Title: Cold Truth
Paring: S/Mc, S/Zarabeth implied (Not exactly)
Summary: Zarabeth settles the score, by telling what exactly happened in her planet’s past.
Disclaimer: I don't own TOS. I never have, and I never will. Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Anybody who
has a problem with the thought of men in homosexual relationships with each other, please stay away. Flames and feedback are
welcome. Please ask before putting this anywhere.
Loneliness is a terrible thing. Poets have always talked about it, of course, but
they only scratch the tip of the iceberg. And trust me, I know something about ice.
The problem with the loneliness is that it’s worse than the ice. The ice just
freezes the body, but the loneliness, it freezes the heart, freezes the soul, from the inside out.
And it takes just a small break in the chain of loneliness to stop the process, and
to reverse it, as painful as it might be when the companionship disappears again.
What’s commonly assumed is that the only companionship that exists is romantic.
Or that a woman alone only wishes romantic companionship. And I want to set the record straight about that.
I wasn’t in love with Spock, the mysterious stranger from another world. I
loved him, yes, I loved McCoy too. I could do nothing else. They were the first people I’d seen in years. I needed them;
I’d prayed for them in the dead of night.
But what I noticed immediately was them, how they were together. It was the first
thing I saw after their just being there. It was obvious; at least it was to me. Perhaps it was the loneliness that made me
hypersensitive. But it was written in the snow on their faces.
The way that Spock cradled McCoy in his arms, when I first encountered them, trying
to keep him warm, trying to keep him alive, trying to keep him close. As soon as I saw that, I knew he was off limits. I loved
him all the same, loved them both. And I knew I had to save them, keep them alive. Because I could not let companions die
after being alone for so long.
I took them back to my humble cave. It was hardly something I wanted to show off,
but it was all that I had, and it was like a friend in itself. And I asked them their names and Spock responded to me, explaining
how McCoy was the doctor, and could not heal himself. And then I stepped back, allowing them to be together.
They were warm. They filled the air around them with warmth, and it warmed me in
a way, too. And I looked with happiness toward McCoy awakening.
Spock, once assured of McCoy’s safety, began talking with me, asking me about
my origins, the region. And it was so good to hear the voice of another person, something besides the sounds of my own breathing,
something besides the harsh winds outside and the occasional cry of a small animal trapped somewhere to die.
He was actually interested in me, my life. And after hearing my past, he was not
in the slightest bit afraid of me. Just as I could not bring myself to fear him, no matter how strange he looked.
It was a fast friendship. He shared his own life story, the tales of his people,
his ship. And he told me a bit about McCoy. The way he spoke of him, even now, I can feel a tingle in my heart. Feelings so
deep are a rarity in any place, in any time.
We walked around the caverns; I showed him all that I had managed to secure. He told
me he was impressed; women, who were beautiful, were not skilled tacticians. It was the first time he called me beautiful.
I went to prepare something to eat, and Spock went to check on McCoy. He was worried
about his health, his safety. I did not want to intrude.
As I was putting together some of the meat from the animals I’d killed and
stored in the snow to keep it fresh, I heard a shout. Putting the meats down, I ran towards the alcove where we had put McCoy
to bed, amongst a pile of furs.
I was about to enter, but stayed in the doorway, out of sight, when it became clear
what had been happening. Spock was yelling, angry. McCoy was standing his ground, ill as he was. He whispered something to
Spock, and it must have made him angrier, for he flung McCoy back to the bed and stormed off.
I made my way back to where I’d put the food down, and when Spock came back,
I offered it to him. He was upset, at first, about the meat, about what had happened with McCoy, although he didn’t
say so. I explained that I’d offer him anything I could, but this was all I had. That seemed to calm him down a bit.
He had some of the meat, and then he called me beautiful again. He kissed me. It
was the first touch of that type I’d had in more years than I can even remember.
And as soon as he had touched me, he stepped back, his eyes wide in surprise. “I
should not have done that. Forgive me,” he said quickly, and disappeared back into McCoy’s room.
I sat back, confused by his behavior. Afraid to wish to be held like that again.
If I did, they would be gone forever. I felt it.
It was maybe an hour later that he came back out again. I was sitting on my bed,
finishing off the pieces of meat I’d picked for my own meal. Spock asked to sit down; I scooted over to make him some
He stayed silent, and I did not press, simply sat beside him, wondering how he was
doing. Finally, I found my voice and asked, “How is McCoy?”
Those words seemed to shock Spock from his thoughts, and he turned his full attention
to me. “He will recover.” His voice was soft, emotional. Very different than the anger he had been showing earlier.
It was comforting, and our conversation started up easily after that.
We spoke of the Atavachron, or its limitations, and how I could not go back. Now,
I realize, I was not clear in my language. Although I’d said I couldn’t go back, I’d implied neither could
they. This makes me, in my mind, and probably McCoy’s as well, responsible for what occurred later.
It grew late. It had been a very long day for me, and I surmise for Spock as well.
McCoy was asleep in the next cavern, and we both decided to join him. In action, not in bed.
I had been dozing when McCoy came out of his cavern, rage in his eyes. He awoke me
with his shouting, and to my surprise, Spock started shouting back at him. I sat there, watching, frozen with indecision;
uncertain of what to do, besides make myself small. The way I’d done when Zarcon’s guards had broken into the
house of my kinsmen.
To my surprise, Spock lunged from the bed, knocking McCoy up against the cave wall
and holding him by the neck. I wanted to step in, stop them from fighting, but the way they were gazing at each other told
me to not involve myself.
It was a wise decision, because within the next few minutes, they’d stopped
shouting. Spock didn’t put McCoy down, at first, but he loosened his grip around McCoy’s neck, and McCoy put his
hands on Spock’s shoulders. Spock leaned over, kissing him. It was rough, though, even to one such as I who hasn’t
known the touch of another in so long, I could tell it was rougher than what Spock had ever demanded of McCoy before.
When Spock pulled on McCoy’s shirt, and pushed him back further against the
wall of the cave, I rose and left them alone to their privacy. I knew better than to intrude.
I walked around a nearby cavern for a while. I could tell Spock wasn’t done
with McCoy. The thumps against the rock were loud to my trained hunter ears.
My thoughts were running faster than they had in years. My emotions were divided.
I didn’t want to hurt them, either of them. I didn’t want to lose them. I didn’t want to interfere. But
on the most basic level, I just didn’t want to be alone. I’d suffered long enough, more than I’d ever deserved.
But McCoy’s accusation was right, as he’d screamed, about how I only knew for certain that I was trapped.
In the end, my devotion to them was greater than my devotion to myself. My need to
have companionship was only worth it if they were happy, and McCoy was not, and as a result, I knew, Spock could not be either.
When they were finished, I loaded them up with furs, to keep them warm, and then
led them out of the cave, back from whence they came.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life followed. When Spock tried to push
McCoy through, so he could stay with me, and he failed, I took him aside. I looked right into his face and I told him to go,
that he needed to return home.
And then I watched as they, hand in hand, crossed through the rock back into their
own time, leaving me alone in the snow.
That was four months, and nineteen days ago, and I still feel their memory around
me, and I know I will always have the memories of them to keep me company.
But I don’t know what time it is in their timeline. For all I know, they’re
gone. Dead and buried. Long ago.