DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Kiristeen ke Alaya and is copyright (c) 2002 by Kiristeen ke Alaya. Rated PG.

Forever and Always: No More

Kiristeen ke Alaya

Spock knelt in the emptiness of his quarters. He had told them all he was going to meditate. No one had bothered to challenge his assertion. Now he was here, on his knees; numb. He felt nothing.
He was empty and cold.

The place she had held in his mind for the last two years was torn and bleeding, but even that couldn't break through the mind numbing, hollow feeling inside him. Feeling, That was a joke, he thought, humorless laughter bubbling up and spilling out of him. He'd fought against feelings, emotions, most of his life.

Now, when emotions would be ... acceptable, expected even, he felt nothing; absolutely nothing. It was as if some great hand had reached deep down inside him and taken every spark of emotion he was capable of and ripped it out of him.

He should turn up the heat. It was still set at the middle ground they had chosen; a temperature at which neither was too hot or too cold. He didn't move. It didn't seem important anymore. Nothing seemed important.

She was gone. Never would he feel her thoughts in his mind. Her passions would never again caress his soul. He would never be the same.

An unfortunate ... unfortunate? ... A stupid, careless, accident in the med labs had torn her from him forever. He had felt her die. He had experienced her terror, her last gasping breaths of air, as the fumes overcame her and she slowly suffocated. He had heard her screams for help as she cried out vocally and mentally.

He couldn't help her. He couldn't get there fast enough. He couldn't get there at all. He had made it only three steps from his station before he'd fallen to his knees, and before he could speak, her last words whispered across his being.

I'm sorry, beloved. Be well.

The bond that had sustained him, that had welcomed him into the circle of her gentle caring, was rended unmercifully from him as the fire that was her soul winked out of existence. Pain; unending, searing pain, ripped through him, then the blackness descended and he had collapsed right there on the Bridge.

Throughout the service today, he kept expecting to have to fight back his grief. He kept expecting that at any moment it would overwhelm him. It hadn't. It had been this way since he'd awakened in Sickbay.

He'd listened to Dr. McCoy as he had explained what had happened. How a brand new ensign had misread two labels and accidently mixed two chemicals together that while separate were completely harmless, but when mixed together, created an extremely toxic gas.

It hadn't phased him. She was gone. That was all he knew. How or why didn't matter. It hadn't phased him that somehow the ensign had lived through his mistake.

He suddenly lurched up onto unsteady legs, that didn't want to function properly, as unreasoning rage sliced through him. It was his mistake, yet he lived! He killed her! He had to pay for that! He managed three steps toward the door to his quarters before his legs collapsed out from under him. He landed once more on his knees, his hands splayed out on the floor in front of him.

Shame and regret coursed through him. He couldn't even avenge her needless death properly. Then before he could manage even one thought, grief welled up, consuming him utterly. He bent over double with it, hugging is arms across his stomach, as gut wrenching sobs forced their way out of him and unaccustomed tears streaked their way down his face.

How could he go on? How could this feeling be survivable? He didn't think it was possible and that what, now tore at his insides would destroy him. He wept bitter tears until, at long last, merciful darkness closed around him once again.

The End