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All These Flashes of White

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He needs to learn to listen more carefully to his counterpart. That’s truly the only lesson he can garner from this situation.

Selek had said that yes, they survived most strange temporal anomalies that attacked the ship, but one was, again, at a very great cost. It was fitting he supposed, that in this universe he does something foolish when Jim is supposed to because Jim did something foolish when Spock was supposed to.

Spock really needs to listen to his counterpart more. And yet, as he runs into engineering, he can’t find that he regrets it. Selek had said, rather early on in their friendship that if they ever encounter temporal or reality anomalies to just turn tail and run . It wasn’t worth it to be heroes against those.

And yet…

The anomaly had hit the T’Khasi suddenly- Jim wasn’t even on board. Spock had taken a short leave from the Enterprise in the first year of their mission to attend the first voyage of the rebuilt Vulcan fleet’s flagship- named after the traditional name of the homeworld. Selek and his father were both on board too, they were having tea together when the red alert sounded.

Spock had always been lesser in the eyes of his planet. Slipping down to engineering without anyone’s notice had been shockingly easy. What could he say? He was a starfleet officer. He had done the science track, but he knew enough about engineering to help. He was almost done anyway- He would finish here and return to the others. What was Selek so worried about anyway?

Huffing out air through his nose, he focused on the relays. His mind was good at multitasking, able to think about multiple things at once. But being down here alone was giving him an illogical feeling in his gut, making him want to work faster. A warmth pulsed through his mind, and he allowed himself a smile. He wasn’t alone, he never was. Jim was far enough away that he had no clue what Spock was doing or thinking- just that he was alive and well. For some reason, Spock found himself humming as he worked (Probably some song that Jim had stuck in his head- the bond was weird like that). It Illogical yes but the room he was in felt too quiet, too cold- a chill ran down his spine. Frowning now, he made himself stop thinking about Jim and start working faster. He wanted to get out of here quickly.

5 more… 3 more… 2 more… 1 more and do-

Everything happened very suddenly. The whole ship jolted, Spock went flying, his shoulder connecting with a wall painfully. Then there was this terrible screeching sound right next to Spock’s ear- and then he was moving. His whole body was being dragged by some horrible, invisible source- Pressure his analytical mind provided helplessly that is the pressure of being sucked out into space. You will die in 15.8963335 seconds.

And then Spock saw white and nothing mattered because he

 



Jim hummed an old terran song as he walked onto the bridge. It was beta shift, and he felt good. He’d just had lunch with Bones and he’d slept okay-ish last night. Only okay-ish because he could never sleep as good as he did when he had his t’hy’la with him. 

Jim grinned widely at that, because that was what Spock- that pointy eared bastard who’d stood up in front of the academic jury and said that he cheated- had become. Somewhere along the way to having a “friendship that would define them both” Spock had gone and stolen his weak human heart.

A universal constant, Selek had called them one night, when he was recounting a tale of a strange mirror universe where Spock had a goatee, and everyone had glitter and the girls wore revealing clothes and the captain had been a cruel and vile human being, but he’d had one single person he trusted and allowed himself to care for and that person was his first officer. 

He must have been grinning like a maniac, because Uhura took one look at him and snorted “Permission to speak freely captain?”

“Granted.”

“What’s he saying? You look like a lovestruck idiot.”

“I am a lovestruck idiot, who are we kidding. And he’s too far away to be saying anything.” Jim said, chuckling. She smiled, shaking her head a little “Only another week before he comes back?”

“Yep!” Jim said, smiling a bit at her. She nodded, humming “I get the feeling he’s missed you as much as you’ve missed him.”

“Probably more, I am pretty damn great.” Jim boasted without missing a beat. She rolled her eyes and turned back to her station. Jim chuckled and sat in his chair, winking at Sulu and Chekov, who were both smiling at him.

“Heading Mr. Su-”

And then, white exploded in front of Jim’s eyes.

Panic flooded through his chest, because he had just been shot in the head. He was sure of it. The burn of the phaser was radiating throughout his skull, reverberating in his ears and without warning his lunch came up and forced itself out of his mouth. Someone was screaming. No wonder, the captain had just been shot in the head.

Shit, sorry Spock- Spock- Spock?

And then he realized that Spock was gone. The bond had been ripped out. That was the source of the pain. He was on the ground, and there was a puddle of vomit in front of him. He was still alive, still on the bridge- Someone was still screaming- was that him? It must be because that’s the sound he makes when he screams. He sees people running around, but their blurry. Tears. There are white hot tears crawling down his face and blurring his vision.

No wonder. Spock is gone.

He has no clue what’s happened, but he knows. Spock is dead. Jim’s just delayed in following, he will soon. There is no way he’s supposed to actually survive this agony. He curls into himself, wanting there to be a strong, too hot body laying next to him and holding him close. Jim cries harder, screams louder. He’s saying words he realizes. He’s begging, pleading.

Kill me already! I’m dying anyone will one of you just fucking shoot me so I can get back to him?! Help me die just help me die! I can’t take this help me! Spock Spock please help me SPOCK let me die so I can-

There’s a hiss, and the noises and agony fade to blissful black. The last thing he hears is voices.

“-the hell happened?!”

“He just kollapsed, screaming about zhe kommander!”

“Oh god, I just got the message, something’s happened to the T’Khasi .”

“Casualties?”

“Only one.”

 


 

Selek knew the moment that his younger counterpart went down to engineering. He’d tried to go after him- to spare Jim’s counterpart this loss. He’d been stopped by several people. The ship jolted once more, before the signals started going back to normal. 

“Something has repaired the connectors.” The vulcan at the engineering station said. The Captain looked over “Who-” They all felt it at the same time. Much like the Intrepid all those years ago with that damned space amoeba, every vulcan in close proximity could hear the death scream of one of their own as he was sucked out into space. “Hull breach in engineering deck 15 sir.” The engineering officer said next, her voice noticeably more subdued than it was with her first report. She was young, but Selek knew she didn’t really care as much as it may seem.

Selek turned to the communications officer “Please send a message to the U.S.S Enterprise , of Starfleet, her designation is NCC-1701. The death just now was Commander Spock.” The captain turned, arching a brow at him “How do you know this Elder Selek?” He asked. Selek bowed his head “I shared a close relationship with the commander. I am, in a way, his family. And as such, I shared a faint link with him. You may do role if you do not believe me. Or you could consult Ambassador Sarek- I am sure he knows that his son has passed. I will go to the ambassador now.”

He turned, walking off the bridge. He could hear the communications officer typing out the message.

Once he was alone in the turbolift, he closed his eyes and allowed himself a moment of weakness. He was old, even for a vulcan. Genesis had likely extended his life beyond even his already long normal lifespan. He had already outlived everyone he cared about when he had come to this universe, and the act of actually coming here and then suffering vulcan’s destruction had left his mind raw and aching. Thus, he hadn’t been lying when he said he shared a light familial bond with Spock. He had melded with his counterpart a few times, and with Sarek only once. But with any mind so like his own, once was enough. His mind had recognized his fathers, and thus he shared a link with Sarek too.

When he had melded with this universe's Jim on delta vega, he’d had to fight the urge to let a link form between his mind and the mind he had known so very intimately in another universe. He’d had no such control with Sarek and his own counterpart. Following that tenuous, trembling link, he let his feet lead him to sickbay. A few young people clothed in red engineering robes were there, nursing injuries.

Sarek was sitting on a chair against the far wall, head bowed and hands in his lap. He looked like he was trying to meditate, but Selek could tell he was not. Sinking into the chair next to him, Selek said nothing. Sarek eventually lifted his head and looked at him with a look as cold as the arctic. “Did you know?” He asked, his tone sharp and accusatory. “Did you know this would happen?” Selek shook his head. “In my universe, va’pak never happened. And thus, I never went on this voyage. I had no way of foreseeing this.”

“You are not lying?” Sarek asked “You did not know that this- that Spock- that my son- ” Sarek’s eyes fell closed, and he bowed his head again. Selek said nothing, letting him gather himself. “I… apologize.” Sarek said, eyes still closed “you told me once that you died for a time in your other world, I thought that perhaps this was that instance.”

“There is no need to apologize when no offense has been taken.” Selek said calmly “You are grieving for your son- one of the last surviving members of you clan…” He watched a light shudder run through Sarek, and he knew he had to say what was coming next “... and the last surviving link you have to Amanda.” Sarek opened his eyes again, and this time there were almost tears in them. Something Selek had noticed about this universe was that many people seemed to have switched eye colors. In his world, he’d had his father’s brown eyes and his mother’s had been a lovely blue grey. In this one, Spock had Amanda’s eyes, a light chocolate brown. Sarek’s eyes were much darker, almost black. In his universe, McCoy’s eyes had been bright blue, and Jim’s had been precious hazel, golden like everything else about him. In this world, McCoy had infuriatingly hazel brown eyes, and Jim’s were a sharp icy blue.

“I grieve with thee.” Selek said softly.

Sarek closed his eyes once more, leaning back in his chair and allowing his head to rest against the wall. Selek didn’t have the heart to mention the possibility of Spock still being alive to Sarek. No, that message was for Jim. The nexus had taken Spock in the same way it had taken Selek’s heart and soul on the Enterprise-B. But this time, Jim wouldn’t have to wait for Captain Picard to save his t’hy’la

Jim would do it himself. Selek would make sure this did not end in the same way it ended in his world.

 


 

Jim had never been quite so grateful to khan before. Sure he was happy when he found out that the bastard’s blood had saved his life, but up until now he’d never been really grateful to him. 

If Khan hadn’t inadvertently saved him, Spock would have had to go through this hell.

Their link had been a lot thinner back then, but it would have still hurt. He would have still had to deal with all the condolences, the pitying looks, the feeling of turning and expecting someone to be there but there wasn’t. It had been 2 weeks, and they’d finally made it to New Vulcan.

Jim had been trying so hard to keep a stiff upper lip, but it was so… so hard. Every pitying look, every sad glance, everyone who stopped him just to offer a condolence… it broke his heart all over again, making him feel like he was going to be sick. Waking up in the hardest part. Opening his eyes in sickbay that god awful day, blinking and instinctively reaching and finding… nothing. No Spock, no warmth, no tender love he had grown so used to. He was just… not there. That had made him throw up all over again. And then he’d had a panic attack- a bad one. He laid there, screaming, sobbing. He hadn't been able to breathe, hadn't been able to think or say much beyond why didn't I die with him? We’re supposed to stay together. Why didn't I die with him why did they keep me here! It isn't worth it without-

And that just got him locked in sickbay until Bones was sure he wasn't gonna do anything stupid. He’d contemplated it, he wouldn't lie. Life without Spock… he didn't want to imagine.

Hell, forget imagining. He was living it now.

He beamed down to New Vulcan, Selek was waiting by the transporter with sad eyes. Sarek was next to him, and they both were wearing black robes. Jim was wearing black robes too, they were a gift from Spock. He walked right over to Sarek, held up a ta’al, and said with a practiced stiffness “I grieve with thee.” Sarek didn't raise a brow, didn’t blink. He merely raised his hand and repeated the phrase. The thing was, they were both speaking Vulcan. And Jim used tushah nash-veh k’odu - used in reference to one person of a high or superior rank or age. Sarek used S’ti th’laktra, which is only used for family.

Jim’s throat tightens. He referred to Sarek as an ambassador or a superior. Sarek referred to him like a son.

He will not cry .

“James.” Sarek greeted. “Sarek.” Jim responded, swallowing the lump in his throat. “I-” he faltered, and Selek smiled with his eyes at the two of them. “In my world,” he said softly “my father did not like my Jim.” Jim blushed more, and Sarek hummed. Selek turned to Jim fully, holding up his own ta’al. “I grieve with thee.” Selek said, and Jim repeated the phrase back to him. Selek nodded, lowered his hand, and held out an arm, clearly offering. Jim couldn’t resist. He stepped forward and embraced the old man. Selek rested his head on Jim’s shoulder. “I must speak to you in private later.” He whispered. Jim nodded against him. Selek sighed softly, giving him a little squeeze “I am sorry. I do wish I could have spared you this loss Jim.” They stepped apart, and Jim faced Sarek again. “I have crew who wish to attend the funeral- to honor Spock. We’ve held our own memorial service but a few whom he was rather close to-”

“They are more than welcome.” Sarek said “I am well aware that your crew was, at times, more like family to my son than his actual family.” He bowed his head slightly “something I rather regret.” Jim nodded, pulling out his communicator and telling Scotty he could start beaming people down. Sulu, Chekov, Bones and Nyota came first. The first three were in dress uniform, with a black ribbon pinned to their fronts in honor of the funeral. Nyota wore robes similar to Jim’s, only meant for females. She greeted both the elders in perfect Vulcan, making them aware she grieved with them as well. Scotty and a few of the science heads beamed down next- Scotty in his kilt and the other officers in dress uniform.

Jim sat in between Selek and Sarek at the funeral. T’Pau gave the service. He knew there was no body- no ashes to be returned to the sands and no Katra to be returned to the new kataric arc. Jim had been looking out his window at the stars a lot the past several days, trying to find the wonder he always had in them. Every time he tried he felt… fear. Suddenly, he saw what Bones saw when he looked out the windows of the ship- soul-sucking airless black that could crush his ship like a tin can if even the slightest thing went wrong. A cold unfeeling vacuum where you could die in an instant.

Just like Spock had.

Jim had to resign. He couldn’t keep doing this job if every time he looked out a window he had a panic attack. He would close his eyes and dream of Spock- picture his face when he realized there was no oxygen, when he realized he was going to die- and he would wake up and  realize that somewhere in that blackness that he used to think of as a beautiful, as home - somewhere there was his husband. The love of his life. Probably floating around as stardust now. 

It hit him in that moment, at the funeral, as T’Pau gave her speech, that he would actually never see Spock again. No more chess matches, no more late nights just spent talking about anything, no more mind melds that made Jim feel more whole than anything he had ever experienced, no more soft kisses, no more of Spock’s little half smiles. No more of any of Spock’s little quirks- not seeing his eyes light up when he had an epiphany in his lab, or hearing him quote classic literature, or argue with bones. God he’d never even get to look at him properly again. He would never get to admire the broad shoulders or pale skin or fluttering muscles or strong jaw ever again. God that was… 

That was...

Jim sits up straighter, clenching his jaw and squaring his shoulders. He will not cry. Not here. Not in this place. His husband’s last image to his people would not be that he was married to an overly emotional human. At the memorial on the ship, he had cried. Cried like a child. No one had said a word, something he was grateful for. 

He felt a warm hand slide against his thigh, and he peeked over, to see Selek. The old man squeezed his knee, eyes soft. But not pitying. He wasn’t pitying. Thank god for that. Jim turned back to the funeral, swallowing the lump in his throat and keeping his eyes hard.

T’Pau kept talking.

Hours later, most of the crew had beamed back aboard, and Jim sat on Selek’s porch. In mind melds, he had seen Vulcan. He had seen the moonless night sky and the endless stars that had drawn a young Spock into their deadly embrace. New Vulcan had a moon so close it took up almost the whole sky when it was full. It cast the whole desert in a purple glow. Spock would have hated it.

There was a soft creak, and Jim looked up to see Selek standing over him. “I have found over the years that company has its therapeutic benefits.” He said simply, holding two mugs. Jim scooted to the left, and Selek sank down next to him. He handed one of them to him, and Jim saw and smelled that it was a glass of rum. He looked over “trying to get me drunk old man?”

“No more than I am attempting to make myself inhibited.” Sleek said, holding up his mug of what was presumably hot chocolate. Jim sighed weakly and looked up at the sky again. “... I am truly sorry.” Selek said. “I should have known that he would have attempted to save the ship.”

“You couldn't have stopped him. Nothing could have.” Jim muttered. He fell silent and then “does it ever get better? Do you ever… do you ever stop looking at the stars and seeing them not as home but-” Jim faltered. “But as the thing that took your other half?” Sleek finished. Jim looked at him, only to see that Selek was staring at the sky to “I do not know. The day has not come when I have not thought about James.”

Jim swallowed another sob, and Selek looked at him. “Jim.” the old vulcan said quietly “I have shared a mind with you and with another version of you. I have really truly seen you at your worst.” He grabbed Jim’s knee, squeezing it a little “you do not need to hide yourself from me my dear.” Jim couldn't take it anymore. He put down his cup and practically collapsed into Selek’s arms. Selek held him close, rubbing a hand up and down his back. “I can't- god Selek how do you do it ? How do you do it every day? How do you get up each morning and know that- that- know that he’s just… gone .” Jim croaked on the words, pressing his face to Selek’s shoulder and letting himself sob.

“You simply do.” Selek whispered “you open your eyes in the morning, acknowledge your grief, and then you allow yourself to remember him. Remember his smile, his touch, his laugh-” Selek closed his eyes for a moment, and then shuddered “and then you get out of bed, and you do what he would want you to do. You live, Jim.” Selek said softly. And then he pulled away, cupping Jim’s face. 

“But Jim- I believe you will not have to.” Jim felt his heart stutter, confused but feeling for some reason hopeful. “What do you mean?”

“Decades ago, in my universe the Enterprise-B went on her maiden voyage, just as the T’Khasi did.” Selek closed his eyes “and just as your husband did, my husband attended the voyage.”

Selek opened his eyes and looked back up to the stars. “The temporal anomaly that took my k’hat’n’dlawa was later named the nexus. After he was presumed dead for 80 years, a man named Captain Picard found the nexus. And he found my sweet Jim.”

Jim’s eyes went wide, and he swallowed thickly. “So you got him back?”

Selek bowed his head sadly “no.” He whispered “My t’hy’la could never stop adventuring, no matter the circumstance. When Picard pulled him out of the nexus, it was to defeat a man who wanted to do something bad-” Selek squeezed his eyes shut and then opened them again, looking up like he was glaring at the sky. “And isn't there always? Jim had to help- he always had to help. And of course, because the universe was likely punishing me for existing once more, he got himself killed-” his voice cracked, and Jim’s heart clenched.

He rested a hand on the grieving man- he was still grieving, even after all this time- on his shoulder. “You don’t need to talk about it.” He said softly. “And I doubt the universe was punishing you. If that other me is anything like me they way you say he is, then your right. He has to help. I know I can't just sit idly by and watch people get hurt. Not when there's something I can do.” He closed his eyes “and you and my sweetheart are clearly the same way. Look at me now, living without him-”

“That is the point.” Selek said, looking back at Jim. “I know how to find the nexus.”

Jim’s throat clenched, and everything froze in that instant.

“... what are you saying?” He croaked. 

“I do not know for certain it was nexus. Nor do I know that my formula and plan will work in this universe. I do not know that the same thing that happened to my husband happened to yours.” Selek said, swallowing thickly. “But it is a chance, should you wish to take it. It could be bad. We could die. Your crew will likely attempt to help you, and Starfleet may not be on your side.”

“... if you had another chance, if you had any chance” Jim looked at Selek helplessly “if you had a chance to save him, would you take it?”

“In an instant.” Selek said without missing a beat.

Jim turned back to the moon and the sky.

“I think you know my answer.”

He stared up at the stars, closing his eyes for a moment and wondering, reaching once more for something that wasn't there and may never be there again.

 


 

The sunrise on Vulcan ( Vulcan was destroyed there is no) was bright, and Spock always woke up with it. He always had, his whole life. ( Until he went to eart)  

This particular morning, he yawns and climbs out of bed, stretching until his back cracks and going down the stairs without dressing. He feels oddly human ( he should not he is vu) this morning, and there is no weight on his shoulders. No expectations. Why should there be? ( Because he is different because he always had been beca)

I-Chaya ( she died in the desert when you were young she is dea) runs over to him at the bottom of the stairs. Even now that Spock is full grown, I-Chaya’s head still comes up to his mid chest. She rubbed her nose into his stomach, making him fall over. Spock lands on his butt just so the sehlat can lick his face wildly. Spock fought a laugh, and then laughed anyway. ( Vulcans do not laugh they do not)

I-Chaya waved her head around and gave a booming, growling bark. Spock stood and brushed off the black sweatpants he was wearing. He padded to the back door and opened it, letting her run out into the desert so she could use the bathroom. He stretched his arms up above his head. He was wearing green robes, and as he glanced around he saw a molecular model on the living room table- a chemistry award given to him by the VSA ( but he hadn't gone to the VSA he'd gone to starfl)

“Spock?” Called a soft, happy, voice . “Spock don't forget to clean up after her!”

“Mother I am an adult now!” Spock called back to Amanda (she died she died she died she is dead dammit she is d) “I do not need a reminder!” A laugh like bells sounds through the house (the enterpr) “oh you know I don’t care- but your father will be home tomorrow (His father is on new Vulc) from Andoria!”

Spock picks up after I-Chaya, and then goes into the kitchen. His mother places a bowl of creamy soup in front of him. It's a favorite that she ( ji) makes ( replicates) for him every morning. Spock hummed and ate his soup. With his father gone, he felt more free to embrace his human side. ( He should not )

Why shouldn’t he?

( So many reasons so many reasons why you should be stronger for his sake so many re)

 


 

 

He can't believe this shit. He really can't. Who is this kid and what is he doing here? Why does he look just like the man he fights to hold on to the memory of? He decides he’s going to go to the house. He decides he’s going to tell this kid. This Spock who clearly isn’t Spock. Maybe, with this kid’s help, he can finally get out of this hell. 

Some days, he wakes up and thinks about melting back into the illusion. Letting himself forget what the man had told him, letting himself forget the memories he had found again that day, letting himself think he was in love with someone he could touch and be with, even if that person was an illusion.

He doesn't even know why he fights some days. He's probably gone. And then he thinks about it. He thinks about Spock. Why Captain, you almost make me believe in luck- loyalty to one man- Let me help- I have, and always shall be, yours- your name is Jim- not in front of the Klingons-

He knocks on the door, and Spock-who's-not-Spock answers.

“Hi, my name is James T. Kirk. I’m here to break your goddamn heart.”

 


 

Selek loves any opportunity to be on any variation of the Enterprise , but half the time he finds himself wishing it was under better circumstances than whatever reason he was aboard for. 

This was one of those times. He would have much preferred to be aboard for any reason other than to help the Captain search for even an inkling of hope that his first officer might be trapped in a temporal anomaly that had indirectly killed Selek’s husband.

But, as he sits in his guest quarters, he can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia.

These are the same quarters they hosted kollos in, he realizes. All those years ago. If he closes his eyes, he can remember with abrupt clarity those moments of frightened insanity- not recognizing his home, his family, not recognizing Jim- and he can remember hearing Jim at his sedated bedside with Miranda Jones. He remembers thinking is Jim insane too? He never speaks like that to anyone, much less if that person is a lovely woman. This is an outlier in his normal behavior patterns- he did not do something as idiotic as look at kollos right?

He wouldn’t find out until later that Jim was merely scared for Spock, and then his behavior makes sense because Jim is quite irrational when he’s worried about someone he cares about. Spock in particular- for further evidence, see Genesis. Or Gracie the whale. Or T’Pau. Or Doctor McCoy, he would have some choice words about Jim being irrational over Spock. The same goes for Mr. Scott. And Sargon. And those sentient plant beings and the giant scientist that one time.

… he truly has had some strange experiences. The thought makes him smile. 

When he is on the Enterprise - in any capacity for any reason, he can almost feel Jim sitting on the bed next to him- hair golden and skin bronzed, smiling that gorgeous smile that made his eyes glitter, or laughing with Doctor McCoy, or kicking Spock’s ass at chess (age has made him come to realize the benefits of Jim’s wild chess strategy). Yes, if he closes his eyes, he can picture this is his home, and that Jim is next to him like he was supposed to be.

‘Your thinking quite loudly Mr. Spock. Something troubling you? A game of chess and conversation then! My quarters, 2100 hours- I’ll have tea waiting.’

‘Oh t’hy’la, you’ve returned from Gol to me-’

Spock stamps down that second memory before he could let it begin. Thinking of reunions is too painful when he knew he would not get another in this lifetime.

And yet… a memory flashes through his head once more, unbidden. Meditating on the Enterprise-A. He can remember the exact moment when he regains all his memories of his life before khan- before that it was only bits and pieces. But in that moment, on the Enterprise-A, he remembers everything.

And he remembers rising from his meditation and marching himself to Jim’s quarters and entering without asking and demanding why Jim had failed to mention that they’d been married and somehow he had ended up pacing in front of him and rambling- he was upset at Jim for not telling him and himself for not remembering and putting Jim through everything. 

And then Jim had risen shakily from the chair behind his desk, and his knees had given out in the middle of the room. Spock had rushed to him, only to find him sobbing.

You’re back. You're finally back- you’re so beautiful- and you’re so- I could kill you for putting me through that you dick- yes I'm mad Spock you got yourself killed- I know it was logical- no no wait don't guilt trip yourself I love you- yes I love you you foolish Vulcan that was never in question- yes- yes- oh god yes- if you don't fix the bond in the next three seconds I'm kicking you out- mm…- … mm….- okay now we can- no I'm fine now I haven't had sex in three months take the shirt off Spock you goddamn-

The conversation would almost be hilarious if it did not make Selek wish to cry so much.

Taking a deep breath, Selek rises from the bed he was sitting on. Perhaps this Jim can play chess with him.

He tries, as he always does, to ignore the ghost he leaves behind.

 


 

Spock’s head ached like someone drove a stake through it the second he opened the door. And at the name James Kirk, his knees buckle under him.

Everything becomes a blur for a few seconds- and for a few seconds he can feel clarity- dead mother dead sehlat but Jim Jim Jim Enterprise and Jim Jim-

But then, he doesn't know what those things mean.

He thinks.

The man in the doorway raises a brow in a familiar manner. “I guess that half Vulcan psyche makes the nexus’ grip weaker on you. It took some convincing to get me to this point-”

“Who are you?” Spock asks “and why are you on my porch?”

“This isn't your porch kid.” The man says, offering a hand 

His hand trembles as he reaches up to take the offered help. The moment skin comes in contact with skin, Spock’s world tilts on its axis again from the love that gets transferred in that touch. The man backpedals a few steps “... whoa. I haven't felt that in a few decades.” He looks at his hand in wonder, and then grins. “Feels good to actually feel something, huh?” Already, Spock can feel the incident fading from his memory, and the man sighs. “You need to come with me.” He says wearily, offering his hand again. “I can shield this time. Come on.”

Spock shakes his head. Why does he have to go with him? He is home, and he has nowhere to be today. As if on cue, I-Chaya pads out onto the porch. She starts growling at the man, but he doesn't seem even the slightest bit phased.

“Spock, I-Chaya is dead, remember? The le-mataya attack during your khas-wan? Selek saved you?”

Spock gasped when he said Selek, because his mind flooded with images not of his cousin but of an old man, with grey hair and sad eyes who knew more about Spock’s life than Spock may ever know and had a broken bond to a man named- He shuddered, clutching his head. “You are Selek’s bondmate.”

The hazel eyes took on a sad gleam “yeah. In a way I guess I am.”

“He misses you dearly.” Spock muttered, rising on shaky legs. The man’s eyes widen, but before he can speak he hears soft footsteps behind him. “Spock?” His mother asks softly “Who’s this?” Spock looks at her and feels dizzy, because this is real- no it isn't- and suddenly he has two sets of memories and his chest feels so tight he can barely breathe

“She's not real.” The man says “she’s not real. She’s a fake.” Spock feels like throwing up, and Amanda steps back. “I don’t know who you are but please leave my house!” She says, sounding upset. “Spock, come on, lets go inside.”

“Spock.” The man says softly “think about it. My name is Jim Kirk. Im sure you know a Jim Kirk in the real world. Would he ever do you harm?” Spock shuddered, eyes sliding closed. Behind his eyelids, he saw blue eyes with a wild gleam and a man with a beautiful golden smile and sharp edges who hated to let people in but somehow Spock had gotten into that shell and loved him- He gasped, falling forward and getting caught against the man.

“You wanna get back to him? You wanna see him again and get away from the illusion? You need to come with me. Now .”

“Spock-” his mother says.

“I am sorry.” Spock manages “I love you mother.”

“Clearly not-!” She insists, but Spock shakes his head and looks up at the man “get me away, Jim.”

“Gladly.” The man- James?- grabbed him by the arm and dragged him away.

The world was a blur as they ran, but Spock had enough wherewithal to notice that the red desert had somehow become thick, dense woods. They stopped outside a large cabin in a clearing.  The man slapped his hands on his thighs, bending forward a little, panting. “Geez, I feel old.” He muttered. Spock groaned and let his knees buckle again. He feels scraped raw, tired. His head is aching. The man looks over “hey- it's okay.”

“Who… who are…” words don't seem to work right now. And it's no wonder, Spock honest to god just wants to collapse. “Don't worry about it.” Said the man “just go to sleep. I can answer all your questions when you're stronger.

“Who are you?” Spock pressed, head spinning.

“... someone who is, and always shall be yours.” The man said softly.

Spock felt his eyes close as a warm hand settled on the back of his head.

“Don't worry darling… it's all gonna be okay.”

 


 

Bones doesn't like that Selek is there. When Jim brings him back on board, he throws a fit for about the next two hours. 

“- Bones for the 16th time, I heard you. ” Jim groans, head in his hands.  “And for the 17th time, Captain. I. Don't. Like. This. You just bring the ambassador from his home? For no legitimate reason?”

“He's an ambassador, and the Enterprise was his home for a long time. I believe he has the right to visit.”

“It doesn't look like a visit.” He growled “it doesn't seem like a visit Jim. Come off it! what are you trying to do?!”

Jim groaned, not answering.

“Dammit man, give me something! I'm your best goddamn friend, and I've been giving you your space but your husband died two weeks ago!” The blonde’s head snapped up, eyes widening “Bones, please don't-”

“Gee how convenient that there just so happens to be another Spock! I mean, what are you trying to do- replace him-?!”

And suddenly, Jim was on his feet, around the desk, and the doctor was on the ground with blood spurting from his nose. Jim’s fist was shaking, still raised. His jaw was clenched tight. “Don't you dare-” he said, feeling like his throat was closing up “don't you fucking dare imply-" 

“Jim…” the doctor sat up, reaching up to wipe his nose. “Jim, shit, I'm sor-”

“I think you should leave, Doctor.” Jim half growled, his whole body trembling.

“Jim, come on-”

Please.” Jim bowed his head, whispering “just… please. We can talk later… right?” He whispered.

“I- yeah.” He stood “yeah. Yeah. I'm here whenever you need me kid.” He went around the desk to leave “... I am sorry, Jim. I crossed the line.”

“I know.” Jim whispered “now please let me be?”

He left, and Jim Kirk sank to his knees.

His head was pounding again, and he closed his eyes. The bright lights were hurting him. “Computer, lights at 20%.” He muttered, feeling his migraine get worse by the second. Usually, whenever he’d get one of these Spock would know through the bond. He’d give him a kiss and help him to bed and hold him until he felt better.

Now there was no Spock. He wanted to scream.

He knew that McCoy had been angry, and that he hadn't meant what he said… But implying that anything could replace Spock. Could replace the bond they shared, could replace the feeling of having someone in his head, could replace the soft touches and the half smiles that only Jim saw and the ashayam , ashaya, t’hy’la, my love my love my love -

Jim bit into his hand so sharply he drew blood. How long was he supposed to cry about this? How many tears could he possibly shed? Dragging himself to his feet, he stumbled to the bed, head pounding with every movement. He finally collapsed on the bed, hand reaching over to fumble for the migraine hypos that were standard in every starship cabin.

The pillows still smelled faintly of Spock, if he inhaled deep enough. It was both comforting and horrible- comforting because it felt like he was still there in some capacity- horrible because that smell would fade if Selek’s plan didn't work.

Jim pressed the hypo into his neck, wincing and burying his head in the pillows. “God please…” he whispered “c’mon Spock please. I need you back now.” Then he snorted “I needed you not to get yourself killed in the first place.” He squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again “... and now I'm talking to no one. See what you do to me?

He pressed his face into his pillow again, picturing Spock’s face.

Do not fear, ashaya, the migraine will pass

“Don't care about the migraine.” He mumbled “want you back.”

I am always with you.

Instinctively, he reached out across the bond again, and then shuddered when he felt the tattered edges of nothingness. He groaned, feeling the nausea come back.

Parted and never parted, huh? Goddamn liar…

 


 

Being in his lab again was the most surreal thing. It was identical to his lab, his safe haven aboard the Enterprise. When he and Jim had started their relationship, there was an unspoken rule that except for actual ship business he let Spock be in his lab alone unless invited. 

Selek closed his eyes, he could see himself- mid thirties with gangly limbs and black hair, wearing his blue science shirt over black thermals and bent over his equipment.

Permission to enter, professor Spock?

I am not a professor

You're smarter than some of the ones I had

What do you need, Jim?

You, as always.

He shuddered and opened his eyes, and he was old and grey and draped in thick black robes once more.

His hands did not shake as he began working, and he was proud of that one small victory.

 

 


 

The kid was cute, James would admit that. He was really cute- young. Not a line on his face when he rested. His hair was the same oil black he remembered his Spock’s being. 

Was this his Spock? Had some temporal anomaly brought him here? Was it a Spock from another universe? James had no clue. He hoped the kid knew, because if it wasn't his Spock, he could not let himself get attatched. Hell- even if it was his Spock he couldn't. Because if this Spock was here, James was about 95% sure there was another Jim Kirk out there, ready to tear the universe apart for his Spock back. My kingdom for my love.

He thought back to that strange universe with the sparkly clothes and that bearded Spock and all the blood… he wondered sometimes if that Spock had listened. James was pretty sure he hadn't, and he knew why too. Even while he had been desperately trying to convince that man who was so like the man he loved even then, he had seen it in his eyes

Betraying the empire meant betraying the volatile captain Jim Kirk of that universe, and that was unacceptable.

James sighed, allowing a fingertip to run lightly across a pointed ear tip. While he couldn't get attached, he could at least take a moment to appreciate this young man. This wasn't his bondmate though. James knew that much. He had Spock’s head cradled in his lap, and he was sitting on the bed. The image of Antonia- the name made him shudder with disgust now that he remembered Spock- had stopped appearing to him ever since Picard had came- and who knew how long ago that was- because now he knew she was an illusion.

He spent his time learning to manipulate and sense things in the nexus, woke up every morning fighting tooth and nail to keep it out of his mind. At night, he lets himself sink into dreams of Spock because those dreams and memories are all he has now- the nexus can’t replicate real people. He can't make himself a Spock, and even if he could it would be a cold thing that he wouldn’t share a link with and that would just make him sick.

With a sigh he runs a finger over this Spock’s- the real one who somehow got himself stuck here- ear again.

He thinks back to that conversation earlier, “you are selek’s bondmate.” “In a way.” “He misses you.”

And what the hell did that mean?

 


 

Jim is almost certain this is gonna mean he loses his ship, but Selek had spent last night telling him the story of how his Jim Kirk had literally risked everything and lost so much- not even because he knew that Spock would be returned to him, but because he was told that Spock’s culture had traditions for death that Jim had not followed and the admiral had decided that was unacceptable. 

The story had made Jim furious in a way, because dammit if that other Jim could do it then so could he. Because that other Jim had everything, and because he made Selek so damn sad .

And he would never be outdone by his counterpart. So he had to tell the crew.

He gathered Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, the new head science officer, Scotty, and the head security chief in a conference room, and then he got up on his soap box.

“I know that we’ve all had a rough few weeks, and I know that I haven't been much of a captain.” He begins without preamble “and that's because I’ve been working on something important. I like to think of you all as my friends,” he locks eyes with a few of them- Bones has a swollen nose from Jim’s punch yesterday. “So please, just hear us out.”

And they present their information. Selek explains what the Nexus is and how it works, he explains that it attacked the T’Khasi . Then he talks about Captain Picard, how he found Jim Kirk in his universe and got him out of the Nexus.

“This is, of course, not a guarantee.” Jim says after Selek finishes “and, I know, this probably isn't a healthy endeavor. It’s okay if some of you think I'm insane with grief or too emotionally compromised to run this ship- if you want to report me you can.” He smiled weakly “Even if I get discharged, I’m still going. On my own if I have to. I know this is a lot to ask, and I will not ask you to risk your careers.” He raises his head “but I believe that Spock is a stubborn ass, and he would never die without a fight. And even if the word is no, I am going anyway.” He says, making Selek tip his head when he quoted his counterpart.

The crew is silent, and Jim bows his head. And then, Nyota stands “Kirk.” She says flatly “how the hell did you not tell me this right away you ass.”

That… is not the expected reaction.

“We could have helped you figure this out a lot sooner, captain!” Chirps the new science officer- her name is DiLisan, and she's a cheery, friendly woman. Very bright. Jim likes her, but he misses his old science officer (although he is biased)

Sulu and Chekov glance at one another, then nod. “I’m in sir.” “Me too keptain!”

“I'm sorry I accused you, since this is a legit reason and shit.” Bones huffed “you could have just explained.”

“Give me a bit sir- I can find that hole in the universe and stick my thumb in it!” Scotty proclaimed.

Jim stares at them, then looks at Selek. The old Vulcan has a smile in his eyes, nodding once. Jim grins “I always knew I had the best crew in the fleet. You’re all getting bonuses, seriously, even if their out of my pocket. Let's go drag Spock back to the world of the living.”

 


 

 

“So… that's where we are.” James finishes, and Spock is probably gaping at him. 

What the hell did he get himself into? “The captain is going to punch me in the face.” He said “and then Nyota is going to kill me.” James blinks, then snorts. “You’re adorable, kid.” He sits back- they're sitting on opposite sides of a fire pit outside the house. Spock stared at him ludicrously “so you have been in here since this incident on Veridian III?” James nods, humming a bit “so where are you from?”

“A universe alternate to yours.” Spock says without a hint of hesitation, and James looks at him strangely “how did you know-”

“You are bonded to another me- correct? He is taller than I am. More wrinkles. His name is also Spock. He has no facial hair, brown eyes- the last time you saw him he had black hair?”

James is gaping at him, only managing a silent nod.

“He created my universe on accident, in an effort to save the Romulus of your world. He has been without you for almost a century now…” he looked at James “he misses you, dearly. He carries the pendant of you around his neck, never removing it. James’ eyes have gone glassy, and he blinks and a tear escapes “... he’s still waiting?” Spock arches a brow “he calls you his t’hy’la , the fact that you think he could move on indicates that you do not feel the same way and therefore are not worthy of his affection.”

“He’s still alive, and still waiting…” James repeats as if Spock hadn't spoken, voice taking on a wonder filled tone.

Spock stares at him, at the glow that is in his eyes. So similar to his love

James snaps back to attention, staring at Spock.

“Tell me everything .”

Spock opens his mouth and tells his story

 


 

His sweet, damnably wonderful, angel of a husband. 

Almost a century and he’s still waiting for him. God, Jim’s missed so much. Shit, he left Spock all alone. He already knew that, knew it had been at least 60 years… but god, to hear it all laid out… It made him ache inside. Spock gets lots of kisses , he notes to himself and as much of that gross tea as he wants. And no more meat- become a vegetarian. Hell, a vegan. It’ll extend your life and help apologize.

He must look pretty love struck, because the kid is staring at him.

“What?” James asks after a moment.

“You look like him.” He said softly “Jim, I mean. You look like… you have the same look he gets in his eyes when he is thinking hard about something.”

James’ lips twitch into a smile. He gets up and rests a hand on Spock’s shoulder.

“I’m gonna get you out of here.” He promises “I don't know how, but I've apparently spent almost 40 years trying to find a way out of here. With you here I'm sure we can figure it out.”

“I doubt that will be necessary, although it is not a bad plan.” Spock said, and James tilted his head “what do you mean?” Spock looked up at him, confused. “Your husband is very wise, I am sure he knows what attacked the T’Khasi. He would tell Jim…”

James’ face breaks into a grin. “They're out there tearing the universe apart.” He said “I can feel it in my bones, excuse my wording.”

“You and doctor McCoy also had a close friendship?”

They fall into conversation easily, and if James closes his eyes he can picture that he’s sitting on his porch in Iowa again, talking with his husband and not a copy of him.

 


 

It had taken another four weeks- they hadn't told starfleet. 

They hadn't given command a reason to be suspicious- they were doing all their duties as a ship. Selek remained on board, searching for where it would be. Eventually, they Identified the planet the T’Khasi had been closest to when attacked. Correlate that with the other information and…

It was the middle of the night when Scotty called Selek, shouting about how he’d FOUND IT!

The emergency meeting took place at 0100 hours, way too early for any of them to be up without an emergency- but this was an emergency, Selek thought. They were close. Jim had glanced at him and nodded. It was time for the risk everything part.

“Gentlemen, I can’t have asked for better work.” Jim said “for better commitment or a better crew, but the time has come where we have to deny Starfleet orders.” He eyed each of them “I cannot ask any of you to go any further.”

“Will you come off it?” Sulu said “we may not be married to him but we’re all gonna save Spock together or we’re gonna fail together. End of story.” He crossed his arms over his chest “ sir. ” He tacked on as an afterthought. 

Selek had almost laughed- he looked so much like his Sulu in that moment.

Jim grinned, then nodded.

“In that case- Mr. Chekov, plot a course. Mr. Sulu, lay it in as soon as it is ready.” He stood up “dismissed gentlemen!”

 


 

Starfleet doesn't try and stop them. 

It shocks Jim actually, that the first time they receive a communication and send no reply they don't get barraged. But, he silently takes what he can get and doesn't comment on it.

They arrive at the planet they think the nexus is accessible on. All they have to do now is beam down. Selek is waiting in the transporter room, and Jim pauses when he sees him.

“... you sure you should come old man?” He asks carefully “I mean-”

“Jim if you think you are going down there without me, you are incorrect.” Selek says simply, tone so firm Jim doesn't even argue. Just hops up on the transporter pad.

Scotty looks up at them both, nodding once “I’ll be waiting sirs.”

“You remember the orders?”

“And hope I won't have to use them.” Scotty responds, locking eyes with Jim.

Jim smiles at him “if you do have to use them, take good care of our girl.”

“Always sir.” Scotty promises “Godspeed gentlemen.”

“Energize.” Jim says, and they’re gone.

 


 

Spock has taken to walking alone- who knows who long he’s been in here now? The admiral is interesting, he has a spirit and an aura that remind Spock of Jim- likely because he is Jim- but he enjoys his privacy.

Ever since he came to the Nexus, he hasn't felt alone. There's this creeping sense- like someone is always right behind him but when he turns his head they are gone.

Anyway, he’s simply in the woods when he feels it. A waver. Something has changed in the nexus.

Jim. 

He turns tail and runs full speed back to the cabin.

 


 

The thing about the Nexus is because of it, they can't detect any life forms on the planet. 

Selek compares it to a sort of layer- the Nexus is there, but there is a barrier keeping Jim and Selek out of it. They are in a sort of… bubble.

Still, he almost swears he hears a branch crunch underfoot in the distance.

“It's so quiet here.” He says after a moment, sighing a little. Selek rests a hand on his arm. “You must stay with me.” He reminds, and Jim nods once.

The Nexus will offer him paradise, he must resist it.

Jim swallows thickly. Their so close, and Jim feels like he has a weight in his heart.

He didn't want to hope. Everyone had begged him not to hope and he had told his crew not to hope. But he can never follow his own advice, and he’s hoping, he can tell. He’s praying to every deity from every culture that he’ll get Spock back, get to see him just once more. He can’t remember what the last thing he said to Spock when he left the Enterprise two months ago was. That was killing him.

What if it wasn’t I love you ?

Jim is horrified by the thought that it could be anything else. Even if it was I'll miss you or come back safe or call me if you can or something equally sweet, he can't stand the thought that it wasn’t I love you. I love you so much I don't know what to do with myself. You’re the most important person in my universe.

He swallows thickly, looks around.

“Spock?” He calls, voice echoing “Dammit please be here…”

 


 

Spock should go get James, he really should. But when he was about half way back, he heard his name. Jim calling his name. Spock froze. He was here. He came for him. He came back for him.  

“Admiral!” Spock shouts “Admiral they are here!”

Through the trees he can just make out movement- so Spock turns to follow the sound of the voice.

“Jim!” He calls “Captain!

Spock!”

He doesn't know if Jim can actually hear him, but he keeps shouting anyway. Evidently, he can't. Because the calls stop. “No…” Spock says “no no-! Jim! Do not give up-! When do you ever give up?!” But Jim doesn't shout again.

Spock falters, thinking maybe it was an illusion. He pants, looking around. “Kid-” comes the breathless voice, and he turns to see a very red faced admiral Kirk “kid- damn you’re faster than my Spock- less clumsy too- he can’t hear you.”

“But you can hear him?” Spock prompts “it is not a trick?”

“No, I think he’s really here, but-”

Spock hears a crack, and he runs off again. He hears the admiral spew curses before following.

 


 

Jim growls and slams his fist into his thigh, angry now. Selek sighs, bites his lip, and then says “Jim?” 

“Yeah?” He asks, glancing over.  “I believe that if we wish to see them I will need to lower the shields and allow the Nexus in. Please focus on why we are here and why we must leave.” Jim hesitates, then nods once “I'm ready.”

He can feel the moment there Selek lowers the shields because his brain goes fuzzy- And sound hits his ears.

Jim!

Spock?!” He shouts back “Spock where are you!” There's a crunch, and Jim turns.

And his whole world shrinks to the brown eyes and black hair and pale skin and pointed ears and he was breathing.

There's a cry from somewhere- his own mouth, he realizes- and then he’s moving.

They're like magnets, moving towards one another like they were being pulled towards one another. And then Jim was back where he belonged- Spock’s arms, feet dangling off the ground as Spock clutched at him. Tears blurred his vision, and he closed his eyes, inhaling Spock’s scent, burying his face in the crook of his husbands neck.

Spock just held him, pressing kisses to his hair and not speaking for a while. Jim could feel the rapid heartbeat beating away in Spock’s side, and the muscular arms holding him close and he silently vowed to never let Spock out of his sight again. “Jim.” Spock finally breathed, the rumbling tone making Jim sob and squeeze him tighter because that was Spock’s voice . Spock brushed a finger over his meld point and there was a sharp pain from the remains of their shattered bond as it recognized the touch of its other half. “ Ashayam-

“Do it.” Jim mumbled, unwilling to lift his head yet, and Spock shifted him just enough to get to the side of his face and pressed his fingers and- Bliss. Spock slipped back into the spot in Jim’s brain that was and always would be his and it felt like heaven. Where that aching hole had been there was once again warmth and everything good. Jim cried harder, pressing his face into Spock’s shoulder, unable to process this.

‘Iloveyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyoudontleaveagainiloveyouiloveyou-’

‘Shh Jim. I am here, ashaya.’

‘I can't lose you again I need you to stay-’

‘I am not going anywhere.’

‘I don't deserve-’

‘Yes you do. I love you as well, t’hy’la, half of me, I have you.’

“Breathe.” Spock said softly in his ear “Jim. You must breathe.” Jim managed a shaky breath, clinging to Spock tighter. He stiffened a little “and you must let me breathe.” He choked out. Jim tried to pull away from the hug completely, but Spock refused, wrapping an arm around his waist and another cupping the back of his head. Memories were bouncing back and forth across the bond, Jim caught glances of Amanda and a sehlat and an old man and-

“Selek!” Jim suddenly pulled away from the just enough to turn his head “Selek- thank you-”

The old Vulcan was smiling at the two of them softly, eyes shining. “It is my honor. Young one.” He greeted Spock, holding up a ta’al. Spock nodded “Selek-” and then his eyes went wide “selek. The admiral.” He put Jim (who’s feet were still dangling off the ground- Spock had picked him up off the ground when he hugged him) down and kept an arm around his waist before turning behind him and shouting “ Admiral! They are over here!”

“Admiral-” Selek suddenly faltered.

And then, a red faced older man ran into the clearing. He put his hands on his thighs, panting “you… are very fast.” Then he stood up,

And then he saw Selek, and his eyes went huge. His breath caught. “Spock…” he whispered.

Jim looked back at Selek- he looked so… sad. And pained. And then Selek’s eyes turned steely, and Jim felt the shields go up in his mind again. The old man was still there, and Selek growled “you are nothing more than a Nexus illusion. Begone.” He said firmly. The old man put his hands on his hips “almost a hundred years and that's the greeting I get? If I was a nexus illusion would I still be here even with you shielding, Mr. Spock?”  Selek stared at him, shaking his head “no… no it is a lie. You… you are…” His knees gave out, and the old man cursed before running over at catching him.

“Spock…” the old man breathed, holding him in his arms. Selek stared up at him, grabbing his chin and twisting his head from one side to the other. He ran his trembling fingers across the man’s jaw, over his ears. The man laughed softly, catching his wrist so his hand was against his cheek.

“It’s illogical to doubt what’s in front of you, Mr. Spock.” He said, voice half teasing.

“It is logical when I felt the man in front of me die. Twice.” Selek whispered, whole body shaking.

“I'm so sorry about that.” The man whispered “should have demanded Picard take me home the instant I remembered where my home was. The very instant . I'm so sorry I left you all alone, I'm so sorry that before I left on the Enterprise-B the last thing we did was argue even if it wasn't a bad one. I missed you so much Spock-”

And then Jim realizes that this man is the “late” Admiral James T. Kirk of the other universe. “How the hell are you alive?” Jim asked suddenly, and they both looked over at him. The man laughed a little, then shrugged “I am Thanatos’ bane.” He said “your sexy boyfriend there was right, you’re cute.”

“My husband is not sexy. Not to you anyway.” Jim said, glaring and wrapping his arms around Spock’s torso. He looked up at Spock, who raised an eyebrow. “The admiral did not make any passes at me if that is what you are asking.”

“Naw, I knew he wasn’t mine.” James said, helping Selek up, who looked like the happiest man in the world. And then, Spock suddenly gasped, clutching his head. James winced, and Selek’s brow furrowed.

“Spock…?” Jim asked worriedly.

“The nexus doesn't like that we're separate from it. It’s attacking the shields.” Selek said “we will feel it soon- please hail the ship.”

Jim pulled out his communicator flicking it open. There was static and his grimmanced, praying Scotty could still hear him. “Kirk to Enterprise!”

Bzzt- bzzt- “-pt’n?! That ye-” Bzzt- Bzzt- Bzzt- “-sir?”

“Scotty I can only half hear you, beam us up-!”

And then, Selek collapsed. Jim felt his mind go fuzzy for a moment- and then it was gone. Selek was still unconscious but-

“Please ask Mr. Scott to hurry.” Spock muttered, leaning some of his weight on Jim. Spock had apparently taken over the job of shielding them all. Jim pressed a kiss to his head holding him close. “Just hold on baby.” he whispered “I'm not gonna let you go.”

Bzzt- Bzzt- Bzzt- Bzzt- “-ready sir!”

“Energize!”

 


 

When James’ vision cleared, he was in a room- an actual room.

Holy shit, he was out.

He laughed, joy filling his heart. He clutched his husband closer, looking down at him. He hadn't been surprised when Spock had passed out- shielding his own mind from the nexus was hard enough but protecting all four of them had to take a lot out of him. He pressed a kiss to the silver hair- not a strand of black left.

“Oh my love.” He whispered, then looked around. A man in a red shirt was at the counsel- “ Scotty? ” He asked, gaping. The man tilted his head “aye. Do I know ya sir?”

“In my universe yeah.” James said, gaping at him. He was so young . And like, 80 pounds lighter than when he had last seen him.

“That is James Kirk from Selek’s universe.” Jim said “call Bones please.”

“Yessir- welcome back Mr. Spock.” Scotty said. The younger Spock nodded sleepily, slumping against his husband, his knees giving out. “Are you okay?” Jim asked him softly, and Spock nodded again. “Keeping the nexus at bay takes a lot out of you.” James said “I know I'm gonna sleep for a week. And he hasn't had nearly as much practice at mental disciplines as my Spock." 

The door swished open, and in walked a man who looked like Leonard McCoy but… so young . And without the blue eyes. And the medical uniforms didn't have short sleeves or the shiny material they did in his universe. He goes to his Spock first, because he’s the only one who’s not conscious.

“He’s fine.” James said “Keeping the nexus at bay just exhausted him, he’ll be fine once he rests a bit.”

“And you are?” the Bones-who-isn’t-Bones asks, cocking a brow. James grins cheekily up at him “James Tiberius Kirk, apparently back from the dead, at your service!”

“Doctor.” younger Spock mumbles from his position attempting to burrow into Jim’s shoulder “I am experiencing quite the migraine if you happened to bring a hypospray for that. In addition, I can testify to the Admiral’s claim, as I did spend… a certain amount of time with him.”

“You must really be suffering if you’re asking for help.” Doctor McCoy says, going over and pressing a hypo into his neck “That should help. I’m gonna need to have you both come to sickbay- all four of you actually.”

“Can’t it wait until after we’ve slept a bit?” Jim whined, and the doctor put his hands on his hips “No. Now can he walk?”

Jim glanced back at Spock, who nodded. Jim helped him up, keeping an arm around him for support. All three of them glanced at James, who blinked at the picture they made (familiar, but not quite the same- damn he missed Bones), and then scooped Spock up bridal style- he was light. Way too light, it scared him.

Bones took them all to sickbay, giving his Spock his own bed before checking James over. It took an hour before Bones declared him healthy and let him sit by Selek’s bedside.

Jim and Spock had been sitting together on a biobed, and when Doctor McCoy approached them, Jim grabbed Spock’s arm, swallowing. “Bones don't ask me to leave.” The Doctor gave him a look “Do you think I’m heartless? No you don’t have to leave Jim but I need you to stand to the side so I can examine him.” Both Spock and Jim looked weary, and Bones sighed “I’ll be as quick as possible. You can hold hands the whole time. Now come on, let me.”

James watched the doctor do his thing- true to his word he didn’t make the reunited couple go more than five feet away from one another. James understood- When he’d first gotten Spock back his instinct to not let his amnesiac of a husband out of his sight had made even Amanda snappish with him. He’ll remember in his own time she’d said but until then you need to let him breathe

He had never disliked Amanda more than he had that day

Tearing his gaze away from the younger versions of himself and his heart and soul (Spock) and his conscience (Bones), He gazed at Spock. Even in sleep, he didn’t appear at peace, not in the way he used to when he slept. All the lines on his face were deeper- except the laugh lines and little smile creases. He frowned at that, because it meant that Spock- who already didn’t smile a lot- hadn’t been smiling. Leaning in, he pressed a kiss to a cool cheek, thumb going up to smooth the little crease between his brows. Spock’s body recognized his touch- the lines smoothed out, and he looked calmer, a little huff of air puffing out through his nose.

“I love you.” He whispered in his ear, resting his chin on the biobed and not really caring what the position would do to his back. He felt all the years now that he was out- mentally, it felt like only a few weeks ago that he had last seen Spock, argued with him over going to romulus vs going on the launch. In the end, Spock had been right- he should have gone to Romulus with his husband instead of going on the Enterprise-B without him. But intellectually, even if it only felt like a few weeks thanks to time being void in the nexus, he knew it had been a very long time since he had last seen Spock, and he didn’t want to take his eyes off of him for a second.

But closing his eyes couldn’t hurt right? Just for a moment…

 


 

When Selek approached wakefulness, he did not want to open his eyes. He hadn’t had dreams of Jim in an unusually long time, and last nights dream had not only been out of character- it had felt so real. Jim had been perfect, beautiful, and so warm. He longed for his husband’s warmth again- he didn’t care if he and Jim could never make love or if one of them could not see or anything- all he wanted was that strong, Solid warmth next to him once more. 

“For once I can’t hear you.” Said a voice next to his ear, a voice so familiar that made his heart stop in his side. “But I know you’re awake. And if I read my Spocks correctly, you think I was a dream.” Something warm and soft and slightly wet was pressed to the back of his hand, which had been raised through the air and encircled in warmth. His fingers were tingling like they were being kissed. The same sensation pressed to his knuckles was pressed to his temple. “Open your eyes, t’hy’la. I’ve gone nearly a century without seeing those eyes of yours… I missed them. Please, adun.

Spock opened his eyes, and Jim smiled down at him “There you are.”

His eyes were the color of honey, swimming with unshed tears. His lips were pulled into his usual gorgeous smile. Spock’s hand was caught between his two hands. His hair was still golden brown, only a few streaks of grey hidden in the roots by his temples and caught in certain light. Spock saw familiar wrinkles, and his fingers shifted of their own accord, breaking the vulcan kiss to feel the thrumming pulse at the base of Jim’s thumb. His breath caught, and he sat up slowly.

He wasn’t dreaming, was he?

He must have had a wonderstruck look on his face, because Jim laughed softly, one of his hands releasing Spock’s to come up and cup his face. His thumb swept across his cheek- Spock was already crying. “I missed you too, k’diwa. ” Jim’s voice was trembling, and he was on the verge of tears himself. “Oh god I missed you so much…”

“You had Antonia.” Spock said, and instantly wanted to kick himself. Jim was professing his love, returned to him against every odd, and the first thing Spock says is a bitter jealousy? What was wrong with him? “I apologize.” He said, hearing his voice waver “I am sorry I do not ca-”

Jim laughed. He laughed softly, sweetly almost. He smiled warmly and kissed Spock on the cheek “First of all, my possessive vulcan, you do care. And you’re allowed to care- we’re married spock and you mean the world to me. You’re allowed to ask about Antonia- Hell, you’re allowed to get angry about Antonia- who by the way, was an illusion. I don’t even know an Antonia. I think she was sort of a culmination of a few people- Ruth, Edith, Lori, Miramanee…” He trailed off, then sighed “The nexus couldn’t create you. Once I remembered you I tried to create a you and it was a cold, empty thing-” Jim shuddered “It was a shell of you. Made me sick.” Jim looked at him meaningfully “there is no paradise without you. I experienced a world without you in it once, and it was hell. I fought to get out of it.”

Spock swallowed, wondering for the billionth time how he deserved this man, And Jim pulled him close, so Spock’s face was pressed against his shoulder. Spock’s hands came up to clutch at his clothes- the red uniform was the same as he remembered, and Spock preferred it. The reds had been a favorite of his, Jim looked good in red. Spock pressed his face tighter into Jim’s jacket, allowing his shoulders to shake with silent sobs. Jim pressed a hand to the center of his back, nose against the curve of Spock’s forehead and his own tears soaking into Spock’s hair.

“I love you.” Jim croaked after a moment, voice ragged “I love you. I love you so so so much.” He kissed Spock’s hairline “oh my god I love you. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you-” Spock pressed Jim tighter against him “I love you as well.” He whispered “And it has been… difficult. Impossible even. I do not know how I have done it. I longed for you every second, missed you every moment…” He pulled away just enough to look at him “Jim I have laid with others-”

“You had to. Stupid pon farr made you.” Jim interrupted “and you thought I was dead, that’s not cheating. No feeling guilty and no apologizing for anything- that’s an order mister.”

“You thought I was dead once, and you did not sleep with anyone.” Spock muttered guiltily, not listening “And you did not give up. You fought to get me back. You were out there the whole time and I did not- I promised you you would not die alone and I did not-”

And then Jim kissed him, hands cupping his face. The broken bond ached between them, but jim projected as loudly as he could I don’t care. I love you. I love you and I don’t care and you’re so perfect. Jim pulled away after a moment, eyes crinkling at the expression Spock must have on his face “So, I’m gonna break you out of here,” He kissed Spock’s nose “And we’re going to go back to the quarters baby us assigned us-” Another kiss “and you’re gonna fix the bond-” And another “And I’m gonna replicate you dinner and we’ll play chess and have a long conversation about what the hell we do next.” He smiled at Spock, who blinked and nodded once. Then Jim’s smile turned into a smirk “well, among other things.” He said, waggling his eyebrows.

The rush of love he felt was well worth the knowledge that he was blushing.

 


 

Despite the fact that the admiral and the ambassador were allowed to leave sickbay the day after their return- and yes, Spock was aware that they likely had… reunited, quite frantically, in the quarters Jim had assigned them- Spock was kept in Sickbay for another four days after their exit from the nexus. He supposed he could understand- He had died. Doctor McCoy had not stopped reminding him of this fact in four days. And Jim had…

When he heard about how the breaking of the bond had affected Jim, Spock felt guilty beyond all belief. His t’hy’la had been hurt because of him, and that was unacceptable. Jim had been in and out of sickbay, not wanting to leave but having to deal with starfleet and explaining what was going on and also needing to sleep and Spock insisting that he sleep in their quarters. After that first examination, he and Jim had barely gotten ten minutes together. His head ached from the strain of the broken bond that required healing, and he was so tired… Perhaps it was a good thing he could stay in sickbay and sleep. The only problem was whenever he closed his eyes he wither dreamed of his mother, or he dreamed of nothing but white where no one could reach him. He’d had a string of visitors as well- several friends and other science officers who kept him company. Nyota had cried, Mr. Chekov had cried, even Mr. Scott had cried and Spock had never seen him do that before. Selek came to visit one day, they called his father together. Sarek had been… happy. He hadn’t shown it and he’d acted as apathetic as ever, but his eyes had shown an unparalleled joy when he saw Spock alive and breathing, and Spock had to admit that seeing his father like that had brought a certain… lightness to his chest. After he had hung up with Sarek, Selek had looked at him with that same knowing, contented gaze he always got on his face.

“Everyone was grieving for you.” Selek said “I know you likely do not believe it, but they were. I did not believe that they grieved when I died either.” Spock tilted his head “You were actually dead.” He said “I was not, merely in the Nexus. My katra did not leave my body.” Selek arched a brow “If we are going the location of the katra , I did not die either. My katra was very safe in the mind of Doctor McCoy, as you know.” Spock hummed, and Selek’s eyes softened “I am pleased that you are alive, pi’sa-te’kru. ” Spock scoffed softly at the nickname. Little king , because he was the king of his own destiny, according to Selek. “I am rather pleased to be alive.” Spock agreed “although I would like to get out of here.”

¨Good thing I’m letting you leave today then.” Said a new voice, and Spock turned to see Doctor McCoy coming over with a PADD. “Sign that.” He ordered, and Spock arched a brow. Doctor McCoy rolled his eyes “You were declared dead. Those documents bring you back to life. Now sign them and we can talk about discharging.” Spock looked at him for a moment, then went through the papers, skimming them and signing all the documents in spots indicated. When he handed the PADD back, Doctor McCoy smiled a bit. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Spock.” He said softly, then his face went back its usual expression, and he began listing instructions for his discharge, making it clear that he was not cleared for duty yet. “And for christ's sake let Jim take care of you. Let him pamper you, let him do whatever he wants. I’ve taken him off bridge duty for the next few weeks to let him catch up on paperwork and update starfleet and take care of you- so let him.” Doctor McCoy leveled him with a sad sort of gaze “He needs to heal just as bad as you do.”

Spock swallowed, and Doctor McCoy gave him a few more shots before quietly letting Spock leave sickbay.

Selek walked with him. They were stopped by several crewmembers on his way back- people who hadn’t visited. They offered congratulations, and thankfulness that he was alive. Spock responded to each in kind, and by the time they reached the lift Selek had a soft sort of expression on his face. Spock raised a brow at him, and Selek hummed “your crew likes you. They care deeply for you.” Spock’s brow went higher “yours did not?” Selek hesitated “I-” he began, and then the lift opened. The admiral was standing there, he blinked, then smiled. “Hey honey.” He said warmly to Selek, then he nodded at Spock “Kid.”

“My name is not Kid.” Spock said, tilting his head. James laughed. “I know.” He said, coming into the lift and meeting Selek’s offered forefingers with his own. “Bones finally set you free?” Spock nodded, leaning back against the wall of the lift. “Have you been recovering well?” He asked, and Jim nodded. “Tired, but yeah.” He glanced at Selek “I’ve had help.” He looked back at Spock then, tilting his head “And you?” Spock closed his eyes, then opened them again. “I am tired.” He admitted “And I felt constantly short of breath for a day or so. I am recovering well.”

“Strange dreams?” The Admiral asked, and Spock blinked at him. He smiled weakly “Yeah, me too. Plus I’ve had to chat with starfleet, buncha legal shit.” James rolled his head, cracking his neck. “My young counterpart just signed the papers indicating that he was alive.” Selek said, and James snorted “congrats.” The lift opened again, and Selek stepped out first, followed by James and Spock. They stopped in front of the captain’s quarters, indicated by the plaque on the wall. It used to say “Cptn. Kirk and Cmdr. Spock” on the plaque, but apparently they had already changed it back to just “Cptn. Kirk”. Spock ran a finger over it. “You should come have tea with us some time.” Selek offered, and Spock nodded. James took his bondmate’s hand, smiling warmly at him. “Go get some rest. We’ll see you around.”

They left him alone, Spock stared at the door. He pressed his finger to the sensor- only to belatedly realize that the biosignature was removed. He silently keyed in the first officer’s override to open the door, and then he stepped in.

The room was a mess. Clothes were on the floor, the blankets were strewn about. There were coffee mugs sitting on the desk. But what broke Spock’s heart was the hints of himself that were still in the room- a cup of tea was sitting amongst the coffee mugs, clearly made by Jim on instinct. All the clothes on the floor were his shirts, and one of them was bunched up on Spock’s pillow. The room was still their agreed upon warm temperature, and on the night stand, next to a picture of him and Jim, was Jim’s wedding ring. Spock stared at it for a moment. And then, he disregarded Doctor McCoy’s orders and began cleaning. He found that all the shirts were clean, but rumpled. He hung them back in the closet, leaving the shirt on the bed where it was. He placed all the coffee mugs in the refresher and made the bed. He quietly replicated a cup of tea and coffee, setting them both on the now clear desk to cool before going back to the closet. Jim had clearly pushed all his clothes to the side- so he didn’t have to look at them, no doubt, but he pulled out one of his robes- soft reddish brown material. He set it on the bed before pulling off the medical garb he had been placed in- the robe he had been wearing when he went into the Nexus had been destroyed, which was a shame, because it had been one of his favorites.

He had just put on his pants when the door opened.

He turned, Jim was there, staring at him with blue eyes. Spock paused in his dressing, looking back at him. The door slid closed behind him, and Jim swallowed shakily, not looking away from him for a second. Spock blinked, then picked up the now tempered coffee and held it out “Welcome home.” Spock said, voice sounding stiff. Jim had always greeted him that way when he came back to quarters after a long day, and it felt appropriate. “I cleaned. Placed my clothes away- may I ask why they were on the floor?” He asked, and Jim took the mug, stared at it. Then he looked at Spock and put the mug down on a shelf. He stepped forward, and hand reaching out, trembling. “I was trying to get your scent.” Jim whispered “I went through all your shirts- that one in the bed was the closest I found.” Jim’s hand, warm as ever, pressed against his side, over his beating heart. Jim sighed, his shoulder slumped. “I know I’m off work for the next two weeks or so-” Jim said “And I’m warning you now I’m gonna be feeling for this a lot. Your heartbeat. Your pulse.” He looked up at Spock again, eyes shining. Spock reached up and cupped his cheek, and Jim turned his face so his nose was pressed against Spock’s palm. “... You have not given me the opportunity to apologize.” Spock said softly. “I… hurt you.”

“You died saving other people, I don’t fault you for that.” Jim squeezed his eyes shut and pressed a sad smile into Spock’s hand “I did the same thing remember? Fucked you up.” Spock stiffened, and Jim kissed his wrist “I love you, I love you…” Jim whispered, a tear leaking out of his eyes “I- god I could barely function without you. It felt like someone had put a brick in my chest. I couldn’t breathe, had so many headaches, I just wanted to sleep until I felt better, and then I thought that I wouldn’t feel better and-” He took in a shuddering breath, and Spock raised his other hand to wipe away tears. “You returned me to my place.” Spock reminded him “You came and returned me, Jim. I am here and I have no intention of leaving you again.” He leaned in to kiss Jim on the forehead, only to have Jim raise his head in the last moment and catch his mouth. The kisses turned to one, then two, then four, then more.

And perhaps this would not heal everything, but when they woke up an hour later, tangled up together and covered in remnants of their lovemaking, it was agreed that this, at least, was a start.


 

 

Epilouge

3 years later…

 

Jim didn’t want to admit that after the T’Khasi had happened, he didn’t trust space the way he once did, but it was the truth. He’d gone to therapy, talked to Spock, everything, but nothing helped. Every time he looked out the window he remembered the pain of his bond snapping, of weeks of mourning, of everything hurting. He called the ambassador and the admiral., talked with them. It kind of helped, since they had both experienced this. But still… That was why he had inquired after the vice-admiral position. Maybe spending a while on solid ground would help. Not that yorktown was solid- a snow-globe in space, Bones had called it. He was actually going to do it too, going to leave the Enterprise against the wishes of his counterpart and his friends and his husband-

And then Krall-

Watching his ship go down hurt just as much as expected, and wandering around altamed terrified about Spock and not knowing if his friends- his family were alive… somehow, it did wonders for his morale. Because, Spock and his crew had survived. An inch away from his heart, the person to the left of nyota, only a foot away from the cold vacuum of space- they all came so close and they made it.

So that first night, at yorktown, Jim curled up with his husband in a hospital bed, both resting but not sleeping. Pillow talk was kind of a forte of theirs- they had their best conversations like this. So it was appropriate that after an hour of silence, Spock whispered “The ambassador has died.” Jim stiffened, and Spock took his hand “I wished to tell you before…”

“Before.” Jim echoed. “The admiral?” He asked, and Spock squeezed his hand “He still lives. But I doubt it will be for long.” Jim swallowed and nodded, pressing his face into his shoulder. “It is illogical.” Spock muttered “To feel so much when we knew they would not live for long. However…” He faltered, and Jim hummed “not illogical. They’re important to us. And it’s also sympathetic grief- we both know what it’s like to lose-” Jim faltered now, breath quickening for a beat and his free hand brushed the newly healed skin above Spock’s heart.”Regardless, S’ti th’laktra, t’hy’la. ” Jim whispered, and felt the soft press of lips against his head. “... I’m staying aboard.” Jim whispered next, and it was Spock’s turn to stiffen. “I realized, while we were out there… I wanted to leave because I was scared, so scared that the stars would take someone else from me. And… They tried, but they didn’t. We all survived and I… I feel less scared.” He looked up, trying to see Spock through the dark. Spock kissed him on the nose. “I am glad.” He whispered “that the Enterprise will not lose her captain.”

“The admiral told me to never let anything take me out of that chair. I’m trying to follow his advice.” Jim said, leaning into kiss him again. Across the bond, he felt Spock’s joy that Jim would not be leaving. Felt his grief about the ambassador, all the worry that had accumulated over the past several months. He closed his eyes, pressed closer to him, tried to cover up all of that with love love love

Burning, white hot love.


 

 

All this time, and Spock had died first. 

That had never even been in the realm of possibility for a long time. Even if Jim had eaten well and sat on his ass for the rest of his life, he would have died before Spock simply because of his humanity. Spock knew that from the moment he let himself feel something for Jim. A part of Jim was glad- Spock had lost everything. His friends, his family, his universe, his home planet, and Jim twice. He deserved peace. Deserved to not have to suffer anymore. That was why he had let Spock go the way he did, because when the healer said it was bendii syndrome he knew that meant suffering. Spock would become disoriented, lose his memory and his wherewithal, and his emotional control.

Jim had seen in melds how Sarek had went, barely able to do more than piss and shit. The idea of putting Spock through that… It made Jim sick to his core. So, on the second day, Spock had been in bed, and Jim had brought him tea and sat next to him. “Sweetheart, do you want to go?” Jim had asked suddenly, and Spock had been confused, and Jim explained what he meant. Spock had been quiet, and then whispered “I believe I should fight, for you. To be with you longer.”

“My love.” Jim had uttered softly “I'm certain we'll be together in the afterlife, so if you want to go, just go, sweetheart. Get the ship ready for me.” He remembered smiling “I'm sure our silver lady is waiting for us.”

“And what if you are wrong?” Spock had asked “what if I go into the black and never see you again?” Jim kissed him into silence, holding his hand and thinking, as loudly as he could if you go into the dark, I will still find you, the light of my life. Spock began to cry silently, unable to believe that Jim was giving him this option when surely everyone else would have asked him to stay. Jim had held him close, kissed away his tears.

“Jim.” Spock had croaked hours later, after all his tears had been spent. “Jim… what will you do when I am gone?”

“Wait to follow.” Jim had replied, and in the present, as he thought back on that day, he closed his eyes, then opened them again. Here he was, just as he said. Waiting for the dark to claim him as well. Spock had told him he hadn't had to fight it, given Jim permission to let himself die.

And then Spock had gone to sleep. It was as simple as that, he had gone to sleep, and he had meditated himself into a death trance. And Jim had kissed his brow, held him close. And finally, after all those years being unable to touch out of fear or distance or a sheet of glass, Jim held his love as he took his final breath. He had cried, called Sarek and told him the news. Called their younger counterparts and left a message for them

And he waited.

He had a feeling it would be soon, he hadn't eaten in days. Could barely sleep. He lay curled in his bed. Waited.

Ashayam

T'hy'la

My love

My heart

Jim

Spock.

“Spock?” Jim opened his eyes slowly to see a dark head of hair and brown eyes sitting by his bedside, dressed in his science blues. He raised a brow “indeed Captain. It appears your idea of the afterlife was more correct than I assumed.” His eyes were soft, tone light, and Jim smiled “told you.” He felt lighter somehow, and when he sat up and glanced down at his hand he saw that the few marks he had on his hands- scars on his knuckles and the tiniest amount of liver spots- were gone. Next he saw his attire- and grinned.

“Back in command gold.” He said, reaching up to tug on the braided sleeve “perfect.”

“You are indeed,” Spock said without missing a beat. And Jim grinned before sitting up on his knees and letting Spock pull him into a hug. Not only did he hug him, Spock picked him right up as if he was as light as a feather. Jim laughed softly, letting his feet dangle off the ground. He smiled brightly at Spock, who tilted his head down to kiss him.

Jim pulled away, and Spock smiled a real, bright smile at him, still holding him securely in the air with an arm against his thighs and another arm against his back. Jim pressed his forehead against his and felt a few tears leak out of his eyes “God I love you. I'm gonna spend eternity loving you, Spock.” Spock squeezed him a bit tighter, and he nods “I cherish thee, ashaya.

Jim glanced behind him, saw his own body laying there as if asleep. “So.” He said softly “this is it.”

He heard the familiar sound of a communicator chirping and Spock put him down before handing him the device. “On your order Captain.” Spock said, and Jim felt his face break into a grin. “Kirk to Enterprise. ” He said, swallowing the lump of happy tears in his throat. There was a beep and then “Enterprise here, Captain Kirk.” Came the joyful voice of one Nyota Uhura. “May I say it is wonderful to hear you sir.” Nyota said, and Jim made a noise that was half a happy laugh, half a sob. “The feeling is mutual, Miss. Uhura.” He said “Two to beam up.” He ordered, voice soft. He could hear her smile as she responded “Aye sir, two to beam up”

Spock took his hand, tangling their fingers, and Jim glanced around their home of the last three years once more. “What about little us?” Jim asked “They will be fine.” Spock said “they have each other, and their crew. We had the same and we did well.”

Jim kissed his cheek, giving his hand a squeeze. “Cap’n!” The communicator said, and Jim laughed when he heard Scotty’s voice. “Cap’n we’re ready for ya-!” Scotty said, and then there was a shuffling sound and “So you'd both better be decent!” Said a second voice and Jim gasped. “ Bones! ” He laughed “Bones hey-”

“Get your ass up here!” His friend barked, but there was laughter in his voice.

Jim smiled at the communicator, and then at Spock. He raised his hand again, and said “Energize.”

There was a buzz, and the world flashed white, and they were gone.