DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc and Viacom. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2022 by Djinn. This story is Rated R.

It's in the Spaces Between That We Fall in Love

by Djinn



Part 5 – How We Let Love Slip Away


He is on the ship, feeling strangely disconnected from his body. The experience of being a disembodied brain was...unique. In some ways it reminded him of the rudimentary Kolinahr principles that were taught to young children.


The ways of logic.


Yet his emotions had been present. He had felt pleasure at hearing Jim's voice. A mixture of emotions at hearing McCoy's and Scott's voices.


He had much time to think. He could still control what he needed to and think of those things most important to him.


Such as Christine. If they were bonded, he could have felt her.


He hears the door open and turns awkwardly.


"Still getting used to being back in the body, huh?" She has her scanner out and smiles as she reads then pockets it. "You're fine. A fact I'm very glad of."


"You missed me? I was not gone long."


She frowns. "It wasn't the amount of time. It was waking up and seeing you in sickbay. Your brain gone, your body barely alive. It was terrifying. I felt like I'd never see you again."


"I believe if we had been bonded, you would have known I was still there."


She freezes in the way she does when he has made her angry but she does not want to react. He expected her to do this.


"Christine, you say you will consider the bond, but later, and later, and later. Until we nearly ran out of time. What if next time you are taken and I could find you through the bond? I do not want to lose you."


"Jim found you. I knew he would."


"That is misplaced faith. You could have certainty."


"So...hypothetically, if Jim hadn't found you in time, you think it would be preferable for me to feel you out there somewhere and know that I can never be with you? But have you like some ghost in my head?" She moves closer. "That's what you're proposing as something I might have missed out on?"


"In your scenario, yes, it would be unpleasant. In mine, however, if you were taken, it could be the difference between rescue and a horrible fate."


"Do we have to talk about this now?"


"I had much time to think. Time stretched in the hours I was the controller."


"Let me rephrase. I don't want to talk about this now."


"I do."


"Oh, then by all means we must." She looks hurt, in a way he has not seen since he told her they could not conduct a relationship in his quarters, so long ago. "I think I'll sleep in my quarters tonight. Hopefully you'll have let this go by tomorrow." She turns and ignores him when he calls her name.


She leaves him, when he is just now back, after he was lost.


She says she loves him, but she will not bond with him.


He understands so many things, but he does not understand this.




He is talking to the Romulan commander when he hears the chime ring. "Come," he says, expecting the captain, but it is Christine.


"Oh, so you do have something that calls you back here." The commander moves toward Christine, but he stops her with a touch.


Christine is staring at his hand on the commander's arm. He meets her eyes. "Was there something you needed?"


"Is that hate or love shining out of her eyes, Spock?" The commander has made her voice a purr, a thing of pure seduction. "I have such a hard time reading humans." She moves closer to him and he does not tell her not to.


Not because he wants her close to him. Although she has moved him and he cannot deny that. But he wants jealousy of her to be the thing that spurs Christine to make their union final. Durable. Forever.


He is the one who wants forever, yet others no doubt assume she is the romantic one of their pairing.


"I'll be in the lounge," she says and turns on her heel, no wasted movement, and is gone.


"She's pretty, I guess. What was the point of her visit here?"


"Curiosity, I imagine." How did she know he was here? Did Jim tell her? "If you need anything, you have limited access on that terminal."


"And if I need you?"


"I fear I am spoken for."


"Perhaps it is you who are overestimating her fondness for you. She seemed angry, not a loving partner."


He allows himself a shrug, then leaves her.


He is walking to his quarters and hears voices around the corner. It is Christine and Jim.


He stops. He is not sure why. She is his woman and Jim is the friend he values most. It is good that they talk.


"I think the techniques Bones used for my disguise were derived from your original project."


"Parts of it, yeah."


"Did you like me with pointed ears?"


"You're cute either way."


"Why, Chris, I didn't know you noticed." His voice is the flirtatious one he often uses. Spock cannot decide if this bothers him.


"Just because I'm with someone doesn't mean I don't notice. And the someone I'm with is currently standing way too close to a fucking Romulan."


"Sorry about that. Nyota shouldn't have told you."


Ah. It was Uhura. That made more sense than Jim telling her.


"She's loyal. You value loyalty—why shouldn't I?"


"I'm not saying you shouldn't. But what was gained seeing them together? It was just a ruse. Like the one you and Spock played on T'Pring."


She has told him about that?


"Yeah, but he and I felt something. It's how this all started."


"Chris." His voice is very gentle. "I don't think he felt anything other curiosity about a related species. The Romulans are a thing of mystery and here he was having drinks and hors d'oeuvres with one. It had to be thrilling. A first contact of sorts."


Spock retreats and then walks toward them, allowing his heels to click a bit. "Jim, it is good to see you restored to human." He moves to Christine. "Should we talk?"


"Is there something to talk about? Like, hey, did you fuck her?"


"I think I might go now, kids. And you should take this into your nicely soundproofed quarters." When they don't move, Jim says, "Consider that an order."


He doesn't move until they head for Spock's door.


When the door shuts behind them, Spock says, "She is nothing to me."


"I bet you said that about me to T'Pring." She starts to pace. "The hell of it is you didn't tell me. I had to watch Jim acting so fucking weird, so out of character—so mean. And you just watched it happen. Even when I told you to help him, you didn't tell me."


"I could not tell you. There was operational security to consider."


"If we'd been bonded, would I have known?"


"Known what? That he was only pretending to be erratic? No, probably not."


"How about whether or not you like her."


"What do you care? You will not bond with me. She would no doubt welcome the opportunity if we were not on opposing sides."


She moves closer, her eyes as hard as Angel had once said they were. "Do you consider the fact that I won't bond with you as license to cheat?"


"I do not."


"Do you hold me in less esteem because I will not bond with you?"


"Yes." He almost shouts it at her as frustration boils over. He did not like lying to her. He did not like watching Jim have to behave so out of character. He did not like pretending to betray the Federation he would die for.


Would she have known through the bond that he was not concerned about Jim's behavior because he knew it was false? Yes, probably. She would have sensed his calmness.


But he will not tell her that because she does not want the bond.


He holds up his hand; it is trembling. "Christine, please. I do not wish to argue."


He expects her to walk out as she did before with the commander, but she takes his hand and says, "You're exhausted."


"I am. Subterfuge does not come naturally to me. And I did not like keeping you in the dark. I would prefer we have no secrets between us."


"I know." She draws him close, the way she did in the corridor all those years ago.


He buries his head in her hair just as he did then too. "You are the only thing I want, Christine."


"Okay. Okay, Spock. Let's go to bed." She pulls his uniform off and leads him to the bed, pushing him in and then going back to his clothes and folding them.


He allows himself a smile. "A great concession."


"I want you to sleep. Not worry about wrinkles." She joins him in the bed after pulling her own uniform off and folding it with the same care. "I'm sorry I got mad."


"You were jealous."


"I was. She's like T'Pring, only with emotions." She pulls him to her and kisses him softly. "I love you."


"And I you."




He has lost the captain, the ship is barely keeping ahead of the asteroid, and he cannot decipher the language on the obelisk. He has been at it for twelve hours.


The door opens and Christine comes in. "Spock, you need to eat."


She has a tray. He smells plomeek soup. Memories flood him, no doubt as she intended.


"You need to eat. If you're going to figure that out, then you have to keep your strength up."


There is logic in what she says so he goes to his desk and eats the soup quickly, barely tasting it. There is fruit as well, which he tells her he will save for later.


"Eat it now. I can bring more later when I come to bed."


"I do not need the same amount of sleep."


"I know. But I can sleep and you can decipher. You can join me when you get tired."


He pushes the tray back to her after removing the fruit. "You will be a distraction. I cannot afford distractions. The sooner I decipher this, the sooner we will save that planet and Jim."


"Okay, I'll be in my quarters if you need me. I'll see you tomorrow."


He does not say goodbye, is already focused on the obelisk again.


She comes the next day and he tells her she may bring him food but when she sits on the bed, he tells her to go.


"Are you kicking me out?"


"I have said you will be a distraction. Was that unclear?"


"Spock, you need to rest, let your mind have some sleep-time to process. That's science not some old wives' tale."


"You are not an expert on the workings of the Vulcan mind, Christine. As we do not need the same amount of sleep, it would follow that we do not need sleep to process information. I will sleep when I am ready, not when you dictate."


"Fine." She stands there, as if unsure what to do. He knows she is as concerned about Jim as he is. "Do you want something different to eat tomorrow."


"No. This is fine."


"Okay. I love you, Spock."


He does not return the sentiment, is already back to his study of the obelisk.


For the rest of the time, she does not argue. She comes in, leaves food, at times scans him, and then leaves. He does not look at her because he does not want to see what this is doing to her. Surely she understands why he must focus?


When Nyota shows up, asking him if she can help, he thinks perhaps Christine has sent her. He sends her pictures of the obelisk because she might be able to help. Of any of them, she might. It was right of Christine to tell her to come.


He is less grateful when McCoy shows up. Lecturing and trying to make him feel better. Letting him off the hook as if this is not his fault.


And then, just when it is almost too late, he solves it. What was just symbols makes sense and he wonders that Nyota didn't figure it out first—she is so musically inclined.


They arrive barely in time. Not in time to save Jim's wife—a woman he would never have been with if he had not been injured and lost his memory. But they save the planet and leave.


They sit in the lounge, he and Jim and McCoy and Christine. Jim clutches his drink even though it is empty and Christine gets up and says, "Let me get you another" and gently peels his fingers off the glass.


"Thanks, Chris."


The bar is not far from where they are seated. Spock can hear what she says to the bartender.


Then Jim gets up and joins her, telling the bartender her drink is on him.


"She was pregnant," he says to her and she says back, so gently, "I know."


"I should feel more, Chris. I should feel more about her, but it seems so far away. Another son lost."


Spock is unsure what he is talking about. He is sure she doesn't know either but then she says, "Someday she'll let you see him. I'm sure of it."


"Maybe." He smiles at her in a way Spock suddenly does not appreciate so he gets up and walks over to them.


"You are taking quite a while to come back." It is bluntly stated and Jim looks at him with confusion.


But she turns and he notices the dark circles under her eyes. "Way I see it, we have two months to get back to you."


Jim is looking back and forth. "I'm missing something, aren't I?"


"Spock got the job done, so what does it matter how many of us he shut out while he did it? Or for how long? Not like we're a team or anything."


"Do you mean the crew, Christine, or do you mean us?" He keeps his voice low, does not want to embarrass Jim or himself.


"Oh, no. You're not going to turn this into a diatribe about the fucking bond." And she stalks off, back to McCoy.


"I'm really missing something." Jim frowns at Spock. "Are you two okay?"


"I honestly do not care at this point." He yawns—something he would normally never do. "Jim, I am exhausted. I found the key to the obelisk and you, and now I must sleep."




Spock passes Christine.


She looks up and says, "Let me guess? You want to sleep alone again?"


He does not answer, and he hears McCoy say, "Trouble in paradise, darlin'?" as he walks out.


He does not hear her answer, but he can imagine what it will be. An inventory of his shortcomings, no doubt.


It is ironic, she denies him the part of her that would be accessible only through the bond and it is a declaration of freedom. He requests privacy to focus so he can save a planet and his closest friend, and he has been...what? Selfish? Uncaring? Withholding?


He is tired of the double standard. He is tired of everything right now. He knows he needs rest—probably days of it.


Perhaps he will feel better about his relationship with Christine when he wakes.




Christine is off the ship, at Starfleet Medical, taking tests, interviewing for—he is not actually sure what. They were barely speaking when she left.


She has commed him a few times since she has been gone, but the conversation is awkward. He does not tell her what she has missed on the ship. Soon she will be gone and will miss all of it.


When she does return, she does not seek him out until late in the day, after dinner.


"I need your advice, Spock."


He nods to indicate he is listening.


"If you knew someone was dying, was trying to hide it from the captain and the crew, would you tell the captain?"


"Yes. Why would you not?"


"Because it's a friend. Because he asked me not to." She is distressed enough he goes to her. Holds her. Is tender as he asks, "Who?"


"I have to tell Jim, not you."


"Is it Nyota?"


She shakes her head but pulls away. "It's medical. I can't share it. The same way you couldn't share op-sec stuff with me."


It is logical what she says. It also might be a way of striking out at him.


But he can imagine who it is, whose loss would make her radiate pain this way. She has always loved McCoy in ways he does not entirely understand.


"Go. Tell Jim."


She nods and pulls him closer. "I did miss you. I know things are weird right now. But I did."


"I also missed you."


She lets him go and hurries off to tell Jim something that will hurt him immensely. Should Spock go with her? But he has no right to hear this information.


He stays where he is.




He watches Christine with Jim in the lounge, at the bar, talking softly. They are out of range this time. But he sees the soft way she looks at him, the way he grins back at her.


She worked tirelessly to find a cure. Even when McCoy came to Jim's memorial in defiance of his orders, she did not.


How much does she feel for Jim? And is that why she will not bond with Spock? Does she wish to move on?


He is so happy to have Jim back, to have gotten them all free of the Tholians, that he does not betray his concerns.


Or he thinks so until Jim walks over and says softly, "You're glaring at her. Or possibly me."


"Not you, Jim."


"Spock, if I miss seeing you with her, you must miss being with her even more. She's good for you."


"Am I good for her?" His tone is gentle, he does not wish to hurt Jim in any way, not now that he has him back. But he sincerely wants to know.


"You're serious? Spock, I know she's leaving in a few months for med school but then she'll be back. Or we'll be on Earth—who knows what's going to happen. The brass have been hinting I might make admiral."


"Is that something you want?"


"I don't know, honestly. But whatever is going on with you and Chris, fix it. She's worth it."


"I have always thought so."


He looks for Christine. Ready to try harder, but she has joined Nyota and some junior crewmen. Several of whom are watching her with interest.


Jim follows his gaze. "That means nothing. Do you want me to go get her?"


"No. She is a free agent." And it has never been more apparent.




He hurries to her quarters, the kironide rushing through his system. It has not granted him telekinesis the way it did Jim, but it has stimulated his pituitary gland and filled him with desire.


She lets him in and opens her arms to him in a way she hasn't of late. Her smile is the one of old, their passion also returned.


"It is like the burning," he says. "Only with no loss of self."


She smiles as she strips his clothes off. "That sounds good to me. I've missed you so much. I'm sorry it took a bunch of assholes to make me realize that."


And then they are together, there, against the wall; he is moving and finds the meld points but she pulls away slightly.


"You do not wish the meld?"


"You're not in control, Spock. You just said that."


"You think I will bond with you against your will?"


"Could I stop you if you wanted to?"


He shakes his head. He wishes his desire would die the same way the ease they just had between them did. He wishes he could walk out and leave her since the idea of being linked to him is so abhorrent.


But he needs her. And she wants him.


"I don't mean to hurt you, Spock."


"And yet you do. With such ease it would shock the others." He is careful how he moves in her, holding a part of himself back. The kironide is now a shackle he must manage, not something to enjoy until it dissipates.


"Spock, come back to me," she says almost desperately as he lies next to her, not touching her—a rare respite from the kironide.


"Is it Jim? Would you have rather been on his couch?"




"Is that why you will not bond with me? To keep yourself free for someone else? Like him." The kironide forces him to pull her onto him, and she rides him as she shakes her head, as she tells him he's wrong, he's an idiot, he's jealous.


How much longer before she tells him he is not what she wants?




He realizes she is crying. "Have I injured you?"


"No. I just want it to be like it was."


"As do I, but time has passed and those days are gone. We must find our way from here, Christine. Do you still want to?"


"Of course I do. I love you."


He knows there is more to say, more to discuss, if they are to find their way to something approaching contentment. But this is a pleasant place to stop for now.


She loves him. He loves her. And they are together—finally together again.


That should be enough.




He sees that Jim is alone, in a corner of the lounge he goes when he does not want company. Does he miss Elaan that much?


Spock sees Jim's glass is almost empty and goes to the bar, getting a refill of what the bartender says he ordered, and taking it to him. "I know you chose this spot for isolated contemplation, Jim. But I thought you might need this."


"Sit, Spock. You're fine. I'm just not in the mood for others."


"Are you all right?"


"It's weird, the effect of her tears on me. Like no matter where I go, she'll always be with me."


"And you with her. If I understand how they work."


"I guess. I'm not sure." He studies Spock. "What's going on with you and Chris?"


"When did you start calling her that?" He sighs. "When did she start knowing things about you I do not?"


"What are you talking about?"


"A son. You mentioned it to her after your wife..." He sees Jim's eyes narrow. "I was not eavesdropping but you were within range of my hearing."


"I'll remember that if I ever want to tell her something not for you." Jim looks angry now. "Maybe I don't want you here, after all."


"So you will not tell me, but you will tell her?"


"She knows my son's mother, Spock. It came up naturally. I can't see him so I don't talk about him."


Spock knows he is telling it this way so he gets only the gist. Enough to say he's been told but not that he's been trusted.


"Jim, why do you confide in my woman but not in me?"


"Your woman?" He leans in. "Have you been checked recently? Do we need to get you back to Vulcan?" His voice is loaded with vitriol Spock is unused to from him. "You really think that this is what I need after everything with Elaan?" He turns away, conversation obviously over. "But hey, tell your woman she better not sit with me. Since obviously I'm a problem for you."


"Jim, please. I did not mean to offend."


He closes his eyes. "I know. Sometimes I just don't understand you. So she won't bond with you? Take what she will give you."


Spock cannot move. He is afraid to move. Afraid that if he does, he will attack his friend for knowing this or Christine for telling him.


Jim turns slowly. "You're angry. At what? That she needed advice? To talk to a friend who really knows you? That she's afraid she's losing you, Spock. That she's afraid she'll never be enough for you without a goddamned psychic ball and chain?"


Spock is clenching his fingers so hard his hands are throbbing. "This is between her and me."


"She's my friend." He takes a long sip. "You don't own her, no matter how primitive Vulcan's rituals may be." He looks up, an ugly smile on his face. "I almost died in one. I have the right to say that."


The rage goes out of him. The memory of Jim's lifeless body under his hands. The pain he felt still real, still there if he just recalls hard enough. Why does pain not go away for him? He can take it away for others but not himself.


How is that fair?


He can imagine T'Pring's voice. How superior it would be. "The Kolinahr awaits you. If you only have the nerve." It would remove the pain. All of it.


All emotion, if he takes it to the extreme, if he goes to Gol, where only the most serious disciples go, the ones who want no vestige left of emotion. A miniscule percentage of Vulcans.


Gol has never been attractive to him. The Kolinahr was never appealing. He has sidestepped it his entire life.


Jim's hand on his arm jerks him back to the present, to the ship—away from the sands of Vulcan. "Spock, I'm sorry. I don't know what got into me."


"It has been a long day for all of us."


"Don't tell her I told you. It'll only make things worse, I promise you."


"I agree." Somewhere along the line, honesty has fled his relationship with Christine.


And he did not even notice.




Christine is off the ship more than on these days. She is studying most of the time she is on the ship.


She studies in her own quarters. She has moved some of her things back.


He is trying not to take it as a verdict on their relationship, hopes it is simply practicality.


He would give up on her except there are still times when the fire between them burns, when they make love, and her smile is warm and soft and everything he wants.


He tells himself to stop thinking life would be complete if only she would allow the bond. He knows she will not. Not now, at any rate.


He has not told her he knows she spoke to Jim of it. Jim is wise and he understands women far better than Spock does. He will follow his advice.


Just as Spock will not tell Christine of how he spent time on Ardana, the secrets he shared with Droxine about Vulcan society. The regard he did not try to hide.


As he walks away from the transporter room, Droxine's perfume still in his head, Jim says, "Spock, a minute."


Spock waits, then follows him into an empty briefing room.


"What the hell were you doing?" Jim is pacing. "Droxine was a lovely girl but you have a beautiful, intelligent woman who shares your life. Why were you acting that way?" He stops and turns. "Is it that time again? You said you were irregular."


"It is not that. I am physically fine. I simply found her beautiful. Engaging." Delightfully willing—she would not have turned down the bond.


"But you have Chris."


He moves toward Jim and studies him. The dilated pupils, the set of his lips. "You want her, don't you?"




"Doctor Wallace said she was your type."


"Jan said that? To you?"


"No. To her."


"Spock, what is wrong with you? If you need time off, go with Chris the next time she has to be at Starfleet Medical. Spend some time on Bali or in Rio. Somewhere nice where you two can reconnect."


"Why don't you go with her, Jim. If you are so concerned for her?"


"I'm concerned for you both." He shakes his head. "Look, forget I said anything."


"That would be impossible. But I will let it go." He walks out of the briefing room.


Christine is not in sickbay when he checks. McCoy says she is studying.


He does not disturb her. Instead he meditates as the remnants of Droxine's perfume slowly fade from his uniform.




Spock sees Christine sitting on the bed, she has the photos of them from long ago spread out over the bedspread.


He no longer keeps the photos by the bed. He moved them to the closet to make room for other things in the nightstand drawer.


And yet she found them.


She looks up at him, her expression bleak. "We weren't together when these were taken but we were happy."


He nods.


"Happier than we are now, Spock." She starts picking up the photos and puts them back in the box. "You don't look at these anymore, do you?"


"I do not." Nor should he. They are emotional attachments. Meeting Surak—even if it was not the actual Surak—today reminded him of how far he has strayed from the Vulcan ideal.


How much he has given up. Not just for her. For Jim. For this crew. This ship. His career.


How much of Spock of Vulcan is left?


She pulls out a picture he cannot make out. Puts it on the bed and stares down at it. "This used to make me cry."


He moves closer, realizes it is a sonagram, very early in her pregnancy, before she lost the baby. He has never seen the picture.


"Why doesn't it make me cry anymore, Spock?"


"Because time has passed."


She looks up; her eyes are devoid of emotion. "Why can't I feel anything about this? I remember. But I don't hurt anymore."


"Perhaps because it has been years." That is not the reason, but he will not tell her that. Any more than he will tell Jim why he does not remember Rayna with more emotion. Or Miramanee and his unborn child. Or Edith Keeler.


Had he realized Jim feels pain because of a son he is not allowed to see, he would have taken that away too.


Is that not what humans want? To be free of their pain?


"Len told me what happened with the android—with Rayna. How torn up Jim was." She puts the sonagram back into her pocket. "I asked Jim how he was feeling—if Elaan's tears made the other memories easier to bear. He wasn't sure who else I was referring to."


He goes very still.


"Pain must be so inconvenient for you, Spock. I remember how he was after Edith Keeler. I remember thinking he was really shallow back then, because it was like one day he was so sad about her and the next you couldn't even tell he lost someone." She pushes the box off the bed; the photos spill across his floor. "How much have you taken from us? You're just like that man in the bar."


"I am not. He wanted to hurt you. I helped you—you were in pain."


"It was my pain. You had no right to take it."


"I had every right. You are my woman."


"What about Jim? He's not. And you stole his memories."


"I did not. I stole the unpleasant residue around the memories. You both remember everything. You just do not feel so strongly."


"So, you made us Vulcan." She swallows visibly. "You could take away this entire conversation if you wanted, couldn't you? Erase it from my mind?" He sees actual fear in her eyes.


After everything, she fears him? He backs away until he hits the wall. He will not go near her. "I would never do that to you."


"How do I know that?" She eases off the bed and walks to the door, never taking her eyes off him.


"Will you tell him?"


"I haven't decided yet. We will not meld again."


"We will not do anything again, Christine. We are over. We have been trying to resuscitate a dead relationship for far too long."


She nods, her lips pursed tightly, and he cannot tell if she wants to scream at him or weep. "I thought loving you would be everything."


"You refused to reach for everything."


She closes her eyes. "That fucking bond." Then she turns and walks out of his quarters.


He realizes she has no more things in his quarters. She has moved them all out over time, and he did not even notice.




Spock watches as Doctor Lester—the real one this time—is taken away.


Christine sat with him at the trial that Lester, in Jim's body, put him through. Christine was the only one who sat with him; she was loyal at the end.


It is unexpected.


He is glad he did not tell her about Zarabeth. How, before he left her, he spent a moment bonding with her.


She was never again alone, he was with her until she died even if, for him, her life passed in seconds as he and McCoy returned to the future. He felt the bond snap when she took her last breath and the pain nearly leveled him even if McCoy noticed nothing.


He signed up for Gol the next day.


Christine walks up to him. "I'm leaving tonight."


He nods. "I appreciate your support. Your loyalty."


"Today, you mean?"




"It was the right thing to do. But don't be too appreciative. I told Jim to ask you about Rayna and the others. And to come find me if you refused to answer."


He closes his eyes. "Why would you do that?"


"I waited. I waited for you to tell him, Spock. But you never did. I saw the way he trusted you today to save him. There was no way he knew. And he deserves to know."


"I do not know why." And that is what grates at him. He only took the pain away. He will never understand humans.


Which is why Gol is his only answer. Logic his only refuge.


He has not told Jim yet of his plans to go there. He also departs the ship today, even if he has only told his closest friend that he is needed on Vulcan. A family emergency Jim assumed and he did not correct him.


Of course Jim said yes. After Spock saved him from Lester, what wouldn't he do for him?


He will have no idea that Spock will never return. That he will arrange his leave of absence from Starfleet from Vulcan.


He will not tell Jim what he did to his memories. He will not have to see the pain in his eyes. Will not have to try to understand how caring for someone so much he wants to ease their suffering is a betrayal.


"I wish you all good things, Christine. You will make a fine doctor."


"For what it's worth, I think he'll forgive you. In time."


He nods. Let her think he will do as she says.


He will be gone before Jim can ask about the women—or Jim will wait to ask him after he is back.


Spock feels pain at the thought of Jim waiting for him. Waiting for a friend who will never return. Even if he does, he will not be the Spock Jim holds dear.


For a moment he feels guilt and sadness. He loves Jim.


But love is not what he thought. He remembers what he said when Rayna died, that the joys of love made her human and the agonies of love destroyed her. Had he subconsciously known he was on this path, that he would arrive here, ready to forsake love: this thing he longed for all his life?


Replace it with the thing that has always been right in front of him? But he is here and he is ready to embrace a path he never thought he would.


He is ready to say goodbye to his humanity.


And to ever loving Christine Chapel.


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