Bonds of Love and Hate
|Title:||Bonds of Love and Hate|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|External Links:||online here|
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Art by Shelley Butler accompanies it.
It was published in the print zine Beyond Dreams #7.
Reactions and Reviews
[art -- "On My Mind" by Shelley Butler]: The black and white pencil drawing entitled "On My Mind" by Shelley Butler accompanies the story by Lady Ra called "Bonds of Hate and Love." This artwork for me is the best piece of art in the whole zine, Beyond Dreams 7. The Spock face is especially good in this piece. It's a simple piece with Kirk sitting in his command chair thinking of Spock. I like Shelley's work, and I think she is currently probably one of the best artists in K/S today-if not the best one. And while manipulated photos and computer art is taking over the world of art in many fandoms, including K/S, I still prefer a nice real artwork to an equally nice computer-type piece of art. I even saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and thought it totally sucked, as did many people. It just wasn't real to me. The characters/actors might as well as have been computerized, too, along with the backgrounds. I know this makes me a dinosaur, but I really do prefer art that isn't helped along with a computer. 
Another different version of events after Amok Time. In this reality, T’Pring goes ahead with her bonding to Spock and when he returns to the Enterprise, she gets her revenge for being bonded to a half human whom she considers to be inferior by tormenting Spock via their bondlink. Kirk’s growing concern about Spock as his link with T’Pring causes him to become withdrawn from everyone around him is touching and realistic, as is his sadness that he didn’t reveal his own feelings for Spock before he was bonded and lost to Kirk for good. McCoy’s attempts to discover what is wrong is also very nicely portrayed as is Kirk’s determination to get to the bottom of what is happening and to keep Spock’s friendship, if nothing else. The scene in Spock’s cabin when he finally breaks down in the face of the unimaginable pain being inflicted on him by T’Pring is very moving as is his inability to keep himself from breaking down and telling Kirk what is happening in spite of his determination to protect Kirk from his vengeful bondmate. I must admit that I found T’Pring’s reasons for behaving as she did were a bit hard to believe in at first, but having said that, she is normally shown as cold and manipulative, so maybe its not such a stretch of the imagination for her to be portrayed as vindictive and hateful as she is here. My only problem with this story is that I found this particular author’s portrayal of Spock’s character to be rather weak. I kept expecting Spock to put up a fight against T’Pring and was a bit disappointed that he did not really seem to do so. However, Kirk’s determination to stick with Spock and support him ultimately pave the way for him and Spock to consider what they want to happen next and the fate of T’Pring and Stonn seems like poetic justice to me. 
An unusual look at Amok Time. It seems that Spock has bonded with T'Pring and there's been no challenge or fight between Jim and Spock. After the bond is consummated Spock returns to the ship, cold and closed-up. Kirk is worse than disappointed and we find out why. He had believed that he would still have time to woo and win Spock, that the Vulcan would've eventually responded to his captain's overtures of love. But Kirk is blindsided by the information that leaped out of his viewscreen the day T'Pring showed up. Kirk resents her for taking the place he craved in Spock's mind, feels guilty about it, buries it, wanting the best for his beloved friend. Later, on a mission, Spock refuses an order from his captain to mind-meld with a crewman. A utilitarian meld Kirk deemed would have saved the mission. In a private debriefing Kirk learns, to his sorrow, that his friend is having trouble controlling his mental powers and is unsatisfied with his bond. Kirk gently probes but Spock gives only the bare minimum. The captain lets it go, continuing to worry.
While I was sorting my husband's socks, zine propped on the table, I was trying to sort out Spock's feelings, just as he was doing in his cabin. The brutal truth is revealed: T'Pring's presence is a poison, contaminating his every emotion, particularly his feelings toward Kirk. Those seeds of love had flowered and T'Pring had detected it. Now she wants revenge. In a vicious assault on her quarry, she attacks his insecurity, derides him for being only half vulcan, for being weak. Her jealous nagging never ends; Spock's shielding is the only way he can remain sane. In response to this horror, Spock turns super stony. His body betrays him; his appearance suffers from the strain of hiding his feelings from Kirk and from his wife. Nothing helps, not even the CMO's tests. Meantime, Spock is tired of fighting T'Pring's insanity, he even yearns for an end to his life. But deeper darkness lies ahead. Besides the constant war going on in his head, he is dragged into a second meld by T'Pring; she forces him to watch as she and her lover, Stonn, copulate. Spock is incredulous, fidelity is unheard of in vulcan tradition. From this he suffers a psychic backlash that brings him to the gates of hell. Fed up and anxious, Kirk enters Spock's cabin to get to the bottom of things. He finds Spock curled up in agony and as the human touches him, he is pulled into the disgusting meld, an unwilling witness to T'Pring's 'rutting' and the cruel words she uses like knives on his helpless friend. At this point, my own thoughts were less than generous toward the lady vulcan. I'm not always sanguine about T'Pring being made the 'bad guy', however, in this case I wanted to wring her long neck! That night Kirk stays with his friend, comforts him, lying next to him, so in love but willing to wait for the exhausted Spock to rest and speak later. Next morning, Kirk learns that there's a way to end the bond and the abusive relationship. Spock is loath to do it, fearing that he might be blamed for her obvious insanity because of his being a 'half breed'. Kirk won't hear of this and literally takes Spock under his wing, taking him off duty and putting Spock under 24 hour surveillance. McCoy's aid is enlisted too, for documentation. This results in Jim and Spock having 3 days together before reaching Vulcan and a decision of how to proceed. Kirk watches over his friend, becomes the major support for Spock's sagging self-esteem. Mind linked with his friend's, Kirk 'listens in' on T'Pring's abusive diatribes. He finds that her ultimate goal is Spock's death, to have his fortune and his noble name. The bitch! I thought, angry but impressed by Kirk's unfailing loyalty, his just being there for his beloved. I couldn't help, also, loving the pent-up passion displayed during the explosive hours spent in Spock's cabin, the men unable to touch or kiss lest T'Pring sense it and attack again. When they reach Vulcan, T'Pring gets her just desserts for her murder attempt on Ambassador Sarek's son. He and the Healers save the day in a stunning conclusion I don't want to spoil for you.I liked this story! For one thing, McCoy is solidly behind Jim and Spock and lends his assistance whenever crucial; Amanda, too, comes off as a gentler, far superior mom than I'd thought her before. T'Pring and Stonn are dealt with and there is a beautiful and electrifying love scene, courtesy of the mental bond and unique mind link that has grown between Spock and Jim. I loved the passion! Besides, the story is richly informative, revealing of the nature of the Vulcan bond and different aspects of the link. You get great writing too, so read it! 
What I would like to say about this is that my personal preference is for a strong, sensitive but resilient Spock. I don't mind him suffering in a story, but If he is drawn with no inner resources I tend not to care very much what happens to the version of Spock portrayed. I guess this is a matter of taste, but I don't know what Kirk would see in a weak Spock. By strengths I of course mean integrity, fortitude and nobility, not a domineering personality. This story concerns a very unpleasant bond with T'Pring, with which she inflicts mental torture on Spock. Kirk rescues him and the bond is broken. 
There is no better combination than a cool, cloudy day and a warm, snuggly K/S story. Today was my lucky day—I had both! This author, unknown to me but sure to be one I remember, has created an alternate outcome for Spock's first Pon Farr that is most original, inventive and entertaining to say the least.
Spock's bonding to T'Pring was not aborted in this version. It was completed and following its consummation, Spock returned to his place on the Enterprise. His place but not his persona. Spock coldly avoids Kirk's every attempt to remain his friend, physically cringing at the slightest touch from his Captain. This is all very well told, drawing the reader deeply into the feelings that such rejection generates in Kirk. While he feels much more for Spock, he has not yet expressed it, and now that doorway has been closed forever. At this point he would gladly settle for what they had before, but that seems an impossibility too. This chill replica of what they shared is far from enough for Kirk. His pain and confusion is so very real, so compelling, that it is difficult to stop reading even for a moment. I must admit here to a foible—one of many. There is a part of me who loves hurt/comfort, especially when the one who needs comforting is an oh-so vulnerable Spock. Kirk is not the only one hurting here. Spock is miserable and finally reveals to Kirk that he is having a problem with the bond and that he can never again meld with anyone else—especially Kirk. His explanations are sparse. Kirk is hurting for the friend he has lost. Spock is hurting for that reason and more. T'Pring is torturing him through the bond. Full of hatred and venomous prejudice against her bondmate, she hurls cruelty at him at every opportunity. She attacks his weakest points, his insecurities about his heritage, his friendship with a human. Spock cannot sleep. He does not remember when he last ate. He curls on the floor by his firepot in complete desolation and exhaustion. He thinks of suicide—the only escape he can imagine in his depleted and demoralized state. There is such a beautiful and redeeming moment when Kirk finds him this way and will not turn his back. Instead the human forces a mental contact that reveals to him all of the poisonous thoughts his friend is being subjected to. He holds Spock tightly in his arms and refuses to let go. Here the mental imagery is strong, and more believable than I usually find it to be. I can understand this non-physical embrace, the incorporeal lifeline that Kirk throws to his beloved friend. Finally, in the meld, he sees the extraordinary being that existed before T'Pring. "Spock", he says breathlessly as Spock's mind whispers, "I have missed thee..."Now the battle is joined. Kirk will, of course, not allow this hellish barrage to continue. His tenacity, his unprecedented love and determination are needed more than ever before as he wages war against this unseen threat to the man he loves more than life itself. The tension mounts as T'Pring senses her foe and calls upon all her insanity-driven skills to destroy them both. What ensues is both frightening and beautiful. An incredibly unique and exceptionally well crafted drama of the highest order. 
This story is an alternative version to Amok Time, in which T’Pring did not challenge the bonding. Spock returns from Vulcan bonded to T’Pring, and is now cold and distant. Kirk misses Spock’s friendship, and is also unhappy because he’s in love with Spock, and before the trip to Vulcan had felt that Spock was returning his affections. Kirk finally finds out the reason for the change in Spock’s behavior—T’Pring has been verbally abusing Spock through the bond, and he cannot shield against her tormenting him. The abuse escalates until Spock is almost killed by T’Pring, but the combination of Kirk‘s love and Vulcan healers saves him. This is a very weak Spock characterization—he seems to have incredibly low self esteem, and almost believes he deserves the abuse heaped upon him by T’Pring. And what I really found hard to believe is why would Spock go through with the bonding when he was in love with Kirk and believed Kirk to be in love with him? I didn’t think this was ever satisfactorily explained in the story. However, I think Lady Ra is a good writer, and I enjoyed her story despite being frustrated at times by the characterization of Spock. The plot is developed well, and she does a good job of escalating the tension as the situation got increasingly more desperate for Spock. I especially enjoyed her Kirk, and his determination to save Spock no matter what it took. 
Lady Ra has a very eye-catching tendency to weave delightfully original plot devices into long and emotionally satisfying stories. This is my favorite of her K/S endeavors. Her unique approach to the pivotal episode ̳Amok Time‘, and her deviation into AU territory, drew me in from the start, and held me entranced throughout. I found her use of evocative imagery fairly compelling, particularly during events within a telepathic landscape. She takes a much beloved literary device – the Vulcan marital bond – and puts an interesting spin on it, while also developing the basis for a beautiful relationship between Kirk and Spock. In addition to the larger structure of the story, I find her characterizations of these men superb, and endearing; she portrays Spock with a very attractive gentleness, almost innocence, and Kirk‘s compassionate demeanor shines through with natural grace and energy. I confess to a minor guilty pleasure in her less than flattering depiction of T‘Pring – having never liked the woman, I was more than happy to see her placed in the role of the villain! Lady Ra‘s satisfying combination of plot, hurt/comfort, and romance was an unquestionable success in my books; I find this story a delight to read, and it only seems to get better with each new perusal. 
"Bonds of Hate and Love" by Lady Ra is twenty- five pages approximately. This is a new writer I am not familiar with-unless it's a new pen name for one of the older K/S writers. This a/u story has Spock bonded to T'Pring who is insane and trying to kill him with her mental powers via the bond. It's very talky and without much action, but still it works okay. It's basically page after page of Spock in agony. I enjoyed the story even if I felt it was a little unrealistic in places. I just find it hard to believe that T'Pring would have that much power over Spock. It's just something I find hard to accept. The story definitely scores points on originality. And those who love to see Spock suffer will be in heaven. I personally prefer to see Kirk in agony because he's the character I love the most. 
I happened to stumble onto this story on the web the other day, along with a few others this author has written, and while I originally read it in BD 7, doing so again served as a reminder of just how talented this author is and how enjoyable ALL of her stories are. But in my opinion, this one is the best.
Here we find an alternative ending to Amok Time. There has been no challenge, no death and resurrection of Kirk. Rather, the bonding to T‘Pring, to all appearances, has gone smoothly and Spock, fully recovered from the Pon Farr, has rejoined the Enterprise. Yet there has been a distinctive change in his behavior and it seems to both Kirk and McCoy that he is now determined to become the perfect Vulcan. Yet Spock‘s attempt to achieve this particular goal doesn‘t settle well with Kirk, as it is costing him the close friendship he has always shared with his first officer. To make matters worse, Kirk finds his feelings for said first officer have deepened to the point where he wants more, but with Spock now bonded to T‘Pring, Kirk is forced to face the fact that such a relationship could never be. Still, he cannot help but feel that something is wrong, but it only after a landing mission turns disastrous that he learns what that ―something‖ might be. Yet that knowledge only serves to drive another nail into the coffin that was once his hoped-for relationship with Spock. It is clear that his Vulcan now belongs to someone else and all Kirk can do is hope that Spock finds some small measure of peace and contentment in his bond with T‘Pring, especially since he now seems determined to shut Kirk out of his life. But what Kirk cannot know is just how right he is that something is indeed very, very wrong. For unbeknownst to Kirk, Spock‘s feelings toward his captain had also changed, but before he could act on those feelings, his Time drew him helplessly toward Vulcan and the bondmate who awaited him there. Once they are joined, however, Spock finds that T‘Pring is not at all whom she seems and that knowledge is slowly destroying him. He soon finds himself in a battle for survival, a battle he cannot fight alone, but must. To do otherwise would expose others, especially Kirk, to danger, something Spock would rather die than allow to happen. But Kirk, once he realizes what is happening, isn‘t so willing to allow such a sacrifice, yet the steps he takes to prevent the same could spell the end for them both. He can only hope that the phrase ―love conquers all‖ will prove true in the battle he is now waging for Spock‘s very soul. For to win that battle is to insure not only Spock‘s survival, but also a future that both he and Spock long for, a future where they will always be together as one.A wonderful, gripping, angst-filled story that is well worth a read. 
In this universe, Spock did bond with T'Pring. This story picks up two weeks after the bonding. Angst & h/c galore. ref> from Past and Present Intertwined - Star Trek Kirk/Spock fic recs post, posted February 28, 2010, accessed June 19, 2013 </ref>
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