So I was wondering if it was ever in the plans for the two of them to hook up.
Think back to the plans for "ST: Phase II". Nimoy refused to participate (hence the creation of Xon) and Shatner had indicated he might do only 13 episodes, then step down for whoever was cast as the Decker character, maybe making guest returns as Admiral Kirk.
After TMP, Nimoy again played his "not sure I need to return" card, and Meyer and Bennett coerced him back with the chance to play Spock's demise. Meanwhile, a young Vulcan was reconceived (from Lt Xon to a male Dr Savik, to a female Lt Saavik). David was originally to be the son of Dr Janet Wallace ("The Deadly Years"), but this may have inferred that Kirk once played around with a married woman - remember Dr Wallace was married in TOS) - and David became David Marcus.
Several takes of scenes of ST II were filmed with Saavik and Kirk being romantically attracted (see the elevator scene in the ABC-TV edition), and others were filmed with Saavik and David
swapping romantic glances (see the ShoWest presentation trailer). No one knew what would happen after ST II. Spock was gone and Nimoy had said several times he was done with the character. Had they returned to original plans, of "ST: Phase II" (scripts already written), or a series of telemovies, these two new characters would have become Young Kirk and Young Spock substitutes, but ones who could
be romantically involved (like Decker/Ilia and Riker/Troi) over a long story arc. Nimoy returning as Spock in ST III changed many of these tentative ideas.
Have you ever seen the official tie-in playing cards for ST II? Several have shots of Saavik and David posing as if they were lovers. The ST II novelization has several scenes (not ever in the script) added by Vonda McIntyre, which suggested a building romance.
I then got to thinking that perhaps something like this was GR's idea--someone to base a new series around.
GR was totally out of the loop for ST II. But Bennett did have access to the work that had been done prepping for "ST: Phase II". And he knew that there were plans for Decker/Ilia and Xon the Vulcan to carry the new show if Shatner walked and Nimoy remained uninvolved.
Saavik and David were more intimate in the novelized versions of the movies. Whether that was a part that was written but not filmed, filmed but cut, or Vonda McIntyre's invention, I don't know.
McIntyre's invention. But she'd no doubt been told that Meyer had experimented in some takes to have them stealing and sharing admiring looks.