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Trade Winds

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The next thing Jim knew, sleep was over and he was already midway into the spiral of a panic attack that had dogged him all night. He snapped awake with a gasp, rolling instinctually to his side and grasping at his heart.

Count back from ten, he thought to himself, citing the Starfleet regulations that taught control. They weren’t his favorite, but being injured was par for the course in his line of work, and you couldn’t spiral into shock every time you caught a phaser to the shoulder or tumbled down some rocks.

He took box breaths, trying to get ahead of the lung spasms so he could hold his breath and force his heart rate to slow.

Where are you?

He was on New Vulcan. In Ambassador Sarek’s house. Naked, on top of the deep red sheets but still sweating bullets.

Where is the threat?

Spock wasn’t there. But he would be. Jim rolled back over. The window was too bright to even look at. Was it morning? How long had he slept?

Where is the injury?

No injury. Nothing to tend to, or plug up. Just good old fashioned anxiety.

The PADD was still on ship time. 1700 hours. Which meant he’d landed on New Vulcan twelve hours ago. He’d slept a lot, but, he noticed, felt much more like himself than he had the night before. Like the situation had cemented itself, or the psi-blocker had stopped psycho-somatic runoff from Spock’s distress.

Spock.

When his breathing was perfectly even, Jim got to his feet and noticed two things. One, a bookshelf. It was behind the open bathroom door, book spines pressed together across beams of metal. Two, some kind of coat rack? It was similarly cut out of the wall, four identical black robes hanging from hooks. There was a shelf above, stacked with folded fabric that he would guess were extra bedsheets. Maybe clothes.

In the ridiculous heat, robes sounded infinitely more comfortable than the extra uniform he’d packed. He slung one over his shoulders, grimacing at how much of it dragged on the floor. He wasn’t that short.

Windows lit the hallway, warming the rough stone beneath his feet. He went for the kitchen first, footsteps too loud in the intense silence.

By the cold pantry, there was a device he was certain was a replicator. But the language settings were Vulcan, so it was utterly useless to him. He could recognize a few words in speech, maybe, but the letters were like a child’s scribbling. Dots and loops and squares. He wouldn’t recognize his own name.

He ran the sink’s tap and took a hesitant taste of the water, leaning into the basin. It had a heavy smack of something to it, but was definitely water. He gulped it down until his stomach hurt, relishing the coolness of it.

There were glasses in a cabinet. He filled one up and journeyed to the sitting room. Weird white couch, chair, some books. A black screen on the wall that he didn’t investigate. The bright light of day illuminated what he had missed the night before – the windows were just windows. One of them was a door that led out to a balcony.

He approached the glass, peering outside. The terrace was spacious, and more inviting than the inside of the house. Earth-like. Two chairs sat on either side of a pit that probably burned fire (Vulcans barbequed?). And plants. Too many to even discern. The horizon stretched beyond, dotted with shapes that blurred beneath waves of heat.

He slid the door open a crack and immediately slammed it back shut.

It was impossibly hot. One single burst of wind almost took his eyebrows off. The windows must have been tinted, too, because he had to blink the light out of his eyes, turning into the relative darkness of inside.

Well, there would be no escaping this place. Not in the daytime. He wouldn’t make it fifty feet before collapsing.

After collecting himself a little, he turned back and pressed close to the glass, looking up. The sky was just white. He couldn’t tell if it was cloudy or bright. Probably not clouds. That would imply some kind of water cycle.

He traveled room to room, finding another small window at the end of the house that finally let him see the sun. He located it in the sky and withdrew to the shadows, rubbing his eyes. It wasn’t overhead.

The door that had been locked the night before remained as such. Jim considered picking it, just for something to do. And that closet with the red carpet – it was painted red. He little altar and the incense…he’d seen something like it, he realized. Because he had been in Vulcan household before – just not physically.

Spock’s memories had painted a good picture. All the things that had happened where he grew up – a lot of them centered around the kitchen. Like when he once witnessed his mother cut herself on accident with a kitchen knife. He was tiny, just a kid, and it was the first time he realized that her blood was red, not green. The memory wasn’t a happy one.

Jim walked back to the front of the house and made the comparison. The two kitchens were nothing alike. This was smaller, made more of metal than brick and stone. There was no window over the sink, no plants filling it.

Back downstairs, he found another locked door. And then an open one.

It was dizzying. Jim stopped in the doorway, wondering for a split second if he hadn’t just appeared on Earth.

This room was like no other in the house The walls were the same, but they were covered with things. Art, big canvases of it. Landscapes, both Earth and other. Jim stepped onto the plush rug that covered the floor and inspected the closest decoration. A familiar framed diploma.

S'chn-T' Gaii Spock

Valedictorian

Starfleet Graduate Class of 2255

Although Jim’s definitely didn’t say valedictorian. He was surprised Spock would keep this.

Nothing in the room looked like Spock’s. The paintings, the faded red armchair, the wall lined with books Jim had seen in libraries growing up. Spock didn’t collect all this. Sarek sure hadn’t.

It was creepy. And sad. Like someone had just closed a book and stood up from the armchair, going upstairs for some tea.  Sunlight billowed softly past thin blue curtains and settled over sealed boxes stacked against the walls. Jim did a double take – the curtains were moving. There was airflow here. And it was cooler, by no small amount.

Jim had taken an archive science class in college, once, just for shits and giggles. So he knew that Earth books didn’t do well in heat like this. They were being preserved.

For someone who was never coming back.

Jim backed out of the room, closing the door and taking a few steadying breaths.

The sun had moved the next time he checked. Farther from the horizon. He made a mental note: 1800 hours was definitely after noon.

Which meant he didn’t have much time.

The meal replacements did not look or smell appetizing. But Jim was starving, so he sucked it up and just chugged, resisting the urge to plug his nose as he forced down the chalky, protein-thick sludge. It filled his stomach in a threatening way, like his body hadn’t decided if it wanted to puke or digest.

And then the tubes. Jim held one up to the light. Clear liquid, no label. M’Benga had been awfully vague about the ingredients. Bones definitely didn’t know about this, or Jim was certain he’d have come down here to give M’Benga a piece of his mind.

He’d tweaked his sciatic nerve during combat training a few years back. A campus nurse had given him a hypo of steroids, cleared the pain right up. Hormone supplement, though…that was a new one.

Of course Jim knew that people took hormones often and for all kinds of reasons. Totally run of the mill for a large portion of Terran society. But Jim. Cisgender, Hawkeye State, command-track Jim. He had hoped to never need this sort of thing until he was, God forbid, too old to get it up on his own.

Why did he need it, anyway? M’Benga didn’t think he could handle some marathon sex? He was a damned captain.

Ah, fuck it.

Jim took it like a shot, and it felt like a shot. A phaser shot, straight down the esophagus. His first instinct was to cough, which of course only ended up choking him as the acrid potion shot down his windpipe. He fell to his knees, just barely suppressing a dry heave.

No wonder M’Benga had packed so many vials. He must have counted on Jim throwing it up.

A few seconds later, Jim wished he had. Once it settled into his stomach he realized just how vague M’Benga had been.

Instantaneous relief. His headache – gone. Nausea – gone. A gentle buzz settled into his fingertips and feet. The first response was shock, and the second anger.

Drugs weren’t exactly new to him. Back in Iowa, as a teenager with bad friends and nothing better to do, he’d definitely experimented. Alcohol (of course) was too easy to come by. A high school buddy had an older brother who was friends with some Fleet officers that got ahold of Orion Sniffing Flowers and Guevarian mushrooms. This was much more mellow than that.

Around the same time, Jim had been prescribed amphetamine-based medicine for his ADD, but it hadn’t really worked for him. He’d given it to his friends instead of taking it himself, and their experiences with it had been different.

This was kind of what they’d described. Only much, much better.

Strength and clarity replaced his fatigue, urging him up off the floor. Okay. Okay, fine. He was on an alien planet, he was totally alone, and he was high. Totally fine.

He tossed the empty vial in the bag and walked back upstairs (Very slowly. His feet didn’t feel like his feet.). Now that his headache was gone, he thought he would be able to at least stand on the balcony for a second. Get a better look at his surroundings.

The wind was visible in the rustling stalks and branches of the plants, but none of that was audible from inside. There was just nothing – not even the ventilation system that definitely existed. Jim slide the door open all at once, letting the mountain wind buffet past him for a moment. It was hot and dry, but sounded like music.

He stepped carefully out onto the bleached white stone, checking twice to see if he would even notice his feet being scalded. No. It was cool. But too bright – he had to pull the robe’s hood up and make binoculars with his eyes before he could focus past the protective tears that kept welling up.

By necessity, the plants were all cactus-like. Nothing beautiful and leafy like M’Benga’s ferns could survive like this, and the ones in front of him clearly needed some help. They were planted in two long troughs on either side of the terrace, one filled with soil and the other running water. Jim could hear it when he got closer – hydroponics. Jim reached past a very spiky, bulbed plant and dipped his finger in the gently rushing liquid. It was nice. If the trough were any bigger, he might have tossed the plants over the side and taken a bath.

The landscape was bleak. Shi’Kahr-uhz was there, glittering in the sun, as well another city far to the right. Looking up was difficult, but he thought he saw clouds in the distance. Long and flat. Lenticular or stratocumulus. If he could figure out which, it may have given him a clue as to the weather, but one prolonged glimpse cost him several minutes of semi-blindness. He stumbled back inside and slid the door closed, gasping from the heat.

When the door snapped shut, and the sound was doubled, Jim blinked. Were the drugs that strong? That he was hearing things?

But then the light in the room changed. Jim spun around.

“Spock?” He held a hand up. Two shadows stood in an aura of more sunlight from the open front door. “I can’t – I can’t see.”

The door banged closed, casting a darkness that, mixed with the after image in his eyes, purely blinded him. He felt at the robe to make sure it was fixed tightly closed, waiting for someone to say something.

As the silence dragged on, he stepped forward, blinking furiously. There was no kind of clutter in the house, so he didn’t crack his shins on anything, and by the time he had crossed the room he could see again.

Spock looked…bad. Weak. He stood with one hand braced against the wall, shoulders slumped. The robe hewas wearing seemed tailored for his build, falling in gentle folds to his feet and fastened up to his throat.

It was his expression that alarmed Jim the most. Openly shocked, though at what Jim had no clue. Spock just stared at him, eyes bulging, jaw locked in a tight rictus.

T’Mott spoke in a frail but clear voice. Jim had already forgotten about her.

Du ac-ruth au tu-istau ngiq’e ek’wak tu?”

He looked away from Spock. “What?’

Svi' nash ha'kiv heh ek' vath,” Spock answered immediately, with the voice of a dying man. Jim winced just hearing it.

He had been screaming. You didn’t get a voice that torn up unless you had been screaming. Jim wanted to ask what the fuck had happened, but Spock’s strange expression was freaking him out. What was so shocking? Did he not expect to see Jim here, or something?

T’Mott said something sharp. Jim realized she was looking at him.

“I don’t speak Vulcan.”

She gave him a look that he had a difficult time interpreting as anything other than disgust, and reached out. Her warped, elderly fingers touched against Spock’s meld points, and Jim wished she wouldn’t.

Spock sort of shuddered, but he didn’t pull away from her. He didn’t look away from Jim at all.

Rom-halan,” she announced.

A second later, the door opened and closed. Jim released a breath.

“What the fuck? Are you okay?”

Spock rushed him. There was really no other word for it. He pushed off the wall and lurched forward, the force of their contact throwing Jim off balance. He got his foot under him once, but after that crashed backward onto the couch.

Spock crashed right on top of him.

Jim would have liked to ask where the old lady had gone, and if she was coming back. Spock’s mouth was onhis, though, kissing him with such ferocity it wiped his brain blank. Spock…had never kissed him like this. Not even close.

There was a loud tearing sound. Jim was sure it was his own head ripping in half, but no. Spock’s fingers were cutting Jim’s robe apart like paper. Vulcan strength – Jim had seen him do it to bedsheets.

“Where have you been?” Jim asked, shoving him back. “What did they do to you?”

Etek nam-tor teretuhr.”

“Wh – I don’t speak Vulcan!”

The hands around him flexed. Jim vaguely noticed the rest of his robe falling off of him in pieces. Spock kissed him and ground his hips down, the both of them rock hard.

The both of them. Jim’s brain completed its mitosis, one half focused on Spock’s wellbeing, and the other…

“Not here,” he said, somehow getting to his feet. Spock tried to pull him back. “Not here. Come on. The bedroom.”

After a second, Spock stood, his still-intact robe falling regally to the floor. Jim, naked, rolled his eyes and turned, tugging Spock along with him. “I thought you would be meditating.” He looked over his shoulder. “You really aren’t gonna answer me?”

It was clear he wasn’t. A flicker of worry made Jim stop just outside the door. Spock didn’t look good, but he also didn’t look right. His eyes weren’t…

“Don’t you want to look around?” He said. “You’ve never even visited this planet before. You’ve never been in this house.”

Spock was breathing hard, and if he were human he might have been clammy with sweat. There was a shakiness to his hand, wrapped in Jim’s, that felt like sickness. But wasn’t that exactly what M’Benga had described?

Jim pushed the door open, only to come to another halt at the end of the bed. He knew exactly what was going to happen next, but couldn’t help feeling…unsure. They were both out of their element.

Spock hadn’t wanted him here.

The hand in his tightened, spun him around in a dance-like move that smacked his chest against Spock’s. No escape, no excuses.

A small, internal fight ended before it had really begun, because Spock’s hands on his hips alighted something in his brain, the same fog from earlier that made the wind feel like music. The sound of his first brain shutting down, bowing to the whims of the second. The drugs. He should have not taken the drugs.

Even those thoughts, worried and concerned, drifted off like the rest. His back hit the mattress. Rough hands dragged down his arms, his ribs, his hips. A lithe thigh wedged between his legs and ground against his length.

Thank God it’s me, he thought in one final moment of coherence.

After that, the moments stretched and condensed. Physical input and little else.

An urgent, tense line of desperation wound through Spock’s body. Their kisses edged on violence, teeth clanging together once and sending an uncomfortable jolt through Jim’s spine.

A hand wrapped around him, coated already with Spock’s natural lubricant. Obscenely loud, wet sounds filled the silence. Jim heard every beat of his heart, and every rasping breath Spock took. It was incredible. He lost himself in it for what could have been a long time or a minute.

Suddenly, sharp. Too sharp. “Not so fast – I’m gonna – “

Spock slowed his hand (so he did understand English), and forced Jim’s knee up, which was confusing until his fingers slipped low, beneath Jim’s testicles and still lower.

“Are - ?” Jim bit back a moan as a finger circled his hole. Fuck. “Are you sure? We – “

He pressed in harder. Jim gasped and tried to look at him, but Spock was intently mouthing along his throat.

He wanted it. Fuck, did he want it. “Spock,” he said, as a warning. It came out as more of a plea.

Once. They had done this one time before, so surely that fell into the bounds of whatever the fuck M’Benga had been talking about. Spock had already consented to this, and so had Jim, so it was fine, right?

Spock was being slow about it, and tender, gently working Jim open while stroking his cock. Burning hot, searing pleasure seeped through his muscles. When he said Spock’s name again, he pulled back just enough for Jim to touch his cheek.

It wasn’t right.

Spock was always less guarded when they were alone. Especially during sex. And Jim lived for those moments. The seconds-long winces and gasps of climax, or almost-smiles, or jokes. Especially the blushes, which Spock was so prone to.

He was blushing, now, but not in the demure, bashful-cum-offended way Jim liked so much. This was a full-body, green flush to his chest and neck and face. Exertion, probably, but not like anything Jim had ever seen from him. And his expression was wholly unfamiliar, too. Scary only because Jim didn’t know it, like he knew all the other Spock-faces.

The last (and only) time Spock had fucked him, it had been a very focused, scrutinizing thing. No matter how many times Jim informed him he could be as rough as he wanted, he insisted on meticulously, slowly fingering him open.

Jim had enjoyed being the center of his utmost concentration. This wasn’t like that. Spock was looking at him like he wanted to kill him. Or eat him alive.

Jim was so distracted by it he hardly noticed the addition of a second finger. When the third came, brushing his prostate on every third or fourth stroke, he dropped his head back and moaned. Spock’s hand moved faster, less carefully, until Jim couldn’t breathe.

“I’m ready,” he panted, running his hands through Spock’s hair. “I’m ready.”

And he was. Very ready.

Spock ripped his hand away – ow – and pulled Jim’s knees up and around his waist. Jim shuffled down the bed a bit, so ready to be filled it was making him insane.

Spock pushed in immediately, no pretense. Jim felt his jaw drop open and could do nothing to stop it. The flush on Spock’s chest deepened. One slow stroke all the way in and out, and then –

Spock gasped and fell forward, forehead slamming into Jim’s ribs. He said something that, in his ravaged throat, only passed through his lips as air. His hands dug into Jim’s flesh with enough force to bruise.

A long silence. Hot, water cum landed on the backs of Jim’s thighs and ran down to the sheets.

“Um,” Jim finally said, puzzled. That had been fast. Scary fast.

With a wet-sounding sniffle, Spock lifted his head and moved on like nothing had happened. He found Jim’s entrance again and pushed back inside.

Jim did not squeak – the high pitch came from instinctively trying to be quiet. But they weren’t on a starship, and he didn’t have to.

So he encouraged Spock speed up, one moan in particular cutting off with a yelp. Spock’s eyes shot to his face, pausing for less than a second before repeating the motion at the same angle, and more forcefully.

Jim inhaled so hard it actually hurt. Spock’s fingers dug in just above his hipbone, pinning him to the mattress as he pistoned his hips forward. Every single stroke slammed his prostate, paralyzing him with sensation. Hot, white hot, burning him from the inside out.

God, he needed this. He had for a long time, without realizing. Just sex. Taking a stranger home, ripping the absolute shit out of each other, and then going their separate ways. All physical and no meaning.

It wasn’t how he wanted to think about Spock, but it was how he wanted to think of sex.

Their bodies twisted together, arms and legs and mouths. Jim couldn’t fill his lungs fast enough before another thrust punched the air out of him, and Spock didn’t let up for a second, bracing an arm above Jim’s head for leverage. Just when Jim was getting close, he came again. Twice in, what, five minutes? Was that normal?

Jim winced in frustration as Spock tried to pull out of him. He locked his ankles together and kept him close.

“It’s fine,” he said. Spock nosed his neck and groaned as the orgasm ran its course. Jim closed his eyes, hardly recognizing his own voice. “It’s okay. Keep going.”

The next thrust made his eyes roll back in his head. Spock murmured molten Vulcan words in his ear. Jim heard what sounded like his name, and t’hai’la a few times. Ashayam, t’nash-veh…words Spock used in their melds, and very rarely out loud.

Jim repeated some of them, when he could catch his breath enough to speak. Each time, Spock reacted strangely. A stifled gasp or, once, what sounded suspiciously like a sob. Jim was too far gone to try and figure out why. He only wished he knew more Vulcan.

The hazy feeling from the drugs was back full force, and Jim really needed to come. He flipped them, or tried to – in the end it seemed to be more Spock’s decision than his. But then Jim was straddling him, sinking even farther onto his length. Spock stared at him, gaze unflinching and breaths coming uneven.

Jim enjoyed another flicker of doubt – there was almost nothing he recognized in those eyes. Spock should have been trying to compose himself – closing his eyes or turning his face away. The tips of his ears should have been green.

“Ashayam…” he said, guttural and strained. As though daring Jim to forget who he was. Jim shut his eyes against the confusion, rising and falling once. The ragged edge of orgasm knocked his thoughts clean away.

Faster, faster. Spock took his cock and stroked it in rhythm with Jim’s movements. Then he sat up, just as Jim fell forward, peppering his neck with licks and bites.

“I’m – “ Jim started. Spock twisted his hand just-so, and white exploded across Jim’s vision.

It grew in intensity, guided along by Spock’s rough touch, until Jim felt himself scream.

Another hand, on the small of his back, easing him to the mattress. Before the white even faded, Spock was plowing into him with renewed force. Dizzy, ungrounded static pulsed through his inner ear.

He didn’t dare open his eyes. He didn’t trust himself not to puke, so he just held onto Spock until it passed. And then he realized something.

There hadn’t been an orgasm. The orgasm was still building – his dick was still hard.

“Shit, shit, shit,” he panted, getting close again. Tears leaked from his eyes. “Harder.”

Spock questioned him. At least it sounded like a question. “Yes,” Jim said anyway, gasping as the command was met eagerly. Spock gripped his hair and snapped his head to the side, exposing the junction of his neck and shoulder and biting down hard.

Jim came so hard it was more like blacking out. There was nothing but scorching heat and a semi-severe pain in his neck, and he couldn’t even tell if his muscles were incredibly tensed or completely loose. He’d just been thoroughly turned inside out, and all he could think of was that he wanted more.

A low voice brought him out of his daze. Spock had pulled out of him, and was licking cum up from Jim’s stomach. That, at least, wasn’t new. The guy loved jizz.

Jim focused on breathing in and out, his heart flying way too fast to be healthy. Had the ceiling been beige, before? Had the air tasted like ash?

Spock licked down to his cock, drawing it into his mouth and sucking hard. Jim spasmed up.

“Whoa! Hey,” he eased Spock away, beginning to notice how drenched in sweat he had become. “Just – I just need a – “

Spock made a noise in the back of his throat, half-complaint and half-plea, running his tongue along the side of Jim’s balls, against his thigh. It tickled.

Dread cut through his post-orgasm bliss. Spock was very erect, and clearly in no mood to cuddle and take a nap. That had only been round one.

This would be going on, and on, and on.

Fuck it, Jim thought. I’m James Tiberius Kirk. I can fuck for more than one measly hour.

“Come on,” he said firmly, ignoring the fluids slowly leaking out of him. “Showers.”

Spock caught his wrist, kissing up his arm. Jim allowed it, entranced at the gesture. It felt old, romantic. Seductive.

“Shower,” he repeated, scuttling off the bed. Spock rose with him, asking some sort of question. “God, Spock, can you just speak Standard? This would go a lot smoother.”

Ri tor hal-tor.” It sounded desperate, and he didn’t look happy. He kept talking, voice rising in pitch.

“Hey!” Jim interrupted. Spock fell silent, eyebrows pinched. “You just fucked me in the ass. I don’t know the Vulcan word for hygiene, but I’m sure it’s one of your favorites.”

He put a hand on Spock’s upper arm, drawing him toward the bathroom. Jim went into the sonic stall with him and started pressing buttons, hot hair blasting the both of them.  As close as they would be getting to clean.

Spock pulled him to his chest, running his hands over his body. Jim shuddered and wished again for running water.

Jim should have been dead on his feet after that kind of activity. There also should have been some significant discomfort in his lower region, but he didn’t feel anything quite yet. It was hidden behind the foggy veil of whatever M’Benga had cooked up for him. Thank you, modern medicine.

So instead of trying to escape, Jim turned and kissed Spock square on the mouth. And when Spock picked him up and brutally fucked him against the shower wall, he didn’t have one worry about how this would fall out. How Spock would feel about what they were doing when only weeks previous he couldn’t even look Jim in the eye after.

No, not a single worry at all.

_______________________________

Heat. All around him, pouring into him. Peace and love, a warm embrace with a cold exterior. It whispered comforting words, a quiet voice he didn’t even realize was there until it fell steeply off into echoing silence.

Without the voice, the heat was suffocating instead of familiar. Deafening, cruel silence.

Jim woke slowly, his deep sleep interrupted by a singular, unpleasant sensation. He touched his nose, catching a bead of sweat before it dripped onto the pillow. Ugh.

Sunshine blazed into his eyes, warmth only slightly muted by the tinted glass. He didn’t move, trying to take stock of his body, and then of his place in time. Was it morning or afternoon? He couldn’t have slept very long, but the last thing he remembered was the room bathed in a red glow. Sunset…or his drugged up senses getting confused.

Everything – everything – ached dully. Head, shoulders, back…knees? When the fuck had he been on his knees?

A sound drew his attention. Nearby, and…stressed? Belabored breathing and tiny gasps.

Ignoring the symphony of small pains that accompanied the movement, he rolled over. Spock faced away from him, curled on his side as far as the space would allow. The tremors were back, and every vertebrae seemed clearly visible along his spine. Jim reached out to him, then retracted his hand, standing as quietly as possible.

Meal replacement first. He vaguely remembered disliking it the day before. Now it was like the nectar of the fucking gods. And the hormone supplement made all of the aches and pains fade right away.

He stared into the bag and rubbed his neck, double counting the remaining psi-blockers to be certain his memory of injecting one wasn’t false. It was uncomfortable, how time slipped away from him, but indeed there were two canisters left. Jim stared at them, swallowing hard against fear.

The drugs were mind-altering. Because Jim was certain he had been there at least two days, but that couldn’t be the case. There were two hypos, and if he had forgotten to take one the bond would be open and Jim would be…how did M’Benga put it? Insensate and drooling.

Maybe he was. Comatose and dreaming.

His dream-mate made a distressed noise, drawing Jim out of his thoughts. He floated across the floor.

Spock’s arms were crossed over his stomach,  face locked in a contortion of pain, lips mouthing words Jim couldn’t hear and probably wouldn’t understand if he did. There was no response when Jim said his name, but when he crouched down beside him and stroked over the side of his face, his eyes opened.

Jim caught his breath.

Terror. Spock’s eyes moved around like he couldn’t see Jim at all, like he was seeing something entirely different. Something that scared him.

“Spock? Are you…?”

“James.” Spock’s gaze focused, all the fear switching over into hot need.

“Yeah. I’m here,” Jim answered, excited by the Standard. Did a name count as Standard? “How are you feeling? Did you sleep at all? Can I get you – ?”

Spock pulled him onto the bed, silencing him with a kiss.

________________________

Hours they touched each other. And Jim couldn’t be fucked for two days straight no matter how good the drugs were - or the fucking – so he had to pull out some old tricks, settling down between Spock’s legs for extended amounts of time, licking up and down the labia-esque folds of skin his cock protruded from. He knew how sensitive they were by the way Spock always pushed him away. But now he let Jim explore the wet dips and ridges with abandon, coming often and hard, sometimes with shouts and sometimes in silence, his hands tearing at Jim’s hair and scraping up his back.

Sometimes he started talking with the same grating hoarseness as the day before. Jim ignored him, because it was upsetting. The words were confused, and not at all erotic despite their delivery through groans and pants. Maybe Spock was asking him to stop, or telling him that it hurt or something. He wouldn’t know. If he ever did try to stop, Spock would look even more like he was in pain.

“I’m here,” Jim said, brushing his hands along Spock’s face as they rutted together. Spock moaned and shuddered with yet another orgasm, knees bracketing Jim’s hips. Jim continued his administrations, hand clamped around both of their lengths, until it happened again.

Jim stopped trying to count the minutes. He existed second by second, sometimes awake and sometimes somewhere else. Always close, rarely close enough. Whenever the exhaustion crept up on him he’d break away and force down the contents of a vial, maybe a meal replacement if he was allowed the time. The chemicals snapped him right back into it, but they also made it really hard to come. By design, probably, but irritating. He had maybe one orgasm for every one of Spock’s five or six.

There had to be a stopping point, he reasoned hazily. Spock hadn’t eaten any food or drank any water – how much come could he even produce before they both turned into raisins?

When Jim was denied yet another orgasm by the concoction swirling through his veins, he really couldn’t help the sob of frustration that escaped him. He’d reached some kind of primal state of need, and if he didn’t find a release he thought he might just die.

At the sound, Spock sat up and pushed Jim’s head away from his crotch.

“What?” Jim asked, wary of the concerned look on his face. “Are you o – kay – “

Spock’s foot wedged beneath his knee and, in a fit of total gymnastic nonsense, rolled him onto his back.

What Jim had learned over the countless hours (days?) in this room was that Spock had a hidden, balletic sense of motion. Of course he was graceful in ways Jim could never be, but this was something else. In this state, Spock was a flexible, sinuous dream. They ended up in positions Jim didn’t even understand – things he wouldn’t even attempt with Spock on a regular day.

Right now, though, it was simple. Spock got him flat and took him into his mouth. The heat was a balm to Jim’s every need, languid swipes of tongue so much softer than the grating callouses of his own hand. When climax hit, he doubled forward with a yell. It was like being punched.

Spock swallowed everything, moaning deep and low. Jim pulled at his hair until he looked up.

“I love you.”

No hint of recognition in Spock’s eyes. Jim blinked away tears, and said it again anyway.

__________________________________

An indeterminate time later, Jim woke up. Again. It kept happening, without him ever deciding to go to sleep in the first place. Just…awake.

This time was even more disorienting, because it was pitch black. A dream still lingered behind his eyelids. A pleasant one. Dancing at the bar off Valencia Street – the one from the early Academy days. Techno pop bounced in his ears, dropping off fast into New Vulcan silence.

He rolled over, one hand searching the blackness for Spock. Jim found his shoulder, then his chest. On his back, then, and breathing too steadily to be awake.

Jim sat up. M’Benga said Spock wouldn’t sleep. He shouldn’t be sleeping.

“Spock?” Jim whispered, just to be sure. Spock was a very light sleeper. That alone should have gotten him an answer of some sort. Jim shuffled down the bed, resting his hear against the left side of Spock’s ribcage, finding his wrist with two fingers and counting his pulse.

Fast. Normal? Jim couldn’t recall the healthy range of bpm for Vulcans. 90? His heart sounded strong enough.

Jim almost shook him awake, but stopped himself. Instead he gently traced his fingers over the planes of Spock’s face. Slack with slumber, lips slightly parted.

Sleep, if that’s what it was, could only help. And M’Benga had said himself that Spock was only half human - his genetic reactions would be different than a full-blooded Vulcan’s.

And Jim could use a break, however brief. He pushed Spock’s flop of hair up and kissed his forehead before gingerly crawling out of bed. No drugs. Not yet. The all-over pain was almost welcome, at that point. It offered a sharpness he needed.

After some feeling around, he found the PADD and a robe. The lights outside their room were turned on, blinding him with orange light.

Going upstairs was surprisingly difficult. His ankles were like cracked glass, creaking internally with every step. He took a break halfway up, sliding open the PADD with shaky fingers.

The idea had come sometime the day before, like having his brain so focused on Spock had allowed him to work out the problem without realizing it. The replicator in the kitchen was set to Vulcan, and so was the sonic shower. He assumed everything was, including the black screen in the sitting room.

It was to make calls, he was certain. No way did Spock’s dad sit around watching holovids all day. Jim examined it for a moment, touching the surface to no avail. Probably voice commanded, but not responding to Standard. Of course not. That would be too easy.

A quick feel around the edges revealed a few buttons. He pressed all of them, and the screen lit up. One single line of Vulcan text blinked at him. He pressed the largest button again, bringing forth more lines. Side by side, arranged like a menu.

Perfect.

He picked music at random from the PADDs selection. Classical hip-hop that blared loudly and relaxed him. Finally, something to listen to that wasn’t his own thoughts.

The PADD connected to the house’s signal easily enough. Jim pulled the armchair closer and sat, hacking away. The house had some protections, but nowhere near starship-level. Jim could have pried into personal documents if he was a complete asshole, but hopefully what he was doing would leave no trace.

Getting in wasn’t a problem, but he found very quickly that the internal structure was comprised of Vulcan binary, which he knew of but obviously never learned at the Academy. It took more than an hour to guess his way to the viewscreen in front of him. The white text finally flickered over to a simulation of the PADD screen and he pumped his fist.

Proper subspace signal with all the data of his PADD – including the contact for Bones’ apartment in San Fran. It was early on Earth, probably, but Jim didn’t feel like doing the math. He just made sure the robe covered his junk and pressed call.

It sat for two long moments, then accepted. Bones’ disgruntled face appeared in perfect clarity. It was so amazing to see someone that wasn’t Spock, Jim didn’t even catch what Bones said. Just the sound of his voice was a huge change.

“Well, are you gonna fucking say anything?”

Jim blinked. “Sorry – “

“I asked what the hell happened to you.”

He looked upset, Jim realized. He stupidly patted his hair. “I just woke up.”

“Not your hair, moron. Have you looked at yourself lately?”

Jim glanced toward the windows, his reflection blurry. Bones made a startled noise.

“Your neck!”

Jim flinched at his volume, touching the spot where he’d been injecting psi-blockers. Was there a bruise?

“Wrong side,” Bones snapped.

“Who gives a fuck,” Jim snapped, yanking his collar higher and hoping Bones hadn’t noticed his voice break. “Good to see you, too, by the way!”

Bones sat back, the room behind him dark. “What’s wrong with your voice?”

What a wonderful friend, Jim thought, and cleared his throat. “Sorry. There hasn’t been a lot of talking going on over here.”

“Gross, Jim.”

Jim definitely hadn’t meant it like that, but he didn’t feel like elaborating on the fact that Spock wasn’t currently capable of speaking English.

“I didn’t think I’d hear from you. How’s it going?”

“I…” Jim thought about how he could answer that. Nothing reassuring came to mind. “It’s fine. He’s sleeping.”

Bones gave him a searching look. “You really don’t look good.”

“Yeah, you said that. I’m…” he looked away, losing his train of thought. “Doing my best?”

They both cringed at that phrasing.

“I mean, I – I’m trying t-to – “ He shut his mouth. Was it the drugs or the lack of conversation for the past two days that made it impossible to have a conversation? “…do my best.”

Bones looked – fairly – horrified. “Jim.”

“How’s the ship?” He asked hurriedly. “Make it home without trouble?”

“Not a hitch.”

“Good,” he breathed, more relieved than he probably should have been.

“Is that the only reason you called?”

“No.” Jim stared down at his knees. He didn’t want to admit, even to himself, that the past few day had started to seriously mess with his head. This conversation almost felt like a dream. “Thought you might have been worried about me. I figured I’d put you at ease.”

He was sure Bones would laugh at him for it, but he didn’t. “I’m more worried right now than I was. Look at me.”

Jim didn’t want to. He was sure Bones had noticed the size of his pupils already. “Have you talked to M’Benga yet?”

“No. Did – did he give you something?” He frowned when Jim looked up. “My God, man. You’re completely strung out, aren’t you?”

“Feels that way.”

He shook his head, fury seeping through the screen. “What the fuck have you gotten yourself into?”

“I – “

“No, just – “ He did a double take at something above his screen, and his expression changed. “Gotta go, Jim. Talk later.”

The call ended. Just like that.

Jim stared at the black glass for a long time, ignoring the well of tightness in his throat. It was fine. He knew exactly what had happened – Nyota was at Bones’ apartment, and she must have woken up at the sounds of their voices. It was easier for her to not see Jim in this state, obviously, because she would probably just ask more questions than she undoubtedly already was.

It had just been so nice to have a conversation. And Jim had been planning to have Bones recount for him, in detail, every meal he’d eaten since landing on Earth. And the weather – it was probably cold there…

Bang.

Jim was on his feet so fast the room spun. But it wasn’t the front door that had just slammed open. The sound had come from inside the house.

And then, in the same breath, a yell.

James!”

Spock. Spock was yelling, his already fucked voice making the sound that much alarming.

Sanu! Rai sanu tor hal-tor!”

Jim took off, ignoring the various complaints of his joints. “Spock!”

They met at the staircase, Spock stumbling into view at the base just as Jim started his descent. In any other situation, Spock running around in the nude, fully erect and crashing into walls would be hilarious beyond measure. But it only stopped Jim cold, shooting terror into his chest.

Spock braced himself with one arm, looking up at him with the wildest, most insensate gaze Jim had ever seen. Like he was looking at a ghost.

“James,” he said, and then collapsed.

Jim barely managed to catch his head before it hit the hard stone floor.

“Spock,” he said, pulling him into a sitting position with difficulty. “Open your eyes. Spock!”

His weight tipped again.

“Look at me, baby, look at me.” Jim patted his cheeks, not quite a slap.

Spock opened his eyes, but they were glazed over. Fevered.

Wilat nam-tor etek? Wilat nam-tor du?”

“I don’t know what – is something wrong? Nod if you understand me.”

Spock nodded, a barely-there movement.

“Something is wrong?”

He nodded again. Jim had to lean in to hear his next words.

Etek nam-tor ri fi’Vuhlkansu.”

“Vuhlkansu…Vulcan?” Jim’s mind raced with panic. “Uh – we’re here. New Vulcan. U- uzh-Vuhlkansu,” he attempted, probably fucking it up. Spock shook his head.

“Okay. Okay, listen, I’ll get M’Benga to come over here and – “

Spock grabbed him. “Rai.”

It sounded like a ‘no’. Jim glared at him. “You need a doctor.”

Ri tor hal-tor. Sanu.”

Jim had heard that first part before, somewhere in Spock’s mumbling over the days. He made Spock look at him again.

“Are you hurt?” He waited for Spock to shake his head. “Do you need water? Food? Medicine.”

Spock’s hands tightened on his sides. Jim looked down at his straining green erection.

“You need…”

It was a perverse impulse. Jim brushed his fingers along the side of it, dread pooling in his stomach when Spock moaned.

Maybe sleep hadn’t been such a good idea, after all. “Come on. Let’s go back to bed.”

Spock made to stand, but as soon as Jim tried to pull him up it all went to shit. He fell heavily to the floor, curling his hands around his groin, knees coming up to protect the area. The sound he made wasn’t even human.

“Spock.” Jim tried to move his hands. “Let me look – damn it, Spock! Tell me what’s wrong with you!”

Finally, he was able to pry Spock’s hands away. It seemed like the fight had just gone out of him, which was even scarier.

It didn’t look like there was anything wrong. Jim touched it again, watching Spock’s face tighten.

“Is this what you need?”

A nod. Jim gathered his resolve for a second, packing away all his feelings and shoving them to the back of his brain. Later.

Now, Spock needed him.

Instead of trying to move him again, Jim sat on the floor and put an arm under his shoulder and neck, gathering him to his chest and very gently stroking his dick with his other hand. An odd embrace. Some might even say bizarre.

“I’ve got you,” he said into Spock’s hair. Spock gripped the lapels of his robe, every part of him vibrating with tension. Or pain. “I’ll take care of it.”

Spock whimpered against him. Jim flinched at the sound, and ached for the drugs, if only so they could smooth the minutes together. Without them every second felt like hours.

Two orgasms later – horrible, spasmic things – the noises stopped. Spock had passed out, limp in Jim’s arms.

Waking him up was difficult. It felt unimaginably cruel to force him into awareness.

It was even more difficult to get him back into bed and spend the rest of the night he felt anything close to aroused.