“You are Nyota, correct?”
Calm Vulcan startled Nyota from her swirling thoughts and emotions, the torrent leaving her feeling off balanced regardless of how calm she forced herself to appear. She was among Vulcans; she would not display emotion. Not even to T’Pring, the Vulcan woman who was to be Spock’s freaking wife.
“I am,” returned Nyota, careful to keep her own Vulcan tones moderated.
T’Pring nodded, glancing at Kirk where he still argued with Sarek while two Vulcan men escorted Spock away. “Please, escort me to my rooms. There is something I must discuss with you.”
Nyota didn’t want to go with her. She could probably turn this woman down easily, reject her invitation politely even. But it wouldn’t be the logical thing to do and there was something about T’Pring that made her believe this conversation was important. Spock was the only Vulcan she’d come to know well, but she’d learned early on in their relationship that Vulcan emotions were not completely hidden- they were simply only expressed in the eyes. And right now, T’Pring’s eyes were apologetic, hurt, almost bordering on desperate, though Nyota would never suggest that to the woman.
Glancing once more at Kirk and Leonard, who were now talking more calmly with Sarek, she nodded and fell into step as T’Pring began to move towards one of the nearby buildings. For a moment, neither of them spoke. It made her almost wonder if the suggestion of a discussion had simply been a ruse to get her away from the others for some unknown purpose. Vulcans were pacifists, so she didn’t believe T’Pring would harm her, but as the silence grew she found herself more and more uncomfortable.
“This solution is not ideal,” remarked T’Pring suddenly, her hands tucking inside her robes. “It is not the solution I sought, nor the one Spock wanted.”
“I don’t understand,” remarked Nyota with a shake of her head, glancing at the woman in confusion. “Spock is engaged to marry
. Why would he keep the engagement if he didn’t intend to go through with it?”
T’Pring paused next to a cleared area, surrounded by stones ringing a larger pillar-like structure. Curving Vulcan script was scrawled down the sides in a pattern almost artistic in nature. It took Nyota a moment to realize it was a statue- no, a memorial. For Vulcan.
“The destruction of our planet changed many things,” stated T’Pring quietly, her tone almost bordering on sad. “When Spock chose Starfleet over the Vulcan Science Academy, his father was not pleased. I was not either, until he explained to me all that had transpired on that day. Regardless of his acceptance to the academy, Spock never would have been accepted at the academy. I am uncertain his work would ever have been considered valid.” She paused for another moment, eyes turning to Nyota. “When he made his decision, we discussed the matter. It was not ideal, but neither was our bonding. We were friends, but neither of us wished to be bound in marriage to the other. Though the pairing was logical, there were many matters on which we disagreed. It would have made for a desonate home. Thus, he absolved me of any obligations to him.”
Nyota nodded slowly allowing the other woman’s words to sink in. “He was looking for another partner.”
“As was I,” affirmed T’Pring calmly. “I had found one, a man named Stonn, whom I was fond of. And Spock had found you, a human woman for whom he cared deeply. Deeply enough that he wished to discuss only one matter with his mother before deciding to fully pursue you.”
She managed to keep from blushing at T’Pring’s words. To think Spock had discussed their relationship with his would-be wife was weird, but if they were planning to split then it made a certain degree of sense she supposed. Still… “If you were going to split up anyway, then why not split up before you found other partners?”
“Spock is half human,” explained T’Pring. “If and when his time would come was uncertain. I do not love Spock as a wife should her mate, but I care for him all the same. He is my friend and I would not see him die if I could prevent it. Thus, we agreed it was logical to maintain the bond until one or both of us found mates of our choosing. Then we would annule our bond.” Again, T’Pring paused and looked towards the memorial. “The destruction of Vulcan occurred before we could complete the process, though. In its wake, our logic had to change. I encouraged Spock to still consider and pursue you, believing it was logical for him to continue to engage in a relationship that clearly proved beneficial to his mental well-being. He was reluctant though, due to the position of our people. So few of us remained, he believed it might prove more logical to marry and reproduce with a Vulcan woman.”
“It would be,” pointed out Nyota, though the words almost burned as she spoke them.
T’Pring shook her head slightly, looking back at Nyota. “If that was his true logic, I would agree. However, I suspect fear was his true motivation for seeking a Vulcan female.”
Fear? That didn’t sound like Spock at all. What could he have to be afraid of from their relationship? Social shame and ostracization? That could be it, actually. It seemed like the kind of thing Vulcans might do. “Would they really exile him for choosing a human mate over a Vulcan one?”
“Exile?” questioned T’Pring, tilting her head slightly. “Spock did not fear social backlash for his actions. That would be illogical. He feared for your well-being.”
Nyota jerked slightly back in surprise. “I don’t understand.”
“Pon Farr,” explained T’Pring with far greater ease than Spock had. “It is the total loss of control for the male. Many suggest that a non-Vulcan could not survive the time, though T’Sai Amanda clearly did many times in her marriage with her own husband. Spock had expressed concern as we neared the dissolution of our bond that he should reconsider bonding with you. If his time should come, he feared he would hurt you. I suggested he speak with his mother on the subject. To my knowledge, he intended to do so. However, she died before he was able to speak with her.”
“He never got a chance to find out about her perceptions on Pon Farr,” stated Nyota quietly, her stomach flipping a little. Seeing Spock as he was now, she could see why he’d been worried.
“As she could not reassure him that a human woman could survive the fires, he found himself still concerned for your well-being,” continued T’Pring in a voice that was almost gentle. “Though he could approach Sarek, Vulcan men only discuss their time with great reluctance and usually only once.” She shook her head a little again. “We did not know if he would ever succumb to the fires. Our bonding may have proven unnecessary. However, with Stonn dead I had no reason to push the dissolution of our bond. As we were uncertain when or if Spock would fall victim, I agreed to remain bonded with him until such a time that he felt comfortable bonding instead with you.”
Again, she paused, casting one last glance at the memorial before meeting Nyota’s eyes firmly. “You hold Spock’s affection. Regardless of what is happening now, it is you he wants. Please, do not doubt that. Hopefully, when the fever has passed, he will tell you these things himself and we can perhaps find a solution more viable for all of us.”
It seemed highly unlikely that was possible, but Nyota found herself nodding all the same. Despite everything, T’Pring’s words had helped sooth some of her anger. It was clear Spock had spoken to T’Pring about them and that his regard hadn’t been false. If she lost him because his biology demanded he be with a Vulcan woman, then she could handle that. She would rather he be alive and with someone else, then parish trying to be with her.
“Thank you,” thanked Nyota quietly, her eyes turning towards the monument. “I’m glad you told me all of that.”
“It seemed apparent during our conversation that Spock had not,” stated T’Pring simply. “It is logical that you should be made aware, for him as well as you.”
She nodded, once, and opened her mouth to respond when her communicator beeped rather suddenly at her hip. Blinking, she pulled it from her side and glanced apologetically at T’Pring. “I’m sorry-”
“There is no offense where none is taken,” quoted T’Pring simply, gesturing back toward where the others had been. “Return to your friends. When the fever clears, there will be time to speak further.”
“Thank you,” repeated Nyota with a nod, offering T’Pring the ta’al. “Live long and prosper.”
“Peace and long life,” returned T’Pring along with the same gesture before she began walking once more toward her original destination.
Glancing once more at her comm, Nyota flipped it open. Kirk’s worried voice echoed from the speaker almost immediately, questioning where she was and if she was alright. She assured him that she was, or as alright as she could be given the situation, and promised she would return momentarily. Then she glanced once more at the monument to those lost on Vulcan. Stepping forward, she entered the circle of stone and approached the pillar. The stone was rough against her fingers, little bits flaking off almost like sandstone on earth. Quietly, she stood in the monument’s shadow, her eyes tracing the curling script slowly before she stepped back and turned away. Spock would survive this and Vulcan would not lose another son.
That is all that matters , thought Nyota as she turned away from the monument and headed back to where she’d left the others. In the end, that’s all that matters.