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The old man looked at the pad in front of his eyes, without seeing it. Memories clouded his vision: old battles and old honors and a love always young.

A sigh automatically repressed. Was that young man, a boy, really his captain after all?

The screen shows the tatooed face of their enemy. The man, the romulan, who killed his father. The young man bites his lips, closing his eyes for a second. He had never hated anyone, anything more than he hated that alien, in that moment.

Spock lowered his white head over his hand, looking at the signs that age scribled upon them. So much time. So much grief, both young and old. A whole world. His once and future captain. That boy, so brass and cocky... Would he grow up to be the man that he could be? For himself, and for a young and hurt and confused half-Vulcan who didn't know as much as he thought?

The boy looks up, his eyes tight. He opens his mounth, and he feels the hate burning in him. In that second, between thought and words, something clicks in. Without understanding, he finds himself saying words of mercy. Offering safety. His shoulders loosens. His lugs draw in breath. The Captain nods when Nero spits back at his offer, and comes back in his chair. It was time to go.

The old man eyes read the account of Nero's death, and his weary eyes set on a paragraph. His eyebrows shot up, and something like a smile slowly played on his weathered lips. The man stood up, the pad left on the desk, and he went out of the temporary building, under the sky of New Vulcan. He had much work to do. He could stop worrying. The boy would be alright. He was The Captain, after all.
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