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“Well met, Mother,” I said, as calmly as I could manage, hoping I had kept my body sufficiently still. Father did not enjoy being thwarted, and would therefore demand a higher degree of control – whether I was capable of that control seemed of no importance.

Spock.” The corners of her mouth were upturned. “I worried for you – illogical, I know, but I am your mother. Still, you seem well, although – different.” Her brow wrinkled, and she looked into my eyes, in the way she had when she sensed something in me that she did not understand. There was little she missed, and, somehow, I found comfort in that.

“I am bonded, Mother. Perhaps it makes a difference in my appearance and demeanor.”

I spoke it calmly, while my blood hissed through my veins, singing to my mind of the sensations we had shared, together, the music a thing born of us both. I could still feel Niaan, a pulsing, live, wild energy within me, inspiring me to recklessness, bidding me lay down, and give myself to the sharing, and to her…

“Maybe it’s best we discuss these matters a bit more privately, Spock…unless you would rather not talk about it.” Now she did smile, even here, as she reached to touch her paired fingers to Father’s. I was surprised that she would do so in this place, and more so when Father returned the embrace, his breath leaving him in a long, soft sigh. I could feel the power the touch held, for him, and I watched, my own fingers caught in a tingling tremble, wanting to clutch at Niaan’s cool touch, to see myself again reflected in her eyes, our souls dancing as one – and to share in what Father felt.

And I cannot touch thee thus, my own, apart from the dreaming. My fingers tangled in Niaan’s bonding robe. The ache of wanting – needing – to touch her was enough to pull a sound from my lips. It was a serious breach of control, and Father’s eyes were sharp and hard as obsidian as he studied me anew.

Then, he raised a brow, and there was something that hinted at understanding. “Even when thee do not wish to share, Spock, thy mind is – most potent, in its sendings. Thy mother is human, and may be forgiven her lapses, and I, too, perhaps, for indulging her, now, even if it is illogical, and unsettling to thee.”

T’Pau, seemed more amused than was fitting. “Daughter-kin, take thy young one home, and allow him as much privacy as is needful. Spock, go now with thy mother, but remember what I have said. Your rights are the rights of an adult, in this.”

“I will, T’Pau.” She’d given me a moment to recover my control, and shifted Father’s focus from me. “Thank you.” I knew that it was not logical, but also that it would please Mother.

Mother leaned forward, just for a moment, and her lips seemed to brush Father’s, and their fingers danced against one another, and Father made a sound akin to the one I had made. I swallowed, and stared, my need for Niaan emerging in a wanting cry…

Kroykah.” A soft word, but a command Father attended at once. “Thy child, Sarek. There is a certain cruelty in so openly expressing thy bond, before him, now. Amanda, take thy son to a place where he can explore and express his own bonding in peace. Sarek, you will remain. Once you have recovered your control, we will discuss the illogic of requiring of thy child, who carries as much of humanity as Vulcanity within him, a level of control that thee fail to maintain.”

Now I wished almost to stay, to hear what would be said, but Mother smiled at Father, and whispered, “I await you,” then, with a hand just above my shoulder, she moved toward the door. I would learn nothing further.

All right,” she said softly as we walked through silent corridors carved into stone. “We’ve got a private courier waiting. And I will be close, if you need me.”

Niaan moved within me, urged me to give voice to what was within me. I stopped and turned to Mother,. “Thank you. Your acceptance of me, that I am enough, as I am – as we are….means more than we can say.”

Her eyes grew moist, and she smiled. “You always will be, Spock. Your father – well, it’s not in Vulcan nature to appreciate unforeseen wrinkles in the fabric of life, and you can’t help but do the unexpected. In that way, you are more like me than not, I’m afraid.”

We see no cause for fear, Mother. To be like thee is – pleasurable. Not, perhaps as pleasurable as Matehunt, or Souldance, but -”

Have you forgotten where we are, Spock?”

But we were dancing, and reckless, and there was nothing but this. “We are as we are, and we will not hide it, here or anywhere else.”

We meant it not in jest, but Mother chuckled softly. “Oh, Spock – your father will not know what to think or do about this – but you are not only my child. I see him clearly in you, right now, as you own what is yours to own. Come, now – it’s best we get you to the shuttle as quickly as possible. You are more than ready for Seclusion.”

The words were a tunnel, and, at their end, was Niaan, and our sharing…