A missing scene from TWOK, meant as a tribute to Leonard Nimoy upon his passing. Told from Amanda’s POV. The movie never explored her grief, which to my mind must have been profound. Written a few days after I got the news, but not posted until now.
Original Series Characters:
Grayson, Amanda, Kirk, James T.
Family, Friendship, TragedyWarnings:
24 Dec 2015 Updated:
24 Dec 2015
This was written back in March for possible inclusion in a tribute fanzine. We were asked not to post our works at the time, but since it’s been nine months and I haven’t heard anything, I think it’s safe to upload it now.
This does contain allusions to some of my other works, namely ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ ‘Secrets’ and the free write ‘Man’s Best Friend.’ Knowing them will make this a richer story, but understanding them isn’t necessary for this one to make sense.
1. All That He Was by Lil black dog
All That He Was by Lil black dog
All That He Was
She couldn’t stop crying. It had been many, many years since she had lost control to this degree, thirty-odd in fact, on the day he had chosen to leave everything he knew behind to pursue his dream. Since the day her son had left for the Academy, the fear had always been in the back of her mind, swooping in to blot out more rational thoughts in moments of emotional weakness or turmoil, but she had stubbornly refused to give in to it, to allow it to consume her. Over the last five years or so it had eased significantly. He was no longer in harm’s way, was now an instructor, stationed for the most part at Starfleet HQ on Earth and tasked with sharing his expertise and experience with new cadets and raw recruits alike.
During the last few years she had relaxed, let her guard down, convinced that the immediate danger had passed, but somehow this most primal of fears had been realized. Despite the fact that his life was no longer at risk on a daily basis, inconceivably, that which she had dreaded for a good portion of her adult life had finally come to pass.
She had known the instant she saw Jim’s face on the viewer. This time she hadn’t started off the conversation by making small pleasantries as she had so many years ago when he called to tell her Spock was gone, that he’d left everyone he knew, everything he’d loved, with the intention of going to Gol and purging once and for all the last vestiges of his humanity.
Even back then, within a few seconds she had realized that something was wrong, but her mother’s intuition had told her that although the historic five-year mission was nearly complete, her son hadn’t made the ultimate sacrifice during those last few days.
Unlike this time.
For her, the tears had started immediately, Jim silent for a long time as well, the muscle along his jawline twitching as he worked to get his own feelings in check, eyes moist with tears he was determined not to let fall, perhaps for her benefit. When he was finally able to speak, after choking out his deep regret and profound sorrow he once again blamed himself as he had done so many years ago, convinced then that he alone had precipitated Spock’s decision to go to Gol.
As he had been then, he was now visibly shaken and haunted by this death as he resolutely assumed responsibility for the tragic turn events had taken. And yet, although a part of her longed to know the minute details surrounding the death of her only child, she found that at this moment, she couldn’t force his closest friend to relive that terrible incident, her only desire to erase the pain she saw in his face.
Pain that surely mirrored her own.
Pushing her own grief aside, she found herself cutting him off from this damning self-recrimination, instead offering him words of comfort, of consolation, rather than condemnation.
She knew he loved her son like a brother, understood him better than anyone else in the galaxy, and would never do anything to hurt him intentionally. That he was suffering just as much as she, perhaps more so since he believed it to be his fault, was a given. In those few stuttered words Jim managed to murmur before she stopped him he had made her aware that her son had given his life in order to save his ship and crewmates.
She did her best to assuage his guilt, to assure him that no matter the circumstances, her son would willingly have sacrificed himself if that sacrifice would somehow ensure the continued existence of those he held most dear, that she in no way held him responsible for the choice she was sure her son had made freely.
He had gone silent at that, his own struggle with his personal demons still evident on his face, and immediately her heart had gone out to him, for there was no other being in the universe who could comprehend what she was going through at the moment save him. He met her eyes, and in that instant, a tacit empathy passed between them, each buoyed and supported by their shared sorrow.
He began once more to explain her son’s final moments, the words catching in his throat as his vision turned inward, replaying events only he could see, but once again she stopped him, this time with a look instead of words. He instantly grasped her meaning. It was too soon; she was already overwhelmed, utterly devastated. She needed time to process the loss in her own way before she could bear to hear the specifics of what had taken her son so abruptly from her life. Her only child was gone. For now, that was all she needed to know, indeed all that she could handle.
He granted her that, once more offering his whispered condolences before closing the comm link, fully aware that she needed to grieve in her own way. They would talk again soon, of that she was certain, and that talk would prove healing for both of them, but right now each had to come to grips personally with their own private hell.
She sat for some time in front of the dark monitor, too stunned and numb to move, her mind racing as images from the past whipped by her mind’s eye at warp speed: The first time she held her son in her arms as a newborn; her fear, which rapidly turned to a sense of security when Sarek introduced him to I’Chaya for the first time; their secret games when he was just a toddler, her joy as he permitted himself a hearty giggle when she tickled him; him arriving home from school bruised and bloodied but stubbornly refusing to tell her what had happened; her gift of a lock of her hair to her young son – her way of saying that no matter what challenges he faced in life, no matter what path he eventually found himself on, she would always be with him, and would always be proud; elation at war with trepidation when he passed his kahs-wan – it meant the end of an era, a necessary change in their relationship that would ultimately take him further away from her emotionally.
As the years passed she came to accept her son’s choice, no longer clinging to the irrational hope that he would occasionally let his humanity shine through the stoic Vulcan fašade. It became clear to her that this was what he needed to do to survive on a world where others only chose to judge him by his perceived faults, rather than his concrete accomplishments. It in no way diminished her love for him; on the contrary, it only fueled the motherly pride she felt for this most unique of beings Fate had blessed her with having a hand in creating. It made her heart swell almost to bursting to see how well he had learned to cope with and conquer the almost constant undercurrent of denunciations uttered circumspectly by peers and certain family members alike.
His desire to pursue a career in Starfleet rather than one at the Vulcan Science Academy came as less of a surprise to her than it did to her husband. Rationally, she understood his need to break free of the yoke of suspicion that surrounded him on this planet and choose a path unfettered by the opinions of his contemporaries and colleagues. Emotionally, however, was a different matter. Accepting the choice that would place his life in danger on a daily basis left her reeling, feeling hollow and raw inside, despite the fact that some small part of her now saw hope that he would be able to find the balance between his two halves, would be able to live as a whole, drawing strength and insight from both sides of his heritage rather than being forced, by choice or necessity, to lock one away in favor of the other.
When next she came to her senses, she found herself on his bed, his room untouched, appearing just as it had when he found it necessary to leave his homeworld behind all those years ago, the pillow soaked with her tears. Someone was shaking her, concern and confusion tickling the edges of her consciousness within the marriage bond. Slowly her eyes focused. Her husband’s face coalesced out of the red veil of pain surrounding her. He lifted an eyebrow, silently asking the question that even he could not bear to verbalize.
“Oh Sarek,” she breathed, her chest and throat tight with grief. “Our son is dead.”
This pretty much sums up how I felt when I learned of Leonard Nimoy’s passing. For me, Spock was a necessary hero who came into my young life just when I needed someone to look up to and emulate. Following the example Spock set helped me through some pretty rough times. In some ways, it was fitting that I was in the midst of writing a TOS fan fiction story (not this one, but ‘For the Love of a Good Woman’) when I got the news.
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