Jim Kirk leaned against the observation glass, tears streaming down his face, his heart a sharp ache in his chest, and his stomach clenched tight. He couldn’t believe this. How was he supposed to get past this?
It was too much. So much pain. So much loss. Betrayal.
How could Spock do this? How?
He closed his eyes. “Not now, Bones.”
“Jim, no. You have to listen.” Bones touched his arm, grabbing it and turning Jim toward him. “Jim, look at me. Jim, come on. Open your eyes.”
Jim forced himself to look at his friend. “Bones,” he whispered brokenly.
“Yeah.” Bones smiled a little. “Jim, listen to me. I know you’re very upset, but—”
“Can you blame me? Spock-Spock cheated on me.”
“Jim, no. You need to listen.”
“I can’t. I can barely even think. God.” He tried to pull away from Bones’ hold but his friend held on tight.
“If you don’t calm down I’m going to give you a hypo.”
“Spock didn’t cheat on you!”
Jim finally pushed away from Bones and walked away, pacing the room. “I fucking saw it, Bones. I saw them together.”
“You saw Spock with his girlfriend, Uhura,” Bones said quietly.
“What? Since when?”
“Since always. Jim, they’ve been a couple since we met them.” He grabbed Jim’s biceps. “You aren’t with Spock, Jim. You never have been.”
He could feel his face drain of color. “What? But I…I remember. We-we are together.”
“No.” Bones had softened his voice even more. “Jim. You had an accident. You hit your head pretty badly on M56 and I thought you were okay, but you aren’t. That’s why I need you to come to the medbay so I can check your head injury again.”
Jim did feel very lightheaded all of a sudden. But…he couldn’t be wrong. He knew he and Spock had…hadn’t they?
Spock and Uhura had looked at him strangely when he had accused them.
He loved Spock. He did. And Spock—
“Come with me, Jim,” Bones said softly. “Let’s get you checked out.”
He let Bones take him off the observation deck and to the medbay. He didn’t speak and neither did Bones. They saw crew members on the way but Jim avoided their stares. Had everyone heard about him? About his…what? Mental breakdown?
“Here sit on this biobed, Jim. I’m going to do a scan.”
Jim numbly did as Bones said. Sitting through every scan and test Bones did without a protest or a word except when Bones asked him a question. He answered everything right.
Finally Bones sighed and looked unhappily at Jim. “I don’t understand it. Everything checks out. Just as it did before.”
Jim nodded. “Spock’s-Spock’s really with Uhura?”
“Yes, Jim. He is.”
He closed his eyes briefly. Then he opened them to look at Bones. He smiled falsely. “Can you do me a huge favor?”
“Can you put me out for twenty-four hours? Confined to quarters. I don’t think I can face anyone right now.” Especially them, Jim thought.
“No one thinks badly of you, Jim. They know about your head—”
“Of course I will. Is twenty-four long enough or you want more?”
He still had his duties. He was still captain. Whatever humiliation he faced. Whatever heartache.
“Yeah, that’s enough, Bones. Thanks.” Jim slid off the biobed. “Can you let Spock know? I really don’t want to talk to anyone.”
Bones stared at him a moment, then nodded. “Okay. I’ll keep them away.”
Jim hugged Bones. He was on the verge of a cry fest and he was trying not to be. “Thanks. You’re the best.”
He released his best friend and left the medbay for his quarters as quickly as he could.
Once there he took a very long hot water shower, letting the grief and torment out. Had he really lost his mind? Which was worse anyway? Thinking Spock had cheated on him or finding out that Spock had never ever loved him? Jim didn’t know.
When he returned to the main room he knew he had reports to do but he just couldn’t make himself do them. So he got himself tea and sat at his terminal staring at it blankly.
He had memories of them together. He did. Them making love. Him laughing. Spock’s raised eyebrows. A Bonding ceremony. Their apartment in San Francisco.
Jim buried his head in his hands.
“Fuck me. These aren't my memories. They’re-they’re his.”
Ambassador Spock. Now it all made sense. What he saw was them when they were older. Bonded. T’hy’la. Their married life together. There was no Uhura between them. Only love.
When the old Spock had melded with him all those years ago on Delta Vega, he’d transferred these memories to Jim. And somehow, when he hit his head on M56, they’d returned to his consciousness.
And Jim…was the biggest fool.
He’d made a mess of it. And a complete idiot out of himself. In front of Spock and Uhura. And in front of the whole crew, really.
All because of memories that weren’t his.
He contacted Bones but was told by Nurse Chapel that he was with someone and would return Jim's call later. He was pretty sure he heard pity in her tone.
“You know, I’ll try later, Christine. I think I’m going to get some sleep.”
“Very well, Captain. I’ll let him know just the same.”
He finished his tea. Vulcan spiced, actually. Which he got from those stupid false memories too. That Jim had learned to like it and drank it with his husband. A husband Jim didn’t have and never would.
He drafted a message to Spock.
Sorry about the mess earlier and the accusations. I now know they were all in my head. It’s a long story but they were false memories I received as transference from Ambassador Spock back on Delta Vega. Anyway, please apologize to Uhura for me. I hope we can all get past this.
He hit send before he could chicken out.
Then he staggered over to his bed and laid down, hoping sleep would take him and make things better when he finally woke.
He was awakened some time later by the chime of his door, which he ignored, placing the pillow over his head. It was probably Bones anyway and he’d talk to the doc later.
But Bones persisted because it continued to chime and chime.
Jim groaned. “Computer, identify pain in the ass.”
“Does not compute.”
“Computer, identify visitor.”
Okay, so Spock was going to insist on this confrontation. Terrific.
“Fuck. Computer, let him in.”