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Unstable Matter

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“You should leave,” Spock said as he strode into his bedroom. Depositing his satchel upon the floor, he approached the figure sprawled upon his bed.

Kirk did not visually register Spock’s approach, nor did he look up from his PADD. Several more were strewn across the mattress and he was scrawling notes with one hand while scrolling with another. He also happened to be lounging in nothing but a pair of distractingly tight black boxers.

Spock barely resisted the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. He toed off his boots and kicked them out of the way. “You have thirteen days remaining to your campus probation and final exams are approaching.”

Kirk scratched his nose and pushed his glasses atop his head in order to squint at some text. “Which is why I’m blatantly studying, so go somewhere else.”

“You are in my quarters,” Spock replied tightly, his vision hazing green. “Off of school grounds, as if you were not aware. You will depart if I order it.”

How Kirk managed to break into Spock’s apartment time and again still escaped him. Speciality locks had not been successful in keeping the man out. He was like a plague that Spock could not be rid of.

And the fact that after five months Spock was still uncertain whether or not he wanted Kirk gone was the most painful barb in his side. Naturally, there was sex – but beyond their savage intercourse, Kirk had yet to profess any inclination he had toward Spock since the day of the Kobayashi Maru debacle.

After Kirk’s initial proclamation that Spock would ‘date’ him, there had only been radio silence and the errant icy slap of emotion from Kirk’s psyche through prolonged touch.

Spock was not a man who allowed himself to be passive or uninformed. He needed to know things – everything, if possible. And Kirk’s leaving him in the dark was growing more infuriating by the day. Spock required answers or Kirk would have to be discarded.

Kirk set down his stylus atop a PADD and coolly glanced over his shoulder, seemingly unimpressed with Spock’s looming physique overshadowing him. “I don’t need you to play babysitter, Spock. I’ve been sneaking off campus for months now. No one’s caught me yet and they’re not going to.”

“Your extracurricular activities are not my concern unless they involve you breaking into my home for no apparent reason.”

Kirk’s eyes darkened before he grunted a noncommittal noise and returned his attention to his studies. “I don’t see you throwing me out any time soon.”

Spock clenched his fists and imagined bunching his hands in Kirk’s hair in order to yank him up and off the bed. “I believe that is exactly what I am doing.”

“You’re going through the motions,” Kirk said with his usual aplomb.

Kirk rarely lied; something Spock still found perplexing, as Kirk remained the most manipulative person he had ever come across. Both were admirable qualities and yet utterly unnerving on some level.

In many ways, Spock was not nearly as honest as James Kirk – and that was simultaneously humbling and antagonising. Kirk should not be superior to Spock in any way. He was merely Human, and Spock was exceedingly more than that.

And what befuddled Spock most was, much to his increasing ire, he found himself more impressed than incensed by Kirk with each passing day.

Anyway, Spock could not debate Kirk’s observation; it was too near the truth. He settled for sitting upon the edge of the bed, not touching Kirk, and picking up a PADD at random. Spock stared blankly at the screen, his jaw stiff and shoulders calcified with unease. “Why are you here, Kirk?”

“Told you. Studying.” Kirk did not look up from his work and his face was impassive as ever. His inhuman control never ceased to tear a begrudging admiration from Spock.

“There are other suitable places to study aside from my quarters. Particularly when I am not home.”

“What d’you care? It’s not like I’m stealing your shit. Nothing worth stealing anyway – your funky Vulcan meditation drugs aside.”

Spock gritted his teeth and tamped a flare of impatience. In all of these months Kirk had never said where this was going. He glued himself to Spock’s side – appeared at random moments and in random places and acted as if that were the height of normalcy. They ravaged each other’s bodies like animals and picked each other’s intellects like greedy vultures – and through it all, Kirk never communicated a desire to solidify their relationship to something stable.

It was not as if Spock were in love with Kirk. Spock did not know if he had the ability to regard another person in such away, aside from kin. Even then, he would snap his father’s neck if Sarek threatened his life or if Spock decided he was treating his mother improperly.

No, this was certainly not love. This twisting, tumultuous undercurrent of peculiar pain in Spock’s core was not anywhere near affection.

Spock wanted to open Kirk up; neat and clean and clinical until Kirk was flayed for him and only him to see. He wanted to inspect and catalogue the anatomy of a man like James Kirk – wanted to make sense of him. Spock wanted his hands inside Kirk, around his heart just to show him how it felt when –

“I care because,” Spock paused, inwardly choking on the words like bile.

Kirk was not bothered to pay full attention; he remained seemingly intent on his work.

Something snapped like bloody bones and tight muscle within Spock, and he sprung. Flipped Kirk onto his back and shackled his wrists in iron fingers. Kirk’s lips cut a sharp smile and his eyes were the shade of arctic skies – and the fact that he did not appear concerned or intimidated in the slightest scraped a snarl from the back of Spock’s throat. “Why do you continually return, Jim? What do you intend to gain from this – this directionless dalliance?”

Kirk met Spock’s narrowed gaze evenly. “Does it matter?”


“Why?” Kirk asked with the most sincerity Spock had ever seen in him. “I keep things interesting. You’re never bored.”

This was undoubtedly true. Kirk’s ability to string Spock along with sharp tugs of lavish attention and consequent days of utter disregard kept Spock stimulated. It was as if Kirk was playing a game while leaving Spock ignorant of the rules – as if Kirk knew that Spock would continue to follow along until he finally understood the terms of play.

It was as if Kirk was ‘keeping things interesting’ so that Spock would never have an excuse to walk away.

Spock blinked, his grip on Kirk’s wrists alleviating – and he very nearly smiled. Leaning in, Spock tucked his nose beneath Kirk’s jaw and inhaled deeply, relishing the light tremor in Kirk’s respiration. “I grow tired of your games.”

There. A splinter of panic shot between their now-laced fingers; a crack in Kirk’s icy fortification.

On the exterior, Kirk remained cool and controlled as he chuckled against the nape of Spock’s neck. “And you’re usually such a good liar. You love this. The hunt – the chase. You think we’d have lasted this long if you didn’t have a distant kill in your sights?”

Spock quirked an eyebrow and pulled back enough to inspect Kirk’s stubborn smirk. “How have you arrived at this conclusion?” Spock was not implying the theory was false, but he did wonder what gave him away.

“Your books, for one thing.”

Spock tilted his head. “I do not own books.”

Exactly.” Jim idly ran his thumb along Spock’s forefinger. “You buy these rare books, read them and chuck them out. You don’t care where they end up as long as they don’t clutter up the precious Feng Shui of your house or whatever.

“Point is, once you’ve gleaned what you can from them, you toss them. The book itself has no value to you. Hell, don’t think everyone isn’t aware of the recent training missions you’ve been on, either.”

Spock’s brow creased. “What?”

Kirk smiled with disturbing fondness. “You’ve literally killed a messenger on three separate occasions.”

“They had fulfilled their purpose. What does – I see,” Spock murmured, squeezing Kirk’s hand in an attempt to gauge his emotion. “You believe you are akin to a messenger to me.”

A surge of uneasiness passed between them as Kirk severed their prolonged stare. “I’m far more useful than a fucking messenger, Spock. You and I make a good team – you can’t deny that.”

“I have yet to deny anything,” Spock reminded him with a faint flash of teeth.

Kirk’s eyes chilled as he snapped, “Well then what the hell is the point of this conversation? We both know where we stand – so either get off of me or get me off.”

“No,” Spock mused, sitting back on his heels and firmly straddling Kirk’s hips. “I do not believe you recognise your place.”

He brought Kirk’s wrist to his mouth, scraped his teeth down the lace of blue veins beneath thin skin. Kirk shuddered as Spock spoke against his flesh. “When I catch you, Jim... When I secure you in my grasp, it will be the end of the game. You will be my reward, and I have no intention of releasing you. Everyone will see that I have captured the merciless James Kirk and they will, in turn, fear me as much as they do you. Possibly more.”

Kirk’s face and lips were flushed with arousal or fury, Spock could not tell which.

“I’d choke you with a fucking leash before you’d get to parade me around like a pet.” His hips bucked – and yes, Kirk was experiencing both emotions.

“You chose this. You wanted me,” Spock replied, already scraping his nails down Kirk’s ribs just to see the pink welts swell. “And allow me to assure you,” Spock paused and gripped both of Kirk’s hands, which had been busy with the clasps of his uniform. Their gazes tangled like barbed wire. “The feeling is entirely mutual.”

Relief and agitation flooded the space between them, but Kirk’s eyes burned bright with humour. “You make it sound like I didn’t already know. I just wanted to make you admit it.”

Before Spock could wonder whether or not Kirk had led him on this entire time in order to make him admit his weakness, a pair of incredibly insistent hands and lips had his mind conveniently blanking. Perhaps Kirk could stay a while longer.