Saavik opened her eyes to a too-bright bedroom and realized that they had overslept yet again. She lay against Spock’s back on one of the many floor pillows, the soft spread from the bed half draped over them both. The aromatic oil she had anointed him in last night still glistened on his skin and the sweet scent of the spices tickled her nose. His hair was disturbed beyond any fixing, giving him an unlikely casual appearance. She slipped her arm around his waist, stroking his firm belly. His body stirred in anticipation.
She was suddenly aware that she could smell food cooking and realized with a start that she was starving. How long had it been since they had eaten? How many days since they had left this room?
She kissed the back of Spock’s neck to wake him and was startled when he rolled over suddenly and took her in his arms. She squealed in feigned protest even as he rolled on top of her, finding his place. Her body responded to his touch as naturally as breathing. She could stay here forever, except that glorious smell of food was growing stronger.
“Spock,” she laughed as he kissed her neck, “even Vulcans must eat.”
He purred deeply and continued to kiss her, his breath soft and warm on her skin. She pushed the tousled hair from his eyes and stroked her thumbs along his up-swept brows. Her touch sent a current of urgency through his mind and body. She arched against him with a sigh of her own. Food would have to wait a little while longer. Or perhaps, a lot.
When they emerged at last, they wore only casual tunics with bell sleeves and a tie at the waist. Their feet were bare as was the custom during the joining. However with blatant disregard for propriety, they held hands as they walked to the kitchen.
Amanda smiled brightly when she saw them and directed them to places already set at the table. There was a variety of food prepared, much more than would be typical for a Vulcan meal. Amanda shrugged with a smile.
“I had to keep cooking until something got you two up,” she explained, bringing two heaping plates.
Spock looked at her strangely. “Are your telepathic abilities schooled enough to know when we would emerge?” he asked.
She laughed lightly. “It’s been three days, Spock,” she said. “I guessed you would have to renew your energy sooner rather than later.” She winked at Saavik who blushed brilliantly.
Spock silently conceded her logic and picked up his utensils to eat. Saavik was already eating eagerly and he suddenly realized his own hunger.
As Amanda watched the two eating enthusiastically, she recalled her own joining as if it were yesterday. It had been a time apart from Sarek’s pon farr, to spare Amanda the intensity of that their first time together. However, as a human, she still lacked the stamina of a typical Vulcan female, and their joining had taken some time. She smiled to herself when she remembered Sarek’s gentleness, particularly with the mind meld.
“It is a joining, my wife,” he had said, “As our bodies join, our minds must also. It is our way.”
She had been afraid and she laughed at herself now for the needless worry. As it turned out, her psi rating was unusually high for a human, but still negligible by Vulcan standards. The link with Sarek, coupled with his patient instruction, had at last enabled her to experience some aspect of the mind touch. She sighed, wondering what a marriage would be without it.
Spock and Saavik were making a sizable dent in the food and Amanda smiled, wondering how long that would sustain them. She had decided many years ago that these two should be wed, but all the hints in the world hadn’t been enough. Sometimes it was difficult to see what was right in front you, and she wondered what had finally brought them together.
They were finishing up now and politely taking their plates to the recycler. Amanda noticed the synchrony of their movements and the frequency of their touch, and realized with a start that Spock was happy, grateful that she had lived long enough to see it.
They thanked Amanda for the meal and made their way into the back garden. Through the window Amanda could see them holding hands as they walked the path before settling on the stone bench in
front of the fountain. They appeared to be talking, with frequent touches on hands and face. She smiled again, remembering how time and tragedy had finally taught Spock not to fear his human half.
Spock and Saavik were engaged in an impromptu and rather intimate mind meld when Sarek entered the garden through the back gate. He paused there, averting his gaze until they had finished, then purposely strode toward the two lovers.
“Spock, Saavik,” he said, his voice calm but with a warning. “The joining is a natural thing; there is no shame in it. However, it is not for public display.”
They stood immediately and stepped apart, presenting proper remorse in their stance but with a touch of defiance in their eyes. Spock offered his extended fingers to Saavik in an acceptable demonstration of affection. She joined her fingers to his without comment.
“Yes, Father,” Spock answered correctly. “We ask forgiveness.”
Sarek inclined his head and watched them proceed into the house, noting that before they turned the corner to the bedroom, their hands slipped together again. Sarek raised an eyebrow and shook his head at the same time. It was true that attitudes on Vulcan were changing about such things, but for one as old as he, the acceptance was very difficult indeed.