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Folded & Unfolding (REVISED)


Upon the return to Starfleet Academy, Spock immediately finds himself inundated with duties as Commander as well as a considerable amount of obligations to his people seeking temporary shelter on Earth. Within days, Spock knows his decision must be to stand by his people and help the establishment of a new colony. He thinks it out logically and determines his efforts will better serve the Vulcans than Starfleet. Despite the staggering losses in both cases, the Federation at large will provide new recruits to the Fleet.

With his decision to leave Starfleet, Spock writes and rewrites his resignation several times. Before his second rewrite, he speaks to Uhura. She doesn't appreciate his calm presentation of his reasons to leave the Fleet and why he wishes to deter her from pursuing a relationship. She isn't angry at him, she claims, though Spock remains uncertain of this. If she isn't angry, well, Spock does not require her to speak aloud the other emotions. Uhura expresses herself clearly with her countenance and she also has a tendency to project her emotions. Spock does not often need to strengthen his telepathic barriers around humans, but Nyota is an exception when she feels strongly. So Spock holds momentarily to her heartache and disappointment, knowing he should feel the same. He only has a faint sense of regret, and he cherishes the kiss they shared prior his mission with Kirk.

One month and six days after the return to Earth, Spock finds himself conflicted as he walks through the docking station. He left behind the Enterprise's busy dock fifteen minutes ago after an uncomfortable encounter with Uhura. They had successfully avoided one-on-one contact with each other for weeks.

His most recent encounter with Uhura came as a surprise since he found her in a rather intimate moment with an engineer. There had been nothing overtly sexual in the scene, but Spock barely contained his surprise at the ease with which Uhura wrapped her arms around Gaila's shoulders. She'd been laughing quietly as the Orion tried to bat her away with an empty hand, her other occupied with a mechanical tool to work on the engine part set before her. Spock had only come to leave a data padd with the latest updates and schematics for the Enterprise's engineering crew, so he quietly set it where it would be seen before slipping away. Uhura saw him, caught his gaze. They both seemed to pause, gauge what the other thought. The moment passed quickly and Spock inclined his head to indicate his acceptance. There was still a sadness in the small smile that she offered him in return.

Now Spock wanders away from the Enterprise and shipmates who had helped make the improbable possible. His resignation went out to Admiral Pike two point four hours ago for review. Within the next few days he should be relieved of his Starfleet duties and be able to fully dedicate himself to the Vulcan cause. He has already spent much time aiding in the arrangements to house survivors across the planet and evaluate with Vulcan scientists potential worlds for colonization. He should be glad to give himself entirely to his people without interference of other allegiances. However, Spock is very loyal and it unsettles him to resign his command without the experience of even one full tour in space.

Movement in his peripheral vision alerts him to another's presence. Slowing his steps slightly, he turns his gaze to a figure that looks remarkably like his father. He is certain Sarek has no reason or desire to be out by the docks but he can't help calling, "Father?"

The Vulcan stops but does not turn around. Curious at the sense of familiarity that touches his mind, Spock finds himself moving towards the elder.

"I am not our father." This bizarre statement is clarified the moment that he completes his turn.

Spock freezes in place, both eyebrows arching in surprise. His mind quickly fits incongruous pieces together and he comes to the realization that this could explain how Kirk and Scott managed to beam aboard while the ship was in warp.

"Why did you not come aboard with the captain and Mister Scott?" he queries.

The amusement that lights the elder's eyes is unusual for a Vulcan. Beyond that flicker of light, however, is an endless well of grief and tension and apprehension. Spock understands this, for although none of the Vulcans he has spoken with have expressed such emotions, these are things that lurk beneath the surface for all survivors. The elder must feel the echo of his emotions in his younger self, though Spock does not lower his shields or allow any hint on his countenance.

"I had finished my role in those events." There is a deeper sorrow in this moment that Spock cannot touch. "Although my actions have robbed you of most, if not all, of the future with which I am familiar, I could not deprive you of the revelation of all that you and James Kirk can accomplish together. Of a friendship that will define you both in ways you cannot yet realize."

Spock cannot completely repress his skepticism. "I believe you are in error. The captain and I worked admirably together to destroy the Narada, but companionship is unlikely due to our previous encounters and lack of a mutual future."

Few would notice the almost imperceptible downward turn of the elder's mouth, but to Spock the frown is obvious. "Is your placement on the Enterprise not secured?"

"I have submitted my resignation to Starfleet Command." Spock straightens his already perfect posture, disturbed to feel like he needs to defend himself. "It is only logical to apply myself fully to aid our species. My skills will be valuable to the establishment of a colony."

A sense of disappointment brushes against Spock's mental shield. He stiffens, but it seems his reaction somehow cheers the elder.

"Ah, but you can be in two places at once," the elder suggests. "If you require further persuasion, is it not also logical to form a solid relation with Starfleet on behalf of our people?" He moves one step closer and there is something almost urgent in his next words, "Trust me, Spock. Do yourself a favor, for once set aside logic and do what feels right."

Spock is not convinced, though there is a part of him grateful for this advice. "And it is your implication that what 'feels right' leads me to a life on the Enterprise and... 'friendship' with its captain?"

The elder bows his head slightly and Spock has the sense that it is in order to hide some expression the other cannot contain. "Perhaps. I realize that this time is different than my own, and you may choose a different path."

Indeed, Spock thinks. Yet he also knows that the connection that undeniably links his counterpart to himself hums with familiarity and similitude. Regardless of their displacement, there is a strong bond that allows Spock to sense the elder's memories are close. If he were to ask, Spock wonders if he could be shown.

"I would ask you to walk with me," the elder says, his voice stirring Spock from his musings. Spock arches an eyebrow and feels amusement from the other as the expression is mirrored. "I believe there is someone you should see."

Spock hesitates a moment before stepping aside to let the elder lead. A weight of importance lingers in the invitation that he is curious to explore. He wonders who they are going to visit and whether or not the person is aware of the true identity of the older Vulcan.

---

Their destination takes seventeen minutes to reach. The elder smoothly navigates the halls of the service building situated at the center of a ring of dormitory buildings and a library. Spock's curiosity piques as they turn to the medical ward. His counterpart casts him an unreadable look, which reminds Spock to strengthen his mental shields.

A number of beds are curtained off and behind some of them Spock can see the shadows of medical attendants tending to the patients. He wonders who he is supposed to visit, unaware of harm having come to any of his few close Vulcan acquaintances.

He catches sight of a familiar human scowling unhappily at a pair of Healers. Spock blinks in surprise, caught off-guard by McCoy's presence in the midst of Vulcans.

"Doctor," the elder greets. He inclines his head in silent respect to the Healers. Belatedly Spock repeats the gesture, still mostly focused on McCoy.

"Ah... uh... Sp--Kirak." McCoy's gaze darts between them, expression caught between irritation and surprise. Under his breath he mutters, "Fuck." Amusement filters through Spock's mental barrier from the elder.

"Doctor McCoy, I am unclear why you are present," Spock says.

"Huh?" McCoy looks at Spock's counterpart, Kirak, and back again. With a groan, he runs a hand through his hair. "Right. Jim-- ah, the Captain's suffered some pretty significant effects after the crisis. The 'Fleet's standard treatments aren't working, so the Ambassador suggested coming by."

Spock knows the man is lying, at least in part. For the moment, that is not his focus and instead he is curious as to Kirk's condition. Looking beyond McCoy's shoulder he notices a small series of private rooms. Ignoring the doctor's sputtered protest, Spock strides to the first open door and walks in to find Kirk staring blankly at a padd while the computer reads aloud the latest status of the Enterprise repairs.

At first glance, the Captain seems in good condition. There are no visible wounds or bruising, yet there is something off about the tension in his shoulders. A sense of uneasiness surrounds Kirk that Spock feels even without seeking a telepathic reading.

"Stop," Kirk says, cutting the computer off mid-word. His head jerks up and Spock is disturbed that the man's eyes move quickly, unfocused. "Yes?"

"Captain," Spock returns. He takes one step into the room but says nothing more. He studies the man carefully, intent on the face and how the eyes have still not focused.

Kirk swallows visibly. "Commander Spock." He angles his face in the correct direction even though his gaze hits Spock's shoulder. "I'm a little surprised to, um, see you."

Spock's displeased to note the self-deprecating smile that twists Kirk's lips. He doesn't know how to respond. This man has the dubious honor of being one of the few who has been capable of bringing emotional responses to the forefront, and it seems he is capable of doing so even when sitting still with a blind stare.

"You cannot see," Spock concludes, and he is satisfied his surprise does not affect his tone.

"Really? I hadn't noticed." Strangely Kirk's voice holds a note of true amusement. "Well then, I'm glad you came to see me. What's up?"

The colloquialism is one that Spock learned very early upon his first casual interactions with humans, but it continues to bother him. It is illogical to be so unclear when seeking answers. However,

"It was suggested that I come with a mutual... friend of ours. I did not realize you were here."

"Thanks for not turning 'round and walking out without saying hi," Kirk replies, good humor seemingly in place.

"I do not see how that would be an acceptable response." Spock isn't sure what underlies the false bravado Kirk has managed to project even to Spock's light telepathic touch.

Kirk's brow furrows in confusion. "Wait, which friend?"

"I believe," Kirak says as he steps into the room, "that would be me, Jim." Kirk's face unerringly turns to the older Vulcan. Since his eyes can't track properly, his head turns as the Vulcan moves around the bed.

Spock stands perfectly still, though his hands clench behind his back as he watches the casual touch that the elder bestows on the human's shoulder. Kirk's tension abates and the Vulcan easily slides the padd out of his grasp.

"I thought there would be this time implosion paradox thing if you two met," Kirk complains, waving a hand between both Spocks. "Did you lie to me? I thought Vulcan's couldn't lie!"

"I believe you inferred certain consequences," Kirak corrects. Spock isn't sure why the barely visible smile directed at Kirk bothers him so much. "It was not the time nor the place. Now with the Vulcan population greatly diminished, it would be foolish to assume no contact would ever be made."

"I was kind of wondering about that," Kirk answers. His hand finds the elder's and Spock's gaze locks on the brush of fingers. It's unseemingly proprietary . Kirak shouldn't allow this, Kirk has no idea the significance of such a touch, ozh'esta.

"Hey Spock--- Um, Commander." Spock forces himself to focus on Kirk's face. "I'm not sure how long I'm... Shit. So I know it's not official and all, but I was s'posed to be getting the Enterprise - and God knows I want her! - but I'm not sure what the hell's going to happen with this sight thing... Kind of worried it's going to take longer than fixing up the ship. So, ah, I'd really prefer to keep her in your care rather than under someone else's grubby paws."

Perplexed, Spock seeks clarification with a light mental touch; Kirk reveals nothing. "While I do not understand your proposition given your actions to procure captaincy from my brief tenure, it is in fact irrelevant. I filed my resignation earlier today." He is uncertain now whether he will follow through, but that indecision is not something he will broadcast.

Kirk's reaction is unexpected.

"Are you fucking crazy?" Kirk pulls his hand away from the Ambassador and pushes himself off the medical cot. "Come on, you're, like, the cream of the crop, and you're gonna leave us-- Starfleet in the lurch? Look, I do get it, you know. Wanting to help your people and all." The captain's hands are slightly raised in front of him as he strides forward. "But Spock. Man, there's so much you can do while still in Starfleet."

Spock braces himself as Kirk's hands awkwardly hit his chest before finding purchase on his shoulders. The human shifts his weight, presumably trying to balance an appropriate distance while estimating where he should be "looking." Spock closes his eyes momentarily as Kirk's breath brushes against the corner of his mouth, and it feels like he's much closer than the approximate 17.78 centimeters between them.

"Stick around," Kirk insists, "see how much you can do and still fill whatever obligations you feel towards your people. If anyone can multitask on a major scale..." He grins, obviously confident. His grip tightens momentarily before relaxing, an action Spock realizes is supposed to be comforting.

Kirk continues to stand with his hands on Spock's arms despite receiving no response. Spock studies the human before him with a perplexing, and irritating, sense of kinship. He turns his gaze to Kirak standing across the room. Although his counterpart's expression is a study of Vulcan calm, he makes no attempt to hide that he is listening to the conversation.

"Spock. Come on, at least consider it, okay?" Kirk's previously determined expression is overshadowed by a concerned frown.

Spock forces himself to relax so that he's not so stiff under Kirk's hands. He's not sure why, but he feels compelled to give reassurance to the human.

"I will consider your proposal, Captain," he relents.

With a grateful sigh, Kirk releases Spock's shoulders and steps back. He awkwardly rubs his palms against his uniform. With a small smile he says, "Um, I'm sorry about---" he waves his hands "---the touch thing. I know you, er, it's not a real favorite thing of yours."

Spock's eyes narrow in consideration. He's prepared to give into his curiosity and ask about Kirk and the Ambassador when McCoy appears through the doorway with a perturbed expression.

"Jim, just got a heads-up from Pike. Sounds like Command's interested in pushing up the ceremonies and get new crew assignments officialized."

Kirk grimaces. "Ai ya, hwai leh!" he swears in Chinese. Spock isn't overly surprised by the language choice, he had reviewed Kirk's file and now knows the captain is proficient in five languages.

McCoy rolls his eyes. "Somehow I doubt what you just said is going to win you any favors."

Spock's attention catches on Kirak as the elder Vulcan moves to the captain's side. "Jim, I believe you will need to discuss your options with Admiral Pike."

Kirk seems to lean into the Vulcan, and he visibly calms. "Yeah, I know." He turns his head to face Spock, his expression once again becoming earnest. "Please, Spock. I need to know the ship's going to be okay."

"Your concern puzzles me," Spock admits. He tucks his hands behind his back to hide how his fingers are twitching restlessly. There is a strange energy in the room that is buzzing at the back of his skull and reverberates through his entire body. "In your scenario, you assume that I will act as placeholder for your captainship. If you manage to overcome the odds against a successful surgery and somehow prove to Command there will be no relapses in blindness, you are still making the assumption that I would turn over the position of Captain."

Kirk makes an admirable attempt to hide a flinch at Spock's words. "Well. I guess-- Sorry." His shoulders slump. "Yeah. Guess it's not real fair."

The Ambassador's hand appears on Kirk's shoulder and Spock once again stiffens at the sight of such familiarity.

"Jesus, Spock. You don't want to help, then just get the hell out of the way." McCoy scowls as he pushes past Spock to grab Kirk's elbow. "Come on, kid, we're doing this with or without him. Sooner we talk with Pike, sooner I can get back to research."

Before McCoy can urge Kirk out the door, the captain directs a rueful smile at Kirak. "Thanks. For..." he trails off with a shrug. "You know. Whatever." His smile turns into a crooked grin that shows a flash of teeth.

McCoy grumbles something unintelligible as he tugs Kirk through the doorway, leaving Spock with his counterpart once again. He feels torn between a strong desire to meditate on present events alone and an urge to demand the Ambassador explain his behavior.

TBC...


And that's all there is for now. While I accept comments with open arms and appreciate your readership more than I can say, I'm not fond of begging. Like I said earlier, this story's on the back-burner. This is a fandom I'm happier to read in than write in, so inspiration is few and far between. I just wanted to post what I had for the dedicated readers who have been so patient thus far. Thanks for your support! I hope to some day finish this for you. ♥

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
enmuse
Feb. 19th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) I hope the rewrites & extra scenes help tide a few readers over
astarte_egypt
Apr. 2nd, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
So hey, way late on the uptake (this is me, not looking at my computer for ages), but this was incredibly done. And take however long you need, lord knows I'm the exact same way.
enmuse
Apr. 3rd, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it. :)
anon_be_done
Oct. 15th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
I know you said "no begging" but....
... but can I poke your muse? Pretty please?
enmuse
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: I know you said "no begging" but....
Ahaha, yeah you can poke them. :) I just don't like demands because, well, things just kinda write when they do. u_u Unfortunately I really haven't been tickled by the ST fandom lately so that would be the first thing that would have to happen before this continues!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )