Resting Place

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K/S Fanfiction
Title: Resting Place
Author(s): Beverly Sutherland
Date(s): 1982
Length:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
External Links:

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Resting Place is a Kirk/Spock story by Beverly Sutherland.

It was published in the print zine Another K/S Zine.

It has a prequel called This Simple Feeling in Nome #6.

Summary

"A year after Spockʼs death the bond is finally drawing Kirk after him, and Kirk must deal with his sonʼs and othersʼ reaction to the news."

Author's Note

"This story was conceived after reading the script of STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KHAN and the novelization of that script by Vonda N. Mclntyre. Except for Spock's mind-meld with Dr. McCoy, it ignores scenes added to the final version of the film, which rendered its outcome somewhat more hopeful in terms of Spock's survival."

Reactions and Reviews

1990

Moving novella where we learn of the aftermath of Spock's death in 'The Wrath of Khan' from McCoy's point of view. We are given new insight into the Kirk/Spock relationship and both the positive and negative aspects of death. [1]

1993

It is post Star Trek II, and written before the other movies. It explores what happened with Kirk mourning his dead bond mate while taking care of Spock's protege Saavik, and getting to know his own son David. It is sad and beautiful (or I am a sloppy romantic, myself.) [2]

1997

This story was different from what I expected. Yes, it's a death story (and I don't think I'm giving anything away here: death isn't just the ending, it's the axis of the whole story) but, at least to my mind, not a sad one. Not the kind where you have to stop reading because your stomach hurts with the pain of it, or because your eyes are somehow swimming. In fact, it's the happiest death story I've ever read.

It opens a year after Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan. All is well with the Enterprise, but all is not well with Jim Kirk. The crew (his son David among them) are beginning to worry; sometimes the admiral doesn't seem to be all there, "as if he's listening to a voice only he can hear." McCoy is at first the only one besides Kirk who knows what's happening; Spock's katra is still with Kirk, but fading. Kirk, his bondmate, has to follow him soon or lose him completely. Sarek and Amanda request that Spock's ashes be brought to Vulcan from their temporary grave on Genesis, and Kirk is tradition-bound to be the one to deliver them. McCoy, Kirk, David and Saavik beam down to Vulcan while the Enterprise continues her mission - to pick up her new captain.

The rest of the story is set on Vulcan, and deals with the consequences of Kirk's impending death - not just to himself, but to his whole intricately-linked Vulcan/Human family. This is excellent writing; all the interaction between, for example, Kirk and Sarek, or Saavik and David, is believable, deeply felt and often riveting, as are the insights into Vulcan culture and the Human reaction to it.

Take this discussion between Saavik and Amanda, for example. Saavik doesn't want to meet a proposed guest of Sarek and Amanda's, a master of Gol who interrogated her mercilessly as to her Romulan heritage when she was younger. Amanda tells her to look at him with adult eyes, and says: "..He had no appreciation of his cruelty, for cruelty arises from emotion. Had you been mature enough to explain to him calmly that he was causing you pain, he would have stopped immediately. You see, pain is the one emotion the Masters understand and remember. It is what drove them to Gol, and it is what keeps them there."

Yes, this is a story of much dialogue and little action, but I never had the thought that I was reading nothing but talk-talk-talk. It takes consummate skill to handle such a large cast of characters and not get bogged down.

The reason that I think of this as a happy story is the pervading sense of optimism and growth. Even David, who is kept in the dark for (I feel) much too long as to what is really going on with his father and as a consequence manages to irritate if not antagonize nearly everyone, turns out to be quite a likable chip-off-the-old-block at the end. The entire 'family' supports, comforts and challenges each other into new views. And Kirk's death itself - well, I won't go into details and spoil it, but it's treated almost as a transcendent experience.

On the whole, a fine story. One quibble, though: I wish the author had skipped the one scene where Kirk shares himself with McCoy in farewell. It's not a big part of the story, but still it

bothered me. I do think Kirk and McCoy love each other, but it never struck me as the kind of love that could be expressed in the physical, especially since we've always seen McCoy treat Kirk as a son/younger brother. [3]
I too need to put my two cents worth in about happy endings. I didn't consider the story Resting Place by Beverly Sutherland, printed in Another K/S Zine to be depressing, or even to be the saddest K/S tale. I reread it several times and have recommended it to several friends. Yes, I cried the first three times I read it, but it isn't sad from a K/S viewpoint. Kirk left to join Spock for eternity after waiting a miserable year so he could help David establish himself. He wanted to join Spock, the sorrow of losing both of them was suffered by those left behind. When McCoy found Jim dead the next morning, his face had a look of peace, total contentment. What got to me was when David turned around to McCoy and winked and McCoy thought "Yep, there goes Jim." My reaction was no, that's not Jim—Jim is gone and will never be replaced but this was his choice to make. Those who loved him had to accept this choice. Boy, I think I could use a tissue! [4]

1998

If a warning system were available for sad stories this story would get a red alert. It is a wonderful story, but you are warned, it is very sad. you will need your box of Kleenex. But even if you dislike sad stories, you should read this one. How sad it is, it has, in my pov, a happy ending for our two friends... The characterization is wonderful, especially Saavik and David. They are real living people. Vulcan habits are pictured very believably. We come to know a little bit more of Carol, David's mother Just the way McCoy accepts Kirk's plan to join Spock is a bit too easy: McCoy is not a person to give in to death so simple. I would have loved if, in the end, McCoy and Carol would stay together They deserve a little more happiness. It is not just a story of Kirk and Spock. It is McCoy's story, too, as well as Saavik, David, and Spock's parents. How they interact, deal with the loss of someone close to them, accepting that it is cruel to keep Kirk and Spock apart. They reach over their own grief and come to an understanding of life and love for themselves. As I said, it is very sad, even writing this LOC makes my eyes wet. I don't like sad stories, but this story gives me apart from the sadness a feeling of joy and triumph. "It has to be this way", a victory of love over death. It is a story about love that reaches beyond death. A story of love and understanding between people who each have to deal with their own grief and loss rather than keep separate a such devoted pair who belong together for ever. [5]

I love this story. This one was written after the author had seen a script for TWOK, but did not know that they planned on bringing Spock back to life. At the beginning of the story, it has been almost a year since Spock died. They were bonded, and everyone was rather surprised that Jim was still alive. The Genesis world is stable, here, and about to be opened to scientific investigations at large, since it has now been thoroughly catalogued. Kirk gets a call from Vulcan, asking if he would be willing, as executor of Spock's estate and his bondmate, to permit the recovery of Spock's remains so that they can be interred in the family crypt on Vulcan. He agrees, and though McCoy is angered that they are bringing his grief back, he stands by Kirk and supports his decision. As is Vulcan custom, Kirk agrees to come back to Vulcan and present the ashes to Amanda.

It turns out then that Spock's katra had not dissipated; rather, it has survived somehow, between death and life—waiting for Kirk to choose what he would do. Jim did not know this, not being a telepath, but the Vulcan healer on the ship that will fetch Spock's remains tells him. Jim has a choice. He can stay where he is, once the burial is complete—and the last of their Bond will be severed, for Spock cannot wait any longer. Or he can choose to follow his mate, to be together always. There is never any doubt in Kirk's mind what choice he will take.

Bones is angry. He's lost one friend; he doesn't want to lose Jim too. He tries very hard to talk him out of what Bones sees as suicide. Only after much very convincing discussion does he come to understand what the last year alone has really been like for Jim, how bleak, how empty, is life without his t'hy'la. How much of a struggle it has been just to carry on. Through all of this, the dialogue and internal thoughts are spot on; the interplay between the rest of the crew, between David Marcus and his father, all is excellent.

They go to Vulcan, and Jim begins to study with Sarek the proper technique for what he has chosen to do. A complication in all this is David, who doesn't know that Jim and Spock were bondmates, and fiercely resents all this fuss over a man already a year dead. Saavik is also present, and is having difficulty settling into life on Vulcan, even temporarily. There is a lovely scene where Amanda sits her down and shows her how to see the past in a different way, very caring and thoughtful—very much the Amanda I have grown to love. Saavik also is the one who ends up, by using a meld, showing David what Kirk has lost, and why he has made the choice that he has. And in the end, David also finds peace with his father. Everyone in this story is very well written; the interplay, the actions—not a single off-key note.

The tone of the whole piece is one of joy and grief, inextricably interwoven, as so often they are in real life, too. The best analogue I can think of is perhaps a hospice case, where someone is dying, at peace with that, and has to help their loved ones find that same peace.

In the end, when he is ready, Jim gets up one morning, sits in Sarek's garden under a tree, watches Vulcan's sun begin to rise, and just...lets himself go. And it is made very plain that as he physically dies, he is going not into nothingness, but to rejoin his bondmate forever, that Spock has waited for him and now they are together again. It is the Vulcan way. When Bones, who has dreamed of them both saying goodbye, comes out to see, he finds Jim sitting there transformed, a smile of such beauty on his face that he seems, for a time, a young man again. And Bones himself understands that this is not death as humans conceive of it, but quite another thing indeed.

There is much more I did not mention, for space reasons. But as someone who has worked many years around the field of medicine, who is all too aware of what a blessing death can sometimes be, not in any harmful way but rather, the Giver of Peace if you will—I was strongly affected by this story, by the love and care which went into it, the great affection not only for Kirk and Spock but for all the folks who share their lives. If in fact Spock had stayed dead, I could easily see this being the end result, and being quite proper and, hmm—uplifting, I guess, is the word I want.

If you do not mind an occasional tear-inducing story, I highly recommend this one. You may think it is a tragedy, but I tell you it is not at all. It warmed my heart and left me with a big peaceful smile, even if my eyes were stinging during the first parts. [6]

2001

I read "Resting Place" months ago, before I got up enough nerve to try writing any LOC's. I recently decided to write a LOC for "Resting Place" since I can't get this story out of my mind. (I'm writing this LOC from memory since I returned the zine to the library long ago, so forgive any inaccuracies.)

I know this is one of the all time classic K/S stories, but perhaps there are some subscribers new to K/S fandom, like myself, who haven't read it. If so, this is one you simply must borrow from the library! "Resting Place" is set about one year after Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (Since this story was first published in 1982, it obviously ignores the events in later ST movies.)

Kirk has continued to command the Enterprise after the death of Spock, and established a relationship with his son David, while longing with all of his soul for Spock. The passage of time has only made Kirk feel his bondmate's loss more, not less. The story concerns the decision Kirk feels he needs to make—whether to follow Spock, or to continue on without him—and the reaction of those around him to his decision.

David Marcus and Saavik are prominent characters in this story, and Carol Marcus even makes an appearance as they all wind up on Vulcan with Kirk and McCoy. There's also some interesting scenes with Sarek and Amanda, and the concept of the extended Vulcan family has Sarek sort of adopting David and Carol Marcus.

I found this to be a truly memorable but achingly poignant and heart-wrenching story. I thought it was a beautiful and inspiring story, despite being so sad. I highly recommend it if you don't mind stories about character deaths. But even if you dont like death stories, this one is such a classic you really should give it a try. [7]

2007

Also in December of that year [1982], a small unassuming Canadian zine with an amusing title— Another K/S Zine—was published by Phoebe E. It contained the story “Resting Place” by Beverly Sutherland, the soon-to-be-famous author of the novel Broken Images. In an author’s note, Beverly states: “This story was conceived after reading the script of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and the novelization of that script by Vonda N. McIntyre. ...it ignores scenes added to the final version of the film...”

A year has passed since Spock’s death and entombment on Genesis. As his bondmate, James Kirk must return his remains to Vulcan and decide whether to live or join him. There is no hope for resurrection here, no fal tor pan, only grieving parents, a son who doesn’t understand what the two men were to each other, and the gathering of loose ends. “Resting Place” is not an unhappy story, however, but one filled with a love that outlasts death and time itself. [8]

2009

"Another K/S Zine" (yes, that's the name) contains a story called "Resting Place" by Beverly Southerland, in which a short K/Mc scene takes place. Thanks to Lyra for pointing it out to me!

The story is AU as it is written after ST II but before ST III arrived in the cinemas. Kirk says good-bye to everyone to follow Spock into death due to the bond.

A friend called the sex of the "standard McCoy-has-some-residue-of-Spock-in-him-and-has-comfort-sex-with-Kirk in it" variety. However, it has Kirk tell McCoy that Spock and he had considered to include McCoy in their relationship (which always makes me warm and fuzzy :). The scene is rather short and intense, about three pages long. Rather non-explicite sex.

Quote: "Once - I admit I was drunk, but not that drunk - I decided that we both loved you so much we should seduce you." Kirk chuckled vigorously. "Told you I'd make you blush."

"Who wouldn't?" McCoy felt indignant and flattered all at once. "I suppose Spock was horrified."

"No, not at all. But he persuaded me to wait and consider the idea in the cold light of the day and sobriety. I was afraid, when I really thought about it, that if you found the idea repugnant it might ruin our friendship. I didn't want to risk that."

Would I buy the zine for it? No, but it's nice to read it at least once :)) [9]

References

  1. from The McCoy List (1990)
  2. comments by Sandy Hereld at Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 5, 1993)
  3. from The K/S Press #7 (March 1997)
  4. from The K/S Press #8 (April 1997)
  5. from a longer comment in The K/S Press #22 (June 1998)
  6. from The K/S Press #32 (April 1999)
  7. from The K/S Press #63 (November 2001)
  8. from The K/S Zine: The Time of the Beginning 1976-1985
  9. KSMC Zines (2009?)