The Awakening (Star Trek: TOS story by Bethany Hawke)
For similar titles, see The Awakening.
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It was published in the print zine KaleidoScope #3.
"On their way to Vulcan to reunite Spockʼs body and katra, Kirk tells McCoy about his and Carol Marcusʼ second attempt at a relationship after the first 5 year mission and what she learned about him and Spock."
Reactions and Reviews
Full of delightful little insights, as simple as Spock laying his hand on Kirk’s shoulder to reassure him, gives us ample opportunity to savor their harmony, their truth. Carol Marcus is acid. Her jealousy leaps off the pages. She is not a generous person. Demanding of Kirk to give up Spock is cutting him to the bone. Beautifully done. 
A wonderful story; and nice language and writing, nothing that jarred the flow of the reading for me. I appreciate stories like this that explain away certain characters (Carol Marcus)-or-events-that interfere with my version of what goes on in Star Trek, i.e., K/S.
One thing I'll comment on, which actually came to my attention because I must have been kind of...dense when beginning to read this story—at first I thought this was some totally fictitious scenario. I realized soon enough that the obvious circumstance under which we would find Spock in Sickbay on a Klingon ship—unconscious, although that wasn't mentioned at first—was when returning him to Vulcan from Genesis, and it follows that McCoy holds Spock's katra. But I would have liked that fact (McCoy holding Spock's katra) mentioned in the beginning. Especially as the opening scene is between Kirk and McCoy, McCoy's feelings about it could have been mentioned there. No mention is made of it until almost the last page. The ending scene has specifically to do with McCoy holding Spock's katra, so a mention in the beginning could have Spock's katra, so a mention in the beginning could have tied first and last scenes together nicely.
In the flashback, this author's Spock comes dramatically onto the scene in total gorgeousness. I love her vision of Spock.
I feel for Carol, but I love the scenes of her painful realization of where Kirk's heart really is. I love the biting chilliness between her and Kirk. I adored when she says, after witnessing the chemistry between Kirk and Spock, why didn't you just kiss him?
I'll buy that it wasn't until after Spock's death and rebirth that Kirk truly realized the extent of his feelings for Spock, or realized where they could rightfully lead. And I mostly like Kirk's responses to both McCoy's and Carol's suggestions or accusations that he basically is in love with Spock—they paint a realistic Kirk, at least the Kirk we see on the screen. But I'm not totally OK about Kirk saying to Carol that the idea of him and Spock being lovers is "ridiculous" or "crazy." Especially when any suggestion that he part from Spock was answered with an adamant NO WAY.Ah, but all's well that ends well, and the ending is poetic and beautiful. A special story. 
Except for some technical writing errors (changing point-of-views, speaker attributions and the like) one might never know that this is a brand new author. In her second published story (at least that I know about), she weaves a delicate, quiet story of Admiral Kirk, Captain Spock and Carol Marcus.
The flashback scene in which Carol realizes that her lover, Kirk, is in love with Spock, was wonderful and painful. The author really seemed to get in touch with the woman's pain. Even though I, of course, wanted Kirk and Spock to be together, I still understood and felt compassion for her. That is not easy to create. On the one hand, we know there's no room for anyone else and tough for anyone who tries. But, on the other hand, we don't blame her for trying. My heart went out to her as she noticed the nuances and mannerisms and intimacies that Kirk and Spock shared. Later, when Kirk comes back to the apartment and finds Carol ready to leave him, the dialogue is so sharp and clear. When she says: "Have him transferred off your ship." and Kirk answers: "I can't, and, I won't." I just melted. And her biting "Why didn't you just kiss him good-bye?" was heartbreaking. This is such realistic dialogue, so beautifully written. And when they've talked all they can ever talk and nothing is left to be said, the last line of that scene was so powerful. 'Beam me up, Mr. Spock,' he said quietly. 'I'm ready to come home.'"
So much intense emotion is packed into simple actions and dialogue. Even in a scene that we might have read a hundred times before—that of McCoy comforting a trembling Kirk—the impact is so strong and the emotions are so real. So when Kirk says: "I'm afraid. Bones", that's all he needs to say. We know. We believe it. Again, when Kirk finally professes his love, it's goose bump time.
Some missteps along the way. One difficulty was the confused point of view of the flashback/memory. It was Kirk who was telling the story to McCoy, yet we got Carol's POV, McCoy's POV, Spock's POV and Kirk's POV. All mixed together.
Another difficulty was lots of explaining. Here's just one example: "Angrily, Kirk shut off the unit with his fist, and Spock placed one hand reassuringly on the human's shoulder." Take out the "angrily" and the "reassuringly" and it's much stronger. Both of the actions. Kirk hitting with his fist and Spock putting his hand on the shoulder are clear and don't need to be explained. Explaining only weakens the scene.But I loved this beautiful, intimate story. 
I enjoyed this entertaining tale that was really a story within a story. Opening and closing scenes take place on the Klingon ship racing to Vulcan at the end of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. They enclose action that takes place during the first five year mission, when Carol Marcus and Kirk are attempting to make their relationship work again. Carol invites both McCoy and Spock to Kirk's apartment for dinner, and observes the interaction among the three.
I especially enjoyed the Carol sequence, possibly because I always like seeing our guys in a setting off the ship. There were several little touches that were written to be character-revealing, and succeeded well: the section where McCoy accurately guesses that Kirk is talking to Scotty and not to Spock on the comlink, when Komack calls and Spock gets up to stand next to Kirk during the sure tirade, when Spock leaves the apartment and shakes both Kirk's and McCoy's hands.
The last scene in the story is also touching when McCoy tells Kirk that Spock is truly there among the three of them, in the Klingon Sickbay. And the whole concept that there was an ongoing if limping relationship between Jim and Carol that they might struggle to maintain seemed very real.
I did have a few problems making sense of the sequence of events. Although It seemed clear enough on my second reading, on my first I didn't realize where the first scene was taking place. I did n't realize this was the end of STIII and they were on the Klingon ship. Later, Kirk tells McCoy that he and Carol got back together for just six days. From the flow of the story later, it's clear that this was a brief shore leave on Earth before the Enterprise continued with her five year mission, and I was confused as to why Carol and Jim would even attempt a reconciliation if Kirk was going off into the wild blue yonder almost immediately. This timing robs Carol's abrupt departure of its sting, since Kirk was going to have to leave anyway.
Also, the way Spock and McCoy greeted and spoke to Carol, it seemed as if they were well acquainted, not newly-met or casual acquaintances, and yet there didn't seem to be any time for that to have happened if the reconciliation lasted for just six days. I guess a reader might assume that they knew one another previously, but if Kirk were trying to patch up his relationship with her on a very rare shore leave during the third year of the five year mission, when would they have had the chance to get to know her? Consequently, the social dynamics of the dinner conversation just didn't strike me right.
I think this story would have benefitted from a more elaborate structure. It seemed to me that it needed more of a plot. As it is the author's insights on character stood almost alone, very obvious to the reader, and I think they would have appeared less mechanical, more a part of a K/S reality, if they had been embedded in a more complex tale.Still, Bethany Hawke's second effort was an enjoyable reading experience, and she has a real touch with our characters in a slightly unusual setting. I'm definitely hoping to see more stories by this author. 
Thank you, kira-nerys, for your LOC on "The Players in the Game" in May's issue of The KSP. It made me think of this story by the same author, and I instantly had to find and reread it. The Awakening" is really a story within a story. Kirk and McCoy are taking Spock home to Vulcan to be reunited with his katra. Kirk decides to tell McCoy why he and Carol Marcus finally broke up.
Now for the flashback: Carol has moved back in with Kirk and has invited both McCoy and Spock to dinner. And what a revealing dinner it is. At one point Kirk is called away to the "visacom" to confront Admiral Komack. The admiral calls to take Kirk to task over the handling of the last mission. We don't get to hear that conversation, but we do see Spock offering his silent support to Jim. A hand on Kirk's shoulder, a few whispered words. And we see Kirk's response...the anger draining away, a smile, the covering of Spock's hand with his own. Such a quiet scene, but the report between the two men is so clear, so evident, that Carol immediately becomes suspicious. Wonderfully done!
When Spock has to leave early, Kirk and Spock's regret at parting causes Carol to remark, "Why didn't you just kiss him good-bye?" I adore that line! She sees what Jim does not, and when their final parting comes, she says: "...someday you're going to wake up and I'm not going to be the one to get hurt when you do."
Back on the Klingon ship, Jim finally "awakens" to his realization of what Spock means to him.A marvelous, sweet story that made me sigh.Thanks, Bethany, for this one. I'm very much looking forward to your next story. I hope I don't have to wait too long. 
I know I‘ve reviewed this story before, but it‘s a lovely little gem that I periodically dig out of the pile and reread. Perhaps there are others who might enjoy seeing it again.
The story starts on the Klingon Bird of Prey as Kirk and company are taking McCoy and Spock to Vulcan at the end of ST III. While the captain and CMO are watching over a comatose Spock, Kirk reminds the doctor about an attempted reconciliation with Carol Marcus. In the flashback, the two have set up housekeeping, and Carol cooks dinner for Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. There is no big revelation of the way Kirk and Spock feel about each other. Instead there are several wonderful small touches that speak volumes about the regard, the affection, the love they share: A Vulcan touch on Jim Kirk‘s shoulder during a trying visacom call from Admiral Komack that instantly relaxes and reassures. The way Spock captures Kirk‘s attention when he speaks, and when he doesn‘t. The way a desert bred Vulcan will spend an afternoon with his friend climbing about on boats because it pleases Kirk The gentle smiles. The knowing looks. When Kirk has a nightmare, it seems normal to call out the name of the man who has always been there and always will be. As Spock takes his leave at the end of the dinner party, the men look deeply into each other‘s eyes. He exits in a swirl of black cloak, and Carol says, "Why didn‘t you just kiss him good-bye?" Love that line. To Carol, it is a dawning realization that no matter what kind of a life she plans with Kirk, she will have to share him with Spock. This she is not willing to do, and they separate shortly afterward. Kirk doesn‘t understand why Spock means so much to him. As Carol leaves him for the last time, she says, "...someday you‘re going to wake up and I‘m not going to be the one to get hurt when you do." Back on the Klingon ship, Jim Kirk finally "awakens" and with McCoy‘s help tells Spock of his love.This is my kind of story!