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❖ ❖ ❖

EARTH

2250

Jim rolled over in bed and reached for his phone before even opening his eyes. He hadn’t even plugged it in last night, so the battery was on its last legs as he swiped the snooze button for the fourth time. It’d been a long time since he’d gotten to sleep in this late.

Usually Frank was waking him up with a smack on the head and a list of chores he had to get done before school, but this week Frank was gone on some trip, so Jim could sleep all he wanted, and even skip school.

His impending need to pee and charge his phone is what finally dragged him out of bed at noon. He fumbled for his charger on the floor and plugged his phone in before going to the bathroom. Having the house to himself was great. He could shower for long as he wanted and eat whatever he wanted.

Even though he could easily go back to bed, he figured it couldn’t hurt to make an appearance at school. After all, he lost track of how many days he’d missed, and he didn’t want Frank to get any emails from the school. He couldn’t wait till he was eighteen. Then he could finally drop out.

Hell, it might actually be more fun to jut skip and only come back for the final. He’d love to see the look on everyone’s faces when he got a near-perfect score. He may be a borderline genius, but his knowledge suffered if he never went to school.

He pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt from off the floor started out. On his way out the door, he caught sight of the dry-erase board on the door to the garage. Usually it was where his mother wrote her schedule for shore leave. He remembered marking the days on his calendar with such enthusiasm.

Those days were long gone. These days it was just where Frank kept a list of shit he expected Jim to do if he wanted to eat dinner. Jim rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, I’ll get right on those chores. Don’t hold your fucking breath.”

The screen door banged shut behind him as he started towards school. Truthfully, he probably should do some of that shit if he wanted to stay on Frank’s good side and under Frank’s roof. But he had a good two more days before Frank showed up again.

It was fourth period by the time Jim slipped into school. Majority of the class looked up at who’d just entered, but turned back to their work once they saw it was Jim. His tardiness was nothing new.

“Late again, Mr. Kirk?” Mrs. Taylor sighed. “That’s a demerit. You’ll have to do.”

“Oh, Abigail, you always find excuses to keep me after school. If you want a date, you don’t have to drop hints like that. Just ask.” Jim leaned over her desk and batted his eyelashes at her.

She wordlessly reached for a detention slip from the corner of her desk and held it out to him. He sighed when he snatched it up and shoved it in his pocket. Though he swore he saw her smile as he turned around and went for his seat.

“Hey, Jim.” Gary whispered across the aisle a few moments after the lesson started. “Do you ever seriously try to tap that?”

“What?” Jim had been zoning out and was sure that there was no way he’d heard that right.

“Mrs. Taylor.” Gary grinned. “I bet you could fuck her if you tried hard enough. That old bat has probably never been touched in her life. She’s probably starving for attention.”

“Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?” Jim had known Gary since forever, the same with practically everyone in his class, but that didn’t really make them friends. Jim would rather have Mrs. Taylor’s company in detention than Gary’s any day.

Jim actually liked Mrs. Taylor. That’s why he teased her so much. She wasn’t even really old, and she was one of the few teachers that didn’t seem to think he was wasting his potential by not being just like his father. No, she probably thought he was wasting his potential in a million other ways.

“Alright, who can tell me what planet this is?” Mrs. Taylor gestured to the screen which now showed a familiar red planet.

“Jupiter!” Someone said. Jim chuckled along with everyone else.

“No…” She held back a smile. “Come on guys, this is sixth grade stuff.”

“It’s Vulcan.” Jim said without looking up from his latest doodle in the margin of his notes.

“Raise your hand next time, Jim. But, yes. Vulcan. Who can tell me something about our friends, the Vulcans?”

“Can’t they make someone’s head explode with their mind?” Someone asked. “I saw that on a movie.”

“No. I know what movie you’re talking about, and that’s a very offensive portrayal of one of the universe’s most fascinating species. Now, turn to chapter nine and we’ll read all about them…”

About half the class opted for the digital version of the textbook on their padds, but Jim was old fashioned. Plus, it was easy to goof off and doodle when hiding behind a book. He pulled it out of his bag before turning to the page and propping it up on his desk.

As he ducked down behind it, he saw the pictures of the Vulcan people starring back at him. They all had dark hair and dark eyes and really freaky haircuts. Jim chuckled as he turned the page to a closer photo. This one showed a Vulcan’s face in profile, so he could really make out those weird eyebrows and pointed ears.

“Vulcans were the first species to make contact with humans…” Mrs. Taylor went on, but Jim tuned her out. After all, she was right. This was sixth grade stuff, and he already knew it. He opted instead to start another doodle. This one was of a boy about his age, but with pointed ears.

After fourth period, meant lunch. Usually Jim went home for lunch and rarely came back for afternoon classes, but this time he thought he might go eat in the cafeteria and actually stick around.

“Excuse me young man! Wouldn’t you like to boldly go forth and spread peace to the known worlds!?”

Jim stopped in his tracks as a feeling of cold dread seemed to seep through his body. No…he would not have come to school if he’d known they’d be here. He fucking hated them. The Star Fleet recruiters came three times a year to try and rope in the seniors who didn’t have plans after graduating.

He knew he should keep walking, but his body acted of its own accord. He slowly turned around to see their booth set up on the end of the hallway. A cadet in the red uniform, who couldn’t be much older than him, was holding a flier out towards him with a wide smile on their face.

“N-No thanks.” He didn’t look at them. He just tried to ignore the way his heart sped up and the blood pounded in his ears. He knew what was next…it happened almost every time.

“Hey…” The Cadet grinned. “Aren’t you Captain Kirk’s kid?”

“I…I…no. W-We just look alike.” Jim still didn’t look at her. He just tried desperately to back away, but his feet wouldn’t move.

“You know,” She went on as if she hadn’t heard him. “Your father may have only been captain for ten minutes…but he saved so many lives…”

“Twelve minutes.” Jim corrected her through gritted teeth. He wasn’t even sure why it mattered.

“He’d want you to follow in his footsteps.” She held the flier out again. He hated when people said that. Something in him snapped.

“You don’t know shit about what my father would have wanted!” Jim screamed. The smile dropped from her face and she took a step back. For some reason, Jim found himself snatching the flier from her hand. It was as if she didn’t deserve to hold anything associated with his father. “You think he wanted to get himself blown up!?”

“O-Of course not.” She stuttered. By now a small crowd had formed as people stopped to look towards the yelling.

“Then don’t ever try to talk about him again! You don’t know what he’d want! I don’t even know what he’d want! I never got to fucking meet him!”

He was too mad to see straight. He just turned and bolted out of the exit doors at the end of the hallway, the flier still scrunched in his hand.

He was still fuming when he kicked open the screen door and stomped up the stairs to his room. He didn’t even know why he was so mad. That cadet probably only recognized him because his father’s face was no-doubt plastered all over the memorials at the academy. Jim had never been, but there was a memorial just like it downtown. They probably had no idea how much any mention of Star Fleet or did dad fucked him up. That didn’t make it hurt any less.

He threw his bag on the floor and launched the balled-up flier across the room. He flopped onto his bed, and after a moment, reached for something he hadn’t looked at in a long time. The photo he kept under his mattress didn’t have Jim in it at all…well, unless you counted the fact that his mom was technically pregnant at the time it was taken, even if she wasn’t showing.

Winona Kirk was smiling in a way Jim had never seen as she stood shoulder to shoulder with her husband. George Kirk had Jim’s same smile, and based on what everyone says, the same laugh too. Between them, at just six, was Sam. Jim was twelve when Sam was lucky enough to leave this place. It hurt when he never came back. It hurt like hell to be left with just his mom and Frank.

It didn’t really hurt when Winona told him last year that she was taking a job on a new ship, and she’d be gone for three years. No, by then he was used to pain. He’d just felt numb as he hugged her goodbye.

He sighed, refusing to cry as he shoved the picture back under the mattress. Beneath the blankets, he managed to wiggle out of his shoes and jeans and kick them to the floor. He pulled the blankets all the way over his head and tried to go back to sleep.

Jim really shouldn’t have woken up today.

❖ ❖ ❖

Vulcan

2250

Spock found himself dozing off for a split moment during his meditation, but his head quickly snapped back up when he felt I-Chaya nudge him in the back. He turned to look his pet in the eyes, and saw a look of almost sympathy.

“Do not give me that look.” Spock rested his hand on the sehlat’s head. “I am not overly exerting myself. I am simply taking my studying seriously.”

He had exactly one month until his entrance exam to the Vulcan Science Academy, and if he was going to be accepted, then he had to work harder. He looked down at the floor where his textbooks were still open along with several of his notebooks.

“Hmm…” He looked down to where the most recent paragraph of notes was obviously wrong. He must have written that before bed last night, and his tiredness showed. “Perhaps I should start triple-checking.” He reached for his pen and began crossing things out.

“Spock,” The bedroom door opened and his mother stood in the doorway, still in her dressing gown. “You’re going to be late for school.”

“Mother, I must finish this chapter.” He mumbled as his pen flew across the paper. He walked to school every single day, and he never left this early. He easily had six more minutes to study.

“No, you’re going to go down stairs and walk with T’Pring to school. She’s asking for you, and I honestly think it’s nice that she’s making an effort to get along with you.”

“T’Pring? She is here?” Spock let the pen fall from his grasp. It left a dot of ink at on his paper but he barely noticed.

“She’s downstairs waiting, so hurry up, Hun.” She gave him a small smile, and shut the door.

He was still blushing at that illogical nickname as he gathered up his books and put them in his bag. He quickly changed into his school uniform and combed his hair.

On his dresser was a flier for the Vulcan Science Academy. It had the dates for the entrance exam listed at the bottom, and he’d been watching for weeks as that day grew closer and closer. He folded it up and put it in his bag.

“Spock! Sometime today, please!” His mother called from downstairs.

He grabbed his bag and headed down stairs. In his seventeen years, he’d yet to understand a lot of the figures of speech his mother used. Of course he was planning to go to school today. It would be illogical to slack off in his final year. It would also be counterproductive to miss school to study for the exam.

Every day this week after school, he was staying behind to attend a special revision course for the exam, and he could not miss that either.

I-Chaya followed him downstairs. His mother, Amanda, was sitting at the kitchen table with her coffee, and T’Pring was waiting for him in the doorway. She was wearing the same uniform Spock wore.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a cup for the road?” Amanda asked T’Pring.

T’Pring’s face remained mostly impassive, but Spock noticed the way she subtly tightened her grip on her bag in disgust. “No, thank you.” She may be acting polite, but Spock could faintly feel her displeasure in the back of his mind where their bond was. He had to remain calm so that she would not feel his in return.

“We’re leaving now, Mother.” Spock said, going to the door. He stopped and turned around to place a hand on I-Chaya’s head once more. “I will be attending the revision course this afternoon, so get Father to feed you.”

He felt another tingling of displeasure in their bond as he turned back towards the door and the two of them started off.

“Why do you talk to your sehlat as if it can understand you?” T’Pring asked, a hint of disgust in her voice.

“He can understand me. He may be an animal, but he is very smart. That is what makes sehlats such good pets.” Spock replied.

“It seems illogical to me…” She turned her nose up slightly.

“Why did you want to walk with me?” Spock asked bluntly. “It is the convenience since our houses are across the street from one another?”

“Yes.” She said. “I also wanted to speak with you. I was wondering if you were planning on taking the entrance exam…but as you just told your sehlat, you are. I must admit…I am pleased to hear this.”

“Are you? For what reason?”

“If we are to be properly bonded one day, I would like you to have a logical career.” She said as if it were obvious.

So, that’s what this was about. Spock and T’Pring had been betrothed since they were seven years old, and he was sure that they mutually disliked every moment, as they both tried to keep their shields up at all times.

Though it had been years since T’Pring had last pushed him into the dirt, he’d never imagined that she’d one day grow to accept the idea that they’d be formally bonded. He’d yet to really accept it himself. The idea of making a home with T’Pring…touching their fingers together before they parted to their respective jobs…having to schedule around the needs of their children.

“I am still undecided.” He knew he should not say things just to spite her, but just because she seemed to have forgotten all those times she made him eat sand, didn’t mean that he was quick to forgive. “I have had other offers…”

“Such as?” She raised her eyebrows at him.

“I have recently received an offer from Star Fleet Academy on Earth. Apparently, they were impressed by my research I turned in last year…” He actually had no interest in pursuing Star Fleet, but she did not need to know that.

“Spock,” She walked in front of him and turned around to face him block his path. “That is very irresponsible and illogical. You can get a stable career here on Vulcan. We both can.”

“It is not illogical to at least consider all of my options.” He attempted to walk around her, but she stepped in front of his path once more.

“I will not go to Earth with you.” She defiantly crossed her arms.

“I did not ask you to.”

“But if we are to be bonded –“

“I thought you wanted our bind dissolved?” He lifted his eyes to hers and he saw her blink in surprise. “You told me as much…many times. At least once a year.”

“I do regret the way I used to treat you.” She dropped her gaze to the ground, and he was surprised to see a faint verdant blush on her cheeks. “It was wrong of me to mistreat you just because you are half human. But now I just want to uphold the tradition that our people expect of us, and that means being formally bonded.”

“What about Stonn?” He knew he struck a nerve when her blush deepened. Stonn was the boy their age that he knew T’Pring preferred. They spent all of their time together growing up, and Stonn was often a willing participant in bullying Spock.

“Stonn is already bonded and has been since the age of seven.” She tightened her grip on the strap of her bag and did not meet his gaze. “When the time comes, he will marry T’Pol, and I will marry you…”

Spock felt a twinge of pity for T’Pol. She was always a nice enough girl, and never seemed to found amusement in bullying him the way majority of their class did. The idea of her being with someone like Stonn while he was with someone like T’Pring made him question the logic that went into betrothing Vulcan mates.

“I see. That is quite sad for her sake, then.” He once more attempted to get around her, but she stepped in front of him.

“Spock!” She was practically growling, and this was the greenest he’d ever seen her. “Tell me that you are not considering a career in Star Fleet rather than a stable one here.”

“Unless you are planning on pushing me down, I suggest you let me pass.” He growled back. She wordlessly stepped out of his way and he walked on.

He could hear the tone in the distance from the school building that signaled the start of classes. They were going to be late. He sighed and walked on. He was aware of T’Pring following him, though he made no effort to speak to her for the rest of the walk.

It was dark when Spock finally arrived home that night. He was extremely tired, but he was also in high spirits. The revision course was very rewarding. He was one of only ten students there. Stonn was there too, and he could not help but feel very satisfied every time he got a correct answer when Stonn didn’t.

“Spock, is that you?” His mother called from the living room.

“Yes, Mother.” He called back. “I am going to take a bath and go to bed.”

“You don’t want dinner?” She walked into the kitchen where he was and opened the refrigerator. “I saved you a plate.”

“No, thank you.” He started up the stairs. He was too tired to be hungry.

“Well, how was the class?” She called up from the foot of the stairs.

“It was…” He paused and thought back to the look on Stonn’s face when the instructor told him that his paper was factually inaccurate. “It was good.”

“Good…” She sighed. “Now if you need anything, just let me know…”

Spock nodded and went to his room. Sometimes he disliked the way she treated him like a young child, and wanted to tend to his every need. Surely at his age, he should be able to do for himself?

He hung his bag on the hook behind his door before going to draw his bath. The water was so warm when stepped in, and he found his eyes drifting shut before snapping open again. He did not think it was possible to drown in a bathtub at his age, but it was illogical to take the chance.

He dried off and wrapped a towel around his waist. When he opened his bedroom door, I-Chaya followed him inside.

“I suppose you were surprised to see me leave with T’Pring today?” He said to I-Chaya as he opened his dresser drawer and grabbed his pajamas.  His sehlat had often been a witness to T’Pring’s cruelty when Spock was growing up. “Well…she wanted to talk to me about our future.”

I-Chaya cocked his head, and Spock took that to mean he was very shocked and offended on Spock’s behalf.

“I cannot imagine…but I suppose she is right. She claims that we should uphold what our people expect of us, but I feel as if…” He looked out his window at the starry moonless sky. “I suppose I was just hoping there was something more. Illogical, I know.”

He put on his pajamas and turned off the light. As he climbed under the covers, he heard I-Chaya curl up in his usual spot by the door. He was always guarding Spock from potential intruders.

“I do not know what.” He mumbled into his pillow. “No matter what path I choose, I will have a good career either way. I just feel as if something is missing…something.”

He closed his eyes and fell asleep.

❖ ❖ ❖

EARTH

Spock was awoken by an alarm. Before he even opened his eyes, he knew it was not the usual sound of the chronometer on his bedside table. It was a different alarm.

He opened his eyes to see a cellular phone sitting on the bedside table. That was odd. He owned a cellular phone, however he never used it. It was usually tucked away in one of his drawers, only ever used to contact his Father when he was off planet. He had been very tired the night before, but he would have remembered getting it out and setting the alarm.

He reached out and took it from the table. As he swiped to turn the alarm off, he saw something was…off. He put the phone back and sat up in bed, eyes wide.

Yes, something was wrong. This was not his bed, and this was not his room. The occupant of this room was rather messy. The floor around the bed was covered in clothes and books, and he’d been sleeping with a sheet, not even a properly made bed.

“…I-Chaya?” He called softly in the direction of the door. “Mother?” It was worth a shot, but the voice was not his own.

He looked down at himself and gasped. He was sleeping naked. Well, not completely naked, as he could see that he was wearing boxer shorts.

A hand that was not his own reached up and touched his chest. It was broad and bare, quite unlike the chest of the body he’d previously occupied for seventeen years. His arms were thicker too, as were his legs. He gently kicked the sheet off his body and turned to place his feet on the floor.

This body…not only was it not his, but it had a distinct pinkish hue just like a human’s. Human. He glanced towards the dresser where a dirty t-shirt had been thrown over the mirror. Spock hesitantly walked on feet that were not his own towards the dresser.

He reached out and slowly pulled the shirt from the mirror, getting a full glimpse of his face for the first time as the shirt fell to the floor.

He gasped and jumped back, almost tripping over a pile of clothes on the floor. The face that looked back at him hide wide blue eyes, eyebrows that sloped down and rounded ears. He was a human!

“What an odd…dream?” He blinked at his reflection, watching the way the reflections cheeks flushed slightly. Spock reached up and touched either side of the human’s face, and then up to the ears. His face flushed deeper as he felt their rounded edges. It was even stranger to feel his heart hammering right in his chest.

Dreams were a way for the subconscious mind to process information, but Spock had never had such a strange dream before. It felt so real…

Spock jumped when there was a noise behind him. He turned to see a notification alert on the cell phone. He reached for it and swiped it. Usually one was not able to read or tell time in a dream, but he could read this message quite plainly.

>> I’m coming home today. Make sure those chores are done.

“Hmm…” The number was listed as Frank. He must he some sort of authority figure if he was giving out chores.

Spock set the phone down and then started to get dressed. After all, it was most logical to do what he was told if he did not want this dream to become a nightmare.

He did not trust any of the clothes on the floor, as there was no telling how long they’d been there. He opened the closet door and opted for a clean t-shirt and jeans as well as work boots. Downstairs, there was a list of chores on a board. He made a mental note of them and got to work.

❖ ❖ ❖

Vulcan

“Mmm…Quit!” Jim called to the cat without opening his eyes. Usually those farm cats stayed outside and chased rats, but occasionally one did get inside. Apparently, one got it and was now licking his foot. He sighed and kicked the blankets off. “And why is it so fucking hot in here! Ahh!” He rolled right off the bed and fell onto the floor.

 “What the…?” Jim gasped and looked around. Even though it was dark, he could clearly see that this was not his room, and the thing that had licked him was not a cat. It was a bear.

“Ahh!” He scrambled away from the creature and backed into the bedside table. The table rattled loudly and the chronometer on top fell to the floor.

“What’s going on…?” He looked down at himself, taking in the black robes and slender hands. He could feel his heart racing…in his side. He tentatively placed a hand over it. The bear blinked fondly at him.

“Where am I?!” He slowly stood up and looked around, but it was too dark to make much out. He saw the light switch on the wall across the room and carefully made his way over. Once the room was lit, he made out two things.

One, whoever lived here was very clean. He could see a school bag hanging neatly on a hook, and a shelf full of books all with the spines facing out. The dresser tops and shelves were all tidy as well, with one even having an expensive looking microscope.

The next thing he figured was that there was no way this was Earth. The thing that he thought was a bear was what he actually now recognized as a sehlat. They were native to Vulcan. He knew because he’d seen a picture of one in his textbook yesterday.

This was Vulcan. Was he a Vulcan too? It explained the heartbeat. He walked over to the dresser and looked in the mirror, bracing his hands on the dresser top as he leaned in close.

“Woah…” The face that looked back at him was definitely Vulcan. The eyes were dark brown, and the hair and eyebrows were just like the picture in his textbook. The ears…He slowly reached up and touched the tip of one ear.

“Spock?” There was a knock on the bedroom door.

He jumped back and nearly fell over, but the sehlat stood behind him and braced his fall, before nudging him to steady him to his feet.

“Spock, are you alright?” A woman’s voice asked from just outside the door.

“Um…yes?” He could feel his heart thumping faster than normal right under his ribs.

“Well, hurry up, Hun. You’ll be late for school, and T’Pring wants to walk with you again!”

“Um…okay.” He took a deep breath and looked around.

This was a dream. It just had to be. It was probably because he’d read about Vulcan yesterday that he was having such a realistic dream. Jim would just have to go about his day and wait to wake up back in his own bed. Dreams usually worked like that, and he’d had much weirder dreams.

He grabbed the school bag off the hook and opened the door. Downstairs, there was a woman waiting for him, probably his mom, but as he got closer, he saw she was a human. Just behind her in the doorway was a Vulcan girl with dark skin. In the back of his mind, he could almost feel her laughing at him…weird.

“Spock!” His mom chuckled nervously. “Are you ready for school?”

“Yes…” Jim kept his arms folded and tried not to look at her in case she could tell there was something wrong.

“Are you sure?” She stood up and started towards him. He instinctively took a step back. “You can’t go to school in your pajamas, silly!”

“W-What?” He looked down at himself. Sure, he was wearing what he’d woken up in, but all Vulcan clothes looked the same. Still, going to school in your pajamas was like a classic dream, so that would make this more authentic.

He felt it again…laughing. It seemed to simultaneously be coming from the back of his mind as well as from the girl across the room. Maybe she was reading his mind, or whatever it was they could do. Did she know it wasn’t really him in here?

“Spock…are you feeling alright?” His mother asked.

“Um…yeah.”

“Are you sure? You don’t sound like yourself.” She reached out and placed a hand on his forehead.

He could immediately feel a rush of concern that seemed to be coming from her. He was feeling her emotions as if they were his own, and they were strong.

“Ahh…” He jolted back.

“What is it, Honey?” She asked, pulling her hand back. “You don’t feel warm…”

“Spock, are you coming or not?” The girl in the doorway asked.

“I think Spock better stay home today.” He mother said. “I think he’s gotten sick from working so hard…”

“Fine. I hope I am not late because I waited for you.” She sighed.

“Wait…what about your revision class?” His mother asked.

“Uhh…” Jim shrugged.

“I will get Stonn to send him the notes.” The girl said. “Under normal circumstance, he would not do such a thing, but perhaps he will if I ask. Goodbye.” She closed the door behind her and Jim felt a wave of relief. Something about that girl really set him on edge.

“I’ll just…go back to bed.” Jim turned and started back up the stairs.

“Do you need me to bring you anything? Soup?” His mother called.

“No.” He opened the bedroom door. “I’m fine…Mom.”

He closed the door and sighed once more with relief. He looked over to see the sehlat curled up on the bed. It would probably be best to go back to bed if he wanted to wake up from the dream, but his curious side was telling him to poke around a bit more.

He looked in the mirror again, spending several moments poking his ears and eyebrows, and several more minutes messing up his hair. This guy could definitely use a better haircut. Hell, he’d probably be cute if he didn’t have such a weird fashion sense.

And then his curiosity went further. He glanced to the bed to make sure the sehlat was still asleep, before the slowly pulled off his robe and let it pool at his ankles.

In the mirror, he watched as the green blush on his face spread down onto his chest. He was completely naked, aside from a pair of black underwear. His chest was slender and covered in dark hair. There was a trail of that dark hair that led from his navel and disappeared down into his waistband.

No…he shouldn’t look. Why the hell not, though? If this was a dream, what did it matter if he looked at himself naked. Besides, it was for educational purposes, since his textbook chapter on Vulcans conveniently left everything out below the belt.

Still blushing, he reached down and hooked his thumbs into the waistband of his underwear and very slowly pulled them down so that they dropped to the floor.

“Woah…”

For the most part, it was the same as a human’s. He really didn’t know what he’d been expecting….a pointy dick? No, the only major difference was the double ridges. He carefully reached down and ran his fingertips along the head. The tingling feeling that accompanied the action was identical to the one he always got when he touched himself.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the sehlat lift its head and look over. Jim quickly pulled his hand away.

“W-What are you looking at, huh?!”

The sehlat yawned and closed its eyes again. Jim breathed a sigh of relief and reached for the clothes on the floor to put them back on. Since he still wasn’t tired, but couldn’t really leave the room, maybe he could find some entertainment elsewhere. There sure were a lot of cool looking books on the shelf.

❖ ❖ ❖

EARTH

Spock wiped his forehead on his forearm and sighed. These chores were quite demanding for a human body, and he’d never thought much before what it might feel like to perspire so much. If this was a dream, it was quite mundane.

He’d been chopping wood for hours. The logs that had once littered the backyard were now chopped into even pieces and lined up bark down inside the shed. He placed the ax back in the shed and went inside to look at the next chore on the list.

“Dishes.” He went into the kitchen and recoiled at the sight. It was as if no one in this house had done the dishes in months. He turned on the sink and got to work, all the while wondering when he was going to wake up.

The sun was setting just as Spock folded the last stack of laundry. He’d gotten a late start because the washing machine had been broken, and it took him a while to locate the proper tools and fix it. He looked up from the towels he was folding just as the front door opened.

A man with dirty clothes and an unshaven face stumbled into the kitchen. He blinked stupidly and looked around, obviously shocked at seeing everything so clean.

“What the hell are you doing, boy?” The man who was obviously Frank asked.

“I am just finishing the chores.” Spock replied calmly, ignoring his rude human vernacular.

“You did all the shit I asked you to?”

“Yes Sir.” Spock picked up the towels and carried them to the linen closet. When he returned, Frank was still standing there.

“You chopped all the wood?”

“Yes Sir.” Spock had even begun to get blisters from doing so.

“And you washed the dishes?”

“Yes Sir.”

“And you did all the laundry?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Liar!” Franked jabbed his finger at Spock. “The washing machine’s been busted for months, and there’s no way you washed all that shit by hand!”

“I fixed the washing machine.”

Spock gasped as Frank crossed the room and roughly grabbed him around the upper arm. He instinctively tried to pull away, but in this human body, he was much weaker than usual. Pain flowed through his arm where Frank held on.

“If you can fix that thing, then why the hell did you wait so long!?” Frank growled. Spock could not find his voice to answer, but even if he could, he was unsure what he could say. “And I bet you chopped the wood wrong! You’re so scrawny, there’s no way you did it right!”

That was hardly the thing to say to someone who’d done as you asked. Surely, if Spock had done any part of the chores incorrectly, there was a proper way to educate him. Physical violence and yelling was statistically proven not to work on adolescents.

“…Let go of me.” Spock managed to find his voice and once more tried to pull out of Frank’s grip, to no avail.

“I can’t believe I’m still stuck with you!” Frank said. “It’s cuz of you that your momma left! She hates looking at you! It’s cuz of you that my car is rotting at the bottom of some ditch! Why couldn’t you have died on Tarsus like my dumbass sister!?”

Something inside Spock snapped. He had learned the nerve pinch from his father when he was six years old, but he had never used it on anyone before. Not even on Stonn or T’Pring. Yet, he found it worked just as he’d been told it would.

With his free arm, Spock reached up and found that point on Frank’s neck. His face immediately contorted in anger, before his entire body went slack. Spock jumped back out of his grip as Frank’s body hit the tile floor.

Spock stood, staring down at Frank’s comatose body, feeling his own heart pounding in his chest. This…this was not a dream. This was a nightmare. Spock winced as he touched the spot on his arm. A red hand-print was now forming over his skin.

He knew his human body did not have the strength to move Frank any considerable distance. So, he turned on the spot and went back up to the bedroom and locked the door. Now his reflection was dirty, sweat soaking all of his clothes. His skin was also redder, both from the sun and the exertion. He had to get out of this body. He had to wake up.

Without even thinking about it, he quickly stripped down to his boxers and climbed under the sheet once more. He closed his eyes and tried to will his heartbeat down.

“Go to sleep…go to sleep, Spock…” He squeezed his eyes shut, but nothing seemed to be happening. “Please…I need to wake up. I need to see Mother and Father…Please!”

❖ ❖ ❖

Vulcan

Spock opened his eyes and gasped. He felt as if he’d run many miles, but his adrenaline was finally subsiding because of once thing. This was his bedroom, and this was his body.

“I-Chaya, I had the strangest dream…” He said as he sat up. He could practically feel where Frank had been grabbing him. The blanket fell away and Spock noticed he was naked. Really naked, as he was not even wearing underwear.

This made no sense. He always wore pajamas when he slept. How he somehow taken his clothes off in his sleep. He around his room and gasped again. This was his bedroom, but many things were wrong.

The contents of his shelf had been moved around. His microscope was now on the desk. The books on his bookshelf also looked as if someone had rearranged them. His schoolbag was on the floor, its contents spilling out. He clothes were on the floor as well. Now, that was an outrage.

“I-Chaya, who was in here? An intruder?” Spock stood up, unaffected by his own nakedness now that he rationalized that he was alone in his bedroom. Unless…the intruder was still here, hiding.

Spock dropped to his knees and checked under the bed and in the closet. No sign of an intruder, and he’d yet to notice anything was missing. Everything was here, just moved.

“Spock?” Amanda knocked on the door. “Spock, are you going to school today?”

Spock dashed over to the door and braced himself against it so that she would not come in. He was still naked, after all.

“Yes, Mother.” He said. “I will be down in a moment.”

“Good. T’Pring wants to walk with you again.”

Spock suppressed a groan at the thought. He then quickly got dressed and attempted to pack up all his school things. As he crossed the room, he paused, catching something out of the corner of his eye.

One of his paper notebooks had been flipped open to a blank page and placed in the middle of his desk. He recognized the writing as Standard, but the handwriting was not his own.

Hey. I have a feeling this is not a dream. I don’t know what the hell it is, though. If we ever switch again, text. I tried to text myself, but I couldn’t find your cell phone, if you even have one. Please text me when we’re back to normal so I can know this was real. –Jim.

There was a cell phone number beneath it. Spock recognized the first three digits to be the area code for Earth. The intruder…it was the farm boy! The human boy had been in his body and touched his things.

Spock shuddered at the realization, but it was somehow worse to know that that was a real person’s life he had been living. He now regretted not calling the authorities on Frank, or at least moved his body somewhere far away.

He opened the bottom drawer of his dresser. Under a stack of his mother’s hand-knitted sweaters was the cell phone his father had given him a few years ago. Spock entered in the number and name as a new contact, but when he went to compose a message, he found he did not know what to say.

“Spock!” His bedroom door opened and T’Pring stood in the doorway. He could feel her usual buzz of dissatisfaction in the back of his mind. He should really start meditating more so he could push her out like he used to. “Are you coming?”

“Yes.” He stood up and slipped the phone into his bag. Perhaps he’d find the time to send a message at break.

❖ ❖ ❖

EARTH

Jim yawned as his feet dangled over the edge of the roof. He rested his chin on the railing and closed his eyes. It had been a long time since he’d ditched class on the roof of the school building. Usually he just ditched by going home, but he knew he’d have to serve Mrs. Taylor’s detention sometime this week.

When he’d woke up that morning, he figured it was finally from that weird dream, but even as he’d dreamed he was on Vulcan, that it was real. He rolled over in bed and felt pain on his arm and blisters on his hands. Someone had been in his body.

Jim considered staying home to try and mentally sort it all out, but something had urged him to go downstairs. He took one look at Frank’s body on the floor, and he knew two things. One, that he should probably not be there when Frank woke up. And two, the Vulcan boy had been in his body yesterday.

It only made sense. Where else would the Vulcan boy’s consciousness go in Jim was in his body? Plus, he probably tried to murder Frank with his mind powers when Frank came home and started acting like an ass. Jim just wish he’d been there to see it.

He was so lost in thought that he jumped when he felt his phone vibrate to alert him of a new message. He scrambled to unlock it.

-Hello.

Jim grinned and typed back.

-Hello yourself, Spock.

- I am not sure what to say.

-Same here. I mean…we were in each other’s bodies all day yesterday. There’s nothing really you can say to that.

- Indeed.

-But being in each other’s bodies is probably the most intimate thing ever, so I think we should be able to talk to each other freely.

- That seems logical.

-So, what happened when you were in mine?

Jim waiting several anxious minutes for a reply.

- I did all of the chores Frank instructed me to. However, he deemed it unsatisfactory and proceeded to raise his voice and grab me in a violent manner.

- So, then you killed him? Nice.

-I did not kill him. He should be conscious in a few hours.

- Damn. Well, being in your body wasn’t so bad. I tried to go to school but then your mom said I looked too sick. LOL! I guess because I wasn’t acting like you, or whatever.

-So, I went back to your room and dicked around for a while before falling back asleep.

-Somewhere along the way, I realized this probably wasn’t a dream. It felt too real.

-You touched my things.

Jim blushed as he typed back.

- Only for a second!

-Oh, wait, you probably mean the shit in your room. Well, I was bored. But all your books were in Vulcan or whatever.

-But everything else in your life seemed cool.

-Like your sehlat was cool.

-Your mom seemed nice.

-Your girlfriend was kinda rude, though.

-T’Pring is not my girlfriend.

-She is my wife.

Jim nearly dropped his phone off the school roof. He then scrambled to text back.

-What??????

-Let me correct myself. She will be my wife one day. As of now, we are betrothed.

-Oh.

Jim felt a pang of sadness, but he was not sure why.

-I am studying for an important exam. I already missed one class yesterday, and I should not miss anymore.

- Oh yeah. That reminds me. Your girlfriend said she’d get someone to get you the notes.

-Thank you for telling me. I must go now.

- Right.

-I gotta go back to class too.

Jim felt another pang of sadness.

-See you around, Spock.

-I would rather not. I would rather our minds firmly stay in our bodies from now on.

- Haha. Yep. Same.

Jim sighed as he locked his phone and put it back it in pocket. Now, he was actually sad that Spock’s life wasn’t a dream. If it had a dream, it could at least maybe be recurring. It would be a nice place to escape to once in a while.

He laid back on the roof, his backpack under his head like a pillow. He tried to ignore the aching hand-print on his upper arm as watched the clouds roll across the sky.