Koss

By Alelou

Rating: G

Genres: drama

Keywords: bond marriage Vulcan Civil War

This story has been read by 959 people.
This story has been read 1670 times.


Author’s Note: Horrors, it’s a Koss fic! He sure is a much-maligned Vulcan. But does he deserve it? I’ll let you decide. T’Pol and Tucker are in this, of course – but from Koss’s point of view. Please note that your shrieks of dismay and heated arguments will be happily accepted as reviews.

I’m playing around the edges of “Home” and the Vulcan trilogy. This story can stand alone or be read as a sequel, or complement, to Commander Tucker Falls in Love.

Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount’s, not mine.

Rating: G


As Koss stood there next to the ceremonial gong, waiting, he reminded himself that the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few, or the one – namely, him.

It was true that he had found T’Pol intriguing from the day they were bonded. That petite seven-year-old had drawn herself up to her full height and eyed him with imperious skepticism. Her attitude today seemed little different – except that her skepticism had evolved into a kind of muted fury.

Didn’t she realize she was broadcasting her emotions to everybody present?

And shouldn’t someone intervene? What kind of priest would continue with these proceedings, after T’Pol had defiantly kissed her paramour right there in front of everyone?

But the priest, like Koss himself, was no doubt just playing out his role in his parents’ plan. They had worked hard to resurrect this marriage. Karok needed political cover for his attempt to help T’Les regain her position. It wasn’t charity, although T’Les and her deceased husband had long been associates of his parents. Like T’Les, Karok and T’Pera had become quiet followers of Syrran. All three were deeply suspicious of V’Las’s administration, which had seemingly managed to spread its suspicious and militaristic influence everywhere, even into the Science Academy.

Koss did not approve of V’Las either, and he naturally sympathized with his parents and T’Les, but he personally questioned the logic of the Syrrannites’ obsession with the Kir’Shara. He doubted that it could possibly have survived the raging battles of its time, assuming it had ever truly existed at all.

He also would have thought that a matter as important as his own marriage might reasonably be left out of such matters. Was it truly for the good of the many that Koss must marry a woman who had already disclosed a dishonorable relationship with a human? And confessed to carrying a shameful disease?

“Pa’nar Syndrome is not what you think it is,” his mother had told him. “She can easily be cured.”

“Then she should be cured now,” Koss said. Perhaps then T’Pol would be better at hiding her distaste for him. She might even begin to accept the logic of their joining.

“She’s not ready. T’Les tells us that T’Pol believes the lies the High Command has promulgated about the Syrrannites. It will take time to prepare her for the truth.”

“I am surprised that you and Father would wish me to marry a woman who so clearly does not wish it.”

T’Pera frowned. “Few couples start out married life in perfect sympathy with each other.”

“I see no likelihood that she will ever develop any sympathy if she is going to go immediately back to her ship – and her human lover.”

“You must be patient, Koss. This is all part of a larger plan.”

“And when my time comes? Will that be part of a larger plan too?”

“Your needs will be met.”

Koss had said nothing further. There was little point.

Now he joined fingers with his bride as the ceremony dictated. She stared stonily up at him without quite making eye contact.

He studied her dispassionately. She was certainly a very attractive female. And she was not lacking in intelligence or accomplishment. Perhaps, if he was patient and kind, she would realize there was no logic in further resisting this union.

x x x

After the ceremony, husband and wife stood next to each other to receive official greetings from the rest of the party. This did not take long since it was an extremely small gathering, for which Koss was grateful. The priest glared disapprovingly at T’Pol; apparently he had noticed that unseemly kiss. Commander Tucker was last in line. His face was noticeably pale as he quietly raised his hand and wished them both long life and prosperity, then hurried into the house. T’Pol stood as still as a statue.

“Shall we go in?” Koss said.

“In a moment.”

“Would you like to sit down?”

She looked at him. “That won’t be necessary.”

“I hope that in time you will learn to feel more satisfied with this arrangement.”

She frowned. “I find it illogical that you hope to be satisfied in this marriage at all, given what you know about me.”

“As in your own case, my personal desires have nothing to do with it,” Koss said. But then he remembered that he had resolved to be patient, and it would hardly help to rudely proclaim that he was here as unwillingly as she was. “However, I do consider you an attractive female who has led a most unusual and interesting life. I look forward to our becoming better acquainted over the next two weeks.”

T’Pol turned and faced him squarely. “I see no point in that.”

Koss felt his face flush hot. “You don’t?”

“I have made arrangements for an extended period of meditation on Mt. Seleya.” T’Pol said. “I require time to regain my emotional control.”

“I could join you there,” Koss offered. No doubt he also would benefit from some extended meditation at this point.

“I prefer to be alone. And then I will return to Enterprise as planned.” Her tone was fierce.

What could he say to someone so lost to reason – and custom? “T’Pol, you are my wife. Someday I am going to require you. Would it not be preferable that we develop a relationship of mutual respect and affection before that time arrives?”

“I will fulfill my obligation to you, Koss. But I see no reason to go beyond that until I have to.”

He reminded himself that T’Pol had lived among humans years now. They were known for their childish self-indulgence. And she had been all but forced into keeping this obligation after doing virtually everything possible to escape it. She also freely admitted that her emotional control was frayed. This did not mean that once the blood fever brought them together they would be unable to forge some connection. After all, she surely expected to raise children at some point.

She took a breath. “Shall we go in?”

At the door they met Commander Tucker coming out, back in his human clothing, a duffel bag on his shoulder. He nodded quickly at them both and tried to move past.

T’Pol stepped into his path. “Trip. Safe journey. I will see you back on Enterprise.”

For the first time that morning, the human’s face betrayed him; his eyes filled with tears. He said nothing, just gave her a last, wounded look, and left.

T’Pol closed her eyes, obviously struggling once again to compose herself. Clearly, the sooner she was cured of her Pa’nar Syndrome the better.

“I am told that humans often make quick transitions from one mate to another during their short lifespans,” he said, trying to be helpful.

“Indeed,” T’Pol said, and gave him a withering look. “That may be true. However, Vulcans do not. And I am Vulcan.”

And then, flagrantly violating custom, she stepped ahead of him into the house.

X X X

Koss opened his door. Vulcan’s new Administrator T’Pau was far younger and much more attractive than any other Administrator in Koss’s lifetime, and it was most surprising to find her standing on his doorstep.

“You are Koss, he who is husband to T’Pol?” she said, looking him up and down.

He stared back down at her. “I am.”

“You performed a most useful service for us,” she said.

“The captain said my wife’s life was at risk.”

“It was. Indeed, all of Vulcan was at risk. Your help was most timely. May I come in?”

“Of course, Administrator.” Koss stood aside to let her pass.

“This is a beautifully appointed room,” T’Pau said. “But then I am told that you are a talented architect.”

He said nothing. He doubted she was here to hire an architect on her first day in office.

T’Pau’s mouth twisted. “Your wife’s reputation on this planet has risen considerably after her role in rescuing the Kir’Shara.”

Again Koss said nothing. What was there to say?

T’Pau gave him a penetrating look. “But I am here to tell you that your marriage must end.”

He stared at her in surprise. “And why is that?” Had T’Pol had wrung this concession from T’Pau during their recent adventure?

“I performed a mind-meld on T’Pol. She has a mating bond with another. She should never have married you.”

Koss turned away to hide his shock. “She told us she had a close personal relationship with her human colleague. She did not mention a mating bond. I did not know that such a thing is even possible.”

“It surprised me as well. I imagine it may surprise her too, someday. She doesn’t appear to realize it has occurred. I suppose, since her bond is with a human, she may never know.” T’Pau’s lip had curled infinitesimally on the word ‘human.’ Koss found it somewhat surprising, since he understood that the human captain had played a major role in bringing her to power – had even carried Surak’s katra within him, if such a thing was to be believed.

He crossed the room and stared out over the city, attempting to gather himself. If what T’Pau said was true, he must end his marriage with T’Pol and find a new mate as soon as possible.

T’Pau followed him. “This is a remarkable view,” she said.

“When I designed this building, I chose this unit for myself,” he said. He looked down at the woman standing next to him. She radiated a tremendous force of will. “Should you not have told T’Pol what you discovered?”

T’Pau’s mouth set in a thin line. “I told her I would cure her Pa’nar Syndrome and I did. If she chooses to mate with a human instead of the person her parents arranged for her, then I believe she must deal with the repercussions of that herself. ”

“You disapprove of her.”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

Oddly, now that he knew T’Pol’s true situation he felt more understanding. It was no wonder she had resented their marriage so deeply. “My parents tell me she was always quite emotional.”

“Yes. She is also stubborn and shockingly reckless. It does not surprise me that she wishes to live among the humans, though I doubt she will ever find the home there that she longs for.” T’Pau stared out the window. “The young man my parents chose for me requested to be released from our betrothal when I became notorious as a Syrrannite. It is possible that this colors my judgment of people who ignore their parents and the interests of their betrothed to indulge their own selfish desires.”

“It does put one’s betrothed in an awkward position,” Koss agreed.

“As it happens, I remain unbetrothed,” T’Pau said. “I have great respect for your mother and father, Koss. And you are an interesting and accomplished man. Once your marriage is dissolved, you might consider marriage to me.”

Koss stood up straighter. It was an interesting proposal. It was also quite remarkable to think that marriage to an unwilling near-pariah might lead him to a marriage with the most powerful woman on the planet – and at her request. That was a most pleasant change from his current marriage. “Indeed, Administrator,” Koss said. “I would be honored.”

“Then you agree?”

“I believe it must be up to our parents to finalize the match, but I have no objection.”

“Excellent,” T’Pau said, and held out her two forefingers.

Koss touched T’Pau’s fingers with his own and felt a most agreeable thrum of interest, even desire, pass between them.

x x x

For the second time, Koss was escorted through the unappealingly utilitarian corridors of the Earth ship to his wife’s quarters. The crewmen he passed all eyed him with undisguised curiosity, and he wondered again how she could possibly have tolerated living as the only Vulcan among them for so long.

Her greeting was not as stiff as the last time, perhaps because he did not even try to offer her his fingers. A livid green bruise still marred the side of her face and he took some satisfaction in the idea that he had contributed to her continued survival.

That may have been why she seemed unusually apologetic as she said, “I’m not certain when I’ll be able to return. I’m aware that I promised your family that we would live together eventually.”

“That’s not why I’m here,” Koss said. “I’m releasing you from our marriage. I know you only bonded with me to help your mother. She’s gone now. There’s no reason for us to continue.”

Indeed, there was an extremely pressing reason why they should not continue.

To his surprise, she said, “You don’t have to do this.”

“I know,” he said, which was true in a strictly legal sense. He had considered whether he should share T’Pau’s discovery with T’Pol, but ultimately decided that he would honor his future wife’s views on the matter, especially since she had not authorized him to reveal their conversation. A mind meld was surely an extremely private matter. He felt sure that it was simply this, and not the memory of T’Pol’s persistent snubs, that had driven his decision. He turned to leave.

“Koss.”

He turned back and felt an uncharitable touch of satisfaction: T’Pol looked dismayed. Apparently curing her Pa’nar Syndrome had not helped her emotional control much. Of course, she had excellent reason to feel dismayed. Her foolish dalliance with a human had effectively exiled her from her own people – and from him, the man promised to her since childhood. It was highly unlikely she would ever marry among her own kind now.

“Goodbye, T’Pol,” he said, and turned and left.

As he walked back to the airlock he realized that he was feeling a touch emotional himself. As his betrothed, T’Pol had played a significant role in his imagination. Especially in recent years, he had followed her career with interest. And surely no man could be expected to walk away from his marriage partner, unfortunate as she might have proven to be, without some sensation of loss.

He wondered whether T’Pol’s human was still hers; judging from her reaction today, probably not. Perhaps he had already moved on to his next liaison. And even if the two of them did somehow forge a lasting relationship across their two cultures, could a woman who had so little self-discipline ever achieve contentment? He doubted it. T’Pol’s life was certain to be difficult, if more interesting and adventurous than most.

At least he could congratulate himself that his own behavior was beyond reproach. Indeed, by steadfastly following the Vulcan way, Koss had achieved a most satisfactory resolution.

THE END


Comments:

panyasan

I read it again and realized if haven't commented before. Very interesting take on Koss and Vulcan culture. My favorite lines were about T'Pol. It really showed her struggle and pain.

"T’Pol closed her eyes, obviously struggling once again to compose herself. Clearly, the sooner she was cured of her Pa’nar Syndrome the better.

“I am told that humans often make quick transitions from one mate to another during their short lifespans,” he said, trying to be helpful.

“Indeed,” T’Pol said, and gave him a withering look. “That may be true. However, Vulcans do not. And I am Vulcan.”

And then, flagrantly violating custom, she stepped ahead of him into the house."

Well done!

Brandyjane

Somehow I missed reading this story until now.  Good job!  My take on Koss is a little different, but I like what you've done with him.  This is my favorite part:

As he walked back to the airlock he realized that he was feeling a touch emotional himself. As his betrothed, T’Pol had played a significant role in his imagination. Especially in recent years, he had followed her career with interest. And surely no man could be expected to walk away from his marriage partner, unfortunate as she might have proven to be, without some sensation of loss.

He wondered whether T’Pol’s human was still hers; judging from her reaction today, probably not. Perhaps he had already moved on to his next liaison. And even if the two of them did somehow forge a lasting relationship across their two cultures, could a woman who had so little self-discipline ever achieve contentment? He doubted it. T’Pol’s life was certain to be difficult, if more interesting and adventurous than most.

At least he could congratulate himself that his own behavior was beyond reproach. Indeed, by steadfastly following the Vulcan way, Koss had achieved a most satisfactory resolution.

Your Koss has quite a bit of insight into his wayward ex-wife.  While I disagree with him that his own behavior was "beyond reproach," I can see why he would think that he'd done the honorable thing in a difficult situation.

Kotik

A nice story this, although the thought of T'Pau marrying Koss is not really a pleasant one :s Anyways, this should not distract from the fact that this is a nicely written piece, which adds more insight into the whole shambles of a marriage between Koss and T'Pol.

Aquarius

Once again I spent my break at work with one of your stories, Alelou. :D

This was very well-written, and it reminds us that Koss was affected by everything, too--not just Trip and T'Pol.  That said, I maintain that I might be more sympathetic toward him if I were a Vulcan, but I'm not, so by my own crazy human standards, I still feel worse for T'Pol here.  ;)

Regardless, I enjoyed reading this and it was good to see things from another perspective.  Thank you.

The Middleman
Very interesting take on "Home" and the dynamics between T'Pol and Koss. This was one of the many holes left open in the series. Excellent job in filling the gap.
Misplaced/startraveller776
Fascinating. I like your unique take on his motives behind the marriage and the dissolution of the marriage.
FireStar
Loved this piece. I liked Koss I always felt he got a raw deal. I made him a good guy in my work Challenging Destiny too. Of course I agree T'Pau will keep the guy in line. Then again he may well be happy with that. He regains face and has a powerful mate in the process as well as being a hero for saving T'Pol. All in all a great job. Lisa
Ezinma88
I've always (sneakily) felt a little sorry for Koss. Yes, he did [i]cling[/i] on to T'Pol with his fingertips - despite her numerous 'snubs'. However, for the most part, he was just doing what any dutiful Vulcan son would do. Good story Alelou. You fleshed Koss out and made his motivations really believable. Favourite line: “As in your own case, my personal desires have nothing to do with it...However, I do consider you an attractive female who has led a most unusual and interesting life". What a way to back-pedal :)
Alelou
Thanks, all. And you're exactly right, Dinah. :p
Dinah
Alelou, I really enjoyed your story. It was excellent. But I have to tell you, that when I finished it, all I could think of was our of the frying pan and into the fire. This may seem to him to be "a most satifactory resolution" now, but T'Pau is going to have him leashed and obedience trained in about five seconds flat. :D I like the idea that T'Pau picked up on the mating bond when she performed the mind meld on T'Pol -- and she, in turn, told Koss. I hadn't considered that possibility. Very good! Deep down in my shipper heart, I have to admit that I'm glad that Koss and the priest both were witness to "the kiss." Such a blatant "in your face" act cries out to be noticed. Thank you for that. I have to hand it to you. You made Koss come off as a pretty all-around good guy. That runs contrary to the view I have of him, but you make a good argument in his favor. Of cour you then went one step further and condemned him to a life as Mr. T'Pau. :D ;) It nice to know that there is some justice in the world.
Linda
Good Job, Alelou! It is about time another story putting Koss in a positive light has been written! As I told you, at least now you and I can keep company while we are tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail by the Koss haters, LOL. Although your story has different loyalties for Koss\'s parents than mine, your Koss is also a sympathetic character. Please continue to write about Koss. I would love to see where you take him and T\'Pau.
Escriba
WOW, you've written a very realistic and very three dimensional Koss. Congratulations! It've had to be difficult to think like him :p I love the line [i]"And then, flagrantly violating custom, she stepped ahead of him into the house."[/i] Way to go, T'Pol! :D Ah, a last thing... Koss and T'Pau sitting on a tree... ;)
Asso
Alelou, a sole reflection. Koss is really blessed with fortune by having you writing about him!;)
Lady Rainbow
Interesting to see this from Koss's POV. Koss isn't exactly one of my favorite characters, either, but I can see his thought processes, even if I don't agree with them. And Koss ends up with T'Pau. :s A bit unexpected but, yeah...I think they deserve each other. LOL. Great tale! :)
Anon
I really enjoyed reading your story. It was very interesting to view Koss\'s marriage to T\'Pol from his POV and you have done this very well. Having T\'Pau propose to Koss was a brilliant idea and made sense of his desire to end his unfortunate union with T\'Pol. Great work.
framework4
Well done. A well rounded approach to the wedding and interesting take on the reasons why.
Blacknlue
Argh. I hate Koss. I will get that out of the way up front. But I will admit that maybe Vulcan culture, which supposedly emphasizes group loyalty over individual choice, is part of my problem. That being said, Koss knowingly went along with a dishonorable manipulation. Even if he could have justified manipulating T'Pol and T'Les, how could he have justified manipulating Trip? Didn't Surak say something about "Do not cause others pain?" Yet Koss, knowing full well how things were between T'Pol and Trip, still went ahead with the blackmail. Remember in the episode Home how he told T'Pol, "Call your champion T'Pol, I will do what I must." I have no sympathy for a man who deliberately hurts others unless it is in self-defense. In this case, Koss was not doing it in self-defense. He was doing it in hope of gain. Either gain for himself, or gain for his family. Either way, his actions were dishonorable. But your story is certainly in complete compliance with canon. It fits the onscreen Vulcan arc perfectly. And it paints T'Pau in the kind of ruthless light that would allow her to deliberately permit Kirk to be manipulated and (she thought at the time) killed in order to preserve the life of her own kinsman in the TOS episode Amok Time. Well written. My compliments.
Distracted
Koss and T'Pau. I like it. They deserve each other. I love the way she proposed to him... while he was still married to T'Pol, no less. A woman with cojones. Cool. :D
JadziaKathryn
Very nice. Interesting to have T'Pau come in as his future wife - - - and to have her disapprove of T'Pol. It's more common to have them be "acquaintances" after so this is a different way, but it works quite well. "He also would have thought that a matter as important as his own marriage might reasonably be left out of such matters." That's a great line, and I think Koss's expectation was quite logical.
dialee
Yeeaa! A most satisfactory ending for Koss. I suspect Koss's perception of T'Pol at the end is more accurate than we would like to accept. T'Pol may certainly achieve the heights of happiness and the depths of despair but not the satisfaction of contentment.

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