Spock had been trying to meditate for the last five point eight minutes. At least his time sense was returning, he thought wryly. However, his physical desire for Saavik had not yet diminished in the two weeks they had been home. Having never been joined, he did not know the usual duration of such things, and wondered if his and Saavik’s mixed blood was a factor. He wanted to discuss the matter with Sarek but didn’t know how to broach the subject.
Sarek was watching Spock from where he sat at the desk in his study. Spock had entered the room quietly and had sat down in the chair across the room, but had said nothing. Indeed, he seemed rather distracted.
“Spock,” Sarek began. “Where is your bondsmate? Is the joining complete?” Even as he asked, he noted with interest Spock’s still bare feet.
Spock raised his eyes to look at his father. “It is not,” he said simply, and smiled just a little. “Saavik and Mother have gone to the market.” Then at Sarek’s confused look, he added. “We must eat.”
Sarek accepted that answer and was about to say more when Spock suddenly rose and left the room.
I am here, my love. Attend me.
Sarek watched him go and rose to follow him. Spock didn’t have to explain his sudden departure; Amanda had called him too. It had taken years for Amanda to learn to communicate in the link, but Sarek’s skill more than made up the deficit.
They arrived together at the entrance of the kitchen just as the women entered through the front door.
Seeing them, Amanda smiled at Saavik.
“I told you it would work,” she said. She touched her fingers to Sarek’s briefly but noticed that Spock and Saavik’s fingers brushed the other’s face instead. She sent a mental warning to Sarek not to protest the action, and thankfully he kept his silence.
“Come, Saavik,” she said, steering the other woman into the kitchen with their shopping bags. “Help me prepare the evening meal.”
Spock looked prepared to follow them but Sarek turned him toward the door instead.
“Walk with me, my son,” he said.
They left the house out the back gate and proceeded along the path into the fringes of the desert. Though bare, Spock’s Vulcan feet were not bothered by the heat of the sand. They walked in silence for some time. At last Sarek spoke.
“Has any thought been given to children?” he asked bluntly.
Spock startled but kept his eyes on the distant horizon.
“Saavik is young and healthy,” he answered, “and I have no reason to doubt my own fertility.”
Sarek stopped walking and turned to look at him. “That does not answer the question,” he admonished.
Spock turned to meet his father’s gaze. “The thought of offspring is intriguing,” he admitted.
But Sarek studied his face. “You have spoken of it then?” he asked uncertainly.
Spock didn’t answer right away and turned his gaze back to the desert. Sarek chose his words carefully.
“Spock,” he said. “Your bond is new and strong, as is proper. But do not use the mind---or the body—as a substitute for what must be spoken aloud.”
Spock allowed himself a small smile and nodded slowly. “You are correct of course,” he answered wryly. “I am afraid my thought processes are ...hindered...at the moment.”
Sarek gave him a knowing look and briefly returned a ghost of the smile. “Yes,” he agreed, “the joining is an intense experience.”
Spock studied Sarek’s face. “May I ask when I might experience a reduction in the intensity?” he asked, fully aware that the current state of affairs would be problematic when he and Saavik went to their separate posts in a few weeks.
Sarek seemed a little taken aback by his openness, but considered the question anyway.
“It is different for each participant, of course,” he said, then hesitated before continuing. “May I inquire if the current situation is mutual?” It could be an uncomfortable issue if one completed the joining before the other.
“Indeed,” Spock answered with less reticence. “Perhaps my human ancestry, or Saavik’s mixed blood...?”
Sarek shook his head. “My knowledge is not adequate in this matter,” he said. “Perhaps it would be wise to consult Doctor McCoy. He is staying on Vulcan while he conducts research at the Academy.”
Spock looked up in surprise before composing his features again. “Perhaps,” he said thoughtfully and turned his gaze back to the desert.
When they returned to the house some time later, the table was set and the preparations nearly complete. Sarek took his place but Spock went into the kitchen to help Saavik carry the last of the dishes. Gentle laughter indicated other motivations as well, but they composed themselves before returning to the table.
“Spock, Saavik,” Amanda said brightly when everyone had filled their plates, “I have noticed several properties for sale nearby. Perhaps when you are ready, we can inquire about them.”
Spock paused in his eating to look quizzically at his mother. “For what purpose?” he asked.
“For you and Saavik, of course!” she laughed.
Sarek also stopped eating as well and looked at his wife. “This estate is currently only occupied ten point three four percent Do you propose that this is too high an occupancy?”
“Of course not!” she said, looking at them both. “But a young couple should have their own place.”
“Why?” Sarek and Spock asked in unison.
Amanda looked pointedly at Spock and Saavik who had found many unnecessary reasons to touch one another since sitting down. Spock raised an eyebrow at her unspoken comment. “I am not inhibited by the presence of you and father,” he declared.
“Exactly!” she agreed, laughing.
“Mother,” he said gently, “Saavik and I will only be on Vulcan a short time each year. A house is an unnecessary expenditure.”
She smiled at them, undeterred. “Perhaps that will change,” she said and winked at Saavik.
Spock raised an eyebrow and glanced at them both, but resumed eating without further comment.