Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of SterJulie and is copyright 2005 by SterJulie. Rated G.





Sarek found Spock on a stone bench in the garden. The boy's shoulders were slumped, burdened with a grief and blame too great for one so small.


Spock slowly became aware of his father's presence.


"Father," he murmured in greeting.


"I have retrieved E'Chaya's body from the mountains, Spockam," he announced gently. "The tanners will cure the pelt for us. What should be done with the hide?"


Spock blinked up at Sarek.


"It is not my place to decide," he rasped, barely controlling his devastation.


"E'Chaya was your pet," Sarek reminded Spock.


Spock shook his head. "But he was your pet first."


"But he was your pet in the end," Sarek insisted. "Shall we spin the fur into yarn and have something woven, perhaps a blanket or clothing?" Spock shook his head again. "Perhaps leave the hide intact and use it as a rug at the mountain villa?" Spock considered this, but in the end discarded the idea. "The only thing left is to tan the hide and make leather goods."


"Why so we have to do anything at all?" Spock anguished.


"The illogic of waste, my son," Sarek continued. "It would be a lasting tribute to one who gave his life protecting you."


Spock's fragile control shattered and his tortured soul burst forth.


"I TOLD you I was sorry!" Spock cried. "I shouldn't have gone into the mountains. I should have let E'Chaya follow me. He shouldn't have died. It's all my fault."


Sarek knelt at Spock's feet so that he would be eye-to-eye with his son.


"I for one am grateful that E'Chaya followed you into the desert," Sarek insisted. "He saved your life. What's done is done and in the past. No amount of emotion will bring him back. This is not a fitting way to pay tribute to one so brave."


"And turning him into a rug is?" Spock questioned.


"Spockam," Sarek began tenderly, "E'Chaya had no katra to leave with us and soothe our grief. By making something of his fur, he will still be with us. His fur will keep us warm in the mountains, and his leather can remind us of his bravery and loyalty when we gird ourselves with it." Sarek placed his hands on the boy's shoulders. "What is your decision?"


Spock took a deep, shuddering breath, fighting for control.


"It would be good to have a warm rug at the mountain villa," the boy stated.


Sarek nodded. "It shall be done. Anything else?"


Spock thought a long moment. "I require a small portion of E'Chaya for my box."


Again, Sarek nodded. "Do you wish to have a fang or an ear?"


Spock started at Sarek's bluntness. It seemed savage of Sarek to speak of dismembering the beloved pet so coldly. Spock reconsidered. Having a tangible piece of the selhat would be comforting.


"I wish to have his ear, Father." Spock decided.


Sarek nodded, remembering how Spock used to hold onto E'Chaya's ears as he rode the selhat's back.


"Very well," Sarek replied. "May I, too, have a souvenir?"


Spock blinked in surprise. "Why?" he breathed.


"I wish to have a memento as well," Sarek responded. "I wish to have his broken fang."


"Why?" Spock repeated.


Sarek got a faraway look in his eye. "E'Chaya broke that fang saving my life when I was your age."


"I didn't know that," Spock replied in awe.


"No one else knows," Sarek answered. He shook himself from his reverie. He stood, brushed the sand from his knees and held a hand out to Spock. "Come, Spock. Let us tell the tanner of our needs."


* * *


A month later, on the eve of Spock's proper kahs-wan, Sarek tied a strip of tooled leather around his son's waist.


"You have already proven yourself, Spockam," Sarek said calmly. "Run this kahs-wan in honor and in memory of E'Chaya. May his bravery encircle you as his leather does your waist."


Spock ran his fingers across the engravings.


"I am not afraid, my Father," the boy averred.


Sarek looked warmly into his son's eyes. He then withdrew a small packet and pressed it into Spock's hands.


"This is for your box," Sarek stated.


Spock gulped as he opened the package. He reverently took the preserved ear and ran its soft fur across his cheeks. The boy turned aside to get his box. He opened the lid and carefully placed the ear inside with the shell, the clan gem, and the other items. He looked at his treasures for a long moment before solemnly replacing the lid and returning the box to its proper place.


"It is past your bedtime," Sarek stated, holding his hands out to Spock. "Sleep well, my son."


"Sleep well, my Father," Spock replied, touching his hands to Sarek's.


The elder Vulcan moved to his customary place of meditation. He lit the brazier, but before he began his time of contemplation, Sarek opened a secret panel beside the meditation area and withdrew an old carton. Opening the top, he withdrew a small object from his pocket.


Sarek he placed E'Chaya's broken fang on top of his own collection of treasures.


"Goodbye, old friend."



End story 4.

Next story: Birds of Consolation