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THE MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS

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FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: General Greetings; Acknowledgments on the Subject of Your Day of Birth; Other Matters of Note
STARDATE: 2250.04

Though there is no precedent set for the commencement of a written correspondence begun due to these specific parameters, I will strive to maintain, to the best of my abilities and with ample preparatory research previously conducted, the appropriate level of formality between us, based on a number of factors, primarily examples of a similar nature.

This correspondence has been initiated with considerable forethought.

I have learned that it is a common practice among humans to acknowledge the date of an individual’s birth with celebratory actions as well as gifts. My mother, as you know, is a human female and is aware of many of your traditions. With her providing advice and personal insight, I trust that you will not find my attention to detail lacking in this matter. As today is your seventeenth birthday and humans find it compulsory to congratulate one another on this occasion every year, whether or not their actions have merited special, complimentary mention: Happy Birthday. May this day and subsequent days until your approaching visit to Vulcan find you in good health. The gift was chosen after similar consultation. I also trust that you will find it satisfactory in some way.

As you must certainly be aware, I am Spock—information I did not provide sooner within the body of this message as it was already indicated in the outgoing address—son of Sarek of Vulcan and Amanda Grayson of Earth. As per the arrangements of our parents prior to our conception, in order to encourage diplomacy between our planets and following in the footsteps of the tradition set forth by the match made between my father and mother, it has been decided that we are to be one another’s intended. This tradition of arranged sexual and nuptial partnership is not uncommon on Vulcan, though understandably its strictures as applied to us cannot and will not provide a comprehensive parallel.

It has been suggested that I convey that the divergences in tradition will place us both on equal ground as far as familiarity—or lack thereof—is concerned.

I shall conclude with a general sentiment expressed often by my people. As Vulcans cannot lie, it is offered with honest intent.

Live long and prosper—as written in Standard, rather than in Vulcan, since it is regularly too difficult for humans to read or pronounce.

Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek


 

FROM: jim t. kirk
TO: spock
SUBJECT: oh my god
STARDATE: 2250.04

it took me longer to read that letter than it would've taken to come all the way to vulcan and pick it up myself, probably. tell your mom thanks for me. mine said i'd better write back or risk putting off the whole thing, but i'm bad enough at letters that i told her it might ruin everything anyway.

she never listens to me, so here we are. damned if i do, damned if i don't.

so, thanks. i wasn't expecting a present or anything, but it was cool seeing a vulcan ship model. you guys have different schematics than what we use on earth so the blueprints were a little tricky to figure out. fortunately i'm pretty great with my hands. 

seventeen's not really that big a deal on earth. sixteen is a HUGE deal for girls, they have big parties and whatever, but not so much for guys. i don't know if they have distinctions like that on vulcan or not. am i supposed to know when your birthday is? do they celebrate them over there?

you could try me on the vulcan you know, i figure i'm gonna have to learn it eventually if i'm your intended. speaking of which, you don't think it's a LITTLE weird to agree to marry someone before you've ever seen them? i mean, it's definitely not earth tradition. there's dating, and more dating, and other fun stuff and finding out if you can live with someone without wanting to pop their head off... seems pretty illogical to go rushing to the finish line if you ask me. you don't even know what i look like what if i'm physically repulsive.

anyway, call me jim i'm not gonna address you by four names all the time.

jim


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: In Direct Response to “oh my god”
STARDATE: 2250.05

Hello again, Jim T. Kirk.

I have been informed that the technological state on your home planet of Earth is not in such comparative disrepair to that enjoyed on Vulcan that the personal communication devices belonging to someone of your diplomatic and social status should regularly malfunction. With that in mind, I must therefore ask: Is there some reason your response lacked any signs of proper capitalization as it was sent?

If you are in need of a replacement device, though it is no longer technically your day of birth, I would not be averse—in order to ease our only means of communication prior to physical introductions—to gifting you with a non-malfunctioning device that will afford you less difficulty.

Live long and prosper.

Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek


 

FROM: JIM
TO: SPOCK
SUBJECT: Are you doing this on purpose?
STARDATE: 2250.05

Hi, Spock.

No, it's not broken. That's just how I type. It goes faster. And I don't think we should be heading into this marriage with you doing me favors all the time, you know? I might get the wrong idea. You might spoil me before we ever meet and then I'll be all smitten and I have it on good authority there's nothing worse than a smitten, sweaty human on Vulcan.

I read that Vulcans don't have sweat glands, but... You know about that, right? From your mom. Humans, sweating. It's a thing. The staff's trying to put together a summer wardrobe for me but I doubt it's gonna be enough from what I'd seen of your guys' climate. What's the policy on public nudity over there?

J


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: I Do Many Things “On Purpose”; To Which Action Are You Referring?
STARDATE: 2250.05

Once more, I set forward the customary greetings appropriate to both our cultures, Jim T. Kirk. May this message find you in continued good health.

It is a relief to note that your technical malfunctions have been adequately repaired either by you or at your behest; despite your insistence that the errors were made purposefully, for the sake of personal ease and comfort, I understand that it is a particularly human endeavor to excuse minor accidents in order to assuage feelings of embarrassment.

Vulcans, however, do not lie; though I am only half Vulcan on my father’s side, I have been raised on the principles of Surak, as befits the location of my upbringing. Embarrassment is not a matter with which Vulcans waste resources—both time and energy—concerning themselves.

I do not—rather, I cannot—blame you for behaving as is familiar to you, as a human. As you introduced the topic of my mother in your previous communication—in order to satisfy your peculiar curiosity, know that she is not prone to idle perspiration—I will add that she is an exemplary individual for her race, though she has done her best to prepare me for the inconsistencies of human nature.

I have likewise attached, for your edification, information relating to matters of public decency on Vulcan. It is a point of some concern that you have not already researched and studied these areas in preparation for your arrival. Perhaps you were unable to gather ample resources. I, however, had many at my disposal. I included the most relevant.

Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek


 

FROM: Jim
TO: Spock
SUBJECT: Thanks for the pamphlets
STARDATE: 2250.05

Seriously, just call me Jim. I think it'll save both of us a lot of time and effort. Doesn't it tire you out writing all that? Jim's just three letters. Nobody calls me James. I mean, I guess you could, but I'd feel weird having a ton of names if you've only got the one. Jim and Spock. See? Nice ring to it. Or we could do Spock and Jim. You are cordially invited to the nuptials of Spock and Jim, Providing Jim Hasn't Done Anything Knuckleheaded and Messed It Up.

To be honest, there's not a lot of information on Vulcan culture out there. I mean, there's the basics, but you guys are crazy private about a lot of stuff. The info you sent was all right, although I'm warning you right now I'm gonna faint in one of those get-ups.

As long as we're exchanging particulars, I'm supposed to forward you a list of known allergens and my CMO's contact info. It's nothing to worry about, just standard Federation procedure for sending me offworld. You don't even need to check it out, if you just give it to whoever's in charge of that stuff.

I promise not to get naked on Vulcan, but it seems like a waste for people who don't get embarrassed not to take advantage of that hot climate.

Do you swim?

J


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: There is no need to express gratitude over a purely logical action
STARDATE: 2250.05

Jim T. Kirk, your request that I refer to you henceforth as simply ‘Jim’ has been noted; however, as of yet, I am unable to comply. Do not assume that my lack of conformity is a failure to acknowledge and respond to your expressed preference. It is, rather, an adherence to that which is proper on Vulcan, given our current lack of familiarity.

In the interest of ‘evening the playing ground’—a colloquialism my mother has assured me is appropriate, despite the lack of ground upon which we are ‘playing’—I shall enlighten you as to my full name, though you will likely have some difficulty in pronouncing it. It is S’chn T’gai Spock. I have once again accompanied this communication with an attachment, this one with a recording of the appropriate pronunciation so you do not embarrass yourself.

My studies leave me with no excess time for indulging in unnecessary exploits such as swimming. Likewise, it is clear that the particulars of your decidedly under-performing immune system should cause your CMO to proscribe any recreational activity that brings you in contact with water-born parasites.

Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek


 

FROM: Jim Kirk
TO: S'chn T'gai Spock
SUBJECT: You weren't supposed to read those files.
STARDATE: 2250.05

Spock, I said you didn't have to read that stuff.

J


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: That was not implied.
STARDATE: 2250.06

Jim T. Kirk, salutations. I must debate the veracity of the accusation leveled in my direction within your previous subject line.

I will now quote the exact particulars included in the communication that contained the files in question.

>> As long as we're exchanging particulars, I'm supposed to forward you a list of known allergens and my CMO's contact info. It's nothing to worry about, just standard Federation procedure for sending me offworld. You don't even need to check it out, if you just give it to whoever's in charge of that stuff.

Your statement (as bolded) ‘You’ (in this, referring to me) ‘don’t even need to check it out, if you just give it to whoever’s in charge of that stuff’ implied that my own familiarity with the information within was not strictly mandatory—neither did it imply that it was specifically unwanted. As I forwarded the not insubstantial list of potential threats to your good health to those ‘in charge of that stuff’ I also had every reason to familiarize myself with those threats so as to avoid a future in which one might take any of us by surprise. In other words, the human memory can be faulty even when regarding the well-being of the individual who possesses it. Vulcan memory, however, is not faulty under any circumstances.

Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek


 

FROM: Jim
TO: S'chn T'gai Spock
SUBJECT: It was totally implied.
STARDATE: 2250.06

All right, my bad. I guess I should've assumed that you'd actually WANT to read all that boring stuff. I was giving you an out. Which you didn't take, but you were totally supposed to.

I think it's sweet that you wanna look after me though. Kinda romantic. That's what we're supposed to be doing, I guess.

You're not gonna call me Jim T. Kirk when we're alone together, are you? I don't think I could handle it.

I'm practicing your name.

J


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: Your implications must, therefore, be lacking the universal specificity required of them.
STARDATE: 2250.07

Jim T. Kirk, greetings. Though needless and functionless repetition is not within my nature, my mother frequently assures me that compulsory attention paid—however minimal—to the subject of health is always appreciated by human beings. As a human nicety and social gesture, to illustrate my intellectual curiosity after your Earth habits, if nothing else, I inquire after your health. Also, given what I now know of your constitution and the regular threats made to your immune system, it is apparent to me now that this inquiry is more than superficial and may in fact be more likely relevant than not.

That being said, though I am passably familiar in all manners of medical care for the physiology of every race in the Federation and many that have not yet joined, it would be unwise to eschew the services of a CMO as per regulation standard.

Nevertheless, I shall refocus certain studies so as to be prepared for all eventualities.

What else would I call you, if not by your name? I fail to see how privacy will impact or somehow alter the facts.

Spock of Vulcan, Son of Sarek


 

FROM: jim
TO: spock
SUBJECT: sorry i guess i'lll, work ofn tha.
STARDATE: 2250.07

ok so goodn news hbad news this is gonna ofend your vulcan eyes whcjh i get are way better than human eyes so im sorry for thei IS IN ADVANCE but had a little hovebrike accidnet supposed to keep limbs staitionary forawhile BUT i knew youd worry if i didnt write u and here you are prving me right asking about my healthS O.

goodnews is i have PLENTY of time to practiec vulcan now

i;;l be able to say your name too

schn tgai spock

you guys must have taeltented tongues to get aroundd that language

j


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: There is a voice-to-text option on all standard communication devices. Perhaps you should employ yours.
STARDATE: 2250.07

Jim T. Kirk, once again, hello. As my customary inquiry after your health has no purpose, given the subject matter of your recent communication, I will instead advise you to locate the voice-to-text option on your communication device and speak into its receiver loudly and clearly in order to dictate your responses rather than type them. Otherwise, you will be working against the efficacy of the casts I have reason to believe are currently restricting the mobility of your hands and fingers, as they are meant to limit your movements so as to promote swift bone healing.

If your medical consult has not already made you aware of this then please see attached information on the human skeletal system in order to educate yourself. Also it is a distinct possibility that a new medical official should be assigned to you, as the one currently treating you is committing egregious errors in your primary care.

Vulcans do not ‘worry,’ as you suggest I might have if you were to forego our correspondence for any short amount of time. Therefore I can assure you—as worry is a human emotional weakness—that no worry on behalf of an imagined, unbalanced emotional state on my part is necessary. You are the one who should not worry.

Spock of Vulcan, Son of Sarek

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: An addendum
STARDATE: 2250.07

Jim T. Kirk, as an addition to the communication I dispatched earlier today, I have attached a Vulcan pronunciation guide. Your tongue may not be as inherently talented as a Vulcan’s—there is some question as to whether or not scales of merit can be applied in this physiological comparison—yet if your jaw was unharmed by the hoverbike accident of which you spoke, then this may serve as an appropriate recreational pastime.

Spock of Vulcan, Son of Sarek


 

FROM: Jim
TO: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek AND AMANDA GRAYSON
SUBJECT: Thanks.
STARDATE: 2250.08

OK, voice to text... I guess you can't hear what I'm saying, so I don't have to worry about that thing where your voice sounds weird over a recording. Uh. Thanks for the pronunciation guide, I'm gonna do all my practicing where it won't short out this thing, since it's programmed for Standard, and even if it could understand Vulcan, I doubt my accent could carry it off yet. Yet's the key word there, um...

Glad to hear you wouldn't worry if I disappeared. Not that it's likely to happen, I don't slip away all that easily these days. Kind of... Kind of notorious being the human face of our marriage and all. Impending nuptials. You'd think a human and a Vulcan never got married before, but you're living proof that someone else beat us to it. Well, two someones. You probably don't wanna think about that though, right? Gross.

...

Did you really think I needed educating on the human skeletal system, Spock? I mean, it's inside me. I know how it works. I wasn't moving that much, I was just kinda moving my hands around and banging them down onto the right keys. Totally within my rights. 

My jaw is totally fine and it's a good thing too because my whole face would look messed up without it and it's a good face. Even if it houses a subpar tongue. I'm starting to think maybe you're gonna have to teach it to be more Vulcan. Maybe in person?

Ugh, this is weird I don't know know how to...

See you around, I guess. Thanks for the letter.

Kirk out.


 

FROM: Spock of Vulcan, son of Sarek and Amanda Grayson
TO: James Tiberius Kirk of Earth, son of George and Winona Kirk
SUBJECT: Requesting and offering clarification.
STARDATE: 2250.08

Jim T. Kirk, as per your suggestion, I have included my mother’s full name and shall continue to do so in all future communications between us.

Lest you remain under what appears to be a misimpression—that is, my omission of her name in my official title was due in any part to unfavorable judgment of her person or character—let it be known that she cannot be found lacking on any account. It is true that she is human and therefore susceptible to human whims and flights of marked emotionalism, which are not appreciated in Vulcan culture, yet as a representative of her race, she is in all facets commendable.

What she cannot help or manage due to her nature is minimal and it does not overly impede her ability to adhere to the standards of Vulcan and its native inhabitants. She has performed her duties as a wife and a mother most adequately. Vulcan’s climate is without mercy—nor should it be expected to offer mercy to those from other planets—yet despite the difficulties presented on Vulcan for a human female, my mother has maintained this household efficiently and to standard. Though a Vulcan would admittedly consider her company mildly abrasive, due primarily to the expressiveness presented by all humans, she is far less bothersome than any other individual.

It is true that my father, Sarek, chose to marry her for logical reasons, diplomacy being chief among them. However, it is my impression that he chose most logically a woman who would not embarrass herself given what was expected of her.

I trust that I have clarified sufficiently as to this topic.

As for my own requested clarification, you suggested that you were ‘out’. What, exactly, are you out of?

Spock of Vulcan, Son of Sarek and Amanda Grayson