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SEARCH THE SEAS
It feels strange to float like this and not struggle to put my head up out of this dimensionless fluidity. There is no surface to this water; indeed, it cannot be fairly called either water or air. My arms face no external resistance to their movement, but they propel me nowhere. I have no control over anything anymore, but now this can no longer scare me. It is all over.
What was life? One adventure after another, unevenly and often unpredictably spaced between periods of peace or boredom, depending on my outlook at the time. A galaxy whose endlessness at times was not big enough, or a dwelling built for two that seemed too big when just one man was there to keep it warm.
And now, what next? That is the greatest mystery we knew. I expect no fluffy white clouds or hordes of white-clad seraphs singing Rococo music. Nothing, either, has sucked me down into a swirling mass of flaming lava. Not that either outcome seemed likely to me ever in life. Whatever happens after this point, none in the only world I have known could tell me. Nobody knows, because that is the privilege.
Nobody but you, my love.
For you have already navigated the waters of death, t'hy'la, and yet been reeled back to the shore to my waiting arms. When you die it will be to die *again*, and you will know how to find me. I pray you will find me! But I trust you will know the way.
Constant were the forces like the ebb and flow of ocean waves that drew us together, but kept us apart. Barriers... separating us.... tangible and intangible. First shyness, and uncertainty; Vulcan tradition, duty, misunderstanding; a horrible glass wall that even the burning pain of our love could not sear through to touch one last time, and then death itself, the ultimate barrier; Starfleet, and Klingon brutality; memory loss, a small tragedy compared to the infinite joy of your return to me as a friend; the icy prison world of Rura Penthe; ribbons of energy, and the power of a selfish and insane greed. Where were you when I died, dear one?
You knew I was not dead when I was first stolen from our life together; I know you could feel my mind, closed away by some unknown manifestation of the universe, living somewhere but locked away. I conjured you up many times, more beautiful than any other vision of paradise, black hair shimmering like onyx and soft like running my fingers through the sound of a harp. The powerful, smoldering body of your youth. You weren't real. I imagined you as you had been when I had seen you last. Each line in your face reminded me of the many years we had spent together. Your eyelashes were long and fluttered like butterflies on my cheek. But you weren't real. It was only an image, a deception, a reflection in the water that would glimmer out of existence the moment a pebble of reality could be thrown into it. I finally had to accept that you couldn't be created out of nothing. Incongruously, Paradise was now the barrier that kept me from your side.
Alone, I let myself be swept away into older fantasies, into a completely different conception of myself, in a life that never would have satisfied me in any real sense. Instead of a silver bird I rode horses, and the creature that shared my life was a shadow whose mind could never connect with mine. I drugged myself with her to dull the pain of not being with you. And that was happiness, of a sort.
Where were you in the real world when I returned to it? The bond was numb when I tried to reach you, as if clouds of dust had built up over time. You locked it away in your heart and never investigated it, never studied it, because too much scrutiny of the pain and the loss and loneliness would have brought even you to your knees. After eighty years, you would have carefully taught yourself not to set my proverbial place at the table in your mind.
I know you are near, now. There is no time in this place, and I cannot tell if there have been five minutes or fifty years passed in the world of the living. I hope you will be happy to see me. It has been long, for you...
And you will know how to find me. Now that we swim in eternity, the strength of our love will return you to me. I feel you draw closer, float closer, the bond in my mind clearing its throat like a songbird's ghost. I see a shape in the darkness. There is a part of me that still can't believe it is really you, after so much disappointment and false imagery.
Oh, I fall, I sink, into what I know is finally real. It *is* you! I know you are here with me, I *know* it is you, because you are old. I never knew you with gray hair... and so you can't be just a dream. My eyes drink that most divine nectar of the sight of you, tall and pointed-eared, noble, long-limbed and graceful like a cat. You are here with me! Never again will we be torn from each other, and there are no more barriers, now that we are both on the far side of the last hurdle there is.
"Jim" is the thought in your mind that incinerates the cobwebs surrounding our bond. You float behind me and encircle me with your arms. I lean back into you as you cradle me and kiss the sides of my face tenderly. Nothing else will ever happen to us, ever again.
I knew you would know how to find me.
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