The funny thing was, it was Frank's idea to send Jim to the Interplanetary Chess Tournament after Frank, being his nosy self, found out about Jim's Grandmaster score on the chess simulator. It wasn't that Frank was such a caring and thoughtful stepfather. Jim was perfectly aware that the asshole just wanted to get rid of him for the summer, but he didn't give a flying fuck about Frank's reasons, too excited to finally get away from home. And well. It didn't hurt that he loved chess.
Actually, Jim was even given a choice: either go to Altair II where the tournament would be held, or spend the summer with his distant relatives on Tarsus IV. Jim didn't think twice: Tarsus was a tiny, boring colony, so the choice wasn't exactly hard. Sure, he had to go through preliminary rounds first, but they were ridiculously easy for some reason, and two weeks later, Jim found himself on a ship to Altair II in the company of four other kids, whose age varied from nine to eighteen.
That was how it started.
Actually, no—it started like that:
Jim was surprised and even a bit confused by how easy the tournament was. So far, he had won four games in succession without much difficulty. It was sort of weird: he'd never had any chess lessons and didn't really know any chess strategies; he pretty much learned the game on his own and played chess just for fun while other kids seemed to take it very seriously(way too seriously, in Jim's opinion). So yeah, it was strange that he was able to beat them so easily and make it to the semi-finals—not that he was complaining or anything.
It looked like he wasn't the only one surprised by his sudden success. Everyone here knew everyone, because pretty much the same people got into the Final Round every year. Those kids really were the best of their respective planets. Besides Jim, in his age group, there were only six newbies out of a group of sixty-four and no one had seemed to take any of them seriously until Jim started winning game after game.
It didn't make him any friends. Jim wasn't exactly oblivious to the hostile looks he'd been receiving lately. He could get it, really; he probably would have been pissed off, too, if he were in their place. After all, he was a nobody. In a way, the tournament was like a high school, and like in every high school, there were the popular kids, and then there were the not-so-cool kids like him. And then, of course, there were the best of the best, or "the coolest kids"—kids who had won the tournament before.
And right now Jim was about to play against "the coolest kid" of his age group: that pointy-eared boy, Spock, the reigning champion. Apparently Spock had won the tournament twice already and had never lost a single game. Jim hadn't had the chance to talk to the Vulcan before—the boy wasn't particularly social, and as far as Jim knew, talked to very few people. Not that he'd really wanted to talk to Spock; the kid looked like he had a stick up his ass.
Glancing at Spock again, Jim bit his lip, trying not to laugh out loud. The boy had the most hilarious haircut he'd ever seen. Jim had to remind himself that he was better than this. He really was. The kid hadn't done anything to deserve being mocked.
And why the fuck was Spock staring at him?
Jim shifted in his chair, getting a bit uncomfortable under Spock's gaze. It looked like Vulcans didn't teach their children that it wasn't polite to stare at people—and Spock was really staring him. He looked almost…confused, as though he'd encountered something extremely puzzling, his nostrils flaring as if he was breathing something in.
To be honest, Jim had never liked being stared at. He wondered if Spock knew that he was George Kirk's son. Yeah. Probably. Most likely. People always said that he looked like a carbon copy of George.
Annoyed, Jim pursed his lips. "You know, I'm not a zoo exhibit, Spocky. I'm Jim. Great haircut, by the way."
For a moment, Spock's expression was blank, as if he was trying to understand if he was being mocked, before his face closed off.
"I see you do not possess the ability to read if you were unable to learn my name. You can call me Spock of Vulcan," he said, his voice very cold and very even.
Jim narrowed his eyes. "You can call me James Tiberius Kirk."
Yup, that was how it started: he was thirteen, and Spock was annoying and had a stupid haircut. Lame? Maybe. But hey, he was thirteen!
Jim lost that game. It was a close call, but he still lost. It made him positively livid when he saw the unbelievably smug expression (Jim was totally sure it was smug) in those brown eyes when Spock said, "I believe it is checkmate, James Tiberius Kirk."
God, Jim hated that pointy-eared dick. Hated him so much.
To make things worse, Spock won the tournament, crushing an Andorian kid in the final game.
Spock was like a robot, seriously. Stupid, pointy-eared, green-blooded robot (and Jim didn't give a damn that it didn't make any sense) with the smuggest face and the most stupid haircut in the Alpha Quadrant. Seriously, if there was a tournament for the most ridiculous haircut, Spock would have won it easily.
Jim was totally beating him next year.
Jim would never, ever admit it to anyone, but he spent the whole year reading books on chess strategy and watching the holovid of his game with Spock, trying to find weak points in Spock's strategy. After a while, it became obvious that Spock's strategy was flawless—too flawless. His logical, perfect moves were pretty easy to predict now that Jim knew what logical moves looked like.
By the summer, Jim felt he was ready.
Frank "kindly" gave him permission to go to the tournament again—after Jim gave him part of the money he'd received the previous year for his third-place finish.
This year, the tournament was hosted on Verah III.
Even though the location was different, everything else was pretty much the same.
Okay, there was something different this year: it looked like he'd been promoted to a 'cool kid,' and other cool kids wanted to hang out with him and not-so-cool kids looked at him with respect because Jim had almost beaten Spock, which apparently was some kind of miracle.
Jim was a bit amused by that, but hey, it was about time someone noticed his awesomeness! So far, he'd been winning game after game, and knew that Spock had been winning his games without any problems, too. (Jim might or might not have watched his games online. It was not stalking—it was about learning Spock's strategy. Jim was pleased to note that Spock's strategy was still too logical and predictable.)
The strangest thing was, so far he hadn't caught even a glimpse of Spock. Sure, their schedules didn't coincide that much, and maybe Spock was just being his antisocial and supercilious self, but not coming across each other at all when they lived in the same hotel was very odd. It should have been impossible.
Unless Spock was avoiding him.
For some reason, the thought made Jim angry. It wasn't that he wanted to see Spock or anything—of course not—it was just weird.
Finally, two weeks into the tournament, Jim left Spock a note at the front desk.
Hey, Spock. I hope you like staring at the four walls of your room all day. It's kind of flattering. Are you scared of me or something?
The next day, the front desk staff handed him a note from Spock.
I am not 'scared' of you, James Kirk. You appear to think that the world revolves around you, which is erroneous. Base your conclusions on facts and evidence.
S'chn T'gai Spock
Riiight. It's a little hard to believe that it's a coincidence that you go out of your room only when I'm not in the hotel—I checked the security feeds, you know. So stop bullshitting me.
P.S. Great name, by the way.
You may believe whatever you wish to believe, Kirk.
Jim didn't bother to reply. It didn't escape his notice that Spock hadn't exactly denied that he was avoiding him. The question was why was Spock avoiding him?
Spock had no reason to avoid him. Jim knew he was a bit obsessing over Spock because he had lost to him. But to Spock, he was just one of many rivals he had beaten. They'd exchanged a few words last year. Jim wasn't arrogant or stupid enough to think that he mattered enough for Spock to avoid him.
So why was Spock avoiding him?
Dammit, his head hurt from thinking about it all the time, and the worst part was, he couldn't stop thinking about it. Once, he even spaced out during a game, and he was fucking lucky the game was against M'Villa, who wasn't exactly the brightest guy out there. He nearly lost the game because he couldn't focus. Stupid Spock. It was his fault. Jim hated him. Hated his stupid face and his stupid hair.
Why the hell was he avoiding him?
Years later, looking back, Jim could see that it was precisely what fuelled his obsession with Spock. He'd never liked being ignored. He fucking hated being ignored.
But it wasn't like he could do anything about it. So in the four weeks of the tournament, Jim hadn't seen Spock even once until the day of the final game: the game against Spock.
When that day finally came, Jim was practically shaking from the worst combination of excitement, anxiousness, and nervousness. He didn't completely understand why it mattered to him so much to win the game, to beat Spock—hell, he barely knew the guy—but it did. To make things worse, he received a message from Frank: Your mom and me are gonna watch the game. Don't be a loser. Remember, half of your credits are mine if you wanna go next year.
The nerve of him.
His mom was going to watch. Shit.
I'm ready, Jim reminded himself, trying to ignore the uneasy feeling slowly blossoming in the pit of his stomach as he entered the press conference room. Camera flashes went off in his face and Jim smiled brightly for them before turning his head to look at Spock, who had his usual blank expression on his face.
Spock met his eyes and they stared at each other.
Licking his lips, Jim sneered, and knowing that Spock would hear him (Jim had done some research on Vulcans, okay? Not stalking), murmured under his breath, "I'm totally beating you this time."
Spock's nostrils flared a little. "We shall see, James Tiberius Kirk," he said, not bothering to lower his voice.
Jim couldn't believe it.
He couldn't fucking believe it.
He fucking lost.
All of this was for nothing. After a year of studying, he still lost.
Jim kicked a rock out of his way. Damn it!
"You appear frustrated."
Jim froze, and then slowly turned around.
Spock was regarding him with that infuriatingly blank expression of his. The pretentious bastard was wearing a black robe with silver lining, which should have looked silly on a teenager, but Spock somehow managed to pull it off, making Jim feel like he was the one dressed funny in his jeans and t-shirt.
"I'm not frustrated," Jim gritted out. "Do I look frustrated to you?"
Spock raised an eyebrow. "In fact, yes, you do."
Jim scowled at him. His hands were shaking with rage and he pushed them into his pockets so that he wouldn't give in to the urge to punch Spock's smug, perfect face. "Shut up. Enjoy your glory while you can. Next year I'm gonna beat you. I promise."
Spock lifted an eyebrow again. "For some reason, it sounds familiar."
Jim snorted. "And they say that Vulcans are above petty gloating. But you're not a real Vulcan, are you?"
Spock inhaled sharply.
Jim smirked. "Did I hit a nerve?"
If looks could kill, Jim would have been incinerated into ashes on the spot.
"You know nothing, Kirk," Spock said, his voice a bit clipped.
Jim grinned, his mood improving rapidly. "No, I think I've got it right. You're ashamed of your human mother, aren't you, Spock? Poor baby Spocky always having to deal with such a disadvantage—" Jim yelped when he was thrown to the ground by a very furious half-Vulcan.
Spock wrapped a hand around Jim's throat and squeezed. "You will never speak of my mother again," Spock hissed. "Is that understood?"
Jim refused to answer, even though his lungs were already hurting from the lack of air.
"Is that understood, Kirk?" Spock repeated, looking him into the eye. Jim just stared into the dark eyes until his vision began to blur and his head started to spin. He was close to losing consciousness when Spock released him and got to his feet in one swift move.
Coughing and taking deep, greedy breaths in, Jim looked up to see that Spock was staring down at his sprawled body. His face was a blank mask once again, but the intensity in his eyes was a little scary. "You are an irresponsible brat, Kirk. You have no sense of self-preservation at all. I am surprised your parents let you participate in the tournament. You are dangerous to yourself and others." He turned around and left.
Jim glared at his retreating back.
Now or never, Jim thought when he arrived on Rivexu I.
He had a good feeling about this tournament. The third time was a charm, wasn't it? This year Jim wasn't going to repeat the mistake of the previous year—he had underestimated Spock, expecting him to be predictable, but Spock seemed to have adapted his game to Jim's intuitive and tricky style, as though he had prepared for a game with Jim, too. He wouldn't underestimate Spock again. Jim could feel with his gut that this year he would beat Spock— and win the tournament, of course.
Jim walked into the hotel and stopped in his tracks when he saw Spock in the hall. He was talking to some Cardassian.
Jim stared at him.
Huh. He'd had one hell of a growth spurt. Not that Spock had been a midget before—they had been about the same height—but now Spock had at least two inches on Jim, and Jim had a growth spurt last winter, too.
Well, at least his god-awful bowl cut is still as ugly as ever, Jim tried to comfort himself before striding to Spock and the Cardassian.
Spock's shoulders visibly stiffened before he slightly turned his head and nodded, not looking at him. "Kirk," he said flatly and returned to the conversation as if Jim wasn't there.
Jim opened his mouth, then shut it again.
Spock was ignoring him. Spock was ignoring him. Jim knew he was probably looking like an idiot, staring wide-eyed at the back of Spock's head, but he couldn't just walk away. It wasn't right. Spock was supposed...was supposed to hate him, not to ignore him, as if Jim was unworthy of his attention. As if he didn't matter. What the fuck? First Spock avoided him, now he was ignoring him while Jim stood a few feet away? Was Spock trying to piss him off? Was he doing it on purpose? If so, it was definitely working.
Jim narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips. Spock was trying to annoy him? Fine. Jim knew what would annoy Spock.
With a smirk, Jim stepped closer to the Vulcan and put his arms around him, resting his chin on his shoulder from behind. He felt Spock's body go rigid against him, and the Cardassian's eyes widened almost comically.
"Why are you ignoring me, baby?" Jim asked dramatically. On the inside, he was dying from laughter. Vulcans hated public displays of affection and didn't like to be touched by strangers. Sure, Jim didn't like touching that arrogant dick, too (Jim wasn't into guys, and Spock's neck smelled funny, and his skin was oddly hot against Jim's nose), but he wasn't the one being humiliated in public.
"Kirk," Spock said, very evenly. "Will you kindly remove yourself from my person?"
Jim grinned. That was going to be fun. Why hadn't he thought of this before?
"Why, sweetheart? Didn't you miss me, too?" Jim cooed, pressing his body against him. He was disappointed to find that Spock had a pretty decent body. He was a year older than him, though. Spock was sixteen already.
"Kirk, cease doing this immediately."
"Or what?" Jim asked, and feeling particularly daring, pressed a wet kiss to Spock's neck. Ugh. Gross. "You will throw me on the ground and have your way with me? Does your little friend here know you're into asphyxiation?"
The Cardassian looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there. "See you later, Spock," he said awkwardly and almost fled down the hallway.
Jim burst out laughing. "Did you see his face!"
He made a startled noise when Spock jerked away from his grip and turned to face him.
It was almost funny that Spock somehow managed to look pissed off without shifting a single muscle on his face. He looked perfectly Vulcan, but there was still something very human about him. His eyes were too expressive.
"What is the meaning of this?"
Jim smiled innocently. "What do you mean, baby?"
Were Spock's cheeks a bit green? "Cease addressing me in this manner."
Jim chuckled. Shit, this was so hilarious: Spock was embarrassed. "Or what? Are you gonna punish me if I don't?"
Spock's nostrils flared. "If I were not Vulcan, I would be tempted. You should have been spanked as a child."
Jim blinked, honestly startled. He hadn't really expected Spock to take the bait. It seemed…odd. Very unVulcanly.
But he recovered quickly enough and grinned. "Kinky. But sorry, I'm not into guys and even if I were, you'd be the last person I'd let anywhere near my ass."
Spock's jaw worked...in frustration?
"Lower your voice, Kirk. Do you not possess any manners at all?"
Jim chuckled. "What kind of question is this? Of course I don't!"
Spock stared at him. "You are—"
"Hot? Funny? Brilliant?"
"—illogical and irrational," Spock said. "Stay away from me, Kirk. You are not good for my self-control."
Translation from Spock to standard: I want to strangle you again.
Grinning, Jim batted his eyelashes exaggeratedly. "You say the sweetest things! You want me that badly? I don't blame you, though."
Giving him an unimpressed look, Spock studied him from head to toe, as though Jim was a strange specimen at a science museum. His gaze made Jim feel odd and awkward, which was silly, really. For a fifteen-year-old, he had a great body, dammit.
"Perhaps you should re-evaluate your assessment of your physical attractiveness," Spock said finally and left without looking back at him.
Jim turned bright red.
Stupid, pointy-eared, pretentious ass. Ugh, how he hated him.
"Jim, are you even listening to me?"
"Um... Sorry, what?" Jim looked back at the drop-dead gorgeous girl seated beside him.
Reliya frowned. "You weren't listening to me. You weren't even looking at me." She sounded more surprised than angry.
She glanced at Spock's table. "Who is he? Your ex?"
Jim mouth fell open. "What? No! I'm not into guys! And even if I were, I'd never do him!"
She raised her eyebrows. "Then why do you keep stealing glances at him when you're with an Orion? "
Grimacing, Jim cast a sideway look at Spock. "Could you speak more quietly, please? He's a Vulcan and can hear much better than us. It's just… "He snorted a laugh. "It's obvious that you're new here, because basically everyone knows that we hate each other. He beat me in the final game last year."
She tilted her head. "Ah. He's Spock, then."
"You heard of him?"
She chuckled, throwing an interested look at Spock. "Who hasn't? He's made himself quite a reputation. They say he's unbeatable."
Jim winced. "Yeah. This year I'm totally going to beat him, though. And could you not stare at him, please?"
Reliya looked amused.
"Why? Are you jealous?"
Jim scowled. "Why would I be jealous? I don't give a fuck about him."
She blinked a couple of times. "I meant jealous over me, Jim, not him."
Jim felt himself flush. He rubbed the back of his neck. "Sorry, it's just—everyone keeps asking me if I'm jealous of him because he won last year, so I... Well. I don't want you to stare at him because I don't want him to think that we're talking about him."
She gave him a flat look. "Jim, we are talking about him."
"Yeah, I know, and hell if I know why."
"Sorry, but it's hard to ignore the fact that my date can't keep his eyes off someone else, as if expecting some kind of reaction. So, what's up? At first I thought you wanted to make him jealous, because he was your ex, but now I don't even know what to think."
Jim took a sip from his cocktail. He stared down at the table. How could he explain something he didn't completely understand himself?
"I don't know, Reliya. I just want—I just want to get some reaction from him. Something, you know? But because of his poker face I'm not even sure he's paying attention to us."
She narrowed her eyes. "Are you using me, Jim Kirk? You're hot and everything, but—"
"What? No!" Jim said quickly, because okay, she was a bit scary. "Of course not! I really like you—you're a great girl. It's just…Maybe it's petty, but I kind of want to rub in his face that I'm on a date with such a beautiful girl."
A corner of her lips turned up. "So you really want to make him jealous, after all."
Jim sighed, raking a hand through his hair. "I don't know, okay? I just want to show him that… A couple of days ago, he basically told me that I wasn't that hot, and it's—it's fucking insulting!"
Reliya looked way too amused for Jim's liking. "So, basically you're sulking because he said that you weren't hot enough for him."
"I'm not sulking. I just don't believe his bullshit, because…well, look at me!" Jim would be the first to admit that humility wasn't one of his great strengths.
She laughed. "Why do you want him to want you if you're not gay? What is the point?"
"It was a blow to my ego!"
She smiled at him. "Jim, I hate to break it to you, but you can't make everyone want you. Even I can't make everyone want me—and I have pheromones."
"I don't want everyone to want me."
"Just him?" she said, smirking. Before Jim could protest, she continued, "All right, if you want some reaction from him, I'll let you make out with me."
Jim's eyes widened. "Really? Right here?"
Reliya looked around the café. "Sure, why not? We're in a dark corner. No one is looking. Come on, we don't have all day," she patted the place beside her, winking at him.
Jim glanced at Spock, who was engaged in a conversation with some guy and was seemingly paying him no attention. Then he looked around. It was getting late and the café was nearly empty. Even its personnel were nowhere to be seen. No one really was looking. Hell, they could probably have sex right here and get away with it.
"Alright." Jim moved closer to Reliya and kissed her.
Her lips were soft and full. It felt nice, and Jim pulled her closer, her soft breasts pressing against his chest. It wasn't his first kiss, so he was far from being shy, but he could feel that she was far more experienced than him. He wasn't surprised when she slid a hand under his shirt and stroked his chest, and then—
Someone cleared their throat.
Jim opened his eyes and looked over Reliya's shoulder, not breaking the kiss.
Spock was standing a few feet away, his hands clasped behind his back and his lips pursed tightly.
Feeling heat in his lower stomach, Jim kissed Reliya harder, looking Spock in the eyes. They were very dark, a storm of tightly suppressed emotions, chaotic and frightening and—
Jim moaned into the kiss.
"Kirk, do you not have any sense of propriety? You are in a public place."
Reliya broke the kiss and started pressing kisses all over his jaw-line and then down his neck.
"Why do you care?" Jim said. Fuck, it felt so good. Reliya was rubbing his cock through his jeans, and Spock was watching this.
"Show some respect to other individuals," Spock said tersely, his dark eyes on Reliya's hand that was unzipping Jim's jeans (whoa, Orion girls really didn't have any shame).
"Cease doing this immediately."
Jim chuckled. "Admit it, Spock... you just want to be in my place." He smiled, locking his eyes with Spock's. "Or maybe you want to take her place?"
Spock clenched his jaw. "Do not be ridiculous, Kirk. If you do not cease this at once, I will inform the tournament authorities of your inappropriate behavior."
Reliya snatched her hand away as though she'd been burned.
Jim scowled at Spock and moved away from her. "Happy now?" he said, leaning back and spreading his knees wide; he didn't bother zipping his jeans up.
Spock glanced down at Jim's hips. "Make yourself decent. You look, as you humans put it, like a..."
"A whore?" Jim finished for him softly, shifting his hips. He felt weirdly good. He was still fully hard. "You wanna buy?"
Reliya cast him an amused look, but he ignored her, looking at Spock from under his eyelashes. Jim had no idea why he was doing this—almost flirting with Spock—but he loved it. It didn't matter that he was straight. He fucking loved having Spock's attention on him and him only. It wasn't that Jim seriously thought that Spock was attracted to him—for all he knew, Spock was straight, too—but for whatever reason, it got under Spock's skin, and that was the only thing that mattered. Jim just loved messing with Spock's head. It was very…entertaining. Yep, entertaining.
"Negative," Spock said coldly, dragging his gaze off Jim's hips, and strode away.
Jim smiled. He turned his head to look at Reliya. She was still looking at him with amusement. "What?"
She chuckled. "You said you were straight, right? Didn't look it. I felt sorry for the poor guy."
Jim shrugged, grinning.
He couldn't wait to see Spock again.
The next morning, when Jim entered the hotel's restaurant to get something into his stomach, everyone was discussing something excitedly.
Jim frowned and looked around. Reliya waved to him and he headed to her table.
"What's going on?" he asked, taking a seat next to her.
She brushed her dark hair away from her face. "Well, I'm not sure you'll be happy to hear the news. It's your Vulcan."
Jim's eyebrows shot up. "Spock? What's up with him?"
"He left the planet."
His mouth fell open. "What? Why?"
She shrugged. "Who knows. There are a lot of rumors out there, but right now, that's all they are— rumors." Reliya took a sip from her cup before continuing, "No one knows for sure why he left. He left this morning."
Jim took a deep breath. "But when is he coming back? He has a game the day after tomorrow at 9 o'clock!"
She snickered. "You know his schedule? Aww how cute."
Jim felt his cheeks heat up. "Reliya, come on."
She shrugged. "It looks like he's not coming back. Some say that he was thrown out of the tournament; others say that he left on his own volition."
Jim stared at her, a knot growing in the pit of his stomach. "He's not returning?"
"Not this year. There's a rumor that the schedule's going to be changed because of that. There was no official announcement yet, but everyone's talking about it." She grinned. "It looks like you're gonna be the Champion of your age group, after all!"
Jim forced a smile out. "Yeah."
He didn't know why he was so…disappointed.
Jim won the tournament.
This year, the tournament was being held on Saragon II.
Jim was so excited to finally be here that he practically jumped out of the hovercar before it fully landed. He was a little surprised to see so many paparazzi, but then he remembered that he was 'the coolest kid' this year. Right.
Entering the hotel, Jim walked to the reception desk. After getting his keys, he turned to leave, but stopped. Looking around and making sure no one could hear them, Jim leaned closer to the receptionist and asked, "Has Spock arrived yet? A Vulcan?"
She shook her head and gave him an apologetic smile. "There is no room reserved for Mr. Spock."
Jim stared at her. "Maybe you should check? You must have forgotten. Maybe he's registered under his Vulcan name."
She shook her head again. "I remember every Vulcan participating this year. There are five of them of different age groups, as usual, but there is no Spock."
Jim licked his lips, his heart skipping a beat. "Check. I insist."
She looked at him as if she thought he was slow, and then glanced at her PADD. "No, no Spock here. There is a Vulcan kid of your age, but his name is Stonn."
"Stonn?" Jim repeated.
Jim turned away from her.
He slowly walked to his room, ignoring cheerful 'Hi, Jim's and 'Good to see you again's. His good mood was completely gone. He didn't understand. Spock wasn't returning. He wasn't coming back at all.
Why the fuck did he care so much?
No, he knew why he cared—he wanted to beat Spock, not some other Vulcan—but it was ridiculous to feel so dejected because of it.
Jim won the tournament again. The final game against Stonn lasted for three hours. Stonn was a great player, actually. Very logical and smart. He even had the same god-awful haircut.
Jim wanted to throw the chessboard at his ugly face.
After the game, he asked Stonn where Spock was.
All he received was a blank look in response.
Jim decided that he wasn't coming back next year.
Jim stared at the letter in his hands. It was a formal invitation to the Interplanetary Chess Tournament that they usually sent to a reigning champion. He'd been about to throw it away—he'd had no intention to participate this year—when he noticed the planet that hosted the tournament this year.
Jim told himself that it didn't matter. He still wasn't going to the tournament. It had been almost two years since he last saw him, for fuck's sake. Jim was seventeen now. He was no longer that stupid thirteen-year-old boy that was obsessed with Spock. And yes, looking back, Jim could see that it was an obsession. For three years, he had been so obsessed with learning new chess strategies with the only purpose of beating Spock that even Frank's drunken scandals and his mom's "bad days" didn't seem that bad. Thanks to Spock, he'd had a purpose, something to look forward to. And it was silly as hell. He barely knew Spock. He'd talked to him just a handful of times. It was his own fault that he'd blown their rivalry out of proportion to keep his mind off things he didn't want to think about. He'd been too fixated on Spock.
Good thing he was over it now.
He wasn't going.
Spock wasn't going to be there anyway.
Jim sighed, his lips twisting into a rueful smile.
Who was he trying to fool, dammit?
ShiKahr was beautiful.
Jim's hotel—Tav'Sal'Nava—was located in the Old Quarter of the city, a neighborhood with more than ten thousand years of history imbued in its structures. In this part of the city Jim could really feel how ancient the Vulcan culture was. Looking back, Spock's fancy ornamented robes and flawless manners didn't seem so weird anymore.
Speaking of Spock, as Jim expected, he wasn't participating in the tournament again. Not that it really mattered. Jim was stupidly excited just to be in the same city as Spock.
His own excitement made him cringe a little. It was pathetic. It was unhealthy as fuck for a seventeen-year-old guy to be so fixated on another guy he didn't even like. They hadn't been friends—quite the opposite, actually—but Jim still wanted to see him, and badly. He wanted to find out why Spock had left so abruptly and didn't come back.
In theory, it wouldn't be too hard to find Spock. Jim knew that Spock was the son of the Vulcan Ambassador to Earth. He could get his address easily enough if he wanted. He did want it, but he wasn't that pathetic, thanks.
Realizing that it was starting to get dark, Jim turned back to the hotel, wondering idly if he should invite Reliya to his room for some friendly sex. It had been a while since he had sex, and he was pretty horny.
Half an hour later, he finally reached the hotel and was about to go inside when he noticed someone—a Vulcan, judging by his clothes—standing not far from the entrance with his back to Jim; he seemed to be deep in thought.
Jim wasn't sure why he stopped. There was just something familiar about the Vulcan. Something …
He stared at the man, his heart beginning to pound in his ears. Telling himself not to be ridiculous—what were the odds, really?—he slowly walked to the Vulcan. When he was five feet away, the Vulcan raised his head and turned around.
Jim felt a grin split his face.
It was Spock. He looked older, like an adult, but it was undeniably his Sp—uh, Spock.
"Hey," Jim said softly. "Miss me?"
He couldn't read Spock's expression in the dusk.
"Kirk," Spock said after a moment.
Jim grinned. He had no clue why the hell he felt so excited, but fuck, it'd been two years, and Spock was finally standing in front of him, and Jim wanted…wanted something.
He stepped closer, until they were almost face to face.
Spock's body stiffened, but he didn't say a word. He didn't move an inch.
Jim took a careful, deep breath in and smiled, picking up the familiar scent. "You still smell funny," he murmured. He wasn't sure why, but he found himself leaning in and pressing his nose against Spock's neck. Spock's Adam's apple moved convulsively. Huh, Vulcans have Adam's apple, too, Jim thought, somewhat amused, and rubbed his nose against the skin. "Huh, I think I missed you. Where have you been?"
"I have been here, on Vulcan," Spock replied, his hot breath brushing Jim's ear, and something warm and pleasant uncurled low in Jim's belly. "And you are being illogical. Why would you 'miss' me when you have an obvious dislike towards me?"
Jim smiled into Spock's neck. "Didn't you know that hate is the most powerful of emotions, way ahead of love? You were like, my favorite rival."
There was a silence for a few moments. "Most illogical. And please, remove yourself from my personal space, Kirk. It is fortunate that it is dark, but it is unbecoming. I shall leave."
Jim scowled and quickly wrapped his arms around Spock. "Hell no! I just found you. You're not going anywhere without giving me an explanation. I want to know why you left."
Spock stiffened in his arms but didn't push him away. "You did not 'find' me. Contrary to what you seem to believe, I do not owe you any explanation. Let go of me immediately, Kirk."
Jim pursed his lips. "You owe me one hell of an explanation. I was about to finally beat you, but you just—just disappeared!"
"Step away from me."
"Nope. You'll have to make me."
"Do you really think that I cannot do it?"
Jim snorted. "I'm not the skinny fourteen-year-old kid you tossed on the ground years ago, you know."
"You are forgetting that I am not fifteen anymore, as well. I can break your spine if I choose to do so."
Jim grinned. "I know you're a big bad Vulcan, but the thing is, you won't. Come on, admit it: you missed me, Spock."
"I barely know you. We are merely acquaintances. And Vulcans do not 'miss' anyone." Spock's voice was very stiff. "It is illogical."
"Then we're lucky that you're only half-Vulcan, aren't we?" Jim murmured, and Spock tensed even more. "If you didn't miss me, you wouldn't come to my hotel and you'd never let me touch you. Admit it, Spock. It's okay. Who wouldn't miss me? I'm brilliant, funny, and hot, and an absolute joy to be around."
Spock took a deep breath, as if trying to stay calm, and Jim grinned. He couldn't believe how easy it was. They were right back to their usual dynamic, as though it hadn't been years. And it was weird. Spock was right: they barely knew each other. But it didn't feel that way. It felt too familiar—more familiar than it should have. They just…fit.
"Let's go inside," Jim said when Spock remained silent. "It's getting cold. Living in the desert sucks, by the way." Jim stepped away from Spock, and grabbing his arm, pulled him towards the entrance.
Spock let him.
"So?" Jim said, sprawling on the bed and kicking off his shoes with a sigh. He rolled onto his side, propped himself up on his elbow and looked over at Spock. "What happened? Why did you leave?"
Spock clasped his hands behind his back.
Jim eyed him. He'd really changed a lot. Sure, they both had changed and matured, but Spock seemed... Jim couldn't quite figure it out, but there was just something different about him.
"It is presumptuous of you to think that I owe you any explanation," Spock said, looking at…Jim's hair? Frowning, Jim touched his hair self-consciously. "Yet I will provide you with an explanation, since there is approximately a ninety-nine point seven percent chance that you will not leave the subject."
Jim grinned. "Aw. You know me so well, baby."
He could've sworn he saw Spock grit his teeth. "Will you cease using these illogical and misplaced nicknames?"
Jim blew him a kiss and smirked when Spock shifted uneasily. "Shut it, you totally love it. So, where's my explanation?"
Spock walked to the window next to the bed and stared out at the dark street.
"Do you have any knowledge about Vulcan bonds?" he asked after a little while.
Jim frowned. What did this have to do with anything?
"Very little," he said slowly, staring at Spock's profile. "I know that there's some kind of mental link between bondmates and that they basically can read each other's thoughts."
And he knew about it only because he had done some research on Vulcans(again, not stalking). Vulcans were extremely tight-lipped when it came to marriage.
Spock nodded slightly. "We have mates chosen for us by our parents at the age of seven. The mates are joined in a ceremony that links them telepathically, which is less than a marriage, but more than a betrothal."
"What?" Jim said. "You're bonded to someone?"
Spock nodded, still not looking at him. "Her name is T'Pring."
Jim took a shaky breath in. He chuckled. "All right. Great. You're bonded. Congrats. What does it have to do with your leaving?"
Spock was silent for a long moment. "While our bond is not yet fully formed, and therefore not very strong, if I do not shield myself, she can read my mind if she chooses to do so," he said. "Two years ago, my mental shields failed while I…was distracted and T'Pring was able to read my mind."
"She filed a formal complaint to the Vulcan High Council that I was mentally unstable, overly emotional and dangerous to her mind and body. She wished for our bond to be broken, and I was requested to return to Vulcan immediately."
Jim's lips parted. "You've got to be kidding me. She wanted the bond to be broken because you're not a complete tool like Stonn and other Vulcans?"
Spock's lips twitched a little. "I have received the impression that she indeed wishes the bond to be broken because I am not Stonn."
Jim's eyes widened. "Really? Wow. She has the weirdest taste. Stonn is an ugly monkey compared to you." Spock looked at him with a raised eyebrow, and Jim felt himself flush. "Not that you're a Prince Charming or anything. Anyway, if you're still bonded, I guess the Council denied her request?"
Spock turned back to the window. "Negative. They gave me a probation period to learn advanced meditation techniques in order to control myself better. My mind is checked by a mind adept every two weeks."
Jim stared at him. "They're brainwashing you? What the hell did she see in your mind that they took it that seriously?"
"This is none of your concern. I have already told you more than I should have."
Jim opened his mouth and closed it again. Finally, he said, "Spock, why didn't you just tell them to fuck off? If she doesn't want you, why not let her go? You really want her that badly?"
"I cannot," Spock said tersely. "It is not that simple."
"Why the hell not?"
"Breaking the bond would bring disgrace upon my clan."
Jim huffed. "What kind of reason is this? For fuck's sake, it's not the Middle Ages! Are you really going to spend your life with someone who wants another guy just because you don't want to be a disgrace to your family?"
"Do not speak of matters you do not understand." Spock's voice was cold as ice.
"Then fucking enlighten me!"
There was a short silence before Spock spoke.
"I am the heir to the House of Surak. I cannot bring shame to my clan—more than I have already brought simply by…"
Jim stared at him.
Oh. Spock might be as fucked up as he was.
"How long?" he asked quietly, and when Spock gave him a blank look, added, "Your probation?"
Spock looked away. "Two standard years. It will end in seventeen point six three days."
Jim narrowed his eyes. "T'Pring invaded your mind the evening before you left, right? The evening we...eh, ran into each other?"
"You said you were distracted. Was it me?"
Spock pressed his lips together ever so slightly. "As I once told you, you are not good for my self-control, Kirk."
Jim grinned. "So, is that a yes?" Spock said nothing, and Jim took as a confirmation. He chuckled. "I kind of want to meet T'Pring now. I'm dying to know what exactly you thought of Reliya and me."
Spock gave him a look. Jim laughed. "What? I bet you thought something nasty and kinky if she ran with complaints to the Council."
"This is not humorous," Spock said, practically glaring at him.
Jim blew him a kiss again. Spock's cheeks flushed green. Jim's smirk froze on his lips when a thought crossed his mind. It was not the first time Spock reacted like that to some innocent teasing. He had thought that it made Spock uncomfortable, but what if… What if Spock really was attracted to him? What if Spock wanted him that way?
Okay. All right. It wasn't hard to find out.
Jim leaned back against the pillow behind him and smiled at Spock, holding his gaze. And then he licked his lips slowly.
Spock's eyes flicked to his mouth.
Jim laughed out loud. He couldn't believe how oblivious he had been! "You want me," he declared with a smirk.
Spock's shoulders stiffened.
"It is illogical to deny that I am physically attracted to you, therefore I will not. However, you are wrong: I do not want you. I must admit you fascinate me, yet I do not find anything attractive in you besides your physical appearance."
Well. That kind of hurt, actually. Jim felt his lips curve into an ugly smile. "So you're basically saying you'd gladly fuck me, but you could care less about me."
"You are mistaken once again. While I am well aware that you are very aesthetically pleasing and sexually appealing, I have no intention to engage in sexual intercourse with you. In fact, it would be prudent of me to avoid you, since being in your presence makes me less of a Vulcan."
Cocking his head, Jim eyed Spock's inscrutable face. "So it was really me," he said softly. "Let me guess: she saw some of your fantasies about me, didn't she? She was probably so disgusted to find out that her bondmate wanted badly some human whore. What was your fantasy about, Spock? Did you want my mouth on you? Did you want to fuck me?"
Spock's nostrils flared. His hand clenched into a fist by his side. He stepped closer to the bed.
Jim licked his lips, eyes still locked with Spock's. "I bet you want it right now, too, don't you, Spock? I bet under that robe you have a raging hard-on just from seeing me in the bed, practically asking for it. For fucking. For using. I bet it turns you on that you are much stronger than me, that you can just make me do whatever you want. I bet you—"
Vulcans were fast. Suddenly, Spock's heavy body was pinning him down, his hand wrapped around Jim's throat. "You will cease speaking."
"Or what?" Jim croaked. "What are you gonna do to me?"
A muscle in Spock's jaw worked. "Otherwise I will do exactly what you just described."
Jim wet his lips. "You won't. You're bluffing."
Spock bit Jim's bottom lip, hard enough to draw blood, making Jim gasp in pain. "You do not know me, James Kirk. I am not human." He sucked on Jim's lip. When he pulled away to meet Jim's gaze, his pupils were so dilated that his eyes seemed black. "I am a Vulcan," he said, as though to himself, before biting Jim's lower lip again. He was breathing harshly. "I can control myself. I can control myself. You are a manipulative, illogical child. I do not like you. I should not have come here."
Jim grinned. Spock wanted him. Spock was, like, crazy about him—so crazy that he couldn't keep himself away from him. It felt good to have that kind of power over Spock. "You said you didn't want me. I thought Vulcans didn't lie."
Spock nuzzled his cheek, inhaling deeply. Like an animal, Jim thought, fascinated.
"Sometimes it is logical."
Then Spock's tongue was in his mouth and a burst of scorching excitement spread at the base of Jim's spine, spreading through his chest and stomach and curling tightly in his crotch. Fuck, Jim wasn't even into guys, and he definitely wasn't into Spock, but he was making Spock all hot, and that was a huge turn-on. He kissed Spock back, and Spock loosened his grip on Jim's throat. Their tongues curled around each other, and Jim pushed his thigh between Spock's legs, grinding against his erection. Spock was hard. Spock was hard for him. It made Jim giddy. Sure, he had a boner, too, but he was seventeen, for fuck's sake—he could get a boner for no reason at all, and Spock was a good kisser.
His clothes were quickly removed and thrown onto the floor and so were Spock's, and then they were naked, and then Spock was kissing and licking his entire body, and then Spock was rolling him onto his stomach, and then Jim was on all fours—it was happening too quickly, Jim wasn't gay, Jim was straight—and then he felt Spock's breath against his ass—
"What are you doing? It's gross—" his words turned into a long moan and he grabbed the sheets as Spock licked his asshole, pulled his cheeks apart and started to work his way into him with his tongue.
Fuckfuckfuck. It felt like he'd never been this hard, this turned on; if this got any better, he was going to come out of his goddamned skin. Spock's hands had him spread wide open, and his tongue was so deep inside him, and Jim couldn't help but shamelessly push his ass back into Spock's face, begging, he was fucking begging for Spock just to keep doing what he was doing, pleasepleaseplease panted into the mattress. He was pushing back against Spock's tongue, his ass in the air, groaning like a fucking slut, and he didn't give a fuck. His asshole was twitching, hungry for something more, something—
And then Spock pulled away, making Jim whimper. Fuck, he'd thought he felt empty before, but that was nothing compared to now. He felt hollowed out, aching inside with the loss of Spock's tongue. Jim's eyes grew wide and he gasped as he felt a finger enter him and then another, then the third, stretching him and making him writhe and moan as those fingers moved inside of him.
He whimpered when the fingers were removed, but then Spock's thick cock was pushing into him, inch by inch, and Jim cursed under his breath. It hurt like a bitch.
"Did you even use lube or something?" he gritted out once the cock was in him up to the hilt.
"I did," Spock grunted against his shoulder. "You were too busy enjoying yourself to notice."
Jim scowled. "Fuck you."
Spock slowly started moving his hips in and out, his breath coming in short gasps. "Your observation skills need a significant improvement. I believe it is me who is doing the act."
The pain was subsiding and it was actually beginning to feel good—better than he'd ever thought having a cock up his ass could feel. "Only because it's you who wants it that badly. I'm just giving you a pity fuck."
"Indeed?" Spock said and angled his hips, his cock rubbing against something inside him, and Jim moaned, lifting his ass; Spock let out a hiss, and gripping his hips, started thrusting in earnest. There was no gentleness, no restraint, just pure, raw lust.
Jim's moans turned into groans as Spock fucked him harder, their bodies moving together as one. So good, so fucking good. It felt like all the years of obsession had been leading to this, and Jim didn't want it to ever stop. He came first, his body shuddering and his mind going blissfully blank. Spock kept thrusting mindlessly through his orgasm and then, finally, collapsed on top of him.
Jim couldn’t find the strength to object beyond a single, weak grunt. He'd never had sex this good. Not fucking ever. Either Spock was some kind of sex-god or Jim was maybe a little bit gay. Maybe.
"I still don't like you," Jim murmured, closing his eyes. He couldn't believe he had Spock's cock in his ass.
There was a long silence before Spock withdrew and rolled off him.
Jim felt a pang of disappointment, but then Spock pulled him into his arms.
"I return the sentiment," Spock said in a strange voice, staring at the ceiling.
"So what's going on?" Reliya asked.
Jim took a bite from his toast and chewed it slowly before he swallowed and asked, "What do you mean?"
She snorted. "You think you can fool me, Jimmy? We haven't had sex since your arrival, and knowing you, that means you're getting some elsewhere." She winked at him. "Not to mention that you walk funny these days."
Jim felt his face heat up. Was it really that obvious? "Bullshit. I don't!"
She rolled her eyes. "Alright, I've been waiting for you to tell me yourself, but I'm tired of waiting. Therefore, I will be blunt. I can smell him on you, Jim."
Jim's eyes widened. "What?"
She chuckled. "Yep. He couldn't have made his point any clearer if he'd pissed all over you. Vulcan males have some sort of…territorial pheromones that they emit on something they consider their territory, usually their mates. You practically reek of him, Jim. Even if you suggested sex, I would have turned you down because I'm not crazy enough to piss off a Vulcan."
Jim could only stare at her.
Reliya smiled. "So? What's going on?"
The truth was, Jim had no clue what the hell was going on.
Every day, Spock would come to his hotel room, and they would have sex. A lot of sex. Afterwards, Spock would say that he wasn't coming back, but they both would know it was bullshit. Every day, Jim told himself that it was the last time and that when Spock was back, he would tell him to fuck off and go to his T'Pring. Spock didn't even like him. Not that he wanted Spock to like him. He just wanted— he didn't know what he wanted.
This thing was…fucking confusing. The sex part was great. More than great. He liked fucking Spock—it was good—but to be completely honest, he loved having Spock's cock in him much better (Spock had a whole theory about Jim's prostate being extremely sensitive to stimulus, blah-blah-blah—Jim had zoned out, okay? It was hard to follow when Spock's lecture voice did weird things to him).
So yeah, the sex part was great, but the emotions that went along with it were fucking insane. The best part was afterwards when Jim was wrapped up in Spock's arms and they went to sleep. Jim had never felt more safe, comfortable, or calm in any other moment, and it confused the hell out of him.
Then there was another thing that confused him: Spock's inappropriate possessiveness. For a guy who supposedly didn't like him, Spock acted kind of weird.
"Reliya told me something interesting today," Jim said lazily, running his fingers through Spock's hair. His body was still pleasantly tingling after his orgasm.
Spock looked up from where his head was resting on Jim's belly. His eyes narrowed. "That Orion female of questionable morals?"
Jim rolled his eyes. That was exactly what he meant. "She would take that as a compliment, but yes. She told me that I was practically reeking of your territorial pheromones or whatever. She said that Vulcan males usually emit them around their mates."
Spock closed his eyes and went silent for a long while.
"She is correct," he said finally, his tone oddly reluctant. "I cannot help it. For some reason, my mind and my body considers you an ideal mate. That is why T'Pring filed the complaint. She saw—felt—my reaction to you. It is unprecedented for a bonded male to wish to bond with someone else. The Elders are of the opinion that I fail to form a steady bond with T'Pring because of my mixed heritage."
Jim's jaw dropped. "What? You said she saw that you wanted to fuck me, not bond with me!"
Spock opened his eyes to meet his gaze. "I did not say such a thing. You presumed it yourself."
Jim tried to gather his thoughts—and think about something else besides the fact that Spock wanted to bond with him. He failed. "Okay. All right. Great. What do you think? Do you think the Elders are right? And how the hell are you hiding what we're doing from T'Pring and the Elders?"
Spock's eyes became grim. "I have not yet had a session with a mind adept since before we met. As for T'Pring, now, after two years of advanced mind training, I can easily block her."
Jim tugged at his pointed ear, earning a glare from Spock. "Quit avoiding my question. What do you think about this?"
"I have already told you that I do not know what to think," Spock said, half-closing his eyes as Jim began gently stroking his ear. "I have been aware of my inappropriate fascination with you ever since the day we met. My fascination did not abate with time; it only increased. The Elders are most likely correct. It should have been impossible for me to wish to form a bond with you while I already have a bondmate, so there is no explanation for this other than my human blood. The part of the problem is that my bond with T'Pring has never been particularly strong—our minds are not compatible at all—but it was not a cause for concern, since the Elders believed that, with time, our bond would settle and strengthen. It is possible that if I met you later in my life, the problem would not have arisen."
"So that's why you avoided me," Jim said, thinking back.
Spock kissed his belly-button. "Indeed."
"About the probation thing…What exactly are they going to check after its end?"
"They will check the strength of my bond with T'Pring. In the past two years, I have received special training for increasing my mind stability and strengthening our bond. If it is not effective, nothing will be."
Jim chewed on his bottom lip. "I don't understand. Why does it matter so much? And I don't get why T'Pring complained that you're dangerous to her. What's so dangerous about wanting someone else? Your bond is still there, right?"
Spock seemed to hesitate for a moment. "There are things that Vulcans do not speak to outworlders about," he said finally, sounding very reluctant.
"There seem to be a lot of things Vulcans don't speak about," Jim muttered, snorting.
Spock ignored him. "I can only tell you that if my bond with T'Pring is not strong enough, if she is not the one I desire when it is time for… marriage, it will be dangerous for both of us," he said quietly, nuzzling Jim's bare stomach.
Jim blinked. "Seriously?"
"Affirmative." Spock pressed soft kisses to his belly, effectively distracting Jim from the topic. With a sigh, Jim buried a hand in Spock's hair, not-so subtly pushing him lower.
Spock looked up with a raised eyebrow. "Is this your way of informing me that you wish me to perform fellatio?"
Jim laughed and spread his legs. "Well, I was thinking about rimming, but I wouldn't say no to a blowjob."
He couldn't stop thinking about Spock's words.
It changed things. It changed things a lot. The knowledge that Spock, or some part of him, wanted him as a bondmate was both disturbing and exciting. It didn't freak him out at all, and that was why it was so disturbing. He should have been freaking out, because seriously, he was a seventeen-year-old guy who had never had any serious relationships, much less lifelong ones. But the prospect of having Spock all to himself—forever—didn't seem that bad, really. Quite the opposite.
Fuck, he was thinking with his cock instead of his brain. He was being ridiculous. He was seventeen. He didn't like Spock. He couldn't stand his bossiness, his stupid bowl cut, his— Jim frowned, running out of reasons to hate Spock. Great. Now he couldn't even remember why he hated Spock in the first place. And even the bowl cut wasn't that bad, really. It was kind of cute.
Jim groaned. He was officially screwed.
Two bottles of Aldebaran whiskey later, Jim wasn't freaking out anymore. In fact, he was in an awesome mood. So he wanted Spock. So what? It wasn't a big deal.
Yep, he wasn't exactly adverse to this Vulcan bond thing, too. After all, it was only logical to ensure that Spock was his, so that Jim could hate on him, fuck him, punch him or cuddle with him whenever he wanted—and never let it be said that Jim Kirk wasn't one logical son of a bitch. Sometimes. However, there was a tiny little problem: T'Pring.
Good thing he didn't believe in no-win scenarios.
The next day, after he won his quarter-final game, Jim went to the ShiKahr Public Library. If he wanted Spock for himself, he would have to find a way to break Spock's bond with T'Pring without "bringing shame" to Spock's family or whatever.
As it turned out, it wasn't that easy.
It was surprisingly—or unsurprisingly—hard to find information about Vulcan bonds even in Vulcan library. Six hours later, frustrated as hell and cursing the tight-lipped bastards under his breath, Jim was about to give up and return to the hotel when he finally stumbled across something that caught his eye.
T'hy'la. The text was in High Vulcan, so Jim didn't understand a thing, but if his translator was working correctly, the term basically meant a true mate or something. Apparently, that kind of bond was more powerful than any artificial bonds but was practically non-existent nowadays, and therefore was highly respected on Vulcan.
Jim grinned. That was it. Not that he believed for a moment that they had that rarest bond, but who could prove that he was lying? If they could convince the Council that they were t'hy'la, or whatever, it would explain why Spock wanted to bond with him; no one would think Spock couldn't form a steady bond because of his human blood.
Now he just had to convince Spock to tell that little white lie.
Jim lifted his head from Spock's shoulder. "Why not?"
Spock shook his head slightly. "Jim, I appreciate the effort, but lying about being t'hy'la is unthinkable."
Smiling a little at the use of his name, Jim took Spock's hand and entwined their fingers. He blushed, then scowled. He was turning into such a girl; he would be wearing pink soon at this rate.
Spock looked down at their hands with an unreadable expression.
"Why?" Jim asked. "You told me yourself that Vulcans do lie if there is a good reason. It is a good reason."
"I cannot lie about it. Even if I did, I am certain that no one would believe us, because the odds of a human and a half-Vulcan being t'hy'la are approximately 367 million to 1."
Jim chuckled. "Huh. That good?"
He put his head back on Spock's shoulder, laying their entwined fingers onto Spock's stomach.
"But there is still a small chance that they'd believe us, right?" he said quietly, nuzzling Spock's skin. He idly wondered if he'd become used to Spock's scent, because he didn't smell anything odd. Spock smelled good.
"I must admit I do not possess much information about the t'hy'la bond, since there have not been t'hy'la for centuries, but I am certain that there are ways to verify if the bond exists or not."
Jim sighed. "So you think it won't work."
Spock did not answer for a long time.
"Why do you wish this?" he asked at last. "You would not benefit from my breaking bond with T'Pring—quite the contrary. Even if the Elders believed us, which I doubt, they would expect us to bond properly, because while the t'hy'la bond is natural and strong, we would have to be linked by a common bond as well—like the one between my parents."
Jim chewed on his bottom lip, feeling nervous all of a sudden. "And you mind bonding with me?"
Spock turned his head and looked down at him. His expression was inscrutable. "Do you wish to bond with me?"
Jim smirked and poked his tongue out. "Sorry, but I asked first, sweetheart." He noted with interest that Spock didn't even blink at the endearment.
Suddenly, Spock stiffened and looked at the door.
"Someone is coming this way."
"You said your parents wouldn't return until tomorrow morning!"
"They were not supposed to. Perhaps it is a servant."
Jim cast a look at the door. "Should I hide under the—"
The door burst open. "Honey, are you—" A dark-haired woman stopped in the doorway; Jim jerked the covers up to their necks.
"Mother," Spock said stiffly, and if the green tinge to his skin was any indication, he was embarrassed as hell. "Your luncheon has ended earlier than scheduled."
Amanda's face was bright red. "Um. There was a diplomatic incident, honey. I see you have…a guest."
Jim felt a hysterical laugh bubble up in his throat. The whole situation was ridiculous. He smiled at the woman. "Hi, ma'am. I'm Jim. It's nice to meet you."
Amanda's eyes widened. Spock had her eyes. "Jim? Jim Kirk?"
Jim felt his jaw drop. "You know of me?"
She smiled, looking way too amused. "I've heard a lot about you over the years, young man," she said, glancing pointedly at her son.
"Mother," Spock said quickly, avoiding Jim's eyes. Jim grinned.
She chuckled and looked at Jim with a smile. "I'm Amanda, by the way. All right, I will stop embarrassing my son and will wait in the living room. I expect you there in ten minutes."
After she was gone, Jim looked at Spock. He had a grim expression on his face. Jim nudged him. "Hey, stop sulking. I know it's awkward and all, but it could have been worse—she could've come twenty minutes earlier when you had your cock up my ass. You're eighteen, and your mother is a human. Surely she gets it."
Spock reached out for his clothes. "Yes, my mother is human, but my father is a Vulcan."
Jim frowned. "You think she'll tell him?"
Spock shook his head. "She does not need to tell him. My father will know through their bond. He will be there as well. Put your clothes on, Jim. My father does not like waiting."
Well. This was awkward.
Like a whole new level of awkward.
The tension could have been cut with a knife.
Jim shifted closer to Spock, who was standing stock-still with his hands clasped behind his back and was participating in a staring contest with his father. Amanda stood next to her husband with a defeated look on her face, as if she and her husband had had an argument that she lost.
Finally, Sarek spoke. "Am I correct in understanding that this is the same James Kirk who caused problems to the stability of your bond with T'Pring?"
"You are correct, Father."
"Am I correct in understanding that you were strictly forbidden by the Elders to see Mr. Kirk?"
"Sarek," Amanda tried gently.
"Be silent, Wife," Sarek said, and Amanda rolled her eyes. Well, now Jim knew where Spock got his attitude from. "Do you have a logical explanation for his presence here?"
Spock didn't answer for a few moments.
"I do not," he said finally.
Sarek pursed his lips. "Do you have any explanation for his presence in our house?"
"I do. I wished to have him in my bed."
Jim gaped; Amanda flushed. "Spock!"
Sarek's expression did not change a bit. "I see," he said, sounding as if he really did see. "I suppose you wish to break your bond with T'Pring."
"What I wish is irrelevant," Spock said flatly. "It is neither my intention to defy tradition nor to bring shame upon the House of Surak."
"We're t'hy'la," he blurted out, stumbling a little on the word.
Sarek's gaze snapped to him. "Pardon?"
Ignoring Spock's warning look, Jim nodded to Sarek. "Yes, we are." Sarek looked at his son, as if waiting for him to deny it.
Jim tensed. Come on, Spock. Don't be stupid. It's our only chance.
He barely suppressed a relieved sigh when Spock did not say a word.
Sarek raised an eyebrow. "You should have informed me about this. If he is indeed your t'hy'la, there is nothing shameful in breaking your bond with T'Pring. I shall inform the Elders of this, and if they verify that you are t'hy'la, your bond with T'Pring will be broken."
Jim froze. Shit.
"How would they verify it?" Spock asked tentatively. "Is there a way to do it?"
"Of course," Sarek replied, lifting an eyebrow. "T'Pau is an outstanding mind adept. She knows how to recognize the t'hy'la bond. She would initiate a joint meld with you both to verify that your minds have a natural compatibility, which is very rare and is an undeniable sign of t'hy'la bond. We bond children at such a young age for a reason: to create an artificial compatibility so that they are ready for—"
Sarek glanced at Jim and cut himself off. "As you know, I, too, was bonded at the age of seven, but my bondmate died. When your mother and I were bonded, we were adults, and therefore we encountered many difficulties with our bond. It took us over thirteen years to overcome them and communicate through our link. We did not wish you to have the same difficulties and that was why you were bonded to T'Pring. It seemed only logical at the time. However, in this case, there is no logic in keeping your bond with T'Pring. In ancient times, before the time of Surak, every Vulcan had their t'hy'la and there was no need to create an artificial compatibility. Nowadays, t'hy'la bond is fairly uncommon on Vulcan, and something to be cherished. Therefore, if you have found your t'hy'la and wish to take him as your mate, it is only logical to break the artificial bond."
Fuck. They were so screwed.
Well, Sarek certainly didn't waste any time. They were summoned by the Council within an hour.
Jim looked at Spock, who had not said a word to him during the hovercar ride. Jim could understand why Spock had not spoken to him in Sarek's presence, but now they were alone in the corridor, waiting for an invitation to enter the High Council's Chamber, and Spock was still refusing to look at him. The tension was rolling off him in waves.
Jim sighed and put a hand on Spock's arm. "Look, I'm sorry, okay? I screwed up, but I didn't know that they could—"
Spock whirled around and, grabbing him by his collar, shook him like a ragdoll. "You know nothing," he snarled. "You do not understand the seriousness of the situation. Since you are not my t'hy'la, since you are nothing to me, it will disgrace my father because he was the one who arranged the emergency meeting of the Council. Furthermore, the fact that I disobeyed the Elders' clear instructions to avoid you will prove to them that I am not a true Vulcan, because I cannot control myself, cannot keep myself away from a human male who is nothing to me—not a bondmate and not my t'hy'la."
A muscle in Spock's jaw flexed, his expression darkening and his gaze falling to the floor. His voice dropped almost to a whisper. "T'Pau is not a regular mind adept. She will see everything: every weakness, every illogical, irrational, unbecoming thought I have about you, because when it comes to you, there is nothing civilized, nothing Vulcan about me. When it comes to you, I feel like a barbarian who wants to possess, to take, to protect and to hide you from everyone else. But you are not mine. You are not mine, and you never will be."
Jim stared at him for a moment, feeling like his heart was about to jump out of his chest. Then, he cradled Spock's face between his palms, making him to look at him. "I don't care if you're not a true Vulcan or whatever. You don't owe anything to your clan; if they already think you're not Vulcan enough, fuck them. Let's have them break your bond with T'Pring, Spock. We can go to Earth, rent an apartment; you could—you could enlist in Starfleet or do something else—we could— I dunno, just…" he trailed off, feeling exposed, stupid and foolish.
Spock stared at him, his face strangely open. He swallowed heavily. "Are you serious, Jim?"
Chuckling awkwardly, Jim leaned in and kissed him chastely on the lips. "I've never been more serious." He grinned. "Remember what I said? Hate is the most powerful emotion in the world. I don't give a flying fuck if you are a disgrace to all Vulcans. You are Spock—this is all that matters to me."
Spock inhaled sharply and kissed him, hard and needy, one hand on each side of his face. Jim moaned a little and kissed back eagerly, running his hands over Spock’s shoulders, his back, his ass—every part of his body that he could reach. God, he wanted him so much. He wouldn't let anyone to come between them. Spock was his and vise versa.
"The Elders are waiting," an icy cold voice said from behind him, causing Jim to spin around, but Spock didn't completely let go of him, entwining their middle and index fingers together.
The stony-faced Vulcan looked down at their hands but did not comment. "Follow me," he said emotionlessly.
It felt like every member of the Council, Sarek included, was staring at their joined fingers. Jim got a sneaking suspicion that the gesture meant something.
A stern-looking Vulcan woman—most likely T'Pau—stood up and stepped to them. Her face was remarkably non-expressive even by Vulcan standards. She didn't even incline her head; she just stared at the two of them.
"T'Pau," Spock said, his face completely void of expression.
"Ma'am," Jim said awkwardly.
T'Pau gave him a long, assessing look. “Spock. James Kirk. Kneel before me. I will have thy minds.”
Spock slowly dropped to his knees, and Jim did the same.
Without any preamble, she reached out for their faces simultaneously.
Jim closed his eyes, preparing for the worst.
"…I am proud, Son. This is a great honor to our family. Of course, at first you will have to go through a somewhat unpleasant ceremony of breaking your bond with T'Pring, but since you have a t'hy'la and your bond with T'Pring is weak, it will not be difficult."
The wall felt cool and Jim leaned his cheek against it. He couldn't completely concentrate on Sarek and Spock's conversation. His mind was reeling. He still couldn't believe it. No one had been more shocked than Spock and he when T'Pau declared that they were indeed t'hy'la.
They were t'hy'la.
Spock was his, or would be very soon. Jim was aware that he was grinning stupidly, but he couldn't help himself. It was the best tournament ever. Jim snickered as he tried to imagine the look on his mom's face when she'd find out that her troublemaker son landed himself a bondmate.
Strong arms wrapped around his waist from behind, pulling Jim out of his thoughts.
"You appear pleased." Spock pressed a kiss to his neck.
Smiling a little, Jim leaned back against his chest. "Yep, very. Where's Sarek?"
"He has to participate in another meeting of the Council."
Jim tilted his head to the side, giving Spock a better access to his neck. "Mmm. See? It was a brilliant idea. I'm a genius." He smiled smugly. "You have the most brilliant t'hy'la ever."
Spock sucked on his neck, sliding a hand under Jim's t-shirt. "You did not know we were t'hy'la." He pinched Jim's nipple, making him gasp.
"Still. Say it: Jim, you are the most brilliant t'hy'la ever."
"I will not. There is no sufficient data."
Jim pursed his lips—and it definitely wasn't a pout. "You just don't want to make your t'hy'la happy."
Spock kissed him behind his ear and gently bit his earlobe. "You are mistaken. I wish to make my t'hy'la very happy," he said, moving his hand down to Jim's crotch and unzipping his jeans.
Jim let out a laugh and tried to push Spock's hand away. "Spock, no! Not that I don't want to have sex, but we're in your father's office. He could return any minute!"
"I locked the door, and the average Council meeting lasts 42.6 minutes." Spock trailed hot kisses against the side of Jim's face, pushing down his jeans and underwear. "I wish to have you."
Jim glanced at the closed door. "Come on, Spock, the whole point of that t'hy'la thing is that I'm yours, like, forever, and you can have me any time you want until we're both old and ugly, but now we can't, not here, come on—" He moaned when Spock wrapped a hand around his cock, which was hardening embarrassingly fast.
"You are correct," Spock said, gently but firmly pushing him to the big desk. "You are mine, and I can have you any time I want."
Jim laughed. "Fucking me over your father's desk, huh? I didn't know you had it in you. Kinky—" He gasped when he was unceremoniously bent over the desk. Spock dropped to his knees behind him and, pulling his jeans down to his knees, started pressing open-mouthed kisses against his buttocks.
Jim chuckled, closing his eyes. "You have an obsession with my ass, you know that, right?"
"It is only logical. It is very pleasing."
Spock slowly licked his hole and Jim let out a long moan, shamelessly pushing his ass against Spock's face. Fuck, it felt amazing. He didn't want Spock to stop—
His eyes flew open. "Wait! We have no lube."
"I am aware." Spock pushed his tongue inside, making Jim groan.
"You're crazy if you think I'm letting you fuck me without lube."
Spock paused and lifted his head. "Is that a challenge?"
Jim narrowed his eyes.
He looked over his shoulder and, meeting Spock's dark eyes, grinned.