by Gamin Davis

K&S, mild angst, no slash (and no crying, for those who are bothered by that) [G]

SUMMARY: Missing scenes from "The Savage Curtain", in which Spock discovers that his "image of Surak" is not *exactly* as he had expected it to be, and from after the episode, when Kirk helps him understand  why.

Disclaimer: For lo, the Deity Paramount doth own these characters; I do but
           frolic briefly with them in their playground.


    For the third time since Kirk had left, Spock looked up and around in
controlled but growing impatience, trying to ignore the disapproving gaze
of the figure nearby.  They were still on Excalbia, trapped by one of its
rock-like inhabitants' versions of a "battle between Good and Evil"--allied
with an illusionary Abraham Lincoln and Surak of Vulcan against the equally
illusionary Colonel Green and Genghis Khan of Earth, Klingon mentor Kahless
the Unforgettable, and Zora of Tiburon--and Kirk and Lincoln had gone off
on a search for weapons-making material, leaving him alone with Surak. 
Kirk had instructed them to make spears, bows and arrows from the material
they had already gathered, correctly pointing out that Vulcans of Surak's
time customarily made and used such weapons.

       But Surak had, as Spock had expected him to, refused to participate. 
Spock agreed in principle, though his duty as a Starfleet officer and
personal loyalty to Kirk made him more inclined to follow his Captain's
orders, even when they violated some tenet of Vulcan philosophy--such as
respect for the sanctity of life.  What made him increasingly uncomfortable
was Surak's apparent but so far unspoken distaste as he watched Spock
carving a spear point out of a long, straight branch that was by now
scraped smooth by the sharp-edged rock he was holding.  Spock tried to
concentrate on his concern for Kirk, knowing his friend should have been
back by now...

       It turned out to be a mistake, for Surak again read the emotion in his
eyes--the one part of himself that he could not control, for their
expressiveness was inherited from his Human mother.  They always gave him
away, no matter how unmoved he appeared, otherwise.  "You seem unduly
concerned for Captain Kirk's safety," Surak remarked finally.  "Is he not a
competent enough warrior to defend himself?"

       "Yes," Spock replied, rather stiffly.  "But he should have returned
before now."  Inwardly, he resented the other Vulcan's referring to Kirk as
a "warrior", though he kept the emotion buried within him--for now. 
Unfortunately, Surak would never know the gentle, affectionate side of
Kirk--the part of him that grieved and took it as a personal failure
whenever a crewmember died--that Spock was so familiar with and loved so
much; this situation was unlikely to permit that part of the Human any

       "Undoubtedly, his search took him further away than he expected.  I
see no justification for such emotions."

       Surak was beginning to remind Spock of his father, which made him
wonder if he hadn't taken the former's unofficial title of "Father of All
That Vulcan Became" more literally than had ever been intended--or if some
part of him now habitually, if unconsciously--and perhaps unfairly--saw
every Vulcan the way he still viewed Sarek: as someone whose first
inclination would be to criticize or condemn the emotional weaknesses of
his Human half.  Unable to come up with any truthful response that would
have been likely to satisfy Surak, he said nothing and kept his eyes on his
work.  The spear he had been working on was finished, so he picked up
another branch and started on it.

       Surak was puzzled by the other's long silence.  He tried again to
engage Spock in conversation, hoping to find out what it was about this
Vulcan that seemed not quite...right.  "You are still concerned for him,"
he concluded.

       "Perhaps it*is* unwarranted," Spock admitted neutrally.  "But he is
more than he seems--certainly more than the 'warrior' you assume him to

       Surak raised an eyebrow at him doubtfully, again reminding Spock of
his father.  "He insists on fighting.  He refuses to consider any other
options.  I deem it accurate to say that I have seen more warriors in my
time than you in yours; I recognize the thought patterns," he returned
quietly, his voice faintly chiding.

       Finally, Spock turned to look at him, beginning to have difficulty
controlling his mounting indignation enough to keep it from showing on his
face.  "With respect, Surak...I know my Captain's 'thought patterns' better
than you could ever hope to," he retorted coolly.  "The Excalbian
threatened our ship if we do not fight; in his view, there *is* no 'other

       "And you support him in this?"

       "If this is his final decision, it is my duty to obey him."

       Surak was not convinced by his evasion.  "I perceive your emotions
as...going beyond duty."  He paused, clearly dissatisfied with his own
wording, and started over apologetically.  "Forgive my intrusiveness.  I
am...curious about you and trying to learn more.  How did a Vulcan 'bred to
peace' come to be serving under a Human in a military organization?"

       Spock turned away again, wondering how much he could possibly permit
himself to reveal about his background and the persistent loneliness that
had driven to accept Kirk's offer of friendship.  How would Surak respond
to the knowledge that Spock was his direct descendant--and that he was also
half-Human?  Despite his awareness that this "Surak" was merely a
reflection of his own mind, instincts born of old wounds never fully healed
told Spock that Surak would disapprove of him even more, and Spock was not
sure he could continue performing at his usual level of efficiency in the
former's company if that happened.  "It...became necessary for me to leave
Vulcan.  I chose Starfleet because it offered the best opportunity for
scientific study of the widest variety of subjects," he answered
cautiously, at last.

       After due consideration, Surak moved closer, to within an arm's reach. 
"Spock.  I believe you are not fully Vulcan."

       Spock bowed his head in shame.  "You knew," he realized, in a tone of

       "It was not impossible to surmise.  You do not control as effectively
as a Vulcan of your era should be able to, with all tha guidance you should
have had," Surak pointed out carefully, still watching him intently.  "With
what race do you share your heritage?"

       A tightness was forming in the pit of Spock's stomach, and he could
not answer.

       "Is it possible that you are half-Human?"

       Spock looked up at him sharply, then nodded resignedly, telling
himself that he accepted Surak's perceptiveness because it resulted from
the illusion being based on his own thoughts.  "My mother is Human," he
admitted quietly.

       "I never knew Vulcans and Humans were physically compatible."

    "Generally, they are not...unless the Human is very special.  It was
difficult for her at first...and even moreso after I was born," Spock
recalled softly.

       "And difficult enough for *you* that you had to leave," Surak

       Spock nodded again, silently, and averted his eyes once more.

       "Unfortunate--and strange.  Your differences in the combination you
represent should have been valued," Surak commented.

       "Yes, but they were not--the 'unfortunate' part being that...not all
Vulcans now follow your Nome philosophy, which we now refer to as IDIC. 
And I saw it as logical to go where I *could* be of value," Spock
elaborated hesitantly.

       "All of which explains much.  Your emotional attachment to Captain
Kirk is based on the fact that he accepts your differences--perhaps even
values them?"

       "Yes," Spock sighed reluctantly.  "And I have found that that which
Vulcans view as a weakness can be a strength when dealing with Humans."

       "Then you are learning first hand why differences should be valued,"
Surak decided.  "Perhaps you are more Vulcan than your contemporaries


Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
Subject: NEW/DRA: "Heroes", 2/5 (TOS, K&S, Surak, angst [G])
From: arkietrekker@usa.net (Gamin Davis)
Date: 22 Jun 2000 01:56:31 GMT
Lines: 90
    Okay, here's the second part.  Feedback actively sought.

    Summary: Missing scenes from "The Savage Curtain" in which Spock
discovers that his "image of Surak" is not *exactly* as he had expected it
to be, and from after the episode, when Kirk helps him understand why. This
part: continuation of Spock's conversation with Surak, and Kirk's
and Lincoln's return.

    Disclaimer from part 1 still applies.


       Encouraged by this first sign of approval from Surak, Spock looked
back up at him again.  "You do not find it...shameful...that I am not a
full-blooded Vulcan?"

       "On the contrary, exposure to different cultures should *benefit*
Vulcan, not be seen as a threat.  I would encourage such inter-racial
unions whenever possible," Surak assured him, looking as if what Spock had
suggested were impossible.

       Spock was very tempted to reveal himself as Surak's descendant, but
decided finally that it would sound too much like what Humans called

       "Your Captain, however, *is* a warrior.  I am certain he has lived as
one for too long to be anything else."

       Spock returned his attention to his work, unwilling to argue further;
from Surak's point of view, it was true.  He had already argued with Surak
enough, something no other Vulcan in his position would have dared to do,
and he reminded himself that there was no logic in debating anything with
an illusion, anyway.  But he still could not help feeling disappointed that
Surak could be so determined to condemn Kirk while at the same time
expressing such open-minded understanding of Spock's own half-Human
heritage.  "I suppose you see me the same way," he ventured at last,
without looking up.

       "You *have* known him long enough to have--however unintentionally--
absorbed some of his mannerisms and thought patterns, have you not?"  Surak

       "I maintain my mental shields.  I do not permit myself to 'absorb'
anything undesirable," Spock returned neutrally.  His initial awe of Surak
and the incredible honor of meeting him (even in this illusionary form) was
slowly turning to embarrassment, frustration, even anger--and many other
emotions he had not expected to feel.

       Surak's eyes seemed to bore into the top of Spock's bowed head.  "Is
it permitted for you to question his orders?"  he asked, then.

       "Not by strict interpretation of Starfleet regulations.  But he values
my advice...even on matters he believes he has already decided."  Unseen by
Surak, Spock almost smiled as he thought back for a moment to a time when
he had questioned his Captain on just that particular tendency; Kirk's
response, that he sought out his First Officer for a second opinion because
it gave him "emotional satisfaction", had warmed him deep within for
reasons Spock had not initially understood.  Now, of course, he knew that
it produced that reaction in him because of his appreciation for the degree
of trust that his friend and Captain held for him and his ideas.

       "Then talk to him.  If he is as capable of peaceful intentions as you
would have me believe, persuade him to try another way--the Vulcan way--to
resolve this situation."

       "I will try," Spock acceded resignedly, despite not being completely
sure that the solution Surak wanted would be accepted by their Excalbian
host.  Once again, he found himself wishing for Kirk's presence and looked
up with controlled anxiety in the direction the Human had departed.

       This time, he was rewarded with the sight of Kirk rounding a stand of
small trees, loaded down with branches of various sizes, followed by a
similarly-burdened Lincoln.

       Immediately, Spock abandoned his spears and Surak to go meet his
Captain.  "I was about to begin a search for you," he told Kirk chidingly.

       Kirk looked surprised at his friend's concern-born scolding.  "Were we
gone that long?"

       Before Spock could respond, Surak stepped forward.  "Long enough for
him to achieve a level of anxiety that most Vulcans would
consider...superfluous," he put in dryly.

       Surak's tone indicated that it was not a condemnation, merely a
statement of fact--but Spock felt condemned, nonetheless.  Now humiliated
before both his Captain and the Father of Vulcan Philosophy, he blushed an
obvious shade of green, averted his eyes and fled their presence.


Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
Subject: NEW/DRA: "Heroes", 3/5 (TOS, K&S, Surak, angst [G])
From: arkietrekker@usa.net (Gamin Davis)
Date: 22 Jun 2000 02:53:23 GMT
Lines: 155
    And here's part 3--parts 4 and 5 will be posted tomorrow.  Feedback
actively sought.

    Summary: Missing scenes from "The Savage Curtain", in which Spock
discovers that his "image of Surak" is not *exactly* as he had expected it
to be, and from after the episode, when Kirk helps him understand why. 
This part: Kirk persuades Spock to talk about (sort of) what happened with
Surak, and Surak and Lincoln overhear it.

    Disclaimer from part 1 still applies.


       After a moment of being too stunned to move, Kirk dropped his weapon
material and ran after him; Surak and Lincoln followed at a distance,
unseen by either Starfleet officer.  Kirk found his friend sitting on a low
rock outcropping within a circle of oversized boulders, now very obviously
fighting for emotional control, and he hesitated to interrupt Spock.  But
his need to know what had happened to the Vulcan in his absence was
stronger than his fear of intruding, and eventually, he moved cautiously

       As soon as he became aware of Kirk's presence, Spock straightened and
started to get up.

       "Stay," Kirk told him, as he reached Spock's side.  He studied Spock
worriedly for a moment as the latter lowered his eyes again in
embarrassment, eventually moving to sit down beside him.  "You want to tell
me what happened back there?"  he asked finally.

       "It is nothing...I needed a moment alone," Spock returned evasively,
still not looking up.

       "And ordinarily, I'd give you one, but we've got to get these weapons
finished before Colonel Green and his friends decide to attack us again."

       Vaguely, Spock remembered his promise to Surak about talking Kirk out
of that, but for now, it did not seem to be of primary importance. 
Regaining his lost control *was*.  "Forgive me," he murmured ruefully.  "It
is necessary."

       "Did something happen between you and Surak?"  Kirk asked,
instinctively concerned.

       Spock almost wished Kirk were not so perceptive, but deep within him,
he knew he would need that understanding if he ever hoped to discuss it
with the Human.  "Yes," he admitted reluctantly.

       "And you don't want to talk about it," Kirk deduced.

       "No.  At least...not now.  As you yourself said, there is no time."

       "Oh."  Kirk felt frustrated, but he refused to give up.  "Well...I
guess I can spare you a minute.  But don't make it too much longer," he
said then, getting up to go.

       As he had expected, Spock immediately reached up to stop him by
grabbing onto his arm.  "I do not have to be...completely alone," he
revealed softly, now.  "I just wished to be...away from Surak for a moment.
I would not...object if you wanted to stay...if you have the time."

       Kirk quickly sat back down beside him.  "If I can be of any help,
Spock--I think you're worth a minute or so of my time," he assured the
Vulcan kindly, humor touching his voice.

       Spock nodded appreciatively.  "On the subject of time, Captain, I
would assume you took little notice of its passage during your search for
weapon sources.  You were gone exactly twenty-nine minutes, fourteen
seconds," he informed Kirk, his voice again losing its usual rigid control.
"And Surak was correct; I *was* becoming...concerned."

       Their eyes met at last, searching hazel and shame-filled brown. 
"Spock--it's *all right* for you to worry about me," he pointed out gently. 
"You know that, don't you?"

       "Not in Surak's presence.  I know that you do not object and that I
seem...unable to avoid it...but in his presence, I must," Spock tried to
explain hesitantly, lowering his voice yet again.  "I...must control.  If I
am careful, he will not be aware of--" he stopped himself just in time to
avoid revealing anything else to Kirk.  "It is...more difficult than I had
expected," he finished, instead.

       Kirk, meanwhile, already suspected what his friend was trying to hide-
-but he did not press Spock to discuss it.  For now.  "When we get back to
the ship, do you think you might be more inclined to discuss this with me?" 
he requested cautiously, instead.

       "Perhaps."  Spock did not want to make a promise that he might not be
able to keep, but neither could he bring himself to destroy the hope in his
Captain's eyes.  As always, Kirk's presence seemed illogically to be
helping him regain his lost control, and his face was slowly resuming its
usual fully nuetral expression.  "For now...there is something else I wish
to discuss with you."


       Surak withdrew from his hiding place from behind one of the outer
boulders, deciding he had heard enough and having never expected to
overhear such a personal and emotional discussion, moving back toward the
area where the others had been constructing weapons as he reflected on what
he had unintentionally witnessed.  Kirk had responded to Spock's obvious
emotional turmoil with compassion and understanding.

       Lincoln followed him.  "They have quite a rapport," he noted.

       "Indeed--almost an intimacy," Surak concurred quietly.  "I have seen a
few such relationships before...between warrior bond-brothers whose bond is
by choice rather than by blood.  Such 'rapports' always end in destruction
for one or the other--usually both."

       Lincoln could not pretend to fully understand, but it *was* clear that
Surak had seen the same thing he had.  "You think this has happened between
Spock and Captain Kirk?"  he questioned.

       "Possibly, though I am not certain if Vulcans of his time even retain
the *ability* to knowingly form such bonds.  Still--it would explain his
attitude toward Kirk, and the emotions Spock seems to hold for him."

       "And you disapprove of the idea," Lincoln deduced.

       Surak shook his head.  "I merely choose to examine all sides of it, as
with any idea--something I am not certain Spock has done.  If he *is* able
to choose a bond-brother in the manner and tradition of his warrior
ancestors, it is...a gift to be honored--not questioned--by others.  I
trust, however, that they are both aware of the possible consequences of
such a bond; it can either inspire them to great heights...or drive them to
their own destruction.  I also trust that Kirk appreciates it enough to be
worthy of it."

       "I think he does," Lincoln remarked knowingly.

       They had reached the spot where Kirk had dropped his armload of
branches to run after Spock.  Surak bent resignedly to pick them up and
carried them over to where Spock had been making spears, followed by
Lincoln, after the latter had picked up his own briefly-abandoned weapon
material.  "Did he speak to you of Spock?"  Surak asked finally.

       "Some," Lincoln replied conversationally.  "He thinks a great deal of
Spock and considers him his best friend.  And, Surak, *he* doesn't really
want to fight, either; he just feels the Excalbian has forced his hand by
threatening his ship."

       "So Spock told me.  But perhaps Spock *can* reason with him, after
all," Surak opined, raising an eyebrow at Lincoln and the new plausibility
of the idea as he recalled the gentleness shown to Spock by his Human
Captain--Kirk's eagerness to help him understand whatever was troubling
him.  Perhaps Kirk was only a warrior by profession--not at heart.

       "I doubt anyone else would be better suited to do so," Lincoln agreed,
regarding the Vulcan significantly as he dropped his own load of branches
on top of the others.

       "Perhaps not.  But if Spock fails, I intend to try."


Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
Subject: NEW/DRA: "Heroes", 4/5 (TOS, K&S, Surak, angst [G])
From: arkietrekker@usa.net (Gamin Davis)
Date: 23 Jun 2000 04:53:40 GMT
Lines: 120
    Here's part 4.  Still looking for that feedback...

    Summary: Missing scenes from "The Savage Curtain" in which Spock
discovers that his "image of Surak" is not *exactly* as he had expected it
to be, and from after the episode, when Kirk helps him understand why. 
This part: back on the ship after leaving Excalbia.

    Disclaimer from part 1 still applies.

                         *   *   *   *   *   *

       Spock spent the next week after the Enterprise left Excalbia in
meditation when he was off-duty.  Then, deciding he'd waited long enough
for their talk, Kirk went to see him as soon as his own shift ended; Spock
had been expecting his visit and admitted him without hesitation, inviting
Kirk into his study, where he had been reading.

       "I assume you know why I'm here," Kirk began warily.

       Spock nodded; this was not the first time since their departure that
Kirk had tried to get him to discuss it.  "Excalbia," he replied simply,
sitting back down at his desk.

       "I thought it was time."

       Spock sighed.  "Is it really so vital that you know what happened
between Surak and myself?"  he questioned hesitantly.

       "No.  But it's hard for me to help you if I don't know what went on,"
Kirk returned quietly, sitting down before him.

       Spock looked up at him with an eyebrow raised in surprise.

       "*Something* about it is obviously bothering you, or you wouldn't have
been hiding out in here the last few days, refusing to talk to me about
it," Kirk pointed out slyly.

       "Yes," Spock admitted reluctantly, steepling his fingers before him. 
"Captain...if I may ask...what did you feel when you met Lincoln, and when
you were alone with him?"  he asked curiously.

       Kirk thought about it.  "Awed, I guess.  Honored.  It was definitely
one of the high points of my life," he recalled.  "He was a lot easier to
talk to than I expected--I suppose because he was essentially a reflection
of my mind.  When he died..."

       "I know.  And we never saw Surak again after he went to talk to
Colonel Green's group...I assume he was killed, also.  And I have not been
unaffected by that awareness," Spock told him soothingly, when Kirk failed
to continue.  "But he knew the risks when he went--just as Lincoln did." 
He studied Kirk intently, returning to their original subject.  "So, then--
you were not...embarrassed, or...intimidated...in his presence?"

       Kirk shook his head.  "I suppose I was so focused on *him* that I
didn't have time to think of myself or how I measured up against him--
probably just as well," he reflected thoughtfully.  "You were that way with

       "Yes.  He was not...entirely...as I had expected him to be, yet he was
an illusion based on *my* thoughts.  Apparently, some part of me has always
seen him as being...like my father," Spock elaborated softly, lowering his
eyes.  "I had thought to feel...emotions similar to those that you say
*you* felt.  Instead, I found myself constantly...defending or apologizing
for them."

       "The same way you are around Sarek," Kirk deduced, remembering the
Vulcan Ambassador's brief stay a year or so ago while going to the Babel

       Spock nodded, his eyes still downcast.  "I never realized that I
thought of him in such a...personal way."

       "Did he...disapprove of you?"  Kirk asked carefully.

       "He disapproved of my...lack of control, but not my heritage," Spock
answered hesitantly.  "Still, the reason I found control difficult was
that...he disapproved of *you*."

       Kirk regarded him with a mixture of surprise and understanding.

       "I should have been honored by Surak's presence, even in
illusion...and at first, I was.  Then he began to...speak of my difficulty
in controlling my emotions, my concern for your safety, and my...anger at
him for refusing to see you as anything but a warrior.  He sounded so much
like Sarek...and I had so wanted him to accept *both* of us. I honored him
as I honored Sarek...and like Sarek, he responded to my respect with
criticism--not so much of me as of you."  Spock looked back up slowly.  "He
knew without being told that I was half-Human," he revealed softly, then.

       "That was what you were trying to hide from him," Kirk responded, not

       Spock nodded again.

       "But you said he accepted your heritage," Kirk reminded him worriedly.

       "More specifically, he said it 'explained' my behavior," Spock sighed. 
"Despite the illogic, I...wish I could know what the real Surak was like."

       "To see if he's really like your father?"  Kirk guessed.

       "Yes," Spock admitted hesitantly, grateful now for his friend's

       "Sometimes there's a difference between the real people who become our
heroes and the images we create of them in our minds," Kirk told him, then. 
"What we saw on Excalbia were your image of Surak and mine of Lincoln.  I
don't suppose we'll ever know how accurate those images were...short of
going back in time."

       Spock thought immediately of the Time Planet and the portal through
which they had entered Earth's Depression-era past.  A starbase had since
been established close by enough to monitor the planet, and use of the time
portal called the Guardian of Forever was strictly regulated--but it
*might* be possible.  "Perhaps someday we might try that," he suggested
quietly.  "It is so difficult for me to anticipate emotions, even my own. 
When Surak first appeared, I truly thought...I *hoped*..."  He did not
bother to finish, instead simply bowing his head again.


Newsgroups: alt.startrek.creative
Subject: NEW/DRA: "Heroes", 5/5 (TOS, K&S, Surak, angst [G])
From: arkietrekker@usa.net (Gamin Davis)
Date: 23 Jun 2000 05:40:31 GMT
Lines: 85
    Okay, folks, here's the last part.  I'll be expecting some feedback
when everybody's had a chance to read this.

    Summary: Missing scenes from "The Savage Curtain", in which Spock
discovers that his "image of Surak" is not *exactly* as he had expected it
to be, and from after the episode, when Kirk helps him understand why. 
This part: continuation of Spock's talk with Kirk and conclusion.

    Disclaimer from part 1 still applies.


       But Kirk knew what the Vulcan had wanted to say.  Spock still longed
for the acceptance and approval that Sarek had mostly withheld from him--
and if it couldn't come from Sarek, he needed it from another Vulcan. 
Naturally, there could be no higher honor for him than for Surak to be that
Vulcan.  Kirk groped for words that would comfort his friend.  "Well...I'm
not Surak, but *I've* always accepted you, Spock...respected your Vulcan
half and loved your Human half," he ventured finally.  "I know that hardly
means as much, but..."

       "No, Jim," Spock interrupted quickly.  "Your acceptance is *most*
important to me."  He lowered his hands and folded them on the desk,
intentionally setting them near the edge closest to Kirk, surreptitiously
offering them to him.  "Without it, there would never have been any at
all...from anyone."

       Kirk did not hesitate to take the Vulcan's hands in his, squeezing
them reassuringly.  "Hey, how long has it been since you ate?"  he asked,
abruptly changing the subject.

       Spock lifted his head in surprise.  "Since last night, approximately
1730 hours," he replied warily.

       That had been nearly twenty-four hours ago.  "That's what I thought--
*too* long," Kirk decided, standing up and puling Spock up after him. 
"Come on, let's go pick up some food and take it to the Observation Deck."

       Spock came around to Kirk's side of the desk, starting to follow
silently as the Human released his hands--then he paused, troubled by
something Kirk had said.

       Sensing this, Kirk stopped also, turning back to his First Officer in
puzzlement.  "Spock?"

       Spock lowered his eyes uneasily as he spoke, his voice almost a
whisper: "Jim...do you think it might someday be possible for you to
feel...more than 'respect'...for my Vulcan half, too?"

       Kirk reached out to him again in response to the plaintive tone of his
second-in-command's voice, laying a hand gently on Spock's arm.  "I already
do, my friend," he reiterated kindly.

       An upsurge of appreciation and affection threatened to overwhelm Spock
as he again met the eyes of his Captain; he just barely controlled his
sudden urge to throw his arms around his Human friend and hug him as
enthusiastically as he knew how.  He eventually settled for moving his arm
so that he could clasp Kirk's hand for a time.  //Sometimes,// he thought
reverently, //what you Humans call the "hero" and the "image" of him *are*
one and the same.  *You* never disappoint me, Jim...and perhaps someday I
shall find it within me to *tell* you how much I...admire...your ability to
mix logic and emotion, intellect and compassion.  And how much both my
Vulcan *and* Human halves need the...warmth and gentleness of your emotions
for me.//

       Kirk smiled affectionately at him, as if aware of Spock's thoughts--
very likely, as Spock must have known, because of their mental bond and
because, at the moment, they were in physical contact with each other. 
"Come on--I'm hungry," Kirk urged, at last.

       This time, Spock released his hand and followed him silently, without
hesitation.  For now--and for a long time to come, he hoped--the lingering,
uncomfortable memories of Surak in his mind had been driven out by the
reality of his Human friend and Captain.  And by his remembrance and
acknowledgement of who the *real* hero of his life had been for the last
several years; friend, brother, mentor, protector--all were Jim Kirk.  Just
as they left his cabin, he moved close to Kirk and added, at his shoulder
and in a near-whisper, "Thank you, Jim."

       Kirk turned back to him, still smiling slightly, and slipped an arm
around his Vulcan friend's shoulder for a partial hug.  Spock permitted it
briefly, withdrawing slowly as they headed through the door together on
their way to the Rec Room.


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