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The Union of Vulcan and Terra

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       Arranged marriages were rare nowadays but not unheard of. As the second son of the rulers of Terra, Prince James Tiberius Kirk never expected to be part of a peace treaty offering to a man he was raised to despise. A terrible and bloody war between Terra and Vulcan had been raging on for the last century. The war had taken his father in the battle of Kelvin, the day that Jim was born no less. The bloodshed continued until this year when his mother, Queen Winona, and the Vulcan emperor, Sarek, finally formed a peace treaty. The terms of the treaty included one detail that Jim wasn’t especially fond of: the marriage between himself and the prince of Vulcan. Ever since he was young Jim was taught that Vulcans were souless, emotionless killers and now he was to be engaged to one.

      “It is a fate worse than death, Bones. I’d rather be married to a stone wall. It would probably show more emotion. I could carve it a face and a hole for-” Jim was rambling on while the family healer was putting a salve on his latest sparring wound.

      “If you continue that train of thought I will slip a silence potion into your drink tonight and this time it’ll be permanent.” He whispered a spell to the salve to make the wound heal faster.

      Jim rolled his eyes. “I’m getting married to a Vulcan. Bones this will be the worst marriage in all of history. We’ll hate each other. I always thought I would marry someone I loved and live out my days in one of the smaller provinces. Or go off to the untamed lands with them and map the new areas.” He sighed sadly.

      Bones pat Jim’s leg. “The marriage is only political. You can probably have a lover on the side. Now stop being a little bitch and go get ready for the dinner. Come back here before the ceremony so I can clean off the salve. Can’t have you all scratched up for your new husband.” He winked as Jim got off of the bench and started to walk out the door.

      Jim scoffed. “Fuck off.” He chuckled a little as he left.

      As he was walking around to his quarters his mind drifted back to his future husband. He had no idea what the Vulcan prince looked like and only knew his name: Spock. Spock and his family had come to Terra for the signing of the peace treaty and Jim and his court would go back to Vulcan for the marriage ceremony. Spock was staying in the room across from his own for some reason that had to do with them being married in a week’s time. As he walked past the room he could smell a perfumed smoke, coming from something called incense. Incense came from distant lands such as Vulcan and Romulus and was a rarity on Terra. Jim hesitated for a moment in front of Spock’s door to smell the incense. The smoke had a scent of spices and citrus and an earthy note. It was a smell Jim hadn’t really experienced before and it made his heart skip a beat. Jim freed himself from the spell the incense had cast on him and proceeded to his quarters.

      Dressing for the treaty was slow and honestly Jim had hoped it would take longer; the longer he could put off meeting his mystery man the better. His formal tunic was made of the softest velvet in a rich purple color. Purple never really suited him, not like gold did, but it was a symbol of power and nobility. His golden circlet was placed gently on his head, almost blending in with his hair which was a similar color to the tiny crown. Unless his mother died and his brother suddenly vanished, it was to be the only crown he would wear, never able to bear his father’s crown. He was simultaneously thankful for this and remorseful that he will never have that connection to a man he never knew. Lost in his thoughts, the prince soon found himself being hurried back to the healer and off to the signing.

      No no no! This was all happening too fast. Soon he was going to see the man he would be bound to for the rest of his life. He would finally put a face to the name that has been haunting his nightmares. He never wanted this.

      The heavy oak doors swung open to reveal his mother’s study. His mother was sitting at her desk across from the emperor and standing behind the emperor was his son and Jim’s future husband, Spock. Spock and his father were wearing traditional Vulcan robes that made Jim wonder how they didn’t die of heat stroke in the desert. They turned and raised some sort of salute when Jim entered the room. He bowed towards them and then took his place standing behind his mother. Once the emperor settled back down in his seat and began talking with Jim’s mother, Jim got a good look at his his future husband. He had long ink black hair tied up in a ponytail much like women in Terra, but women in Terra didn’t have hair so straight and silky. His features were so serious as he watched his father speak with Jim’s mother. His skin was pale as if the other had never seen the sun with a slight twinge of green. It was well known that Vulcans and Romulans bled green and had pointed ears. Personally Jim believed they were descendants of monsters, Bones says it is because they come from an ancient magical race. At one point in his blatant staring Spock noticed that he was being watched and looked away from his father to make eye contact with Jim. Those dark soulless eyes were boring holes into Jim’s, forcing him to look away. This stoic monster with the soulless eyes was going to be his husband. With the swipe of the quill the treaty was signed by both his mother and Spock’s father, and it was official that he and Spock were to be married. He reached out a hand to shake with Spock, who either looked at him as if he had just offered him a dead fish or looked excited. Honestly Jim couldn’t read the Vulcan at all. The Vulcans saluted the prince and the queen before leaving the room to prepare for the dinner.

      Winona started to pack up her desk and put away the treaty. “So what did you think of your future husband?”

      Jim sighed and leaned against the desk. “He seems like a heartless monster and I simply can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him..”

      Winona laughed a bit. “James. Give him a chance and you may be surprised. I have been in contact with the emperor and his family for the past year. They are good people. The emperor’s wife and Spock’s mother is a Terran woman. Anyway you will be seated next to Spock tonight so get to know him.”

      Jim groaned but Winona gave him a glare to stop the sound. “You will be spending your life with him. Keep an open mind and heart. Now go and I will see you tonight.”

 

     At the grand feast that night Jim was seated next to Spock and he couldn’t be more unhappy. The feast had been tailored to the Vulcan diet, all vegetarian. Jim played with his sauteed vegetables and decided that if they didn't slip him some duck in the next course, he was going to have to eat his own leg. Bones, however, looked pleased as punch that Jim was being forced to eat vegetables.

      “I thought Vulcans were ruthless… You draw the line of violence at hurting animals?” He mumbled into his mushroom.

      “Up until recently we were omnivores.” Spock responded without looking at Jim. The Terran prince was surprised that the Vulcan had heard him and responded. His voice was deeper than he had imagined and smooth and smokey like the incense he burned. It caught Jim off guard but it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise.

      “Well what happened that changed you all into vegetarians?” He was curious and honestly didn’t know anything about Vulcan politics.

      Spock finally looked over at Jim for the first time all night. “There has recently been a philosopher spreading his beliefs all over Vulcan. His teachings of nonviolence and logic over emotions have gained popularity among my people. It was one of the reasons my father and your mother were able to work on a peace treaty. My family is among the followers of Surak with the exception of my brother Sybok who follows the old ways. Our marriage is because of his refusal to follow Surak. Having a tangible bond between our realms means that he will be less likely to turn back on the peace treaty when he comes to power.” His monotonous tone seemed like he was talking about the weather rather than a new philosophy and the reason for their marriage.

      “So we’re getting married because your brother might wage war after your father passes off his power? Wow…” He downed his mead and waved for more to come. “Your family is certainly something.”

      Spock tilted his head. “I do not understand. My family is something. Why would that need to be stated?”

      Jim sighed. “It's sarcasm, saying one thing when you mean another. You know what, nevermind. What's Vulcan like?” He decided to try to make small talk with Spock since someday that would be all he had.

      Spock sipped his water and ignored the illogic of this sarcasm. “It is a mostly desert realm with some mountainous ranges. Many areas have been set aside as wilderness reserves.” As Spock droned on Jim closed his eyes and listened to the sound of his voice. It was soothing, low and smooth. At least he liked that about Spock and he wasn’t too bad to look at either. It took a moment for Jim to realize that Spock had stopped talking.

      “Oh. That sounds very interesting… So why didn’t you shake my hand earlier?” He asked.

      Spock froze for a moment as if deciding what to say in response. “That is not information shared with outsiders.”

      Jim smiled sarcastically. “Great.”

 

Chapter Text

      After the feast Jim was very drunk, and had somehow managed to get one of the handmaidens to come back to his chambers. He was allowed some physical contact before his life with the mysterious Vulcan.

      “I’ve never been with a royal before.” The handmaiden giggled as Jim led her up the stairs towards his chamber.

      Jim gave the girl a charming albeit sloppy smile and pulled her close as they stood in front of his chamber door. “Then I have the honor of being your first, my beautiful flower.” He pulled her hand up to his lips and kissed it softly.

      As Jim was about to pull the young beautiful girl with the short red hair and pale milky breasts into his chambers when someone cleared their throat across the hall. And as if fate had a personal vendetta against Jim, standing across the hall was none other than his betrothed.

      “I apologize for interrupting. However, this ‘royal’ is my betrothed and Vulcans prioritize monogamy among our mates. And that includes our betrothed.” He raised a brow at Jim and the young woman.

      The girl paled and pulled herself away from the prince. “I’m sorry, my lord.” She curtsied and bowed her head low before running back down the stairs away from the princes.

      Jim rolled his eyes and gave Spock an insincere smile. “Thank you, my love .” He turned on his heels and stormed into his room.

 

      That night Jim dreamed of a beautiful creature with long black hair and warm brown eyes. He woke up feeling happy and loved for no reason, but it faded as quickly as it came. He sighed as he got out of bed and rang for an attendant. He had to pack that day so he could leave with Spock and his father and travel to Vulcan. He dressed himself that morning, knowing that he was not trying to impress anyone, and hopefully wasn’t going to be seeing Spock.

      Soon enough Chekov showed up with Jim’s regular breakfast and set the tray down. The servant then bowed and exited the room. On the tray was eggs, toast, and meat as well as a flower that the castle gardener Sulu must have clipped for him. The castle servants liked him, he was charismatic and friendly and treated them well. He would miss them when he lived with Spock. As he ate and waited for Bones to show up and help him pack he looked around his room, after tomorrow he might never see this room again and he was getting nostalgic.

      “You had better enjoy that meat while you can. Now that these hobgoblins are vegetarian you won’t be eating meat for a long time.” Bones laughed as he walked into the room.

      Jim rolled his eyes and smiled. “Don’t worry I’m trying to enjoy every last minute of my time here in Terra. You know last night I was going to sleep with this beautiful maid. Got her all the way up to my door and just as I was taking her into my room, my fiance steps out of his room and tells us that Vulcans value monogamy and scares off the girl.” He flopped back on his bed with a dramatic sigh.

      Bones hummed and took a bite of Jim’s toast. “You have a faithful husband. Your life is the worst. Who knows maybe he’ll grow on you. Then you two will make hot passionate love on a blanket on a cool desert night.” He laughed at the face Jim made in response. The young prince looked as if someone had told him that he would be making love to a pile of dung. “Who knows, maybe he’ll break you of your womanizing ways.”

      Jim laughed. “No one can do that. I’ll just have to get better at sneaking people in.” He sat back up. “One of the Vulcan servants and Rand will be coming around later to pack my clothes for the trip and my new life in Vulcan. I was thinking about going out for a ride. Would you like to join me?”

      “No. I have my own things to pack. Can’t leave you to terrorize those Vulcans alone. And besides, you’d die without me.” Bones pat Jim’s shoulder and left the room.

      The young prince tied up his riding boots and left his room soon after the servants arrived to pack his clothes. Rand knew his wardrobe and the Vulcan knew the weather of Jim’s new home, so they wouldn't need his input. He wanted to enjoy his last few hours in Terra. Spock’s door was closed when he walked past it so he had assumed his future husband was holed up in his chambers and would be until they left. The sweet smoke wasn’t present as he walked by and he had to admit that he was disappointed by its absence, but he didn’t give it a second thought as he walked out of the castle and towards the stables. His favorite steed was missing for some reason so he tacked a strong buckskin mare and he rode off down one of the trails through the forest.

      Vulcan was a desert area and he knew that he was going to miss all of this green. The air was thick with the smell of moist soil; it was the rainy season and the leaves seemed to glow emerald, the browns darker to an almost black color, and the sky was a dusky gray. While Jim loved the sun, he also loved the rain. The rain was cleansing and soothing, something he would miss in the dry climate. He was so lost in his own thoughts about what his future with Spock would be like that he didn’t see the snake in the grass. However, his horse did. His ride reared and knocked him off, then sped off into the forest.

      “Ahh!” Jim cried out in pain as he landed wrong on his wrist. Now he was alone in the woods with a broken wrist and staring down a rattler. “Help! Someone help me!!” He was trying not to make any threatening movements. The rattler was the fastest and most deadly snake in Terra, a bite from it was almost always fatal. “Please! Someone help!” Before the snake could bite him it was knocked out of the way.  

      Jim looked up in shock, the figure who had saved him was riding his horse and was obscured from the sun behind him. “It is unsafe to ride alone, Prince James.” His hero said in a smooth and seductive voice. A voice that was strangely familiar. Wait a moment…

      “Spock?” Jim stood up and with the sun out of his eyes he could clearly see his Vulcan fiance. “You saved me?”

      Spock nodded. “Of course. You are my future bond mate and it would be most unfortunate for you to die before the bond between our people is finalized.” He offered a gloved hand to Jim to help him up onto the horse. The Terran took the Vulcan’s hand and hopped up onto the horse.

      “Oh how romantic. You have to take me back to the castle, I broke my wrist.” He held the broken joint to his chest.

      Spock nodded. “Put your other arm around me, so you do not fall.”

      Jim quietly obeyed and held onto Spock’s torso tightly with his good arm. His face was pushed into Spock’s back and suddenly he was surrounded by smells and textures he had never experienced before. The tunic that Vulcans always seemed to wear looked so rough but was soft against his cheek. Jim closed his eyes and inhaled the smokey scent that the clothes seemed to be drenched in. He was so enraptured by the smells and sensations he did not notice that they had stopped until Spock cleared his throat.

      “We have arrived at the castle. You may let go now and should see McCoy for your broken wrist.”

      Jim nodded and slid off the horse. It wasn’t as graceful as he would have liked but what are you gonna do he only had one good arm? “Thank you again for the help.”

      Spock nodded too Jim. “You are welcome. I look forward to our trip back to Vulcan tomorrow.” Without another word he turns and rides back off into the woods.

Chapter Text

      Jim was woken at dawn the next morning by Bones shaking him. He groaned and sat up, rubbing his eyes. His wrist was still a bit sore but once he had arrived back at the castle Bones had set it and wrapped it in some leaves that seemed to have healed the injury. Today was the day that he would set off for a three day long trip to Vulcan. Today was the day that he was sentenced to solitary confinement with Spock. The two of them in one carriage alone for three days. As if being married to him wasn’t going to be hard enough already.


      “Bones, I will give you anything to let me stay here while you take my place. You’re a handsome man maybe Spock won’t notice.” He smiled hopefully at his best friend.


      Leonard shook his head. “Nope. Not for all the gold in the world. And even if I tried to pretend to be you Spock would see right through it. He has probably memorized every inch of you.” He smirked and pulled out Jim’s clothes for the trip.


      Jim groaned and flopped back on the bed, dreading getting out of his bed, who knew when he would come back to it? Would he ever sleep in this bed again? “He probably has. I’m his betrothed.” He sat back up and then got out of bed.


      Leonard rolled his eyes. “You say that like it is a bad thing. Put some clothes on.” He turned around to give the prince some modicum of privacy. “You could have done much worse than a guy who cares that you stay faithful.”


      While Bones had his back turned Jim put on a loose tunic and plain pants. “I suppose. But he isn’t who I imagined myself being with. I wanted someone passionate and kind and intelligent. Someone who would see the--”


      “Untamed lands. I know it isn’t like this is news to me kid. But like I keep telling you, you could have done much worse. And you know I’m not Vulcan’s biggest fan so for me to tell you that he isn’t half bad… He isn’t bad.” Leonard sighed and sat down on the bed. “Get ready for breakfast, and say goodbye to some of the servants. You don’t want to start off this trip in a bad mood.”


      Jim sighed and nodded. He fixed his hair and started towards his door. “I just wish I was the first born… Then I wouldn’t have been sold off.” He then walked out of the room and walked straight into Spock’s chest. Stumbling back and controlling his temper he cleared his throat. “What were you doing right outside of my room?”


      Spock looked down at him, his head tilting slightly. “I was sent here to fetch you. We are leaving soon. Your bags have already been loaded onto the carriage.”


      Jim looked up at Spock in disbelief. “We’re leaving now?”


      Spock nodded. “Yes. I apologize for the short notice but we wish to leave before the rain begins. Judging by the humidity and the appearance of storm clouds on the horizon, it will be raining around the time we had planned on leaving.”


      His heart dropped as Jim realized that he wouldn’t even be able to say goodbye to his favorite servants. Growing up here he had made many friends among the staff. There was Chekov, the gardener who was always teaching him about plants grown on the grounds, most of the information would end with the flora coming from Russia, there was Sulu the head stableboy, he always took special care of Jim’s favorite mare, Uhura the official translator who never put up with Jim’s shit. There were so many people that he grew up around and cared about. And he couldn't even say goodbye. This was turning into the worst day of his life. As his mood turned foul it was obvious to all of those around him, except for Spock.


      Spock tilted his head slightly as Prince James fell silent. He offered out his arm to escort Prince James to their carriage. “We will be staying in the same carriage for the ride back to Vulcan. Shall we go?” He watched James.


      Jim cleared his throat and felt tears prick his eyes. He rubbed his eyes and nodded. “Yes. Let's go.” He ignored Spock's arm and walked right by him. Yeah the man saved him but he was also ruining his life.


      His feet felt like they were made of stone as he walked towards the carriage that was meant for just him and Spock. It was large but still just a small room on wheels. Three days with just Spock as company and it was clear that the Vulcan wasn't big on small talk. During his very shallow studies of Vulcans he had found out that they don't speak much if they find it unnecessary. They didn't do anything that they found unnecessary. Jim could admire that if it didn't mean that they often didn't follow Terran societal standards like filling the silence with noise. However, Jim had expected to be helped into the carriage but Spock just watched him.


      “Aren't you gonna help me up?” Jim joked with a smirk.


      At that Spock tilted his head. “Do you require assistance? You are a young Terran with no previously documented health issues. If this information is correct then you should have no trouble getting into the carriage on your own.”


      Jim shook his head and sighed. “I was joking. Usually the man helps the woman into the carriage and I was…” He trailed off at the end of his sentence and climbed into the carriage on his own, taking one side of the carriage.


      Spock soon followed and sat on the bench across from Jim. “Are you making a comparison between our relationship and that of a heterosexual Terran relationship, applying the societal norms for that relationship to our own?” His head was still tilted slightly.


      Jim blinked in surprise at Spock's conclusion. “Y-Yeah. How did you figure that out?”


      Had Spock been Terran he would have shrugged. “Our relationship has no previous precedents set. It is logical for you to draw from past experiences and past knowledge of how individuals interact with one another in a relationship.” And with the conclusion of his sentence the carriage jolted forward as they started to move.


      Jim felt a pit in his stomach as they started to move. He said nothing as he watched the castle grounds pass him by and then as his town fell away into the distance. This all felt like a nightmare. Once the last farm of his land faded off into the horizon Jim cleared his throat to get the attention of his betrothed.


      “Is there anything that we could do to pass the time?” He was hesitant to offer suggestions such as telling stories or just talking because he had no clue what to talk about. What was he supposed to say? ‘Thank you for taking me away from the only place I’ve ever known. What is it like knowing your people killed my father and now you’re marrying me.’ So he was relieved when Spock pulled out a large book.


      “As a peace gift, I had one of our greatest translators bind a set of our histories and our fables translated into Terran for you. My favorite is one my mother told me of two Vulcans who fell so deeply in love that when they died they were transformed into the constellation of the mated pair of mah-tor-pahlah.” Had Jim been looking at Spock he would have noticed the light dusting of green that marked his cheeks. However, Jim was too busy staring at the beautifully bound book. Each story had an intricate illustration and just as Spock had promised, it was in perfect Terran. The young prince had never received such a wonderful and thoughtful gift before, and the Vulcan didn’t even know him. Maybe the Vulcans weren’t horrible people after all. If this gift was anything to go off of, maybe Jim could give his betrothed a chance.

Chapter Text

      Jim read the book for most of the day, but as the sun set he found it harder and harder to read. All while he had been reading, Spock had been sitting there with his eyes closed as if he were asleep, but Jim knew from personal experience that one could not sleep in a carriage while sitting straight up as Spock was. He had heard of Vulcans meditating as a way to focus their thoughts. When it became too dark to read Jim reached over to lightly touch Spock’s hand to wake him up. He had completely forgotten that Vulcans had a thing about their hands. Spock jerked away from the touch and his eyes flew open. But where Jim was expecting anger, Spock had a look of confusion in his eyes that disappeared so quickly Jim wondered if he was making things up. But when they had touched he had felt something indescribable. It was as if something had been awoken in him that had been sleeping all his life, but he didn’t feel any different now that he wasn’t touching Spock.


      Jim cleared his throat and looked away from Spock, so he was unable to see Spock looking down at his own hand in surprise. “I wasn’t able to get to that story you told me about… The mat-flora?” It was obvious in his hesitant pronunciation that he was still unused to the Vulcan language.


      Spock seemed to have snapped out of his confused trance and looked back at Jim. “The mah-tor-pahlah, they are breed of birds that inhabit our country that monogamously breed for life. The constellation is also known as the t’hy’la constellation.”


      At the new term Jim looked back at Spock and tilted his head. “Tie-la?” At Jim’s mispronunciation Spock raised a brow. “T’hy’la. It is an ancient Vulcan mating bond that surpasses any normal bond one can posses. In Terran the closest translation is brother, friend, lover. It is one who knows you and your soul as if it were their own. There has not been a recorded t’hy’la bond in over two thousand years. Some of my people believe it to be a myth.”


      Jim thought about what he felt when he touched Spock’s hand, “What about you? Do you believe in thy- t’hy…. That?”


      Spock repressed a sigh, a human reaction that a Vulcan prince unfortunately had to fight due to his half-human side. “I am unsure. It seems illogical to believe in a soulmate that would know you better than you know yourself. To find a perfect mate seems impossible so it would be illogical. However… I do believe in the t’hy’la bond.”


      Jim smiled at that, a small smile that showed hope. Because for once he had hope that Spock wasn’t a brick wall that experienced no feelings. “Fascinating. So I never made it to that story… Could you tell it to me?” He looked out the carriage window into the dark night and wondered how far away from home they were.


      Spock nodded, though Jim could not see it. “Yes, if that is what you wish. The story begins long ago, before written history was created and oral history thrived. There was a great war between two Vulcan tribes, the Chaak and the Veth, both tribes now lost to time. What the war was being waged over had long been forgotten and the tribes were fighting because they knew nothing else but their hatred for one another. Each tribe had a warrior revered above all others, the Chaak had Sten and the Veth had Svul. The two were raised to fight, the two were raised to hate the other, the two were raised to kill each other. However, during battle the two met. As they fought their weapons were cast down, the two were forced into hand to hand combat but the moment their hands touched the bond was formed. The two looked at each other and knew that their opponent was their mate, their love, the one who they were fated to be with. It was on the battlefield that the two took each other as bondmates, the first pair of t’hy’la.” He paused for a moment. “When my mother would tell me this story as a child she would tell me that they kissed, however once I was older I found that the two consummated their relationship and sealed their bond by performing coitus mid battle. Amid the hatred and death the pair found a love that transcended their history or their tribes, a bond so powerful that their souls were intertwined, melded into a greater entity. Unfortunately, the two could not stay together, for once the battle was over the two had to return to their respective tribes. But Sten and Svul could not stay away from each other and in the cover of night they would visit each other, bringing gifts of jewels, fruit, and weapons. As time passed their love and bond only grew stronger. While the lovers became closer, the war between their two tribes was becoming more and more heated. The leaders of the two tribes decided that the only way to end this war was to have one chosen warrior fight for each tribe and whoever came out alive would be the winner. The Chaak chose Sten and the Veth chose Svul to represent their tribes in battle. The two wept at the thought of having to fight each other until Svul came up with a plan. On the day of the battle Svul and Sten embraced for the last time, their kisses salted with the taste of their own tears for they knew that what they were about to do would get them killed. When the two walked out into the arena they were holding hands in a display of defiance and Svul declared, ‘I am Svul of Veth and this is my mate, Sten of Chaak. We will not fight for we could never harm each other. We are t’hy’la: an unbreakable bond that was formed on the battlefield, and one that will surpass our death. We call for a truce between our tribes. Sten and I are an example, our people are not so different. Cast down your weapons and embrace your fellow Vulcan.’” Spock paused again and looked at Jim with a soft and small smile, one hidden by the darkness. “Yet again my mother would change the story for me when I was younger. She would tell me that after seeing such a moving display of love the tribes did cast down their weapons and the two lovers lived long and happy lives until their deaths.” Spock’s small smile faded as he continued, “However, the real story was that the two tribes could not stand for the lovers to be together and forcibly tore them away from each other. Svul and Sten were killed in their separate villages. But at the last moment the gods took pity on the lovers and turned their spirits into mah-tor-pahlah. The lovers flew into the sky and were reunited in the stars. Svul was correct, their bond surpassed them in death and the two remain together forever in the stars.” Spock finished the story and looked over at Jim, who seemed to be on the edge of sleep, almost like he was forcing himself to stay awake for the story.


      Jim yawned and smiled. “That is not the ending I would have told a little kid so I agree with your mom’s retelling of the story.” He closed his eyes and found it harder and harder to reopen them. It was then that he felt a warm cloak cover him. He opened his eyes to see that Spock had put his cloak on him. Since Terra was cooler than the Vulcan climate, Spock and his father had been wearing cloaks to stay warm. Jim didn’t say anything and just let his eyes fall shut yet again.


      Sleep came quickly and Jim dreamt a strange dream. It was the story that Spock had told him but something was different. He took the place of one of the warriors but the other’s face was a blur. He saw the long black hair, and the lithe yet muscular body, he smelled the sweet smoke and felt the strength and the power of the other in his dream. It was as if he had been transported to that battle where the lovers met. His body was pushed against the other’s and it all felt so real as if he was touching and being touched. He woke with a start in the middle of the night to find Spock either asleep or meditating in the seat across from him. Jim’s body still tingled where he’d been touched and his body still showed the arousal from the lusty dream. With a deep red blush, and a refusal to touch himself while Spock was five feet away from him, Jim curled back up under the cloak and willed himself to sleep as the sweet smoke of incense the cloak held filled his nose. Strange that it was the same smell he smelled in his dream. But it must have been because of the cloak and not the man who had been wearing it all day.

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        Jim woke slowly, still wrapped in the cloak, his body warm but not uncomfortably so and the sweet scent of incense had faded through the night. Surprisingly, Jim was upset at the fact that the scent had faded, but he kept this fact to himself. When he moved to gently place the cloak back on Spock he was surprised to find the Vulcan was already awake. He jumped slightly and if anyone asked he most definitely did not let out a small yelp.

        “Have I frightened you?” Spock tilted his head in slight confusion as his betrothed had moved away from him. While their bond was still only in its fledgling stages, Spock did not want to upset or frighten Jim. The story he had told Jim the night before had been that of the t’hy’la bond, and through his meditations, he believed that through the brief contact he and Jim had, that there was a 97.89% chance that they were t’hy’la. However, he would not share this information with Jim. From what Spock had heard of humans from his mother he believed that Jim would react negatively to the information that they were bonded in the most intimate way a Vulcan can be bonded. This conclusion was further supported by Spock’s observations of Jim, who was pure humanity. He was emotional and illogical and seemed to hate Spock and everything that Spock was.

        Jim shook his head and looked out the window. “No. You didn’t frighten me. I just wasn’t expecting you to be awake. How long have you been awake?” He suddenly felt self-conscious about Spock watching him while he slept, especially after he had that dream.

        Spock tilted his head slightly. “Vulcans require less sleep than Terrans do. I have been awake for 3.48 hours. Did you sleep adequately?” He asked of his betrothed. It was logical to inquire about the health of his betrothed, as well as he was attempting to take part in the Terran ritual of ‘small-talk’. Spock did not fully understand what made the talks size differentials important enough to require denotation.

        Jim yawned and stretched in his seat, cracking his back. He hated sleeping in carriages, it always hurt his back. And he had another night of sleeping on this horrible seat, two if something slows them down. “I slept adequately, though I can’t wait to sleep in a bed.” He paused and his eyes widened slightly as he thought of something that scared him after a semi-restless night. “Vulcans do have beds… Right?”

        Spock shook his head. “Traditionally Vulcans have slept on beds of plush furs. However, my mother has advised that we accommodate your Terran needs in our quarters. You will indeed have a bed on which you may sleep.”

        Jim nodded as he thought about how much he wanted to sleep in a bed before what Spock had said fully sunk in. “Wait wait wait… Did you say ‘our’ quarters?”

        “Indeed. We will be mates so we are expected to share quarters. If you so desire we may also share a bed.” Spock added almost hopefully. He would not push himself on Jim but he desired to sleep with his mate. It was an illogical and primal desire that Spock found that he did not want to purge himself of.

        “Do we have to?” Jim almost whined before controlling his tone, he was a prince and he represented his kingdom in this arrangement so he most definitely did not whine.

        Spock was taken aback by the petulant tone Jim had taken with him but did not let his surprise show. “If you are uncomfortable with the idea of us sharing a bed then I will sleep elsewhere.” True to his word Spock would not force himself on Jim. They were to be bonded and Spock did not wish to build that bond on negative emotions. While their arrangement was planned by others that did not mean that Spock was not open to forming a relationship naturally with the Terran prince.

        Jim nodded and looked out the window. He let out a sigh of relief that he wouldn’t have to share a bed, a real bed, with Spock. Though he was growing used to the almost demonic features of his betrothed. His pointed ears and sharp features were still so foreign, but Jim supposed that he had to get used to that look since he was going to be living in Vulcan. There would definitely be some getting used to the look of Vulcans, right now they all looked the same to Jim. How was he supposed to tell them apart when they all looked like the same cat-like monster?

        Moments passed in uncomfortable silence before Spock spoke up again. “I believe it would be prudent for us to get to know each other before our bonding ceremony. We are to be bonded for the rest of our lives and our bond will be stronger the closer we are emotionally.”

        Jim sighed. “I suppose that makes sense… Especially since the treaty between our countries relies on our bond.” He hummed for a moment as he tried to think of something for them to talk about. “You’ve mentioned your mother… Are you close to her?”

        Spock nodded calmly. “Yes, my mother and I are very close by Vulcan standards. My mother was the only Terran in Vulcan and at the time when anti-Terran sentiments ran high. Because of this she mostly stayed at home and focused her energy on raising me and to a degree my brother. When my peers rejected me because of my heritage, my mother was always there to provide comfort and support. To my mother I was never a ‘freak’, I was simply her son.”

        Jim smiled sadly. “I wish I had that… My mother was never that close to me. She was always busy with her work and when she wasn’t busy with work she never seemed to want to see me. I think I reminded her of my father too much.”

        Spock tilted his head, not knowing that what he was about to ask was a touchy subject with Jim. “Why would you remind her of your father?”

        Jim’s melancholic smile quickly turned into a frown. “My father died at the hands of a Vulcan during the battle of Kelvin. He died on the day of my birth and my mother never fails to remind me of that on my birthday.” The mood in the carriage shifted and the tension could have been cut with a knife.

        Spock hesitantly reached over and placed a hand on Jim’s covered shoulder. The Terran was radiating his emotions so strongly it took Spock a moment to recover from the psychic blow. “I grieve with thee.” He calmly pulled his hand back and clasped them in his lap. “I apologize for bringing up such a painful memory. I hope to create better memories with you on your birthday.”

        Jim raised a brow but smirked and shook his head. “If you say so, Spock.” Spock’s hope to make better memories with Jim was kind of… Cute.

        One side of Spock’s mouth twitched up into an almost smile that was nearly imperceptible by anyone who was not a Vulcan. “What activities do you enjoy?”

        This felt almost like an awkward first date, but Spock was trying to get to know Jim and that meant something to him. “I like going out for rides on my horse, I like learning how things work, I like exploring, and I like just hanging out with my friends.” He tried not to think about how some of those activities were no longer possible while Spock was calculating how he would be able to bring these activities to Vulcan. “I also enjoy my studies. I will show you our library when we arrive if you wish.”

        Jim nodded and gave Spock a small smile. “I would like that, thank you.” Jim was starting to feel guilty for the way he was treating Spock. While Jim had been standoffish, Spock had been nothing but accommodating and almost kind. He was unlike any of the rumors about Vulcans. Well except for the whole lack of expression, but Jim was weirdly getting used to it. He looked back out the window and just saw desert. The road they were on was constructed recently for Terran vehicles. Before this new trade route, Vulcans would travel mostly by caravan and Jim wondered if this would change. He wondered briefly what aspects of traditional Vulcan culture would change with the transition to Saurakian principles. Hopefully not the hair, Jim liked Spock’s long hair… And that was a thought that he was going to repress. There was no way he was starting to find Spock attractive… Was he?

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          The rest of the trip passed without issue. Jim would have strange dreams of a raven-haired beauty at night and during the day he and Spock would share awkward but enjoyable conversations. Sometimes Jim would read from the wedding gift Spock had given him. It had been such a thoughtful gift that Jim almost wished that he had a gift for Spock. Maybe his gift was moving his whole life to Vulcan for Spock.

          On the final day, they arrived at the capital city, ShiKar, and Jim was pleasantly surprised by the bustling city. If he was being honest Jim had expected a bunch of tents and rotting meat and dirty Vulcans running around. In Jim’s defense, he had been raised to believe the Vulcans were monstrous barbarians. But what he had been taught was all wrong as he was driven through an open-air marketplace similar to those found in Terra. There were stalls selling jewelry, vases, rugs, food, and even toys! The smell of spice wafted into the carriage and Jim’s mouth watered. He had never smelled food like that before and was curious to try it.

          Spock caught Jim staring out the window as they pass the food carts and he heard his human’s stomach muscles contract, causing a sound to come from his abdomen. “If you wish we may visit the marketplace tomorrow.”

          Jim looked back at Spock and tilted his head. “Why tomorrow? Why not today?” He could see the palace from here. It wasn’t like they were far from the center of the town and he had no clue what they would do the rest of the day.

          Spock exhaled softly. “I have allocated the rest of the day for you to acclimate yourself to our quarters and we have a meeting with my family tonight.” He paused for a moment. “Including my brother, heir apparent Sybok.” He was dreading the meeting with his brother. While the rest of his family looked forward to their union, Sybok had openly opposed this peace agreement from the beginning. Sybok held onto the old ways of letting emotions guide one’s actions over logic, and he held a deep-seated hatred for Terrans. As he was the oldest Vulcan son of Sarek, he was the next in line for the throne and Spock was to live as a prince and advisor to the emperor as well as overseeing provinces within Vulcan.

          Jim swallowed nervously and nodded slowly. “Sybok. The guy who hates Terrans right? The reason we get married so then he couldn’t attack Terra. Because he’s gonna be related to one… Me.”

          Spock nodded. “Indeed. My father is married to a Terran. However, this marriage occurred after Sybok’s mother died so he does not recognize my mother as a relative or as a maternal figure. To have you as my mate, Sybok would be unable to start another war with Terra without fracturing Vulcan into two. Those who support him and those who support me. It would cause a civil war that Vulcan would not survive. Our marriage is crucial to the survival of my country and my bloodline.”

          Jim had no idea of the political unrest that was occurring inside of the courts of Vulcan. The peace between Terra and Vulcan was beneficial for Terra as the Klingons were threatening Terran borders and Terra could not fight a war on two sides. There was no threat to the throne or threat of civil war. Jim had no idea that he was so important. “Oh. I-I didn’t know…” He looked back out the window, slightly embarrassed by his lack of political knowledge. He and Spock were both the second sons of their respective thrones and Spock thought through not just his life but the life of his house. The Terran prince saw his life as one free of responsibility and worry, and that he had been robbed of it, meanwhile Spock saw this marriage as a blessing.

          Spock tilted his head. “How could you have known? Before recently Vulcan was relatively isolationist. Aside from war, we did not interact with other countries. We have not had a Romulan in our court in over 100 years and they are our closest neighbors.” He hoped that this would change now that the majority of Vulcans were following the teachings of Saurek. Logic dictated that they open their borders for trade and the spreading of technology and ideas.

          Jim scoffed. “You give me too much credit. I only knew the political dealings of Terra because I was forced to attend the meetings. If I had my way I would have been enjoying all the luxuries that being born into the royal family brought me.”

          The carriage stopped in front of the palace and a footman opened the door to the carriage for Jim and Spock. Jim stepped out and was immediately hit by the wave of heat. It was a dry heat that Jim had never experienced before. It would take some wardrobe changes and some getting used to. The sun was shining down on them in such a force that for a moment Jim thought there must have been two suns. He looked around and saw that Spock was right next to him, offering his arm for Jim to take. Jim did so without question and he looked all around, his mouth slightly open as he took in his new home. The walls were smooth tan stone and had curved roofs with exposed beams, architecture that Jim had never seen before. The walls were thick and when they walked inside Jim had expected it to be hot like an oven but it was noticeably cooler. The interior was decorated with traditional weapons and tapestries, it was minimalist but still impressive. He was led down a long hall to two large heavy doors. As the doors were pushed aside Jim let out an audible gasp. Where he had been expecting a room he found an enormous suite. One wall was large windows that looked out onto the bustling city, there were sheer gold curtains covering the windows. The curtains flowed in the slight breeze as a few of the windows were open. There was a large bed against one wall covered in exotic furs and so many pillows that Jim could probably drown in them. Across the room from the bed was another pile of furs and pillows which Jim assumed was some sort of lounge area. He had dropped Spock’s arm and walked farther into the suite. A door near the bedroom led to a large bathroom. Inside there was a bath large enough for three people as well as scented oils and perfumes. Who knew Vulcans were so hygienic? There was an additional basin for washing your hands and face. He finally looked back at Spock in awe.

          “This is all for me?” He couldn’t believe that Vulcans would have such an extravagant and beautiful room in their palace.

          Spock shook his head. “This suite is for us. As long as we wish to reside in the main palace. There are smaller palaces in other provinces. Once my father retires I will be moving to our residence in Vulcana Regar unless called by the court.” He wasn’t expecting to move to Vulcana Regnar for many years. This suite was similar to the one his father and mother shared. This kind of suite was reserved only for married members of the royal family and since he and Jim were to be married in a few days this suite was theirs.

          Jim walked around the room and found a closet full of robes. “Are these for me?” They all looked about his size. Spock was longer and thinner than he was, and these robes distinctly a different size than the robe Spock was wearing.

          Spock nodded. “Yes. You will find that the robes are more weather appropriate than your traditional Terran garb. If you wish to bathe I can call for servants to prepare a bath for you. You are expected to wear one of the Vulcan robes provided for you.”

          Jim nodded. “That would be great... “ He needed to bathe, he felt the dried sweat that was practically caked onto him from the ride. And Spock was right, his clothes weren’t very weather appropriate and he would love something more breathable.

          Spock bowed and left Jim alone in the suite. A few minutes later servants came in with his luggage and two servants prepared a bath for him. Once the bath was prepared Jim sent the servants away and stripped. The perfumes from the bath filled the room and Jim let himself relax in the hot water. He was so far from home but a bath was a bath. Jim began the ritual of scrubbing his skin and hair, it was so familiar that it helped him adjust to this new world, if even for a moment. While he missed the sweet smell of rosewater, the smell of citrus surrounded him pleasantly. After a while, Jim felt like he had been in there too long and he groaned. As he got out of the tub he thought about how horrific this dinner was going to be.

          He dried himself off as he walked out into the main room he was singing softly to himself, not expecting anyone else to be in the room.

          “You have a wonderful voice,” Spock spoke up. He had been admiring his betrothed’s body from afar, not thinking of how this would look to Jim.

          Jim nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard Spock’s voice. He quickly covered himself with the towel he was holding. “What the fuck! Turn around! Now!”

          Spock was unsure as to why Jim did not wish to be seen naked but did as he was told. “I laid out a set of robes for you. I hope you find them acceptable.”

          Jim’s heart was racing as he looked around and found robes laid out for him. There was a basic set of a linen shirt and pants in deep blue and a matching gold robe with the same blue detailing. He quickly got dressed and was surprised at how well it fit.

          Today was just full of surprises.