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-
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
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
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.
/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
"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
"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."
"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
"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
"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
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
"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.
"Good afternoon, Sarek."
"Ah Dr. McCoy. Your meeting with T'Lar went well?"
"It did, sir. Thank you for assisting with it."
"T'Pau, by a landslide."