Chapter 14 (Epilogue)

When she arrived back at the commemoration, people had already started to leave the building. Sarek was outside, at the former parking space of his aircar.

They drove home in silence, Amanda refusing to tell him where she had been and what she had learned while still inside the aircar. In the end, she did not have to tell him anything at all. Instead, she asked him for a meld.

If the request was unexpected, what he learned from it was ten times more so. It had never occurred to him that Amanda had considered leaving him; much less her reason for that.

They discovered they had both grown over the years. That fact was unsurprising in Amanda's case, her still being so young. But Sarek also had changed. He had come to a much better understanding of her over the years.

In the beginning, Sarek had been appalled by the Humans' preoccupation with intercourse, and Amanda had not been any different. So he had gone into the other extreme, taking on a traditional Vulcan attitude. He stuck with the story that intercourse outside of pon farr was unnatural to him, but that he would compromise on her behalf.

Needless to say, Amanda's requests had decreased dramatically until they had moved into different bedrooms. It made sense, they preferred different room temperatures. His decision had rarely bothered Sarek, and never as much as in the last few days.

Amanda had to admit, in the beginning, she had not wanted to see how different from her Sarek really was. The more he tried to dissuade her of the idea, the more she was convinced that it was all just cultural conditioning.

For a long time, she had thought that he would change, or rather, admit that their couplings, which were far between and decreasing, meant more to him than he let on.

Only the fact that it was biological had convinced her that he was not lying. And that realization had almost led her to divorcing him. Rumarie made that explanation rather questionable, and that was why Sarek had so stubbornly refused to tell her about it.

But now, after five years of getting to know each other, of living together, they both felt that they would be able to compromise. Really compromise, instead of trying to impose their own ideas on the other.

Years later they would come to see this as one of the great hurdles their marriage managed to survive, but it was also the first of many lessons they learned from each other that they would have missed had they chosen to live a simpler life, uncomplicated by the ways of an alien spouse.

As it was the reason for their renewed understanding and the cause of a new beginning, Rumarie was observed with the courtesy and gratitude it was due.