Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of and is copyright (c) 2009 by T'Sia. Rated PG.
I wrote this some years ago already but a repost does seem appropriate now...
In fond memory of actress Jane Wyatt.
The heavy door opened to the dark house and the shape of a tall man appeared in the doorway, blocking out the light from outside, while the brightness behind him made his contours shine like the corona of a star during a solar eclipse. The door fell shut and the sound echoed back from the empty house.
The light disappeared and so did the sound in the quiet oppressive atmosphere. In the dim light of the hallway the posture of the lonely man sagged as if strength had left him with entering the house. He took off his outer robe and straightened only to meet not his wife but his reflection in the mirror opposite the door. Dark shadows were set under his eyes and deep creases which had not been there a few weeks ago marked his hawk-like face. They seemed to set deeper every time he entered this house. He shook off the illogical feeling and walked to the chest of drawers below the mirror. He placed the flitter keys on the shiny surface and again the sound seemed unnaturally loud to his ears. The effect was emphasized by the silence in the house which seemed dark and cold ever since Amanda did not live here any longer to fill it with warmth and light. Unwanted his gaze travelled back to the mirror and wandered up his body until he met his own gaze. The amount of exhaustion in his eyes nearly made him deter but he remained rooted to the spot and observed himself.
He should control his feelings.
He should mask and master them with his disciplines. But there was nothing to master. A few weeks ago, shortly before his wife's death he had felt much more than he could cope with. After her death his feelings had numbed. A petite human woman of all living beings in the galaxy seemed to have taken all his ability to feel with her into death.
He did not care.
He did not care about anything since she was gone. Only his work kept his mind occupied to prevent him from retreating fully into himself. He had packed away every personal item of his wife after her death in a futile attempt to adjust to the situation and regain control over himself. But as soon as he entered this house which held so many memories and ghosts of the past he felt her presence as if she would come into the hallway any time to greet him.
He wanted to go to the study to prepare his work for tomorrow, but when he moved his feet carried him into the library instead of the second floor. Although uncharacteristically for him he neglected his duties and dismissed the thought of work. He entered and his hand lifted to touch the spines of the books while he wandered along the ceiling high shelves filled with a collection of antique books of Terran and Vulcan origins. Surprisingly her books were the only items he had not banned from the house. He did not even dare to touch them and his hand carefully avoided the books that had belonged to her. He felt for the place where her mind had once been connected to his and his mental fingertips touched the wound.
He felt nothing when he touched the severed link. The healer had sealed it professionally.
Absent-minded he rounded the comfortable armchair, which faced the window. He held his breath when his eyes played a trick on him and showed the image of his wife for some seconds while she sat in the chair and read in one of her favorite books like she had done on the day of her death -- it had come so suddenly and unexpected, no time to prepare. He cut of the thought. When he blinked the image was gone. Paradoxically, this sent a stab of pain through him which he had not felt when touching the severed bond in his mind. There was another inner wound that still bled and refused to heal. His vision cleared and his gaze fell on the book she had last read in. It still lay face down on the soft carpet where it had dropped when she died in his arms. He knew he should pick it up and place it back on the shelf.
Yet he never tried to touch it since that day.
Carefully he stepped over it and sat down in the chair. He leaned back, his eyes staring blankly out of the window. He was not grieving like a Vulcan should. Yet he could not. Spock was in deep space and he had no close family members left with whom he could have shared his pain. He was not even sure if he even wished to share his pain. He wondered whether the message of his mother's death had already reached his son.
The thought trailed off.
He knew he should not stay in this room. He told himself the habit would wear off in time. But it did not. Still after weeks when a Vulcan should long have completed the mourning ritual he found himself spending long time periods in this room to feel her presence; listening to the echoes of the past while he re-lived memories he had shared with his beloved.
Although he knew she was gone he sometimes thought to see the cloth of her flowing robes shine through the thick vegetation in the garden when he sat here and stared outside. Of course she was not out there but it was nevertheless difficult to resist the urge to follow the vision outside when it lured him with sweet memories. He remembered a discussion he'd had with Amanda shortly after her mother died. She had spent a few weeks in her parent's house on Earth to make sure her father could cope with the loss and she had told him of the same feelings he experienced now. He had not understood back then how she or her father could expect to see her mother in places which had been her favorites or where they were used to find her. But now he understood all too well what she had meant.
His gaze travelled to the windows when one part of them was automatically opened to let in the fresh evening air. He reclined in the chair again and steepled his hands in front of him to set his mind into a light meditative stage. He remained motionless until the light outside slowly disappeared and was replaced by the dark blue night of Vulcan.
Suddenly something appeared in his peripheral vision.
He turned his head to find his wife standing beside the chair, gazing down on him with a tender smile on her lips. She lifted a hand and stroked his cheek gently.
"Sarek," Amanda whispered.
He felt a profound relief that her death had only been a bad dream. Quickly he grabbed for her hand to make sure she was real and awoke when the sound of tearing cloth could be heard. His eyes snapped open and he jumped out of the chair. He was alone in the room. It had only been a dream and realization of the truth almost hurt him physically. He tried to master the piercing sensation after weeks of numbness and unclenched his fists forcefully. He felt something soft glide out of his hand and looked down to see that it was a piece of cloth. The curtains must have been blown in by the wind and touched his cheek while he slept. Instantly the memories of his wife, which were always hovering close to the surface of his consciousness, had broken through and had given him the impression that she was there, touching him. His desperate grip had torn out a piece of the soft material the curtain was made of. Slowly it floated to the ground beside the book. His vision blurred when he saw the book again.
He refused to let the tears fall. He was a Vulcan; Vulcans did not cry, they did not love.
So was the public saying. It did not mean anything to him anymore. He lifted his gaze and stared out of the window into the night. But the view of the garden held no comfort and again he was confronted with vivid memories of Amanda, her presence as strong as if she were just there beside him but yet far out of his reach.
He sank back into the soft chair, his head bent and his shoulders sagged. Slowly he reached for the book. Only inches away from the surface of the leather cover his movement stopped and an almost imperceptible tremor ran through his hand. Then finally his fingers touched the book and he lifted it carefully into his lap. Turning it over, he smoothed out the crumpled pages almost tenderly. Then he reached down again and picked up the torn piece of curtain. Carefully he placed it between the pages Amanda had read last and closed the book.
//I cherish thee, Aduna, // he whispered, the sound barely audible above the soft murmur of the wind.
A strange calm settled over him while he held the book in his hands. As if picking it up had finally forced him to accept the inevitable. She would not come back to pick it up. Never. He no longer tried to push the feelings of her presence away but cherished them as something that helped him cope with the loss, even if this was not logical. He did not care if it was not logical. His logic had always been uncertain where his wife was concerned. He could not and did not wish to erase the memories which welled up whenever he entered this house. Her presence would always be here. As if her immortal soul had never left. He would always feel her, always occasionally dream of her. It was not logical but right because she had been his t'hy'la -- his bondmate and mother of his child. She would never be gone completely. She would always be with him. The thoughts stopped the bleeding of the inner wound and set his mind at ease.
He placed the book back on the shelf.