Adam looked at Kris as the call came over the comm and, as one, they stood up and headed for the door. The starship was a maze of corridors, but Adam had a very good sense of direction and it did not take them long to reach their destination.
"What happened?" Kris asked, falling to his knees next to where McCoy was administering something to Jim.
"The situation was proceeding," Spock said, eyes fixed on Jim, "but the captain seemed unable to touch me. His last words before he collapsed were 'you didn't choose'."
Adam swore colourfully.
"Secondary rejection," he said, knowing that it was the only explanation.
"I did nothing to reject the captain's advances," Spock said in his usual, logical tone.
"Not consciously," Adam explained while Kris helped McCoy with Jim, "but this is one of the reasons it is against our laws to force a bond from the mate's perspective. Unless it is entered into completely of their own free will, there is the chance the submissive will pick up on something that will put them into conflict. Jim must believe that by continuing he will hurt you in some way. What else were you talking about?"
From the expression that appeared momentarily on Spock's face, Adam was pretty sure the Vulcan knew what was going on.
"I brought up Nyota and certain aspects of the relationship we were experimenting with in an effort to overcome some of the captain's fears," Spock told him.
He knew that Kris and Spock had spoken for some time about Lieutenant Uhura and Spock's existing relationship. Spock had assured them he had explained the whole situation to her and that she understood and it was only logical to proceed with the bond with Jim. He'd had no reason to doubt that when he had seen her, but now Adam was sure it was not that simple.
"And you're in love with Nyota?"
He didn't really need to ask; it had to be something like that. For a moment Spock did not reply, but then nodded shortly.
"Let's get Jim on the bed," McCoy said and distracted him from the conversation.
Both he and Spock moved to help and with all four of them assisting they soon had Jim lying comfortably. The seizure at least seemed to be over, but Jim was barely conscious and unresponsive.
"What is the Captain's condition?" Spock asked.
"He's virtually in a coma," McCoy said, "and I'll be damned if I can find any medical reason for it."
"He's doing it to himself, Doctor," Kris said, giving Adam a worried look, "there is nothing you can do. If we can't break Jim out of his current state he will eventually shut down and die."
That made McCoy look even less happy with the situation.
"How should we proceed?" Spock asked, ever practical it seemed.
"Strip," Adam said, following his instincts rather than any protocol he knew of, "and we'll strip Jim. If we get both of you into full body contact he should stabilize for now. Then we need to ask Lieutenant Uhura to join us."
At the instruction to strip Spock began immediately, but at the mention of Uhura the man paused momentarily before continuing. It underlined to Adam that Spock's relationship with Uhura was far more of an issue than the Vulcan had led them to believe. Vulcan logic did not seem to be the answer to the problem after all.
McCoy put a call out for the young woman in question.
Spock seemed entirely unselfconscious, which was one good thing, and once Adam had helped Kris and McCoy removed Jim's clothes, the Vulcan slipped under the cover they had placed over Jim and pulled the man close to him. Spock did not exactly appear relaxed, but the pair almost looked like a genuine couple.
Adam shared several worried glances with Kris as they organised everyone. Neither of them were about to say it, but when a bond was this skewed, it very rarely ended well. It was why their society had so many laws about it.
He'd only really spoken to Uhura once and at the time he had thought the young woman reacted with incredible professionalism and compassion as soon as she understood the situation. He only hoped she would take the new circumstances as well. He didn't have long to wait either, because only a few minutes after the call went out, the door beeped and McCoy opened it. Uhura stepped in and almost immediately faltered when she saw Spock and Jim. The quick glance that passed between her and Spock said it all.
"Doctor," Uhura said in a professional, but slightly clipped tone, "how may I help you?"
McCoy just motioned towards Kris.
"Lieutenant," Kris said in his usual warm manner, "we are sorry to have had to call you here, we realise this is difficult for you, but there has been a further development."
Adam saw the woman quickly scan her former lover and her captain with a glance.
"What do you require of me?" she asked, sounding almost like Spock.
It was all a very awkward situation and Adam decided to step in.
"If I could have a moment of your time," he said, offering her his hand and swapping a quick glance with Kris, who simply nodded.
Uhura looked unsure, but grasped his fingers and he led her to the other side of the room. It wasn't exactly privacy, but it would have to do.
"How much do you love Spock?" he asked very quietly and Uhura almost flinched.
The young woman appeared torn and bit her lip.
"I had always thought our relationship would eventually become official and permanent," she admitted eventually when Adam just continued to wait for her answer.
For a moment Adam had the irrational desire to bang Uhura and Spock's head together. It was now clear they had both downplayed their relationship considerably when the situation with Jim had occurred.
"My next question will not be easy," he said with complete honesty, "and I need you to think about it very carefully. You have to be totally sure of your answer."
Uhura nodded, giving him a very serious look.
"What is it?"
"If you could have Spock back, would you take Jim Kirk as well?"
Uhura's eyes opened in shock.
"I..." she said almost immediately and then stopped, looking over at the two men in the bed.
Her brow wrinkled was a frown line.
"Because Spock was never given a choice to enter into the mate bond," Adam told her in the plainest terms he could, "and Jim can sense that Spock is still in love with you. His instincts are interpreting this as hurting Spock so he cannot move forward with their situation."
He was not about to mention that Jim was dying.
"And you think if I join the relationship the problem will be removed?"
"It is a workable theory. This situation it not something we have had to deal with; if a mate cannot give up what they already have, they would never accept the bond, but you have to understand, in our society it is a possibility we are brought up with, we are more prepared for such a decision."
"But Captain Kirk is bonded to Spock, not me, what if he perceives me as a rival?"
"His need to make Spock happy is greater than any of his own needs, if you are truly willing to share, in all probability he will accept you."
To her credit Uhura thought about that very carefully. As she looked over at where Jim and Spock was lying a small frown appeared on her forehead as she considered the situation.
"What do I have to do?" the woman eventually asked.
Adam gave her a small smile of support before replying.
"That is where I believe we need to employ Spock's heritage," Adam said and slowly drew her back into the main room.
It was clear Spock had heard every word of the conversation, even though it had been quiet.
"I would suggest a Vulcan mind meld," Spock said in his usual stoic tone; "it would allow us both to mentally contact the Ca... Jim."
There was no doubt Spock was trying.
"You should be in as much physical contact as possible as well," Kris added; "it will allow Jim to better interpret what is going on when he starts to wake up."
Without even being asked, Uhura began to remove her clothes. She slipped under the cover next to Jim and Spock moved so that he was leaning up on one arm.
"Is there anything else we should know?" Spock asked simply.
"You just have to mean it completely," Adam replied, trying to sound as positive as possible.
Spock and Uhura shared a glance and then Spock very carefully reached out. The Vulcan placed one hand on the side of Uhura's face and the other on the side of Jim's, before both he and Uhura closed their eyes.
"My mind to your minds, my thoughts to your thoughts," Spock said slowly and deliberately.
Almost instantly Adam saw the change; both Spock and Uhura seemed to lose all interest in the real world. It would have been better if they had been able to leave the three alone, but Adam was all too aware that they didn't dare. One more seizure could kill Jim.
It was very strange being lost in his own mind, especially since Jim knew he was doing it deliberately. His body had needs, but those needs could hurt his mate, so he had withdrawn from the physical; perfectly logical, only his conscious mind was a few steps behind. Hence he was aware of what was happening, but he didn't really feel in control of it. The fact that his mental retreat looked surprisingly like the bridge of the Enterprise didn't overly help.
"Half witted moron," he accused himself as he sat in his command chair.
"I would have to disagree."
He all but jumped out of his skin and he stood up, turning in shock as he heard Spock's voice. What he really, really did not expect to see was Spock and Uhura standing shoulder to shoulder in his mental projection.
"What are you doing here?" he all but demanded. "How did you get into my head?"
"Then you are aware of what is happening, Captain?" Uhura asked in a very concerned tone.
"Yes," he said, feeling as if he should be going somewhere else or at least backing away, "I know what I did and I still want to know what you're doing in my head."
"I have initiated a Vulcan mind meld," Spock said as if that was as simple as handing him the crew schedule of something. "The prognosis is grave should you be allowed to continue your chosen course of action."
"I didn't chose it and I can't control it," he snapped, "so just get out of my head and get on with your lives. I saw emotion in your eyes, Spock, I ... I sensed it, so don't try and tell me I don't know what I would be messing up if I let us continue."
"I would not attempt to tell you any such thing," Spock replied, "I am in love with Nyota and it seems this cannot be overcome simply by progressing logically."
Hearing Spock say such things made Jim want to flinch away and he could barely control himself.
"Then what the hell ..."
"There are alternatives which you are not considering."
That shut him up. He was pretty sure there was only one option, but Spock did not lie. Oh his first officer was quite capable of bending the truth and failing to give all the information if necessary, but lying was something Spock skirted around.
"What?" he asked, unable to keep the hope out of his voice.
"You are bonded to Spock," surprisingly it was Uhura who spoke, "which makes you his and he chooses to be yours. The problem is that he is also mine."
Jim knew that and he wasn't getting it.
"So, Jim," Spock said and his first name sounded quite bizarre on the Vulcan's lips, "the obvious solution is we bring Nyota into the relationship."
That shocked him to his core and he couldn't help staring at Uhura.
"What?" he asked rather stupidly. "But ... would that even work?"
"It is the only option remaining," Spock said.
That, however, did not answer his question and he gathered his thoughts, trying to think sensibly.
"Why," he asked, looking the young woman in the eye, "why would you be willing to do this?"
Uhura was not bound into this; it would complicate her life incredibly and if she just waited she could have Spock back anyway. Humanitarian issues aside, because he had no doubt if she was simply moved by pity this would end in disaster, he needed to understand her reasoning.
"Because I am in love with Spock," she replied, but Jim knew that would not be enough.
There was no room for jealousy in the bond; it would rip him apart and probably Spock along with it if he let this go on.
"And I respect you and most of the time even like you," Uhura continued before he could voice his fears. "Adam asked me if I could have Spock back would I take you as well. He also told me it would have to be with my whole heart. You, James Tiberius Kirk have been a pain in my ass since the day I met you, but I am perfectly willing to admit I have always been attracted to you."
Spock didn't even blink at that and Jim realised it was something Spock had already known.
"Attraction and this," he waved his hands because it was easier than putting it into words, "are not the same."
"No," she replied and stepped towards him, "but what I feel can become more. I could be logical and say that I care deeply for Spock, he cares deeply for you and hence should you die it will be detrimental to his being, or I could just admit that I like you and I'm sure, one day, I can love you too."
Jim honestly had no idea what to say. He wanted Spock with every fibre of his being and knew that he had changed to make Spock want him, but Uhura, no Nyota he mentally corrected himself, altered the whole dynamic.
"That leaves only the question, can you adjust to an addition to the relationship?" Spock asked in his usual straightforward manner. "There will be no chemical compulsion in this part, you must be willing to do this the human way."
Several nightmare scenarios flew through Jim's head at that; he was very good at short relationships that were just a bit of fun, but he'd never had one that lasted more than a few weeks. If he was honest with himself he wasn't quite sure how they worked.
"Of course, if I were to point out that including Nyota in our relationship would make me happy, I believe the issue would be less complicated," Spock said.
"You really want this?" Jim asked, because it was hard to believe.
"I do," Spock replied and for once did not expand on why.
Jim felt something shift inside him, it wasn't sudden and complete acceptance, but it was definitely a move in the right direction. Adam had been right, at a fundamental level he wanted to make Spock happy.
"Okay then," he said, feeling strangely nervous, "what happens now?"
He wasn't waking up, which would seem like the thing to do since the reason for his self imposed isolation was now gone.
"I believe," Spock said, walking up to him, "we must convince you that this agreement will function appropriately."
"And how do we do that?" he asked.
Stunned didn't quite cover his reaction when Spock simply bent down and kissed him. In fact he was so surprised that he was kissing back with vigour before his mind even caught up with what was going on. Suddenly he was desperate for as much of Spock as he could reach and he pushed himself out of the chair so he could wrap himself around his not so logical Vulcan. For a while he totally forgot that he and Spock were not alone.
When he did finally break away, his eyes landed on Nyota to find that she was watching them with her lips slightly parted.
"Don't stop on my account," she said, eyes large and open and black.
He also noticed that the light in the room had changed. The normal bright light of the bridge had dimmed and was now tinged red as if it was red alert, but without the flashing. Clearly his subconscious was onboard with the whole situation.
"What should we do?" Spock asked and Jim glanced at his mate to find Spock was looking at Nyota, which was when he remembered the conversation he and Spock had been having before he'd messed everything up.
He was all for a little bit of role play in the bedroom and it occurred to him that Spock might be on to something. His instincts were humming under his skin and they were very much in approval. The fact he was not in control didn't bother him, because neither was Spock and it was the perfect way to bring Nyota into the equation.
"And, James," Nyota said in a way that had him thinking all sorts of bad thoughts, "do you want me to tell you what to do?"
"Hell yes," he said, because his blood was high just from the kissing.
If there was one thing that was abundantly clear about Nyota it was that she was adaptable, because she smiled as if she had been born to her role.
"Then strip," she told them, "I want to see what I am getting."
Jim looked down at his uniform and was about to pull it off when he remembered that he was in his own mind. He was only wearing the outfit because his subconscious had put him in it when forming the construct; he'd been in casual clothes when he'd been with Spock, so he went with a theory. Concentrating he decided to be naked.
"Impressive," Spock said and Jim looked down again to find that he'd actually managed it; "not many people are so proficient in controlling their self-vision."
Then in the blink of an eye Spock was naked as well.
"Let me guess, except Vulcans?" he said, managing to sound amused even though all his thought processes were currently squealing like teenage girls at a sleepover.
He had never seen Spock naked and he was utterly shocked that Nyota hadn't simply shot him between the eyes and staked her claim when the whole situation had begun, because Spock had a perfect body.
"And those trained by Vulcans," Nyota said and Jim managed to drag his eyes away from Spock long enough to realise Nyota's uniform was gone as well.
She, however, had opted for a bra and panty set that Jim could only decide enhanced her magnificent figure.
"Do you want to be ours, James?" Nyota asked him and he nodded wordlessly.
It was not often he was struck speechless, but Spock and Nyota had managed it.
"Then Spock will have you while you have me," she said; "is that acceptable?"
"Yes," he forced himself to say.
"Then Spock, you will need to prepare James; he is not ready for you yet."
Jim was suddenly taken by the thought of what a formidable captain Nyota would make as she commanded without so much as hardening her voice. That disappeared quite quickly, however, as Spock reached out and touched him. He never would have thought that Vulcans could be a sensual people; they were so controlled, but Spock's touch was deliberate and arousing, touching him just where he needed to be touched.
Spock moved in behind him, arm coming round over his hip, fingers splaying over his skin as Spock kissed the side of his neck. Those long, dexterous scientist fingers danced over his flesh and wrapped firmly around his already hard cock. The way Spock stroked him had him gasping as he leaned into the other man to maximise the contact between them. He lost himself in the sensations, feeling each touch as it was magnified by the demands of the bond between them.
"Lean over the console," Spock whispered in his ear and he went without even considering hesitating.
If it had been the real bridge it would have been right next to Checkov's station, as it was it was a little bit smoother and wider and, as Spock urged him over, he bent down. He felt exposed and vulnerable, not a position he was used to, but Spock's strong touch was both arousing and reassuring. Spock massaged his back, slowly moving lower with each sweep of those powerful hands, and Jim relaxed further with each sensation.
He didn't know where Nyota was because he couldn't see her, but he really didn't care as Spock carefully kneaded his buttocks.
"My captain," Spock said, placing a kiss on the base of his spine before a lubricated finger swiped over his entrance.
He moaned, spreading his legs to give Spock better access. Where the hell the lube had come from he had no idea, but then Spock was as capable of conjuring things as he was even though it was his mind. When Spock's finger slowly breached him, he pushed back wanting more far quicker than Spock seemed to be willing to give it to him.
Spock's other hand came to rest on the base of his back at that, holding him firmly in place and that caused his stomach to flutter madly. He'd been on the receiving end of Spock's strength before, but never like this and he found he liked it. This was the quiet, controlled strength that he relied on, on the bridge daily, but now it was so much more personal.
So it was he remained still and let Spock stretch him with all the care of a lover of years not minutes. He moaned and at times shook, but he did not move after the silent request, allowing Spock to do whatever his mate deemed necessary to prepare him for what was coming next. Kisses were his extra reward for his good behaviour as Spock peppered his back with the sweet touches and fingers worked him open. He could feel each imprint of lips on his skin long after Spock had moved on and by the time Spock was finished his flesh was resonating with all the memories.
Spock pulled him upright onto shaky legs and held him as he recovered his equilibrium.
"How'm I doing?" he asked with a dazed smile.
"Perfectly," Spock told him and then turned him back towards the other side of the room.
Nyota was sat in the command chair and between one moment and the next she was naked. Then, with the grace of a dancer, she slid forward and parted her legs. Jim felt his mouth go dry. That proved one thing at least; he might be bonded to Spock, but he could definitely appreciate beauty and sexiness in others when he saw it. The fact that Spock was pushed up hard behind him so they were skin to skin just made the moment that much headier.
"Come here then," Nyota said, smiling and beckoning to them both.
He had never imagined, not even in his wildest fantasies just how all woman Nyota was. Her skin shone in the red light and he couldn't help tracing his gaze over every inch of her curves. Only as Spock nudged him did he actually move forward.
"She is beautiful is she not?" Spock whispered into his ear.
"Breathtaking," Jim admitted.
"And ours," Spock told him.
All he could do was agree.
It didn't matter that this was in his mind; it was as much reality as anything that might happen outside.
"My men," Nyota said and lifted one leg, hooking it around Jim's thigh as he moved close enough. "Now, James, you get to have both of us."
He did not need inviting twice and with Spock's hands on his hips, guiding him forward, he carefully slipped inside Nyota's warm folds. At the back of his mind he noted that his real captain's chair was not such a perfect height, but in his mental reality its situation was right on. Nyota gave the softest sigh as he slid home and for a moment her head fell back and her eyes closed as her muscles squeezed his length.
"Ready?" Spock asked him, voice less controlled than usual.
He hummed and nodded; he wasn't just ready, he needed his mate. No matter how wonderful Nyota felt, something in Jim knew this was not right and as Spock's hands moved back, spreading him gently, the wrongness began to dim.
The sex was in his mind, but as Spock slowly pushed into him his mental body reacted as his physical form would have done in the real world. It was not completely easy and Spock had to pause several times as Jim's body refused to allow him in, but finally Spock was as deep in him as he was in Nyota.
That was when he felt it, something clicking into place that was more than physical. The bond that had been rising and falling through the entire experience flooded his whole consciousness and he sobbed as it sang with completion. His legs almost gave out and only Spock's strong arms and grabbing for the arms of the chair saved him from falling onto Nyota.
"Jim?" Spock asked, all but holding him up as Nyota's smaller hands kept him upright from in front. "Do you wish to stop?"
He shook his head, probably too violently.
"Need ... need to ... keep going ..."
He wanted to give Spock and Nyota everything, but it seemed to be beyond him. However, he managed to keep his arms braced as Spock slowly pulled out and then pushed back in, also forcing his hips forward, which Nyota seemed to appreciate. It was by no means the smoothest or prettiest sex Jim had ever had, but it was the most intense. He might have laughed when he remembered it was all in his head, but he was too far gone.
Really it shouldn't have worked, he had far too little control of his body, but somehow they achieved a form of harmony. What seemed physical to begin with gradually began to melt away and as he felt himself moving closer and closer to climax it became far more metaphysical. He began to feel more and more of what Spock and Nyota were experiencing and by the time his orgasm ripped through him, they were all mixed up together.
He felt the ecstasy of sexual completion and he shared it completely with both Spock and Nyota as it reflected between them echoing back and forth. It was at once the most wonderful experience he could remember and the strangest and as it slowly passed he finally felt the peace he hadn't known since Spock had found him in that cell.
Jim became aware that he was lying down over a matter of a few seconds. The reality of the bridge he had created in his mind faded and the real world came into his senses. The fact he was sandwiched between two naked bodies took a little longer to register, at which point he slowly opened his eyes.
"Do not move," Bones told him from beside the bed and waved a tricorder over him.
It wasn't really what he had expected, but it occurred to him that he should have. Anyone else probably would have been mortified at being naked in bed with two of his officers and there being three other people in the room. Jim just took stock of the very fine male body touching him from behind and the equally fine, but female body touching him from in front and let Bones get on with whatever Bones was doing.
"Well your vitals are all back where they should be," Bones told him, "but you're physically exhausted again. Sleep."
Before he could protest, a hypospray was pressed against his neck and everything faded out again, this time to peaceful blackness.
End of Chapter 3