DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Selek and is copyright (c) 2002 by Selek. This story is rated NC17.



Part 1 - The Death

Spock was dead. Sarek glanced at the official stargram he held in his hand, then crumpled it viciously. Amanda's sobbing could be heard in the living room and he turned to comfort his wife. Her tears wet his robe, and Sarek could feel a lump in his throat threatening to burst free. His sight blurred, but he forced the wetness from his eyes. Vulcans do not cry, or so he had been taught. But he so wanted to at least let one drop fall. 'I am a Vulcan,' he firmly reminded himself. 'It is not our way.' He had never felt grief as profoundly as this, not even when his father, Skonn, died ten years ago. He shook his head and concentrated on soothing his distraught wife, rubbing her back and whispering into her ear.

The strident beeping jarred Sarek from the oasis of calm he was trying to create around himself and Amanda. The unit beeped again, and still he ignored it. Amanda was all that mattered to him right now. And Spock. Sarek felt the lump rise in his throat once more. Where was his control when he needed it? Spock.

When the unit sounded a third time, he felt Amanda stir in his arms, but he pulled her even closer and burrowed his face deeper into her hair to comfort her. There was no one he wished to speak with. Except for Spock, and that simply was not possible. Not now. He had waited too long. On the fourth ring, Amanda slowly, deliberately pulled away from him.

"Go ahead. Answer it, before it drives me crazy," she told him with a wan smile, her eyes red and puffy. When he looked at her uncertainly, she told him, "I'm fine for now. Really."

Sarek reluctantly let go of his wife and went to answer it, then motioned Amanda to join him. It was Admiral Kirk, his eyes red. "Ambassador Sarek, Lady Amanda, I ... regret to inform you that your son, Spock, died in the line of duty." He stopped and looked away briefly, composing himself. Sarek could tell he was greatly affected by Spock's death. His voice was rough as he continued. "He died while saving the ship. He ... saved us all from certain death. You would have been proud of him." He broke off as a tear fell onto his cheek. "Please excuse me, Ambassador."

"There is nothing to excuse, Admiral," Sarek told him softly.

Amanda leaned toward the screen. "How did it happen, James?"

"I'm so sorry, Amanda, but I can't go into any details. But I do want to tell you that he died most bravely. If it weren't for his actions, the entire ship and crew would have been lost. I'm sorry to have to tell you this news." Again, he stopped as his voice cracked, unable to continue.

"Please be assured, Admiral, that we appreciate you telling us yourself," Sarek said. "When can we expect to receive our son's body?"

Kirk looked uncomfortable. "Uh ... according to Spock's wishes, he was buried in space." Kirk knew his words sounded harsh and he tried to soften them as best as he could.

Sarek's features hardened slightly at this news. Buried in space? Then where was his katra? Who was the Keeper? And when were they coming to Vulcan? "Then when can we expect you on Vulcan, Admiral?"

"Vulcan, sir? I have to report to Starfleet Headquarters immediately. I don't know if I'll be able to get to Vulcan."

The confusion on Kirk's face was plain to Sarek. 'Is it possible he does not know what I am asking?' He wanted to ask Kirk about the identity of the Keeper, but now was not the time. "That is unfortunate," was all he said.

Amanda's eyes filled with tears again, knowing she would never see her son again. "Thank you for calling us, Admiral. Please send Spock's effects to us as soon as you can."

"Of course, Amanda." Kirk's fingers formed the familiar ta'al. "Live long and prosper, Ambassador, Lady Amanda."

Sarek returned the salute and closed the connection. His mind was whirling. Spock's katra. Where was it? Did he even have time to entrust it to a Keeper? Clearly Kirk had no inkling of what Sarek was alluding to during the conversation. If Spock had not transferred his katra, then he was surely lost and gone forever. Sarek throat tightened at the thought.

That night, when they went to bed, Sarek gathered Amanda in his arms as he usually did before falling asleep. This time, however, he could feel her stiffen in his arms and pull away from his touch, so he let her go and only rested a hand on her hip. He watched her restless sleep the entire night in confusion, fearful that he was losing her as well. He felt the overwhelming grief she was feeling though their marriage bond and he did not want to burden Amanda further with his grief so he blocked the bond, not allowing her to feel the intensity of his emotions. They were in turmoil and he felt he had to deconstruct them before he would re-open the bond fully again.

* * *

The following day, Sarek dressed and ate breakfast alone as Amanda was still in bed, having finally fallen into a fitful sleep late last night. He opened the bond between them and her grief was staggering. Reluctantly, he closed it down again, leaving her thoughts in private.

As he was heading for the door, Amanda's voice stopped him. "Where are you going?" she demanded.

"I am going to teach my class at the Science Academy."

Her eyes flashed at him. "How can you go to work as if nothing has happened? Our son is dead and you act as if nothing has changed! How could you!?"

Sarek blinked at her vehemence. "The class has to be taught, Amanda, and I am the instructor. I do not wish to leave you but it is my duty."

"Duty?! Don't give me duty! You and Spock and your damned 'duty'! Duty killed our son! How dare you go to work! If you walk out that door, don't come back, you hear?"

Sarek put his briefcase down and approached her. "Amanda. I grieve for our son as well, please believe me, but I cannot disregard my duties because of his death. It is not our way," he said softly.

"Well, your way is not my way! I mean it, Sarek. If you leave here now, don't bother coming back." Her eyes snapped in anger.

Sarek knew it was her grief talking, but he was not about to anger her further. "Very well. I will stay home today." He walked over to the comm unit and placed a call to Senak, the director of the computer department at the Science Academy, informing him of his intended absence. He crossed the room to hold Amanda, but her hands on his chest stopped him. Confused, he looked at her. "What is wrong, my wife?"

"Just leave me alone, Sarek. Go meditate or something." She turned and stalked into the kitchen.

He followed her into the kitchen and leaned against the counter where she was making herself a cup of tea. "Amanda, have I done something wrong?"

Slowly letting out her breath, she put down her cup and turned to face him, her eyes softening. "No. It's me. I don't know what to feel, and I feel everything. My emotions are a mess right now. Just give me some time and space, alright?" she asked of him, reaching up to gently stroke his cheek with the back of her hand. But the sadness suddenly returned to her eyes, and her hand dropped away as if it were too heavy.

"As you wish, my wife. I will be in the living room if you need me." Sarek sat down in the rocking chair and steepled his hands. Amanda wanted him to stay home one minute, then leave her alone the next. He did not know how to respond to her inconsistencies and it concerned him. He wanted to console her, but his own grief was interfering and he was unable to contain it. Where was his discipline?

As he rhythmically rocked back and forth in the oak chair, his thoughts were centered on Spock and he didn't try to redirect them. How many nights had he rocked his infant son to sleep in this very chair? Holding the warm bundle close in his arms, looking into the tiny face wondering about the man he would one day become. Fiercely proud of the stoic little boy who silently endured the taunts of his classmates that he was not a real Vulcan. Equally proud of the Star Fleet first officer who refused to put aside his responsibilities to his ship and crewmembers in order to give his father a lifesaving blood transfusion. Oddly enough, only Sarek himself had fully understood Spock's reasons. He took some solace in the fact that Spock died saving his ship. He died a hero, as Amanda would say. But it was small comfort for him; his son was gone and possibly his katra as well.

Amanda was more emotional than usual that day. She would cry suddenly, but softly. At times, her grief was so deep that she hated Sarek because he still had a son who lived, even though he was exiled from Vulcan. Sometimes, she would stare into the desert, tears streaming down her face, making no noise and Sarek was at a loss as to how to console her. One time, Amanda turned to him, eyes flashing, saying how dare he not cry for his own son. That he must be some kind of monster. That he hated Spock so much he would not even shed a tear for him. Sarek was deeply hurt by those accusations from his beloved wife, and when he tried to explain that it was not the Vulcan way to cry, she slapped his face and stormed into the bedroom. He could still feel the sting of the blow.

His grief was just as profound as hers, but it manifested itself differently. His was internal; to be resolved through meditation. Hers was external, to be resolved through tears. Never in his long marriage had he encountered such profound sorrow and he was not sure how to dissipate it. He thought it best to just be here for her until she finished her mourning.

After she slapped him, he distanced himself from his wife, mourning Spock in his own, private way. Spock's death hit Sarek hard, harder than he had ever though possible. The lump in his throat threatened to loosen again, as his vision blurred once more. Even meditation had deserted him lately.

That evening, Amanda was more composed. "Sarek, I want to apologize for my hitting you this afternoon. It was inexcusable. Please forgive me."

"The cause was sufficient, Amanda. There is nothing to forgive." Sarek looked into her red-rimmed eyes and saw warmth there.

"My grief was so great, I couldn't even feel the bond between us all day." She chuckled softly. "Imagine that. I didn't know anything could stop the feeling of your presence in my mind, but I guess I found one."

Sarek kept his eyes downcast, looking at his dinner plate. Should he tell her that he closed the bond to spare her his grief? As a diplomat, he knew that disclosure of all the facts was essential to establishing a treaty, so he looked up and said, "Amanda, I closed the link to spare you my grief."

Slowly, she looked at him. "You did what?" she asked softly, with an icy undercurrent to her voice.

"I only did this to spare you my intense grief. I have not been wholly successful in containing it through meditation. Your own grief was overwhelming you and I did not wish to add mine as well."

"How dare you! We have shared many things in our marriage, Sarek. How could you deny me your feelings about our own son's death? How fragile do you think I am? After all these years, don't you know me yet? I'm not the porcelain object you think I am, you know. Humans are a lot tougher than you have ever given us credit for. Your arrogance is overwhelming!" She got up from the table and her unfinished dinner and stormed into the garden, leaving Sarek looking after her.

'Will I ever stop making mistakes?' he thought.

He opened the bond fully and felt her anger and sadness filtering through. He got up and went into the garden, determined to make amends to her. He looked for her in her favorite spot and found her crying on the stone bench. He sat beside her and put his arm around her shoulders.

She turned slightly and leaned against his chest, her sobbing becoming harder as she did. "Oh, Sarek, my baby is gone," she sobbed. She clung to him desperately, as if his solid presence was the only thing anchoring her to this world.

Sarek let her cry, holding her close and whispering into her ear as he did the first time they heard of Spock's death. He knew, as did she, that her crying was for both of them. When she finally stopped, she looked at him and kissed him on the lips softly. He returned the kiss, then led her into the house.

That night, she allowed him to gather her into his strong arms as they both lay naked in bed. She turned to face him and absently stroked his muscular chest. "Sarek, I said some terrible things to you. I just wanted to tell you that I didn't mean them. It was the grief talking. I thought I was losing my mind when I couldn't feel your presence, and I so wanted to feel you in my mind."

"It was wrong of me to close the link, my wife. Can you forgive me?"

"Of course. What a pair we are." She continued to stroke his chest and belly with her fingertips. "But, we still have each other and I would hate to lose that as well."

"As would I," Sarek said, rubbing her back.

Amanda settled against him and fell asleep, her mind somewhat at peace.

The next morning, they ate breakfast together. "Is it acceptable for me to teach my class today, Amanda, or do you wish me to stay home again? It is only a half day today, so I would be home for mid-meal."

"No, Sarek. Go to class. I'll be fine today. It just was ... too soon yesterday. I wasn't ready to be left alone."

Sarek got up from the table, kissed his wife, then left for the Science Academy. Amanda watched him leave, then changed into her gardening clothes and prepared to do battle with some persistent weeds. 'This will keep my mind occupied until he gets back,' she thought.

Sarek returned home to find Amanda working furiously in the garden, her face smudged with dirt and the knees of her pants covered in soil. "What are you doing? You know you should not be outside in the midday sun, Amanda."

"Quit being such a worry wart, Sarek. I'm fine. What time is it?"

"It is sixteen minutes past midday."

"Oh, my! I completely lost track of time. Here, help me up."

Sarek reached down and took her hand, pulling her to her feet. "Do you wish me to prepare the mid-meal while you get cleaned up, Amanda?"

"Yes, please. I'll only be a minute."

They returned to the house. Sarek went into the kitchen and starting making Terran tomato sandwiches. Amanda came into the kitchen minutes later, clean and fresh-looking. Sarek had just finished the final sandwich and handed it to her on a plate. Just then, the comm unit sounded. Sarek crossed the room to answer it. When he came back to the kitchen, he informed Amanda that Spock's personal effects had been shipped and were ready for delivery to the house. He watched as Amanda's eyes filled with tears again, feeling her sorrow over the link they shared. "I told them to bring them in one hour," he said softly.

Amanda just nodded her head in agreement.

That afternoon was spent moving Spock's personal effects into his old room. Amanda handled each one with the love only a mother can give. Sarek waited patiently for her to hand him the article, then put it away, either in drawers or crates for storage. When she pulled out Spock's ka'athyra, she hugged it to her breast and rocked slowly. Sarek watched her as tears spilled from her eyes and ran down her cheeks. He sat beside her on Spock's bed and held her, letting her grief wash over them both. Sarek swallowed hard as a memory stabbed at his consciousness. The fleeting look of delight that Spock had quickly suppressed when his father had presented him with the ka'athyra, which had been in their family for centuries, on the day he completed his kahs wan. Spock's small hands reverently stroking the polished wood, then tentatively plucking the strings for the first time. The awe his son could not quite keep out of his voice when he thanked Sarek for the gift. Now there would be no sons or daughters to inherit Spock's musical talent along with the family ka'athyra. The enormity of the loss settled heavily at the core of Sarek's being.

It was late when they finished packing up Spock's things. They were both tired, mentally and emotionally. The end-meal was a simple affair and was eaten in silence. Both of them were deep in their thoughts.

When they finally went to bed, Sarek gathered Amanda in his arms, spooning to each other. She pulled his hands up to cup her breasts and he complied. "I want to feel your touch, Sarek," she said.

He rubbed his thumbs over her sensitive nipples. She arched her back, pressing her buttocks against his groin, rubbing it slowly. Sarek could feel his cock stiffen in response and knew Amanda could feel it as well. She put one leg over his, opening herself up to him. He lowered a hand to stroke her sex, slipping a finger inside of her warmth. She moaned softly as she reached back to rub his flank. His cock was demanding more attention, poking her buttocks insistently.

Amanda turned onto her back, pulled his head down and kissed him deeply. Sarek kept pumping his finger in and out of her, thrusting deeply each time. Amanda reached down for his cock and squeezed it gently. She slid her hand up and down its length, then rubbed her thumbnail across the weeping slit. Sarek inserted another finger and continued to pump them deeply into her.

Her love for him suffused across the bond they shared as she stroked him to full erection. In a flash, there was a terrible sense of guilt that flared across the bond from Amanda. Its intensity staggered Sarek as he saw Amanda turn away from him abruptly, pushing his hands away fiercely.

"Amanda? What is wrong?" Sarek asked, still very aroused.

"This is wrong! Can't you see that? How can we do this when our son is dead? How could you let me?"

"Amanda, do you mean to tell me that we will never be intimate because Spock is dead? I cannot accept that." Sarek's cock was throbbing with arousal, his heart was on fire for his wife and now she was rebuffing him?

"Well, you'd better, Sarek. Can't you see that it is wrong? How can we have pleasure when our son has only been dead two days?"

"I do not believe that Spock would want us to deny ourselves pleasure because of his death, Amanda. That is not logical."

"To hell with your logic, Sarek. And to hell with you!" She threw back the covers, put on her robe and left the bedroom.

Sarek flopped back down on his back and willed his erection away. 'Where have I gone wrong this time,' he asked himself silently. He debated going after Amanda, then decided not to. He rose from the bed, put on his meditation robe and went into his study.

* * *

The sun shone into the study, its rays bathing the meditating figure kneeling in the middle of the floor. Sarek opened his eyes and slowly stretched. He stood up and padded into the living room. There, he found Amanda sleeping on the couch. He softly stroked her cheek and went into the bedroom to brush his teeth and comb his hair. He did not have a lecture today, so he did not hurry his ablutions.

When he returned to the living room, Amanda had awakened. He carried on into the kitchen. He was tired of treading on eggshells, as the Humans would say, around his wife. He would wait until she came to him this time. "Do you wish anything for breakfast, Amanda?" he called to her.

"No, thank you."

He prepared his breakfast and sat at the table to eat it. He could hear Amanda shower as he ate. After he finished, he went into the little greenhouse he had made for his wife and puttered in there until midday. When he returned to the house, Amanda was in the living room, reading a book. When he entered, she didn't even look up. Sighing inwardly, Sarek went into the study and closed the door.

Late at night, Amanda burst into the study, interrupting his meditation. When Sarek became aware of his surroundings, he looked at his wife. Her eyes were almost wild looking. He stood up quickly and went to her, sure something terrible had happened. "What is it my wife? Are you unwell?" he asked earnestly.

"I have been studying the computer banks for information regarding Vulcan memorial rituals. Why have you kept the information regarding Spock's katra from me? Why would you not tell me that there was a part of him that may not have died? How could you keep something that important from me? You and your dammed Vulcan silence! How much more do you plan on keeping from me? Spock's katra," she demanded. "Where is Spock's katra? If he found someone to give it to, then he's not really dead, his living spirit could still be found!"

Sarek had thought long and hard about this ever since the communication with Kirk. And, had he been expected to make his wife suffer further by telling her those things that only made this harder? "Amanda, I am sure you realize that in an emergency situation, Spock would not have the time to entrust his katra to anyone. If he had, surely we would have been made aware of the identity of the Keeper by now."

"Not necessarily. Remember, we're dealing with humans who aren't even aware of katras. Listen to me, Sarek. From what that stargram said and what Admiral Kirk told us, Spock knew his actions would kill him, so he would have entrusted his katra to someone before he died. Spock is a good telepath, Sarek, he could have done it quickly!"

"Kirk made no mention."

"Kirk is human, Sarek! He may not even know that he's the Keeper! It seems to be the Vulcan way to keep secrets; even from those you are supposed to care about. It doesn't take a full meld, and Spock's melded with Kirk many times over the years. He could have made Kirk the Keeper in a mere instant! Oh, Sarek, if there's even a chance!" Amanda had fueled a spark of hope within Sarek.

Although illogical, he knew where he had to go and whom he had to see. He looked at the amazing woman standing before him. "Very well, I shall go to Earth and meet with Kirk, my beloved."

End Part 1

Part 2 - The Rebirth

The next day found Sarek sitting in his quarters aboard the Vulcan liner, T'Planna'hath. He chose this liner for its direct route to Earth and its speed. It saddened him that Amanda did not want to accompany him, but he had to find Spock's katra and return it to the Hall of Ancient Thought. Sarek tried to convince her to come to Earth, even if to visit her family, but she was adamant. She wanted to be alone to keep her own private vigil for Spock and assured him that she would be fine. He promised to contact her daily and let her know how the search for Spock's katra was progressing.

He knelt on the floor, meditating. He thought about his marriage and the relationship with his wife, especially in light of recent events. Amanda had allowed him to hug her only occasionally since that night when their lovemaking was interrupted by her grief. She had been polite to him, but distant. He missed her smile and the sound of her laughter, and he especially missed the warmth of her personality. 'Am I losing my wife as well as my son?' he thought. 'I am not sure I could bear that.'

Sarek used the three days of travel time to meditate on all that had gone before, as well as plan a strategy he would take upon his arrival on Earth. His first stop was at the Vulcan Embassy in San Francisco where he used the power of his office to obtain Kirk's Genesis report, pulling in all of the favors he had garnered over the years. Even then, he couldn't locate the information he sought.

Sarek commanded his aide, Soran, to obtain all contact information for Admiral Kirk. The lack of retrievable information was most enlightening. This was a man that obviously valued his privacy and was most successful in limiting the amount of public knowledge released about him. Soran was able to obtain a private comm contact code. The methods that his aide used to acquire this protected information, Sarek did not question. Kirk held the answers and Sarek was determined to speak with him. His first call was to the published code that went into Kirk's office at Starfleet Headquarters.

The ensign that answered the comm unit visibly straightened in his chair when she saw who was calling. "A-Ambassador Sarek. How may I help you?"

"It is important that I speak with Admiral Kirk. Is he there, please?"

"I'm sorry, Ambassador. He left several hours ago."

Sarek's jaw muscles tightened slightly. "I see. If he contacts you, please let him know that I wish to speak to him."

"Certainly, Ambassador." She took down his contact information and assured him that she would give it to Kirk as soon as she was able to locate him

Deciding to give Kirk's assistant sufficient time to pass the message along, he called Amanda to advise her of his arrival. Once he had finished his call to his wife, he decided to put his energies to good use and tackled the mountain of padds on his desk.

His time sense told him that four hours had passed since he called Kirk's office. Finding himself uncharacteristically anxious, he pulled the information on Kirk's private comm from his case and directed the computer to connect him. His frustration increased when he received a pre-recorded image of Kirk advising anyone that contacted him to leave a vid and he would return his or her call later.

He did not attempt to hide his irritation when he left his message. "I wish to speak to you, Admiral, at your earliest convenience." Then he left his location at the Embassy quarters for Kirk to call him.

He retired to his quarters and stripped off his clothes. He reached into the closet and pulled out his meditation robe. As he put it on, he realized that he did not want to meditate this evening. He was tired of meditating. He felt that same nervous energy that he experienced in his office build within him. It felt as he were on the edge of a breakthrough but could not reach the one person that held the answers. Retrieving Spock's katra had become a driving force within him. He knew his feelings were hovering on the irrational, but that did not seem to matter right now. He paced the suite of rooms; often looking at the comm unit that was irritatingly quiet. Several hours later, Sarek noticed that it had become dark outside. He called Kirk's number once more and still, there was no answer. Sarek contacted Soran, who was alert and always at the ready where Sarek was concerned, and asked him to do the near impossible. He wanted to know Kirk's address and directions on accessing the residence. Soran nodded his understanding and assured Sarek he would contact him with the information.

Waiting for Soran to perform this latest task, Sarek attempted to contain his frustration. Since Spock's death, his emotions had been perilously close to the surface and he knew he had to control them better than he was. It was proving difficult as he was still not able to meditate as deeply as he wanted to.

In a short time, the comm sounded and it was Soran with the address. "It was difficult to obtain this, but to the best of my knowledge, this is where Admiral Kirk lives. Do you wish to go there now, Ambassador?" Soran had been his aide for more than twenty years and knew Sarek's moods well.

He decided to take matters into his own hands and seek Kirk out. "Yes, I desire to visit him this evening."

"I shall arrange for an air-car and driver. Do you wish that I accompany you?"

"No, Soren, it is not far. I shall walk. This I must do alone." Soran nodded his understanding and Sarek closed the call. He put on his heaviest clothing to ward off the chill of the night air and walked to where the Admiral lived. As he walked, his anger surfaced again. Sarek firmly pushed it back, determined not to be overwhelmed by it, or let it determine his actions.

When he arrived at the apartment building where Kirk lived, he hesitated. 'Do I have the right to intrude into this man's private home?' he thought. Then with steely resolution, he decided that for him, his son's katra was far more important than anyone's privacy, regardless of what he had been taught. And if Kirk had responded to any one of his numerous messages, he would not be forced into this action. He knew he was rationalizing but he didn't care.

Just as he was coming to the front door, a couple, walking arm in arm, was leaving. The man held the door open for Sarek who nodded and strode in. He went to the turbolift and punched in the number to Kirk's floor.

Standing outside the door to Kirk's apartment, he could hear other voices inside. With determination, he pushed the chime. Kirk opened the door and stared at him. Sarek realized he was apparently interrupting what seemed to be a party, but did not care. His mission was of paramount importance.

Kirk stood by the door as it whooshed open. When Sarek saw him after a full day of trying to contact him, his anger flared. He stepped inside without being invited and lowered his hood. "Sarek!" Kirk said.

He stood there, glaring at Kirk, trying to reestablish his controls. Then he noticed Uhura, Sulu and Chekov, all standing, staring at him. His eyes flicked back to Kirk

Kirk had secluded himself in his apartment since arriving back on Earth, unable to face the constant stream of reporters that wanted to know each retching detail. He was startled to see Sarek standing at his door as Kirk was unaware that he was on the planet. He stepped back so Sarek could enter. "Ambassador, I had no idea you were on Earth," he said. He motioned to his crewmembers. "I believe you know my crew."

"I will speak to you alone, Kirk." He pushed past him, removing his cloak. He stood by the fireplace as Kirk's crew set their glasses down and filed out of the apartment, leaving them alone. He felt Kirk approach him.

"I wish to express my deepest sympathy."

Sarek's anger flared again. "Spare me your human platitudes! I have been to your government, I have seen the Genesis information and your own report."

"Then you know how bravely your son met his death."

How could Kirk be so obtuse when he was carrying Spock's katra? Surely he must know that he has to come to Vulcan to fulfill his duties! And why did he not bring Spock's body back to them? "How could you leave him on Genesis! Spock trusted you and you denied him his future."

At his words, Kirk looked totally confused. Had Sarek finally snapped? What was he talking about? Spock was dead. "I saw no future." Sarek was as animated as Kirk had ever seen him. He was ... emotional! Very emotional for a Vulcan.

"Only his body was in death, Kirk, and you were the last to be with him."

"Yes, I was."

"Then you must have known that you should have come with him to Vulcan."

Kirk was still confused by this entire conversation. He decided a direct question would be the best course of action. "But why?"

Sarek wondered if Kirk was really this dense. Or had he made a mistake? "Because he asked you to! He entrusted you ... with his very essence, with everything that was not of the body. He asked you to bring him to us, and to bring that which he gave you, his katra, his living spirit."

Kirk saw Sarek in a different light now. He was not Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan, but a grieving father who seemed to be grasping at any straw he could find. How could he have Spock's katra? How do you take a soul back to Vulcan? "Sir. Your son meant more to me than you can know. I'd have given my life if it would have saved his. Believe me when I tell you he made no request of me."

"He would not have spoken of it openly."

Kirk spread his hands and regarded Sarek with sympathy. "Then how...?"

"Kirk. I must have your thoughts. May I join your mind?" Sarek knew that he needed a direct meld to find, and possibly retrieve, Spock's katra. Only then could he either conclude his search, or move on to where Kirk's thoughts would lead him.

"Of course."

They moved to the sofa and Sarek prepared himself. The only human he had melded with was Amanda and he braced himself for Kirk's mind. His fingers found the contact points.

Images swirled into Sarek's mind; Spock smiling broadly in Sickbay, Spock hugging Kirk hard in what looked to be an ancient Terran city, a scene from Earth's "wild west," Spock at his station on the bridge. There were so many! He could feel the love that Kirk had for his son. A love that almost was a strong as his love for Amanda. But Sarek was there for a specific purpose. He let Kirk's thoughts and feelings flow past him as he tried to sense Spock's presence. He probed into Kirk's more recent thoughts and found his memories of his son's death. Together, they relived Spock's last moments.

Sarek broke off the meld and sagged. His sense of loss and despair almost overwhelmed him. "Forgive me," he said softly. "It is not here. I had assumed he mind-melded with you. It is the Vulcan way when the body's end is near."

"We were separated. He couldn't touch me." Kirk looked exhausted.

"I see. Then everything that he knew, everything that he was ... is lost." Sarek felt all of his 117 years when he stood up to leave. He had failed. His son was truly gone and there was nothing he could do to change that. He picked up his cloak and started for the door, his heart heavy.

"Please wait," Kirk said softly.

Sarek turned to face him. Kirk stood. "He would have found a way," he said as if saying it to himself. "If there were so much at stake, Spock would have found a way," Kirk said, his voice growing stronger with every word.

A small flicker of hope seated itself inside Sarek. "Yes. But how?"

"What if he melded with someone else?"

Sarek slowly raised an eyebrow at Kirk's words. Was it possible?

Sarek watched with a glimmer of amazement as Kirk bypassed normal channels and obtained permission for both of them to view the engineering visual logs. They arrived at Star Fleet Headquarters and went to a private viewing area. Finally, Kirk brought the logs up on the computer. When Sarek saw his son's burnt face for the first time, it struck him like a blow and his heart ached in his side. Oh, how he must have suffered! He was glad that Amanda was not here to see this, and he erected impermeable mental blocks around the image so she never would see it in his mind. He steeled himself to watch them as Kirk viewed and re-wound the tape. They both leaned forward slightly when they saw Spock nerve-pinch and meld with the doctor.

"McCoy!" Kirk exclaimed.

"One alive, one not. Yet both in pain."

"What must I do?" Kirk asked, turning to face Sarek.

"You must return them to Mt. Seleya, on Vulcan. Only there, can both find peace."

"What you ask ... is difficult," Kirk said, turning back to the visual log viewer where the image of Spock and McCoy was frozen on-screen.

"You will find a way, Kirk. If you honour them both, you must." Sarek hoped his voice conveyed the gravity of the situation.

"I will. I swear," Kirk said softly, staring at the image of Spock melding with McCoy.

Sarek told him that if he needed any assistance with anything, to let him know. He gave Kirk his private comm number and told him to call him any time, night or day. "Please keep me informed as to what you are doing. Perhaps I can, what is the expression, run interference for you."

"I appreciate it, Sarek. I may need that assistance before this is over." Kirk looked at him ruefully.

Sarek looked at him, certain that a plan was already in the works. He left for the Embassy and his bed. The meld tired him more than he wanted to accept. He was not sure that Kirk, even with his reputation, could do what he asked, but if anyone could, it was the Admiral and his crew.

* * *

Two days later, Sarek was sitting at his desk having just finished talking to Amanda. His private comm unit sounded and he answered it immediately. "Sarek here."

It was James Kirk. "Ambassador, I'm glad you're in. I have a favor to ask of you. This evening, Commander Uhura will be asking for asylum at your Embassy. Can I assume she has it?"

"Of course. When can I expect her?"

Kirk told him of the plan to steal the Enterprise and that Uhura would be beaming over to the Embassy at 1900 hours or shortly thereafter.

"We will be ready. These are the coordinates she can use. Once she arrives safely, we will both return to Vulcan to wait for you." Sarek relayed the coordinates, then signed off. He called Soran in to brief him on what was going to happen, then called Amanda again to tell her to prepare for their arrival.

* * *

Sarek stood at the comm unit in his study in Shi'kahr, stunned. Kirk had just told him that his son was alive! Spock was alive! While Sarek's face remained impassive, he sent incredible joy through the bond to the woman he loved. Amanda's confusion came back to him, and told him where she was.

Sarek quickly went to their bedroom and Amanda met him at the door. "What is it, Sarek? Have you heard any news from James?"

"He just contacted me and told me that Spock's body was found alive on the Genesis planet. His mind is a void, but his body lives, Amanda." The corners of his mouth curved in a slight smile and his eyes sparkled as he told her the news.

"Oh, Sarek! Our son is alive!" She threw her arms around him and hugged him hard.

Sarek's arms wrapped around his diminutive wife and hugged her back. Her scent wafted to his nostrils as he buried his face in her hair. He stroked her back, pulling her closer to him, her joy washing over them both.

Amanda looked up at him, grabbed his face, and pulled it down so she could capture his mouth in a passionate kiss.

Sarek responded to her kiss, their tongues intertwining and exploring each other's mouths. It had been so long, Sarek thought. He picked her up and laid her down on the bed, kissing her neck and throat. He could feel his arousal pushing against his trousers, demanding freedom. He lay down beside his wife, pressing his groin against her leg. He hoped that this time, Amanda would accept his desires.

Amanda's eyes flew open and regarded him lovingly. "Oh, Sarek, this has been such an awful time for me, for us. I have treated you so horribly lately. Can you accept my apology?"

"Of course, my wife. Can you accept my ... desires without guilt?"

"Yes," she said firmly. Amanda's eyes grew dark with passion as she watched her husband of 41 years kneel on the bed and undo the clasp of his pants. He slid his hands under the waistband and slowly, sensuously lowered them down until his cock sprang free. Sarek sat on the bed and removed his trousers with a single tug.

As Sarek watched, she pulled her dress off her shoulders and pulled it down just so her breasts were free from the material. Sarek's eyes darkened with desire and he cupped a breast. His thumb flicked over a hardened nipple, causing Amanda to gasp softly. She removed the dress and tossed it toward the end of the bed, then lay back down, her arms over her head, stretching like a lazy cat.

Sarek lay beside his wife. He took the closest nipple into his mouth and suckled. Amanda's back arched up to give him better access to her. His hand roamed over her other breast, and down her flat belly to the thatch of light brown hair between her legs. He cupped her sex, and rubbed the palm of his large hand over her swollen nub. Amanda's legs parted as she thrust into his hand. He slipped a finger into her wetness, sliding it in and out. Amanda moaned, and grabbed for Sarek's cock, pumping him firmly. "Oh, Sarek, it's been so long," she moaned, thrusting against his finger. "I want you inside me. Please!"

Sarek pulled himself free of her grasp and knelt between her parted legs. He took hold of his penis and situated the head at her warm opening. He slowly pushed himself into her.

"Oh, yes!" Amanda wrapped her legs around his waist and pulled him into her with every thrust. Sarek's balls slapped against her ass every time he plunged into her.

Amanda tossed her head and pinched Sarek's nipples, spurring him on. Sarek felt an electric current running from his nipples to his cock, stiffening it even further. His thrusts became faster and more erratic. Suddenly, Amanda's vaginal muscles gripped his penis hard with her orgasm. The sudden clenching caused Sarek to shoot his seed deep within her. He thrust once, then again as her muscles milked him of his very essence. He collapsed on the bed beside her, his softening sex slipping out of her.

"We had better inform Commander Uhura of Kirk's message, my wife." Sarek started to sit up, but Amanda pulled him back down.

"Not yet. A few more minutes won't make any difference, will it?" Amanda pulled his head down for another kiss and Sarek succumbed to her wishes.

End Part 2

Part 3 - Reunited

Later, he and Amanda went to look for Uhura. Since she had requested and received asylum from the Vulcan government, she had lived with Sarek and Amanda. That had been three days ago.

Amanda led Sarek out to their garden. "She's usually out here at this time. This will certainly put a smile on her face," Amanda said.

They found Uhura reading under one of the few shade trees. Amanda softly cleared her throat to get her attention. "We received a message from Admiral Kirk."

Uhura looked up from her book and searched both of their faces. "Have you received word? Were they successful?"

Amanda said, "Even more than we had dared to dream." She looked to Sarek and he nodded slightly. Amanda turned back Uhura and said, "He has Spock and is bringing him back to us. His torpedo tube soft-landed on Genesis, and the wave regenerated him. Oh, Nyota, he's alive!" Amanda's eyes glistened with unshed tears. "They're bringing him home and he's alive!"

Uhura stood up abruptly, the book on her lap falling to the sandy ground. "I can't believe it!" she whooped. She flung her arms around Amanda and hugged her hard. "That's wonderful news! When will they be here? When can we see him? Oh, I have a million questions!"

Sarek stepped forward. "We do not have the answers to those questions, Commander, however, we are to proceed to Gol. That is where the ship will be landing. Do you wish to accompany us?" Sarek knew what the answer would be.

Uhura composed herself and said, "You have to ask, Ambassador? Of course I'm coming. Perhaps I can use my communications expertise to guide the ship in."

"I'm sure there are no communications experts at Gol that possess your familiarity with spaceships. Your skills would undoubtedly be appreciated.

After they had calmed themselves, all three went to Gol to await the arrival of the stolen Bird of Prey. Uhura was shown the comm unit she could use by a silent adept who glided before her. Sarek and Amanda were shown to their rooms to wait. Sarek touched his fingers to Amanda's and sensed her deep joy, but also her impatience. Normally patient, he knew she hated waiting. This, coupled with the uncertainty of Spock's condition could be particularly difficult for her. He gathered her into his arms and hugged her to his chest. He lowered his head and kissed her softly. She encircled his waist with her arms and returned his kiss, deepening it with desire. She cupped his ass with both hands and snaked one hand between them to cup his hardening cock.

Sarek broke off the kiss and looked at her. "I do not believe we have the time for that, Amanda. The ship is due within the next hour."

"Perhaps you're right. But then again, maybe you're wrong." She looked over to the firm bed in the room, and then back at Sarek. "Sometimes, you can be very ... efficient ... in your lovemaking, beloved. Now would be a good time to show me how efficient you really can be." Her eyes glinted with mischief in the subdued lighting of the room. He felt her need to, again, couple with him. He also sensed she was feeling a variety of overpowering emotions ranging from euphoria to fear. Somewhere deep within him, he felt satisfaction that his touch could help her cope with these emotions. It was, if he chose to admit it to himself, not a feeling he was unfamiliar with.

Sarek bowed his head fractionally, and then picked her up and headed for the bed. He lowered her on it and removed just enough of her clothing to expose her. Amanda sat up and removed Sarek's robe, letting it fall onto the bed. Seeing him, her juices started to flow, dampening her opening.

"Show me your efficiency, Sarek. Show me now," she purred as she lay back down, spreading her legs.

He lowered himself on top of her, resting his weight on his elbows. His stiff cockhead nudged at her slick opening, then with a smooth movement, he embedded himself in her warmth. He continued to thrust into her deeply as she wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him in deeper. He moaned at the sensations that flowed between them. The reassurance that whatever would transpire in these next hours, whatever they had to face, they would face together. All was right between them. She could feel him sliding in and out of her as he could feel Amanda being filled by his jade-hard cock. The bond created a loopback of sensations, pushing them both over the edge at the same time. Their climaxes were explosive, shorting out their senses. Sarek lay on top of his wife, feeling her last contractions around his organ, then he slowly pulled out of her and rolled onto his side.

Amanda cuddled against his side, gently stroking his chest and nipples. "My husband, I know that whatever happens today, I will never again leave you. Not like I have in these last weeks."

Sarek could feel her incredible joy, but he also felt a shiver of fear as it ran silently through her mind across the bond. "What scares you so, my wife?" he inquired.

"I know the fal-tor-pan is very ancient, but will it work? Will Spock be whole again? Will he remember us? I have so many questions, Sarek, and no one has the answers."

Sarek took her hand and kissed the back of it. "I do not know either, Amanda. But will it really matter? I will be content to have Spock any way I can. Together we can cope with anything, correct?"

"Yes, Sarek. You're right. Together we can cope with anything." She thought for a moment, her brow furrowing slightly. "Sarek, is there a place I can wait for you, the two of you? If this is not successful, I do not want James to see my disappointment. He has given up so much to bring him back."

Sarek looked at this woman, this very human woman, lying beside him. Her words made him realize that so many have given up so much in this quest. This woman, even through her concern for the life of her son, felt compassion for Kirk. "Yes, that can be arranged. And, for the both of us, I will express our gratitude to Kirk for all he has done."

They got up from the bed and washed themselves as best as they could with the bowl and pitcher of water they had in their room. As they were dressing, they heard a soft scrapping sound at the door. Sarek went to the door and opened it. An acolyte stood there in a white, sheer robe, her long hair falling straight down her back to her waist. She said, "The ship is arriving shortly. Commander Uhura requests your presence, Ambassador."

"I will be right there."

"I will escort T'sai Amanda to the observation area, if that is acceptable?"


Amanda followed the acolyte out of the room, glancing back at Sarek with love and a touch of anxiety. "I'll see you after the ceremony," she said. They touched fingertips and she was gone.

Sarek went to the communications room and noticed two acolytes were following him. He ignored them as he met Uhura.

"They are requesting permission to land, sir," Uhura said.

"Permission granted. Tell them ... tell Kirk ... we'll be ready." Sarek stared out across the desert, willing the ship to appear. Finally, he saw a small speck on the horizon. It grew larger until finally he could see the Klingon Bird-of-Prey streaking toward him. The sand and dust kicked up, obscuring his view until the ship landed. As he watched, the hatch lowered, and he saw Kirk and his brave crew exiting the vessel carrying a stretcher. Sarek hadn't noticed when Uhura left his side, but he saw her greet her friends and move to help carry the stretcher. Sarek left and starting climbing the steps to the place where T'Lar waited.

When Sarek saw his son being carried past him, he noticed that Spock seemed the same age as when he last saw him. He also noticed how pale and slack his face was and he could only hope that the fal-tor-pan would work. But Spock was alive. That was what mattered now. He could be re-taught if necessary and Sarek would be pleased to do the teaching. He would not make the same mistakes he made when Spock was a child. He would be more patient; less demanding. He would be gentle with his son. He would not quash his humanity. He just wanted a chance.

Spock was now placed on the stone pallet and brought to T'Lar, who examined his mind. She raised an eyebrow at the fact that Spock was alive still. "Sarek, child of Skonn, child of Solkar, the body of your son breathes still. What is your wish?"

Sarek summoned his courage in the face of this High Master. "I ask for fal-tor-pan, the Refusion."

"What you seek has not been done since ages past, and then only in legend. Your request is not logical."

Her accusation stung him like a slap. He tried to explain to her. "My logic is ... uncertain ... where my son is concerned." He looked deeply into her eyes, hoping she would at least try the procedure. If she wasn't willing to try, then all was lost. They would have to retrain Spock without the benefit of his memories, and that would take many years, if it could be done at all.

Finally, she looked into the crowd of people. "Who is the keeper of the katra?"

Dr. McCoy stepped forward. "I am. McCoy, son of David." His voice was strong, even though he looked exhausted.

Sarek stood very still as T'Lar explained what he had requested to McCoy. When the doctor accepted the danger of the ceremony, he almost sagged with relief, and admiration. Here stood another brave man willing to give his life for his son. Sarek finally realized that Spock must be very exceptional to command this type of loyalty from his companions. He motioned for McCoy to step up to the altar, then started to meditate ... and wait.

Amanda was standing on the observation balcony. She, too, saw Spock being carried into the amphitheater and noticed that he was pale. She sent a prayer to her deity to protect her son and his friends during the long process to come. She, too, settled in to meditate and wait. She momentarily beleaguered her choice to be separated from Sarek during the ceremony, but then realized her decision was a correct one. She could not give him comfort while he waited. They both had to hold on to their inner strength to get them through this.

Interminable hours passed before T'Lar stirred and declared the ceremony over. Sarek went up to T'Lar and thanked her. Fatigued, she sat on her chair and was carried out by four strong Vulcans. Sarek looked over at Spock who was standing, being fussed over by several adepts. Then he went to escort McCoy down the steps only to be stopped by Kirk.

After Kirk was certain McCoy was fine, he asked Sarek, "What about Spock?"

Sarek wanted the answer to that question as well. "Only time will answer," Sarek said. "Kirk, I thank you. What you have done--"

"What I have done, I had to do," Kirk interrupted, his irritation at Vulcan non-answers grating on him.

Sarek's gaze softened. "But at what cost. Your son, your ship."

"If I hadn't of tried, the cost would have been my soul," he answered. He looked at Sarek, then, as if he could not meet the eyes that reminded him of his friend any longer, distracted himself by looking at Spock being fussed over.

Sarek, realizing Kirk's pain, stepped past him and followed the acolytes out of the arena.

Spock followed closely behind him. Sarek could sense his presence, tenuous though it was. When Spock stopped on the stairs, Sarek became concerned. He turned to see Spock approach Kirk and his shipmates. His concern turned to relief when he heard Spock say Kirk's name. He had regained his katra after all! He shared his relief with Amanda and looked up to see her on the balcony. Spock is back! Now the retraining can begin.

* * *

"I have come to speak on behalf of the accused."

"Personal bias! His son was saved by Kirk."

After the Klingon Ambassador left, Sarek took his seat in the council chamber. The president looked at him, and his gaze hardened. "Ambassador Sarek, you will tell us the whereabouts of Admiral Kirk and his crew," he said sternly.

"I regret that I can not do that, Mr. President. My government's instructions are quite clear on this subject. They are held in high esteem on my planet and I will not jeopardize them by having armed Star Fleet personnel remove them."

"Sarek," the President said, his voice deepening as he leaned forward. "Please. Tell us where they are and we will have them removed without any further consequences. As it stands now, you and your government are harboring fugitives. Do you understand the ramifications of this? Sanctions can be placed against Vulcan. You can be held in contempt and charged with conspiracy against the Federation. We could be speaking of a trial and imprisonment for harboring these fugitives."

"Mr. President, I clearly understand what you are saying but I am not of the opinion that these individuals are criminals. I will not tell you where they are. I am following Vulcan law on this." The steel in his voice rang through the Council chamber.

"Ambassador, these six fugitives stole a ship, vandalized another vessel and entered restricted space. This, after Admiral Kirk disobeyed a direct order!"

"You made those steps necessary by disregarding Vulcan laws. Had this Council not been so human-centric, this would not be an issue. I asked Kirk to bring a telepathic being back to his home planet for a post-mortem procedure that is vital to the Vulcan people. As you are aware, Starfleet has a history of disregarding our needs or the needs of any other telepathic race. You chose to ignore my official request, which left me no other alternative. Admiral Kirk acceded to my request that my son be returned to Vulcan. The fact that you also ignored his request is not my concern. Nor should it be Admiral Kirk's. He is safe now and will remain so."

The president conferred with the other members on the front podium. Then he turned to Sarek and said with deadly calm, "Until you tell us exactly where Kirk and his people are, you will be charged with contempt of Council and held in the custody of Starfleet Headquarters until you relinquish the requested information to us. Guards!"

Before Sarek could respond, four burley guards had him surrounded, hand phasers pointed at him. He looked at the Federation president through steely eyes. "As you wish, Mr. President. I do request that I be allowed to contact my Embassy according to Federation law." Sarek looked at the president with an icy stare. He would not divulge the whereabouts of Kirk and his crew, no matter what the Federation did to him. To do that, would dishonor himself, his family, and his government.

"You may do so once you have been processed. Take him away."

The senior guard motioned to him to leave the chambers. He did so with all the dignity he could muster. 'I will not tell them. Kirk saved my son and I will save him,' he thought.

They led him across the compound toward the Headquarters building. Once inside, they took him to a small room and told him to sit. He looked around and noticed that all the booking rooms tended to look alike. It held a desk and two chairs, a comm unit, and a terminal. The walls were lined with memos and there was a retinal scanner in the corner.

Another security officer entered the room. Sarek nodded to the officer, and remained standing. The officer sat and accessed the terminal in front of him, indicating the empty chair to Sarek. Sarek sat stiffly in the chair opposite him. "Name."

"Ambassador Sarek cha'Skonn cha'Solkar"

The booking procedure took less than 5 minutes. He asked for and received permission to contact the Vulcan Embassy. He gave Soran instructions and told him to inform Amanda of what had happened. He told him to tell her under no circumstances was she to tell anyone Kirk's whereabouts. And he said that if any Star Fleet personnel came onto their property, she was to contact T'Pau immediately.

He was led to secured quarters on the second floor of the building. The accommodations were sufficient, however he noticed the terminal had been removed to prevent him from speaking with anyone other than those he was given permission to contact. He heard the sound of a portable force field being placed at the entrance, and his acute Vulcan hearing detected the distinctive hum when it was activated.

Sarek knew that if he was convicted and sentenced to the charge of conspiracy, he would certainly be sent to a correctional institution where he would be unable to see Amanda again. Conspiracy still carried a life sentence, a fact of which he was well aware. He could cope with the institutional setting; a Vulcan is trained to cope with any situation, but the knowledge that he may never again lay with his wife and feel her against him would be a sentence he would rather avoid. She was nearly lost to him when Spock was believed dead, the thought of having to give her up, again, was too painful to consider. But, if the alternative meant giving Kirk back to the Federation for prosecution, then he would have to cope with the consequences. He could never betray either Kirk or his brave crew. Not after what they had done. Not for any reason. Perhaps the Klingon Ambassador had been correct about one detail. Perhaps he did have a person bias. Was there ever a man with more right? Without Kirk's heroic actions, his son would have died on a ravaged planet, or the Klingons would have killed him horribly.

Sarek methodically paced around the perimeter of the room, trying to find the inner peace he needed to meditate. To the casual observer, the turmoil that stirred beneath the calm façade would not have been evident. However, just beneath the surface boiled layers of anger. Anger toward the Klingon government for their interference in this matter. And, anger toward the Federation for their casual dismissal of the needs of a Vulcan. How many times had they ignored the needs of his son? How many times had he? Now he was being held in confinement because there was a handful that cared. Slowly, he fought down the emotions that threatened to undo him. Now was not the time for blatant emotionalism. Calm and logic was what he needed to see this through. With a deep breath, he was ready. He knelt on the mat.

Every day, exactly at 10 am, he was led to the Council Chambers where he was ordered to turn over Kirk and his crew. Every day, he refused. Every day he was then led back to his room, just in time for the mid-day meal. This went on for five days.

On the sixth day, it became increasingly cold, and the rain pelting against the window never stopped. He could hear a strange noise, like a wailing sound, but more musical than that. He was at a loss to understand what was happening and why the force field that kept him confined had been deactivated. Although he had no chronometer in this room, he knew it was much earlier than when he was usually summoned to the Council chambers. Instead of the usual compliment of sentinels that accompanied him, there was a single security guard requesting his presence. He left the room with the man, and instead of leading him outside and across the compound, he was taken to another turbolift, which whisked him up several floors. The guard stayed in the lift when it arrived at its destination.

Sarek's senses were assaulted by the controlled chaos he stepped into when he entered what appeared to be a communications room. He was met by the Federation President and quickly filled in on the difficulties associated with the probe.

"Ambassador Sarek. It appears you are trapped here with the rest of us." The president walked with Sarek to the window. "There seems to be no way to answer the probe."

Sarek turned his back to the window and faced the President. "It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question."

The President looked thoughtfully at Sarek. The integrity of the man standing before him struck a chord. Maybe a lack of understanding had been this regime's downfall in many instances. Could it be that he, and the other council members, had misjudged this man and all that he stood for? And what of Kirk and his crew? Had they missed the opportunity to understand what drove him to these actions?

Sarek paused, evaluating the best way to say what he knew had to be said. "Mr. President, perhaps we should send out a planetary distress signal ... while we still have time." He could see in the other man's face that he was thinking the same thought.

The President nodded and turned to do just that, but then turned back to Sarek and said, "In light of recent events, and the devastation this probe is causing, charges against you are dismissed. It seems, Ambassador, that even if we still desired to do so, there may be no one left to carry out such a prosecution."

"Thank you, Mr. President," Sarek replied. Then he turned to look out of the window as the defeated Federation President walked across the room.

Sarek was very cold. The wind was whipping the rain against the window of the communications room. He moved toward the center of the room where Admiral Cartwright and others were standing, hoping it would be warmer. He heard Kirk's plan and silently sent a message of hope to Amanda across the bond. He looked out of the window, mesmerized by the pelting rain. The window exploded under the pressure of the wind and Sarek shielded his face against the debris. He was almost certain that he had seen some movement. Then he heard the roar of a ship's engine, it was a ship, not the storm, but it took a moment to recognize the vessel. It was a Klingon Bird of Prey.

* * *

The next afternoon, in the brightly-lit council chambers, Sarek saw Spock walk towards him accompanied by a human female. Spock raised his hand in the ta'al. "Greetings, Father. May I present Dr. Gillian Taylor? She was instrumental in the success of our mission. Dr. Taylor, this is Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan."

"Greetings, Dr. Taylor, Spock." Sarek inclined his head slightly to both of them.

Gillian shot her hand out to shake Sarek's. "Pleased to meet you, Ambassador."

Spock looked uncomfortable and started to speak to her, when Sarek took her hand in his and shook it firmly. "It would please me to have you sit with our delegation during the proceedings. Would that be acceptable to you?" There was something about this blond-haired female that reminded him of his wife in her youth. His heart accelerated at the thought of returning to his mate. He would see her again, and soon. This was a reality that had been in doubt just a day before.

"Ambassador, I would be honored."

Sarek turned to Spock. "Will you join us as well, Spock?"

"I regret that I cannot. I must leave now. I am standing with my shipmates."

"Surely you are not charged, are you?" Sarek's eyes searched his son's face.

"No, it is my choice." Spock looked at his father, his features serene but there was a hint of something that Spock had rarely seen in his father's eyes. Sarek was inwardly proud of his son and his demeanor during this crisis, and now, his pride swelled at the loyalty demonstrated by Spock.

"As you wish. Dr. Taylor, will you please come this way." Sarek turned to go to his seat.

After the meeting, Sarek made arrangements to return to Vulcan, but he wanted to take his leave of Spock first. They talked under the watchful eye of Kirk, who was leaning against the desks of the first row of seats. Sarek made sure he steered Spock far enough away so Kirk could not hear what was being said.

"I am returning to Vulcan within the hour. I would like to take my leave of you," Sarek said.

"It was most kind of you to make this effort," Spock replied.

"It was no effort. You are my son. Besides, I am most impressed with your performance in this crisis."

"Most kind," Spock said softly.

Sarek looked at his son, and hesitated before speaking again. "As I recall, I opposed your enlistment in Star Fleet. It is possible that my judgment was incorrect." Spock's eyebrow rose at this admission. Sarek continued, "Your associates are people of good character."

"They are my friends," Spock said simply.

"Yes, of course." Sarek was surprised to hear Spock use the term 'friends', but his features never registered his surprise. Thinking of Amanda, he said, "Do you have a message for your mother?"

"Yes. Tell her, I feel fine." Sarek's eyebrow rose to his hairline at Spock's cryptic answer, his eyes softening. 'It seems Spock has a sense of humor after all,' he mused.

Spock raised his hand in the ta'al. "Live long and prosper, Father."

Sarek raised his hand and split his fingers in response. "Live long and prosper, my son." With that, he turned and strode out of the council chambers to return to his wife. It had been a long time.

* * *

On board the transport, he accessed a commlink and contacted Amanda, telling her when he was arriving.

Her face beamed at him from the commscreen. "Oh, I'm so glad you're coming home, Sarek. You look tired. Did you not sleep well in confinement, my husband?" Her eyes twinkled as she teased him.

"On the contrary, Amanda. I found it most relaxing," Sarek teased back. "However, I have been quite busy since my release. I anticipate reaching Vulcan in two point six days. I would be arriving home in time for end-meal."

Amanda smiled over the link and said, "Do you want me to pick you up at the spaceport?"

"No, beloved. I plan to transport home. I will see you then, Amanda. Peace and long life." Sarek closed the link and settled in to his cabin.

* * *

Amanda was sitting in the oak rocking chair, reading, when she heard the familiar whine of the transporter by the front door. She looked up to see Sarek and his luggage materialize. She got up and approached her husband, her palms up and crossed at the wrist in the Vulcan embrace. Sarek stepped from the transporter pad and returned the gesture. Amanda then hugged him hard. "It's good to have you back. I missed you," she said, burying her face into his chest.

"It is good to be back, my wife."

Amanda straightened up and looked at her mate. Her hand caressed his cheek as she memorized the lines and angles of his face. She noticed that his hair had grayed considerably since Spock's death, but it only made him more handsome in her eyes. "I made your favorite dishes for end-meal, Sarek. Why don't you take your luggage into the bedroom and get changed before we eat?"

"I would appreciate that." Sarek looked over to the dining room table and saw it had been set with the lace tablecloth and the fine china and crystal. "What is the occasion, my wife?"

"Why, your release from confinement, of course." Her eyes sparkled in amusement.

"I see. Then I shall wear something that would be appropriate in such a fine setting." With that, he picked up his bags and headed for their bedroom.

Amanda returned to the kitchen to make sure the dinner was perfect. As she was putting the food on the table, Sarek emerged from the bedroom dressed in one of his favorite meditation robes. "Are you going to meditate now, Sarek?" she asked.

"No, but I find this robe to be most comfortable. Do you wish me to change, Amanda?" he asked.

"No, of course not. Come, sit down and tell me all about what happened."

Sarek filled her in on his captivity, the charges being dropped against Kirk and his crew, and finished with his pride at Spock's behavior. "You would think the fal-tor-pan had never happened. It is as if he had never died, Amanda. You would have been most pleased with him." Sarek's eyes glowed when he mentioned his son's name. "Spock asked me to tell you that he feels fine. I am not certain what he meant by that but."

Amanda's laughter filled the room. It had been a long time. She filled Sarek in on her conversation with Spock during his retraining. She was also so happy they were finally getting along after the 18-year silence between them. They still were not friends, but at least they were comfortable with each other.

They ate their meal and discussed many things for several more hours. Once they had cleared the table, Sarek suggested they go outside into the garden. Outside in the relative cool of the evening, Amanda came to him and wrapped her arm around his waist as they walked together. Sarek put his arm around her shoulders, then he turned her to face him, bent his head and kissed her softly on the lips. His tongue traced the outline of her mouth before capturing it and claiming it as his own. Her arms tightened around his waist as she returned his kiss.

"Perhaps we should go to the bedroom, my wife," Sarek murmured.

"Yes," she whispered back.

They walked back into the house, arm in arm. Once in the bedroom, Amanda closed the door and lit a candle. She then turned off the lights and opened the curtains so they had a view of the desert.

Sarek gathered her into his strong arms and kissed her passionately. She thrust her tongue into his mouth, gliding her hands over his chest and sides. Sarek massaged her ass through the thin fabric of her dress and pulled her close to him. She could feel his arousal pressing against her belly. She pulled away from him and undid the clasp of his robe, parting the fabric to get a good view of him. He was naked underneath and his erect cock stood proudly away from its nest of black curls, the head peeking out from the folds in his robe, glistening with pre-ejaculate. She rubbed the drop with her thumb, spreading it over the spongy head of his cock, causing Sarek to inhale sharply. With her other hand, she hefted his heavy sac and rolled its contents between her fingers.

Amanda let him go and slid the fabric of his robe off his shoulders, causing it to fall and pool around his feet. She looked at him, noticing that his belly was still flat and his chest still muscular after all these years. 'Mind you, he's only 117 years old; still young for a Vulcan,' she thought to herself.

Sarek's cock twitched under Amanda's scrutiny and he wrapped his arms around her again, pulling her close. "Surely you know what I look like by now, my wife."

"Yes, but I can never get enough of you as you well know," she teased. She reached up and pulled his head down to her again and kissed him deeply. Her hands caressed his chest and sides, then moved to his spine and lower to the hard, round, mounds and kneaded them gently. She could feel his hardness bumping her belly, causing a wet stain on her dress. "Perhaps I should remove my dress, Sarek, before you soak it."

"Let me assist you," he offered. He undid the clasps and pulled it up over her head. Then he carded his fingers through her hair, pulling out the clasp that held it in place. As he was doing this, Amanda grabbed the base of his cock and started stroking the length of it slowly. Sarek thrust into her cool hand as he finally released her hair. Amanda shook her hair loose, allowing it to fall to her mid-back. He pulled from her grasp to put the hair clasp on the bedside table. When he returned to her, she stroked him again, this time with both hands.

As he carded his fingers through her thick hair, his gaze raked over Amanda who was bathed in candlelight. A soft smile played at the corners of his lips. Despite her protestations to the contrary, his wife had grown even more lovely over the years, her silver hair accentuating her beauty. Her breasts were still firm and her figure had not changed much over the years. He returned to her, his large hands cupping her breasts. Sarek rubbed his thumbs over her hard nipples, causing her to moan softly, arching her back to give him better access. He lowered his mouth and flicked a hard nub with his hot tongue. Then he picked her up and lowered her onto the bed, all the while sucking on her breast. He lay down beside her and rolled her other nipple with his fingers.

Amanda reached for his cock and pulled on it firmly. "I want you inside me," she gasped. She spread her legs to give him access.

"No, not yet. I'm not ready yet," he said. He looked down to see his wife splayed wide and cupped her sex, returning his mouth to her breast. He flicked the clit with his thumb, causing her to buck her hips. Then he rolled his fingers in her juices, inserting two of them into her slickness. She pushed against them, forcing them deeper. He pumped his fingers in and out of her quickly.

Amanda moaned in frustration and said, "I want more than your fingers inside me. Please, Sarek, I want you!"

Sarek moved between her legs and centered the head of his cock at her wet sex. He rubbed her clit with his ridges and then slid inside her. She moaned in pleasure and wrapped her legs around his waist to pull him in deeper. He thrust deeply and slowly, over and over.

Amanda spread her legs, reveling in the sensations she was feeling, both physically and through the bond. His cock filled her and his ridges scrapped against the walls of her vagina increased her arousal. Sarek's strokes were agonizingly slow, but she could feel his balls slap against her each time he thrust. She didn't know if she wanted him to go faster, or to have this agony and ecstasy last forever.

Sarek removed his mouth from his wife's breast and looked down, watching himself disappear into her. She opened her thighs even further, and the sight of his wife so wantonly displayed spurred him. He brought a finger to the blood engorged, pink clitoris and felt its heat as he massaged it. His thrusts became faster and faster, until the sound of slapping flesh filled the room. He could feel his balls contract, readying themselves to release their precious cargo. Finally, he tensed, threw back his head and shot his seed deeply into his wife, filling her. He could feel her muscles contract around his cock as she came. He continued to thrust feeling her muscles milking him of his seed. He collapsed on her, his cock softening inside its wet cocoon. After he caught his breath, he withdrew from her and lay beside her, absently stroking her belly.

"That was beautiful, Sarek. Welcome home, beloved," Amanda murmured. "I hope the next time you go to Earth, you will be able to avoid the contempt of the Council. Sleeping with a jailbird is something that I only want to do once," she teased.

"It is good to be home, my wife," he said, still stroking her belly and chest. Sarek pulled her close and whispered, "However, I can not make promises that I may be unable to keep."

After a few minutes, they pulled up the covers. Sarek wrapped his arms around Amanda as she cuddled against his side. His last though was that of contentment; that his family was whole again. Spock was alive!