Beta: Danielle Stewart
Series: Sequel to “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country” (“Star Trek” VI); AU to “Star Trek: Generations” (“Star Trek” VII).
Summary: Kirk and Spock reunite at the Khitomer II conference.
Author’s Note: This was written for ksadvent
It took Kirk only an instant after he entered the crowded ballroom to locate Spock, who was almost hidden behind a group of people near the furthest wall. Spock was deep in conversation with Chancellor Azetbur, but the moment Kirk saw him Spock glanced up and made full eye contact.
A spark flared in his soul - a tiny flame, compared to the conflagration that had been their bond, prior to the Mutara Nebula. Prior to Genesis. Then, after: the blinded, paralyzed, frozen place in his soul; only slowly thawing to life in the years since the fal-tor-pan. False hope, false spring. And yet...
Chancellor Azetbur spoke again, and Spock turned his full attention back to her. Several Klingons, wearing full ceremonial regalia, swept in front of Spock and he disappeared from view.
“James! James Kirk!” It was Admiral Sokuro and about a dozen hangers-on advancing in his direction. Kirk tore his attention away from where Spock was standing and forced himself to make small talk. “...historic day... amazing the progress that has been made in only one year since the Camp Khitomer conference... scientific possibilities... hopes that the Khitomer II conference would solidify the gains and find solutions to the inevitable setbacks....”
“Happy New Year, Jim.” Amanda, her grey hair nearly matching her pearl-on-grey hooded gown, emerged from the mass of ambassadors, dignitaries and scientists from both the Federation and the Klingon Empire filling the ballroom. Admiral Sokuro and party drifted away to their next target.
"Happy New Year?" he asked, startled.
“Yes. In another...” she checked her chronometer, “...half hour or so.”
“Even though it’s noon? And we’re not on Earth?” He smiled.
“I like to keep track of certain Earth dates. It seemed appropriate, given the event.”
“New beginnings....” He glanced in Spock’s direction. Spock did not need to look back; yet he felt it; a low subtle current, touching and warming his soul.
“It’s hard to be separated.” Amanda had followed his glance. “How long has it been?”
“He left on his most recent mission three months ago.”
“There have been times I couldn’t accompany Sarek – security concerns, environmental concerns, local customs.”
He jumped to the heart of the matter. “Diplomacy has never been my strong suit.”
She gave him an ironic smile. “You could accompany Spock on his missions. I’ve read the accounts of your missions, Jim. You might like to play the cowboy, but you can talk the talk with the best of them.”
“That was years ago,” he said softly. “Recently...” His gaze swept the room again. Klingons everywhere. The roots of anger and hate and grief ached. And yet, he had already laid this burden down.
She laid her hand on his. “Losing a child is the hardest experience any parent can face.” They were both looking in Spock’s direction again.
“I couldn’t be there for him.” A photo of David Marcus - all he had ever possessed of his son - flashed through his mind. “I should have found a way. I didn’t want to admit my own faults, the things I should have done, but didn’t.” Amanda’s eyes were warm, encouraging. “Yes, a Klingon murdered him. One Klingon. Not all of them. I didn’t honor David’s memory with my behaviour.”
“And yet here you are.” Several Klingons walked past them, toward the largest of the viewscreens, which was displaying a closeup image of what was left of Praxis.
“And here I am.”
“I think you’d make a fine Ambassador.”
He laughed and shook his head. “Spock has told me the same thing.”
She moved her hand briefly to his wrist. “Maybe it’s time to listen?”
“Or find some entirely new path?”
They walked the room, stopping for refreshments, small brightly colored biscuits and a cold sparkling tangerine-colored juice. He avoided the trays of gagh, as did she. They made small talk to all the people who intercepted them; Kirk suppressing his frustration at all the obstacles blocking the route between him and Spock.
Finally, Spock and Chancellor Azetbur were just a few feet away. Spock made a subtle shift in position to move slightly closer to Kirk. Kirk closed the gap, stopping at his side.
“Captain,” Azetbur said, inclining her head stiffly.
“Chancellor.” How strange it felt, to be talking politely with a Klingon. Kang and Mara suddenly flashed into his mind. Had he deliberately forgotten the challenging, enlivening conversations he’d had with Kang after their defeat of the alien entity that had spread such hatred between Kang’s crew and that of the Enterprise? Worthy opponent – worthy friend?
“We have made much progress.” Azetbur indicated the nearest viewscreen, which was currently displaying a view of Qo'noS; the vivid green of its sole continent bright beneath the interlacing of environmental satellites. “I am told the adaptation of the Genesis technology will restore our ozone layer far more quickly than the other alternatives.”
“The nanotechnology involved...” Spock began a dissertation on precisely how the environmental changes to restore the Klingon homeworld would be effected. Kirk let the words wash over him; memories of all the times Spock had embarked on similar explanations warming him with their welcome familiarity. Finally, something good had come of the Genesis device, after all the grief and pain and loss.
A Klingon scientist, standing next to Azetbur, questioned Spock on several points, and Azetbur stepped away. She turned her attention to Kirk. “I have been informed about the attempted bombing of the Klingon embassy in San Francisco.”
“The perpetrators are in maximum security now.”
“Peace remains unwelcome to many.”
“There are always people who want to cling to the past. Many...” Spock was standing by his side again, so close their shoulders brushed together. “...as you know, find it difficult to let go of preconceived notions.”
She nodded, and the tiniest of smiles brushed her lips. “As we both know, it is possible to forge new paths, new alliances.”
“I was once told by a very wise being who called himself Ayelborne that in the future, the Federation and the Klingons will become fast friends; that we will work together. I didn’t believe it at the time.” He paused, a smile spreading across his face. “I’m delighted to have been proven wrong.”
“We share that delight, Captain.” An aide stepped next to her, a Federation dignitary in tow. She inclined her head to Kirk and Spock, then turned her attention to the new arrival.
A knot of people broke apart in front of them, revealing Sarek, who joined them. He brushed his fingers against Amanda’s and greeted Kirk. “Are you enjoying your retirement?”
“He has taken up orbital skydiving,” Spock said in a level tone which still managed to convey immense disapproval.
“I’ve already climbed every mountain on Earth,” Kirk protested with a laugh. “I wanted to try something new.”
“I had understood you had decided not to join us for the Khitomer II conference, but rather that you intended to attend the christening ceremony of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B,” Sarek commented.
“I was invited, but hadn’t accepted. I had decisions to make.” He looked at Spock. Their hands met, intertwined.
“The reporters were greatly disappointed,” Spock said dryly.
One of Sarek’s aides and a Starfleet Admiral joined them, and discussion quickly turned to the opening of the new Federation embassy on Qo'noS. A slight pressure on Spock’s hand, and Spock turned and followed Kirk to a less-crowded area, away from the glare of the ballroom lighting. He took a long moment to just gaze into Spock’s eyes. “I missed you.”
Spock allowed himself to smile. “I missed you too.”
“What would you think of selling the San Francisco apartment and just keeping our house in Hermosillo?”
Spock raised an eyebrow at the seeming non-sequitur. “It is logical to eliminate an unnecessary expense. We are seldom in San Francisco.”
“It’s easy enough to beam there if we need to.” Kirk contemplated the lines on Spock’s face, lines that mirrored his own; the badges of countless choices and decisions, triumphs and reversals that had led them to this point. “We don’t need two homes. I’ve decided I’d like to retire from my retirement.”
Spock’s smile widened fractionally. A flow of warmth enveloped Kirk; welcome, familiar, long-missed. He could feel another level of healing had been attained; another few strides had been taken in reknitting their bond.
“There has been discussion of my participating in a possible mission to reopen negotiations with Romulus,” Spock commented. “It seems certain that Ambassador Nanclus’ actions reflected the will of the Romulan government. We may be seeing an increase in hostilities between the Romulans and Klingons. Word, however, has reached us that there are factions in the Romulan government who see the benefits of peace with both the Klingons and the Federation. There are opportunities for positive change.”
“’There are always possibilities’,” Kirk quoted.
“Indeed. I would be honored if you would accompany me.”
“Another new frontier.” Kirk grinned. “I’m bored with retirement. It’s time for the next challenge.”
Spock touched his hand briefly, and Kirk felt the joy Spock was keeping concealed. Spock retrieved two glasses of sparkling juice from a nearby refreshment table. He offered one to Kirk. “I believe on this date the ‘new year’ is celebrated in certain portions of Terra.”
“You’ve been talking to your mother.” Kirk smiled.
Spock raised an eyebrow. “I do not need to do so to remember important dates.”
Kirk laughed. “No, you’ve always done quite well on your own.”
“If my calculations are correct, the ‘New Year’ will begin in precisely 4.5 minutes. I have observed that toasts are customary on this occasion.”
Spock lifted his glass. “To David.”
Kirk felt the sudden presence of tears in his eyes. Clearing his throat, he managed, “To David.”
They clinked glasses and sipped.
“Where,” Kirk asked suddenly, “shall we put your Chagall painting when we move everything out of the apartment?”
“`Adam and Eve Expelled From Paradise’?”
“I remember you told me that you displayed it as a reminder that all things must end?”
“Endings imply new beginnings.”
“Another toast then,” Kirk proposed, “to finding new ways to be useful, wherever that may be.”
They sipped again.
Spock paused, looking off into the distance.
“What is it?” Kirk asked.
“The time is, precisely, now. Happy New Year, Jim.”
He extended two fingers. Kirk matched them with his own. Heat poured along the reforming bond, the energy between them nearly obliterating the savage tear where Khan and the Genesis device had once severed their connection.
Kirk drew in a deep breath, letting the healing warmth fill his soul. “To another new year.”
“To another new year.”
They raised their glasses.
* * * * *
Kirk’s deleted orbital skydiving scene from “Star Trek: Generations” can be seen here and here:
The painting seen in Spock’s cabin in “The Undiscovered Country” can be seen here: