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Spock holds tight to his mother’s hand, feeling his father’s silent disapproval as he huddles close to her leg. He looks up at her and she smiles, eyes crinkling. “This is where I grew up, Spock,” she says. “Earth.”

He nods, face carefully neutral despite the way he clutches her hand even tighter, sees her wince.

“What do you think?” she asks.

Sarek is watching and Spock will not cry. It isn’t as if he had any friends on Vulcan, but here there are already humans gawking at him and he resists the urge to tug at his hair in an attempt to cover his ears.

They’ve already signed him up for school and he starts in only a few days. It’s going to be different than his education on Vulcan--“inferior,” his father adds, which causes his mother’s mouth to thin into an unhappy line--and he doesn’t know what to think of this. He knows that nothing can be done about it now, and he accepts this. His father seems as close to pleased as he ever is when Spock makes no verbal complaints.

His mother is still waiting for a response.

“It is…acceptable,” he offers, at last. It is cold here, though. So very cold compared to Vulcan with its desert climate. That is the reason he uses his free hand to pull his simple, Vulcan jacket up higher. It is only logical to protect his body from this climate before it can attempt to adapt here. It is not to shield himself from view, to make his ears just a little less visible.

With a sad smile, his mother flexes her fingers under his grip and they make their way to their new home.

~

James Tiberius Kirk was born in space to George and Winona Kirk, less than five minutes before the former’s untimely demise. Safe to say he never knew his old man and he’s certain that all the talk of how great and noble his father was--what a hero he was--is a bit of an overstatement, but he’ll never really know. He can never live up to this ideal, the god’s shadow left by a man he’s only ever seen pictures of.

Jim doesn’t like his mom’s new boyfriend. To be fair to the guy, he never likes any of his mom’s boyfriends, on principle alone. Most call him things like “sport” and “champ” though, and, really, it’s just so old-fashioned and embarrassing that he feels sorry for them. Well, almost.

Besides, these men are nothing compared to space and his mom is eager to get back out there. This leaves him alone with these strangers more often than not.

Is it any wonder, then, that he gets into trouble? A lot. All the time, really. His birth and the life that has followed are forever associated with his father’s death.

~

There are few non-humans where they live, and none of them are children--or teachers, for that matter--at Spock’s school.

Spock’s mother is completely human, making he himself half-human. It is odd in its way, then, that no one sees him as such. On Vulcan, they had teased him for his human heritage, his brighter emotions, a certain softness to his features that gave him away as something other, something lesser--but here it is as if they cannot see past his Vulcan appearance. He is growing up on this human world, he should be more human than Vulcan, even at this point. All the humans see is a Vulcan--an alien, an outsider. They look at him with suspicion, with fear, with curiosity, as if he is some great stranger to their world.

Spock is inclined to base his persona on these facts. If the humans will not accept him as one of them, perhaps it is best to cling to the Vulcan ways. He imitates the adults of his childhood, his father, and the odd delegate they make their way out to see or that comes to this strange planet to see them. Earth and Vulcan are both part of the Federation, after all. He knows his father prefers that he carry on in this way, to suppress his emotions. Emulating his father, however, is difficult when a rush of anger or sadness courses through him. Despite everything, his father’s disappointment is something the older Vulcan has no problem showing. He does not outright tell Spock what he can or cannot do, simply advising him on what would be best, to which Spock always replies, “Yes, father.”

There is a certain mournfulness to his mother at this. She counsels him that there is nothing wrong with being human sometimes, that it is part of who he is as well. She also sees that he is bullied, and knows that were he to hit one of those wholly human children in retaliation, he could easily break their bones, or worse. It is why she never forces the issue.

She hates that he cannot be allowed to exist undisturbed as the compassionate child he might have been when they arrived, weeping over a bird their cat had caught. There is a mask he has carefully created now, one that hides the boy he was.

Amanda Grayson copes, wishing that something could help her son embrace himself wholly again, as if the worlds didn’t watch his every step.

~

Jim Kirk gets transferred into a new school after a certain incident involving volatile chemicals and the classroom of a teacher who may have said some less than nice things about him. He’s not denying the truth in what was said, but he finds less and less reason to not be the terror they seem to think he is. He’s smart though, and that’s the problem. He knows it’s painful for his mother to be around him sometimes, but that she loves him. He figures he’s making it easier on her if he’s a fuck up. He just needs to give her less reason to care.

It’s the reason he ends up at a high school with Spock. He hears rumors his first day. After all, Jim is new but seemingly normal. They say Spock is an alien, but boring--as if it disappoints them that he’s smart and focused rather than murderous and strange. It doesn’t stop them from taking an interest in him though, and a boy with crooked teeth nudges Jim in the hallway with a mean grin. Jim watches as a hard shove to Spock’s shoulder is met with composed anger.

He swallows. He’s always been a troublemaker, not a bully.

He can’t hear what’s being said although he catches the words “pointy” and “mom” and he’s pretty sure he can guess the gist of it. A few of the students look nervous, glance around the hallway, some purposely turn their heads while others whisper to each other and laugh. Although he can’t see through the crowd now forming, he hears the echoing sound of someone being pushed back against the old-fashioned lockers this school should’ve long been rid of.

He stalks over without a thought and taps the most aggressive of the group surrounding Spock on the shoulder. The kid’s head turns only for his nose to connect with Jim’s fist.

Shaking his his hand as the kid cradles his face, Jim turns to Spock, who looks furious now. “Hey, are you alright?”

“I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself,” the half-Vulcan replies icily.

Jim feels furious and giddy all at once.

Spock pushes past him--a shoulder bumping his hard as the boy goes to class.

The kids gathered around where Spock once was give Kirk a once over, varying emotions on their faces and extremely few Jim would consider good. They disperse fairly quickly though, heading to their own classes. The boy Jim punched glares at him before disappearing around the corner that Jim’s too new here to know if leads to class, the nurse, or the principal.

His hand idly rubs at his shoulder and he thinks of Spock. “You’re welcome,” he murmurs under his breath before making an attempt to find his class. He’s eventually fifteen minutes late, but as he wanders, an idea had plants itself in his mind, one he can’t shake.

~

Jim liked Spock from the moment the other boy looked at him as if he was the reason for all of his problems in the world. Spock is a senior, he finds out, which to Jim makes it even more obvious the path he should take. If nothing else, the guy had really looked like he could use a friend, even if Jim is hoping for more.

For the next few days, however, it seems that no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t find him. To Jim Kirk, this kind of failure is unacceptable. If he has a goal, he will reach it, that’s just the way he is. The goals are often of this nature, but this time he feels he can justify it as more than simple, selfish want. Despite the amount he’d like to focus on this, he also needs to deal with the fact that his mother is home; it’s two days until his birthday.

Jim Kirk turns sixteen on a Thursday. It is the day before that he finds out word has reached his stepfather of his fight at school. Jim is certain it shouldn’t count if all he’s done is hit a bully but the man disagrees. Jim knows he could argue, could bring his stepfather to hit him with a few choice words, but now is not the time. His mother is home.

She smiles weakly and tells him “happy birthday” the next morning and he knows all she can think of is his father. “You look like him more and more each day,” she says before hurriedly wiping at her eyes. Jim has gone through a myriad of emotions over this, but he refuses to be angry this year. He does his best to pretend it doesn’t bother him that all his birthday brings is misplaced guilt on both their parts. She doesn’t blame him, but this fact doesn’t make it any easier on her.

She’s never home long enough for this to become her life, to become accustomed to her son and stop mourning the loss of her husband. Being here in the house they’d shared, without him there with her, reminds her of that slow return to earth she’d made sixteen years ago. Then, she had hoped, somehow, that she’d hear word he had escaped the destruction of the ship, that if she just waited there in Iowa, he’d be coming through that door again. Instead, she got posthumous commendations on his behalf, half-hearted attempts at congratulations for her child overshadowed by all of the condolences.

The first time she had run, she had come back to the rot of the flowers and a baby whose grandparents had cared for him the best they could but were in no position to care for a growing child. That had been the longest she’d stayed in this house since George’s death. Long enough to find someone else to care for the kid and get things almost settled before she was off again. Starfleet had widowed her, and it had taken both parents away from Jim.

It's difficult to be home with his mother there. It's difficult to be home without her there. Jim’s relationship with his mother is strained by the ever-present ghost of his father and later by the mistakes Jim has made, but there is love there. This is the second year in a row she’s somehow managed to come home for his birthday, the anniversary, even though his stepfather only relays to her what a mess Jim is and how lucky she is not to be there to have to deal with all of the problems he causes.

Still, here she is. Jim is glad he has school that day, if only so he won’t have to see his mom cry again or hear the updates his stepfather will give her now that she is actually home--probably another recommendation of boarding school or worse.

Maybe the universe has decided to allow him the slightest of reprieves on this birthday, as he sees Spock less than an hour after arriving at school. Spock looks better than he did after being harassed. He’s calm and aloof and so very, very alien that Jim’s fascination with him only seems to grow. The only emotion that can be interpreted in the way he interacts--or, more so, pointedly doesn’t--with the other students is perhaps disdain and Jim can sympathize. This really is no place for an outsider, especially one who seems as if he’s still holding on tightly to that other world he must have come from.

In a rare move, one better associated with approaching a wild rabbit, Jim tries for subtlety. He approaches quietly and calmly from behind as the other students filter past and raises his hand in greeting.

The second he does it, his arm is twisted behind his back and he lets out a hiss. “Geez, Spock, it’s just me,” he whines, listens to the harsh sound of air coming out of Spock’s nose. His throat works for a second before he finds words again, “I’m Jim, by the way.”

“I am well aware,” is the only response he gets before Spock is walking off as if nothing has happened.

Jim pulls on his own arm, stretching it. His shoulder makes a small popping sound, but he’s fine. This is turning into a real challenge and he wonders how he got this lucky--Spock had already known his name.

~

Spock isn’t sure how he feels about the way this new boy seems to be interested in him, so he does his best to feel nothing about it. It is a bit odd, although Jim is not the first to attempt befriending him. He’ll give up soon enough, once he realizes Spock is not easily won over. Spock had been angry, embarrassed, to have this simple, human boy try to defend him from the others. It is as if James Kirk had wished to humiliate him further through these rash actions, although he had later realized that the boy truly hadn’t thought any of it out beforehand.

He may have been too harsh in twisting the human’s arm like that, knowing that he is much stronger than any human his age could ever be, but it does not do to dwell on what has already been done. If his actions prove useful in quickening Jim’s concession of the ludicrous idea of friendship, then he has done well.

He has endured nearly eight years on this planet, he should be able to handle this situation with relative ease. He will graduate in five months, sixteen days. He has already applied to numerous academies and has received initial admission acceptance from many of them as well. Yes, surviving a few more months here should be the same as it ever was.

~

Jim persists in his attempts at friendship despite Spock’s purposeful ignorance of his presence after their small altercation, if it can be called as such. This would be no problem were it not for Jim’s affinity for touch. Perhaps it is the lack of attention Spock has shown him, acting almost as if he does not even exist, that has driven Jim Kirk into using more than his words.

Jim places a hand on his wrist as he says hello, touches his shoulder and smiles at him as he passes him in the hall, and when his fingers brush Spock’s as he picks up the stylus Spock had dropped outside of class. Spock can feel Jim’s determination even as he hurriedly pulls his hand away from the human’s each time. It is not malicious, merely hopeful, but there is a feeling of desire buried underneath the superficial, a strange affection for him. Spock wonders if he might need to actually address the issue, but for now he remains focused on excelling far past his classmates, if a little less so than usual due to his new sense of distraction.

One night as his mother is at work and a fellow Vulcan visits his father, he overhears something he knows he is not meant to.

“Not only have you come to live on this world, Sarek, with that human”--Vulcans seem to show feelings of superiority without issue--“wife of yours, but to subject your son to their educational system.” He scoffs.

“Spock has always excelled beyond what their schools can offer,” his father’s voice responds.

“I suppose that is good for a hybrid,” the other Vulcan says. “All you can expect from him considering his…heritage.”

Spock quietly shuts his door before he hears his father’s response. He has tried his best to be like them, to be as Vulcan as he can be, but there it is. He has suspected, although he would never dare ask his father for fear of the weakness it would show, that he may not be accepted by Vulcans, just as the humans do not accept him as one of them either. His father has always stated how advanced Vulcans are, how much better than the humans, who complicate everything with such uncontrolled emotion. Rationally, he knows that it is a petty thing that his father’s guest has said, but it hurts. Perhaps it is the human side of him that takes such offense, but he spitefully cannot stop himself. Maybe if he had been raised on Vulcan, they would have eventually come to accept him, he did share more physical characteristics with Vulcans than humans--straight down to his blood type. He would not have been quite so obvious an outsider as he got older, not like it is here. Peraps it is the human side of him that takes such offense, but he spitefully cannot stop himself.

That chance has been utterly ruined by his current situation. Were he to return to Vulcan now, he would likely fall far behind his peers and struggle to keep up. At this moment, it does not matter that the Vulcan Science Academy is considering his acceptance. His humanity is not wanted on Vulcan and his Vulcan heritage is not wanted on Earth. A child of both worlds and yet a child of neither.

Heavy-hearted, he falls asleep that night before his mother has returned home.

At school the day after this mental turmoil, he feels different. He is used to acting like a Vulcan, his heart throbbing in his side as if to remind him of what he is, but he can’t bring himself to be what he had been yesterday. He looks around at the humans, at the way they in turn look at him, and he does not know where he wishes to belong, if ever he could.

Before he is too deep into his thoughts, Jim appears. A part of him aches at the bright smile he’s given and he wants to give in for only a second before an anger rises in him that he does not bother attempting to understand.

The day proceeds as usual, but he is disinterested in this school, these classes. His focus is forced, fake. He listens to the instruction but it does not stay in his mind, overly preoccupied with things that should not matter were he the emotionless Vulcan he had--no, still wished to be. Vulcans have pride, true, but his emotional reaction would be unheard of among the others.

The day is long.

He stays until the other students have gone home; the instructor of his final course for the day allows him to stay in the classroom after she has left. He waits until there is silence in the hallway, until he feels like he can breathe. He does not wish to return home having dwelled on this all day, with it so obvious to his father.

Spock takes a deep breath and methodically packs away the few things he had needed for the class. When he opens the door, he does not expect Jim Kirk to be shuffling up from a seated position on the floor beside him. His coat and bag are next to him and Spock briefly wonders how long he had been sitting there.

Spock raises an eyebrow at him.

“Hey, I just… Are you okay?”

Spock’s eyes shift from the boy to the wall of lockers. For one moment, he has the strangest urge to punch his fist into one of them despite knowing that it would damage the school’s property, that it is an illogical outlet for his upset. He stays quiet, he does not move.

“It seemed like something was bothering you today…” Spock stares ahead and Jim clears his throat, “Spock?”

“You do not know me,” Spock says, his voice is flat, hard.

Jim shuffles a bit. “Well, I’m trying to,” he says, hesitating.

Spock begins to take a step forward, away from him, and Jim’s hand darts out before he can even think about it, grabbing Spock’s arm. In the next second, he’s being shoved against the locker, the sound reminiscent of the first day they met. There’s a healthy teenage mix of fear and arousal in Jim’s system as Spock stares at him, a fire in his eyes. “I do not know why it is you persist in following me around, James Kirk, but who I am and any perceived issues I have do not involve you or your human need to protect me for what you believe to be noble reasons.” His words are spit out like a slow, stinging venom that aims to paralyze his victim.

Jim shrugs even as Spock’s palm presses his shoulder into the metal locker, burning through the fabric of his t-shirt. “Not ‘noble reasons’ or anything,” he says, “I just… I like you.”

“You do not--”

“Know you?” Jim finishes the repetition for him and Spock’s open mouth closes with a flicker of confusion as he continues. “So? I like you. Maybe if you let me, I could get to know you.” He tries a smile.

“Leave me alone,” Spock tells him, removing his hands from the other boy and taking a step back.

“Why?” Jim’s voice cracks as he asks the question and Spock balls his hands into fists. “I can tell you’re lonely.” He laughs humorlessly, eyes flickering to his shoes. “Me, too.” His eyes meet the half-Vulcan’s and, softer, he says, “We can just, you know, be friends.”

Spock looks at him, really looks at him. Jim’s hand touches his and it’s like a spark, the other boy’s feelings laid bare and he doesn’t stop himself. He kisses him, in the human fashion. It seems right. He wants to shove all that emotion, all of his own emotion into Jim as he does so and the blonde is quick to respond, overeager even, as he clutches Spock’s shirt--tunic, really--in his hands and kisses him back fervently, moaning into his mouth as Spock’s tongue brushes against his.

Spock wants this, wants to fuck this human boy until nothing else matters. He’s never been with anyone before, never so much as shown interest on this world surrounded by beings who distrust him because of his appearance, but the instinct is there and difficult to ignore as he feels Jim’s cock pressing hard against his hip. He grinds against him as Jim tugs on his hair, hand on his neck, and the added skin contact only has him pressing in further.

“You can fuck me,” Jim says in a rush before his mouth is sealed back over Spock’s. He’s been thinking it for ages and, hell, if Spock is interested, he may as well get it out there. His thumb brushes the pointed tip of Spock’s ear while his other hand slips under the band of Spock’s pants, feels the older boy’s cock hardening in his palm and notices a few extra ridges along the shaft. Interesting. His suddenly lust-filled, sex-focused brain isn’t sure whether he wants Spock to fuck him even more now or if he just wants to see it and marvel. He knows he’s being a bit bold, fast as some might say, but he’s done this before, just not with someone quite so exotic. The pain of a metal lock pressing into his back is enough to remind him of something. His brain knows, in some distant corner, where they are and yet he can’t bring himself to care as calm, composed Spock is practically growling into his mouth, hand hot on his ass.

Spock didn’t know losing control could feel quite this good and Jim’s offer as well as the warm hand now fisting his cock seem to be about the only things he can focus on. He shouldn’t do this, he should wait and think, and rationalize, not fuck someone he barely knows--still, he knows Jim better than kids he’s gone to school his whole life if only because the boy refuses to stop talking to him. This doesn’t stop him. His hand tears at the fly of Jim’s jeans and he finds that the boy isn’t wearing anything underneath.

“I assume that’s a yes,” Jim manages.

Spock shoves the pants down in frustration and their mouths bump awkwardly, teeth clashing as Jim does his best to get the item off, finally managing to remove one hand from Spock long enough to get the leg of them down his ankle and pushed past his foot, his shoe falling to the floor in the process.

There’s lube, Jim remembers, in his bag, so his stepfather wouldn’t find it in his room. He’s extremely grateful for this paranoia as Spock bites at his jaw and neck, soft skin of his inhumanly warm cock against Jim’s now bare thigh. Jim uses his freed foot to hook the strap of his bag and jerk it closer, tugging quickly on the zipper. He rummages around fast, grabbing for the right shape and dropping his bag back to the floor with a thud.

He’s not sure Spock knows what to do, or if he should ask, because Spock’s body is rocking into his in a way that is making him entirely too needy. He wants, though, wants so, so bad to feel Spock in him, to know what the ridges of that cock will do, to fulfill fantasies he’s been having since the moment the alien spoke to him and have only developed further since. Sure, he would’ve thought there would’ve been more talking before they reached this point, but fuck it--which he fully intends to do. He slicks his own fingers quickly and pushes two into himself at the same time with a grunt.

Spock’s gaze snaps to his movement and Jim slips the lube into Spock’s hand. “Jim,” Spock says, and it’s the first time Spock has ever called him that. He looks as if he’s about to say more, but Jim fears it will ruin the moment.

“Can talk later,” the blonde tells him. “Fuck,” he breathes hard, “We can talk about anything. Everything. Nothing. Just. Fuck me, alright, Spock?” His hand moves from between his legs to Spock’s shoulder and his eyes are squeezed shut until Spock is lifting him up pushing into him and, holy fuck, it burned, but he wrapped his legs tightly around Spock’s waist. “You’re really fucking strong,” he gasps, and it’s a stupid thing to say, an obvious thing, but it comes out anyway.

Spock’s hand reaches up under Jim’s shirt, hand flat against him, holding him there, feeling more than he could’ve imagined as he presses into this boy’s body. His hips begin to move and Jim hisses, he feels pain shoot through the small connection he’s made but it ebbs away into something far less serious as he continues and pleasure starts to bleed through. He can’t speak, has only spoken the simple utterance of Kirk’s name since their lips first met. He doesn’t want to. Speaking would break the spell of whatever this was, would force him to face himself rather than just the blonde boy whose cock drags against his tunic as he watches. He is sure that he must not stop now. Jim’s body is tight and hot, although cooler than his own, and it takes the rest of the world away.

Jim’s preparation had been quick and probably inadequate, and he feels the slide of their bodies sharply. He likes that though, the pain of it. He knows he’s a bit fucked up, but so is Spock to be here with him now, which pleases him. He presses his forehead to Spock’s and the half-Vulcan makes a strangled sort of noise and his hips move a bit faster. Jim wriggles as best he can to fuck himself back down onto Spock, the pain and discomfort lessened so that he can feel the difference, the ridges of the cock in him and the intense heat and the way it feels--really fucking good, actually. He’s probably been babbling the whole time, but he’s not even sure of that. Spock hasn’t been silent, but his only word has been his name, which Jim would mind were he not concentrating on the feeling of Spock in him or the noise Spock made when he bit a pointed ear, flushed green as it is.

He writhes so that his cock presses further into Spock’s stomach, the hand on his moving up and brushing over a nipple. He is not going to last long. The rush of it, their current location, Spock. He is already close. Spock keeps pushing into him, occasionally bringing sparks of intensity as he brushes past his prostate and then there’s a hand on Jim’s cock and he kisses Spock hard so he doesn’t attract more attention than they might’ve already as he comes on Spock’s hand, their shirts, his own stomach. Fuck, it’s a mess.

Spock is breathing into his mouth in harsh pants, blown away by the potency of Jim’s climax felt through their physical link as well as on his own body and Jim moves and that’s it, his orgasm rips through him suddenly and Jim wishes he hadn’t just come because that was hotter than he thought it’d be. Belatedly, as Spock pulls out of him, he realizes that he’s still going to need to get home somehow and he was not currently in the best state to do so.

“I…apologize,” Spock says, and Jim think it’s unfair how quickly he’s putting himself back together. “That wasn’t the most logical course of action. I should not have acted in this way. I’ve never… I should not have.”

“Wh-what?” Jim manages as he tries to force his foot back through his pant leg and pulling the jeans back up his sticky thighs. It is then that he notices how shaken Spock looks. “Wait.” He attempts to reach out but Spock is just out of reach and he’s having trouble fastening his pants back up with only one hand. There’s the sound of footsteps from around the corner and Jim kicks the bottle of lube he sees on the floor under his coat, nudging it with his socked foot. Spock is halfway down the hall now and Jim wants to shout after him, but a janitor appears at the other end and he smiles at the man awkwardly. At least he managed to get his pants back on. He’s got enough adrenaline to ignore the pains his body is whispering to him about and pulls on his coat, dropping the lube back into his bag as the janitor enters one of the classrooms.

Spock stops outside. It is snowing and he is trembling pathetically. Why had he done that? Why couldn’t he stop himself? Oddly enough, his head is clearer now. He pushes all of his questions to the back of his mind. He looks down at his tunic. It’s ruined. A voice calls out to him and it’s Jim, of course.

Jim catches up to him and looks down, “Oh, uh.” He shrugs his coat off, yanks his shirt over his head, and puts the coat back on. “Here, mine is…cleaner,” he says, tossing it over.

Spock catches the shirt, his brows furrowing. He glances around before changing into it, looking up to see Jim shiver. He notes this, the illogical way Kirk had given him his shirt despite the weather conditions. Curious. “Thank you,” he says, and walks away.

He does not look back, although his hearing picks up the boy’s breathing for much longer than he should have. Jim had not moved.

~

Jim Kirk goes home that night with a strange feeling in his chest. Spock isn’t indifferent to him, he decides. If the soreness is anything to go by, there may be some chance between them after all. He’s too curious to leave this as the sudden, one-time thing it could’ve been. There is something about Spock he finds difficult to ignore and after getting fucked at the damn school, of all places, he has more questions than answers--some less appropriate than others.

He’s lost a shirt to the greater good, he feels. The greater good being a bit of goodwill from Spock. The guy isn’t heartless. Or dickless. Wow.

~

The next day at school, Jim approaches Spock with a cautious smile.

“Hey.” Spock turns his head and raises an eyebrow, but nods, which is the closest Jim’s ever gotten to a greeting from Spock, making him grin. “So…” He’s not sure how to broach the subject. He’s sore and he wants answers, but he doesn’t want to spook the other boy after finally getting something yesterday--by which he means getting some.

“Yes?”

More acknowledgement? Jim could practically leap with the excitement. “Yesterday--”

He barely gets the word out before Spock’s cheeks turn green even as his eyes narrow, “Will not happen again.” His eyes flit to the students around them and Kirk shrugs.

Spock avoids him for the rest of the day.

Spock sees Jim approach again, but is careful in his avoidance. His vision had honed in on the marks he'd left. They were indistinct, possible to attribute to a small injury, an accident, rather than him. Did everyone know what it was when they looked at Jim? How could they not?

When Jim gets home that night, he thinks about what had happened between them…and then he takes a shower and tries to figure out if he can determine anything from it other than further enjoyment. He thinks of afterward, how Spock had looked. I’ve never… He focuses in on the words. Spock was two grades above him, had he never… Could he seriously be a virgin? With the way Jim liked to live his life so far, the question seemed utterly preposterous. That anyone could be a virgin, especially hormonal teenager surrounded by other hormonal teenagers didn’t make any sense.

Then again, in the couple of months Jim had been at this school he hadn’t seen Spock hanging out with so much as friends. Was it so hard to believe Jim had been his first?

Uncertain of whether his theory is correct, Jim looks up Spock’s address, which turns out to be easy enough to find for someone of his skill. There is no school the next day, Saturday, and Jim decides to allow Spock a small reprieve. He will wait until Monday to try anything.

When Monday comes and Spock avoids him again, he shows up at his house. He presses the button before he realizes he knows nothing about Spock’s parents. Spock is…Vulcan? Half-Vulcan? If this is what he’s like--repressed, Jim thinks--then what is he to expect of Spock’s parents? Perhaps he hadn’t actually thought this through. Panic knots in his stomach but he refuses to run now. If they tell him to leave, and resist his charms, he will. He’ll just have to try again at school tomorrow.

The thoughts tumble through his head after he presses the button, but almost immediately the door is simply being opened. There stands a human woman, who greets him, and although it’s difficult to see given how Vulcan Spock looks, there is a certain similarity in her features, something that reminds Jim of Spock. He pastes on his best smile, “Hi.”

She looks at him expectantly and seems friendly enough, so he clears his throat nervously and adds, “Jim. I’m a friend of Spock’s.”

The woman Kirk guesses to be Spock’s mother ushers him inside with a bright smile and there’s a sparkle to her eyes. Once the door is closed it hits him just how hot the house is inside and he shifts uncomfortably.

“Oh, please, take off your coat,” the woman tells him. “It’s always hot in here--Vulcans,” she says with an affectionate shake of her head and already Jim likes this woman. “Spock!” she calls and Jim hears footsteps up above him.

“What is it, mother?” Spock asks as he begins his descent down the stairs. He freezes as his eyes land on Jim. He looks to his mom, then, “I see. I do not wish to speak to anyone at this time, mother. Please send him home.” He turns and walks away without another word.

Spock’s mother frowns, “I apologize. Spock’s…shy. He hasn’t had the best of luck with others since we got here.”

Since the opportunity has arisen, Kirk jumps on it, “When did you, you know, get here?”

“To Earth?” she specifies and after Jim nods, her face scrunches up for a second in thought, “About eight years ago.”

Jim’s eyebrows knit together as he takes in the information, “Wait. He grew up here?”

She laughs, “I know you can’t tell--he tries so hard to be Vulcan, like his father. I think sometimes he wants to forget that he’s human, too.”

“Was it easier for him there?” Jim can’t help asking.

There’s a sadness about her now, “No.” She shakes her head and smiles at him, “I probably shouldn’t have told you all that but Spock, he could really use a friend.”

“Me, too,” Jim tells her earnestly. “It was nice to meet you.”

“You, too, Jim,” she replies, and her smile is so kind Kirk practically melts.

Is this what happy, loving mothers could be like?

The marks are still there, and they seem worse now here in his home with his mother calling for him. The purpling around his jawline was difficult to ignore and it made it even easier to refuse him. It was too much. Retreating to his room, Spock waited to speak with his mother--this whole situation had him feeling conflicted. Maybe he did like this boy. The hormones of a teenager were hard to predict but something in him wanted Jim Kirk.

The clarity he'd gotten after their brief encounter--in the school, no less--had allowed him to feel like himself again. He could suppress what he needed to, attempt to forget those words that had set him into that short-lived downward spiral. Short-lived, his mind whispers, because Jim was there.

He hadn't expected sex, hadn't even wanted it until suddenly he had, and he knew it was something of a big deal, especially to humans. Jim hadn't been new to the experience but there were so many things going on in Jim, his touch telepathy had only given him an idea of it in the jumbled sea of thought and emotion, many of those things so new to him.

It hadn't been only Jim's feelings he'd had to deal with. Sex was...strange. Going back into his mindset at the time reminded him of the stories about Pon Farr when he was still on Vulcan and what would happen to those affected by the blood fever. He was not mindless as those afflicted would be but there was a certain sense of inevitability in him as it happened, as if he could not stop. He could have, if he had truly wanted to. Instead he allowed himself act without considering the consequences of his action, to be pulled in by Jim's return of lust and those words that sounded impossible to refuse.

That a boy over a year his junior--two years scholastically--had lubricant in in his backpack was something better not thought of.

Jim had persisted in seeking him out, remained interested in him after rejection, and now he had ignored him after their less than intimate intimacy.

Spock is about to come downstairs after he hears the door and wonders why Jim hadn’t already gone. He supposes it makes sense given how tenacious the other boy has been so far. His mother appears at his door before he can seek her out.

“He seems nice, Spock,” she tells him. When she receives no reply, she moves toward him. She waits.

“I find myself uncertain,” Spock confesses weakly and his mother puts her hand on his shoulder.

He allows himself to look at her and she sighs, “You can always talk to me.” There’s a shuttered look in his eyes and she continues, “But I know you’re lonely. Would it be such a horrible thing, to have a friend?”

“I don’t know,” he says and it’s barely a whisper, his eyes wet with tears he can’t will away.

Amanda Grayson clutches her son close and holds him, something she would never do in Sarek’s presence. He grabs onto her tightly, like he did as a child. It is a rare moment and she wishes she could make things easier for him, impossible as it seems. He’s expressing more emotion than he has in even her presence in years.

She likes the boy who came by the house, the one that seemed genuinely interested in Spock and called himself a friend. He could be good for her son, even though Sarek may not agree with that assessment. How could she wish her son to be so alone?

~

Spock does not avoid Jim the following week. He is reserved, less so than he was, so Jim doesn't press. Spock actually makes an expression so close to a smile that Jim feels comfortable enough to tease him and adores that green blush all the more when Spock looks happy.

A few of the other students seem to catch on that their freak actually has a friend. Jim and Spock don’t share any courses and occasionally the kids in class try to talk to Jim while he’s away from Spock. Jim is not surprised at the strange looks he receives, only disappointed. There are those few that nod at him in approval, offering up smiles that he gladly returns. For this, he is grateful.

Spock isn’t really talking to him but he knows this being around him willingly thing is a big deal, enough to scream friendship to even their peers. He feels more comfortable the next time he shows up at Spock’s door. His mother has gone on a small mission, one that'll have her back in a few months--which will likely be the shortest amount of time she’s been away since he was a baby. His stepfather seems anxious about the fact that Jim hasn’t gotten into trouble again lately; an instructor hasn’t sent even a note home since the initial report of him “fighting”--he punched a bully, it wasn’t a fight.

Spock's mother opens the door and seems delighted to see him. “Spock is upstairs,” she tells him as he shrugs off his coat. “Do you need anything?”

“No, thanks,” he tells her, his eyes already traveling up the stairs, waiting for his body to catch up.

“To the right,” she adds, following his gaze.

Jim is already bounding up the stairs by the time he processes her words, just in time to follow her instruction.

“Hi,” he says, leaning up against the doorjamb. He’s posing, and obviously so, but there is a certain amount of nervousness as he takes in the sight of Spock in his very own space. Jim had maybe thought underneath all that distinct lack of contractions and tidy haircut, he’d find a room more befitting someone who fucked him in a school hallway mere days earlier. He can still feel it if he thinks about it.

Instead, Jim finds Spock’s room to be extremely…Spock-like. There are no posters on the wall, not even maps or diagrams or charts, which, really, shouldn’t surprise him in the slightest. There are a few signs of life--a plant sitting by the window that Jim doesn’t recognize and an old-fashioned book that must be centuries old. It’s clean in the way that there aren’t that many things to clutter it; it’s not messy, but it’s not as if someone has been meticulously removing every speck of dust from the room.

Jim imagines what it would be like to live in this room and the idea is so foreign to him that he feels suddenly uncomfortable, until he looks at Spock.

“Jim,” Spock greets with a nod and Kirk feels a warmth to it that no one else would, except perhaps Spock’s mother. He can see how much she loves her son and the sheer ease of her expressions, her humanity, are such a contrast to the purposeful blankness of the half-Vulcan. He mentally compares her bright smile to slight upturn at the corners of Spock’s mouth and thinks that he can still see similarities between the two.

Jim feels…welcome.

He breathes in deeply and immediately flops down on Spock’s bed, rumpling the covers. There’s a tick of annoyance in Spock’s features but he says nothing and Jim feels victory looming closer and closer. He’s finally letting him in, rather literally.

“Wanna make out?”

Spock turns green from where his throat peeks out from the high collar of his tunic to the tips of his ears and Jim had sort of been joking when he said it, but now… Before he can follow that train of thought to its logical conclusion, he remembers what he wanted to ask about. “So, we had sex. Like really, serious sex.”

Spock hesitates, “I am aware.” Jim opens his mouth, but the half-Vulcan has not finished speaking, “If possible, I would prefer that we begin again as friends.”

Jim swallows and forces a smile, “Sure, but…there’s one thing I gotta ask. Was I--well, was that your, you know, first…” He trails off. Jim isn’t one for shying away from the point and yet the apprehension in Spock’s features says it all.

“Yes. Vulcans do not share the human concept of ‘casual sex.’ I’m not certain why I acted in such a way,” Spock replies quietly and Jim wants to smack himself on the head.

“Geez. If I'd known, I would've started you off easy. Or at least with some foreplay.”

“Jim, please.” There's a tightness around his eyes and Jim relents.

“Next time,” the blonde tells him and only winks when Spock seems nearly taken aback by his audacity. The micro-expressions of emotion are beginning to seem more obvious to Jim. Spock's blush is such a pleasing shade of green Jim wishes he could capture it somehow. Even if he took a picture, he knows it wouldn't be the same.

“I would be glad to consider you a friend, Jim Kirk,” Spock says, finally and is blinded by Jim's brilliant smile.

“Friends, then,” Jim agrees, holding out his hand until Spock shakes his head at the gesture. He leans back on his elbows, the bed comfortable enough beneath him, and begins to ask a series of questions. An action which Spock returns.

They don't learn everything there is to know about one another, but it's a start. Although they’ve been spending time in each others’ presence at school, it does not give them much opportunity for serious conversation--too many unknown variables and the lingering awkwardness of having fucked at that very school. Kirk learns how much Spock misses--“would prefer”--real, readily available Vulcan food and that discussion leads to the discovery that Spock is a vegetarian. Jim can respect that.

Jim lets slip a few details of his home life and when Spock realizes he is the son of George Kirk of the USS Kelvin, Jim wishes he had kept quiet. Spock doesn't call his father a hero, not exactly. “He did what was logically the only way to guarantee your mother's escape, along with the rest of the Kelvin’s crew. He sacrificed his life in doing so. It was...honorable.”

“Yeah, but to have your birthday be the same day your father died doesn’t exactly make life easier.”

“He chose to his actions in order to save you, Jim.”

“Yeah,” Jim says, throat working, “He saved the crew, and that’s really great and all. But me...I wasn't worth it.”

“Jim.” Spock’s tone is flat but concerned and Jim feels pathetic.

“No, Spock. It’s--I’m fine, alright?” He smiles hopefully. “I should probably head home or Frank will get suspicious about where I’m spending my time if there’s no black eye to show for it.”

There’s a hesitation in Spock that makes Jim unsure, even as he pushes himself up off of the bed. “Goodbye, Jim,” is all Spock says, even when there’s obviously a whirlwind of other thoughts going on behind those eyes.

“Right. Tomorrow?” Jim shifts uneasily at the door to Spock’s room as Spock stands from his desk chair.

Spock nods and walks him out of the house. It’s snowing and he sees Jim shiver as he puts his coat on. The half-Vulcan feels the cold intensely, painfully, but he braces himself against it, managing to give Jim something close to a smile as they leave too many words unsaid.

When his father comes home approximately forty-two minutes later, Spock makes no mention of Jim Kirk. There is no reason to, he tells himself. It is not because their relationship continues to be inappropriate--shameful, the most Vulcan part of his mind whispers disapprovingly--but is simply irrelevant to Sarek’s interests. How would a human teenager be any concern of his?

~

On the fourth day in a row Jim comes over to Spock’s house, he kisses him. Well, he asks if he can kiss him, but does not wait to hear Spock’s response. They were discussing Jim’s classes when Spock had realized how smart the boy was. At this point, finding out Jim Kirk has genius-level intellect was less of a surprise than a bonus.

The kiss is soft, chaste. It’s a shock that courses through Spock stronger than the desperation of before. He may be feeling emotions, but none of them are unpleasant. In fact, it’s an exceedingly nice sensation, warming him down to his bones.

It is over quickly and as soon as Kirk pulls away, their lips still mere centimeters apart, a word slips out. “Fascinating.”

Jim’s expression is delighted and just this side of smug, but Spock doesn’t mind. Jim’s t-shirt is rumpled and the half-Vulcan resists the urge to straighten it, eyes lingering on the skin exposed. The memory of Kirk’s skin beneath his fingertips is strong. There’s a vivid detail in the feel of it, the sound of Jim breathing, a combination of lust and something Spock could not identify overlying his confusion.

As quick as it’s come, it’s gone again and Jim is quirking his eyebrows at Spock’s blank stare. “Spock?”

Spock does not respond, lays his palms flat on his thighs instead of touching them to Jim’s like he wants to. Jim would not understand and it is perhaps better to not divulge all of the customs a Vulcan keeps private to a boy who already causes him such compromising emotions.

Amanda’s voice comes over the intercom, “Sweetie, would your friend like to join us for dinner?”

Spock looks to Jim, who seems to be having trouble processing “sweetie.” Jim thinks of what waits for him at home and then of Amanda Grayson’s caring warmth and nods. “Sure. I guess I can stay a little longer.”

Jim learns that they do not have dinner together every night, which is a bit of a relief since if they were that perfect--in the very traditional sense--he might be overly intimidated. Spock often eats in his room and his mother is not always home, although he does on occasion eat his meal with his father. Jim can tell how much more Spock feels at ease with his mother over his father.

As these things tend to do, it is as he’s eating the vegetarian meal Spock’s mother has prepared that he realizes he has taken her son’s virginity. He chokes on his soup, spluttering, and Amanda places a careful hand on his back, “Are you okay, honey?”

Her genuine concern makes it just that little bit worse considering, and he hopes they assume he’s red from choking.” He clears his throat and forces a smile, “Yeah. Sorry. Just, uh, went down wrong.”

She nods and Jim has been so busy watching her while pointedly avoiding eye contact that he nearly misses the flicker of worry and relief on Spock’s face.

Jim kisses Spock again after dinner, pleased to find the half-Vulcan returning it, before escaping out into the cold.

~

He doesn’t kiss Spock again the next time he comes over, attempting to be more respectful. He had brought on Frank’s wrath that morning. Perhaps something exciting happening in his life made him too much of a confident asshole, but the swelling around his eye and the tender bruise that was sure to follow were enough to put Jim into a strange mood. He had left the house hastily after that. Although he didn’t particularly want anyone to see it--or maybe he did, god, it was a complicated mix of anger and shame--Spock was expecting him. At this point, not showing up would definitely put Spock on alert. After all, Jim had an annoying habit of showing up whether they had plans or not.

Jim has never invited Spock over and feels a combination of relief at not having to make excuses and discomfort at how much he has revealed about his life when this is never questioned, never mentioned. Today, he knows, however, that the reasoning is going to be so damn obvious Spock might say something.

Spock greets him at the door.

It is surprising how quickly Spock raises his hand to touch the darkening purple before dropping his hand, clenching it into a fist. His jaw is tense. There is such fury there that Jim is taken aback.

“Pissed off the old man,” Jim says, a sheepish smile less forthcoming than he’d like given Spock’s expression. He skirts around Spock to ascend the stairs. “It’s nothing.”

“Jim.”

Spock’s voice is hard and Kirk looks back to see what the hold up is. Spock is standing there stock-still--except for the near vibration of energy around his body--facing the door through which Jim had entered.

Kirk swallows, “Yeah?” He shifts. “Come on, Spock. You know I can’t keep my mouth shut. Bound to get on someone’s nerves every once in a while.” He deflates a bit. “Spock,” he whines.

Spock turns his head considerately, and nods. He reins in his anger and it is only when they are in the relative safety Spock’s room that Jim lets his smile falter.

Spock leaves almost as soon as they reach the room and Jim is conflicted. Should he leave? Was he unwelcome here, unwanted, now that Spock is starting to realize what a fuck up he is? Has he made Spock uncomfortable? Well, of course he has. He only has a moment to ponder these thoughts before the half-Vulcan is returning.

He’s holding a small dermal regenerator and when he again reaches out to touch his face, this time with more confidence, Jim flinches.

“Don’t,” he whispers, and Spock’s eyes, which had previously been carefully avoiding Kirk’s own, now locked with them. Their faces are very close and the inhuman warmth of Spock’s fingertips on his face reminds him of what he must look like. His breathing is shallow and harsh as he tries to keep himself calm. Spock’s eyes are clouded with emotions that Jim has never seen in him before.

With an almost unnoticeable tremble, Spock backs off. He places the regenerator on his desk and thinks of what his mother would do. He sits next to Jim on the bed stiffly.

Jim can see how difficult this is for Spock to understand and he refrains from lashing out to this…he doesn’t even know what. It feels like pity. He allows his arm to touch Spock’s and the half-Vulcan tentatively twines their fingers together. Jim rests his head on Spock’s shoulder and with a shudder, tears he thought he was over crying spill down his cheeks.

~

School has gotten slightly better. Many of the other teenagers seem to have bored of the way Jim doesn’t give a fuck what they think about him and Spock. The aggression and disapproval have by no means disappeared, but the amount of confrontation had lessened. Spock is often busy, seeming to attempt to make up for the way he spent his time outside at home these days. Jim will join him in studying over their short breaks together, although more often than not, he chews on the end of his stylus and watches Spock work.

All manner of ideas pass through his mind as he stares at Spock’s black hair, the points of his ears. He’d done it that one time they had fucked, but it tempts him even now--the urge to bite the tips of those ears is one Jim has trouble keeping himself from doing again.

“Cease watching me,” Spock says, quirking an eyebrow. Jim can’t help it. He’s sixteen. He’s horny. It happens--some days more than others, and Spock is so close, close enough to touch.

Jim’s stylus clacks against his PADD as he thinks of some way to dignify himself. Nothing is forthcoming. “Uh.”

Spock observes him for a second, noting the flush of Kirk’s cheeks, the way he bites his lip, and feels his own face grow hot as well. “It is quite distracting,” he amends quickly, returning his eyes to his PADD, although they stare at it unseeingly. What was it about Jim Kirk that made him so unable to suppress these baser urges? It would be fascinating were it not so irritating.

The two remain quiet until their last class of the day and Spock meets Jim outside his classroom. Jim grins at him mischievously and there’s amusement in Spock’s expression. Jim grabs his hand and drags him out down the hallway with a laugh. Spock feels uncomfortable, alone in the knowledge of what the touch of Jim’s hand to his is doing to him. Holding hands with him before had not had such a charge to it, devoid of sexual drive as it was, meant only to be some small form of comfort. Now, however, Jim was practically broadcasting his intentions over this connection and Spock could not help but find himself overly aware of his sensitive hands.

They are barely through the doorway when Jim is kissing Spock and the half-Vulcan is returning it with vigor, Jim’s hands gripping Spock’s back. Jim laughs again, tinged with happy nervousness, as Spock presses him to the wall halfway up the stairs. Spock’s hands are tingling and he very much wants Jim.

Stumbling the rest of the way to Spock’s room, Jim stops. “We don’t have to do anything, okay?”

Spock raises an elegant eyebrow, effect ruined by his green-tinged cheeks. Jim is nearly two years his junior and yet he is also the experienced one. An unpleasant coil of jealousy grips him at this thought, of how others had touched this human before him. He has heard--read, rather--that possessiveness can be an unattractive and possibly off-putting trait in a partner and does not express this, simply sealing his mouth to the blonde’s with a soft growl.

Jim pushes Spock onto the bed, breathing hard as he breaks the kiss, and then climbing on top of the half-Vulcan. He can feel Spock growing harder beneath him and grinds down in response. “I’ll take it easy on you this time,” he murmurs.

“I do not wish for you to ‘take it easy on me,’” Spock says, annoyed, and Jim runs his fingers through mussed black hair, shifting himself to align their cocks through his jeans and Spock’s dark blue pants.

He groans. He didn’t mean to and it’s slightly embarrassing but the way Spock’s eyes gloss over, rolling up into the back of his head, makes him quite pleased with his own actions. He has a feeling they aren’t going to get far this time. Jim is too excited and it seems to him that Spock is in much the same state.

Spock attempts to grab him, pull him back down, but Jim’s hands meet his instead and as he threads his fingers through Spock’s, pushing the half-Vulcan’s hands down on the bed at their sides as he leans forward.

He doesn’t miss the way Spock squirms and with a quick test of his theory--squeezing Spock’s hands, which rewards him with a noise Kirk hopes he can save in his memories--he has to let out another laugh. “Hands are a thing?”

Spock would like to respond with an indignant comment in response to Jim’s horrendous, unclear use of the English of the English language, but Jim is bringing a hand to his lips, breath ghosting across Spock’s fingers, and instead he simply says, “Yes.”

Jim slides his tongue along one of the digits and Spock gasps.

“Jim, please.”

Kirk stops, opening his eyes wider in an attempt at innocence although his pupils are dilated and his skin is flushed and he looks utterly debauched, despite the fact that he is--in fact, they are both--fully clothed. “What?”

Maintaining eye contact, Jim sucks two fingers into his mouth and is ridiculously pleased when Spock comes in his pants. He’s not far from that himself, but given that he’ll have to return home eventually, he undoes his fly with one hand as the other keeps a gentle grip on Spock’s fingers. He gets an idea and it seems about the best thing he’s ever thought to his currently lust-hazed brain. He shimmies his jeans down as far as he can in this position--not far considering that he’s straddling Spock’s thighs. He mouths Spock’s fingers sloppily and even as Spock, out of breath, Jim is delighted to note, rasps, “What do you intend to--” he shoves them under him.

Jim raises a challenging eyebrow to Spock and after a second of shock, the half-Vulcan complies, pressing spit-slick fingers into him. Jim’s body tenses around them before he purposely relaxes himself. “Come on,” he urges, shifting on top of the warm body beneath him.

Spock’s fingers begin to move, pushing into him, and Jim fucks back onto them eagerly. His hand slides on his cock with the same rhythm, speeding up, the movement causing Spock’s shirt to ride up just enough to give him a hint of tantalizing skin beneath it.

Spock moves his fingers just so, feeling his own pleasure building again. Jim says his name and he pushes them in deeper, watching Jim’s features twist as orgasm hits him, causing the body above him to clench around those digits tightly, spasming around them.

His cock twitches in interest and Jim, panting harshly, grins knowingly. Spock, however, refuses to acknowledge it any further.

After they’re cleaned up and Spock has changed into some loose-fitting Vulcan clothing Jim wishes he could mock him for, they lay on the bed a while enjoying each others’ company. The backs of their hands are brushing lightly and Jim feels as though his contentment is being reflected back at him.

“Hands, huh?” Jim says, lifting his head to get a better look at Spock’s face. “I never would’ve guessed.”

Spock raises an eyebrow. “Vulcans generally prefer to remain private about such matters.”

Jim nods, hand drifting closer to Spock’s to create a solid line of contact. “So, what exactly does ‘touch telepath’ mean? All of the information I could find was pretty vague.”

The half-Vulcan stares at Jim for a moment. “I can only inform you based on my own personal experiences,” he says finally. When Jim indicates for him to continue, he does so with slight hesitation, “Although I have heard it is much deeper when it is attempted purposely, through a meld, when there is skin to skin contact--especially given a lapse in our own mental shielding--we… I can feel surface emotions and some thoughts from--the person I have made contact with.”

“Like me,” Jim finishes, rolling onto his side, face propped up on his elbow. Spock arches an eyebrow and Jim’s thumb smoothes over it, hand lingering. “What am I thinking?” he asks softly, amusement in his voice.

“Nothing currently advisable,” Spock responds evenly, before adding, with the slightest quirk at the corner of his mouth, “although tempting.”

Jim wonders if he should ask about melds, whatever they are, but decides that it is a question for another day. With some convincing, he gets Spock to play chess with him. Spock wins, but the match is close and they both enjoy the challenge.

It’s funny, Jim normally feels like he needs to win, to prove himself in one way or another, but it is different with Spock. It was simply a game--a very enjoyable one, but a game nonetheless. He feels no malice, no indignation at having lost. This, however, does not mean that he is fully satisfied with the outcome.

“We’ll have a rematch, okay?” he warns as he helps Spock put away the pieces. “Next time, I’m gonna kick your ass.” There is a tilt to Spock’s head and a laughter in his eyes that only make Jim reinforce this, “I’m not kidding.”

“I was not under the impression that you were,” the half-Vulcan responds.

Jim smiles at him and it’s unexpectedly gentle, “Good.”

Jim leaves looking more put together than he almost ever has, touching his fingers to Spock’s briefly and receiving a glare of annoyance for it that Jim knows means nothing when Spock kisses him. He walks slowly out the door, staring behind him until it closes. His lips are swollen, but his body is relaxed and his clothes--unlike Spock’s (again)--were not ripped or terribly dirtied in the process. He sends a message to Spock on his phone, nothing crude, as he gets home. His house feels colder than he expects it to be, but he supposes he’s been adapting, moderately, to the temperature at Spock’s. He has learned that it isn’t as warm as Spcok and his father would prefer, but it’s as high as his mother can decently stand, so they had reached a compromise.

Keying the door of his house to slide shut behind him, Jim does his best to ignore the way Frank stares at him.

Unfortunately, Frank’s presence has him on edge, ruining what had been a great mood. The bruise around his eye is lighter now, but still tender if he presses on it. The man looks like he’s had a few drinks and Jim would rather not engage him.

This works for all of two seconds.

~

Spock is surprised to find that Jim is not in school the next day. It is no longer difficult for him to admit, to himself, certainly, that he craved the other boy’s presence. He does not feel awkward at the previous day’s encounter, the notion too human when he can feel no actual need for embarrassment between them. Jim certainly hadn’t seemed off-put by the experience, and yet…he is not here. Jim has admitted to him that he did not always do so well, nor was he trying overly hard now, but since they had been on so much as tolerant terms, he had shown up to class each day without fail. Today’s truancy seemed remarkably strange to him.

After a quick inquiry as to whether or not there had been a reason for his absence and learning that it was labeled unexcused--sure to have a message sent to Jim’s home regarding it--Spock stares at his phone. It seems excessively needy, given his application of Vulcan ideals to send a message to Jim. They have seen each other often enough that their messages are brief and rare. Spock prefers communicating in person when the nature of it is entirely personal, not that he’s had much of this in his life.

His worry for Jim is greater than his desire to continue his adherence to Vulcan propriety. It is not as if he has been particularly attentive to that aspect of his life as of late. He types something quick and precise and hopes that Jim will respond to him--can respond to him, the irrational, illogical (human) part of his brain voices with concern.

Spock receives a set of numbers that he immediately recognizes as coordinates. He informs his instructors that he must leave and that it is an urgent matter. They look as if they wish to question him, but is the first time Spock will miss class in his entire school career thus far--other than two days the first time he was exposed to some sort of flu virus when he was six and is no longer considered relevant--so they acquiesce without much trouble.

When he ends up on a dirt road at the edge of a field blanketed in snow, he can see a shape not too far off that his mind, without exact proof, is certain to be Jim. Although relief is threatening to overcome him in an embarrassingly emotional way, he does not call out until he is only a couple of meters away.

“Spock?” Jim responds after a moment, and his voice sounds oddly distant considering.

The half-Vulcan approaches, noting the thin layer of snow over Jim’s--ill-dressed, he notes with alarm--body where it’s lain out before him.

He does not need to think as he falls to his knees beside his friend.

Kirk attempts a smile but it cracks across his face, makes the split in his lip widen painfully.

“Jim.”

“Mmh.”

Spock is wearing gloves, but he pulls one off and tosses it into the snow to touch his fingers to Kirk’s face. He’s cold, extremely cold, but there’s no serious threat of hypothermia yet. It is one less concern and yet his worry has only grown. Something is wrong and his fingertips find the meld points without conscious effort. He does not wish to do this without Jim’s consent, so he asks, keeping his voice as steady as he can, “May I?”

Jim’s eyes are glossy when they shift to look at him and there’s just enough movement that Spock takes it as a nod of assent. He has never melded with anyone before and perhaps that is something he should be considering, but he lets his instincts tell him what to do.

It is confusing at first, as if he’s speeding headfirst into a brick wall and a tightness around his eyes forms unconsciously as he stretches to find Jim’s mind and slow himself down. It is…fuzzy and Spock realizes that Jim is quite inebriated. He can feel that Jim is there, though, and that is something of a comfort. A pleased warmth embraces him from Jim. Spock has a feeling Jim has too many demons to be quite so welcoming were he not intoxicated, but being that this is his first meld, he’s relieved not to be fighting his way past every barrier.

From what he can assess, there is no permanent damage other than perhaps to Kirk’s psyche. Physically, Spock knows he is not fine, but he will recover. His worry for Jim’s well-being outweighed his anger at seeing the bruising around the boy’s mouth and the blood surfacing on his lip but as he searches--ineptly--through thoughts and memories and can see the face of Jim’s stepfather, a rage threatens to overtake him. He may be inexperienced, but Spock knows enough not to fill the merger of their minds with that sort of raw, ugly emotion.

Jim’s already alcohol-weakened mental state could be seriously harmed, psi-null as humans are, by the battering of a telepath’s intense emotion. It would be unlikely he could handle it sober, at least without the proper preparations in place.

Spock soothes the pain--mostly emotional--hiding just beneath the haze and knows that he should pull them apart. Jim is upset and had gotten drunk and wandered out into the snow for some reason to help himself deal with it. Spock does not quite understand Jim’s actions, but he sees their cause and having ascertained all he truly needs, their meld should come to its end. He does not wish to separate his mind from Jim’s, the meshing easier the longer they stay together in here but there is too much to be dealt with and he does not wish to take advantage of Jim while he is like this.

As carefully as he can, Spock slowly withdraws until he can open his eyes, the claw-like formation of his fingers on Jim’s face gentling into a curve.

There’s a lingering connection, but Spock pays it no mind as Jim nuzzles into his hand, “’S nice.”

Spock stands, pulling Jim up from the snow with little effort and leading him to the road. He is glad to have procured his mother’s car as he can tell Jim is in no shape to walk home--to his home.

“You can drive?” Jim asks, confused, as the door opens and Spock pushes Jim inside.

Spock does not bother with a response as Jim’s fingers press to the window, gaze, unseeing as it might be, focused away from him as he drives.

“Spock?” His voice is quiet but there is no other sound in the car besides their breathing, the faint pulse of their hearts.

“Yes, Jim?”

Kirk swallows and still does not look at him. “Thanks,” he whispers earnestly.

~

Sarek is off planet for some sort of official business. Spock does not know what as his father had seen no reason to tell him. He asks his mother’s permission if Jim can stay the night and she agrees, suggesting the guest bedroom. Spock wishes to argue with this idea, but he realizes quickly that all of his reasons are based on emotion rather than logic.

Jim has sobered up some by the evening but he does not wish to interact with anyone other than Spock, so the two eat in companionable silence in Spock’s room. After they’ve finished, their talk stays relegated to lighter topics, to school. There is no mention of Kirk’s split lip or the bruises on his arm or their cause. Spock had seen it and he can respect Jim’s wishes, for now, in not discussing it.

Jim does not seem eager to sleep in the other room, he smiles although there is little mirth in it. “Your mom is lucky I like her.”

Spock does not need as much sleep as a human does so he stays up a while after Jim has gone to bed, distracting himself in scientific texts he will not be tested on until he is at one of the academies. Once he has decided that he, too, should sleep, he finds that it is harder to achieve than he’d imagined. Jim is hurt and this, he finds, is quite unacceptable. He has never been to Jim’s house, much less met his stepfather. In fact, he is unsure of even the house’s location. Jim has only ever mentioned it vaguely and he had not asked.

It has been approximately one hour and thirteen minutes since he has begun attempting sleep when there is a knock on his door. He had only shut it so as not to keep Jim awake while he studied. He does not instruct the computer to open it for him, instead rising from his bed to open it manually. Jim stands there and only through the pale moonlight filtering in through his window does he see the fear in Jim’s eyes, although he is not afforded a moment in which to react to this. Jim is kissing him and Spock’s shields are woefully weak, much like they had been with Jim that first time. Jim is in pain as he presses his lips to Spock’s, causing the split to reopen and bleed, the coppery taste assaulting Spock’s tongue as Jim continues.

They stumble back onto the bed and Jim is on top of him--he could have pushed him away, stopped him, he was much stronger than Jim, but he does not wish to. Jim is grinding down against him as they kiss and Spock finds himself growing hard underneath him, in much the same position as they had been less than two days previous.

“Fuck me,” Jim demands against his mouth and there is something worrying in the resolve of his voice.

Spock puts his hands on Jim’s shoulders, giving himself space to breathe. “Computer, lights to forty percent.” He needs to see him.

The lights come on and Spock stares at the bruises, the blood, leeching the feral desperation from his hands on Jim’s bare shoulders. There is a red mark on one that he had not noticed before. Jim is in only tight boxer briefs and his heart quickens in his side, “Jim, I do not wish to hurt you.”

Jim stills his hips and there is a sadness in all of his other emotion that makes Spock pause. “Please,” he whispers, the sound rough.

There is a thought there that thrums underneath Jim’s skin. I need you to want me. I need you to. He kisses Jim who eagerly responds to it. They break apart with determination this time.

Seeing his own blood on Spock’s lips, Jim runs his tongue over the cut and pulls his bottom lip into his mouth, sucking on it lightly. He must look like a disaster. He’s about to inform the computer to turn the lights off, until he thinks better of it. There is one thing he needs to see. With single-minded efficiency, Jim moves back to release Spock’s cock from the confines of his sleep apparel. It is, he thinks with a smirk, more beautiful than a cock should ever be. Pale skin tinged green until it reaches a much darker, jade-colored head where his foreskin has pulled back around it. It is longer than Jim’s own but not too much thicker and the ridges he had felt before are not overtly visible until he takes it in hand.

Spock’s hips buck ever so slightly, he is trying to keep some form of control. He could hurt Jim if he followed only his body’s desires. Jim is stroking him languidly and he wants to see Jim, too--all of him. He sits up, dislodging the boy from his position on his thighs and pulls down Jim’s boxers until the human helps him get them off. With Jim’s urging, he is likewise bared of his clothing.

Jim is touching his skin, the ripples of his curiosity, his interest, coming with the feel of his cooler human hands on him. He takes the opportunity to similarly explore, but it seems Jim does not quite have the patience to continue. He can appreciate this, the sight of their cocks, Jim’s so incredibly pink against his, is enough to bring out an intense desire for more. The exploration had felt slow, unending as desire burned in him, but it had been but a few moments since Jim had even entered the room.

“Come on,” Jim says urgently, moving his hips impatiently as Spock searches for an oil, scented with an ancient Vulcan spice, he knows to be somewhere behind him on the nightstand. With Jim unwilling to move off of him in order to aid in this search--he is afraid that Spock will change his mind--he finds himself fumbling until he feels glass against his fingertips. Jim is mouthing at his neck, his collarbone, but he lifts his hips insistently.

Unaccountably nervous, Spock covers his fingers in the oil and circling Jim’s hole before gently pushing one in.

“Enough,” Jim says, voice muffled by Spock’s skin. “Just fuck me already.” Want it to hurt.

The thought hits Spock like a slap across the face and he presses his chin to Jim’s forehead. “I will not hurt you,” he speaks fiercely, allowing his own emotion to breach through to Jim. He does not know if Jim will be able to distinguish it from his own, but he knows that the boy has gained some amount of comfort from it when Jim nods, a quick jerk of his head against Spock’s chest. He slides in another finger beside the first, the feeling of Jim around the sensitive digits more intense than the last time. It is tight, but Jim relaxes around the intrusion without much effort at all.

With a quiet acceptance of Spock’s decision, Jim wriggles a bit. “More.”

A third in, Spock slowly opens him up, taking into account Jim’s physical responses as well as his emotional ones. Jim’s cock rubs against his stomach, a presence in and of itself. It is becoming more difficult to continue as his own pleasure rises. It is almost too much when he is able to remove his fingers, Jim grunting at the loss.

Spock places careful hands on Jim’s hips, lifting him, as Jim’s hand helps to guide his cock. As soon as the head nudges past the ring of muscles, he slides in easily.

Mouth open, Jim’s head lolls back and he groans. Spock can feel Jim’s muscles twitching around him. There is not much pain from it this time, not like the first. He cannot help comparing the experiences as he realizes the situations had a key similarity--one of them being at a heightened state of emotional distress. Jim is hiding it now, but he is also truly enjoying their union, only a slight discomfort and the pleasure of being full.

He allows Jim the lead and the boy takes it, hands on Spock’s chest as he rides his cock, eyes dark. Their bodies move in sync, Spock thrusting up as Jim slides down. It is rather suddenly that Jim begins to move faster, impaling himself on the half-Vulcan’s cock and Spock feels pain flaring in the blonde boy. Jim is doing this to himself and he can do little to stop him from this position. Using his strength unfairly, he maneuvers Jim under him, slowing the pace.

Jim is volatile, fighting him as he does, angry tears welling in his eyes as he claws Spock’s shoulders to regain his position. Spock does not allow him to, kissing Jim gently until he stops struggling, his body unconsciously following Spock’s new rhythm. He ignores the taste of blood, his hands pulling Jim’s from his back and holding them, elbows propped up on the bed. His fingers rub over Jim’s knuckles and although Jim doesn’t feel it the way a Vulcan would, it is soothing and his tongue flicks against the roof of Spock’s mouth in retaliation. With Jim’s acquiescence, Spock increases the force of his thrusts, Jim moaning into his mouth appreciatively.

Feeling what Jim needs allows Spock a certain finesse someone as inexperienced as himself would not have otherwise and although he is still uneasy at the thought of another touching Jim, the information he can gather is useful. He speeds up, grasping Jim’s cock and is pleased by the way Jim tenses around him and, to Spock’s intense satisfaction, shouting Spock’s name. It is with only a few more hard thrusts that he spills himself in Jim.

Jim blows out a long breath and smiles, “Pretty good for a virgin.”

“As you are well aware, Jim,” Spock says, fingers still entwined with Jim’s but now over the human’s chest--that heart beating raucously beneath, “Since our encounter three-point-two weeks ago, I do not believe I am considered a ‘virgin’ any longer.”

Jim’s grin falters and Spock has the strangest urge to smooth out the crease on his brow, his affection heightened from their physical encounter. “Could I stay in here?”

Spock looks at him, surprise in his eyes although he keeps the rest of his face carefully neutral, “Of course, Jim.”

~

Their relationship develops quickly from there. It isn’t as if they engage in some sort of sexual activity at every available opportunity, but it is a near thing. They can easily blame their hormones, but there is something else there--something deeper. Spock understands propriety, and yet one look from Jim, the smallest of amount of skin contact, and he finds that he cannot deny either of them this.

“Doesn’t your mom ever wonder what we do up here?” Jim asks, pulling his shirt back on. He is happy, thinking of the way Spock shook when he sucked that gorgeous green cock. For once, Spock had come before him. Well, if he had happened to come untouched seconds after, there was no one to attest to that.

Spock tilts his head, sitting up against the headboard, “My mother knows that we are…socializing in a human manner.”

Jim’s hair is sticking up in all directions as he buttons his jeans, and his mouth falls open, “What does that even mean, Spock?”

Spock’s gaze falls to Kirk’s mouth for the briefest of moments but moves up to meet the blue of Jim’s eyes, “Simply that we share something akin to friendship.” Spock knows that although he has never stated it, his mother is not completely oblivious to the true nature of their relationship, but he does not speak this knowledge aloud. She had seen Jim in his bed that morning after the boy had stayed the night.

Narrowing his eyes, Jim thinks about arguing this point, that friends don’t usually engage in this sort of behavior--not that Jim doesn’t know that they could. Jim, though, he thinks a bit more of their relationship, however it may be defined. Then again, for Spock to admit even friendship was a big step for him. He manages to keep himself from speaking up, but Spock seems to twitch and Jim is certain he’s made his point anyway.

~

Spock is in him, hands on his hips as he fucks Jim on all fours. It’s good--hell, it’s great--but when Spock pulls Jim towards him with an arm around him, presses his chest to Jim’s back, an idea occurs to the human. He reaches his hand back to tug at Spock’s ear for attention.

“Yes?” Spock asks, placing a kiss on the back of Jim’s neck.

“Do it.” He had seen the desire on Spock’s face before, the way his hand had reached up to Jim’s face and then smoothed down over his cheek. He remembered that terrible day in the snow. “Meld us,” he says to prevent any supposed confusion at his meaning. Spock’s breath stutters hotly over his ear, his arm wraps around Jim’s throat as his fingers itch to do as he has been told.

“Are you certain you desire to--”

Yes, Spock,” and that is all it takes before the link is formed. It is a strange sensation, some part of him feeling Spock thrusting into him even as his mind is occupied by the half-Vulcan’s. A wave of pleasure crashes over them, followed by another. Fuck. There is a hint of amusement and Jim tries his best to reconcile being two places at once, uncertain from where Spock’s emotion has come.

Spock is basking in the feel of being in Jim’s mind again, happy to have Jim there with him fully this time. Jim is still in control of his body, instinct easing the continuation of their movements, but he is exploring their minds as well, finding the connection from his side and determining where Spock begins. He is not certain, but Spock is under the impression most humans with their psi-null minds would have more trouble with this.

It is amazing, their bodies and minds joined, pleasure echoing from one to the other and back again. The tremble that courses through his mind telling him that Jim’s orgasm is nearly upon him and the way his crests at the same time. It is…perfect, until he must finally, regretfully, pull away as the aftershocks settle in. He squeezes his eyes shut, lingering over the connection as he breaks it, Jim trying to keep their minds linked even as he too knows it must end.

It is a strangely addictive addition to their sex life.

~

Spock does not like the cold, his recent memory of Jim alone in a field no help to this, but they go out anyway. Jim had teamed up against him, with Spock’s own mother, in forcing Spock to wear a hat. It is not that Spock does not see the logic in clothing himself properly for the weather, but rather the snowflake pattern on said article. His mother tells him it is “cute” and Jim agrees. To argue with them further was illogical. The way Jim grinned at feeling like he had somehow won brought with it a stirring of affectionate exasperation that wasn’t overly unpleasant.

Jim is leading him on an “adventure,” which Spock has learned means wandering aimlessly in areas they aren’t supposed to searching for excitement.

“Come on, Spock,” Jim says, his tone playful.

The half-Vulcan stops to examine the flora now growing on the walls of the abandoned building Jim is attempting to explore when a spark shoots through him and he runs to Jim, finding the boy on the ground rubbing his head but not too terribly injured.

“Oops,” Kirk tells him with a lopsided grin. He pushes himself up off of the ground and Spock glares, the spark forgotten.

To Jim’s unending misery--which he voices quite loudly--they don't find much of interest on their quote-unquote “adventure.” They have had, however, what Jim calls fun and Spock is unable to disagree. When Jim pushes him up against an old tree, its branches barren of leaves, and kisses him, Spock’s lips quirk up into something of a smile.

Jim points at him, smile so wide it could break his face in two, and pulls his phone from his jacket pocket. “I’m taking a holo of this.” He positions himself next to Spock in front of the tree and after staring at the screen a moment, shoves the phone into Spock’s hands. “You take it,” he demands, adding, by means of explanation, “You’ve got longer arms.”

As Spock is about to snap the holo, Jim kisses him on the cheek and his face scrunches up in reaction. He turns to Jim and glares, eyebrows twitching upwards.

Jim shrugs, “So take another.”

In the next holo, Spock’s face is blank to the casual observer, but Jim sees the amusement there, the warmth.

~

Spock is used to the way Jim likes being on top of him, the weight, although it is no physical burden to him, is quite pleasant, comforting even.

Jim kisses Spock lazily, tongue sliding against the half-Vulcan’s with practiced ease. They had become in tune with one another so quickly, only hastened very slightly by their penchant for mind melding. It is difficult not to want Spock in his head now, even knowing what’s up there. Spock has not passed any judgement on what he has seen and for this Jim is grateful.

“Jim.” The human can’t help the warmth he feels when Spock says his name, can practically feel Spock’s happiness curling around his just through their touch. He wonders if it is an affect of their continued melds or if Spock has not shielded himself properly to prevent his own emotions bleeding through. Touch telepathy is an interesting concept to Jim, even if he does accuse Spock of cheating when the older boy uses it.

Feeling himself growing hard against Spock’s ship and needing to make sure he wasn’t the only one, Jim slips his hand down the front of Spock’s pants. If he makes a little keening sound at find his…Spock’s condition, it is simply because it cannot be helped. Besides, he knows how much Spock loves his (very human) responses.

His hand is wrapped around the hardening length of the half-Vulcan’s cock when the door slides open. They pull apart as quickly as they can and stare at the figure in the doorway.

Jim has never actually met Sarek, the ambassador being quite busy and neither he nor Spock too keen on making an effort to see him, but, oh, it is quite obvious that the Vulcan standing there is Spock’s father.

Vulcans supposedly don’t show emotion--Jim didn’t know if Spock was a special exception or if it had to do with his human heritage--but Sarek is definitely enraged. Jim isn’t the best at that fight-or-flight instinct thing, but even he has to examine the room quickly for exits. There is just one, but it is also the location of said angry Vulcan.

“Leave,” he tells Jim.

The boy hesitates. He has no intention of letting Spock deal with getting caught on his own and yet he feels he has little choice in the matter. He looks to Spock for any indication of what he should be doing and when Spock simply nods, the touch of his hand telling him to go, it takes everything in him not to ask why.

“Nice to meet you, sir,” the human manages as he skirts past him out the door. He wants to wait, to listen in, but Sarek watches him and, like a dog with its tail between its legs, he leaves.

~

Sarek does not speak to him, but his father’s anger is accompanied by indescribable disappointment. He sits quietly in his room, waiting shamefully for whatever verdict may come. He had thought he was happy, and perhaps that was the problem. His father having caught him with Jim in a rather compromising position had left him feeling wrong.

It is only when his mother arrives home, that he dares leave the pseudo-safety of his own space. Vulcans are not ones for sneaking, but if he did not make much noise as he followed the sounds of his parents’ voices, that was simply so as not to disturb them.

He waits, keen ears listening.

“There was a boy in his room. A human boy.”

“It was just Jim, Sarek,” Amanda explains softly.

“Were you aware of their…inappropriate activities?” His father’s voice is cold, accusatory, and he hears his mother sigh.

There is a tapping sound and his mother’s voice is pleading, “He needed a friend.”

“A friend?”

Yes, Sarek. A friend.”

“What he and that--”

“A friend, a boyfriend, someone,” she snaps. “He’s nearly eighteen and he has no one but us.”

Spock feels heat flush to the tips of his ears at the word “boyfriend.” He and Jim had never defined their relationship and the irrational urge to step in and argue this point arose only to be just as fiercely quashed. This is not the time, there will never be a time as whatever it is must end, he is certain.

“His behavior was unbefitting of a Vulcan. We should never have left the planet. He is bonded, he would’ve--”

“Sarek,” Spock has never heard his mother’s voice sound so full of quiet rage, so hard, “do you mean to imply”--this was indeed bad--“that a human is not good enough for your son?” The emphases are not missed.

“Amanda, tal-kam--” his father starts but his mother storms from the room, her eyes flickering to him although she does not turn her head, does not make his father aware of his presence.

Spock hurries back to his room, pulse pounding in his ears. He sees his mother leave out the window and dread pools in his stomach.

Later, his father comes to his room, “We are leaving in ten-point-two hours. Prepare your things.”

Spock masks his confusion with reason, “Father, I have not missed a single class in over six years, I do not see the logic in not attending my courses tomorrow.”

“You will have new courses, Spock, which I am certain you will find agreeable given your intellect. They will begin in San Francisco approximately one-point-four days from now.”

Flustered, Spock’s mouth opens and closes, and he attempts to find his composure, “I do not believe I quite understand.”

“I have been offered a temporary position at Federation headquarters and it would be illogical to leave you and your mother here when it is obvious such overwhelming human influence is detrimental to your upbringing.” His father’s eyes glint with something unreadable.

Spock feels his heart pound and shields himself from an emotional response, calms himself. He will meditate and this will be fine. He understands his father’s reasoning and perhaps he agrees with it to some degree. Spock looks at Sarek, face expressionless, and inclines his head, “Of course, father. I shall ready my belongings.”

When Sarek leaves the room, Spock allows himself a brief meditation and packs. In doing so, he finds Jim’s shirt from over a month ago, the one Jim had given him to replace his sullied tunic, and seeing no logic in going out of his way to return it to the boy, simply places it in a suitcase with his other clothing.

~

The next morning, Amanda enters her son’s room and hugs him. He goes stiff in her grip, but she does not let go. “I’m so sorry, baby,” she whispers.

“For what are you apologizing, mother?” he asks, hand resting gently on her back.

She pulls back to look at him, “Oh, honey.” She shakes her head, eyes glossy with unshed tears.

Amanda holds him for a long moment, holding his head to her shoulder, and Spock does not attempt to push her away. It is his mother.

She breaks away from him slowly, “I suppose that wasn’t appropriate. Not that I care--you’ll always be my little boy, I’ll hug you if I want to.”

His mother turns to leave the room and Spock speaks quietly, “I am sorry, as well.”

She looks back at him, but he has shuttered himself off again.

~

Fine, Jim thinks, he’s gone. Spock had left without a goodbye, not that Jim couldn’t take a guess at what the situation was like. He doesn’t try to call him after the first fifteen or so times he’s ignored. He can accept it. Sure, he’d been interested in the guy for a while, longer than it took him to get to most things he wanted, but they’d only been in any sort of relationship--Jim can feel the bitter taste of the word on his tongue with only the thought of it--for a little over a month.

He’d get over it. It wasn’t as if they were deeply in love or some bullshit like that. Except his heart has ached every second of every day since the moment he realized Spock wasn’t coming back.

He isn’t in love with some guy who has pointy ears and a ridiculous haircut and whose hands are nearly as sensitive as his cock. He misses the intensity of the sex when they would meld, not the way their minds met and how Spock could see every part of him if he had wanted to but didn’t pry…the way it felt to share minds more intimate than anything their bodies could do.

Jim still doesn’t understand the whole melding thing, and it was weird, but he was nothing if not a seeker of new and unusual experiences. He could check mind melding off of his list.

It is only that he feels as if something is missing at first, but he shouldn’t have expected Spock to stay. It was ridiculous to think that they were…anything. He may have been Spock’s first, but, hell, he knows he’s easy and it isn’t as if Spock was his one and only. He’d lost his virginity at fourteen and had plenty of experience since.

Okay, he’s hurt. He’s really hurt. He wants to put on a brave face and pretend like Spock leaving doesn’t affect him, but even the kids at school look at him with a combination of distrust and pity now, and it’s only been two weeks. He had asked the administration and found out Spock no longer attended the school. He had expected something after Sarek caught them, like Spock pushing him away, but he had sort of figured he could worm his way back in.

Instead, Spock is just gone. He thinks about trying to search for Spock, it’s easy enough to hack into housing records, but he decides against it. If Spock won’t even send him a message--an apology, his mind provides, although he knows it is silly to even consider it--then what point was there to finding out where he’d gone? Vengeance, of course, but hurting Spock, his mother… It holds little appeal when he imagines the consequences, what Amanda Grayson would think of him.

Jim drinks. It’s easy. He’s gotten spectacularly drunk all of once since he met Spock and he figures now is the time to make up for those couple months of sobriety. He goes to class sometimes, but rarely is he sober then of all times. Function without feeling. The idea makes him laugh. School begins passing in a blur.

When he starts gaining weight, it surprises him. Sure, he’s been drinking, but his metabolism has always made up for his abuses. Jim figures there’s not much use for him if he can’t at least look good and he slows down on the alcohol. He is sober for a few days when he realizes that there is something else going on, running to the bathroom to puke out his guts. Everything smells much stronger than he remembers, and the depression he feels is much harder to ignore.

It happens again the next day and he notices the slight swell of his stomach is still there, he decides there’s something wrong enough that seeing a doctor might not be such a bad idea. He makes an appointment for after school the next day on his PADD then proceeds back to the bathroom to throw up what may be left in his stomach.

Jim feels awful, like his heart has been torn out of his body and there’s a strange sensation in the back of his mind. Whatever. First he needs to figure out this health thing, everything else can wait.

~

Jim isn’t shocked when the doctor tells him the news. He thinks he should be as the doctor reiterates things he already knows, but there is something in him that seems as if it has been aware the whole time.

Male pregnancy is rare. It only occurs naturally in humans when their partner is of another species--not any other species, of course, but a select few had been specifically catalogued, Vulcans, unfortunately, not among them. Then again, of course it is done easily enough artificially these days for those who wish to produce a child together. Jim hadn’t considered it a possibility when he had decided hooking up with an alien would be a great idea. Even if he had known there was a remote chance of it happening, he might have been too busy having fun to care.

The doctor clears his throat and Jim figures that’s a sign he should pay attention, “Now, I understand that this may not be the most…desirable situation for a sixteen-year-old boy.” Jim rolls his eyes. “So, I must ask you if you wish to terminate the pregnancy.”

There’s a part of him that shrinks in horror at the mention of abortion. Every one, of course, has the right to choose, and he knows his choice should be obvious, but it’s not. He licks his lips, “How long do I have to think about it?”

When an uncomfortable shift follows, Jim narrows his eyes and the doctor speaks, “Pregnancy in men is a very…delicate thing.”

Jim’s eyebrows draw together. “Are you saying I’m going to lose it anyway?” He shivers, whether it is that thought or the cold examination room he sits in barely covered is unsure.

“It means that we cannot predict the success of a possible attempt at termination…or your body’s ability to carry this child to term. Having this child could kill you, but an abortion may do the same thing.” There is a nervous twitch in the man’s hand where it holds the PADD containing all of the information they’ve gathered on James Tiberius Kirk and the rather unusual situation he’d gotten into as it had progressed thus far.

Kirk lays back with a sigh, “So I’m basically fucked.”

The doctor taps his fingers on the side of the PADD and lets out a matching breath, “Yes.”

Jim shoots the man a look and then closes his eyes, “Great.”

“Would you like a hypo of pre-natal vitamins?” The question is asked with a forced amount of enthusiasm.

“Sure.” As the hypo is jammed into his neck, Jim doesn’t even flinch. He’s got bigger concerns, none of which he’d actually like to contemplate in that moment. His hand strays unconsciously to his abdomen and he is certain, however briefly, that he can feel the flutter of life there.

Jim dresses, grateful to be wearing his own clothes again, and takes the PADD with all of the instructional information for pregnancy, especially of the recorded differences and cautions of male pregnancy--natural or otherwise--home with him.

Being his curious self, Kirk begins to read on his way home. Despite the context, the content is interesting enough to keep Jim distracted from serious thoughts, including the very reason he has this information. It is only when he is sitting at the table and it is snatched from his hands that he looks up at his stepfather’s face--reading the PADD with its notes tailored for him too easily accessible--that the gravitas of it hits him.

He’s pregnant.

Frank laughs, the sound unnecessarily cruel. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he says, eyes dark and unreadable as he tosses the PADD down on the table.

“Don’t worry about it, Frank,” Jim tells him, gathering the PADD into his backpack and standing up. He puts enough distance between them that will allow him to at least read the man’s body language and perhaps dodge an object if thrown.

“What I’m getting is,” he chuckled again, humorlessly, “some alien fucked you, knocked you up, and you tell me not to worry about it? Do you realize how badly you make this family look, kid?” He’s leaning heavily against the table and Jim keeps a careful eye on him.

Jim shrugs, “Do you?”

His stepfather’s face turns red and his stance changes in a way Jim instantly recognizes, not that he can ever back out of a fight. He tenses as Frank takes a step forward. “I’m not gonna hit you,” the man says.

Jim is instantly suspicious, “Oh, really?” He puts on that smug face he knows Frank hates, the anger and confusion in him bringing out his masochism in full force.

“I don’t hit women,” Frank replies snidely, knuckles white where he grips the wooden table for support.

“So, it’s just kids then,” the words sharp in the tense air between them. Frank grabs his arm hard and there is terrible thing in Jim that thinks yes, prove me right, you fucker, but the man roughly pushes him away instead.

“I better keep my distance,” he says and anger burns like acid in Jim’s stomach, “don’t want to catch anything.”

Jim wonders if there’s some sort of direct correlation between his happiness and the amount Frank will want to hit him. He’s got adrenaline coursing through him now but he is utterly exhausted beneath it. No matter how badly he wants to force this issue, to scream and hit and be hit when he’s angry and his emotions are the last thing he wants to deal with, he cannot take the stress of it. “Sure, Frank,” he says, heading towards his room.

“Your father’s lucky he’s not alive to see this.”

Pausing only a second before determinedly carrying on, Jim blames what must be pregnancy hormones for the tears that come.

~

Knowing the reason for his frequent queasiness makes school all the more uncomfortable for Jim. The pity had been sort of growing on him, but now… Well, he feels like a freak. Which is something he wishes he could wear as some sort of badge of honor, but being sixteen and pregnant is a cliche in and of itself that Jim is not particularly proud of.

He’s been called a slut on multiple occasions, at multiple schools…hell, even by a teacher once. If people find out he’s knocked up, that’s likely to increase in frequency here. Luckily, it isn’t as easy to have someone guess his condition as if he were female, despite the similar indicators.

Jim feels fat. It’s an unfamiliar feeling and he doesn’t like it. At all. For the most part, he tries to ignore it if he can. Thinking about the fact that he’s fat because there’s a fucking baby growing inside of him is distracting.

There’s not much left of the school year, for which Jim is thankful. However, he’s not sure what he’s going to do with himself once he doesn’t have somewhere to go and escape his house from. The weather is getting warmer and yet he’s always finding himself uncomfortably cold.

Jim is disturbingly aware of his baby bump. He is certain someone has noticed, even if he’s been doing his best to hide it. Loose clothing can only do so much and layering too much only makes it more obvious. Jackets and coats work well enough, but he still knows. He dodges a girl in the hallway--awkwardly--so his rounding stomach doesn’t brush up against her.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asks, scowling, as he knocks the PADD out of her boyfriend’s hands in the process. Jim blames his lack of coordination on the new weight he’s carrying.

He shrugs, laughing, aware of the manic look on his face, “Oh, you know, knocked up.”

The girl and her boyfriend give him a weird look and he sighs. It’s the truth, not that he had thought for one second they would believe him. He wonders if he should resign himself to everyone thinking he’s fat for the next three weeks.

~

Jim is pretty sure that if the new looks he’s getting by the end of the school year mean anything, people know. Even though he had made light of it, making a joke about his growing condition, he can tell rumor is spreading.

It may be his own fault for putting the idea in their heads. After all, it wan’t too hard to add up the facts. He had hooked up with the one alien at the school, he was getting fat, and he mentioned being knocked up. Really, they weren’t complicated facts. Jim isn’t sure why he said anything in the first place, but maybe he wanted them to know. Maybe he thought he’d feel less alone if it was no longer just his secret--never mind Frank knowing, that was its own separate issue--and he didn’t have to hide.

Not that it matters, Jim decides, as he’s fairly certain he’ll be too fat to continue when the school year starts back up.

~

The back of the property, out behind the old garage is quiet, peaceful even, and Jim gently lowers himself to ground. He’s used to being able to just flop down, and a month ago he still could, but his hips ache and after the most recent swelling of his midsection, he’s a bit too off-balance to do anything without some care or forethought.

Jim is going to get a sunburn. He didn’t bother doing a thing to prevent it and he knows it can be soothed away easily enough, but it probably isn’t the best idea to lay there under the unforgiving sun of mid-July. It just feels so good. Finally, he’s feeling almost comfortable, at least in terms of temperature. He’s still fat and is going to have a terrible third year of high school, but he pushes those thoughts to the side.

He squints around to make sure no one else is around--no one should be able to see him where he is out here unless they’re looking for him--and hikes his rapidly-becoming-too-tight shirt up over his belly. It only takes a few minutes of the sun beating down directly onto his abdomen for him to feel the tendrils of contentment in his mind. He feels movement, but it’s closer to relaxation than the anxious squirming he’s felt before.

Jim doesn’t know all that much about pregnancy and it’s even harder to know what to expect when what’s growing inside him isn’t completely human, although he’s been trying to figure it out. All he knows is that the cold seeping so far into spring had been awful. This child was, as long as biology worked the way he thought it did, mostly human. If the thing craved heat this badly as it is, how had Spock even survived here? Somehow, the child was more Vulcan than he’d expected. The doctor had already confirmed the fact that the thing is green-blooded.

“Could you take after him a little less?” he murmurs, lifting his head to glare half-heartedly at the bump.

He rubs his hand over his distended stomach and does his best to soothe the life growing inside of him. It makes him overly self-aware sometimes, to know this child is so directly affected by his own thoughts and feelings. Spock had barely mentioned it, only in relation to the way Vulcans refrained from touch. It had given Jim enough of an idea about what it was like but it was different when this was suddenly part of his own every day life. It was stronger and stronger as the child grew.

It would be strange to lose it after the baby was born, no longer connected to him. He feels a pang of sadness at the thought and there’s a responding uncertainty, a tenseness that he feels as not quite his own and Jim hums to distract himself and that damn little Vulcan inside of him.

He focuses on the way the sun heats his skin and the way his body is soothed by it. The hand that doesn’t currently reside on his stomach plays idly with the grass where his arm lies under his head for support. He can feel a presence now like he couldn’t before, when he only had some vague sense of something there besides him. It’s becoming real now.

The child seems to be happy and there’s more than physical warmth curving Jim’s mouth into a smile as he dozes on a hot summer afternoon.

~

Jim can’t give her up. He had thought adoption might be what was best for both of them, but it seems like a terrible idea now. It’s quite possible his hormones are helping him make decisions, but he can feel her. This child is his and giving her up makes him want to fight these hypothetical adoptive parents. It’s ridiculous.

He hates to think it, but…who would want her? He is already certain that anyone would be lucky to have this bright presence in his mind as their kid, but she’s a hybrid. Technically, she may be three-quarters human, which would normally negate any noticeable differences, and yet he already knows she’s very Vulcan. Telepathy and green blood weren’t exactly sought after traits for children around here. The icing on the not-very-adoptable cake is him.

A non-human baby carried by a dude--a teenage boy--had a certain stigma to it. Of course, not everyone is xenophobic and interspecies relationships between humans and aliens is not uncommon anymore--in bigger cities, that is--but children borne of male pregnancy? Natural male pregnancy? People tended to think there was something wrong.

Jim isn’t certain he’ll be able to return to school in the fall, how he’s going to provide for a child--god, it’s a scary thought--but he’ll figure it out. He’s smart. He can do independent study. If Jim has decided nothing else, it’s that dropping out isn’t going to help matters any.

He returns from a walk to find Frank video chatting with his mom. Frank has left him alone much more often since Jim found out he was pregnant. Ignoring him seems difficult for Frank, but the better of his options. Acknowledging his pregnant stepson is unworthy of his time.

Honestly, Jim doesn’t get it. Before he can head to his room, however, Frank is calling him in.

“Tell your mother here what you’ve been up to, Jimbo,” Frank sneers.

At the nickname, Jim’s eyes narrow, mouth firming into a hard line. He looks to the screen, his mother tilting her head inquiringly. There’s a certain amount of concern there as she eyes him that makes a lump form in his throat. Stupid hormones.

“Jim?” she asks.

He scrubs a hand through his hair, he needs to get it cut. “Uh. Hey, mom. How’s space?” It’s about the lamest thing he could say and Frank rolls his eyes at him.

“Tell her, boy.”

Frank knows exactly how to push Jim’s buttons, but Jim can’t say he doesn’t know the same. Really, though, he’s not a dog. He bites back the words that rise like bile in the back of his throat and stares at his mom for a minute. They never talk this way. They’ve never been close.

Jim’s teeth worry his bottom lip and he glances at the floor, takes a deep breath, and looks into her eyes through the viewscreen. “You’re gonna be a grandma,” he settles on. He hesitates, adding, “You know, if you don’t disown me.”

She lets out a little gasp, “Oh.” Her expression is one of shock, otherwise unreadable.

Frank opens his mouth and Jim continues before the man has a chance to speak, “Yeah…so, um. I’m…I’m, uh…pregnant.” He says the last word almost as if it were a question, waiting for her reaction.

Winona’s brows furrow in confusion, her lips pursing as she tries to comprehend what he’s just told her.

“Alright,” he says. “Good talk.” He disappears to his room as fast as his swelling ankles will carry him. Jim leans heavily against the door. The sound of Frank’s laughter echoes in his head.

He breathes out and feels the baby squirm, unpleasant confusion at his stress radiates through his mind. Placing a hand on his stomach, Jim attempts to think of something else. It doesn’t work. He itches for some way to calm himself, remembering Spock mentioning meditation. He nearly bursts out in laughter at the thought. Alcohol and narcotics have been good friends to him in the past--and despite how much he’d been drinking, the doctor had told him she was perfectly healthy in there (stupid Vulcans). He won’t though.

Jim’s not stupid. He’s been told this pregnancy might kill him, although he’s not had too much unusual trouble so far, so he is wary of doing anything to risk himself further--or, rather, to risk her. If they both survive, he can see it as a victory.

The doctor has told him the real problems will be closer to term.

~

In mid-August, he’s surprised to wake up to his mother hovering over him.

He blinks. She’s still there. “Mom?”

“Hey, Jim,” she says, hands trembling as she runs a gentle hand over his forehead. “How are you doing, sweetie?”

Jim shifts, feeling self-conscious of his stomach. He’s got about a million layers of blanket over him even though the August heat is sweltering--it keeps the baby calm and lets him sleep a little easier. He rubs at his eyes, eyebrows rising as he looks at her. He blinks again, and sits up. “I gotta pee.”

“Oh,” she says, her face tense, nervous, but she’s watching him from the corner of her eye as she backs off. “Sorry, I’ll just, uh.” Winona doesn’t know what to say--that makes two of them.

He really doesn’t want to get up and have her stare at his belly. “Could you, uh…” Would it be simple enough to ask her to leave the room or should he think of some excuse first? “Could you get me a glass of water?” There, that wasn’t too much to ask and would give her something to do.

She nods quickly and leaves. He breathes a long sigh of relief and waddles--walks--to the bathroom.

~

Winona Kirk has placed a bench in the backyard. It’s a gesture that immediately follows kicking Frank out of the house. She hadn’t realized what went on in her own house, to her own family, until she’d been home long enough to see it. Jim’s condition brought out the worst in Frank. Jim, exhausted and loose-lipped, guessed that his more agitated state came from not releasing his frustration in his usual ways. When Winona figured it out, she was horrified.

Jim likes the bench. Although he loved laying in the grass, he could no longer get himself up--in under thirty minutes, at least--from that position. He’s sitting on the bench, enjoying the quiet. He clears his head and focuses on Georgia. He’s been hearing snippets of what almost sound like thoughts, had they real words to accompany them. There’s a murmur, as if the words are just slightly distorted, but he can make out feelings more specifically now.

It comes on suddenly.

Jim grabs his stomach and his eyes water. The pain is nearly unbearable. The baby is unnaturally still and he can’t feel her in his mind. He can’t even focus his concentration enough to panic as the pressure of this sudden, intense agony fills him. It’s too much.

He wakes up in the grass, still outside. Jim is thankful they’re straddling the seasons of summer and autumn so it’s warm out even as it progresses towards evening. He breathes harshly and his hand strays to his stomach once he can think clearly again. The squirm he feels in response to his anxiety is quite a relief.

~

Winona picks up the holos shoved haphazardly into the drawer and Jim can’t quite tell what she’s thinking. “That’s him?” she says after he feels like his heart is about to burst from his chest if she keeps standing there.

Jim nods and she glances over to him, clearly having caught the motion in her peripheral vision. She smiles softly and looks back at the picture of the two of them. “He moved,” Jim tells her, uncertain as to why it’s become so easy to open up. “He doesn’t know.”

“Are you going to tell him?” she asks.

Jim swallows. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

~

The new school Spock attends is more his level, but he finds it easy enough. It is a welcome sight with so many others of non-human or mixed origin in his classes. These do not make up a significant portion of the school’s population by any means, but he is not alone in his otherness.

Spock turns eighteen two months after he leaves Iowa and wonders about joining Starfleet. His father has had numerous discussions with him about attending for the Vulcan Science Academy, and Spock agrees to its consideration. He did not apply to numerous universities and academies, however, without planning to think his decision through carefully. It is only logical that he choose what is best for himself. It is in a video conference confirming his acceptance to the Vulcan Science Academy and with it an insult to his mother and the world he lives on, that he declines, certain he is making the correct choice. He is annoyed at himself for being so defensive of humanity, of all things, but his mind has been preoccupied by the thought of Starfleet. Still. He sees posters, logically reasoning that they are propaganda, and is intrigued nonetheless.

San Francisco is a far more accepting place than this middle of nowhere town they sent his father to. It is not just that; although he would not admit it, Spock is quite taken with the idea of exploring space. He tells himself that it is the pursuit of knowledge and not the all too human urge for adventure.

As his parents are living nearby, it is simple enough to attend Starfleet personally and find out that he has been accepted. In that moment, he tells himself it is logic that has him so sure this is where he should be going.

After Spock graduates, he spends the summer attending all possible opportunities for additional training to prepare himself for the academy, as well as anything that allows him to speed along his education and rank in the long run.

The red cadet uniform would normally be somewhat unappealing, but here it is part of fitting in. The first time he puts it on, his mother smiles, telling him how handsome he looks. Sarek, however, has appeared somewhat disapproving since the moment Spock rejected the Vulcan Science Academy and turned his attentions toward Starfleet.

Spock would never had said his mother and father were close, but there was certainly a distance, a coldness, emanating from his mother towards his father that had only gradually been disappearing since their departure from Iowa. They were not quite the same as Spock remembered them, having seen them kissing in the Vulcan manner several times in his life, not that they had intended to do so in front of him. His father had seemed…well, he had not seemed happy, but he had certainly not seemed unhappy as he often did now.

~

Jim doesn’t return to school when it starts back up in the autumn. It’s hard to walk and he’s uncomfortable all the time. Since he has passed out from weird pregnancy pains (multiple times)--damn Vulcans--he figures it isn’t safe to really go out for too long. It makes going to class completely out of the question. He falls horribly behind in his attempts at independent study and once Georgia is born, it only gets worse.

Babies require time and energy and Jim quickly finds himself lacking both accordingly. His mom helps as much as she can, but she can only do so much for his newborn. Jim can’t initiate any sort of mind meld and this bothers him now. He can hold her, and perhaps he feels something and perhaps it is only an echo of the connection he shared with her when she was still a part of him. Georgia is healthy and Jim is…alright. Georgia’s ears come to soft little points and Winona thinks they’re the cutest things she’s ever seen. Gushing over her first grandchild is nothing to be ashamed of, though. The baby has the tiniest tinge of green flush to her when she gets fussy and at first Winona feels the tiniest bit worried, thinking the child must be ill. Jim has a strange conversation explaining to her that it’s just her physiology. Georgia is great though, all things considered.

There is more than one reason to be happy, however, as Winona has finalized her divorce from Frank. That this is accompanied by his temporary incarceration is further cause for joy in the Kirk household. Jim intends for Frank to never so much as catch a glance of his daughter.

Winona goes quiet sometimes and apologizes over and over again. Jim tells her that it’s not her fault. She didn’t know; he didn’t tell her. He’s not even seventeen years old and he’s trying to tell his mother things are okay by shoving his baby into her arms for her to cuddle. It also relieves him of the duty for a while.

It takes far too long, but things settle with the three of them at their Riverside home. Winona has vowed to stay as long as she needs to, which Jim feels some guilt about, but he’s not too proud to admit that the help is appreciated. He and his mother have grown much closer. It doesn’t feel…awkward, now, to rely on her.

Jim is actually going to graduate on time. It’s amazing, really, what he can do with a bit of effort. Everything is so easy once he stops fucking around. Hell, he probably could’ve done something with his life--although Georgia’s not nothing, people don’t really see being a teenager with a kid as a good thing.

It’s when he and Georgie accompany his mother to the Starfleet base near Riverside that he runs into a man who makes him realize he still can. Captain Pike recognizes him as his father’s kid and Jim tries not to resent that. He also assumes Georgia is his sister, having heard about Winona Kirk’s remarriage. Jim cradles the fourteen-month-old to his chest a little tighter, “She’s mine, actually.”

Covering his surprise, Pike takes the news rather gracefully. He smiles at the child and goes to brush a lock of hair behind her ear, only to startle again at the little point. His smile turns into a full grin at that. “Well, even more reason to join Starfleet,” he says. “You’ll get to meet all kinds of…people. And you can take her with you.”

Jim laughs through the blush that colors his cheeks.

It isn’t as if his mother hadn’t mentioned Starfleet as an option for him, but Jim had always brushed it off without a thought. Starship captain did have a nice ring to it, but his parents had both been in Starfleet, had met in Starfleet, and his father had died in space. It lacked certain appeal that way.

He discusses it with Winona and they research into whether or not he’ll run into problems being a single father. Although his mother volunteers to take care of her while he’s at the academy, Jim tells her that he’d rather have Georgia with him and learn to manage than to be so far away from her. Winona understands.

~

Christopher Pike is a good man and Jim appreciates the effort he’s made to get Jim on this shuttlecraft, especially given how resistant Jim was when the time came, but there’s a man yelling about the dangers of space and his blood boiling and Jim has half a mind to force his way out and run home to his mom and kid.

“McCoy, Leonard McCoy,” the man is saying and Jim accepts his hand to shake at the introduction.

“Jim Kirk,” he returns.

Although McCoy is in obvious discomfort, after Jim has pulled out the holo of Georgia, the man seems to have calmed down enough to comment, “’S that your sister? Or your kid?”

Jim pries his eyes away from the picture to answer, “Uh, yeah. She’s mine. My kid, I mean.” He assumes it’s going to take a bit more aging on his part before he stops getting that question.

Leonard nods, “Cute. I got one a few years older, not that I get to see her much.” He looks from the holo to Jim skeptically, “Aren’t you a bit young?”

Jim feels flustered, unsure how to respond, but McCoy doesn’t seem to be judging him. The man settles back into his seat with a deep breath, holding back the urge to throw up as the shuttle rocks slightly. They talk a little more, if only to distract McCoy from the world.

“My mom’s going to bring her out to San Francisco in a couple of days,” Jim adds, a feeling of camaraderie starting between him and McCoy.

The doctor--that’s what he had said, wasn’t it?--nods slightly, attempting to keep himself still as the wave of nausea passes over him. “Her mom not in the picture?” he asks eventually.

Jim shakes his head, a small, sad smile forming, “Something like that.”

They make minimal conversational for a while and Jim stares out the window as McCoy alternates between groaning and whimpering through the slightest of changes in speed or direction--whether actual or perceived.

Eventually, Jim mentions a subject that’s been on his mind for a while now, “I need to find a roommate. They didn’t assign one since I applied for family housing, but that place is way too big for just me and Georgia.” He shifts his gaze to Leonard imploringly, but not too obviously, and waits.

“I don’t know you that well, kid, but sure.” He eyes Jim discerningly, “But no hanky-panky.”

“Are you implying that I’m-- that I would--” Kirk scoffs, but he’s grinning, too. “I’m a father, Dr. McCoy,” he says, clutching a hand to his chest as if scandalized.

“So am I,” McCoy responds, glancing towards Jim before returning them to staring straight in front of him. “Doesn’t make you a saint.”

Thus began a friendship in which Jim didn’t try to get some. It was kind of beautiful, to Jim.

~

Winona Kirk’s journey across America is not nearly as stressful as her son’s. Her granddaughter is nearly two and her son will be nineteen in a few months. This is not the way she expected her life to turn out, but it works. She’s taken time off from Starfleet to help Jim through his enlistment and the adjustment period that follows, not just agreeing but offering to take Georgia to San Francisco so he’ll have time to settle in.

She arrives at the apartment building feeling nostalgic, noting a few professors from her own class at Starfleet as she purposefully wanders around the academy. Quite a few things have changed since her time there, but there’s enough that it still feels a bit like home. Although Georgia had toddled around a while, Winona is carrying her now.

With a press to the button outside the door, she waits, knowing that Jim is expecting them. It’s then that it really hits her--she’s leaving Georgia here, leaving them both here, and she’s going to miss them terribly. She’s held on to the house in Riverside for so long, if only for the connection it holds to George. It’s only started to feel like home again since she and Jim had grown closer over the past two years or so. Perhaps it would be better for her now to move out here, she’s off-planet half the time anyway, but then she’d be close to her family. Winona is realizing how much she feels like a sappy, sentimental grandma, but she’s okay with that.

A man answers the door who is most definitely not her son and she checks the number before greeting, “You must me Dr. McCoy.” She holds out the hand that isn’t currently supporting her tiny granddaughter and he takes it graciously--for one second it seems only as if he’s about to dip down to kiss the back, but maybe she had imagined it.

Jim appears almost immediately, looking slightly flustered. “Mom!”

Leonard doesn’t so much as glance at him, “Jim, this lovely woman can’t possibly be your mother.”

Bones,” Jim warns and McCoy rolls his eyes, the magic of the moment ruined by Kirk’s nickname for him.

Winona is a bit resistant, but she allows her son to take his child from her, noting proudly his beaming smile. She turns her attention to McCoy, “Winona Kirk, in case my son has already forgotten to introduce me.”

She tours the apartment with McCoy as Jim puts Georgia down for her nap--he’d love to spend more time with her, but she was tired out by the trip. He runs his hand over her head, noting that his mother must’ve gotten her hair cut in the mere week they’ve been apart. Jim doesn’t linger as much as he’d like to--that week is the longest they’ve ever been apart--so the good doctor doesn’t get a further chance to flirt with his mother. He can hear Leonard’s drawl coming on strong from Georgia’s new room and it makes him antsy, as well as a bit amused.

McCoy allows them some time as he heads out to pick up the last few things he needs for class and the second he’s out the door, Jim is throwing his arms around his mother and although she’s shocked for a second, she returns the embrace with even more vigor.

Jim doesn’t mean to make Winona feel guilty, but the words slip out even as his eyes water. “It seems silly to miss you so much when you were gone most of my life anyway.”

She tightens her grip, “I’m so sorry about that, honey.”

He shakes his head as much as he can into her shoulder, “No, no, I forgave you for that, mom. You know that.” He pulls back to look at her and wipes hastily at his eyes. “I love you, mom. Okay?”

She nods and he notices her eyes are red as well. “Okay,” she agrees with a watery smile. “I love you, too, baby. So much. I’m so proud of you.” He opens his mouth as if to argue, but she continues, expression turning wry, “So, tell me about Leonard.”

Jim groans and pushes out of her embrace like he would’ve when he was younger had they been that close, but he only pretends to ignore her as he heats up a kettle like they used to at home and gets out a mug for each of them.

~

There’s a girl waiting outside the room the xenolinguistics club meeting is supposed to take place in and Jim can’t help noticing how beautiful she is. At this point, however, he has no intention of hitting on someone just because they’ve got a pretty face. He does want to know about the club meeting though.

“Hey,” he says, smiling brightly at her.

The girl barely looks up at him.

“Um,” he starts and realizes how dumb he’s coming off. “What’s your name?” he asks finally.

She huffs out a sigh. “Uhura,” she says, adding, “And I’m not interested.”

With that kind of response and her attitude in general towards him, Jim finds himself unable to push it just a bit further. “You sure?” he asks, with a wink and she glares at him. He moves a bit closer, acts as if he’s about to put his hand on her shoulder before running it through his hair instead.

Uhura wants to tell him to get lost, but it’s a bit out of the way for him to have come here only to annoy her. “What are you doing here?”

“Jim Kirk,” he tells her instead, offering her his hand which she refuses to shake. They’ve gotten off to such a bad start and he’s not even sure why. “Are you in the club?” he asks.

Warily, she nods, “Why?”

He shrugs, “Maybe I’m interested.”

He had picked up bits and pieces of other languages his whole life, Terran and otherwise. Spock had only just begun to teach him some of the basics of Vulcan before…their time together had ended. He’d done his best to teach himself, taken a couple of courses--although none of the instructors were Vulcan, sadly. There had to be someone. After all, Jim doesn’t want to learn just for himself, some lingering desire to teach his daughter something of her heritage has been with him since he realized it would probably have to come from him.

~

Jim has been hearing rumors for ages now about a Vulcan at the academy, and, in some ways, it’s exciting. He’d like to meet another Vulcan, but truth be told the idea that it may be the Vulcan--no, not his, not anymore, if he ever was--is both exciting and terrifying.

Tomorrow is Jim’s twentieth birthday and he’s gotten Bones to agree to go out with him since his mom has tried to be home for his birthday as often as she can since his fifteenth--even if they weren’t on good terms, or, really, any at that point. Winona has happily agreed to watch Georgia, who has developed very quickly for a three-year-old. Half the time she acts like a normal, human kid and the other half she’s smart and, fuck, way too knowing.

He’s pretty happy. The winter break is still going on so much of the student body has left and the hallways are empty. He had aced all of his exams and his mother, his daughter, and his best friend are all waiting for him back at the apartment. He’d had to bring back a PADD his professor had leant him, just some extra readings and texts for his command-required morality course--Ethics and The Prime Directive--and he was eager to return home. He’s just shooting a text to Bones when awareness tugs at him, hard.

Jim looks up to find Spock--fucking Spock of all people, aliens, whatever--walking down the hall. He sees the half-Vulcan’s eyes skim over him, but he says nothing, shows no recognition even of Jim and Jim can’t help turning to watch him as he continues purposefully down the hall, turning right at the end of it.

He can’t breathe. He literally cannot breathe. He stumbles towards the door clutching his chest and it slides open for him automatically. Once on the other side, he slides back against the wall, taking a deep, gasping breath and then, that’s it. The tears come and he’s shaking uncontrollably now, shoulders knocking against the wall, gasping as he cries more than he has since Spock left when he was sixteen years old. Sure, he’s cried, but not like this.

In fact, never has he cried like this. His heart hurts.

He is going back to the apartment still, but only after stopping in one of the academy’s restrooms to examine himself. He splashes cold water on his face, thankful for old-fashioned faucets as well as sonics--which not all of the bathrooms have--as he does his best to clean himself up. His hands are shaky and his eyes are puffy and he waits, cheeks sensitive as he roughly wipes away the scant tears that keep spilling out.

“So what, Kirk?” he asks himself, staring into the mirror. “Your ex is here. Man up.” His bottom lip trembles and he bites it. He had not realized how unprepared he’d be should that rumored Vulcan be Spock, should he see him. He wants to go back and find him, to shout at him until his voice goes hoarse, maybe take a swing at him, but it’s completely irrational.

Besides the fact that they were only “together” for about a month and Spock has no idea Georgia even exists, it’s too late now. He doesn’t even know where to find him--and he’s not going to hack into the system to find out. Although…perhaps there’s an acceptable reason to do so, pathetic as it is. If he knows where he lives, his class schedule, all of it, maybe Jim can continue avoiding him. After all, he’s been at Starfleet over a year and this is the first time he’s seen him.

This only leads him to wonder if Spock has already done this to him, but why would he? Spock has no reason to even care that he’s at Starfleet, much less actively avoid him.

~

Spock uses all of his mental abilities to the full extent after he sees Jim in the hallway. His mental shielding is difficult to even maintain in the face of such surprise. He places his hand subtly against his right side, above his heart and attempts to reach the calm he is so aggressively projecting.

His professor signs the PADD and gives a polite nod of thanks. With that, his time as a cadet is over. All that is left is the ceremony. He has only graduated half a year early, but with all of his additional courses, he is well on his way to his goal. In only two and a half years, he will reach the rank of lieutenant commander and a place as science officer on Starfleet’s new flagship, the Enterprise, if Captain Pike has anything to say about it.

Spock now confirms the identity of a figure in his memories. He had seen a young man, only from behind, blonde hair and a laugh that sounded so achingly familiar Spock had stopped in his tracks. Spock had hoped somehow he was wrong, even after having checked to find that yes, in fact, Cadet James Tiberius Kirk attends Starfleet Academy, but this new encounter had been undeniable. Jim’s blue eyes had bored into him even as he had acted as if they’d never met.

The half-Vulcan could not undo the past, could not change what had happened between them. Kaiidth. What is, is. Their coupling and the loss of his virginity as well as the disapproval of his father and their sudden move from Iowa were simply facts in his own personal history. The pain he had so thoroughly suppressed threatened to rear itself up in him now and he repeated the word he so needed as he returned to his dorm room to meditate.

Kaiidth.

~

Over the summer, Spock is given permission to take over some of his xenolinguistics professor’s classes having aced the course a year earlier and having had numerous instruction training courses. Perhaps he worked so hard now to make up for his somewhat rebellious youth or perhaps to attempt to achieve some semblance of pride from his father, but it did not matter. His hard work now and for the past couple of years means that he will be better set in the future, which surely is all anyone could want.

Spock teaches Vulcan and its related languages. It is somewhat annoying when a student falls asleep or has seemingly ignored everything he has said to ask a question he has already answered. It is nice, however, to get the experience and he finds it rewarding when people like Nyota Uhura, who have done more than the necessary amount of prerequisite research, discuss nuances of different languages with him.

Cadet Uhura is friendly towards him, but always respectful. It is only once the summer courses have finished that she asks if he might be interested in pursuing a romantic relationship.

Spock has to think on this. If he is honest with himself, he is somewhat lonely. He visits his parents--his mother--fairly often, but this does not ease his loneliness as much as he might have hoped. Sometimes, he even misses Jim. This is a ridiculous notion, especially since he had done so well to feign ignorance of those memories altogether. Knowing that Jim is so close, however, is somewhat distracting when his emotions threaten to control him.

In the end, he declines Cadet Uhura’s request. There is no reason to involve himself with another human being and it is made more reasonably inappropriate by the fact that for no matter how short a time, he had been her instructor. If Spock is having more trouble dealing with his feelings after having briefly seen Jim Kirk, a romantic entanglement with another is unlikely to help him rebuild his shields. There may be some quasi-logical part of his mind asking him if it is because he does not wish to become romantically involved with another human, or if it is because she is not Jim. As these answers will not lead anywhere useful, Spock goes on as if the thought has never occurred to him.

~

It’s an allergic reaction to one of the plants they examine, in his health class of all things, that doesn’t begin to hit him until he gets back to the apartment that has Bones scanning him with a tricorder. As a doctor, he’s thorough--and goddamn smart enough to see the anomalies that Jim’s had since he was sixteen years old and his body had changed in the more tell-tale ways of alien influence. His hormone readings are always just slightly off and there’s a scar on his abdomen that he never felt the need to rid himself of. There’s evidence of his pregnancy, he knows, and he knows the moment that Bones knows it, too.

McCoy finds the correct hypo to jab him with and waits until Jim is back to normal, at least. He’s probably processing the information he now has pertaining to one James Tiberius Kirk that he hadn’t had before.

“I’d appreciate a little honesty here, Jim,” Leonard tells him, adjusting the toddler in his arms. The little girl is quiet but it's obvious she knows something is happening.

Jim can only be glad for the thick winter clothing preventing any accidental transference. He doesn't know a whole hell of a lot about it still, even though he experienced the link so strongly for that nine months she spent in the womb--not to mention his time with Spock, ages ago as it now seems--but from the little bits and pieces he does understand, her touch telepathy is greatly limited, dampened by her human heritage. Her ears have gotten pointier over the years and her blood may be green--T-negative, Jim remembers from one of the first doctor's appointments--but she's more human that anything else. A pointy-eared, green-blooded, overly perceptive human under the age of three. Alright, that may not have made the most sense but the universe needed to cut him some slack; he was doing better.

Bones is expecting an answer and Jim wants to tell him to tell him the truth, really. The truth, however, makes him feel embarrassed and nervous and upset and nostalgic all at the same time. “You know she’s mine,” he says slowly.

“No kidding,” Leonard replies, choosing his wording so that he would not have to cover little Vulcan ears. “And you were the knocked up one in this particular scenario.” Jim nods, blushing. “So that means there’s a baby daddy out there somewhere, I can only assume.”

“He’s… Yeah,” Jim replies lamely.

“Might you wanna let your best friend in on this mystery man’s identity?” Leonard hisses as if it will prevent the child from picking up on their issues.

Georgia is pulling on the collar of McCoy's uniform and Jim wants to hold her, feel the comfort of his own flesh and blood so close.

“He-- I can’t,” he whispers and shuts his eyes tightly.

“Damn it, Jim. What kind of man abandons his own kid like that?” Jim flinches almost imperceptibly and Bones eyes go so wide Jim can imagine them popping out of his head. “Does he know?”

Jim shakes his head. Leonard is about to go on one of his rants, Jim knows the signs, but he speaks even though it feels like his throat is closing up and he has to force the words out. “Please, just. He left, Bones. He was seventeen years old and his father didn’t approve of him,” his Adam’s apple bobs and he isn’t crying, not yet, “associating with a human like that. Okay? He doesn't know.”

“I can’t tell you what to do,” McCoy starts and Jim raises an eyebrow at that, “but I will.”

There’s a hint of a smirk as Kirk grabs his shoulder, “Look. I’ll tell him,” he says, preempting Leonard’s order, “but when I’m ready.” The doctor looks very much like he’s about to disagree when Jim eases his daughter into his own arms. “And after he knows, I’ll tell you. Alright, Bones?”

He hears a murmur under McCoy’s breath but the only words he catches are “idiot” and “goblin” as the doctor paces into the kitchen.

Jim hastily wipes at his eyes and Georgia looks at him, as if having waited her turn to speak. 

“Are you alright, daddy?” She already sounds mature and composed and he has to remember the fit she threw last week to keep himself sane.

“Yes, Geo, I’m fine,” he replies and she looks at him skeptically. “Come on, why don’t you go see if your Uncle Leonard”-- “Bones,” she corrects--“will make that face you like?” It’s the face of utter bewilderment one gets with a smart child and Jim is quite a fan, too. He kisses the hair covering her temple so she doesn't know--at least, not for certain--what a liar her dad is, gently placing her on the floor and aiming her in the doctor's direction with a guiding push.

She turns back after a few steps and he can see Spock-like determination in her otherwise softer features, she hesitates--and goddamn it, she's still just three years old--and says only, “I love you, daddy.”

~

Jim is surprised to find Spock administering one of his tests. Surprised being code for utterly shocked and he doesn't know whether to try hiding it with a smile or start hyperventilating as the half-Vulcan prowls the room giving instructions. He's even more attractive now than he was when they were teenagers and Jim has kept himself fit in the academy but there's a predatory litheness to Spock right now that would have him drooling were his emotions not in play.

Spock has been purposely avoiding Jim’s gaze, eyes roving past him unseeingly when he is looking in that direction. The little girl with the dirty blonde hair Jim had scooped up in the hallway has him more distracted than he'd like. When they had been together, brief a time as it was, Jim had acted--no, he had, Spock had felt it through the link--cared deeply for him and, although he was loathe to admit it, that sixteen-year-old boy had been the first being to truly worm his way into Spock's heart. 

Given the girl’s approximate age, Jim had not waited long to find a new sexual partner after Spock left. The closest Spock had gotten to a relationship was when Nyota Uhura had asked him out and he had declined to avoid the emotional entanglement. He viewed himself, now, as a wreck that month he had been with Jim in high school. It was normal, even logical, for a human to seek out a new form of comfort at the end of a relationship but Spock still felt his heart beat rapidly in his side at the thought of Jim moving on. The pangs of jealousy and the desire for confrontation were becoming difficult to suppress and it made him hate Jim just a bit for ruining his years of emotional control.

His years at Starfleet had mostly been calm, logical, not even purely on the superficial side as his entire childhood had been up through high school. Really, Spock had felt...well, that was the point, wasn’t it? He hadn't felt anything, hadn't wanted nor needed the distraction it would be from his studies, and that was a good thing.

Then, he’d seen Jim his graduating year, just like high school. That was nearly a year ago now though and he’d been glad to somehow not run into the blonde every two steps afterward. He hadn’t seen him enough to notice the child, that was certain, although he had seen quite a bit Jim’s…friend. He hadn't known Dr. McCoy was close with Jim Kirk at the time and his already present jealousy flared bitterly at the question of how close the two were.

Maybe Jim just loved bright and fast and Spock was lucky enough to have been--to leave before Jim tired of him.

Spock keeps his professionalism, his grip tightening around his stylus as stalks across the room. He has explained the parameters on which these students will be judged--on which Jim will be judged. He now has only to wait, to monitor them as they work.

Time passes at the same rate no matter the circumstance, but it seems as if now it has slowed to a crawl. Spock cannot help himself, his eyes falling upon Kirk as the other man solves equations and reasons through hypothetical situations.

Jim finishes quickly, the half-Vulcan notices. He does not leave. He sits and pretends to work until the others begin handing in the PADDs they’ve been using and filing out of the room. Jim’s hand slides back through his hair as he stares quite purposefully at his own PADD, eyes following his classmates as they stand, but never quite reaching Spock as he watches.

There is a mere handful of students left when Jim gets up, two other students rising around him as if he can hide in this smallest of crowds. Spock is incensed at this. It is not acceptable for Jim to be acting in this way. He had had no desire to bring forth their history, disgraceful as it was, and yet he could not stop himself in his righteous feelings of anger at having been ignored. How Jim could so skillfully break down his well-built walls of emotional disconnect was disconcerting in and of itself.

“Cadet Kirk,” he says, his voice sharp as Jim tries his best to stroll away in a false version of his casual confidence.

Jim’s steps stutter and he turns, licking his lips, “Yes, sir?” His eyes are shuttered and his heart is pounding. This is the first time they’ve been forced into truly close proximity during their time at the academy.

Spock places the PADDs on the podium at the front of the room and approaches Jim. He has no reason to prevent the cadet from leaving. He clears his throat, speaking at a reasonable volume given those still working. “Your test scores have been quite promising, cadet.”

Jim purses his lips and gives a curt nod. That cannot be what Spock has to say to him, not after all these years.

Spock hesitates, but there is an anger in him that does not want to be denied and he finds himself willing to acquiesce to it, “I understand that you have a child. Do you believe that it is wise to pursue a career in Starfleet when you have a responsibility to your offspring?” Jim focuses on him, eyes narrowing, something hurt and dangerous flaring beneath the surface.

The reference to Kirk’s own parents is not lost in the exchange.

“I don’t see how you can be in any position to judge me, sir.”

The word is emphasized in such a way that even Spock can see the insult implied, no matter the actual meaning of it. His nostrils flare.

“You are still young, cadet. You realize that your past choices will effect your placement in--”

Jim cuts him off, “My choice, yes.” His face flushes with irritation, with rage. “I think I’ve done a pretty fucking good job, considering.”

The Vulcan half of him is nearly dormant as Spock reacts to Kirk’s insubordination, “Jim, she is…” He isn’t certain how to continue. To point out her age in accordance with their own, to simply shame the man for his promiscuity and the trouble it has placed him in, taking the form of a child he must now care for that may or may not ruin his chances in his chosen career.

“She’s what?” Jim demands, throat tightening. “You know what, Spock?” He swallows, “She’s--” He bites back the word that’s so desperate to push through but Spock cannot leave it.

It is an unfair ability, one which Spock should not take advantage of, but there is something there and he needs to know, cannot give up now when his control is diminished to near nothingness by this man, the boy who had made him so weak, and his fingers grasp Jim’s wrist hard. The word is clear, echoing through Jim’s mind and Spock’s in turn. Yours.

The shock is enough to allow Kirk the leeway to shake himself free. His throat works, his eyes sting, and he takes what’s left of his pride and holds it in as he turns, walking out the door. He is aware as he does so, heart pounding in his ears, that Spock is watching him, gaze burning into him in broken repose.

The remaining students are eerily silent after Jim exits the room and Spock shuts his mouth, wondering briefly when exactly it had fallen open.

He imitates his own typical demeanor until at last he was able to escape the tension left in that silent classroom. Jim’s voice is all he can hear, even without his presence to accompany it.

When the room has emptied, he takes a deep breath. The stylus snaps between his fingers.

~

“Well, he knows,” Jim says, the door sliding closed behind him.

Bones is braiding Georgia’s hair, but his brows furrow in confusion, lips parted, until he realizes what he had been doing and slides his fingers through her hair to hide his efforts. “What?”

Jim sits down across from them fingers tapping the side table as he stares blankly ahead. The corners of his mouth quirk up in a self-deprecating smile at his friend, “You told me I needed to tell him, Bones. I did. Or he did. However you want to say it, he knows now.”

“The hell, Jim?” slips out in hushed frustration. “What kind of way is that to greet somebody? Weren’t you in class?”

“He administered the test, Bones.” Jim rubs a hand over his face.

“So you just told him there, in the middle of a classroom?” McCoy asks with an ordinary level of exasperation, what Jim expects from him at this point.

The younger man sighs, blowing out a breath, “No--well, sort of. I didn’t say it.”

“Then how do you know he knows?” the doctor asks, as if putting up with Jim’s bullshit way of speaking about important issues was his greatest cross to bear.

Jim looks at his wrist, the phantom feeling of Spock’s fingertips digging in making him unable to forget. “I almost said it,” he says, quieter. Georgia is watching him from her position on the floor. “I stopped myself, but I didn’t have to say it.”

He’s about to explain when Bones skeptically speaks, one eyebrow shot up towards his hairline, “He just knew?”

“He touched me,” Kirk says and can see the utter bewilderment in his best friend’s face, adding, “He grabbed my wrist and I could see it in his face. My brain was practically screaming it. He heard. Vulcan, you know.”

“What’d the bastard say?”

Jim shakes his head, “Nothing. I don’t think he knew what to say.”

“And this is Spock we’re talking about?”

Jim jolts from his slumped position and after a moment’s hesitation, nods with a soft, “Yeah.” They’ve never named him, but it wasn’t hard to figure out. Once Bones knew the Vulcan who had knocked up his best friend is at Starfleet, there were few options to choose from--few, in this case, meaning only one. Spock is the first Vulcan to have ever enlisted. It is still difficult, however, for Leonard to imagine a situation in which cold, calculating Spock and Jim could, well, make a baby.

~

Yours is still rocketing through Spock’s mind with the implications it brought following. Jim was telling the truth, feeling the truth, and Spock is having difficulties processing the information. That girl he’d seen, the one that had caused so much conflict in his heart, that had allowed him to hate something about Jim Kirk, is his own daughter.

He brings his hands together to stop them from shaking as he sits on his perfectly made bed in his perfectly kept apartment.

He is a father. And Jim, he hadn’t… Yours. Spock lets out something close to a sob.

~

“Bones, you have class tomorrow, right?” Jim asks as they walk from their shared xenobiology course. It is the only class they are taking together so one of them is most always available to take care of Jim’s kid.

McCoy stops short, immediately suspicious and eyes narrowing at Jim, “Why?”

Kirk looks away, bites his lip, “I kinda told Spock he could come over. You know, meet her.” He taps his fingertips on the PADD he’s carrying.

Leonard McCoy would never keep a father from his child. He may not like Spock, but he knows what it’s like to be told he is not allowed to see his own daughter. He knows for certain that he is not Georgia’s father, is under no delusion that he is despite the amount of time and energy spent on the girl. It is not her pointed ears or her green blood that tells him that, it is his heart. Jim calls him her uncle and it seems most apt.

“And you’re sure you don’t want me there?” McCoy asks, protective of his best friend as he would be a younger brother.

With a definitive nod from Kirk, the doctor rolls his eyes.

Jim smiles as Bones mutters something he knows is his assent, grumbling as it may be. Jim is grateful. He has no idea how this proposed meeting will go, the know in his stomach tight and difficult to bear. He wants it to go well, hopes it will. He does not know what will happen between Spock and himself, he simply wishes that Georgia won’t be hurt by this. Spock seems to genuinely desire seeing her and the conflict Jim feels makes it hard to stop thinking of all that could come of this, good or bad.

~

Jim is nervous when he hears Spock at the door. “It’s gonna be okay, Georgie. We just…have a visitor.” He licks his lips anxiously before turning a smile to the small girl.

She raises an eyebrow and his expression falters a little. He shakes his head. They always say you don’t introduce your kids to people you aren’t serious about because the kid will be devastated if you break up, and he and Spock aren’t even dating. However, Spock is still her father. Well, one of her fathers. He should meet his daughter--their daughter. Fuck, Jim can feel his heart pounding in his throat.

He presses the release and the door slides open. “Spock,” he greets with a curt nod. The corners of his mouth are tweaking upwards hopefully, but he keeps himself calm and straightens his expression. There is a certain amount of excitement--terrifying as it is--that accompanies Spock’s presence today.

Spock inclines his head in kind, opens his mouth, closes it, pauses. “Jim,” he settles on finally. It feels strange to be so familiar with him again. He has become accustomed to saying “Cadet Kirk,” if only for the mental separation it encourages between the boy he knew and the current student at Starfleet Academy.

The child looks between the two of them and tugs on Jim’s pant leg.

“Introduce yourself,” he tells her. “He’s here to meet you.” He gives her shoulder the tiniest nudge of encouragement and she quirks a look up at him before glancing back at Spock.

“Georgia,” she says, and Kirk can’t believe how Vulcan she can sound considering that Spock is literally the first one she’s meeting. It’s very serious for a three-year-old.

Perhaps it is instinct, but the half-Vulcan cannot help himself. It feels natural. Spock lifts the girl into his arms and is able to see the points of her ears, the green blush on her cheeks at the attention, and his voice is a whisper, “How had I been unaware that she was…” His throat tightens.

“Well, she is three-quarters human,” Jim says, knowing all Spock can see right now are the ways in which it’s obvious they are related, how very Vulcan she seems, especially now in all her suppression of her nervousness. For one moment, he allows his heart to swell at the sight of his child and her father meeting for the very first time, at Spock in their home and the possibilities he only entertained in his fantasies.

Spock nods. She’s only one quarter Vulcan and yet... Spock has a horrible thought. He is twenty-two years old, which is very young given a Vulcan’s lifespan although his is likely to be shorter due to his human heritage...and Georgia is even more human. Her lifespan may be extended, yes, but should they both live as long as their natural lives permit, the likelihood that he will outlive her, watch her wither and die, is higher than he dares calculate. This girl his heart and mind already reach out for, feel the beginning sinews of kinship towards, so very young now, will one day be gone. That she might be injured or die in an uncountable number of ways only makes his fear more palpable.

He will certainly outlive Jim.

Spock touches the girl’s hair, soft and straight like his own but closer to Jim’s in color. He sets her down and pulls down the front of his shirt. “I apologize,” he says to Jim, to both of them. “I was mistaken in involving myself in your lives. I must return to my home at once.”

Georgia sees the devastation on her father’s face, hidden by the scoff, and grabs Spock’s hand.

Spock feels the emotional charge between them and her brows furrow in confusion as her mind attempts to understand all that comes through this physical link. Fear and sadness and hope and love and denial and confusion. Spock untangles his fingers from her grip, the shock of her actions and the feelings of her bewilderment mixing with his own as she tried to parse through Spock's emotions.

Jim sees what’s happening with dread pooling in his gut. “Georgie, it's okay,” he says, kneeling on the floor, but the tears are already slipping down her face and as soon as the whimper leaves her mouth, he’s crying, too.

Spock glances between the two of them and his heart clenches, “I--”

“You should go,” Kirk tells him, eyes trained on the floor. Spock hesitates and Jim's reddening eyes meet his. "Leave," he says and his voice is steel.

“Jim.” Spock doesn't know what is tethering him here when he had wanted to be away from them only moments before.

“Get the hell out of here or I will make you.” He picks Georgia up and hold her on his hip. She will be too big for this soon, the back of his mind tells him, but he is too upset to process it. “Go!” He takes a step forward and Spock retreats to the door without another word. Jim’s heart is breaking all over again, he had dared to hope… It’s his own fault.

Spock walks briskly out into the cool fall air of San Francisco and realizes something. The temperature in the apartment was set several degrees too high for optimal human comfort.

~

Bones arrives at the apartment to find Jim and Georgia sitting on the couch eating cookies and watching old-style cartoons. “That bad, huh?”

Jim spares him only a glance, face childishly grumpy. He’s half-expecting an “I told you so” even though Leonard had said no such thing.

He pats Jim’s shoulder and ruffles the kid’s hair as he makes his way to his room.

McCoy wants to be angry with Spock, but he isn’t sure what he’s feeling. The man--pointy-eared and green-blooded as he is--just found out he has a kid. It’s the kind of thing that takes time to process. He had months of pregnancy to get used to the idea and still felt completely different after Joanna was born. It’s a difficult thing to adjust to, the idea of being a father is hard enough without the sudden knowledge that you already are one. A million thoughts had passed through Leonard’s head that first day he’d held his daughter and she’d only been an infant.

It isn’t hard for him to imagine the meeting not going as Jim had hoped. Hell, he still feels a certain amount of sympathy for Spock. He might be Vulcan and already striving for the rank of commander, but McCoy knows a twenty-two-year-old man is really just a boy in the guise of adulthood.

He’s set his bags on the desk and is rubbing his temples when he here’s a shift behind him. He turns around expecting Jim only to have to adjust his gaze downward. Georgia is standing there. “Hey, sugar,” he says, already kneeling down to her level.

“Uncle Bones…” She pouts.

“Met someone new today, Georgie?” He asks, arm out in invitation. She walks toward him carefully for two steps before rushing forward. He scoops her up and places her on the bed, sitting down next to her.

She picks at her sweatshirt. McCoy’s room is the coldest in the apartment, for obvious reasons, so he puts his arm around her. After a moment, she speaks, “He had a lot of feelings.”

Bones can’t quite hold back the snort that comes after that, “Did he?”

Georgia nods and McCoy chuckles.

~

Spock feels a deep sense of shame at his reaction once he has returned to his own place, his own bedroom. It is the same place he had analyzed new data about Jim, about Georgia, but now it is too difficult to attempt simply think it over.

With a deep breath, Spock lights his incense and falls into a meditation pose. He tells the computer to set the temperature a bit warmer. It seems that for both humans and Vulcans, warmth eases the art of relaxation. Although Spock would not qualify the meditation he is about to partake in quite “relaxation,” small comfort is achieved nonetheless.

Spock clears his mind completely. After thirty-three-point-six minutes of meditation, he is finally able to gather his thoughts.

He will strengthen his mental shields, but he will not ignore the new turn his life has taken. It was different to suppress his reactions to Jim alone, as if they were but strangers, which was intensely painful in and of itself when his whole being screamed at him the entire time they would be in a room together. To do that to his own child would be at best irresponsible and at worst cruel or negligent in his own opinion. Having seen pieces of Jim’s upbringing, he had already reaffirmed the decision that should he ever have a child, he would do his best for it.

He must reassess the situation, despite the emotional effect it has on him. His negative reaction at the apartment had been most unseemly for a Vulcan and he had always thought himself quite responsible--issues relating to Jim before notwithstanding--making it impossible for him to leave the situation as he had.

~

McCoy is in the shower when Jim bursts into the bathroom--he’d locked the door, not that it would stop Jim.

“Guess who just asked me to meet him at his apartment tomorrow,” comes loudly from much too close.

Bones fumbles for a moment with a grumble of annoyance before righting himself, “Damn it, man. Ever heard of this thing we call privacy?”

The comment goes ignored by Jim, who is pacing in the small room. “I think I should go. I don’t know. What do you think, Bones?”

Leonard doesn’t get so much as the chance to answer before he hears a harsh sigh and the sound of pacing stops.

“I’m going to go. To Spock’s. To discuss our kid. Fuck.”

Just as suddenly as he had appeared, Jim is gone.

~

“Make sure you use protection, kid,” McCoy says, handing Kirk a guide to safe sex.

Jim makes a noise of annoyance and blushes nonetheless. “We’re not together or anything. Nothing is going to happen, alright? He’s Spock. Professor. Vulcan. Bringer of fear to the hearts of cadets all over Starfleet Academy.”

“The cold-hearted, green-blooded bastard that got you pregnant when you were sixteen years old. I gotta admit, Jim, it’s hard for me to picture it--hell, I don’t want to--but you need to be careful. The last thing you need is another kid to go along with that broken heart of yours.”

Bones,” Jim whines, but his heart aches, knowing that Leonard has a point. Before he can try to think of some response to the other man, a hypo is jabbed into his arm and he flinches, “What the hell, you sadist?” He shakes his arm and glares at McCoy.

“Birth control,” the doctor tells him seriously, the vaguest hint of amusement in his expression. “I know you, Jimmy. You may not say it, but I’ve seen you pining for that hobgoblin. You and Spock alone together?” He snorts. “Better safe than sorry.”

~

Kirk’s legs are over Spock’s shoulders, body folded in half as he tries to remember how he got here.

Spock’s body is scorching hot where it touches him, at the backs of his knees and thighs and pressing into him. His hands are strong against Jim’s back where he holds them together.

“Jim, I have missed-- I did not wish to leave,” the half-Vulcan says, words spilling from him like water, and Kirk vaguely remembers showing up at Spock’s apartment--the housing allowed to instructors--with the intention being for them to find somewhere at which they can discuss what had happened, how this situation should be pursued.

Spock’s door slid open, Kirk had stepped inside. The rest was a bit of mystery, fuzzy around the edges as if he were intoxicated. Perhaps he was.

Now, Spock was walking their joined bodies forward until he can set Kirk down at the edge of bed, kissing the man beneath him messily as he slides them back, still moving within him. “It is more pleasurable than I remember,” he admits, gasping, his hands on Kirk’s hips. He has spent years building up his mental shields only have them all crashing down at the easy intimacy he felt with Jim, the touch.

Jim laughs and mouths Spock’s jaw and where it comes down to meet his neck.

~

Jim left the apartment twenty minutes ago and Georgia has fallen asleep on the couch looking very human with drool oozing onto the cushions. McCoy decides to move her--very carefully, of course. He hasn’t seen Joanna in over two years, which he hates, but it’s nice to have someone to take care of.

There’s a holo sitting in Georgia’s room that wasn’t there yesterday. In fact, Bones is certain it wasn’t there earlier today, so he can’t help his curiosity. He sets Geo on her bed and glances back at the holo. He can’t quite make it out, at an angle as it is, not to mention half behind one of Georgia’s toys on the dresser. Approaching it like it might bite him--as he did all anomalies relating to Jim, the kid attracted danger in the weirdest ways--he lifts it up gently and can’t help the laugh that bubbles out of him. That hat. “Idiots,” he murmurs, shaking his head.

He stares at their faces a moment longer, taking the time to realize exactly how young they were--Jim is still just a kid, not even twenty-one yet. McCoy finally sets it down with a sigh and his eyes are drawn back to the child those boys made--carefully not thinking about the fact that given the date on the holo, Jim was likely pregnant with Geo at the time--and he can see their features reflected through hers. It all seems a bit too surreal.

Leonard McCoy pours himself two fingers of whiskey. He deserves it. Despite the desire he has for more--a lot more--he stops there. He’s seen Jim and Spock together all of once and the tension was insane, even if they hadn’t spoken to each other on that particular occasion. Spock stared at him suspiciously in their last few courses and Jim, of course, had issues coming out his eyeballs over the bastard that he couldn’t contain, and based on these, McCoy can guess things tonight are either going to end in sex--he shudders--or in Jim crying his eyes out.

As a best friend, McCoy is fully prepared to march over to Spock’s and retrieve Jim if necessary. He keeps his phone on the coffee table in front of him as he absorbs himself in medical texts. It’s not because he has no life, but rather that he’d prefer to know what to do should any non-human--including Georgia--need medical attention. As he’s always said, space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence. If there’s a way to treat it, Leonard McCoy would like to know about it.

He’s wondering if his current text has been updated since the most recent mission to Rigel IV when his phone starts going off. Bones knows he certainly didn’t set it to that obnoxious pop song, but it’s Jim calling. Even in light of this new discretion, he’ll answer.

This is a decision he comes to regret immediately when the sounds on the other end are… He flinches, closes the call, and let’s out a very indignant, “Damn it, Jim.” Well, at least he’d given the kid birth control.

~

Spock reacts immediately to Jim’s pain, pausing as Jim whines, “Ow, ow, ow.” When Jim pulls out his phone from under his back, they both watch as a call blinks off. Spock raises an eyebrow and Jim laughs, “Just Bones.”

The half-Vulcan makes a sound that reminds Jim of their first time, all low and angry and hungry.

With Spock’s allowance, Jim rolls them over so that he’s on top. He runs his hands over the hot skin of Spock’s chest, fingers trailing through the dark hair he finds there. It has grown thicker than it had been when they were just teenagers. As he does this, he begins to move again. There’s still conflict in his heart, but his body is ready to forget all of that. Their bodies still move together as if it had been only last week that they had last fucked, not four and a half years ago.

It feels good--fuck that, fantastic. Jim’s only been with a few guys since Spock, but nothing compares. That cock alone is hard enough to find a replacement for and it’s probably better he’s never actually tried. Still, though, there’s something missing. He caresses Spock’s fingers in a Vulcan kiss before pulling them to his face. They roll onto their sides, Spock still buried deep inside him. The half-Vulcan’s breath hitches and Kirk almost squirms with their eyes locked so intensely, but Spock’s eyes slide shut and his fingertips press into Jim’s meld points with more certainty than he’d ever had all those years ago. “My mind to your mind…”

Then, they were one--mind and body. Jim could still feel the burning hot cock in him, but he also feels Spock’s sensations. It’s deep, the meld--well, the other thing, too. There is a near seamless blending of their two minds and he’s lost in the familiar-but-different experience of it. He hitches his leg around Spock’s waist, trying to get even more contact, more oneness. He can feel his cock throbbing between them, brushing against the light smattering of hair on Spock’s abdomen.

Spock pulls out most of the way and Jim feels those ridges as they slide back into him. Their foreheads are pressed together and neither is sure when it happened. Spock’s breath on lips and jaw as the half-Vulcan begins to fuck him again. Jim feels Spock’s restraint as well as his pleasure. He has never been able to describe the meld accurately, but it’s as if Spock’s mind is holding him tighter, twining around him in a way that’s unexpectedly frightened. He has more control now, Jim sees, does not venture too far into his thoughts and memories without meaning to as he had at times in their youth. Spock then had been the best he’d had but Spock now was even better. It isn’t as if he had forgotten the melds, but to do it again was…blowing his mind.

There as physical pleasure, the writhing of their bodies, the sparks of pleasure as Spock hit his prostate with each precise thrust, to feel his own pleasure as well as Spock’s again, and still have their minds so entwined with such reverence.

When Spock truly begins fucking him again in earnest, pinning Jim’s hips with his own as he shifts them to maximize his efforts, Jim is overwhelmed. The pleasure is too much, and his cock is simply trapped between their bodies. His hand blindly reaches for the one attached to the elbow Spock is using for leverage and wedges underneath it, gripping Spock’s fingers as his whole body seizes with his orgasm. Spock’s mouth is on his then in a mockery of a kiss, breath stuttering, catching his cries as he moves faster, coming as Jim clenches around him.

Spock’s holds himself up so he does not crush the human half under him. He does not break the meld and Jim stares up at him. This time, Jim is not uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if Spock is staring into his eyes like he can see his soul--because he can and that isn’t why. Tentatively, Jim pushes back against Spock’s mind, not in an attempt to force it out, but to find more. In his mind, he sees it as a tree, a sapling still, but it’s roots have already grown over something else. He doesn’t know what the other thing is, but he doesn’t like it. Childishly, he presses the whatever-it-is farther beneath the tree. He likes this tree. It’s very pretty. Something about it calls to him and as he reaches out with his mind to pat the supple bark of the young sapling, Spock’s voice cuts through and he is back in what feels more like his own head. Jim, we must talk.

Jim opens his eyes, uncertain of when he had closed them. He focuses on the half-Vulcan above him as Spock slowly retreats from his mind. The feeling lingers after his hand has been lifted, but that’s likely just his imagination. “Hey,” he says, surprised at how tired out he sounds.

“Jim,” Spock says, and its hesitant. “I wish to apologize for my behavior in--”

There’s something bothering Jim and he barely catches the start of Spock’s apology before he’s speaking, “What was that?” Spock’s eyebrows tick together and Jim adds, “In your brain. It was…well, I don’t know. It looked like a tree to me but that might just be because I’m a human, psi-null and all that.”

Spock wishes to address this blatant disregard of Kirk’s mental prowess--after all, Jim is only the second human he’s ever even heard carrying a Vulcan child, the other being his mother--but Jim has asked him a question. “I am not sure what it is you are speaking of, Jim. Perhaps…” he thinks, “could you describe the way it felt to you?”

Jim shrugs, readjusting them so that he is draped over Spock’s chest, his hands linked over the half-Vulcan’s ribs and head propped on them. He can feel Spock’s heart beating under his own stomach. “Warm? Good? I don’t know. I liked it.”

Spock attempts to trace Jim’s movements in his mind, to find what it is Jim could be talking about. When he finds it, he is startled. “Fascinating,” he whispers but Jim just mmphs in response. The human is dozing there on his chest. It seems his discovery had taken longer to explore than he had thought, deep in his mind as it is. It is endearing to see him like this, and better that Spock need not reveal the nature of Jim’s interest.

However, the two of them have quite a bit of business to attend to. He hadn’t had any intention to engage in sexual activity tonight and he wonders briefly if he has made the same folly as he had in his youth. Knowing what had happened, to have forgone protection was illogical.

“Bones hypo’d me,” Jim mumbles. “Birth control.” He is mostly asleep, Spock realizes, uncertain how Jim had known his train of thought. “Bastard,” Jim says as Spock watches him carefully.

The “tree” Jim had mentioned comes back to him and he begins shielding his mind again. It is unfortunate he will lose the swirling mass of thought and emotion he’s getting from the human, but to engage in this sort of mind link without full consent--on both their parts--is not acceptable.

Jim shivers a little and Spock realizes that Jim will feel these changes. The man opens his eyes and looks at Spock, blinking at him. “Did something just happen?”

Disregarding his question, Spock pushes Jim off of him. It will be easier to have this discussion if there is a bit of space between them, besides avoiding the temptation skin contact with Jim brings. There is still so much Spock doesn’t know and now he will not even feel Jim’s reactions when they talk. “There is much for us to discuss.”

“Yes,” comes the response, all drowsiness repressed, eyes alert, “there is.” Jim sits up and crosses his legs, gaze quickly darting around the room to mentally gather his clothing as Spock takes a similar pose. The sheet is tangled around his lap to present some sort of modesty. It’s important, these words that need saying. Just because they’d fucked--and despite the intensity that always came with melding, this one in particular--it didn’t mean anything had changed. They weren’t together, and they still had a kid.

Spock is uncertain whether he should repeat his apology. There is a guilt in him that says yes, the human half telling him his indiscretion demands groveling at the very least, but there is so much more to address. “You did not list me as the child’s parent,” he says, surprised at his own words. He had looked into Kirk’s records, of course. The wording is purposely vague, he’s certain, as it lists only James Tiberius Kirk as a parent.

Jim lets out a bitter laugh, “I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again, Spock. You were gone. Why make things more complicated than they already were?” Tarnish your perfect record, he almost says. “If anything did happen to me--” Spock’s gaze firms, expression distant at the thought “--then my mom would take her. You never needed to get involved in our lives.”

“Jim,” Spock starts, “we--”

“Fucked?” Jim finishes. “So what? It’s just sex. It doesn’t mean we’re--whatever you think we are.”

The words “just sex” feel like a personal affront and Spock’s brows furrow slightly, mouth falling open. He had spent so long denying how he had felt about Jim, about the significance of their time as teenagers, and now that he has realized that he wants Jim, to be with him, he is told all they had tonight--with their sexual and mental union, reunion--is just sex.

Jim can see the hurt in Spock’s face and feels shamefully pleased.

~

Spock, faced with what he wants, pursues Jim. His will has broken and and he has no mind to fix it. He wants to fix them. He tries it properly, from the point of view of earth society.

Approaching Jim after one of his classes, he inclines his head in greeting.

Jim looks taken aback, and perhaps slightly annoyed but Spock doesn’t notice.

“I would like to ask you to share a meal with me this afternoon.” The half-Vulcan says the words with the sterility he prefers to exude, but it is not because he does not care. In fact, his heart rate has accelerated and he is actually quite nervous.

“Now?” Jim asks, shifting on his feet. The PADDs he carries are something to distract himself with. He sucks in his bottom lip and chews on it.

Spock is being as respectful as possible while trying to maintain the air of romantic pursuance, “If that is amenable to you.” He may be late to his next course, but he will take the risk.

Jim swallow, nods, “Uh, yeah. Alright. Let me just--” He gestures with the PADDs and Spock tilts his head in acknowledgement.

The regulation uniform feels oddly ill-fitting right now and Spock wonders if he needs to alter it or perhaps put in a request for a new one. As he accompanies Kirk, hands behind his back as he walks, there is a strange urge to tug at the collar. He simply adjusts the hold his hands have on each other and ignores it.

Jim does not have much spare time now either and they dine at the academy’s cafeteria. Spock takes immediate notice of Kirk’s food choice.

Jim notices. The cadet shrugs, “I stopped when I was pregnant.” He’s glad the hall isn’t too busy, as even though he is not keeping it so much a secret, he would rather his past pregnancy was not gossip here. He’s come to terms with it, though--no pun intended.

Spock’s surprise shows on his face and Jim gives him an amused smirk at that. The half-Vulcan feels the corners of his own mouth twitching upward in response. They proceed to discuss all manner of things, and a human might know that there is something about absence making the heart grow fonder or wanting what’s not yours (close as it is), but Spock finds himself enjoying Jim’s company and conversation more than ever. There’s a niggling sensation he knows to be his instinct wishing to uncover their bond, but he will wait just a little longer.

They both end up being a bit late, but neither minds.

Jim knows Spock isn’t trying to jerk him around, but he can’t trust him so easily. They’ve had a rocky relationship since beginning Starfleet, due mostly to Spock acting as if they’d never met. Jim was still holding a bit of a grudge, but they’d only just begun talking again. Maybe it was the naiveté of youth that had him thinking there was something special between them when he was sixteen or maybe there was something--is something?--real between them.

What bothers Jim is the fact that he isn’t certain if Spock would care for him anyway or if it is simply because Spock now knows about Georgie. They have a child together. A lot of people who shouldn’t be together, wouldn’t be together otherwise, stayed together once a child became involved. If Spock didn’t know about Georgia, would he have ever been interested in getting back together with Jim?

He wonders if it’s morally reprehensible to sleep with him until he figures it out. Sex-crazed Spock definitely said all the right things, but lust could change someone’s mind, too.

A few days go by and he can’t stop thinking about it.

Bones told him it was a bad idea and after the doctor and Georgia were fast asleep, Jim might’ve gotten into McCoy’s scotch. His drunk self certainly thinks that calling Spock in the middle of the night is for the better good.

There is a combination of hope and worry in Spock’s voice when he answers and Jim, in his current state of mind, decides that’s a good enough reason to ask him to come over. Obviously, Spock cares. Logic, when it eventually catches up, will point out that anyone receiving a call in the middle of the night may make certain assumptions about the importance of said call.

With little hesitation, he convinces Spock to show up, drinking more as he waits. He opens the door, leaning against the entry with a lazy grin. His intoxicated self also does not ask why he knew Spock was right there.

Spock’s brows furrow slightly, taking in Jim’s countenance. “Jim, are you alright?”

“C’mere,” Kirk whispers, pulling Spock into the apartment. He kisses him hard and Spock is shocked, but he does not pull away. Jim tastes like alcohol and the half-Vulcan attempts to resist.

“Jim--”

“Shhh,” Jim stage whispers, pressing his finger to his lips in example. His whisper is louder than Spock’s voice had been, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Jim.

Taking Spock’s hands in his own, Jim rubs them, scratching a little as he does, and presses his mouth to the half-Vulcan’s again. Spock cannot help himself this time, he kisses Jim back, breath hitching as Jim’s erection presses into his thigh. His body responds in kind and Jim laughs into his mouth delightedly.

Jim pushes Spock to the wall roughly and the alien is afraid to make a sound, to disturb this dream he must be having. With a close-mouthed kiss that lingers ever so slightly, Jim is dropping to his knees and undoing Spock’s fly with clumsy fingers as he mouths whatever he can. Spock barely has time to process it before Jim’s mouth is on his cock and his mental shielding crumbles.

Jim moans loudly around him as soon as their bond is unshielded. His palm presses down on his own cock, still trapped in his sweatpants--he was at home, drinking--and Spock’s eyes flutter closed for a second as he takes in the extent of their connection. Jim is thoroughly enjoying sucking his cock and although it is messy, Spock does not care.

Tonguing the underside of Spock’s dick, Jim can feel the ridges and is reminded that this is the reason he had a baby at sixteen. That doesn’t matter much to him right now. He bobs his head, lips dragging over the head before he sinks it back down. There’s pleasure that’s not his own spurring him on and he sucks greedily, one hand held to Spock’s hip for support as the other grinds down on his own cock. Spock’s hands are in his hair and he is mumbling words Jim recognizes somewhere in his subconscious to be Vulcan--they certainly can’t be English--and he feels lightheaded as the edge rapidly approaches.

“My god,” Jim hears as he swallows and in his delayed surprise, jerks back, lips painted white. He licks them, shamelessly drunk.

Spock is blushing so green his whole body nearly matches his cock. He tucks himself back into his pants and does not say a word. To be honest, he cannot think of what to say. He can feel Jim’s lust buzzing insistently at him and he stops himself from doing something about it.

McCoy stands there, a hand slapped over his eyes. “This will not happen again,” he warns, and walks back to his room. There had been a loud thud and Bones had gone out to check on Jim. The man could be somewhat injury-prone and McCoy always worried this time--whatever time it might be--could be something serious. He did not expect to see a green dick. Nor had he wanted to. There are definitely times that Bones has regrets, but never so serious as to wish he hadn’t become friends with Jim. Being annoyed and/or worried half the time was simply part of the package, and it was how he responded best anyway. He checks on Georgia on his way to bed only to find her completely unaware of anything untoward happening in the apartment. He rolled his eyes and shut her door.

Spock looks down at Jim, waiting until Jim is ready before helping him to stand. The human is somewhat unsteady but he stumbles towards his own room, Spock’s hand in his.

As soon as they’re in and Spock--sober as he is--has locked the door, Jim is stripping off his clothes. He shoots a glare that says he expects Spock to be doing the same and half-Vulcan acquiesces.

Taking a moment to admire Kirk’s body, Spock watches him fumble something from the drawer and toss it in his direction. Spock does not need to look to know what it is.

Jim stretches out on the bed and raises an eyebrow. Spock sits up next to him and slicks his fingers with the lubricant. He gives Jim’s cock a tug before trailing his fingers downward, past his testicles and to the ring of muscle he finds underneath.

Jim whines. He is far past more coherent speech. He wriggles against Spock’s hand. “Please,” he murmurs.

Spock’s finger slips in with little resistance and he finds that Jim immediately tells him “more.” A second digit joins the first and he feels his own interest stirring again, cock twitching as his fingers fuck into the human his mind has already bonded him with. He adds a third and Jim groans, pushing back against him with more force.

Trailing his mouth across Jim’s chest, his nipples, Spock fingers him so that each press is to that bundle of nerves and Jim’s cock is leaking. He settles himself between Jim’s thighs, other hand stroking his cock in time with the thrust of his fingers. He whispers words of affection, of love, because they are true. It does not take long before Jim is tensing around his fingers and the sensation of that alongside the shared pleasure of his orgasm nearly has him coming again. There’s an exhaustion that follows, however, and, although Spock takes the time to clean them up a bit first, he does not mind when Jim tugs at his arm, encouraging him onto the bed.

It is easy to fall asleep, mind and body embraced in warmth and satiation.

~

The next morning, Spock wakes to the sound of pounding on Jim’s door and a response muffled by a pillow. He feels Jim’s incoherent agitation and wonders if he should block the bond again. The thought does not sit well with him.

“We are awake,” he says, loud enough for McCoy to hear and his sensitive hearing picks up the doctor’s heavy sigh.

Jim shifts towards him, “Mmh, thanks.” He is not fully awake, but Spock does not consider his words a lie.

Ashayam, Jim…” He skims his fingertips down the nape of the human’s neck, follows the length of his spine and the tingle in his mind that accompanies Jim’s shiver is utterly delightful.

Jim blinks a couple of times, eyes squinting and a pout forming, “Spock?” It takes him another moment, one in which Spock prods at their mental link. His eyes open a little more. “Wait, are we…” Too tired to raise a hand and feeling a bit of a headache coming on--scotch, he remembers--he waggles his eyebrows to indicate his head.

“The…tree you discovered in our minds,” Spock begins, remembering Jim’s description, “it is a bond.”

Jim frowns in confusion, “What does that mean?”

Spock’s expression shifts as he attempts to explain, he holds up his hand instead. “It would perhaps be easier to show you.”

With a nod, Spock is melding them. He wanders next to Jim in their minds as an almost tangible presence. Our two minds are joined, he projects, leading Jim to the bond.

Jim gives him a mental nod. That was obvious.

I do not mean that they are temporarily connected through the physical meld. He feels Jim’s curiosity, then joy as they come upon the tree. This is how you interpret our bond through your limited knowledge of such things, Jim’s indignation at the perceived insult is ignored in favor of continuing. You see how the tree is firmly rooted, but it is not to just me. Its…roots are set deeply into both of our minds. We are linked--bonded.

Okay, so our brains are connected somehow. What does that mean? Is that weird? Jim can feel Spock thinking.

Normally, bonds are set in place by another, but when two Vulcans become close, the bond may form naturally. It is… He hesitates and Jim prods at him. It is akin to marriage--to Vulcans.

There’s a strange curiosity mixed with panic at this revelation.

By the look of it, Spock adds, wording for Jim’s benefit, this bond formed years ago. I would guess it began with our first meld.

Why? Why me? Why…bond us?

Sometimes the subconscious recognizes compatibility more easily than the conscious mind can accept, Spock guesses. He pulls from the meld.

“Our bond can become stronger,” Spock adds, then, quieter, “or weaker.”

Jim closes his eyes tightly, rubs at them, then opens them again. “So, we’re…Vulcan-married?”

“A bond that has formed on its own does not need to be seen as such,” the half-Vulcan reassures. He pauses, “I only wished to make you aware of it so that I may ask you a question.”

“Is it to marry you? Oh, wait, too late for that,” Kirk replies, and Spock notices that he keeps a careful distance. It does not bode well.

“I can block the bond, so that we do not feel it.” He swallows and resists the urge to reach out. “It is what I have done in the past. However, I… I do not wish to.”

“Why not?” Jim asks, and there’s a lump in his throat. He’s slightly hungover, head fuzzy, and he’s only just woken up to being told he’s practically married.

Feeling the apprehension Jim is projecting, Spock shakes his head, “I shall block it.”

Jim puts a hand on Spock’s arm, staying him. “No. First, tell me. Why not? Why would you want to feel anything of me in your head?”

“It is painful,” the half-Vulcan tells him and Jim tries his best to pull his own walls down around him.

Of course, it’s painful. It’s not because he wants them to stay connected. Jim didn’t think he wanted them to be, but taking it away seems somehow worse. He had been connected to Georgia the entire time she had been in him and this was similar but…different. “Oh.”

“You misunderstand,” Spock’s voice is oddly gentle, “it is painful to be away from you knowing that this is what we could have.”

~

They go on more dates, if eating together at the academy could be considered as such. They play chess again and Jim beats Spock on their first game.

Spock spends more time with Georgia, and Jim trusts him enough to let him watch her when he and McCoy are busy. They stay over at each other’s places with increasing frequency and despite the bond, which McCoy does not understand, Jim does not admit to how serious they have become. McCoy is still there for Georgie as he’s always been, but now he feels properly like the uncle he is--for all intents and purposes. Georgia has her parents in her life and she’s coming to love Spock even if she isn’t ready to call him anything other than his name yet.

~

Epilogue

Spock invites his parents to come to the graduation of cadets from Starfleet. They meet him after the ceremony, as he rarely asks them to do anything for him, and find him watching after a five-year-old.

“Spock,” his mother greets warmly and he smiles slightly at her, holding Georgia’s hand as she talks about wanting to find her dad. He would not allow her to wander off in the crowds present today. Amanda eyes the girl thoughtfully.

“Please, sa-mekh, if I find daddy, I won’t be lost.” Georgia looks up at him with a pleading expression he knows she got from Jim.

His parents look at him questioningly and as they get closer, the little girl shuffles closer, hugging Spock’s leg.

“‘Sa-mekh’?” Sarek repeats.

Spock opens his mouth to answer, but Kirk is putting a hand on Amanda’s shoulder, causing Spock’s parents to turn.

“Amanda,” Jim greets warmly. He isn’t sure of himself, but she pulls him into a reassuring hug.

Amanda looks him up and down, noticing his uniform, “Congratulations, Jim.” He smiles in thanks and she knows that he had been waiting to see if she still remembers him. She hasn’t forgotten him, although he is a few years older now. How could she forget Jim Kirk?

Eyeing him warily, Sarek offers a small bow, “Yes, congratulations.” His attention returns, rather rudely, back to Spock and Georgia. “Why is this child calling you father?”

Jim opens his mouth, but Spock’s voice is in his head. I will handle this, t’hy’la.

Alright, Jim nods, then processes the situation. “Spock, don’t tell me they don’t know.”

Somewhat annoyed that Jim has decided this conversation must take place out loud, the half-Vulcan replies smoothly, “I did not want to announce anything prematurely.”

Kirk’s jaw works for a minute. “Prematurely,” he repeats, sardonically. He raises an eyebrow and looks between Spock and Georgia.

“Spock, honey?” Amanda interrupts, jarring them back to the situation at hand.

Spock straightens his spine, hands clasped behind his back, and Kirk scoops Georgia up to kiss her on the cheek. The half-Vulcan addresses his father, “Georgia called me ‘sa-mekh’ because I am her father.” He tilts his head towards his mother, “I am sorry to have kept this from you.”

There’s a twinkle in Amanda’s eye, “Oh? And how does Jim fit into this?”

“I’m his bond mate,” Jim says with a smug grin.

There is obvious worry in Sarek’s face as the explanation continues.