The door slides open and Uhura steps inside and stops. The captain is staring at Scotty like he’s grown a third head, the doctor has his usual I’m-going-to-murder-you-James-Kirk look in his eye, and Spock is just sitting by watching it all unfold. She places a hand on his shoulder and kisses him on the cheek. “What’s going on?”
Spock stands to his feet and walks to the window, he stares out at the tiny points of light that are the passing stars. Uhura steps up beside him and places a hand on his arm. “Are you okay Spock?”
“Ensign Chekov has always been a most admirable young man.”
The bickering behind him stops and both the captain and the doctor turn. “You got a story to tell Spock?”
Spock glances over his shoulder, “Indeed I do Doctor.”
“I can do that!”
“Locking on you. Don’t move. Stay right where you are.”
“I’m losing her. I’m losing her, I’m losing her! No, I lost her…”
The elation of doing something no else could do and the sorrow at losing someone so important have stuck with him over the short time since the Enterprise returned to Earth. The look on Commander Spock’s face when he was beamed back aboard, the look of a man who just lost the most important person in his life, the look of a man who has lost everything he holds dear. That is what haunts his dreams and keeps him from sleep, that is the reason he has avoided Commander Spock since they returned to Earth
Sulu has done his best to cheer up his young friend but to no avail. The young ensign goes about his duties as normal, his head hung low and much quieter than his usual bubbly self.
After a couple of weeks of this behavior Spock passes him in the hallway. He turns and cocks his head to one side. “Ensign Chekov.”
The young ensign stops in his tracks and slowly turns to Spock. “Aye Commander?” He says quietly.
“Are you not well? You have not been acting in your normal fashion.”
Chekov stares at the floor, “I am quite well. Thank you Commander.”
Spock folds his hands behind his back and assesses the man in front of him. “Is there something wrong?”
Chekov shakes his head, afraid to speak.
“Perhaps you should see Doctor McCoy…”
Chekov slowly raises his head and a tear slips down his freckled cheek. “I’m sorry Commander. I tried to save her but I couldn’t lock onto her fast enough.”
Spock stares at the broken young man in front of him. He hadn’t really thought about how losing his mother had effected anyone else, his father yes, but none of the crew had met her. Her death had been emotional for him and though he would never admit it, he often thinks of her and what this loss means for his future.
Chekov had been entrusted with the lives of himself and the Vulcan elders as well as his mother as the planet crumbled beneath their feet. The likelihood of everyone making it back to the Enterprise were…. He shakes his head, now is not the time for that.
“Mister Chekov… Pavel, I don’t blame you for what happened. You were not at fault.”
Chekov looks up at him in surprise. “Commander?”
“I don’t blame you for her death. That was the work of Nero. You did your job just as Doctor McCoy does his, you tried your best to save everyone and that is all you could have done.”
Chekov gives him a small smile, the first real smile in weeks. He nods and wipes his face with his sleeve. “Thank you Commander.”
“So you fixed Chekov!”
They all turn to find Sulu had joined them and is standing at the door.
“I wondered what had happened but he wouldn’t say!”
Spock nods, “I attempted to encourage him in an effort to return him to his natural state.”
Jim grins, “I knew you were a big softie! I knew you had it in you.”
“You misunderstand Captain, I was only trying to increase his efficiency by boosting his confidence.”
McCoy scoffs, “I believe him, don’t you Jim?”