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New Fic: Age of Accountability

Age of Accountability
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise, Star Trek TOS.
Rated: G
Category: Crossover. Angst. Essentially gen. Mild references to two het couples, but I’m not saying which ones. Not kidfic.
Season: Set near 2230. Pre-TOS and Post-ENT.
Spoilers: E2, general series knowledge for both TOS and ENT.
Summary: The very young do not always do what they are told. Most of the time, that’s a troublesome trait. But sometimes, maybe it’s not so bad after all.
Word Count: 1142
Disclaimer: Why bicker about who owns what? Can’t we all just live long and prosper?
Note: Continuity notes at the end. Also, thanks to the Nox of Stargate SG-1 for the idea.

xxx

The elder Vulcan female sat on a raised platform and looked down at the young male in front of her. Her question was simple, if wholly unexpected.

“Do you love her?”

The male answered in an even tone. “Love is a Human emotion.”

“That is not an answer,” said the female, with a slight tilt of her head to the side. In a Human, the gesture would have been accompanied by an amused smile, but her face was placid.

“I am Vulcan,” stammered the male. “I cannot… It is irrelevant.”

The female disagreed. This was blatantly obvious, though her voice still betrayed no emotion.

“It is not.”

“It is illogical,” argued the male.

“That may be, but it is also important. And still you have not answered me.”

The young Vulcan nearly sighed in exasperation, his emotional control slipping.

“The council will not approve. Nor will my parents.”

If his advisor noticed his lapse, she gave no indication of it.

“Again, you do not answer,” she said, “so I suspect you do not mean to. May I instead ask how old you are?”

A silent moment passed as the younger Vulcan blinked in confusion, trying to process the change in topic.

“I fail to see why that matters,” he finally answered.

“I know it is customary to keep such information private,” answered the female, “so feel free to stay silent, but I cannot advise you without adequate  information. And trust me when I say that your age is as relevant as my previous question, though I suspect it is far easier to answer.”

The male nodded in agreement. His advisor had a point. Empirical data was far easier to discuss than emotions, even when that data was generally considered a personal topic.

“I am sixty-five,” he said plainly.

Again, the female tilted her head to one side and regarded the male.

“That is… interesting,” she murmured.

And again the male blinked in confusion.

“I do not understand.”

“You said your family would not approve,” explained the female. “That the council would judge you harshly.”

“Yes.”

“But you forget one thing.”

“What do I not see?”

The female straightened her posture before she spoke.

“The young do not always do what they are told.”

She spoke as if her words made everything clear, but to the male, they did anything but.

“I still do not understand,” he said.

The female elaborated. “You are still young, and young Vulcans are often prone to the irrational acts of youth.”

“This is not irrational!” shouted the male. “It is no schoolboy folly! It is what I must do!”

The female raised an eyebrow at the younger Vulcan.

“You raise your voice to me?”

The male bowed his head.

“I apologize.”

“It is of no concern,” said the female, waving one hand in dismissal. “But clearly you feel strongly about this, illogically or not.  And so I ask you again - do you love her?”

The male raised his head and looked directly into the female’s eyes. His outburst had weakened his emotional controls to the point that answering her was far easier than he’d expected.

“Yes,” he said, never breaking eye contact.

“You are certain of this?” asked the female, maintaining her hold on his eyes.

The male nodded his head in affirmation, then slowly answered verbally.

“With all that I am.”

“Then perhaps it is a very good thing indeed that the young do not always do what they are told,” said the female.

The male held her eyes for another long moment. He was obviously still puzzled, but after a few heartbeats, both of his eyebrows rose slightly as comprehension dawned. Finally, he nodded a second time.

“I understand,” he said.

The female inclined her head toward him and spoke formally.

“Then go, Sarek of Vulcan, and take your wife.”

The male climbed to his feet and bowed slightly to the female.

“Thank you,” he whispered.

“It was my pleasure,” she answered, in an even tone.

If Sarek noticed that his advisor’s word choice was odd for a Vulcan of her age or that her lip twitched upward in an almost smile as he took his leave, he gave no indication of that.

And for her part, T’Pol ignored the slight hitch in Sarek’s voice and the tears shining in his eyes as he left.

When he was gone, the stately Vulcan allowed her lip twitch to blossom into a near smile and a mischievous twinkle came into her eyes. She knew Sarek was in for a world of trouble. By proposing marriage to a human female, problems ranging from debates on life expectancy to the probable lack of children were in his future. Still, she stood by her advice. She had given Sarek the best of both worlds. She had encouraged him while still giving him an emergency exit that he clearly had not considered. T’pol knew that his age meant much could be forgiven if things did not go well. And if he and Amanda Grayson somehow managed to make things work, so much the better as far as she was concerned.

For she had been young once, and though she kept it deep within herself, a part of her still was.

That part of her is what put the mischief in her eyes. For it applauded the rebelliousness of Sarek’s actions, though she would never admit that. And ironically, it was the older, wiser part of T’Pol that knew her words were right for the situation.

After all, as someone she once knew would have said, this wasn’t her first rodeo.

She knew first hand that the young do not always do as they are told.

She had defied Vulcan custom countless times in her earlier days.

Sarek knew that. He had sought her council for that very reason, for T’Pol was still widely-known as a progressive Vulcan, always straining the boundaries of the establishment.

What he didn’t know was that while she’d pushed some boundaries in her life, she had steadfastly refused to cross others. He didn’t know that she had disregarded sage advice regarding his very same problem from a wiser version of herself once upon a time. He didn’t know that that sage advice might have changed everything, but that she had cast it aside in a moment of black and white traditionalism.

He couldn’t know that she fervently wished he was smarter than that.

T’Pol stood and walked to the single window in her meditation chamber. From there, she could see Sarek descending the stairs of the monastery she called home these days.

As she watched his retreating form, that same advice, an echo of a lifetime that no longer existed, came back to her. She sent it to the wind, and only hoped the younger Vulcan would hear it.

Follow your heart, Sarek. Follow your heart.

xxx

A/N: Spock was born in 2230. Although reports of when Amanda and Sarek married vary, at least one lists 2230, and since Spock was likely born early in that marriage, I have chosen to use 2230 as the date for this story. In 2230, Sarek’s age calculates to 65 years old, and T’Pol would be 142. Barring an early death, that’s a very reasonable age for a Vulcan to be giving out advice.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
charlie_bz
Nov. 11th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
Interesting premise. I like it - it definitely makes sense to me. Can you refresh my memory on how Enterprise ended with Trip/T'Pol?

jackwabbit
Nov. 11th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. As for TnT and ENT, I'll send you a DM. Don't want to spoil in public, so to speak. Just in case.
sonria
Nov. 12th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
Interesting. I'm going to think about this one for quite a while, I believe. Thank you!
jackwabbit
Nov. 12th, 2011 08:16 am (UTC)
You are quite welcome, my dear, but as always, it is I who should thank you for reading and taking the time to review.

Now, a question: what will you think about? Just curious my own self. (Oh, I should write some Firefly. That sounds fun.) What did this stir up for you?
jackwabbit
Nov. 12th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
PS: it was Sarek himself, in the 2009 film (along with those pesky Nox in SG-1 - I've had the line written down in my fic notes for ages, but I thought it was meant for Spock and it wasn't quite working - but once Sarek stepped up, it all finally made sense), who gave birth to this plot bunny for me.

"You asked me once why I married your mother. I married her because I loved her."

Just saying. ;)

Edited at 2011-11-12 08:25 am (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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