Spock walked into his quarters and stopped in the middle, unsure what to do. He was shaking still. He was so certain he had killed Jim. That this was the end for him. For them.
He would never recover.
Never mind his career, that was unimportant to killing…his captain.
This was much closer to killing Jim then when he had been choking him on the bridge during Nero.
In fact, he had killed Jim. He had. He would have. Jim would be dead. If not for McCoy’s neural paralyzer—
The madness that overtaken him. He had been so certain he would not have to go through this. He was only half Vulcan. Had had it drilled in to him so many times that he wasn’t considered Vulcan enough by his peers. His father—
Well, his father had expressed disappointment in him until the death of his mother.
Spock hadn’t believed T’Pring had survived the destruction of Vulcan, but she had. He’d learned that a year after. She hadn’t been on Vulcan at the time of the destruction. And even then, Spock had assumed she had the preliminary betrothal link they’d been given as children severed. She had always promised she would.
But then the madness came, and he knew then, T’Pring hadn’t severed their link. He’d turned from Nyota to bond with T’Pring, the one chosen for him. While his intention had never been to hurt Nyota, he had no choice but to do his duty. Her tears had not affected him much, as the fever had already started. He had not spoken to Nyota since he’d felt the Plak Tow. And he did not wish to see her or speak with her now.
He thought only of Jim.
Who had just been smiling, brightly, and with all the forgiveness Spock surely did not deserve. Grinning and proving to Spock that he was very much alive and so beautiful Spock’s heart hurt.
T’Pring. Why had she so cruelly chosen to jeopardize Jim’s life instead of just ending things between them before it ever reached this point? She cared not at all for Jim, who as a human, would have died at Spock’s hands.
Spock would have forever mourned the fact he had murdered his own friend. Never mind Spock’s romantic feelings for Jim, he was his friend, and T’Pring knew he would have killed Jim.
He could no longer deny to anyone, especially himself, his true feelings for Jim.
Spock glanced toward their shared bathroom. Jim was not presently in his quarters. Spock knew this because he was always hyper aware of Jim’s movements there. He heard nothing from that direction now.
Besides, he’d heard Jim make plans to see the doctor later. Something about a drink together. How they deserved it after everything they’d been through.
Jim should not be with McCoy. He should be with Spock. Where he belonged.
Jim was not his. Should never be. Spock was so ashamed.
Before he could even think to stop himself, Spock walked into their shared bathroom, straight through it, and into Jim’s quarters.
He paused just inside, almost in the doorway of the bathroom. He had never invaded this space without Jim present.
Spock turned to go back the way he’d come when he spotted Jim’s shirt lying on the end of his bed. His heart rate picked up dramatically as he realized which shirt it was.
Jim had been wearing this one when—
Spock’s breath hitched, and he walked over to Jim’s bed.
He might never have slept here again. Because Spock would have-would have—
Spock picked up the ruined shirt. The slashes across Jim’s chest were stained with blood. The blood of…
Spock clenched his eyes shut and turned toward his own quarters, the shirt still held in his hands. He walked through their shared bathroom and to his own quarters.
The blood. The slashes. The lirpa wounds.
What pain Jim must have felt.
Because of him.
He rubbed his thumb on the dried blood. It made him so ashamed and angry. Not at Jim, never. But at T’Pring. At himself. At those Vulcans who just planned on letting him kill his friend and captain.
Spock turned in anger to his laundry program. He could not stand for one more moment to see Jim’s blood there. Blood he spilled.
It made him want to resign his commission and put himself in for court martial all over again.
When the shirt came out clean, Spock pressed it to his face once more.
“Jim,” he whispered. Though it was illogical since he had just washed it, Spock was certain he could smell Jim on the material. There was no longer a trace of blood, but the slashes of the lirpa were still there. Still the evidence of what he’d done.
Tears pricked his eyes and he shoved his face into the shirt.
“Hey, Spock, sorry to cut through the bathroom, but I—”
Spock raised his head quickly to see the object of his affection, of his everything, standing in his quarters, staring at Spock in utter shock. His mouth hung open, his blue eyes were wide and so-so blue.
“Spock, are you okay? What are you doing?”
Jim moved from by the bathroom over to where Spock stood holding on to his shirt for dear life. “I’m okay, Spock. I’m right here.”
Jim searched his gaze, his eyes crinkling as he smiled gently. He pried the shirt from Spock’s hands, who let loose only reluctantly.
“Did you remove the blood?”
Spock nodded, mutely.
Jim pulled off his command tunic and the undershirt under it, then to Spock’s surprise, pulled the ruined shirt on, pulling it down over his chest. “See? No more cuts or blood.”
Spock stared at his chest through the slashes. He could see scars. He had scarredhim. He swallowed heavily. “The scars—”
“Oh. Well. Bones could have gotten rid of those or at least made them a little less prominent, but I…you would think I’m kind of weird.” Jim laughed, and Spock loved his laugh. So much. “Weirder.”
Spock breathed out. “You-you should laugh more. It is precious.”
Jim frowned. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Jim.” Spock could not hold himself back any longer. He needed to touch Jim. He realized how many times they had just touched, like it was natural, normal. And it was between them.
He seized hold of that shirt he had ruined and used it to pull Jim closer. His gaze strayed toward Jim’s nipples, plainly visible through the slashes in the shirt, something he had seen before, yes, Jim ruined his shirt often, though this was the first time Spock had been the cause, but he had never dared even look too long at them. He did now.
Before he could stop himself, he moved his hand to Jim’s chest. He swiped his thumb through the cut shirt and across the left one. Jim sucked in a breath.
His gaze met Jim’s. “You were saying about the scars?”
Jim shook his head, his Adam’s apple sliding down his throat. “Just…when we-we were sparring, you were lying on top of me and I just…I could feel you.” Jim’s face reddened. “All of you. I’ve-I’ve imagined it so many times, not like that, no, but, you and I, you on me like that, and I just never wanted to forget that feeling. Not that scars—”
“Jim.” Spock bent toward Jim’s chest, flicking his tongue out at the nipple he’d just swiped with his thumb.
He sucked on first one and then the other of Jim’s nipples, as his captain fell into his arms, sagging against him. He lifted Jim into his arms then and turned toward his bed. He planned on showing Jim just how precious he really was.
To Spock. Especially to Spock.