A little introspective piece, trying out Spock’s POV and grappling with the whole Vulcan logic thing. Set ten days after the movie. Huge thanks to djarum99 for the beta and the logic!
Summary: There are eyes upon him, he can feel their curiosity; it is not hostile, but neither is it comfortable. To them, his nature is alien. He wonders if they would understand him better if they could peer into his fiery soul, or if they would simply fear him.
They would be wise to fear him.
There are times when he fears himself.
Most humans, he knows, believe that he perceives the world in black and white. Because his feelings are regulated, they imagine he has none. It is an erroneous belief that undermines the foundations of his culture, and as such would be insulting – should he permit himself to heed such a destructive sentiment. For if his people felt no emotion, what would be admirable in their pursuit of perfect logic? Their cultural aspiration could be achieved, one could posit, by the creation of a sentient computer.
In truth it is the Vulcan capacity to integrate their emotional and intellectual response that is their greatest achievement – to instantly comprehend their emotional reaction, to evaluate its meaning in an objective light, and to act accordingly. Their lifelong quest for self-knowledge, the training of the mind to release the sense of ‘I’, frees them from the atavistic emotional responses that enslave other races – and it is that achievement which defines them, which defines him.
It is an achievement profoundly diminished by the human belief that he is incapable of experiencing emotion.
Their reasoning is baffling. It is certainly not logical. Scientists who grapple with the complexities of quantum physics are capable of theorising the existence of unobservable particles, and yet seem incapable of discerning the existence of his emotions simply because they are not splashed in vivid colours across his face. He does not consider himself more complex than the quandaries of theoretical particle physics, and yet apparently it is so.
Nevertheless, it amuses him to watch their parade of unchecked feeling and the pride they take in such naked behaviour. He theorises that their emotions must be shallow and fleeting, for if they ran as deep as his own it would be intolerable to lay them bare to public scrutiny. On Vulcan, such crude displays are confined only to the nurseries—
He stops, corrects himself; on Vulcan such displays were confined only to the nurseries. There are no nurseries now, no infants to be schooled.
It is a loss of inconceivable scale, of infinite depth and pain.
As a consequence the singularity that destroyed his world now resides deep within his own mind, yawning open at moments like this – incomprehensibly vast. There is anger within, boiling black rage. There is grief, a desolation of the soul. And there is despair.
He knows that his anger must be channelled, put to useful purpose in service of the Federation and the salvation of his decimated people – that it must be used to ensure this horror will never be forgotten, nor repeated. He knows that his loss must be examined, his grief integrated in all its myriad, jagged splinters. And he knows that despair must be denied, for its bleak shadow has once before plunged his race into a darkness that almost spelled their destruction.
Yet there are times when he stands on the brink of the void and contemplates what it would mean to fall, to be consumed. To cease struggling.
He thinks all this as he stands, back straight, and watches the stars streak past the mess hall window. There are eyes upon him, he can feel their curiosity; it is not hostile, but neither is it comfortable. To them, his nature is alien. He wonders if they would understand him better if they could peer into his fiery soul, or if they would simply fear him.
They would be wise to fear him.
There are times when he fears himself.
And then she is beside him, silent and comforting, and he experiences the subtle relaxation of his muscles that her presence always brings. They do not touch but she is present in his mind, he can feel the warm shape of her compassion. He turns his head and she is already looking at him – seeing him.
“You’re tired,” she says, without accusation.
He acknowledges the point. “I have found sleep...elusive.”
“I’m not surprised.” Her gaze darts somewhere past his shoulder, then back. They are being watched, and he is grateful for her circumspection. “Dr McCoy could give you something. Have you been to sickbay?”
“I have not.” He does not add that he will not, for he knows that she sees that in his eyes.
She sighs, irritated. “Well that’s logical.”
He has already learned the futility of discussing logic with humans determined to misunderstand the concept, and so does not reply.
But she has learned her lessons too, understands the power of touch over words, and reaches out to place her hand on his. The connection is instant and powerful – he comprehends the depth of her concern, the way her feelings overflow in the messy, unregulated way of the human heart. It is fierce and bright and the darkness retreats before her light. He smiles, though none but she would recognise the expression.
“Better,” she says, and removes her hand.
The loss is like stepping from summer to winter and he cannot prevent a physical response. She notices and makes half a gesture to touch him again, but her hand falls to her side and he wishes, with a flash of unrepressed frustration, that they were alone. But they are not.
“I’m due on the bridge in ten minutes,” she says, “which is just long enough.”
Hardly sufficient, he thinks, and cocks an eyebrow.
Her heated, self-conscious smile is an unexpected delight. He savours it. “Just long enough,” she repeats, pointedly, “to take you to Dr McCoy.”
His hands clasp behind his back. “I am not—”
But her chin tilts, her eyes flash, and he knows he has lost the point. He looks away, watches the stars stream past the window, and takes note of the sluggish weight in his limbs. “It is possible,” he concedes at last, “that I may not be performing at peak efficiency, given my somewhat sleep deprived state.”
“Somewhat?” She struggles to keep her voice down. “It’s been ten days.”
“I am Vulcan.”
“Only half.” She smiles, softening the jibe, and nods her head toward the door. “Commander?”
He glances about the mess hall, notices the eyes studiously averted. They have watched, yet seen nothing; it is fascinating that humans, so proud of their emotional incontinence, should be blind to the profound emotions in their midst.
They walk in silence from the mess hall, and it is not until they are alone in the corridor that he says, “Your shift finishes at 0300?”
“It does.” She does not look at him, but he sees her smile.
“I report to the bridge at 0800.” They are approaching sickbay and he slows his pace until she is forced to meet his eye. He runs a finger along the back of her hand, the brush of his mind against hers intensely intimate. “I would not object,” he says in a low voice, “if you woke me at the end of your shift.”
Ahead, the doors to sickbay open and its noise spills out into the corridor. Nyota says nothing, but he sees the answer in her eyes, feels it in the flash-fire of her mind. It is that image – that promise – he takes with him into the chaotic realm of Dr McCoy’s sickbay.
It is that promise that keeps the darkness at bay when, at last, he closes his eyes to sleep.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and all comments are welcomed. This is my first attempt at writing in this fandom and I’d love to know if I’m anywhere near the mark!