Title: Alternative Education
Series: TOS, MU
Paring: S/Mc, Sa/Am
Summary: When McCoy comes across Spock's personnel record and realizes that a substantial portion of the records are missing, some questions arise that must be answered.
Disclaimer: Star Trek and all of its relations are property of Paramount and Viacom. I only own this story. Problems with male homosexuality? Please stay away. Flames and feedback are welcome. For archiving, please ask author permission first.
Author's Notes: Inspired by a discussion on ASCEML, I believe started by Hypatia, about what would happen had Sarek been a poor man in the Mirror Universe.
"Solomon, Benjamin P., Lieutenant." McCoy read through the file, making certain the medical records were in order. This young man had a complete file.
"Spartan, Erica L., Yeoman." She was due for her quarterly physical, and McCoy made note of it. Tuesday at 1015 hours would do quite nicely.
"Spock, Commander." McCoy had just taken care of this physical personally and was about to put the file away, when something caught his eye. He frowned. Another order went to the computer, revealing the same thing. Even his override failed to work. McCoy put the file aside. He would need to talk to Spock about this later.
"S'Shaun III, Ensign." Scheduled for...ten minutes from now. McCoy rose from his desk to prepare the examination room.
McCoy arrived in his quarters and took the time to change. Although his relationship with Spock was hardly new, he still maintained his own quarters both for protection and convenience. Once he was back in comfortable clothing, and showered, he grabbed his padd and his overnight bag and headed into Spock's quarters, making certain he was not seen. Nobody knew about their relationship, and he intended to keep it that way. One close call was bad enough.
The blast of heat hit him from inside, and McCoy lowered it by five degrees, knowing Spock probably would not mind. Setting down his bag beside the bed, he began the dinner preparations.
Twenty minutes later, the small dinner table was set with the Rigellian china. The soup was already in the bowls, and the main course was just about finished.
The door slid open behind him, and he turned around. Spock had entered and was standing by the door, simply watching him. "You are back early."
McCoy placed the serving dish on the table. "M'Benga took the last of the physicals today, and whatever Scotty did to his engineers last week seems to be working. Not so much as a minor scrape."
Spock took a few steps from the door, ordering it to lock. "I see. Is that what I believe it is?
McCoy nodded. "Klitanta s'mun t'forati? Sure is. I found a recipe a while back and thought you might like to try it. I also made shur t'bertakk as an opening course."
The eyebrow rose slightly, in curious pleasure. "I have not had that in years." Spock loosened his uniform shirt, sitting down at the table. As per McCoy's prediction, he did not make a comment about the temperature.
McCoy stood beside him, waiting for permission to be seated. "Just like Mother used to make?"
Spock's voice was rough. "Hardly. Sit down and join me."
McCoy took the chair across from him, picked up the serving dish, and proceeded to do just that.
It was after dinner, a quick shower, and a few very pleasant hours together in bed, that McCoy finally worked the nerve to broach the subject. Spock had just completed his evening meditation and was ready to retire. He had finished cleaning up the cabin.
"Spock?" He queried, helping Spock settle in for the night.
"Is there something you require?" Spock sat up, gazing at him.
"In a way." McCoy was unsure how to go about popping the question.
"Come to bed, my Leonard, and ask." The Vulcan shifted in his position slightly to make room for the human.
McCoy took a deep breath and climbed into bed, lying down beside the Vulcan. "Alha, I have a question I must ask of you."
Spock's interest was piqued. It was a rarity that McCoy would call him by his title at this time in their evening. "Ask of me, then, my kafeh."
McCoy reached for the padd he had placed on the nightstand and showed it to him. "I was going through your records today in the interest of medical updates, and this caught my eye. The entirety of your background data has been deleted. And the more I thought about it, you'd never talked about your past at all. Hell, you even waived shore leave on Vulcan last month. I want to know why. What are you hiding?"
Spock's eyebrows knitted together, and he glared at McCoy. But there was no response. He remained silent for so long that the doctor began to worry that a punishment would follow.
Finally, the Vulcan spoke in a voice so low that McCoy had to lean in closer to hear. "Swear to me on whatever deity you worship that what I say will not be repeated to anyone or anything, even written down in a report."
McCoy nodded in agreement. "I swear that I will not repeat a thing."
Spock took a deep breath and his eyes closed, as though he was watching in his mind. And then, he began to speak. "I am by birth Spock cha'Sarek, Spock, son of Sarek. My father, of a proud family, was exiled when he took a Terran woman as his own. Her family, too, abandoned her, leaving them truly alone. I was conceived by accident, due to the volatile nature of pon farr and we lived together in poverty, while they strove to meet the barest minimum of needs..."
"Silence!" The Matriarch's voice cut in, effectively squelching any other argument. "Thee hast made thy choice, Sarek, and I have made mine. Thee art no longer of the skan of Solkar, Sarek. As well, thy position is no longer thine. It shall go to Silek. Do not try to appeal, for that will only lead to trouble for thee and thy woman." The comm. channel was cut, and Sarek stood there for several moments, looking past the unit, rather than at it.
"Sarek?" Amanda's voice, a soft, sweet tone, cut into his thoughts. "How did the announcement go?"
The Vulcan turned around to face his wife, the look on his face, although as solemn as always, was tinged with regret, and even a hint of anger. "Not as I had expected. They have disowned me."
Amanda sank backwards into a nearby chair. "Sarek, no."
"I am afraid so, Amanda. It seems we are on our own, unless you believe that your family will be more understanding."
"We tried that, remember? I walked into the house, explained I was pregnant and that the baby was going to be half-Vulcan, and my father yelled at me, called me an 'interbreeding strumpet' and then told me to get the hell out of his sight for good. I don't think that telling him that your family disowned you is going to change his mind."
Sarek nodded gravely. He remembered that day very clearly, as he had been waiting outside for her and had heard part of the screaming her father had done. At the moment, he had vowed that no matter what, he would be a good father to his child.
"At least you still have your job, right Sarek?" Amanda looked up at her husband with a gleam of hope in her eyes.
Sarek paused. He did not want to disappoint this woman anymore than he all ready had, which was quite frequently. "No, it is a position bestowed upon the oldest son of the family and has been given to my no-longer brother."
Amanda sighed softly and closed her eyes, running her fingers through her hair in a nervous habit inherited from her mother. "I don't know what we're going to do, Sarek. I just finished school; you have no job. With neither family helping us, we have no connections. And we have a baby coming in seven months. How are we going to manage?"
Sarek remained silent for a long time. It was true; there was no guarantee of work or security. Not for the first time, he cursed his pon farr cycle. That is what led to the pregnancy, to the way their union began, and although he had genuine feelings for his wife, he did wish he had gone about the courting in a way more appropriate to the style of the Empire. But it was too late now. "We shall try our bests and find a way."
It was seven months later, in an Imperial hospital, that Amanda gave birth to a son. He was named Spock and was the joy of his parents' lives.
His parents could not offer him very much in the ways of luxury. They were living in an apartment in a town outside of San Francisco. They had not relocated after Sarek lost his job. In the process, they had both found positions, although not high paying ones. Amanda began working with children at a day care facility, and Sarek, due to his strength as a Vulcan, ended up working in construction. It was not an easy life for them, but they tried for their son.
What was most difficult for them all was how Spock was rejected by his peers based solely on appearance. Not only did his Vulcan heritage take predominance over his human side, making him look entirely Vulcan, but also with their meager wages, they could not give him nice clothing or toys. It was difficult enough to pay the bills.
The only good part of it all was that before he had to enter school, his mother could watch Spock while she was earning a paycheck. But when it came time for Spock to enter school, a whole new set of problems arose. Spock could not defend himself against the bigger children, because of his Vulcan attitude and his smaller stature. Sarek tried his best to teach him self-defense but it was not unusual for the young boy to come home with the markings of a beating. It broke his parents' hearts.
Tragedy struck, when Amanda fell ill, and lost her position with the childcare facility. The family now forced to make ends meet on a single income and simultaneously pay for a child and medical bills. Although Amanda survived the illness, she did not have the strength to work anymore. Sarek kept on with his construction work, although there was prejudice there as well. It was a fact in the Empire that a Vulcan on Earth, not affiliated with some high-powered association, was bad luck. And he was passed over for promotion time and time again.
One night, as Sarek was looking over the bills, he came to a glum realization. Picking up the padd, he made his way to his wife's bedside. "Amanda," he began, "we have a serious problem."
She looked up from the book she had been reading, on gifted children. "What is it, Sarek?"
Sarek took a deep breath, trying to approach it delicately but finding he could not. "We can no longer afford to raise our son."
"You can't be serious, Sarek." Amanda's voice was high; this was no joking matter.
Sarek sat down on the edge of the bed and showed her his calculations. "Within a few months, we will be unable to afford his necessary nutrient injections. Right now, the only option for us to be able to keep him is to take him from his education and have him work with me at the company. And even with that, it is not a life for him. He will have no future that way, Amanda."
Amanda sighed softly, her maternal instincts causing depression and protection to rise up within her. "What else can we do?"
The Vulcan picked up the advertisement that had been circling around at work the past few days and handed it to her. "Starfleet is looking for young recruits. The Empire will educate the children, give them a home, and meet all of their needs. And when they finish basic schooling, the children are sent to Starfleet Academy. Afterwards, they are guaranteed a job and a commission. As well, the parents are given a sum of money to assist with their own lifestyle as compensation for losing a capable worker." Sarek was doing his best to sound enthusiastic about the idea.
Amanda did not fall for it, however. "What's the catch, Sarek? The Empire doesn't do anything without a string or two attached."
"We will have to surrender our parental rights to Spock."
"No!" Amanda closed the subject with a look that made Sarek feel like he was a monster.
Sarek reached out two fingers towards his wife, his voice low and soft. "Amanda, I do not desire to lose Spock either, but please be reasonable. If we do not take advantage of this, then we either rob him of his future, or we condemn him to death. Surely, this is the most logical choice."
Amanda was silent as she thought, then reached out to touch Sarek's fingers. "You're right, of course, I just wish you weren't."
The Vulcan nodded at her. "I know." After a moment's pause, he rose from the bed. "I will contact the local office now and enroll, Spock."
Amanda closed her eyes. "Go, please, Sarek, before I change my mind."
Sarek nodded again and left the room. Amanda could hear him on the comm. while she picked up the photo she kept on the nightstand. The small family picture. They may not have had money, but there had always been enough love to go around.
It was two weeks later that Sarek and Amanda took their son, now nearly ten years old, down to the shuttle station. Sarek carried Spock's luggage, while Amanda guided him by the hand. When they arrived at the proper exit, Sarek set down the small bags. He knelt beside his son and placed one hand on his shoulder, the other on the side of his face. "Spock, I want you to try your best at the new school. It will be different, but you will excel. Remember to remind the Headmaster of your shots, and if there are other Vulcans there, remember your logic." Through the meld points, a wave of affection and security passed from father to son.
"Yes, Father, I promise I will."
Amanda took her boy in her arms and kissed his forehead, hugging him tightly. "Remember we love you, Spock. No matter what."
Spock returned the hug and then looked up.
A tall man in a Starfleet uniform was standing beside Sarek, speaking in low tones to him. "This is him?"
"Yes, that is Spock."
The officer picked up Spock's bag and gestured toward the shuttle. "Come on, we need to get on this one before it leaves."
Spock nodded and turned around to give his parent's the ta'al.
Sarek returned it, while Amanda blew her son a kiss. The officer gave the Imperial salute before turning on his heels and beginning down the walkway. Spock hurried off after him, trying to keep up.
Amanda reached out her fingers, needing the comfort of her husband. Sarek returned the touch, hoping only that Spock would understand the logic of the arrangement in years to come.
"That was the last time I laid eyes upon my parents. I was raised to be the perfect scientist and Starfleet Officer, and upon completion of my studies, I was placed on this ship under the command of Captain Pike. After his assassination, my services were given to Captain Kirk. I secured for myself everything I needed for survival onboard a Federation vessel, including you." Spock reached out to take McCoy's chin in his hand. "My past is not something I wish to discuss, or think about, and as per the agreement of that particular program, all personal history records have been removed from my file. The Captain does not know my history, nor did Captain Pike before him. It can be used against me. And if you speak of this to anybody...suffice to say, what happened with Nurse Diesel can be replicated. Do you understand?"
McCoy nodded wordlessly, astounded by the Vulcan's story. He had simply thought it would involve Spock removing his files as the first stage of a takeover attempt.
Spock pulled the doctor's head closer to him and captured his mouth, his beard and moustache tickling the human as it always did. When he released the human for air, he ordered the lights lower and settled himself in to sleep.
"Spock?" McCoy was not yet ready to sleep.
"Yes? Do you have another question?"
"Just one. If your father was disowned from the family before you were born, that means you don't have some wife waiting for you on Vulcan, doesn't it?"
Spock's superior night vision allowed him to see the hopeful look on McCoy's face. Spock reached out, wrapped an arm around the doctor's thin frame and brought him in closer. "It means exactly that. And to answer your next question, I will consider it when the mission ends, but not before. Now sleep."
McCoy nodded and closed his eyes, but as he was drifting off, he could not help but wonder who else had been a beneficiary of this program of the Empire, and more so, why he had never heard of it before.