What the Mind Reveals

WHAT THE MIND REVEALS Disclaimer: The usual. Paramount owns these folks; they just let me play with them. Rating: PG (implies mm relationship but no sex or profanity) Summary: Between ST III and ST IV. McCoy and T'Lar discuss the fal- tor-pan Special thanks to Jazz Man and Nikita for inspiration. This work sprung from with their recent pieces, but any blame or fault or problems with it are all my own. Thanks to Janet for serving as my beta. Feedback: Yes, please. Leonard McCoy sat in the uniquely plush gardens, in the relative safety of the early morning sun, sipping his coffee. He had been surprised when the Vulcan housekeeper had offered it to him, but he supposed he should not have been. Amanda was Terran and the Ambassador's residence would have been prepared to treat all sorts of guests. The coffee was good too, and somehow drinking tea of a morning in the home of Spock's parents without Spock would have made this seem even more surreal than it was. He had slept in the room that Spock slept in as a child. He had occasionally had fantasies of sleeping here, but in those fantasies Spock was at his side and he was accepted by Sarek and Amanda as Spock's mate. Now he was here only as Spock's shipmate, recovering from holding Spock's katra, but without the comfort of holding Spock. Surprisingly, he had not been haunted last night by the knowledge that Spock had no clue who he was. But he knew those nightmares would come. As grateful as he was that Spock was alive and that he had regained his own sanity, he was fighting off the devastation of realizing that the link was still gone. Spock's mind was the proverbial clean slate. He and the others had been told that Spock would regain some memory over time, but there was no way of knowing what memories or how soon. In the meantime, the Vulcan healers would see to his physical body and begin his schooling as if he were a child. Hopefully, a clearer picture of what Spock was up against would be seen in the next few days. Not knowing what Jim's plans were or what Starfleet's plans for any of them were at this point only added to the uncertainty. He was certain of one thing, though, if the crew stayed together he would stay with them. They had risked their careers and indeed their lives to get Spock and him to Vulcan. He would not abandon them. He couldn't do Spock any good here if Spock had no memory of their lives together, but he could honor his own memories of their life together by continuing to stand with Jim and the others. "Dr. McCoy?" Came low, dulcet tones from behind him. "Yes, Ambassador?" McCoy put his cup on the stone table next to the bench and rose to face the always-imposing figure. Sarek waved for him to return to his seat. "I have just received a communiqué from T'Lar." McCoy's heart pounded painfully. "Is Spock all right?" "He is as well as can be expected. In fact his lessons have already started this morning, and I understand he is already passed the equivalent of Terran high school." "Twelve grades before 09:00, huh? Well he always was an overachiever." Sarek ignored the banter, not really understanding it, though he was familiar with some of the stories of the bickering between his son and the good doctor. And he had seen some of it first hand during his journey to Babel. Perhaps he would be able to explore the friendship between Spock and the enigmatic physician more while the Terrans were at his residence. "T'Lar is requesting to see you." "Me?" Both eyebrows rose in a fair imitation of a Vulcan. "You." /What could she want with me? She was in my mind yesterday. She knows everything. Uh oh./ "Did she say why?" "No, and one does not question the High Priestess," he cocked his head a fraction of an inch to the side in a shrug. "One merely conveys her message." "Uh, thank you Ambassador. What do I need to do?" "If you are willing to see her, a flitter will be here within the hour to take you to her." "And I gather that I should be willin' to see her." "Unless you are not up to it. T'Lar does know that the fal-tor-pan was exhausting for you. If you would rather, she indicated she would wait until tomorrow to see you." "No, today is just as good as any day I guess. Thanks to your and the Lady Amanda's hospitality I am well fed and well slept." "Very well. I will arrange for transportation." "Ambassador, is there anything I need to be aware of? Any way in particular I should act?" Sarek turned to return to the house. "If there is, Doctor, T'Lar will undoubtedly tell you." "May I ask one more thing?" He stopped inside the door and turned back to face McCoy. "You may ask." "Who's scarier, T'Lar or T'Pau?" A soft crinkling around Sarek's eyes did not go unnoticed by McCoy. His long familiarity with Spock had taught him that was the Vulcan equivalent of a grin. "I could not say, Doctor. But I am anxious to learn your assessment." ********* McCoy was greeted by one of the lesser priestesses. He vaguely remembered her from the altar. She was more memorable because she had been the one to stand at his right during the refusion and the one to bring him drink from the challis at the end of it. "Healer McCoy, I welcome you to the House of T'Lar. I am T'Nya." He quickly assessed her--probably Saavik's age, taller, smaller ears, one of the few Vulcans he had ever seen with light brown hair. She no longer wore the diaphanous white gown, but instead wore a pale green coverall with no ornamentation. "We are honored by your presence, McCoy. T'Lar awaits you in the solarium." "Miss, uh, T'Nya, why does T'Lar want to see me?" No change in manner. "This way, please." She gestured with her arm. /Was there ever a culture more closed-mouth than Vulcan?/ He sighed and followed her down the long corridor to the glass enclosure. T'Nya gestured for him to sit. He did so, nervously. She brought a tray of refreshments from a side platform and placed it on the low table before him. His eyes never left her as she poured a sweet- smelling, yellow liquid in to a heavy goblet and handed it to him. "Thank you." He sipped cautiously; it was much like lemonade. She nodded and left. And he consciously let his head tilt back and forth in-time with her swaying hips. "Do all humans turn so quickly from a broken bond to desire another?" The voice had come from behind him, but he did not turn in its direction. /So she does know and that is what this is about./ "THIS human merely appreciates; he does not desire," he said with intended force. "For the record," he continued listening as he heard movement in his direction, "I would have appreciated regardless of the state of the bond." T'Lar came around to him and he stood as his mother would have expected him to. "It meant so little to you then, McCoy?" she challenged. "It meant everything to me, Madame," he spat. "It means everything to me," he added more defeated. She looked at him for a long moment. With her head now bare of covering, she seemed less mystical but no less formidable. She seemed to reach some conclusion in her own mind and finally sat down in the chair across from the one he had been using. He sat then, and waited, sensing that it would be better to let her lead this conversation than to misstep. "Sarek did not indicate you were Spock's bondmate." "Sarek didn't know." "Kirk?" "No." "No one knew, then?" "Three or four spread across the galaxy." Mostly innkeepers they'd met on shore leaves but he did not feel the need to elaborate. "One or two others who probably suspect that we were closer than we seemed." "Why the subterfuge, McCoy?" "What difference does it make now?" "I cannot say without information." He polished off his drink and helped himself to another wishing it were hard lemonade. "We were shipmates and he was in the command line. There were regs about that then. He was also the estranged son of the Vulcan Ambassador. I didn't want to do anything to make that situation worse. And at the time I was dealing with a vengeful ex-wife and didn't want to risk my relationship with my daughter. It's hard enough dealing with the mundane aspects of being a father when you're in space, let alone trying to explain the complexities of being bonded to a Vulcan." He was not doing a good job of keeping his emotions in check and he knew she could sense his unease. Hoping to redirect some of his nervous energy he rose and began to examine the flora around him. "Then it just never seemed to matter or to be the right time. We had agreed to inform our families and friends after the mission . . .after the mission in which he died." A sudden thought sickened him. "Would your knowing have made a difference to the refusion?" "They are no records to guide me on this matter, McCoy. Nevertheless, I can assume with great probability that my knowing would have made the process easier for you, more efficient for me. I would have had an idea of where to look for Spock's katra within your mind, but in regards to what you really ask--no, I do not believe that knowledge of your bond would have changed the outcome. It would not have helped his memories." He didn't know whether to be relieved or not. If keeping their relationship a secret had cost Spock those memories, he would have hated himself. But at least, then, there would have been someone to blame. "Why did not Spock instruct you in the meaning of carrying his katra? As his bondmate, even as a human, he should have instructed you." The scolding tone was evident. This he could answer. He had been considering this same question ever since Jim had told him that was the cause of his erratic behavior. "As you said, I'm human. There was no reason to believe that I would be around at his death to carry his katra. There is also the fact that much of our life together has been spent in space. If the ship is in danger, we're all in danger. Again, no reason to assume that I would survive something that would kill him." He couldn't resist: /this is for you, lover/ "There was no logical reason for Spock to instruct me in the way of carrying a katra until there was no time for him to do so." He was rewarded with the slight raise of her left eyebrow. As he returned to his chair, he wondered aloud: "Now that you've been in my mind, do you have any idea why his katra was causing such havoc? Would my knowing what it was have made any difference?" "You are human, and while there are records of non-Vulcans being chosen to carry a katra, they are not numerous. In most cases, the non-Vulcans are of a telepathic species. Certainly, if Spock had been able to take the time to explain what he was doing, he might have been able to instruct you, but that is unknown. Did you not feel his mind entering yours?" "No, he nerve-pinched me! He knew I would try to stop him from entering the contamination field, so he knocked me out." "That may account for some of the incompatibility then. McCoy, may I have your mind?" "Didn't you just have it a day or so ago?" He relished his joinings with Spock, but the thought of anyone else in his mind still sent up every defense mechanism he had. "For a specific purpose, and I had your and Spock's mind. If you want answers to your questions, I need your mind alone." He sighed. Then he realized that she was not going to come to him. Reluctantly, he went to kneel before her. He closed his eyes and felt the warmth of her fingertips on the familiar meld points. But unlike his melds with Spock and unlike the refusion, he did not feel another's presence. Instead he felt what he thought was his own mind being brought before him to examine. Instead of the warm reds and golds associated with Spock, he saw greens and blues. Instead of the fragrance of copper, cinnamon, and clove, he had a faint whiff of mint, raspberry, and basil. He floated along. Instead of sand and fire, water and wind. It was not unfamiliar, but it was incomplete. And then he no longer floated but thrashed about, trying to breathe. And he emerged from the meld with his arms clutched around T'Lar's legs and his head on her knees crying. As he struggled to regain some sense of composure and bring his heart rate back to normal, he felt her run her fingers gently through his hair. He drew himself away and returned to his chair. "I'm sorry, T'Lar. I'm not sure what came over me." "I do not require your apology, McCoy. In fact, I find that it is I who owe you one. I assumed the fault in not being able to carry Spock's katra without difficulty was yours. It was not." "Then why was it so hard?" "Because Spock did not give it to you in the prescribed manner . When I was performing the fal-tor-pan I was surprised that Spock's essence was in so many areas of your mind rather than together as a whole." She accurately assessed his confusion. "Imagine if you will one of your Terran jigsaw puzzles. The difference between all of the pieces in one box, all of the pieces compiled to make the picture, and all of the pieces scattered across a surface. A katra can be as that puzzle. But the katra should be transferred as the complete picture. For reasons unknown to me, Spock transferred his katra to you as pieces in the box. Without knowing what was happening and in your grief, you spilled those pieces to all parts of your mind trying to complete the picture, trying to find Spock. Your disorientation grew worse with time, correct?" "It sure seemed to. Until Jim gave me the Lexorin, then I seemed to be able to distinguish between Spock's thoughts and mine." "Typically, the recipient is aware of the process of receiving the katra and welcomes it. Your link to Spock must have been very strong for his katra to find its way to so many places in your remarkable mind. Your struggle was made greater by the fact that suppressing his human half, Spock transferred mostly his Vulcan essence to your human nature." "Is the memory of what we were gone, then?" "No, McCoy. It is merely repressed. Spock is half human. No doubt that half will assert itself at some point. I cannot say when or where. Nor can I mislead you with false hope; he may not remember what you were in your lifetime. But I believe . . .how would you say it . . .the odds are in your favor." She stood. "Now, I must see to my meditation and you must return to your crewmates." This time he remained seated and simply looked up at her. His gratitude was evident in his eyes. "T'Lar, why did you wish to see me?" "I thought it was obvious, McCoy, because you had questions you could not answer without me." He felt his first smile in days. "Thank you, Ma'am." "You are welcome, McCoy." She stopped just outside the door. "T'Nya will return to see you to your flitter. Behave yourself." ***** A little over an hour later, McCoy returned to Sarek and Amanda's residence. He was informed that Kirk and the others were going over the Klingon Bird of Prey. He would join them momentarily, but there was something he needed to do first. He made his way to Sarek's study and knocked. "Come." "Good afternoon, Sarek." "Ah Dr. McCoy. Your meeting with T'Lar went well?" "It did, sir. Thank you for assisting with it." "And?" "T'Pau, by a landslide." *************************************