Author: A.C. Harper
Characters: Spock, Leila
Summary: Spock and Leila after Omicron Ceti, on the way to Starbase 27.
Spock was concerned.
The 7 days 11 hours 13 minutes of the Enterprise’s transit from Omicron Ceti III en route to Starbase 27 had passed uneventfully, but still he was concerned. Of the forty-five colonists brought aboard for the transition, he had observed only forty-four. She had not been seen outside her cabin for the entire 7 days 11 hours 14 minutes. Not wanting to infringe on her privacy, he had not questioned any of the other colonists about her, but he was concerned about her well-being. This disturbed him, because he found it illogical. Surely her fellow colonists would see to her welfare; it was not his responsibility. Yet, he found that his logic was uncertain where she was concerned. Perhaps it was an aftereffect of the spores. Perhaps. However, for 7 days 11 hours 15 minutes these thoughts had plagued him, and it was illogical to assume that the spores could still have this much influence after that period of time.
Off duty, he had been walking through the corridors, lost in thought. He stopped and looked at the door to which his wanderings had taken him. It was her cabin. When had he made a conscious decision to go there? He did not know, and that troubled him. Yet, he knew that the only way to be certain of her well-being and allay his concerns would be to see her for himself. His hand wavered as it approached the door signal. Illogical. If she wished company, she would have sought it. He should respect her desire to be alone. He started to turn away, but for 7 days 11 hours 16 minutes now he could not stop thinking about her. It was interfering with his efficiency. This was the only way. His hand closed on the signal.
Leila was confused.
For a week now, they had been en route to Starbase 27. She found that she could not leave her cabin for fear that she would see him – for fear that she would break down and become a teary-eyed bag of mush every time she saw him. So, she stayed put. It would only be a few more hours now. She cringed when she recalled her shameful display in the transporter room, when she had begged him to come back with her. He had just looked at her with those deep brown eyes. What had he felt, if anything? Pity? Embarrassment for her? She had behaved like a love-struck schoolgirl, and she hated herself for it. She could not face him again after that.
She sighed and rolled over on her mattress. It seemed that the whole past week all she did was sigh and sleep. Eating was too much of a chore; she didn’t have an appetite anyway. She wished the ship would just get to Starbase 27 and she could get on with her life – what was left of it. Elias had called on her once to check on her. She felt bad when she thought about how she had just told him to leave her alone. He did. He understood her better than most; he understood how much she had lost when Spock had left them. They had all lost so much. Was it worth it? Was it so bad just existing and being happy? She sighed again. Her door signal chimed. She closed her eyes. Why didn’t they just leave her alone? It chimed again. She opened her eyes resignedly and sat up.
The door slid open. Framed in the doorway was him.
He had buzzed twice. He was starting to walk away, when he heard her reply and the door slid open. He paused for a moment, saw the girl sitting on the bed, then took a step into the darkened room. The door slid closed behind him.
Leila did not move from where she sat. “Why are you here?”
Spock took another tentative step forward. In the dim light he could not see her face clearly, but she seemed more pale even than usual. “I was…” he sought for a better word, found none. “Concerned – for your welfare. I came to see if you were all right.”
She would not look at him, but stared at a spot on the floor. “I’m fine.”
Another step and Spock could see her face more clearly. She looked drawn and tired and there were dark circles beneath her eyes. Illogically, he felt responsible for her discomfort. He knelt before her and looked into her face. “Are you really?”
When Leila looked into his eyes the tears sprang unbidden to hers and she had to look away again. “Spock – why are you doing this to me? Why did you come here?” Her voice was anguished and bitter.
Spock’s brows drew together in consternation. He should not have come. “I – wanted to be certain that you were all right,” he repeated.
Still seated on her bed, Leila turned her shoulder to him so he could not see her face. She shook with a silent sob. Spock’s hand went out to touch her shoulder. His logic was uncertain. He felt her anguish through that touch. He wanted to comfort her, but did not know how. But when he touched her, Leila impulsively flung herself off the bed toward him, crying uncontrollably. Not knowing what else to do, Spock sat on the floor with her and held one arm around her shoulders, allowing her to pour her grief onto his chest. Involuntarily, his other arm reached up and soon she was completely encircled by his arms. The cascade of emotion was nearly overwhelming, but he allowed himself to feel her grief and loss, knowing that only in this way would he truly be able to help her to sever the ties between them and move on. After a time, Leila’s sobs subsided and Spock withdrew his arms. She looked up from his chest and they sat on the floor together, just looking into each other’s eyes. Words were unnecessary. Concern and confusion gone, in their place resignation and peace. They had come to terms with their respective losses. Spock knew that he would always cherish the memory of his day of happiness with Leila, just as she knew that she could be at peace without him.
She smiled up at him, then – that brilliant, lovely smile he would always remember. “Do you recall that little Myosotis plant I gave you six years ago?”
He nodded. “I have it with me still. I have never and will never forget you.”
Spock took her hands and drew her up from the floor with him, and they walked out of the room into the light.
A/N: Myosotis is the botanical name of a family of plants commonly known as “Forget-Me-Not.”