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tower of light

February 2017

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lonely, nostalgic, gazing3

Those Who Love (Star Trek TOS, T’Pring, Kirk, Spock)

Written for sacred_20 prompt #3: Sinner. Also a part of the drabble challenge at where_no_woman.

Timeline wise, this takes place during the gap between TOS and TMP.

Title: 愛をするひと (Those Who Love)
Characters: T’Pring, Kirk, Spock

Rating: G

She looked just as Kirk remembered, a regal statue carved out in cold marble. The only flickers of warmth in those dark eyes were reserved for the child seated at the adjacent table. Her daughter. Would have been Spock's daughter, too, but Kirk was glad she wasn't.

Fate is a funny thing, Jim Kirk reflected as he concentrated on the set of Vulcan food before him, trying his best to maintain a neutral expression. He had volunteered for the technology exchange mission to Vulcan in the hopes of tracking down Spock, but Sarek had absolutely refused to disclose any information, and even Lady Grayson was no real help.

Yet for this last night on the planet, he had the pleasure of meeting the newly appointed head of the Vulcan Intelligence Agency, whose Chief of Staff was now staring at him unflinchingly as if he was an information report to be analyzed and classified.

Anger curled in Kirk's stomach along with the Saurian brandy, subdued but no less definite. It wasn't…right. How could the would-be murderer serenely sit here with her precious child, while he had nothing and could recover nothing?

"I have heard of your inquiries."

When T'Pring of Vulcan eventually spoke, it was in a hushed whisper that reached only him. "I am sorry for your loss, Admiral."

He said nothing. What would she know of it?

As if sensing his discontent, T'Pring waved a hand in a gesture of temporary truce-seeking. "I may understand it better than you think. My bondmate Stonn passed away three years ago in an accident." She gazed in the direction of the child. "T'Liri never met her father."

The darker part of his mind positively reveled at the knowledge. She deserved it. It sang to him. They deserved it, for what they had done and tried to do. But Kirk found himself looking at the small girl, who had an innocently solemn visage, and he was chastised.

"I'm sorry your daughter lost her father." If he sounded bitter saying it, he didn’t really care.

T'Pring remained unruffled at the jab. The obsidian eyes examined him with a disquieting calm, and there wasn’t the slightest of cracks in that placid exterior. It occurred to Kirk that she perhaps could represent the pinnacle of Vulcan womanhood, perfect for a Vulcan with that deliberate heartlessness. Even Spock had praised her logic, in the end. He had never spoken ill of her. It would have been a crime against his own species to do so.

But James Kirk was, as they say, only human.

"How could you do it?" He asked softly. "I don't mean to me. But him...you were bonded to him for all those years. Surely there must had been—something, once upon a time. He would have consented if you asked him to dissolve the bond. He would have said yes, even if it killed him."

T’Pring answered him with averted eyes and a fathomless silence.

Just as well that she didn’t bother to explain or apologize. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to understand, but he knew he could not forgive. Despite the new ranks and titles, his image of her would forever be framed by that day on Vulcan, between the stricken look on Spock’s face and the motionless shadow she had cast on the austere yellow sands.

*

Finis

Comments

Ah -- this is so good: I like how you keep T'Pring enigmatic. I got a sense that there are things (about T'Pring, about Vulcan culture) which Spock understands but Kirk can't, and that plays beautifully into setting it at a moment where Spock seems to have completely given himself over to Vulcan, and Kirk can't connect with him or find him.
Thank you! And OMG ROMULAN COMMANDER ICON! I <3 her so much.
I'm sorry your daughter lost her father.
Oh, Kirk. Passive aggressive much? ♥

even if killed him
Forgot an 'it'? :D
Hey, I'd say in this instance, it's fully justified. ;)

And fixed. Thanks!
Well done! You've captured T'Pring's glacial facade perfectly.
THANK YOU, KIRK FOR SAYING WHAT EVERY SINGLE VIEWER WHO SAW THAT EP WAS THINKING.

*cough* Sorry. That ep... It must be some hugely private cultural thing, or else the biggest example of handing a character the Idiot Ball in Star Trek history.

DragonLady
Wonderfully in character!