Pairing: Q + Spock Prime
Bingo Card: babel.crackerboxpalace.com/stbingo/
Bingo Progress: [2/8 needed to complete bingo]
Summary: Didn't it seem like just too much of a coincidence for Kirk to be marooned on Delta Vega and just happen to run into the cave where a similarly marooned Spock Prime was camped out? Well, nothing is too improbable when the most meddling member of the Continuum decides to take an interest...
Warnings: Prime’s hurt/angst after destruction of Vulcan, otherwise PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing in Star Trek, but I'd love to borrow Q's snap-and-make-things-happen power
Spock shivered with more than cold in the depth of the ice cave. After the loss of so many - the cries of their minds still echoing in his, all of them torn from life with no resting place to which they could deliver their katras - he was in shock and knew it. No amount of warmth could ease it, and the warmth of the tiny fire he'd managed here was no more than what might fend off frostbite.
He almost hadn't built it. For hours he'd lain on the frozen ground, too stunned, too overwhelmed to care if he lived or died. Indeed he'd wished to die. It seemed the only fitting response; to pass into oblivion with the billions lost through his failure. Yet the voices of the dead would not allow it - not the Vulcan dead, but the two humans who though long dead still spoke in recesses of his heart.
Fight Spock, damn you! Don't let that bastard win!
Hold on Spock. It's not over. There's no such thing as a no-win scenario - not as long as you're still alive.
Finally, in deference to his long departed more-than-brothers, Spock had pulled himself up and found the fuel for this little fire. I shall not go quietly into that good night, but shall fight the dying of the light ...at least for a little while and then I shall join you my old friends.
"A maudlin Vulcan - who would believe it!"
A man, or someone with the seeming of a man dressed in a 24th century Starfleet Captain's uniform, leaned casually against a pillar of ice. "Really, of all the humanoids in the galaxy, I expected you to brush off a little genocide with a shrug and a stiff upper lip."
Spock felt one eyebrow rise of it's own accord. "A little genocide?"
"There are still tens of thousands of Vulcans in the universe." He uncrossed his arms just enough to wave a hand dismissively. "It's not like you're trying to rebuild a whole species with just two big mammals from kidnapped from a previous century. If humpback whales could come back, it'll be no trick at all for Vulcans."
A memory stirred in Spock's grief-numbed mind, a Starfleet classified report and a conversation with another Enterprise Captain. "Go away Q. I have just felt the death of my whole world. What purpose could be served by attempting to torment me further?"
Q separated from the wall and stepped forward, smug grin pulling at his lips. "Who says I'm here to torment you?" He raised his eyebrows, head tilted as he leaned toward Spock's face. "For a supposedly emotionless Vulcan you seem to be doing a bang-up job of that yourself, despite the fact that that world gave you nothing but grief for most of your life."
"It was my home."
"Uh-uh-uh," Q raised a finger and waggled it back and forth. "Don't lie to the omniscient being," he chided in an almost sing-song voice. "Home, as they say, is where the heart is and your heart - such of it as you Vulcans admit to having - was definitely not there."
As much as Spock was loathe to concede anything to this entity, it would be illogical to deny that. "If my true home disappeared long ago, it does not change the magnitude of this tragedy."
Q straightened, rubbed his chin. "You may have a little point there," he admitted, then pinched thumb and index finger almost together, "but just a little one, because, you see, that 'true home' of yours isn't exactly long lost here."
"You speak in riddles Q, like all tricksters."
"And you were supposedly the smart one," Q rolled his eyes with an exasperated sigh. "This is no trick. At this point in the multiverse the year by your Federation's reckoning is 2259."
It was Spock's turn to sigh with something close to exasperation. "I am aware that the Enterprise and the people I knew on her must exist in some form in this time frame. But I, as I am now, have no role there."
"No role? No role!" Q threw his hands up, pacing. "The lack of Vulcan imagination never ceases to amaze me. No wonder humans went from being your pets to running the show in a mere century." He turned, thrusting his face into Spock's again. "And that, my friend, is why I'm here to tell you that your home, despite a few minor alterations due to circumstance, is still around." He pointed conspiratorially upward. "In fact, very nearby."
Certainly the Enterprise would come at distress call from Vulcan. However, if she was here and not destroyed, she would be heavily damaged by Nero and/or actively trying to save what survivors could be retrieved. If the latter she ought not divert her resources for one elderly half-Vulcan and if the former, while he might yet have some ability to aid in her repair, he had no means of reaching her. ...Unless Q's game was to exact something in exchange for that.
"Even if the Enterprise were in orbit, I have no means of contacting her," Spock replied with as much equanimity as he could muster under the circumstances. "Further, I find your usage of 'friend' to be spurious. You are well-known for acting only to satisfy your own whims. If it is your purpose to deliver me to this Enterprise, I must suspect that your motives are less than noble."
"Less than noble? You wound me, sir." Q touched splayed fingers dramatically to his chest before affecting a disapproving pout. "You've spent entirely too much time with Jean-Luc."
"And always found him to be an astute judge of character," Spock stated plainly.
"Despite his many short-comings, he is part of the reason why I'm here," Q chuckled, shaking his head with a sly smile. "Very well, I admit I have my own reasons for wanting to save particular patches of humanity in this 'verse. As blind and idiotic as most of them are, without certain humans there are just so many possibilities that can never possibly be. Have you never heard that the enemy of my enemy is my friend?"
"I am aware of the saying, but have always found it to be a doubtful premise upon which to base a friendship." Spock stood. "Nevertheless, if your goal is to prevent Nero from taking further lives, it would be only logical for me to aid in that endeavor."
"That's the spirit!" Q exclaimed, slapping him on the shoulder.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "I would first inquire as to how you intend to return me to the Enterprise without causing even greater harm to this time line."
"Oh you're so cute when you assume," Q patted him on the cheek. "There's a Starfleet outpost a few kilometers due north, but you are not the one going back to the Enterprise. Oh, no, no - that would lead to paradoxes and anomalies like you wouldn't believe!" He touched a hand to his forehead. "I get a headache just thinking about it. One and only one person from this Enterprise can know who you are but it is absolutely vital that he does. And, he is coming to you right about..."
A scream accompanied by a roar echoed from the mouth of the cave.
"Now," Q finished and waved good-bye before disappearing with a snap and flash of light.
Spock sat in the nearly abandoned station. Keenser had gone off to check equipment (and possibly brood over having to remain behind) leaving Spock alone with his thoughts. This young Jim Kirk, so like and unlike his Jim, had revived his spirit. There might be nothing else for him to do in this new time line, but he had given a young man who should have been more a vision of what more he could be. Even if he spent the rest of his days on Delta Vega, he could be content with having gained that small measure of redemption.
"I don't know. It seems like an awfully gloomy place to retire," Q remarked, quite literally popping into another chair and spinning it around as though taking in the decor.
Spock steepled his fingers, staring levelly at Q. "I have, against my better judgment, taken you at your word with regard to the necessity of only Jim Kirk knowing my true identity. If that is in fact the truth, then remaining here would provide a logical solution for maintaining my anonymity."
"Pish-tosh," Q gave a dismissive flip of his hand. "That was then; this is now. Nero's gone, earth is saved, and besides," he shrugged, lips turning in a wry expression, "the younger you found your ship on Nero's and pretty much figured things out anyway."
"I see." Spock folded his hands. So that was why Q had returned. "I should depart before my other self seeks me out, further compromising this time line."
"Au contraire mon frère! In fact, you need to seek him out," Q leaned forward, eyes widening in admonition, "And give him a good talking to - the self-sacrificing idiot is going resign his commission to go join the remaining Vulcans to rebuild the race. Do you have any idea how much that will screw up everything I've done to reset this time line?"
Spock's eyebrows rose. Yes, given how many times he and Jim had been instrumental in preserving earth, the Federation, and even their own time line, he could well imagine. However revealing himself was the sort of thing that would, as his McCoy would have said, give the Temporal Prime Directive office fits.
"I understand that my younger self's absence might prove problematic Q. However, my open participation could prove even more so. I do know myself as it were, and the only way to dissuade my younger self from joining the Vulcan refugees would be for me to join them in his place. That would mean that I would be accessible to both Jim and my other self. The temptation to request, and in my case, to provide, guidance on a number of situations that they are likely to encounter would be severe."
"No problem," Q declared. "That's where I come in."
An eyebrow ascended. "You?"
"Your other self is so much sharper," Q rolled his eyes, quirking a frown. "You know, you've never been quite the same since that whole resurrection thing. Too much time sharing katra space with McCoy, I'd say."
"Be that as it may," Spock replied evenly. "In what sense do you come in to this?"
"Hel-lo," Q stood up and waved a hand. "Omniscient being here, remember? I can tell you what you shouldn't help with and what you should. I mean, these guys are a lot younger and less experienced - they're going to need some guidance and I can't 'officially'," he actually made the air quotes, "show up in this time line for a hundred years. You're the perfect intermediary."
Spock cross his arms. "You mean, puppet."
"Now, now," he objected. "What I'm suggesting is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Think of me as your Guide, your Counselor," Q was suddenly dressed in a very expensive civilian suit and holding a briefcase, "the unerringly brilliant legal representive steering you through the loopholes of Temporal Affairs."
"And your fee?" Spock inquired. "You do not strike me as likely to work pro bono."
"Well," an amused grin appeared on his face, "if we're going to get this timeline back on track, you will have to trust me."
"Trust is a commodity not easily exchanged, especially with a capricious entity."
"Capricious? Moi?" Q laughed. "Only in your incredibly limited mortal perspective. I'm a Q and therefore have only the very best interests of the multiverse at heart."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "By which you mean only the very best interests of the multiverse as they pertain to your own preferred ends."
"Well of course," Q shrugged dismissively. "They're one and the same. But in this case, they're also your own preferred ends. Think of it, you'll have a place on a new Vulcan as a respected leader and you'll get to see to it that the other you and his friends don't stumble into an untimely end. On that you can trust me - this universe needs them to get back in order so I have every intention of making sure they stick around."
Q quick-changed back into a 24th century Captain's uniform. "Of course, I can do it without you, but it'll be so much easier - and more fun - to have partner." He leaned in, raising his eyebrows. "What do you say?"
Spock pursed his lips, considering. Q had toyed with Picard and his crew in their first encounters, but had also, in roundabout and frequently disconcerting ways, ultimately aided them. And what really were the alternatives? This other Jim was even more rash and impulsive than his had been. Without his other self to provide balance, Jim Kirk in this universe might never become who he had to be; indeed might not even survive his first captaincy.
Spock stood. "Very well, although I estimate that there's a 37.4823% probability that I shall regret this, I bear a responsibility to aid in repairing this time line and your proposal is the most logical avenue currently at my disposal."
"I'll take that as a typically verbose Vulcan way of saying 'yes'," Q chuckled. He snapped his fingers and they were suddenly standing in an nearly empty shuttle bay in San Fransciso. Q grinned. "Trust me, Mr. Spock, this is going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
AN: This was inspired by the fact that I got a startrekbingo card at livejournal with Q/Spock Prime in a key space. (The whole card is here: bookdragon01 (dot) livejournal (dot) com/3385 (dot) html).
I couldn't write slash for them, but friendship is allowed instead so I had to think of how that might happen. Then it suddenly occurred to me that if the time line was trying to right itself, it might well be because it was getting a bit of help. Q stepping in would explain both the extreme coincidence of Kirk running into Prime in that ice cave and some of Prime's choices that didn't seem all that logical. And of course Q has reasons to want certain humans and Starfleet itself around in the 24th century...
Like it? Hate it? Please r&r