Marriage retreat nc

Couples Workshops NC

Couples Workshops NC is a passionate group of Certified Gottman Therapists that offer couples therapy, couples workshops and private marriage retreats in North Carolina. As trained and skilled practitioners, we meet with couples everyday in our private practices. To learn more about Carole Cullen, LMFT & Shelly Hummel, LMFT you can visit our Meet The Presenters page.

Register Now

The art & science of love

We are pleased to present the original world-renowned Gottman couples workshop, The Art and Science of Love. Based on the scientific findings of John Gottman, Ph.D., who studied over 4000 couples in four decades, this workshop is designed to strengthen your relationship. 

This two day couples workshop is filled with engaging presentations and experiential activities designed to confirm, strengthen, or restore love in your relationship.

Click here for more information.

Register Now

Love and sex 360

Escape the everyday marriage at this couples retreat in the Asheville, North Carolina. Leave behind the pressures of everyday life and find space to focus on getting your relationship back. This marriage retreat is designed for you and addressed both the emotional and sexual intimacies of marriage.

Love & Sex 360 is a more exclusive and private couples retreat for those searching for new ways to connect both emotionally and sexually.

Book Now

couples intensive therapy

Do you want a more individualized therapeutic experience that addresses the needs in your relationship, specifically? Have you had a crisis in your relationship or just want to create more intimacy and trust?  

We offer one, two or three day couples therapy intensives designed just for you and your partner.  

Couples Intensive Therapy can offer you a more personalized and accelerated experience.

We’re so glad you’re here!

We want to share with you our passion for helping couples connect and have a great relationship. We have spent the majority of our lives learning the art & science of what makes a relationship work and now we want to share it with you!

Learn More About Us

“My wife and I attended The Art and Science of Love, and it was superb. Shelly and Carole, through their relaxed, expert presentation, helped to lead my wife and I through a process of building our bond AND becoming better at handling the hard stuff. We continue to use the strategies, techniques, and positivity we gained from the workshop. Most highly recommended!”
— Gordon Smith, Jul 12, 2018

Read more stories

Like and Follow Us to stay informed about upcoming events

The Art & Science of Love — Couples Workshops NC

Our curriculum is developed from 40 years of research with more than 3,000 couples. It’s grounded on what actually works in relationships that are happy and stable, not idealistic notions or anecdotal evidence of what a relationship should be. On day one, you will learn how to build friendship in your relationship and express feelings of respect and affection. On day two, you will learn how to manage conflict and communicate effectively.

The workshop has produced positive results for 94% of those who attend based on exit surveys, but don’t just take our word for it. Click here to read one real couple’s story.

You and your partner will learn how to foster respect, affection, and closeness in your relationship. You will build and share a deeper connection with each other. You’ll learn how to keep conflict discussions calm, how to break through conflicted gridlock, and how to strengthen and maintain the gains in your relationship.

Other workshop topics include:

  • Learn to recognize the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and what to do if they are attacking your marriage.

  • Identify your relationship’s specific strengths and how to build on them together.

  • Learn about the effects of physiological flooding and how it may affect conflict resolution.

  • Use the Fondness and Admiration System to renew, respect, and care for one another.

  • Create an Emotional Bank Account that you can draw upon in times of stress.

  • Develop your problem-solving skills, including the six skills for effective conflict resolutions.

This workshop is designed for ALL couples in a committed relationship. You do not need to be married. If you have a strong relationship, this workshop will provide you with insights and tools to foster further closeness, friendship, and trust. If your relationship is distressed, this two-day workshop will provide you with a greater understanding of your relationship and a road map for repair.

No public discussion or disclosure is involved. All work is done as a couple and Gottman-trained therapists are available to support one-on-one during exercises. This educational workshop may not be appropriate for couples dealing with addiction, domestic violence, or other serious relationship issues. In those situations, we recommend seeking counseling with a Gottman-trained therapist.

In addition to a greater understanding of how to build friendship, manage conflict, and create shared meaning in your relationship, you will receive The Art and Science of Love box set, which contains:

All licensed clinicians and educators are now eligible for a $50 discount to attend The Art and Science of Love workshop in North Carolina. A personal workshop experience is beneficial for your professional and personal toolkit, and will help you to better integrate Gottman Interventions into your work with couples. You may contact us at 919-263-4410 for the PROMO code to use at checkout. Please provide your license number for verification and your board website.

You may be eligible to attend The Art and Science of Love workshop in North Carolina with no out-of-pocket expense. Your registration fee is paid for by your EAP plan through Wellspring Family Services. Contact your EAP provider and request to attend The Art & Science of Love Workshop in NC. You may also contact us at 919-263-4410 for registration and payment information.

It is an honor to support the military and their families. All active-duty military and veterans are eligible to receive a $50 discount to attend The Art and Science of Love workshop in North Carolina. You may contact us at 919-263-4410 for the PROMO code to use at checkout. Please provide service credentials for us to verify with the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (DMDC).

This workshop is psycho-educational and not therapy. All information gathered during the registration process is confidential. There is no group work or public disclosure other than the voluntary questions that participants ask during the workshop.

In partnership with R. Cassidy we now offer up to 14 CE Hours to qualified professionals. CE Hours may be purchased for $40. Click here to learn more about earning CE’s.

Have more Questions?  Visit our FAQ page to learn more about our cancellation policy.

Nicholas II - Supreme Commander

Nicholas II - Supreme Commander

Prepared by
T.M. Butyrina, E.S. Eparinova

September 5, 1915 Nicholas II assumes the title of Supreme Commander of the Russian Army, replacing Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich in this post. This event took place in the context of a military catastrophe for Russia. In 1915, the Russian army made the "Great Retreat", leaving Galicia, Lithuania, and Poland to the enemy. The front stabilized on the Riga-Dvinsk-Baranovichi-Pinsk-Tarnopol line. Despite the fact that the strategic tasks of the Austro-German forces to withdraw Russia from the war did not reach their goal, the Russian army suffered heavy losses - about 1 million people were captured. The retreat was a severe moral shock for the soldiers and officers, the ruling circles and the population of the whole country. "Spring 1915 will remain in my memory forever. The great tragedy of the Russian army is the retreat from Galicia. No ammo, no shells. Bloody battles from day to day, difficult transitions from day to day, endless fatigue - physical and moral; sometimes timid hopes, sometimes hopeless horror ... ”- noted A. I. Denikin.

The Grand Duke's overestimation of his abilities eventually led to a number of major military mistakes. Attempts to ward off the relevant accusations led to the inflating of Germanophobia and spy mania. One of such significant episodes was the case of Lieutenant Colonel S. N. Myasoedov, which ended with the execution of an innocent. In this case, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich played one of the main roles. In the conditions of the military and political crisis, Nicholas II decided to take full responsibility and take over the command. General M. V. Alekseev became the chief of staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, who was credited with the organized retreat of the Russian army. nine0009

The resignation of Nikolai Nikolaevich, who was popular in the army, was met with mixed reactions. Representatives of the high command and public circles were categorically against the resignation of the Grand Duke. But the decision of the emperor remained unchanged.

Some representatives of the Stavka looked at the appointment of Nicholas II as a banner or a symbol. The emperor took responsibility for all successes and defeats, and in the eyes of the common people he became the leader of the Russian army.

Nicholas II had the rank of colonel, but did not have sufficient knowledge in the field of strategic planning and war management. Therefore, the actual command of the armed forces was concentrated in the hands of General M. V. Alekseev. At the same time, the emperor, although he received detailed reports on the course of hostilities, practically did not interfere in the decisions of his chief of staff. nine0009

“I have always highly valued the personality of General Alekseev and considered him, although I had little contact with him before the war, the most outstanding of our generals, the most educated, best prepared for broad military tasks. Therefore, I highly welcomed the change of Nikolai Nikolaevich and the entry of the sovereign on the path of the supreme command, knowing that General Alekseev would be the chief of staff. This for me was a guarantee of success in the conduct of the war, for, in fact, the chief of staff of the high command is the main leader of all operations. Of course, he [Nicholas II] was in the center of control, but in fact, Alekseev controlled everything, ”A.V. Kolchak wrote later. nine0009

Nicholas II and the State Duma

Establishment of the State Duma" (received the name "Bulyginskaya") and "Regulations on elections to the State Duma" dated August 6, 1906. nine0009

I State Duma

The first two State Dumas were unable to conduct regular legislative work: the contradictions between the deputies, on the one hand, and the emperor, on the other, were insurmountable. So, immediately after the opening, in a response address to the throne speech of Nicholas II, the left-wing Duma members demanded the liquidation of the State Council (the upper house of parliament), the transfer of monastery and state lands to the peasants. On May 19, 1906, 104 deputies of the Labor Group put forward a draft land reform, the content of which was reduced to the confiscation of landed estates and the nationalization of all land. nine0009

The Duma of the first convocation was dissolved by the Emperor by a Personal Decree to the Senate of July 8 (21), 1906, which set the time for the convocation of the new State Duma to February 20, 1907.

II State Duma Duma, instead of I. L. Goremykin, P. A. Stolypin was appointed to the post of chairman of the Council of Ministers. Stolypin's agrarian policy, the successful suppression of unrest, and his bright speeches in the Second Duma made him the idol of some of the right. nine0009

The Second Duma turned out to be even more left-wing than the first, since the Social Democrats and Socialist-Revolutionaries, who boycotted the First Duma, participated in the elections. The idea was ripening in the government to dissolve the Duma and change the electoral law; Stolypin intended to change the composition of the Duma.

The reason for the dissolution of the newly elected composition was the actions of the Social Democrats: on May 5, at the apartment of the Duma member from the RSDLP Ozol, the police discovered a gathering of 35 Social Democrats and about 30 soldiers of the St. Petersburg garrison; in addition, the police found various propaganda materials calling for the violent overthrow of the state system, various orders from soldiers of military units and false passports. On June 1, Stolypin and the chairman of the St. Petersburg Court of Justice demanded that the Duma remove the entire composition of the Social Democratic faction from meetings and remove the immunity from 16 members of the RSDLP. The Duma responded to the government's demands with a refusal; the result of the confrontation was the Manifesto of Nicholas II on the dissolution of the Second Duma, published on June 3, 1907, - together with the Regulations on elections to the Duma, that is, the new electoral law. The manifesto also indicated the date for the opening of the new Duma - November 1 of the same year. The act of June 3, 1907 in Soviet historiography was called the “June 3 coup,” as it conflicted with the manifesto of October 17, 1905, according to which no new law could be adopted without the approval of the State Duma.

III State Duma

III State Duma acted for the full term of office from November 1 to 1907 to June 9, 1912 and turned out to be the most politically durable. She was elected in accordance with the "Manifesto on the Dissolution of the State Duma, on the Time of Convening a New Duma and on Changing the Order of Elections to the State Duma" and the Regulations "on Elections to the State Duma" of June 3, 1907, which were issued by Emperor Nicholas II at the same time with the dissolution of the Second Duma.

IV State Duma

IV and the last State Duma acted from November 15 to 1912 to February 25, 1917. She was elected according to the same electoral law as the III Duma.

The war that began in 1914 temporarily dampened the flaming opposition movement. At first, the majority of parties (excluding the Social Democrats) spoke in favor of trust in the government. At the suggestion of Nicholas II in June 1914, the Council of Ministers discussed the question of transforming the Duma from a legislative body into a consultative one. On July 24, 1914, the Council of Ministers was granted emergency powers, i.e. he received the right to decide most cases on behalf of the emperor. nine0009

At an emergency meeting of the Fourth Duma on July 26, 1914, the leaders of the right-wing and liberal-bourgeois factions issued an appeal to rally around “the sovereign leader leading Russia into a sacred battle with the enemy of the Slavs”, putting aside “internal disputes” and “accounts” with the government. However, failures at the front, the growth of the strike movement, the inability of the government to manage the country stimulated the activity of political parties and their opposition. Against this background, the IV Duma entered into a sharp conflict with the executive branch. nine0009

February 25, 1917 The State Duma was dissolved and no longer officially met, but formally and actually existed. The IV State Duma played a leading role in the establishment of the Provisional Government, under which it actually worked in the form of "private meetings".

Nicholas II and Russian industry

The war overtook Russia on an economic upsurge that promised further progressive movement along the path of industrialization, technical and energy re-equipment of industry and the agricultural sector. In terms of average annual rates of industrial growth, the Russian Empire held the world championship. The war interrupted this process. nine0009

Russia had to rapidly mobilize all material and technical resources and, above all, the most important branches of heavy industry.

In September-October 1914, the emperor signed decrees “On the Procurement of Items and Materials Necessary for the Army and Navy in Wartime” and “On Supervision of the Activities of Industrial Enterprises Executing Orders from the Military and Naval Departments. ” The branches of the light and food industries, which received government orders and state loans, noticeably revived. nine0009

But, despite this, the restructuring of the industry was carried out with a loss of time and resources. The country's mobilization reserves were depleted in four months: already in the first weeks of the war, defense plants experienced turnover and a shortage of labor, a shortage of raw materials and fuel. The looming economic crisis forced the government to look back at the home front.

At the same time, already in July-August 1914, on the initiative of the public, the All-Russian Zemstvo Union and the All-Russian Union of Cities arose, which were engaged in the creation of their own enterprises for processing agricultural products and supplying food to the army and the population. May 1915, to help the government in mobilizing the economy, domestic entrepreneurs created their own military-industrial committees.

The defeats of the Russian army on the fronts of the war in the winter-spring period of 1915, the growth of revolutionary sentiments in the country, the unifying tendencies of the bourgeoisie, which put forward new political slogans, and its initiative in carrying out mobilization processes on its own, led in the summer of that year to a change in the government's course.

17 August 19On the year 15, the emperor approved a bill on the creation of a Special Conference on the Defense of the State, the main functions of which were to manage industrial enterprises of defense importance, to regulate production to provide for the army and navy, and, more broadly, to coordinate the efforts of the front and rear in the military purposes. A special meeting was given the right to involve private enterprises in military production, carry out construction work, and open new military factories. On August 23, Nicholas II took over the Supreme Command. This step was of great importance for the course of hostilities: the front was stabilized, a great leap was made in the development of the military and defense industry, and the supply of the army was improved. nine0009

Productivity at the Izhora plant, which manufactured airships, armored cars and trains, produced internal combustion engines, projectiles, seamless pipes, in 1916 more than doubled compared to 1913. At the Imperial Tula Arms Plant of Peter the Great, from 1914 to 1916, the production of rifles, revolvers and fuses increased two and a half times, machine guns and machine guns almost ten times.

By the end of 1916, thanks to efforts to mobilize industry and attract private enterprises to military production, the Russian army was provided with rifles and shells. nine0009

The emperor paid special attention to the problems of the railroad. During 1916 - early 1917, 3150 new tracks were built and 10 junction stations were developed.

Despite the industrial rise, the war became the most difficult test for the Russian national economy. As it dragged on, the symptoms of a general breakdown in economic life became more and more pronounced, leading to an economic and political crisis.

"The Guide", translation, maxi, NC-17, hurt/comfort, FINISHED — @diaries: asocial network

Note: The fic was printed in 1979 in a fanzine produced by Pulsar Press and is the first K/S novel published.
Read in full and download in one file from AO3


As a young actor, it is not uncommon that it happens -
He forgets a role that has been confirmed by fear ...
Oh, learn to read what passion writes in your heart!
Only love is given power to hear with the eyes. nine0155

---– W. Shakespeare, sonnet 23 translated by NV Gerbel

Spock hurriedly walked along the corridors of the Command Base, unable to control the flow of thoughts. On Captain Kirk's personal orders, he was to report to Starbase IX...but why?

He had been away for a whole month, and only now, having made the much-needed pilgrimage for mental health and resilience, did he realize how much he had missed the Enterprise. He was going to catch up with the ship as quickly as possible, so he could return to the grateful and fulfilling duties of first officer...and Jim. nine0009

The strange message was confusing. What is the captain doing at the Base when the Enterprise is light-years away?

The service shuttle stopped obediently in the parking lot, and Spock found himself in the middle of a huge and very modern residential area.

– Commander, should I wait? Spock's thoughts were interrupted by the pilot assigned to him by Base officials for the duration of his visit.

– No thanks. I won't need you yet," Spock let go of the employee and began surveying the surroundings. It was in a large, manicured garden around a structure that looked like a beach house. The shell-strewn sandy shore was very close, and a paved path descended from the house straight down to the restless pale blue waves. Located in the very center of a colorful tropical garden, the house seemed like a sparkling diamond, and its glass walls shimmering in the moonlight beckoned with calmness and tranquility, and heavy curtains falling from the inside of the windows reliably kept the secrets of the residents from prying eyes. nine0009

He rang the doorbell and an Andorian appeared at the door. She politely asked him his name, and Spock could not hide his surprise. This house, the furniture, the servants… all of this evoked thoughts of… constancy. Why would Kirk need such complications if he's only going to be here for a short time?

The woman took him back to the garden and, asking him to wait, disappeared behind the closed door. A minute later she returned and said:

- You are expected, Commander Spock. Please come in.

The room into which he was shown turned out to be a study. The lighting was dimmed, but even in the faltering semi-darkness one could easily make out massive mahogany shelves filled with books—real paper books that Kirk loved so dearly. There were also the more familiar stacks of memory cards, and a computer on the desk. The glass door leading to the patio was open, and there Spock noticed a man sitting motionless in a chair with his feet resting on a footstool. He saw only a silhouette: a strong chin, close-cropped blond hair and broad shoulders, but there could be no mistake ...

- Spock? - sounded a soft, full of cordiality voice. - Come here, sit down! Kirk waved his hand to the seat next to him and turned to the Vulcan. "I'm sorry I didn't get up to meet you." I sprained my ankle, and the doctor forbade me to get up for several days, and it's better not to argue with him!

- Captain, I've been away for 33.4 days and I'm very glad to finally see you. However, I must admit that I expected to meet you and the rest of the crew aboard the Enterprise.

"Of course, Mr. Spock, of course…" Kirk's lips broke into a soft, knowing smile. "A loyal, dedicated Vulcan as always." The captain's words sounded kindly, but somehow Spock was disappointed by the response he received, though he didn't understand where the feeling came from. After several weeks of absence, after making a pilgrimage, he came to new conclusions about his Vulcan heritage, and this, oddly enough, reconciled him to human emotions in many ways. He missed Jim Kirk, and their current meeting was not at all what he had hoped for. Disappointment, one of the feelings the Vulcan had only recently recognized, was what he sensed as he gazed at his captain. Kirk had visibly lost weight since their last meeting, his face looking pale and distant. nine0009

– Spock, let's talk about you first. How was your trip? Parents? Questions poured out of Kirk like a cornucopia. He wanted to know everything and everything.

- The trip was satisfactory in all respects, captain. As for your parents, Sarek sends you his best wishes, and Amanda... his love.” Spock almost smiled, fondly remembering his mother's unchanging and purely human expressiveness.

– Spock, you look great! I'm glad to see you too…” Kirk smiled broadly at the chief officer. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m a terrible host. Would you like something to drink? He reached for the call button on the arm of the chair. - Fruit juice? Or would you dare to share a glass of tranja with me? Kirk shook his half-empty glass. nine0009

Hagar, his housekeeper, appeared with a tray in hand, serving Spock a drink while filling Kirk's glass to the brim.

Spock took a sip of the sweet, bright orange liqueur and looked around curiously.

- Jim, this house is very different from the captain's cabin. I admire the work of the interior designer.

- Nice home, isn't it? I myself like it very much. It belongs to a friend of mine who has been away for a few months. Definitely a lot better here than in one of those featureless guest quarters that Base management has to offer. nine0009

Kirk asked questions over and over again, listening intently to Spock's trip, his impressions of Vulcan, how his relationship with his father had greatly improved. Only the joy of meeting was written on his face, but Spock noted with concern that the smile playing on his lips contrasted sharply with the implicit tension that shackled his friend. The words sounded ordinary, his hands lay relaxed on the armrests of the chair, but the muscles that quivered from time to time on his chin spoke of composure, an internal strain that was hardly hidden. Spock's anxiety grew by the minute, and he ventured a direct question. nine0009

- Captain, forgive my faux pas, but what are you doing at Starbase?

- Mr. Spock, let me try to explain. I... no longer... serve on the Enterprise.

That statement, direct, unequivocal, exploded between them like a time bomb, and Spock found himself unable to control his expression. Trying to overcome the whirlwind of feelings that filled him, he did not even notice the bitterness that sounded in Kirk's voice.

- May I congratulate you on your well-deserved promotion, sir? Spock forced himself to utter the required formal words for the situation. nine0009

– Stop, Calm. Hold on with the questions, okay? No, I do not climb up the career ladder ... I ... leave the service. And yes, I'm fine - as is the ship. I just decided to leave.

Spock was silent, realizing that now he was offered a clarification, not an explanation. He was waiting to continue.

"Personal reasons," Kirk drawled thoughtfully, as if talking to himself. “We need to leave before it's too late. All the dreams that will never come true, all the hopes, all the... losses...all for this demanding, ever-hungry "Iron Lady"... I'm getting married, Spock, I'll have to leave her. I am marrying Kitar, Admiral Singh's daughter. nine0009

There was a deathly silence, and only a few moments later Spock found the strength to answer.

“Captain, I wish you and your fiancée a long life and prosperity,” he tried to believe in the spoken words. Glancing at Kirk, Spock tried to determine if he had noticed the pain on his face, but Kirk avoided meeting his eyes, staring off into the distance, into the lilac evening gloom.

"The wedding will take place on Orion Beta - a private ceremony only for Singh's family." Embarrassment showed on the captain's face, but was instantly suppressed. "McCoy came to the Base to help me organize, but he'll be leaving soon... Spock, I'd really like to invite you, but the family's wishes..." Kirk paused, then added softly, "I'm leaving in two days." nine0009

The Vulcan sat motionless, afraid that any movement would reveal his true feelings, reveal the frightened, abandoned child lurking inside him.

- Spock, they can offer the Enterprise to you... I'm not sure, of course, but my opinion should be obvious to you. They won't find a better option.” Kirk's voice broke. The grip of the "iron lady", has she weakened even a little? - And ... you, my dear friend, live long and prosper! – he stretched out his hand for a handshake, but stopped halfway and, having changed his mind, wearily lowered his hand. - Of course, we'll see each other before I leave. nine0009

Spock realized that the visit was over. He silently bade the captain good night, but Kirk didn't even turn in his direction, just stared at the empty glass clutched in his palm, and the Vulcan slowly and hesitantly walked away.

He urgently needed to catch his breath, walk and think. He walked towards the main building complex, pacing the road resolutely and realizing that he was unable to escape from the disturbing, tormenting questions swarming in his mind, to escape from the aftertaste left by a strange meeting with a man who had suddenly become a stranger to him. nine0009

Where is he going now, where should he go? Starfleet is his "home"... the cruel irony of the word hit him in the gut. The Navy, the ship on which he had served for sixteen years, his duties - his way of life, his way of living with dignity and usefulness ... but "home"? The house should give warmth, a sense of security, an understanding that there are things in the world ... people worth living and dying for ... Jim ... Now this word seemed to Spock an empty mockery, irony, sounding in time with his lonely steps. nine0009

"Personal reasons" - Kirk's plans in which there was no place for him. He would leave the service, follow Jim under any circumstances, anywhere - except for a marriage union.

The bitterness of loss washed over him like icy sticky rain, seeping through his skin, chilling his heart. The taste of this bitterness was new to him: the Vulcan Spock for forty years strengthened the stone wall surrounding him, he did not meet almost anything on his way that he truly appreciated, was afraid to lose. But not so long ago acquired a special relationship, that precious feeling that he had just dared to admit, this delicate matter, filled with immeasurable beauty, was now tinged with black colors of loss...

Returning to the guest rooms allotted to him by the Starbase management, Spock began to wander around the room. An inexplicable, completely non-Vulcan wave of jealousy, almost hatred, bubbled in his chest. She had won, this woman he hadn't even seen, this faceless stranger. On a sudden impulse, he sat down at his computer and typed in a resolute query, thrashing his fingers on the keyboard in anger. nine0009

- Spock, Commander, USS Enterprise, Identity, Class C clearance. Give me all the information you can about Admiral Singh, Indra. Specification: family history, offspring.

The monotonous clicking of the computer was replaced by a female voice providing the requested data:

- Indra Singh, admiral, age: 62 years. Assignment: Military Governor, Orion Beta II. Marital status: Married. Offspring: one daughter, Kithar Singh-Watson, married to Commander Thomas Watson, stardate 2344.12. Parents: de…

"That's enough," Spock interrupted the computer and hurried to the door. Without waiting for transport, almost running, he rushed along the line of the beach.

Those words, "...married to Commander Thomas Watson..." sounded like a battle alarm to him, setting off a chain reaction in his trained logical mind, reviving his analytical skills, stopping the raging maelstrom of emotions that had just threatened to engulf him. Something was wrong, it couldn't be otherwise! Kitar Singh has been married to Commander Thomas Watson for two months. It's clear that Kirk... lied to him. And Kirk, he knew it distinctly, wouldn't lie to him if it wasn't for... He's hiding... he's hiding something. Could it be related to some mission that Spock shouldn't be on? Yeah, their reunion really turned out to be strange ...

He found himself looking for an explanation, trying to push away the still vague suspicion that something very bad had happened, but this suspicion grew stronger in him with every second.

Their meeting looked like a composite picture, painted in black and gray, a mosaic with missing elements, without which it is impossible to assemble a single whole. And at the center of it all was Kirk, almost subtly changed, not the same as ever.

He was noticeably out of breath when he got home. Trying to catch his breath, he stopped briefly, bringing his heartbeat back to normal and collecting his thoughts. And then, instead of going through the main gate, he went around the fence to the side gate and soon found himself in the courtyard connected with the office. nine0009

The sliding glass door was still open, but the lights in the room were bright this time. Kirk sat at his desk, his face buried in his hands. He was dressed in a black tunic, his shoulders were limply lowered, and, looking at his friend overcome by helpless despair, Spock no longer doubted that something truly monstrous had happened.

Hearing footsteps approaching, Kirk raised his head, looked straight at Spock, and asked softly,

"Is that you, Bones?"

His eyes were wide open, staring straight at the Vulcan without blinking, and then Spock understood. Kirk was blind.

* * * * *

The conversation he was waiting for took place about an hour ago. Despite the fact that Kirk had spoken quite calmly over the telecom about Spock's visit and how their plan seemed to work, McCoy felt he should be there. They talked for almost half an hour... but something in Kirk's voice made the doctor think that his friend's depression was getting worse. nine0009

Nervously drumming his fingers on the table, McCoy decided to pour himself another drink. The Starbase-allocated suite of living quarters and office seemed too large to the Doctor, but certainly more comfortable than the limited space of his quarters on the Enterprise.

Enterprise... of course he will miss her... but his place is here with Jim. When he brought Kirk to the Base, he submitted a request and immediately processed the transfer. A ship's surgeon looking for work was a piece, a valuable commodity, and without any delay he was appointed head of the special research department of the local Medical Center. It would be easier for Kirk to come to terms with the current state of affairs if he knew that McCoy was still working, and if he himself allowed McCoy to do what he had to do without too much difficulty ... to be close to a friend. nine0009

An insistent knock on the door took him by surprise - he was not expecting anyone. So, when he opened the door and saw a Vulcan on the threshold, the doctor immediately knew that his plan with Jim had failed after all.

He had never seen Spock in such a state: his face was shiny with sweat, his hair was disheveled, his shoes were covered with a thick layer of dust, his uniform was crumpled and stained with something, and his eyes ... like two deep coal mines, at the bottom of which unbearable pain blazed and rage.

- Dr. McCoy, why? Didn't I have a right to know? I demand that you tell me everything! What happened to Jim and why did you decide to hide it from me? The words sounded measured, but the gaze that accompanied them spoke of unspoken, unbearable suffering. nine0009

– Spock… what… what the hell happened to you? - McCoy could not manage to collect himself and adequately meet the unexpected attack, mentally he tried to find some way to get out of this situation. But then he looked at Spock, terrible in his pain and anger, and realized that there was only one way. Tell the truth.

With considerable difficulty, he pulled himself together and, looking Spock straight in the eye, spoke slowly and clearly:

“Spock, Jim is blind. Most likely irreversible. He lost his sight a month ago, right after you left. It's a long story... How did you figure it out? nine0009

Spock was silent for a few seconds.

– I didn't understand… at first. But then I returned. He didn't recognize me.

A chill shook the Vulcan as he remembered Kirk asking over and over again, “Who is that? Bones? Tormak? Who is there?" Spock couldn't answer, couldn't find the strength to speak to him at that moment. Shocked, he turned and ran away, leaving his friend in the dark, confused, frightened looking for the night guest.

Spock felt dread again as he mentally pictured Jim, alone, lost, and utterly helpless. But he had to know everything. nine0009

- Dr. McCoy, you need to tell me all the details. Immediately!

“Sit down and I'll tell you,” McCoy snapped. Spock did not move, only met his gaze with cold determination, and the doctor, with a sigh, began to tell:

“It happened right after you left for Vulcan. The Enterprise was ordered to head for the Tholian sector. According to the latest calculations of geophysicists, a long spatial interphase was about to occur, and we were tasked with trying to return the Defiant. The Federation wanted him back, desperately. They were afraid to let all of its military arsenal and equipment dangle somewhere between the galaxies, freely available to all curious and possibly hostile races. nine0009

- This time we got ready and drugged the team half drunk with a solution of chlorfaragen derivatives to prevent space madness. We quickly located the Defiant, we saw it with our own eyes, but the sensors did not register anything. He dangled there like a body with no signs of life, himself and his shadow at the same time.

- As usual, Jim decided to go to the Defiant on his own to coordinate the ship's docking with the Enterprise's tractor beams. Oh, Spock, we should have thought thirty times, but you know Jim, you can't change his mind. He just grinned, as usual, and flashed his eyes (then the last time I saw this sparkle): “you get nervous in old age, don’t you, Bones?”, and then stood on the transporter platform. Everything else, damn it, happened so quickly that I'm not even sure the accuracy of my story.” McCoy trailed off, lost in memory, pain evident on his face, his lips tightening tightly, making him look like a broken old man. With bitterness in his voice, he continued:

- The silhouettes on the platform were just beginning to flicker, and then we heard the buzz of an alien transporter, interfering with ours and intercepting our landing. Captured by the two beams, Jim was paralyzed, unable to move, and then this fucking Tholian appeared on the platform next to him. Pulling out a weapon, he aimed at the captain's head, and a bright red beam - devil's fire, not otherwise - hit Jim right in the forehead. He yelped, his hands twitching in pain, ripping through the intersection of the transporter beams. And then he pressed his palms to his temples, as if trying to protect himself from an attack with his bare hands, and fell. nine0009

- Guards fired at the Tholian, and the intruder disintegrated before our eyes, leaving only a weapon behind. As I found out later - at that moment I was only interested in Jim's condition - the guard's phaser was set to stun, and this was not what killed the Tholian. It looked like he was a suicide bomber, and a ray, any ray, phaser or transporter ray, would result in his immediate annihilation.

- Starfleet collected weapon fragments and carefully examined them, dissolving them down to the molecules, but the answer has not yet been found. We don't know how it works, only what it does…” McCoy paused again, managing the emotion of the memory. He poured himself another glass and offered it to Spock, but Spock resolutely refused, preparing to listen intently to the rest of the story. nine0009

– Over the course of several days, Jim would come to his senses, then lose consciousness again. He was put on life support, and yet we couldn't find any pathology that could explain his condition. We feared that his brain was irreversibly damaged, that a hemorrhage might occur. However, one day the pain simply disappeared, and he came to himself ... completely blind.

For a while, both of them sat motionless, immersed in their own thoughts, in their shared grief. Spock's face was completely blank, but it wasn't the mask of Vulcan calm that made it so, but the imprint of anguish. nine0009

"Dr. McCoy," he said hoarsely, "did you really think I wouldn't find out sooner or later?"

“I didn’t count,” McCoy sighed, “but I was hoping that it would happen when, as captain, you took the ship many light years away from here . .. and maybe then you realize that this is exactly what Jim wanted, you will be able to understand why he did so.


And this word was followed by a long silence.

McCoy woke up first:

- Jim! Oh my god, he's all alone in there. We need to run to him.” Grabbing a first aid kit, he hurried to the exit, dragging Spock with him.

- I have to warn you about something else. Jim still has those inexplicable seizures... not as often as he used to - there's only been two since we got here. They begin without any warning as excruciating headaches, eventually leading to loss of consciousness. And worst of all… seizures cause a sudden increase in intracranial pressure, which can lead to a stroke and massive cerebral hemorrhage. We don't know why this is happening, but excitement and other strong emotions can act as triggers, and you definitely left Jim in a state of arousal. We'd better hurry, Spock. nine0009

* * * * *

The house was dark and quiet, only the dining area was lit. The economy has not yet slept. Humming softly to herself, she finished her work in the kitchen. McCoy immediately went to Kirk's bedroom. He stayed there for what felt like an eternity to Spock for a couple of minutes before opening the door and gesturing for the Vulcan to come in. Spock had no idea what they were talking about, but by the time he arrived, Kirk was seated in an oversized chair that looked like it was about to swallow its emaciated owner. The sedative McCoy injected into him helped him relax, but as he turned his head in the direction of the approaching footsteps, Spock saw obvious embarrassment and self-doubt in his face. McCoy, accustomed to reading the captain's expressive facial expressions, also noticed relief and a faint smile lurking at the corners of his lips: the performance was over, and Spock was here, next to him ...

God, how he missed him , McCoy thought with a strange tremor in his heart. Kirk had a hard time trying to hide his blindness in order to let Spock go free. ..but somewhere in his subconscious, he must have wanted the truth to come out so his friend would know.

– Spock? Kirk held out his hand, and Spock, after a moment's hesitation, squeezed his hand.

- It's me, Captain. Dr. McCoy told…” He trailed off, noticing that Kirk's hand twitched at the word "Captain." Henceforth, you should refrain from using it. nine0009

– Calm. I'm sorry I had to lie to you." Feeling the pain in Kirk's voice, Spock bowed his head. - This farce did not bring me any pleasure ... Let me explain.

Spock squeezed his hand lightly to stop him.

Jim, don't. I understand, I really understand…” His voice was full of tenderness, but flames blazed in his gaze towards McCoy. And then the doctor realized: Kirk is forgiven. Spock understood what he was being guided by. Him, but not McCoy. And when the ruthless look of dark eyes dug into his face, a shiver ran down the doctor's spine...

"I... had to do this... for you," Kirk added, and Spock realized how difficult, how unbearably difficult, this decision had been for him. And this whole "farce" that Kirk and McCoy had planned just 24 hours before he arrived...

All the pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place: Kirk sitting motionless, not rising to greet him, offering an excuse for hurting his ankle, wedding plans , the glass in Kirk's hand that he never put down on the table, his unfocused thoughtful gaze...

As soon as the Vulcan was lost in thought, Kirk's face showed disappointment, and only then did Spock realize that his friend was no longer able to understand what was happening to the interlocutor when he was silent. And then he broke the silence, daring to ask a question, the answer to which was very important for him:

- Jim, I want to extend my leave and stay at Starbase IX. Will you let me be by your side?

- What about the Enterprise, Spock? Who will take charge of the ship? But what about you? How long will Naval Command allow you to extend your leave? Kirk was still denying the obvious, but the Vulcan interrupted him by repeating the previous question:

– Will you let me be around?

And it sounded so confident, so sincere, that Kirk just nodded in gratitude. A happy smile lit his face as he called for the housekeeper to set up the guest rooms for Spock. The problem was still there, and the decision had yet to be made: Spock would have to leave, but not now, later. They will certainly deal with all this sometime later. Spock was here, and at the moment nothing else mattered. nine0009

* * * * *

Returning to his quarters, McCoy did his best to put his thoughts in order. So Spock found out... and decided to stay, as he, the doctor, had intended. From the very beginning, the whole chain of events was random. Immediately after the incident, McCoy persistently tried to contact Spock, but he was unavailable. Vulcans during the pilgrimage have no connection with the outside world. This is an ancient rule, and no one had the right to break it.

When Kirk regained consciousness, he begged, begged, threatened, and finally beat out of McCoy a promise to keep everything a secret - at least for a while. A couple of weeks passed, and the doctor realized that he supported the captain's intentions: he was afraid that Spock's persistent tutelage would interfere with Kirk's rehabilitation rather than hasten it. And by the time news reached them that Spock was heading to the Enterprise and Kirk decided to redirect him to the Base before he knew what had happened, McCoy was absolutely ready to help Kirk put on this show...

But now he was no longer sure of anything. That night, as he watched Kirk, he had the feeling that he had finally returned home after a long, exhausting journey. It was quite obvious that Jim needed Spock.

With mixed feelings, McCoy realized that a whole new phase of their lives had begun.

-end of chapter 1-

CHAPTER 2 in comments
CHAPTER 3 in comments
CHAPTER 4 in comments
Chapter 5 In the comments
Chapter 6:
Part 1
In the comments
Part 2 in the comments
Part 3 Chapter 7 in the comments
Chapter G. in the comments
CHAPTER 10 in the comments
CHAPTER 11 and EPILOGUE in the comments

@themes: Spirk, star trek, tos, spock is love, my translations (and my hands itched.

Learn more