DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of Sharron Powell and is copyright (c) 1999 by Sharron Powell. This story is rated G.

Reflections and Release

Sharron Powell

Act I: Reflections and Sorrows

Spock was dead. There was no other way to say it. He was dead, a victim of Khan and his supermen.

No. She stopped herself. Not a victim. A hero. He'd saved the Enterprise. He'd saved their friends. He would be glad of that.

Then why couldn't she stop crying? She'd gone to the second memorial service at HQ. Not knowing what to expect. Not knowing many people there at all; their faces only blurs that you saw everyday in the halls of Headquarters. All of her friends from her days on the Enterprise were with him. With Jim, and Leonard.

Dammit, how she wished she could be with them! She'd had to hear of his death from a news-vid. The impersonal nature of that rankled. But then, why would she have been with them? They had been separated from each other for six years...Sure, she'd seen them at the Academy or on leaves, but it hadn't been the same since the second five year mission had ended. This training cruise had been an excuse to come home, like a high school reunion. And she was the old classmate that hadn't gone.

She hadn't had time; couldn't get away ... there had been a plague on some distant world to coordinate emergency supply runs for...

No, she was lying to herself. She could have gotten away, but she didn't see the point. It wasn't a mission, it was a milk run. She'd preferred to remember the ship as it had been; new and vital, full of life, and love, and friends; not old and obsolete.

They were going to put the ship in mothballs, the rumors had said, after the cruise. She couldn't stand the idea. And so she hadn't gone. And she hadn't been with them or with him at the end.

God, how that hurt. But there was nothing she could do. She'd learned that with Roger. You couldn't change what history had recorded. Spock had died.

And she just had to accept that...

Act II: Reflections and Release

Christine walked into her office at Starfleet HQ, oblivious to all that she should have heard in the halls of the mighty and powerful that she was a part of. News had come from Vulcan in the form of a call from Nyota. Spock was alive. She didn't know how to react. The events of the last week had been mind-boggling, overwhelming. Her friends having stolen the Enterprise? To search for Spock's body? Leonard holding Spock's Katra. What was a katra? The Enterprise destroyed? Her friends exiled?

Her mind had shut down; she couldn't think ... and Spock...

Spock's place in her heart, which had been such a part of her psyche for so long, which had given her pleasant thoughts of years gone by whenever she'd heard some news about him or thought of the Enterprise, had finally become too much to bear.

The changes that had occurred during the last month... It was hard to grasp them. They kept slipping away like water through your fingers....

His death. Especially his second memorial service on Earth which she had attended, sobbing inwardly during the service, bereft of any support since her old friends had all been on the bruised and battered Enterprise with Kirk. Her new friends had been sympathetic but could never understand the web of love and nostalgia that bound the crew of the Enterprise together; that bound Christine to Spock.

And now his supposed rebirth ... she didn't understand all of the nuances of Fal Tor Pan, Nyota had become hopelessly confused over metaphysics when she'd attempted to explain it to Christine in her call from Vulcan, but she didn't see how he could be the same person. The man who'd she'd known and loved for over eighteen years, the one she'd shared a consciousness with, the one she'd helped with Saavik all of those years ago, the one she knew instinctively in her mind ...he had died in her grief.

She couldn't summon him back just because he had been reborn. Maybe she should be able to. Maybe she should never have held on in the first place...

She was truly overjoyed at his return. The idea that he'd died in the first place had been unbelievable, foreign to her in some intrinsic way. So the fact that he'd been given another chance rang true in her mind... But her heart...

Her heart said that it was time to let him go. Totally. Finally. She hadn't seen any reason to lose her fond love for him over the years ... she'd had no hope of a romantic attachment, true; had given that up long ago. But she had still held a regard for him that overshadowed the rest of the old Enterprise crew. Had listened to his doings with an interest unmatched when Nyota spoke of their other friends, even Leonard.

But that was changed now. When she saw him again, he would be Spock. Her old crewmate. Her friend. Not her love, old, unrequited, or otherwise. And as she thought about the lost part of herself, she thought ... maybe it was better this way...

But she couldn't bring herself to believe it...

Act III: Reflections and Homecomings

They'd done it. She could hardly believe it. Gone back in time and returned triumphant. She was so proud of them.

And as she sat in the Council Room with all who had come to know the fate of the Enterprise crew, her friends, she thought how battle hardened they looked. She knew that she must look the same. Rand too. This time of disasters and change had scarred them all, changed them all, and finally liberated them all. The immaterial had fallen away like chaff from fresh wheat.

The one who looked most serene was Spock. She supposed living, dying, and then living again would do that to you. But they all looked that way to her. Like they had lived and died and lived again with Spock. And in a way, they had.

God, that deserved a celebration. A celebration of life and renewal; symbolized by Spock's return...

Christine pulled her attention back to the President; he was about to give the verdict. Then she smiled broadly as the verdict was read, clapping her hand in sheer delight. The final piece of the puzzle had been put in place... Jim's Captain's rank...

Now they could really celebrate... She leapt from her seat, weeding her way through the crowd to meet them, and wrapped Leonard in a bear hug that lasted a full minute before giving Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov their requisite kiss.

Then she turned to greet the one she had to greet. In order to be able to put this terrible, powerful time behind her. To know that their lives had all returned to some semblance of order.

"Hello, Spock," she said loudly, trying to get his attention over the din in the Council chambers.

Spock turned to look at her and she felt her heart lurch ever so slightly. He looked the same, even up close. A little older, perhaps, but still Spock. She hadn't been sure that that would be the case, even up to the point when she'd seen him for the first time, five minutes ago. Hadn't been sure of much of anything since the horrible events of the last months had started and gone on and on like some biblical plague.

"Dr. Chapel." He gazed on her serenely. "I trust that you are well."

Christine stared at him for a moment and then started to laugh. She laughed so hard that she started crying. "Oh, Spock. Only you would say that after what you have been though." She wiped her eyes as she schooled her expression into one of controlled mirth. "I am very well, thank you, Captain Spock," she said, sedately. "How are you? How do you feel?"

He thought on it seriously, seeming to Christine to be focusing on a point behind her.

"I feel fine, Dr. Chapel." And he flicked his eyebrow up to emphasise the point.

She smiled more seriously for a moment before returning to the general gaiety of the moment. "Good. Then you'll come to the party that I'm throwing for you all when you return from the shakedown cruise?"

"I will come," Spock said sedately.

She beamed at him one final time. "I'll set it up with Uhura. Well..." She paused briefly, "I'd better go find her... Take care of yourself, Spock. Promise me that?"

"I shall endeavour to a better job of it in future, Doctor, I assure you."

"Good." And with that she left him to his other admirers. A sense of rightness with the world in her step.