When he returned from Vulcan Spock was convinced the darker emotions of the Pon Farr had gone, burned out by the fight to the death with his Captain - his friend. In the short time he had known James Kirk he had come to respect and admire him, seeing beyond the unfettered emotions that were so abhorrent to most Vulcans to the core of a human who would always put the lives of others before his own. This time it was Spock's life, and Spock wanted to rage against such an illogical decision. The animalistic elements of the Pon Farr had broken the moment James Kirk - Jim - died with the Ahn'woon tightened around his throat, and all desire for T'Pring had died with him. The emotions he had fought so hard to contain all his life were still bubbling beneath the surface, threatening to overwhelm him with the grief of loss, but he controlled them when he faced T'Pring to demand her reasons for rejecting him.
Flawless logic, and yet his time among the humans had shown him where logic sometimes faltered, though he did not expect Stonn to understand, seeing no emotion on the faces of the full Vulcans present.
Spock maintained outward control as he said his formal goodbye to his grandmother, T'Pau, aware she could see through his brittle composure but not caring. As a Vulcan he considered emotions nebulous and irrational, but Spock had read enough human literature to put a name to the emotion driving his grief.
Again, it was irrational and illogical but nonetheless true. He would not live long or prosper knowing he had killed Jim - the human he had come to love.
Determined to hand himself over to Security on arriving back on-board the Enterprise, Spock hesitated before bowing to Doctor McCoy's demand that he report to Sickbay first.
The sound of Jim's voice had him spinning round. In shock he reached for Jim, unable to control expressing his joy upon finding Jim alive and unharmed, and holding onto him so tight his hands must have left bruises in more fragile human flesh. Not even learning of McCoy's subterfuge - replacing the tri-ox with a neuroparalyzer mimicking death - could dampen his emotions though Spock pulled back his control quickly under McCoy's smug gaze. Later Spock would blame his show of emotion on the imbalance caused by the Pon Farr but he could still feel the pleasure thrumming through him after he left Sickbay with Jim.
Walking down the corridor by his Captain's side, Spock allowed other brief physical touches, bumping shoulders with every second step. The flash of Jim's emotions were palpable with each brush against him, and Spock made no attempt to dislodge the warm hand that gripped his elbow as they stepped into the turbolift, nor did he question Jim's decision to choose a destination other than the Bridge. He sensed Jim needed to speak with him in private, so he allowed Jim to lead him to the Captain's quarters, waiting patiently just inside the door, seemingly at ease as his human paced the room. Jim stopped suddenly, the tension leaving his body as he came to some inner decision, and when he finally turned back to Spock he was smiling softly.
Neither his smile nor the light in his eyes faded as Spock drew closer to him, drawn as if by an invisible hand. His smile did not falter even when Spock reached out and touched his face, fingers spreading without conscious thought as he became lost in the inner and outer beauty of this precious human. He felt the brush of Jim's thoughts, falling into them, caressing Jim's mind with his own until he began to forget where he ended and Jim began. It was so easy, so natural, he didn't realize what had happened until hours later when he shifted in the warmth of Jim's arms, lying naked in the bed beside him. The fine thread of a newly created bond quivered between them, almost breaking Spock's emotional control when he realized what he had done. As he pulled away in horror Jim's hands grabbed at him and drew him back into his embrace.
"Jim!" He was stronger than the human but found no strength to pull away again. "We must return to Vulcan immediately," he begged, already considering how the bond could be broken without hurting his beloved human. He thought of the Masters on the Plain of Gol. "The Kolinahr--"
Jim responded by holding up two fingers together in the ritual greeting of bondmates, smiling softly. It was a gesture Jim would have seen given by Spock's parents when they traveled on-board the Enterprise on a diplomatic mission, but it also proved he knew and understood what had happened between them, and accepted it.
"Jim," Spock murmured softly, feeling a frisson of pleasure as his fingers crossed Jim's, touching him in this most intimate gesture.
The new bond shimmered between them as he gave in to the heat of his blood once more, and to his bondmate's passionate response.
Hours later Spock watched as his bondmate moved to the personal replicator - a Captain's perk - unconcerned with his nakedness or with the slight bruising from Spock's stronger than human hands.
"You should eat," Jim stated. "Plomeek soup?"
There was a mischievous twinkle dancing in his eyes, reverberating through their bond, teasing, and Spock felt the tips of his ears burn with shame as he recalled throwing a bowl of soup.
"I do not know how to apologize to Nurse Chapel for my actions."
"Asking her to make you another bowl would go most of the way there," Jim answered with an easy smile, eyes still bright with teasing and flushed with pleasure. "As long as you don't let her get any romantic ideas because you're mine now... and I'm yours," he added softly.
Jim held up two closed fingers once more, his smile widening as Spock touched them instantly.
Spock responded softly, "My T'hy'la."
Friend. Brother. Lover... and beloved bondmate.