"I'm amusing myself by guessing where you're viewing this." Amanda's eyes in the recording were bright. So was her voice, despite the wan look of the rest of her.
The recording's focus was close, but Saavik still caught an edge of the pillows helping keep the older woman comfortably upright as she sat in the bed.
"Not in the garden," Amanda continued in the message Sarek had told Saavik was left for her. Sarek who had looked so... tired. "No, the garden isn't personal enough."
No, not in the garden although that was where Saavik had started out the day. It was where Matthew Fzitzer had brought together Amanda's "strays" as she had called them, brought them together in their own memorial service to honor the memory of what she had done for them.
Saavik would have preferred someone other than Fzitzer, an advanced linguistics student, to organize the memorial. Saavik felt Fzitzer had used Amanda ’s mentorship to forward his own personal interests in a Vulcan woman. Amanda had dismissed Saavik’s concern, joking that Saavik was jealous, before seriously noting "his work shows true brilliance. I can’t pass that by.” Fzitzer’s comment that "Some of us weren’t here for her funeral--" helped little to change Saavik’s opinion of him. She had not even known Amanda had collapsed and died until it was too late. Her ship had suffered damage in an attack and lost communications; the repairs had taken a day and by then Amanda’s passing was all over the official channels. Spock’s message to inform her of Amanda’s death did little to assuage her self-reproach as she took every available transport to Vulcan, still missing the funeral.
The other moments were as they should be: the Vulcans who had played one of Amanda's favorite pieces of music; Kayo Mizuki who bowed in meditation in one of the garden's private alcoves, her traditional dress of uwagi, zuban, and obi in serene harmony with her katana sword; an Andorian woman who had gotten through the miscarriage of her mixed-blood child with Amanda's help. Even Fzitzer, to give him credit, his hands clenched tightly together, reigning in the emotion spilling into his voice during his eulogy, had shown Amanda’s memory proper respect. And Jenny, a rare case of mental retardation caused by her pregnant mother's exposure to a coolant link, her heavy lidded eyes shining as she smiled. She had tugged on Saavik's uniform jacket, something not many would brave. “You were her favorite,” she confided, nodding vigorously. “Did you know that, Saavik? Amanda said it all the time. You were her favorite stray, that’s what she said.” Jenny gave a great sigh. “I miss her.” She folded her arms and plunked herself back in her spot, having said all she needed to say.
No, not the garden; although the memorial had brought peace to the others, it was not the place for Saavik to say goodbye.
Amanda paused for only a second. "You wouldn't be in your home or mine. We have good memories in those houses," a thoughtful smile touched her lips, "but you would look for a place that belonged just to us."
Saavik had almost listened to this message in the room Amanda and Sarek had always kept for her in their home, starting after Spock's rebirth in the fal tor pan. She had gone there to listen to the recording immediately after Sarek had told her of it, before she realized herself it was not the right place.
And her own home where the Twilight Eagle that Amanda had given her was perched high on its pedestal over the living area, with the furniture Amanda had insisted was not another gift, but a necessity for the one dinner party the older woman had "bullied" her into... the opportunity to get the house at all because of Sarek and Amanda...
Yet it does not, as Amanda rightly stated, belong uniquely to us both.
Saavik had ended up here, kneeling in the sand, her hands calmly laying on her legs, in the same respectful position she would give T'Pau. The still warm breeze from the low lying sun drifted through her hair and gently stirred the sands.
When she had explained to the personnel here why she had come with the portable unit, they gave her what she needed most: privacy. Now she sat alone and prepared for the new wave of loss Amanda's goodbye would bring.
"You," Amanda said, "are in the spot where we watched the Bounty leave for Earth. I think that's what Leonard named that Klingon ship."
On that day Saavik had said goodby to Spock who still did not quite remember her, and then walked up to where Amanda stood with a welcome and understanding in her eyes. The sapphire blue that always said everything for her, more than any words or gestures.
The same eyes reaching out through the recording now. "And you're there because that's where you and I began."
"Don't regret that this is how we say goodbye. I'm only thinking how very fortunate I am that you let me know you."
And know me so well.
"Saavik.... take care. Remember how important you are to me. Live a wonderful life with everything good it can be. Let it be as extraordinary as you are. And still.... take care of yourself for me."
Saavik cleared her mind and brought the touch of Amanda's presence from her memory to the forefront, its unique beauty still so alive and vital.
Amanda settled back against the pillows as if for no other reason than settling in for a long talk instead of not being able to sit up any more. "Now I'm going to tell you all the things you would have made that stubborn expression over, starting with--"
Saavik switched to sitting cross legged, still in repose with her mind focused nowhere else except on Amanda's last words to her.