It started out like an average mission, Jim would later recall.
Well, not entirely. Spock had been more talkative than he normally was. Declaring to Jim as they prepared for beam down to the planet surface that Uhura had expressed an interest in speaking to him, when he returned, about their future.
“Wants to reconcile, does she?” Jim had asked, absently.
According to Spock, they were sort of on and sort of off, as they had been since shortly before their visit to Yorktown when their relationship had ended because Spock intended to leave Starfleet to help New Vulcan.
That had not occurred, as Jim now knew, but there had never been an official reconciliation. They’d just sort of continued on as if there never had been a breakup in the first place. According to Spock, that was. And other sources Jim knew.
“I am not certain that is her intention,” Spock had admitted. “It may, possibly, be quite the opposite.”
That had, unfortunately, got Jim’s full intention. He had stared at Spock, probably for far too long. “Yeah?” He cleared his throat. “I mean, well, how do you feel about that?”
“We remain on good terms, regardless of the outcome of our romantic intentions.”
“Good. You ready for this?”
And that had been the conversation and how it ended just before they’d gone on the mission.
Everything had gone to hell then, once they were on that supposedly average mission, and they’d had to beam back onto the Enterprise in a hurry.
Scotty had warned them that something odd was going on with the transporter, but it was either chance it or get fucked up on the planet.
Even still there was a moment where Jim knew he hadn’t fully formed on the transporter, his whole body had wavered, and he’d felt sick, and a sense of impending doom and panic had set it, and then he was back on the planet looking at an equally rattled Spock.
“That was most unpleasant, Captain.”
“Trying again, Captain.”
“Hurry. We’re sitting—”
The transport activated.
This time, to his relief, Jim reappeared on the Enterprise.
“Wow, that was freaky and—”
But Scotty and Bones were rushing toward Spock, who had apparently shown up unconscious. And bleeding.
“Oh God! I was so worried!” Jim heard just before Uhura flung her arms around his neck and pressed into him.
Jim blinked. Then looked down at the unconscious Vulcan…human beside him. Him. He was lying beside himself. The blood was red, not green. Bones worked on him. But that made no sense.
Then he saw his own arm. Enclosed in blue. Spock’s rank on the cuff.
“Spock?” Uhura was speaking to him. “What happened down there? The captain—”
“We have to get him to the medbay right way,” Bones was saying over Jim’s body. He was shouting into his communicator. “Get a gurney here stat.”
“Bones, how bad is it?”
Bones glanced at him in surprise. “Are you trying to be funny?”
“Not at all. Look—”
“Get yourself to the medbay, too, Spock. I need to check you out too.”
The doors to the transporter room opened and medics came forward to put Jim's body on to the gurney.
Fuck. Okay. If he was in Spock, was Spock in him? Or was? He swayed.
“Hey, hey,” Uhura held him up. “Leonard’s right. You need to get to the medbay right away.”
She gave him a funny look. “Not now. Let me help you to sickbay.”
Jim allowed her to help him at this point, because clearly something wasn’t right and he was beginning to wonder if he wasn’t hallucinating the whole thing and was instead lying on the surface of the planet bleeding out or something.
He stumbled as he started to walk. He was unused to Spock’s longer legs. It was quite disorienting. How the hell was something like this even possible? He needed Spock to wake up, so he could see if Spock was there, in his own body.
“You don’t look very good, honey,” Uhura said to him as she helped him down the corridor, arm around him.
Having her fuss over him and call him endearments was incredibly weird, but he suspected if he blurted out that he was Jim, not Spock, at this point, she would likely not believe him.
When they entered the medbay, Bones yelled out, from where he was, dealing with Jim’s body. “Have Spock sit on that biobed over there. M’Benga will be right with him.”
Uhura helped him onto the biobed. She glanced to where Bones and Chapel were attending to their more seriously injured patient. Well…him.
“I hope the captain will be okay.”
“Yeah, me too.”
She looked back at him, brows furrowed. “Did you hit your head?”
“I think…maybe.” He cleared his throat. “Uh. Nyota.” And Spock’s voice came out. Which, naturally, it had been all along, but now that he was merely sitting there, trying to process this, he actually heard himself. Well, Spock.
He was saved from further conversation by the appearance of M’Benga.
“Doc.” Jim winced. “tor.”
M’Benga paused only briefly as he took out a tricorder to scan. “Lieutenant,” he addressed Uhura. “Could you gives us some privacy?”
“It’s okay, Nyota,” Jim said. Then shifted uncomfortably when they both stared at him. “Why don’t you check on Jim? Captain Kirk.”
She nodded. “Yeah, I should. All right. I’ll be right back.” She leaned in to kiss him and Jim pulled back. Her lips landed on his cheek, but she didn’t seem to care.
M’Benga continued to scan him. “Any discomfort?”
“Yeah, I mean, she’s with…” Jim stopped. “Well. She was. I don’t…Not really, no.”
M’Benga lowered his scanner. “Everything’s normal for you, Commander. But you do seem a little off.”
“Definitely not. You are the perfect Vulcan specimen.” M’Benga folded his arms over his chest. “However—”
“Have you ever heard of a transporter causing, I don’t know, I’m not even sure how to word this, brains or something to switch bodies, because listen—”
There was a clang from over by Bones and the rest. Jim turned his attention over there. Slipping off the biobed to stand next to M’Benga.
“He’s going into cardiac arrest!” Bones exclaimed.