The steady sway of the hammock lulled Saavik into a state of almost sleep. The creak of the rope and canvas blended with the rustling of the leaves in the otherwise quiet clearing behind Dr. Leonard McCoy’s Georgia home. She and her husband, Ambassador Spock of Vulcan had accepted an invitation to spend her all too brief leave with their old friend. His historic home included the large garden in which she now rested.

At McCoy’s persistent urging, Saavik had settled into the hammock nestled in the corner of the garden. A slight breeze rocked the swing. Resting on her back, fingers laced over the slight swell of her abdomen, Saavik stared up through the gently moving leaves to the brightly twinkling stars. She would never admit it to the nosy doctor, but it was very pleasant here, in the twilight.

The first flash of light near her elbow startled the Vulcan. She stared intently and soon it reappeared, followed by several others. Saavik turned her head slowly toward the empty garden area. The deepening twilight was broken by dozens of glowing yellow specks. With a slight smile, she realized what they were.

As the sun set over the park near Starfleet Headquarters, the temperature began to drop. The tall Vulcan man and his small companion hurried along the path toward the quarters assigned them for their short stay. The man stopped abruptly as he realized the child was no longer as his side. A glance around the area found her several dozen feet from the path, standing in a grassy glade.

“What are they, Spock?” The wide eyed girl asked her mentor. The park was dark and deserted at this time. Hundreds of small flickering orbs were scattered throughout the air. They dipped and wove among the trees and shrubs. “Is it magic?”

Spock watched as Saavik cupped her hands carefully around one of the small, glowing spheres. He felt a spurt of illogical pride at the care she showed the tiny insect. She peeked between her fingers as the creature obligingly glowed for her.

“No, Saavik-kam, it is not magic. It is called a firefly. It is an insect native to Earth. The light is caused by..” he began.

“Firefly.” She repeated the word out loud, liking the sound of it. “I wish I could have this.” The wonder and yearning in her voice made him pause. She did not need to know how they produced their magical glow, only that they could.

“You wish your posterior to glow at night?” Spock’s gentle teasing brought her attention back to him, however briefly.

“No,” she answered him in a tone that let him know what she thought of the suggestion. “That would be inconvenient when I am sleeping.”

“I wish I could have these fireflies with me always so I would not be alone in the dark ever again.” She said this quietly, almost without knowing it. Spock realized that in spite of her progress over the past few years, she was still the scared, brave child she had been on Hellguard. “I do not like the dark, but it is beautiful here, now. Like a fairy land. Nothing bad could happen in a fairy land.”

Spock knelt in the grass, uncaring of the dampness seeping through his uniform pants. With his eyes level with hers, he waited until she looked up, at him. His hand carefully tucked a few errant curls behind her ear, then rested on the side of her head. “You will never be alone in the dark again. I will see to it.”

“I know,” she answered simply, gazing directly into his eyes. In that moment, Spock felt humbled by her pure faith in him. Then, the impish look he knew so well appeared in her green eyes. “So long as your posterior does not glow!”

Saavik ran further into the park land. She danced among the fairy lights, with her arms raised, spinning and spinning. Her quiet laughter reflected her contentment back to Spock. And he soaked it in, unaware of the small smile that he wore.

A much older Saavik carefully cupped her hands around the nearest firefly. The yellow glow appeared between her fingers. The contentment she felt deepened. She felt her child stir within its snug home as she felt the delicate wings of the firefly brush the inside of her fingers. Saavik spread her fingers, freeing the light. Her hands returned to her abdomen to rub the slight mound there. “Someday soon, you will be free also. But for now, you must be content knowing you are never alone in your darkness. I will always be there for you.”

Standing near the edge of the porch with Doctor McCoy, Spock watched his wife rise from the hammock and walk among the fairy lights. Unaware of the small smile on his face, he strode out of the shadows to join her.