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Sweetly Blooming

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“In the spirit of total honesty,” Spock says, “I should probably tell you that I punched Barjan.”

T’Pring regards him for a moment, half-splayed on his bare chest. Finally, Spock knows what Nurse Chapel told him to be true: he is just human enough. Regardless, he cannot help but be anxious in the heartbeat after he speaks—it is a hard-written habit.

Amusement filters through the arm Spock has around his betrothed’s shoulders, but doesn’t surface in her eyes. “Having met him, that is logical,” she says in her voice like honey, ever unruffled. She leans up to kiss him once more.

Several moments pass, and the movement subsides. She pulls back enough to look him in the eye, bringing a delicate hand to his cheek.

“Something disturbs you,” she says quietly. It is not a judgement, nor a degradation. It is a truth.

“The dream that I outlined to you earlier today,” he says, by way of explanation. She regards him for a long moment. “Spock,” she says finally. The Enterprise hums, muted undercurrent to Spock’s sudden struggle to draw breath.

He opens his mouth to respond, but she silences him with a thumb on his lip.

Spock ,” she says again, her voice almost breaking. “Ashayam.”

Spock draws in a shuddering inhale. His heart is clenching frantically in his abdomen. T’Pring smooths the pad of one slender finger over his cheekbone, visibly considering her words. Spock makes a great effort not to tremble.

“You carry a great weight,” she announces after a long moment, voice still hushed. “You have your duty; you have your past. And all of this a terrible burden, but you carry it nonetheless.” She shifts up to press a very Human kiss to the side of his mouth. “And for that, you are stronger than any Vulcan who dares demean you.”

Tears press at the back of Spock’s eyes. He blinks them away. “T’Pring,” he says, the rumble in his voice belying the determinedly flat set of his expression. She observes him with unbridled softness in her gaze.

“Spock,” she says, with a finality. She moves—shifts against his side—and comes to rest her forehead against his. “Parted from me, and never parted.”

“Never and always touching and touched,” Spock whispers, and somehow the ritual saying carries more importance when they trade each sentence, when they share it. And yet, the words catch thickly in his throat—T’Pring easily soothes the hitch with a hand on his chest, catches his undignified whimper in her mouth. Through their fledgling bond—through the hand that settles at his nape—through the warm body in his arms—Spock feels… peace.