~All the usual disclaimers apply

~Last chapter. Hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. There may be a sequel, but I honestly like where I've ended it…one can decide for themselves where our favorite couple take it from here.

~Again, thanks to all who've read and reviewed, you keep me going…really!

~I've a few stories in the coals, but I'm still getting settled in our new house, so…it may be awhile.

~read on and enjoy!

~it was brought to my attention that I had Spock calling his father ko-fu...whoops! Much thanks mcsgirl!

It had taken Sarek and his fellow scientists and engineers three long days to retrofit the sftar ship's shuttle with the exoskeleton of negative ion pulses needed to penetrate the anomaly and make a return trip. And one additional day to run quick tests and diagnostics. In that time, year had past for his son and the young cadet. Sarek and Amanda as well as the captain were well aware of the passing of time and fought their impatience at every turn. It showed in the normally stoic Vulcan's shortness with his aides. It showed in Amanda's lack of sleep. And it showed in Christopher Pike's tension on the bridge.

Ten days, ten days for the Intrepid. Almost two and a half years for the Commander and the Cadet. It wracked the captain with guilt every single minute.

It was decided Sarek and one pilot would make the voyage. Sarek had made the final decision even though he was not a member of Star Fleet; however his ambassador status and a call to Star Fleet had given him autonomy. Amanda had not been pleased, but had finally relented when she knew she couldn't convince him otherwise. Her son was so close yet so far away and she had a cold pit in her stomach that she might lose her husband to the same fate.

As for Pike, he knew it didn't make sense for him to go along, but as he was captain he put his first mate in charge and showed up a few minutes before the shuttle was scheduled to leave.

"Captain, we are not certain we will be able to return. There can be no trial run on this voyage." Sarek reasoned.

"I know that, Ambassador, but these are my people and I need to be there. For them and for myself." He strapped on his utility belt and nodded at the Vulcan. Sarek lifted a brow and nodded back. "Let's go bring our boy home."

Nyota took a deep breath as she pulled a shirt over her head. In a few minutes her life would be altered. Again. She ran her hand over her very slightly rounded belly and gave a small shrug. She was a different person. She was a woman now. When they had crashed on Eden she was just barely past being a girl. But all that she experience, all she survived, had made her the woman she was today. Determined, strong, resolute, capable. If she had stayed at home, if she had stayed at the Academy, maybe she would have become the woman she was today. Maybe not. But she wouldn't be a wife, a partner to her soul mate. And she wouldn't be a mother. Well, soon to be mother, she chuckled.

Her Grammy told her, all things happen for a reason. And she was sure this life, these past two and a half years with Spock, this was meant to be. She was meant to be his wife and mother to his children. And Spock was meant to be her husband and father to her babies. A title he never thought he would hold, he had confided to her. Vulcan doctors had told him it was unlikely he'd ever be able to father a child as he was a hybrid. Well, they could thumb their noses at those closed-minded creeps.

And her knowledge in this fact made her even more determined that nothing, no one, would come between them. Taking a deep breath and straightening her back she washed her face, brushed her hair and went to face her future.

She took her place next to her husband and looked up into the sky as the rescue ship came to take them back. All three of them. Spock pulled her close to his side and laid his palm upon her stomach, feeling the life within, and allowed a small smile to grace his face. He kissed her temple.

"Thank you, Nyota."

She looked up at him with a confused look. "Why?"

"For loving me. For giving me a child." She felt him shrug. "For being the strong, capable woman you are."

"Oh, baby. Sometimes I feel like my life really started when we landed here. But don't ever tell my parents that." She reached up and kissed his lips, projecting her fear and worry.

"Do not concern yourself, k'diwa. We are bonded, we will soon be parents. No one will separate us."

"I'm gonna hold you to that, sweetie."

"You may." He turned towards the approaching vessel but did not take his arm from her shoulder.

As soon as the vessel landed and Sarek walked off the ship, he knew. His son was standing next to the cadet, his arm around the girl's shoulder. And the girl…no, the woman leaned into his side. He could see, feel, the connection, the bond.

Pike came off the ship next and allowed his eyes to adjust to the bright sunlight. It was a lovely planet. His eyes followed Sarek's and set on the couple they were here to rescue. But to his eyes they didn't seem to need rescuing. They were…they were a couple. He took a deep breath. Okay, he thought, as far as they were concerned over two years had past. There was always the possibility of something like this happening.

"Sa-fu, we received your message." Sarek realized he was stating the obvious and internally shook himself.

"I am please, Sa-mekh." He took Nyota's hand and went to his father. "We have much to discuss. And considering the time differential, we have the time."

Spock looked at the Captain. "Please, Christopher, join us. This involves you as much as it does my father."

"I suppose it does." The older man nodded before turning to Cadet Uhura. "Cadet? Are you well?"

"I am excellent, Captain." She laid her hands protectively over her stomach.

"You have conceived." Sarek stated, although she did not appear pregnant, he could sense the life within, the seed of his seed. His grandchild, the connection was strong.

Nyota swallowed nervously and looked up at Spock. "I…I…how could you tell?"

Pike shook his head trying to ward off the migraine he felt coming. "Well, life does move on. Spock, what do you have to say for yourself? Cadet Uhura was your charge, how did you allow this to happen?"

"How dare you?" Nyota bristled. "We have been here for two and a half years! Star Fleet should've done their research; they shouldn't have sent anyone into this sector of space. But we crashed here. How dare you question Spock's duty. He did everything to keep us alive, to keep us going. And we fell in love in the process."

Spock almost smiled at his wife's protectiveness. She was his lioness. He turned to Christopher. "I suppose I could have fought my feelings towards Nyota. But I did not. I had no desire to, whether we were to be rescued or not. She is my wife, we bonded."

"You are bonded, Spock." Sarek looked at his son.

"Did you feel our bond cease when we entered the anomoly, Father?"

Sarek nodded. "Indeed, as did your mother."

"Did T'Pring contact you as to my condition? She should have felt the cessation, as well."

Sarek raised a brow. "She did not."

"Father, I have not felt T'Pring's presence since our youth. Neither of us desired the bond when we were betrothed at seven and I have just been waiting to formally sever our ties. Ties that I feel are tenuous at best." Spock pulled Nyota closer to his side. "I am bonded, truly bonded to Nyota and I will not give her up."

"I did not suspect that you would, Spock." Sarek looked at his son. "Were no precautions taken?"

Nyota bristled and Spock sent her calming waves. She rolled her eyes but held her tongue.

"I did not think I was…able to impregnate Nyota. As you recall, as a hybrid the Vulcan doctors felt I was sterile." His voice held a calm he did not feel.

"They were wrong." Sarek nodded and took Nyota's hands in his. He felt her anger, her worry, but he also felt her love, her devotion. She loved his son unequivocally.

"You are strong, Cadet Uhura. My adun'a, at this early stage in her pregnancy with Spock, was bedridden. I feel the child, as well, and he feels strong, healthy." He looked at his son. "You have done…well."

Spock's brow rose and he nodded. "Thank you, Sa-mekh."

Pike cleared his throat. "Well, I don't know how this is going to go down with Star Fleet, but I'll stand behind you. Both. You have done well. Two years on this planet, alone, not many could've as well, you and the cadet here have done a great job of surviving. And you're right, Cadet, this sector of space should've been researched better. Heads will role if I'm guessing Star Fleet's reactions." This was a cluster fuck of major proportions and he knew someone would pay for it. But he'd be damned if it would either of these two.

Nyota shifted uncomfortably. "Sirs, we had time, more than enough time to fall in love. And Spock, he's so easy to love." Nyota reached her hand out to him. She looked over at Sarek. "We love each other, sir, and as inappropriate as it sounds I would've love him here or out there. He did tell me about T'Pring…" Spock cut her off.

"This has already been discussed, Nyota, T'Pring and I never had a close bond. I have not felt her in years." Spock looked over at his father. "She is attached to another?"

"Indeed. Will you show us to your dwelling?" Sarek asked.

"Oh, of course. Sorry." Nyota started towards their home with Sarek following her as she nervously chattered.

"We need to talk, Commander." Pike held Spock back. The Vulcan looked at his mentor and nodded.

"Indeed, Captain, there is much of which we must speak."

"Fascinating." Sarek read the findings of Spock and Nyota's research. "You theorize that the original colonists lived an extended life due to the atmosphere and plant life?"

"Actually, Father, the original colonists lived a long life because of it. I merely expounded on their work." Spock explained.

"Ah, I see." Sarek nodded.

"We must quarantine this sector of space." Christopher stood up. "Ambassador, if you'll excuse us, I really need to speak with Spock."

"Of course, Captain. It would appear we have time." The older Vulcan looked at his son's bondmate. "I will take said time to better acquaint myself with the cadet. Is this agreeable?"

She nodded, her eyes wide. "Oh, yes, that would be fine, Ambassador." Nyota threw a small smile to Spock, who in turn raised a brow and followed Captain Pike outside.

"Cadet, you are originally from the United States of Africa? Nairobi?" Sarek's voice brought her back.

"Yes." She smiled.

"Tell me about your interest in languages, from what I have read in your transcripts, you appear to be a prodigy." He leaned forward and lifted his cup of tea.

Nyota took her tea, as well and began to tell her father-in-law about her life before Eden.

Christopher and Spock walked a good half mile before the captain stopped and scanned the horizon. "This place really is beautiful. A real shame it can't be colonized." He paused.

"So, son, we're gonna have a real incident on our hands. You do realize this, don't you?"

"I had surmised as much, Captain. We, Nyota and I, have been here for over two Terran years. We fell in love, sir." He almost shrugged. "I do not regret my actions. And I will not renounce my relationship once we return. Nyota Uhura is my wife and she carries my child."

"Spock, I would never ask such a thing! But, in regards to your time here, we have to handle this delicately. We can't have every species and their brother coming out here and exploring this sector of space. It's far reaching, it basically crosses timelines. The Federation may study it or it may just install a barrier to keep everyone out." The older man sighed.

"As for the time differential, the Federation is clear that it is not to be mentioned. It opens way too many cans of worms that Star Fleet doesn't want to deal with." He turned to Spock and took a deep breath. "The only way I can see this going, is to tell everyone that you and Cadet Uhura were secretly married, say a year ago."

"A year, five months and twelve days ago." Spock replied.


"That is how long ago Nyota and I bonded."

Christopher chuckled. "I see. So you wouldn't feel as if you were lying. I'm glad for you. As for the baby. Well…we'll see how Star Fleet wants to deal with this. Your bound to be censured for marrying a student, but with you and the cadet being stranded here and not filing any formal complaints regarding unsafe maneuvers, I think it won't be too harsh. Just a slap on the wrist. I'll make sure nothing more happens."

"Sir, once we return to the Academy, we are not certain either one of us will remain in service. Nyota and I will need to discuss what will be best for our child and for us." He stood with his hands behind his back.

"Spock, we spoke on this numerous times. You're slated to be my first mate and science officer. I've been given the Enterprise, this is what you've been striving for, son." Pike faced Spock.

"Indeed, sir, it was two years ago. However my priorities have changed. I have a wife and child to now consider and I do not wish to be away from either for five years." His voice softened. "Christopher, I cannot articulate what your mentorship, your friendship, has meant to me, however I now have Nyota to consider and I will always put her first."

The captain smiled. "Well, m'man, I do understand. Let's not make hasty decisions. We've got over a year until she comes off line and I do expect you to maintain your teaching responsibilities. And there is no reason Uhura can't finish her year as well, there've been plenty of pregnant women to graduate from the Academy."

"Captain, of the 26 female cadets that have become pregnant during their time at the Academy in the past 5 years, 21 have graduated. Nyota will have to determine how she desires to move forward."

"See, I need you, Spock. Who else knows…well, everything?" Chris laughed.

"As Nyota is fond of saying, time will tell, Captain. Shall we return to the house? We have much to load onto the transport before we depart."

"Yeah, let's see if your wife and father have found some common ground. I've got a feeling your dad is going to love your wife, even if he'd never admit it."

"I repeat, time will tell. But I have absolute confidence my mother will."

"Ah yes, Amanda. Of course she will." Pike smiled.

"You know my mother?"

"She's on the Intrepid, waiting for her husband and son to be returned to her." Christopher informed his friend.

"Yes, Mother can be quite…imposing at times." Spock's lip quirked.

"Indeed, for such a small lady she packs quite a wallop." The captain replied with a wistful sigh.

Nyota took Sarek out to the corrals that held their animals before stopping at the hothouse. "You and Spock have labored diligently to create a sustainable life. I commend you."

"Thank you, Ambassador." Nyota smiled. "It wasn't work, it was…an adventure. We had none of the technological tools we took for granted back home. At first it was difficult, but we," she paused to choose her words carefully, "we adapted. And we flourished. We lived the way our ancestors did, Spock tilled the soil, planted crops. I tended to the animals, made cheese, yogurt. I use their hair to weave fabric. We fished, explored. And in the process, we fell in love, Ambassador."

"I see. But have you considered that the circumstances that was forced upon you, somehow…romanticized this relationship with my son?" His voice was even, but she could feel his angst, his worry.

Nyota thought for a moment before she responded. "Sir, you are asking me if I fell in love with your son because of Eden. Well, of course I did. But would I have fallen in love with back home? Yes, sir, there is no doubt in my mind, my soul that Spock and I are soul mates and that we would eventually be together."

"This sounds quite romantic…" Sarek was interrupted by his son and Captain Pike.

"Father, we are in love. I realize that you married my mother as a logical action, however, Nyota and I are bonded, married, because we love each other. And I believe, as Nyota does, that we would have eventually found each other as such."

"Believe, Spock? This supposition is illogical, sa-fu. You cannot know the future." Sarek countered.

"It is a moot point, Father. I love Nyota and she is carrying my child." He went to stand by his wife.

"Indeed." Sarek looked over at Pike. "We should pack the boxes Spock and Cadet Uhura have set aside and be on our way."

"Okay…well, let's get you home." Pike looked at Nyota. "According to Spock here, he wants you and his son to have a complete medical work up as soon as we're on board…."

"I believe this is unwise. Spock, if you and your mate agree, we should make our way to Vulcan and our healers. They tended to your mother and they will tend to Nyota." He turned to her. "If you are agreeable."

Nyota looked over as Spock, waiting for his input. She felt his reserve, he hated the thought of returning to his home planet, but she also felt his relief. Relief that she and their son would be taken care of properly. He nodded and she took a deep breath.

"Alright, but only to get whatever medicines that are needed before we return to the Academy. I've missed…ten days." She shook her head and smiled at her husband. "Anyway, I need to get caught up. We may not stay in Star Fleet, but we need to stay on track, either way. Do you agree, Spock?"

"I do. Nyota is merely ten weeks into her pregnancy and thus far the serums I've created have kept her and our child healthy. We will consult with the healers and bring what is necessary back to Earth."

"Spock." Sarek spoke up. "I would not rush back into a life you have been away from for over two years. Ten days have past for all your colleagues and friends, but you have much to contend with once you return. You should acclimate…"

"I understand your concern, Sa-mekh, however we must return to our lives outside and the sooner we do the sooner we can establish our relationship." Spock turned to Nyota. "Are you in agreement, k'diwa?"

"Um hmm." She nodded. "In a few months I'll be showing and if I'm going back to the Academy I have to be out in the open with Spock. And I have to explain all this to my family…" She looked at Pike. "I can see my family, right?"

"The Intrepid will head to Earth first, we'll have our doctors take a look at you before you head to Vulcan. You can see your family, but Cadet, everything that happened, it's has to be kept to yourself. You are still under obligation to Star Fleet, Cadet Uhura." He laid a hand on her arm. "I understand your dilemma, but you must see our position."

She nodded and let Spock take her into his embrace. "I just need to…I don't know how I'll explain my baby, Spock, us. But I have to try."

"I will go with you. We will tell them that we were secretly bonded over a year ago and were waiting until you graduated before formally marrying on Earth, but because of the baby, we will move the ceremony up. We will also inform them of our visit to Vulcan to see the healers."

"Well, there isn't a single lie in that explanation." She smiled and leaned up to kiss him. "Thank you for being such a genius."

Sarek nodded uncomfortably at the show of affection between his son and the young cadet. "The captain and I will load the shuttle while you gather what you wish to take with you."

"Yeah, we'll be waiting for you outside." Christopher chuckled. "And I approve of you cover story. Sounds good."

Nyota handed Spock a small bag. There was so much she wanted to take with her but decided she couldn't. It was too hard and she realized she and Spock would need to make new memories back on Earth. And maybe Vulcan, too.

"I didn't realize just how much I came to consider this place home." She sadly shook her head.

"Nyota, my home is with you and with our child. This place, this time, it is all relative. As long as we have each other, we will be fine."

Nyota smiled up at him. "Ah yes, the relativity of time…and of love. No matter where or when I am, I will love you, my Spock."

"And I you, my love." He took her hand and led her to the waiting shuttle to begin their lives. Again.

The End