Spock and Kirk sat before the Priestess of Hanon in the shimmering golden tent. She smiled down at them, her three eyes glistening against her deep purple skin. They had finished their successful negotiations and now the Priestess was going to read their fortunes as a gesture of gratitude.
“You’re going to be in a romantic relationship,” she said, narrowing her three eyes in a conspiratory way.
“He already is,” Kirk said, jerking a thumb in his First Officer’s direction with a grin. Spock knew Jim didn’t really believe in “this stuff” as he put it.
She shook her head.
“No, you will have a romantic relationship with each other. ”
All six of her hands pointed at them, gesturing between the two of them.
Both men simultaneously opened their mouths in protest.
“I am already engaged in a romantic relationship, and I do not intend-”
“Is the universal translator working correctly? Because I could have sworn that you said-”
She ignored them both, and reached out four of her hands, laying her palms over their eyes. Both were rendered silent as the information was communicated quietly into their minds.
Jim was blushing profusely when her hands were removed, and Spock stared into oblivion...confused.
She smiled at them both again, looking pleased.
“What just happened?” Jim asked. “What was that?”
Spock was wondering the same thing. Though he had more of a grasp on telepathic communication than his human counterpart, he was still uncertain as to what he had seen...it seemed incomplete somehow.
“You,” the Priestess said, her three golden eyes on Kirk, “know how it begins...and you” she looked at Spock now, “know how it ends.”
Jim glanced at Spock, something unreadable on his face.
And Spock played the Priestess’s words over in his mind, comparing it to what she had shown him in the vision.
Jim and Spock had gone from opponents, to crewmen, and had now gotten to the stage of tentative friends. It was nothing close to the deep, life altering friendship that Ambassador Selek had promised, but it was theirs nonetheless.
They took their lunches together in the rec room, playing chess and discussing ship business. This had proven to be an excellent way for the men to learn how the other thought. After their shared shifts, they would exercise together in the gym...sometimes sparring together. These little rituals had improved their efficiency as a team by 15% over the time since they had begun. It had gotten to the point where they could communicate with a glance.
But all of this was a far cry from romance...a far cry from the glimpse that the priestess had just laid over his mind like a silk veil.
Jim looked over at Spock again, who had successfully schooled his features back to impassivity, and who was now deliberately not looking at his Captain.
Kirk looked back at the Priestess, clearing his throat and giving her a tight smile.
“That was very kind of you, your Grace-”
“Your Holiness,” Spock corrected under his breath.
“Your Holiness,” Jim amended immediately.
“I am gratified to be of service, as we are now all siblings under the mother Federation.”
“Excellent...yeah, mother...Federation…” Kirk said, all charming professionalism, a demeanor, Spock knew, was as much of an accessory as their uniforms...something slipped on for the sole purpose of work...something fake.
While they waited to beam up, they stood side by side, both in deep thought, not looking at one another. Finally, Kirk looked over at Spock, gracing him with one of those smiles...the one that he used to detangle the tension in the room.
“I’ve never really believed in fortune tellers,” he said, shrugging.
Spock just looked at him...looking over his face...the face of the man he had come to respect and care for.
Jim was aesthetically pleasing, and they got along well. But there was nothing beyond that. They both knew it.
“I have never put any creedence into divinations either,” Spock concurred a second before the golden lights surrounded them and they rematerialised on the landing pad in their Transporter room.
Nyota and Scotty were waiting at the controls, chatting away, Uhura laughing at something Mr. Scott had said. She strolled up to Spock as soon as they had finished rematerializing, and laid a soft kiss on his lips. Spock reciprocated, and when they pulled apart, he found himself glancing over at Jim, who was now deep in conversation with the Chief Engineer.
Whatever the Scotsman had said had earned him a high five from the Captain, who called over to the other two “Mr. Scott and I are going to look over the new information the Hanons shared with us!”
“We could increase our warp speed by over 8%!” Mr. Scott added excitedly before the two men hurried out of the doors.
“Good luck, Monty! You’re a wizard!” Nyota called after them.
Kirk held a “rock on” symbol over his shoulder before the doors shut.
Spock felt something inside of him pull...something that wanted to follow Jim to the warp core. He stopped the line of thinking, deciding instead to observe the emotion during meditation that evening.
He looked at the communications officer who was also staring at the place where the two men had left, a look in her dark eyes he couldn’t read.
She turned to look at him abruptly and smiled brightly.
“So, anything cool happen?”
“Nothing of note,” Spock heard himself say.
It wasn’t a lie...he knew that Nyota put just about as much stock in fortune telling as he did, and so would not consider this particular event to be “cool”.
Regardless, he wouldn’t have wanted to tell her anyway...and he didn’t know why.
The two men went about their business as though nothing had happened. They met for lunch in the rec room and played chess, and gymed together after their shifts.
Things changed when the ambient controls for the Officer’s quarters went haywire, which caused all of the temperatures in the quarters to change drastically. Spock had woken up, his body freezing, his breath frosting in the air. Because his quarters were too cold to inhabit, he decided to take his morning meditation on the observation deck.
Though he knew he could have meditated in Nyota’s quarters, he preferred to meditate in private, as the energy of others tended to be distracting. He determined that the observation deck would be less populated, as he had seen the majority of his fellow crewman head for the rec room for breakfast.
When Spock reached his destination, however, he discovered quite quickly that he was not alone. There was someone else there....Upon further investigation, Spock realised that it was Jim...he was sitting in front of the window, back straight and stone still.
As Spock quietly approached, he noticed the Captain’s eyes were closed.
He was meditating.
Jim suddenly opened his eyes. He glanced up at Spock and gave him a little smile...a real smile.
That was just the thing...Spock didn’t know “what?”
The Captain let out a little chuckle, his blue eyes glinting.
“You thought Vulcans are the only ones who know how to meditate?”
Spock suddenly felt himself bristle.
“I was unaware that you partake in this particular passtime,” Spock said by way of explanation.
To his surprise, Jim laughed.
“Why? Because I’m such a spaz?”
Spock flinched. “I would not call you a...it simply has never come up in conversation.”
“Fair enough,” Jim said, a smile in his voice. “What are you doing in here on this fine morning?”
“I have come to meditate as well...my quarters are currently too cold for my preferences.”
“Yeah, mine’s like an oven right now, and I needed a quiet place.”
Jim gestured to the place beside him. “Join me if you want.”
The offer was genuine, Spock could tell, and he accepted it with hesitation, unsure of whether or not he would be capable of achieving a deeper meditation in the presence of another.
He was surprised to find that slipping into a deep state of relaxation was easier around Jim than he had thought, and had no problem meditating in the other man’s presence.
They sat side by side in comfortable silence, facing the vast universe that they were exploring together.
It became part of their ritual now. The ambient controls were still under repair, and Spock found that he was more energetic and refreshed after meditating with his Captain...and that he preferred spending his mornings with Jim joined in a peaceful comradery.
So the days began together in meditation, they took their lunches in the rec room, playing chess and talking, and they did their daily exercise together after their shifts...and then came the evenings together in Jim’s quarters.
It started when Jim had asked to enter Spock’s quarters and Spock had allowed it. When Kirk walked in, he stopped as though the cold air had been a wall.
“Holy shit, Spock, it’s freezing in here! How do you manage?”
“Poorly” the Vulcan answered honestly. “My efficiency rate has dropped 3.24% since the ambient controls have been out of order.”
“Why don’t you work in Uhura’s room?” Jim demanded, wrapping his arms around himself and looking at his First Officer like he was insane.
“We do not spend ‘weekdays’ together, as we are both less efficient when working in each other’s presence on self guided projects.”
“Guess it’s hard to work when you’ve got that eye candy walking around,” Jim responded, almost to himself.
Spock felt something pull inside of him again.
“Nyota mentioned that you had made an advance on her when the two of you first met.”
Jim looked at Spock for a few seconds, as though trying to connect the dots.
Clarity crossed over the blue eyes.
“Oh I wasn’t talking abo-”
Jim grinned, interrupting himself...and Spock knew that grin.
“Yeah,” Kirk said, clearing his throat. “That was a long time ago. Don’t worry Spock, I’m not...I’m not gonna do that again. I was drunk that night...I acted like a total jackass.”
Something seemed to relax inside of Spock. He told himself that it was his feeling of possession over Nyota, but he knew somehow that it wasn’t about that at all.
“Anyway, I was gonna ask you about the roster for tomorrow’s mission, but I’m gonna do that in my quarters...I’m freezing my ass off in this place and I can only imagine what a half Vulcan would be feeling right now.”
“I accept your invitation,” Spock said, knowing that he would be far more efficient in warmer conditions.
Jim had not been lying when he had said that his room was like an oven. It was hot, even for Spock’s standards, but he found it bearable in comparison to the frostiness of his own quarters.
It got better after they decided to prop their shared bathroom doors open to circulate some of Spock's cold air with Jim's heat.
“Is the temperature not too hot for you?” Spock asked Jim, who had sat down at his desk after motioning to the chair across from him.
“It’s really hot, but I’d rather be hot than frozen.”
They went over the roster and procedures for the next day’s mission together, and went on to discuss some of the other missions that had been scheduled for that week. They shared their logs with each other so they could compare notes on the missions they had completed over the week, and Jim went on to tell Spock about the progress Scotty was making on their warp core.
“Holy shit, it’s 2 am,” Jim said suddenly when he spied the time at the corner of his PADD. “Are you sleeping at Nyota’s tonight?”
The thought had not occurred to Spock as to where he was going to sleep. He had been so lost in their shared rhythm that he had forgotten that his quarters were not suitable for extended habitation.
“Yes,” Spock replied without hesitation, standing up abruptly.
“You can stay as long as you want, Spock,” Jim assured him. “I just wasn’t sure how thrilled Lieutenant Uhura would be if you woke her up in the middle of the night, is all.”
“She is usually awake at this hour,” Spock replied.
Jim smiled that smile again...that tight smile.
You know how it begins….
They bid each other good night, and Spock walked out of Jim’s quarters and heading for Nyota’s...not wanting to.
Then it became routine.
Meditation together in the mornings, lunch together in the afternoons, exercising together after their shifts, and working together in the evenings.
They spent hours together working in mostly silence. Jim always had a wide array of snacks that he seemed to pull out of nowhere (not the replicator, Spock didn’t fail to notice). Then Spock would relocate to Nyota’s to sleep. He would lie beside her, the soft curves of her body pressed up against him...listen to the soft, steady sound of her breathing while she slept. But his mind was in a tent on Hanon…
I know how it ends.
His mind was on the observation deck, using the steady breathing of his Captain as a focal point...across from Jim at a chess board, blue eyes meeting his...in the gym, watching Kirk’s muscles ripple under his work out shirt...in Jim’s quarters where Spock’s ideas were heard, and discussions were had.
I want to know how it begins.
Spock realised as he pondered his next course of action after Jim had sprung yet another seemingly chaotic move on him. Spock moved a white rook, watching Jim’s bright, calculating eyes as he did so...waiting for some hint of his next move.
“How does it begin?” Spock asked.
The eyes that he had been watching flickered up to Spock, and Jim grinned, not bothering to pretend like he didn’t know what Spock was talking about.
“I thought you didn’t put any creedence into divination, Mr. Spock,” Jim teased, making his move.
“I do not,” Spock confirmed, staring at the conundrum on the board. “But I am curious as to what the Priestess thinks is the beginning.”
Spock made his counter move while Jim chuckled softly.
“Isn’t curiosity a human emotion?”
The Captain made a move immediately, as though he had been expecting his First Officer to make that move.
Spock eyed the board calculatively.
“Am I not also half human, as you and Dr. McCoy seem so eager to remind me of every chance it is convenient?”
“I see...now you’re admitting it because for once it’s convenient for you ,” Jim grinned at him.
“I mention it when it is relevant,” Spock countered, moving a piece.
“Well, I’m not telling you,” Jim said as he moved a piece immediately.
“You will not share this crucial information?” Spock asked, and knew that Jim had not missed the sarcasm.
“Oh, so now it’s crucial ?” Jim smiled.
Spock moved again, and Kirk countered it with ease.
The Vulcan reminded himself to attempt to be less predictable.
“Did you ever celebrate Christmas, Spock?”
“My mother was Jewish,” Spock replied, making another move which Jim countered so quickly, it was as though he was doing it at random.
“So, Chanukah?” Jim amended.
Spock was thrilled to see that, in his haste, Kirk had finally made himself vulnerable. He made his move.
“Yes, and check.”
Spock tried to keep the triumph from his eyes as he looked upon his challenger.
Jim grinned at the board.
“So you got eight presents over the days of Chanukah?”
“Are you implying that your withholding of life-changing information is equivalent to waiting to unwrap a gift?”
Jim pretended to think about it, pursing his lips. “Yes.”
“I never understood the logic behind wrapping an item in paper...one has already obtained the item...what purpose does it serve to hide it and then prolong its exposure?”
Jim raised his eyebrows in amusement.
“Are you going to make a move, Captain?”
Kirk seemed to think for a moment.
“We like to delay our pleasures, Spock. It’s a human thing.” Jim met Spock’s gaze and held it. “We like the pondering...the hoping, and imagining.” The younger man picked at his pawns without making a move.
“Why spoil the surprise?”
Jim took his fingers from the board, much to Spock’s frustration, and looked down at the board, long lashes hiding his eyes from the Vulcan. He looked almost...bashful.
“How does it end, Spock?”
The question was sincere, and so the First Officer reviewed the vision that he had received from the Priestess, in his mind...and pushed away the same puzzlement he had been confronted with the first time she had shown it to him. Spock crossed his arms over himself, and lifted an eyebrow in mock indignation.
“I find that I am not compelled to tell you at this time.”
Jim let out a belly laugh and picked up his bishop.
Uhura and Spock were having dinner in her quarters when she brought it up.
“I heard that Sindock is getting bonded,” she said in Vulcan, glancing up at him quickly, and then back down at her food.
“I have been informed,” Spock replied in English, taking a bite of his vegetables.
There was silence for a moment while Nyota seemed to mull over what she wanted to say next. Then-
“Listen. I know that Vulcans are healthier when they’re bonded...and I know that I said, when we first got together, that I didn’t want to get married until I was in the perfect place in my career...but I want you to know that if you’re thinking of bonding, I am open to the discussion.”
She met his eyes, her own filled with sincerity.
Spock regarded her. He had always admired her ability to get straight to the point. She was never afraid of confrontation.
We like the pondering...the hoping, and imagining.
“Thank you, Nyota,” was all Spock could say.
I know how it ends.
“We figured it ou’ Cap’n! Bout time too, my quarters were baltic!” Scotty said over the ‘com.
Spock watched a brilliant smile split Jim’s handsome face when he heard that...little laughter lines wrinkling the corners of his blue eyes, mirroring the Vulcan’s own amusement.
Something tugged again.
Spock and Jim had been in the middle of their morning meditation when they had gotten the call.
“Hear that, Spock? You can finally get the privacy you’ve been missing out on,” Jim said.
There was something in his voice...some feeling that matched the one that flickered through Spock’s mind.
He hadn’t found doing private activities with Jim any more arduous than when he did them alone. In fact, Spock’s efficiency rate had increased by 2.5% since they had taken up their activities together 3 days ago.
The idea of not doing his work in the company of his Captain was...unpleasant.
“I have not found working with you to be distracting,” Spock replied.
Something passed over the blue eyes.
“Neither have I…”
There was silence and then they both spoke at once.
“Maybe you could-”
“I would not be averse to-”
They both stopped abruptly, and Jim grinned at him.
“Okay,” he said.
Spock let his eyes linger over the smiling face...the way Jim looked with nothing but the dim light...and all of space behind him….
You know how it begins…
How does it begin, Jim?
They held eye contact, lost in their own thoughts until the chirp of the communicator broke the silence.
Jim cleared his throat and seemed to flush in the darkness as he flipped open his communicator.
“Captain Kirk here.”
It was Scotty again, and there was hesitation in his voice this time, which made Jim’s eyes narrow.
“What happened, Mr. Scott?”
“I dunnae Cap’n...but...we dinna fix the controls like we tho’....”
Jim and Spock stared at what remained of Jim’s quarters. When they had “fixed” the controls, everything had been working fine for a total of five minutes, according to Mr. Scott, before a fire started in some of the rooms...including this one.
The damage wasn’t severe...and most of the items were intact, if not warped. Most of Jim’s things, outside of his sleeping alcove, would need to be replaced, including his replicator. The room was still fit for habitation...and the temperature had actually been reduced slightly, which was a relief.
“Was there anything of value, Jim?” Spock asked, surveying the damage with scrutiny.
“Nah,” Jim said, shrugging. “It’s just stuff.” He looked over at Spock now. “Alright, show me yours.”
Spock’s quarters looked like a meat locker.
A chair had fallen over and had shattered into little pieces, it was so cold.
“We should get your valuables off of high places,” Jim said immediately upon seeing the state of the chair. Without another word, he had climbed Spock’s bed and was gingerly removing Spock’s Lirpa from the wall. The Vulcan was taken aback by the care Jim put into this action...the concern he had for Spock’s memories….
“Thank you, Jim,” Spock said sincerely, and joined him on the bed so that he could carefully remove more of his items.
Kirk took down a framed photograph of Spock in his Formal Starfleet attire, standing beside his mother who was dressed in Vulcan formal robes. Jim stared at the picture for a minute, his eyes running over the figures...taking it all in. Spock was busy watching how his long lashes barely casted a shadow over the intelligent eyes.
“You have her eyes,” Jim said, almost to himself.
And Spock’s heart did something in his side….
You know how it begins.
“Accommodate for guest,” Jim said as they entered his quarters.
A twin sized bed appeared a respectable distance from the Captain’s own. Jim hopped onto his bed, stretching his legs out and pulled his PADD from his nightstand, ready to get to work.
“Mi casa es su casa,” Jim said, gesturing to the guest bed at his side, his eyes not leaving his work.
Spock eyed the bed for a second, wondering about the appropriateness of the situation before sitting down on the bed. He rationalized that this was how he himself worked when alone in his quarters...and Jim was his friend…..
It didn’t take them long to get back into their usual rhythm, their workspace irrelevant to their natural workflow.
They worked like that for hours in companionable silence before Spock excused himself and went to dine and sleep with Nyota.
That night when he lay next to her, his body was stiff and awkward, and when he woke the next morning, he did not feel rested….
“Where have you been all day?” Nyota asked the next evening after he had returned from Jim’s quarters. She spoke in perfect Vulcan, which always impressed him.
When Spock had arrived at her door, she had not been there, and had met him outside 4.30 minutes after he had gotten there. She had looked flushed, her eyes not meeting Spock’s. He hadn’t thought about it, but she had been silent while he had prepared their dinner, and had been silent while eating until this moment.
“I spent the evening with the Captain going over reports,” Spock answered truthfully in English. “Where were you, previously?”
There was nothing accusatory in his tone, but it didn’t keep her from meeting his gaze with eyes a little wider...like a child who had been caught doing something against the rules. Her eyes cast back down to her food and she speared a vegetable.
“I was helping Monty work on the Ambient Controls,” she said in English, shoving the fork in her mouth.
“I am gratified to hear that. Perhaps it will expedite this venture,” Spock said, taking a bite of his food.
There was silence again, and then-
“It’s nice that you and Jim are becoming friends,” she smiled at him. “You can tell that you guys have been working better together." She had switched to Vulcan again. She took another bite and added in English “You guys make a great team.”
Spock took another bite of his food so that he would be spared having to answer.
He didn’t know what to say.
You know how it ends.
Even after the controls had been completely repaired (thanks to Uhura and her never ending knowledge of delicate machinery), Spock spent his evenings with Jim, working together at the desk. Their combined efficiency had increased by 10.4% now, and their rate of effectiveness on the Bridge had increased by a drastic 23.55%. All it took was a touch...a look...a word that referred to some inside joke, and they knew what the other was trying to indicate. This came in handy during their missions when it was important to communicate in a more covert manner, and when they had to think and work quickly.
They had managed to become such a conducive unit, that when Admiral Pike would introduce them, it was simply as “Enterprise.”
Over the time that their friendship had blossomed, Spock seemed to make connections with the other crewmen more easily...and before he knew it, he privately referred to the crew (in his mind, so no one would ever hear his illogical feelings) as family.
“No,” Jim said with finality, handing a PADD he had just signed back to the Yeoman.
“Jim, no one else knows how to use the device-”
“Then teach them how,” the Captain shot back.
“That would take too much time.”
“I don’t care, I’m not sending my First Officer into that volcano.”
“Is there some implication that one life is more valuable than another-”
“It won’t get to that point, but the fact of the matter is I need you on the ship-”
“You are being highly illogical. It would take far too much time that we do not have to-”
They were now standing face to face, Spock’s hands behind his back, and Jim’s hands on his hips.
“Uh oh...Mom and Dad are fighting,” Chekov’s voice cut in, and Sulu’s subsequent snicker stopped the conversation for a second.
“Spock, train someone else. I’m going to be on the planet with McCoy, Sulu is going to be piloting the shuttle, I need you here in command.”
“Captain, an entire civilization is at steak. The longer we discuss this the less time we have to neutralize the volcano.”
“The answer is no Spock.”
Kirk’s blue eyes met his own, his jaw set.
“I have worked on this project from its conception," Spock implored him. "I know the device better than any other crewmember, and am also the only one strong enough to carry it. Mr. Scott is third in command and he will be present on the Enterprise during the mission.”
“Yeah, making sure our ship doesn’t explode from being under water .”
“Regardless, he will be present.”
“Listen, Spock, I get that you’re proud of your invention-”
“Pride is a human emotion, Jim.”
Kirk gave him that unamused look.
“I get that you’re invested, ” Jim raised his eyebrows challengingly “in the outcome of the project you’ve worked so hard on. But there is no way that I can justify placing my First Officer in danger.”
Jim looked around, seemingly conscious of their audience. Then he said softly enough for Spock’s ears “I can’t send you down there, Spock...I can’t…lose you.”
Spock’s heart seemed to stop, as he looked over the vulnerable face. He leaned a little closer.
“I know how it ends.”
Jim’s eyes lit up, and a little smile graced his lips. Then he sighed. “Okay,” he sounded resigned. “Fair enough.”
Spock had told himself, up to this point, that he hadn’t believed any of what the Priestess had shown him...divinations were illogical, and there were too many variables that needed to be taken into consideration.
Every day...every night...every moment that he spent with Jim...every affectionate thought, and every unspoken agreement, Spock had dismissed the reality of the vision.
But now, faced with his imminent demise...surrounded by flames and lava...about to be frozen to death by his own device, he believed.
Spock let himself believe.
Though he knew that the Enterprise had no way of getting him out of this situation in time without revealing themselves to the underdeveloped civilization, he knew he wasn’t going to die here….
This is not how it ends
He reached his hands out in surrender...and waited to be proven wrong.
When he had finished taking the suit off, he heard the doors to the changing room open, and storming footsteps. He had been expecting Dr. McCoy, armed with a medical scanner and a hypo, but was surprised to see Jim, whose jaw was clenched, his eyes red.
“I told you not to go down there,” Jim said, his voice a hiss. “You could have-”
Spock grabbed him and held him close, and Kirk wrapped his arms around him tight, as though letting him go would put him in danger again.
“You saved me, T’hy’la,” Spock whispered, his heart suddenly speeding up when he heard the word fall from his lips.
“Bones said you would have let me die,” Jim murmured against his shoulder. “Would have chosen to follow the prime directive….”
Spock felt himself stiffen...the thought of letting Jim die-
The Vulcan pulled away, his eyes boring into Kirk’s.
“What do you believe, Jim?”
The human looked at a loss for words, his eyes still glistening from tears. He shrugged, a pained look on his face.
“I know what I’d like to believe.”
Spock reached to touch Jim’s face, but pulled away when the doors to the changing room squeaked open.
It was Nyota, and it seemed that Spock had another volcano to neutralize.
“Are you giving him Hell, Captain?” she demanded, her eyes smoldering into Spock’s.
“Affirmative,” Jim said, keeping his voice steady. “But you can take your turn.”
He didn’t look at Spock as he turned and walked out of the room, leaving the Vulcan alone with a very angry Uhura.
He watched Jim go...his heart reaching out to him.
I know how it ends.
Spock observed Jim’s face after Admiral Pike had told him that he’d had his ship taken from him. His heart felt like it was being ripped out when he realised that Kirk was deliberately not meeting his eyes.
This is not how it ends.
“The truth is...I’m gonna miss you.”
You know how it begins, Jim...you know how it begins...you must believe that we shall see each other again.
But Spock said none of these things out loud... just stood there, gaping at him stupidly.
How could he tell Jim how much he meant to him now? How he had embedded himself into Spock’s life...how he had become such a part of him that Spock couldn’t imagine a life without him...a day...a morning...an evening.
Jim rolled his eyes and walked away, and Spock stared at where he had stood.
This is not how it ends.
Spock received a delivery to his accommodations in San Francisco. It was a package from his father. There was a message left for him over the top.
“I heard about your reassignment and believed that now would be an appropriate time to send you these items.”
Spock felt something inside of him warm as he thought of how his mother would have translated this note for him.
“I heard what happened, and I thought I’d send these things to you to make you feel better.”
When he opened the lid to the box, he felt a tiny smile form on his lips when his suspicions were confirmed. There was a small bag of Vulcan candies from the newly developed colony...the ones his father would discreetly allow him after a particularly bad row with the other boys at school.
Underneath, encased in a protective container, was his mother’s necklace. He let his fingers touch the blue stone, remembering her. There was also a new set of robes, incense, tea, and a beaten golden ring in a velvet box. Spock recognized it immediately as his mother’s father’s wedding ring. She had kept it on a chain around her neck, and Spock was touched that his father had thought to send it to him.
At the very bottom was a book of Vulcan poetry from the pre reform era, and he flipped it to the inside cover. There, in Vulcan, it said “I thought you’d like this. Found it on a mission, and had father send it to you. Miss you, brother. -Michael.”
He hadn’t heard from his sister in awhile and was looking forward to flipping through the pages to read the notes that she had left in the margins, as they both did when they shared books with one another.
He flipped to a page that had been dogeared. In Vulcan it was poetic, but in English, the translation was a blocky, rough poem. All the same, his breath caught in his throat when he read it.
As a the tree never stops reaching for the sun
I shall never stop reaching for you
If my roots keep us apart
All that I do
all that I create
will have your golden touch woven into it
I pray for a lifetime of beginnings with you
and one ending to bind us together.
He watched Admiral Pike die...guarded his katra as he went with the intention of returning it somehow to Christopher’s beloved wife, who he affectionately referred to as his “Number One.”
Spock had lost his mother, his planet, and was now losing the man that he had looked up to since he had rejected the path that Vulcan had expected of him. A father in his own right. And now he was gone.
A felt a warm hand on his shoulder...Jim...Jim was well...he was safe…
Jim could have been taken from him during this whole ordeal…..
I know how it ends.
He felt the hand slip away. Spock took one last look at the vacant, powder blue eyes and followed Jim. The human turned to him, his blue eyes glistening with unabashed tears.
“It’s all my fault...all my fault-if I had just...figured it out faster-”
Spock pulled the younger man into his arms, holding him...his hands threading into his hair.
“This was not your fault,” Spock murmured into Jim’s ear.
“It was my fault...it was-”
“No, Jim,” Spock assured him gently. He brushed a kiss into the younger man’s hair without thinking, his mind on the feel of Jim safe in his arms...the warmth and weight he had become so familiar with after over a year of sparring….
He felt Pike’s last moments fluttering through his mind...how the man’s soul had reached out for his mate so far away...the way Spock’s was reaching for Jim now…
and he believed.
The Priestess had been correct.
It was love.
He loved Jim.
After the awkward confrontation at the most inappropriate moment with Uhura...in front of Jim no less, Nyota had finally begun talking to Spock again, going about their relationship as though nothing had happened. She was sweet and affectionate, giving him kisses when he didn’t expect it, and inviting him to come and stay the night with her.
At dinner, he presented her with the necklace that had been his mother’s. Her eyes widened and she touched the blue stone with awe. Then she looked at him with an expression of pure disbelief.
“Are you sure?” she asked in a hushed voice, too surprised to say it in Vulcan.
Spock had been taken aback.
“I respect and care for you. You have been a cherished constant in my life, Nyota.”
This was the truth. Their friendship had been something that had kept him afloat in the dark times after he had lost his planet. Her kindness, intelligence and strength were ballasts in his otherwise turbulent emotional sea.
I know how it ends.
She smiled, her dark eyes meeting his.
“Thank you,” she said, taking his fingers in an kiss.
He felt his heart sink.
The way that Khan looked at Jim made Spock feel a brush of unwelcome fury...making him question, only for a second, why he had advocated for his life. He thought of how Jim had set aside his own white rage on behalf of the only father he had ever known for logic...for Spock.
And now here the murderer was, beautiful, stoic, with alabaster skin, sharp cheekbones, and eyes that couldn’t seem to decide what color to be. A
And those eyes were on Jim like he was the most appealing thing he had seen since his birth.
And the way Khan had purposely degraded him in front of Jim...as though he knew that Spock was a...different kind of threat.
The Vulcan had come to accept his feelings regarding the Captain, and he tried to keep from brooding as they headed to the conference room.
“You okay?” Jim asked.
Spock said nothing.
That evening in Jim’s quarters, they looked up any information they could about Khan and his frozen crew.
“He ruled Earth for awhile,” Jim commented.
Spock was not happy to hear the obvious admiration in the younger man’s voice.
“He had a relatively peaceful rule…” the Captain continued. “Not bad, for a despot...he and his crew were part of a special breeding program, like he said, and they are somewhere around three times stronger than a human.”
“As are Vulcans,” Spock said, trying to sound more conversational than defensive.
The blue eyes went to Spock and Jim grinned.
Spock chastised himself internally for his weakness.
“Indeed,” he confirmed, pretending to focus on what he was reading.
Jim now turned his whole body to face Spock.
“Who do you think would win in a fight? You or Khan?”
His eyes were sparkling with mischief.
“As Khan observed, I would not be willing to break a bone, let alone a rule.”
Spock tried not to sound like he was mocking their captive, but knew that he had failed.
“So you’re saying he’d win?”
“I did not say that, Captain,” Spock retorted, raising his eyebrow.
Jim chuckled with delight.
“I think you’d beat him...if you were willing,” Kirk added offhandedly as he turned to continue his work.
He was sincere.
I would break every bone in his body if I saw him looking at you that way again. Jim’s eyes darted up, his face a picture of surprise, and Spock realised that he had said that last part aloud.
He was spared any awkwardness though, as Jim released a booming laugh.
“Jealous, Spock?” he asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Spock just lifted an eyebrow and looked pointedly back at his PADD.
This is not how it ends.
This is not how it ends.
This is not how it ends.
Spock’s heart hammered in his side as bright blue eyes looked at him through thick glass.
No no no no no no
This is not how it ends.
The glass was cold under his skin as he tried to force the tears from his eyes so he could see his Captain...his T’hy’la…
Their hands would have been touching had it not been for the transparent door between them...he would have been able to take his katra...keep it...because it belonged with him...Spock was certain…
This is not how it ends.
He watched the life drain from the blue eyes that he loved so dearly...watched the man who had come to be his everything leave the life as they knew it...leave Spock….
I belong by your side…
This is not how it ends.
Spock had not accepted Nyota’s comfort. He waited for Jim to wake, and McCoy had looked upon him with an air of understanding.
“He’s getting better, Spock. You should get some rest.”
Spock had only shook his head, not trusting his voice.
He was grateful to Dr. McCoy, who had been the reason why Jim was alive now. Spock had been gazing into the white wall of the lobby, unable to rest or to meditate, when the CMO stepped into his line of vision.
“Spock. He’s waking up.”
The Vulcan preceded to rise to his feet when Leonard gently pushed him back down.
“Give us ten minutes, and then come on in, okay?”
Spock felt his eyes moisten and he looked down at his lap abruptly, the exhaustion making it difficult for him to regain control of himself.
“Thank you, Leonard.”
“Sure thing,” McCoy said gruffly, his voice gravelly with emotion.
Spock waited exactly 9 minutes and 59 seconds, all of which felt like hours, before he flung himself out of the seat and made a beeline for the hospital room. He pushed the door open and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the smiling blue eyes.
Jim was alive...and he was well….
“You saved my life,” Jim said, smiling up at him, the weakness in his body fading. Spock heard McCoy make some kind of snarky remark behind him, but he didn’t listen...all he could see was Jim...and all Jim seemed to see was Spock.
The Vulcan was vaguely aware of McCoy leaving the room, and the moment they were alone, Spock sank down onto the bed, seizing Jim’s hand in his own. He brought it to his lips and let out a shuddering breath.
“Come here,” Jim said, reaching out to him. “Lay with me.”
Spock obeyed and pulled Jim into his arms, letting out a sigh of relief at the familiar stream of thoughts...the weight of his katra...that which he had almost lost….
“I’m okay,” Jim reassured him gently.
Spock nodded, burying his nose in the soft locks of golden hair...finally relaxing as he sensed his t’hy’la’s increasing health.
“I shall not let you out of my sight,” Spock sighed.
Jim’s body rumbled a little with a soft chuckle, but fell silent, and soon they were both asleep in each other’s arms.
Spock had a hard time leaving Jim’s side after that...couldn’t stand the thought of losing him again.
Nyota had begun to notice his distance...had commented on it only once, but Spock had said nothing.
The First Officer spent the evenings with Jim...foregoing the desk for the bed. They would lay on top of the covers, side by side, in the bed that had been made to accommodate two.
It was an unspoken thing.
They would discuss matters concerning the ship, and hold their PADD’s so that they could see each other’s work. Their efficiency rate had increased an impossible 56.9%, and their missions were a booming success.
At times they would fall asleep together like this, and Spock would wake up with a crick in his neck, his head resting on Jim’s who had fallen asleep on his shoulder. Spock enjoyed these nights, feeling Jim alive and close to him. Most of the time, they would both wake up, wordlessly strip into their underclothes and fall asleep together in the bed.
They wouldn’t often touch as they slept.
It was on one of these nights that Spock discovered that Jim had horrifying nightmares, causing the younger man to wake up trembling. It was only at those times that Spock would touch him, pulling him into his body and soothing him. He would stroke his hair and murmur calming words into his ear, as his mother used to when Spock was a child, or he would initiate a gentle meld to soothe the troubled thoughts, the way T’Pau, his grandmother would.
Either way, Spock would pour all of the love he had into Jim’s skin.
It never took long for Kirk to fall back into a deep and peaceful sleep, and Spock would watch him.
I know how it ends.
Spock had originally thought that the nightmares were stemmed from the trauma of experiencing death, until one night Jim had fallen asleep against him, his head resting on Spock’s shoulder.
The Vulcan pulled the PADD gently from Jim’s grasp with the intention of putting it on the nightstand when he happened to see the subject line of what Jim had been reading.
“For all survivors of Tarsus IV….”
Spock’s heart had gone ice cold at the words.
He waited until the next day to mention it.
“You were on Tarsus IV.”
Jim looked at him, not bothering to deny it.
“Yeah. I’m one of the last seven people in the universe who have ever seen Kodos in person.” He let out a humorless laugh. “Lucky me.”
“You never told me,” Spock said softly. There was no accusation in his tone. “I would have understood.”
Tears sprung to the corners of Jim’s eyes.
“ I would have understood...if you had ever come to me.” Kirk took Spock’s hand and brought it to his own face. “But we haven’t alway been friends, have we?”
Spock pulled him into his arms.
“I grieve with thee, t’hy’la….”
Jim pulled away and looked into Spock’s eyes, and the Vulcan cradled his face and pulled him into a soft kiss. Their lips moved together, and they both sighed when Jim opened his mouth and Spock licked into it to taste him….
It was like taking the first breath after being under water.
It felt so good...so right….
Jim pulled away reluctantly.
“Spock...this isn’t how it begins….”
The Vulcan pulled away, and Kirk looked panicked, like he didn’t want to let him go, but he released him anyway.
“I love you...fuck, Spock, I love you so fucking much ... I really-” Jim’s eyes were shining with tears, and he swallowed. “But Uhura...you two are...together. I’m not...I’m not that kind of person….”
I know how it ends.
Like all of the agreements they seemed to have these days, this was an unspoken one.
Spock stopped coming to Jim’s quarters in the evening...stopped meditating with him in the morning...and stopped working out with the Captain after their shifts. They still spent their lunches together, playing chess, but they kept their conversations professional.
Spock tried to isolate the anguish that he felt in his heart. He had heard it said that time had the ability to heal wounds, but for the Vulcan, it just seemed to make it worse.
He tried spending more time with Nyota, who was extremely busy these days working with Mr. Scott on some project or another. She laughed a lot when she was with the Engineer, Spock noticed...she seemed happy when he was around...happy in a way that Spock had never made her happy. From afar, he watched Jim and McCoy become closer and closer.
On one particular evening, Spock was eating dinner in the rec room with Nyota and Mr. Scott who were hovering over the Chief Engineer’s PADD, speaking rapidly with one another, when Spock just so happened to glance (for the 20th time so far) over at the table where Jim and Leonard were sitting.
He watched with a heavy sorrow as the older man gently placed his hand on Jim’s. The Captain smiled at him warmly, and Spock had to fight the urge to storm over there and tear their hands apart.
As they all congregated for shore leave on Deneva, Spock overheard Jim and McCoy chatting away. Spock was able to hear enough of the conversation to know that the CMO intended on staying with Jim and his family on Deneva. It seemed from their conversation that Leonard knew the Kirks intimately...and then Spock heard it….
“So, should I change my name to Kirk after the wedding?”
“That might make life on the ship a little more confusing,” Jim pointed out.
“Not really,” the doctor replied. “You’ll be Captain Kirk, and I’ll be Doctor Kirk….”
“Don’t count your chickens yet, doctor, you still need my stepdad’s approval before you marry any of his sons.”
“What are you talking about? Brandon loves me-”
The doors slid shut before Spock could hear anything more.
He was broken.
Spock spent shore leave on the ship...not heeding any of Nyota’s pleas.
This is not how it ends.
Spock would not stop believing….