drawn from my observations, not very different in kind than those from which we derive scientific law."
"And yet apparently beyond my comprehension," Sarek said dryly. "This Kirk is not the same as yours." He made his voice too gentle to be taken as a rejection. "And you are not my son Spock. Your own report should tell you this. Have you not noted certain…discrepancies? To choose one, our Pavel Chekov is five years older than yours."
"Ah yes. As Captain-candidate Kirk put it, another sperm seems to have won the race."
"Human humor." Sarek shook his head. "And yes, James Kirk, as captain…" Sarek considered and dismissed several ways of putting his question about the man's recommendation that Kirk take command of the Enterprise, including "are you severely concussed?"
The man's lips twitched upwards in a subdued version of a human smile. "I take it you do not believe my support of Kirk's captaincy logical. But consider this: I have touched his mind. The meld went deeper than I intended. It was--I recognized this Kirk as more than mere kin to the one I knew. Less disciplined, perhaps, but in some ways also less rigid and no less brilliant. The Federation needs him on that bridge. Perhaps now more than ever."
"The Enterprise needs a seasoned captain, not a newly graduated cadet."
"And yet it was the 'seasoned' captains of our armada that blithely continued on to their destruction. Those captains had access to the same intelligence Kirk used to intuit the danger they did not see. Kirk was also the one who saw that sensible, logical retreat could only lead to Earth's destruction. Without Kirk, another pillar of the Federation would have been annihilated."
That is, without Kirk usurping command by stripping Spock of his reason in front of his own crew. Emotionally compromised. And the man in front of him had betrayed his own intimate knowledge of Spock to help Kirk accomplish that.
The man leaned forward, cocked his head at Sarek as if inviting a confidence. "Exactly how did Spock react when he spoke to you about Kirk." His look was knowing, as if they were playing a game of kal-toh and he knew every move before Sarek made it.
"I would say puzzled." But also intrigued.
"They need each other. Kirk needs Spock, especially if he becomes captain of the Enterprise. And that command is not my recommendation alone. Admiral Pike also supports Kirk as his replacement. And I believe Spock needs Kirk to find his own balance."
"Because Spock does not, after all, already have a human he is close with," Sarek said.
"You do not approve of Nyota?"
"As you have said, we have lost enough. My son is a Vulcan--"
"He belongs in the new colony."
"He belongs in Starfleet."
The man appeared to be about to say more, but then tightly compressed his lips. Silence descended between them that felt as if this world's thick air would not allow more words through. Finally, the man said softly, "Amanda would have liked Nyota."
They grew silent again as the surviving elders filed into the conference room. Sarek could not fault the way this man had worked tirelessly to find a suitable colony. There were few situated at the heart of the Federation that were both habitable and not inhabited. It helped that they did not seek an Eden. A few Federation councilors had even suggested Mars, so sparsely populated even after terraforming it could take their decimated population. The elders had all agreed that settling in the same solar system as Earth was not desirable.
From the moment the others entered, Sarek noted a change in the man across from him. The very tone of his voice grew uninflected and flat, his face marked with the careful blankness of the Kolinahri, evoking a reflexive respect. Negotiating with the other Federation races, Sarek had seen the man display a warmth of expression, use alien humor, to good effect. When they had been alone together, Sarek had to admit the man had about him an ease, a harmonious blend of human and Vulcan manners. This is what his son might be someday. For the first time, the thought did not disturb him.
After the meeting, the two fell into step in the hall, side by side, each mirroring the other's stance with their hands behind their backs. They paused by the marble wall newly inscribed with the names of the Federation and Vulcan Science Academy officers lost in the Battle of Vulcan. The man traced his finger over the name T'Pring, lost on the Ni Var.
"We almost betrothed her to Spock."
"Almost? That explains one anomaly I have been pondering. Why Spock would court Nyota if he was committed elsewhere."
"You seemed surprised indeed to see them together."
"Not alone for that reason. I had not met Nyota Uhura at this point in my life. I first met her years later on the Enterprise, and not only was I not free, I was not as…open as I had been before, or would be after. I am glad for Spock. It is another reason he belongs in Starfleet."
"It would be difficult for them to serve together given such bonds."
"Difficult does not mean not worth doing."
Outside, Sarek stopped short at a familiar luxuriant scent. Roses. Amanda had loved them; she had worked with exo-botanists to create a variety crossed with a Vulcan desert bloom, a hybrid that could flourish on their lost world. He closed his eyes and breathed the scent in.
"Father--I beg your pardon. Ambassador."
He looked at the man beside him and found in the furrowed face a loneliness and grief to which he was not immune, and realized that, sophistry about this not being his son aside, this man felt the loss too.
"It is all right, Spock. Although it may be easier to find our way, we three, if we use the term 'tomasu.'"
"As you have said, we have all lost enough. It would be…illogical to deny family."