Fandom: Star Trek XI
Disclaimer: Kirk & Spock belong to each other. The story belongs to me. Everything else belongs to Paramount.
Note: Written for Rin & Aza. Live long and prosper!
Major kudos to my beta Tekko (dissociate), who spent a long time discussing the plot with me and was highly instrumental in its completion. She is also an awesome American English->Spockese translator.
Oh and it's my first piece of completed ST fanfiction. I would really appreciate feedback, especially constructive criticism. :D
Word Count: 2253
The Four Times Spock Said Yes to Jim Kirk and the One Time He Said No
by Renata Lord (snowlight)
The sensible thing to do would be for Kirk to stop making passes at her. He goes to his first officer instead.
"Hey Spock, listen, do you know what's up with Uhura?"
Putting down the report at hand, Spock looks at him evenly but does that thing with his eyebrows.
"Captain, are you inquiring if I am aware of any difficulty or disturbance that Lieutenant Uhura is presently encountering in her private life?"
"Um, yeah," and Kirk realizes that he actually didn't expect Spock to understand what he said in the first place. It's such a...human expression. Maybe being on the ship got to Spock.
And that is the end of the conversation. He stares as Spock returns to the report, quite oblivious to his presence. He would pull rank on the pointy-eared bastard, but something in the silence tells him the said bastard is really not in the mood to tolerate it.
Maybe being on the ship hasn't gotten to Spock that much, after all.
If he closes his eyes he can see Iowa, a flat and empty space, the home that James Tiberius Kirk left behind to take his place amongst the stars.
Except Iowa is not home. It has his mother (whom he doesn't call or write), a few boxes in a basement with his name on the labels, the various schools he'd gotten kicked out of, and the bars he'd had the brawls in. But to him, in the end, Iowa is always linked with the indelible image of an open road that leads to nowhere.
So Kirk has to stop and check himself from blatantly lying to Spock when after a certain retrieval mission on a Vulcan colony went horribly wrong, Spock comes to him for a discussion about possible resignation from Starfleet. He can't say that he understands that fierce longing for a homeland, won't say it.
"I'm sorry about what happened today," he starts off by apologizing and half-expects Spock to say something like "I appreciate your concern, Captain." Spock remains silent however, as if challenging Kirk to talk him out of it.
"I can't promise shit like that won't happen again. There will be pitfalls along the way as the Vulcans rebuild, problems that you or I won't foresee. We can't stop that, we know it's gonna happen and all we can do is move forward, just like the Enterprise. I mean" he takes a deep breath and words tumble out on impulse, so fast that he doesn't have the time to question the clenching of his stomach. "Look Spock, I really don't wanna see you go, but I won't stop you. As disgusting as it may sound to you, I actually want you to be happy. No matter what you choose, I'm with you one hundred percent. Always. You got that?"
Not terribly inspiring, all things considered, but Jim Kirk's never been good at begging. He remembers that with Spock he's either hit or miss, and for a moment he thinks he's totally botched it, because Spock is regarding him with a preternatural impassivity that could be carved from granite stone.
"Spock?" he calls uncertainly. It feels like tempting fate. "Do you understand what I just said?"
Black irises are still locked on him, as if trying to decipher a puzzle just by looking.
"Yes Jim," Spock says at last, his tone oddly soft. "I understand you perfectly."
Kirk lets out a sigh of relief at the verdict. Only then does he realize he's been holding his breath for all this time. He silently prays that he would never need to have this conversation with Spock again, because he really sucks at it.
The gods must have heard his prayers.
Vulcans don't kiss the way humans do. How fortunate, then, that Spock has had a long time practicing living amongst humans.
Of course, this thought doesn't occur to Kirk the first time Spock kisses him. Or the second. Or the third. It's not until he attends a lecture on Vulcan cultural preservation and propagation does he discover just how painfully acclimated Spock has become.
He didn't even want to go that lecture. He hates cultural training seminars. If he was any more immature he would have protested but mommy why doesn't Spock have to go. Then he reminds himself that Spock is Vulcanno, half Vulcan. That, and Spock probably doesn't want to hear about how his species is classified as Yellow Alert on the endangered list.
"Do you ever feel human? ....purely human?"
That night he asks idly between the sheets, the palm of his hand ghosting over Spock's abdomen. He thinks he can feel the Vulcan heart humming. It beats so fast, like it would never stop.
Spock stirs but doesn't move away from his touch. They start kissing again, with lips and fingers and exposed skin. And somewhere in the sweet mess he hears Spock say, "I'm afraid the question you ask is illogical, as I am not qualified to be a fully informed judge on the matter of one's humanity."
Kirk bites down on a finger just hard enough to show his displeasure at the impersonal logic.
"That's why I'm asking how you feel," he whispers with a sudden urgency, a nameless fever rising in his blood. "Your heart...does it shiver when I'm in you? Does it sing to you when I do this? Does it tell you, despite every fact and logic, that I'm the only thing, the only one..."
Because that's how I feel. Every day.
His lover leans over and kisses him earnestly, properly. Spock is applying too much pressure on his hand through a vice-like grip but he doesn't care. He has never wanted to belong to someone this much. Never knew it would feel so right.
"The answer is yes,"and he almost laughs at Spock's breathless attempt to look calm about it. "...yes, and yes."
Many years later, when his hair has turned half white and chasing people around the galaxy no longer holds the same thrill, Admiral James T. Kirk would still say that one of the finest moments in his life was when he bit into a ripe apple during his Kobayashi Maru exam. Words such as "awesome" and "brilliant" are used.
upon which the usually reticent Vulcan by his side reminds him that it was on his third attempt, after two colossal failures, and passed by extremely questionable methods. The word "cheating" remains unspoken but hangs in the air anyway. They both know their parts in this well-rehearsed exchange.
Kirk doesn't protest and grins all too happily.
"I still say you just don't like the fact that I beat your test."
This time, however, Spock surprises him by offering no retort. Long and graceful fingers touch Kirk's own, careful and entirely innocuous unless you catch how Spock's dark eyelashes flutter just a little. It's ridiculous, how hot that is.
Jim thinks he will take that as a yes.
And, somewhere along the way, there was a No.
He cannot recall the incident itself clearly, and the memory doesn't float to surface in the mind melds, so Spock either doesn't remember it or doesn't care to rehash it. He is certain it happened, however, because it was one of those conversations that had to take place early on in their history together, and because there are bits of it he would never want to make up.
Maybe it was that mission to Gamma Canaris. Or the Void in Delta Quadrant. Or that time when they kicked some major Romulan ass in Tomed. But really, the place and exact date doesn't matter; the important part is that he woke up in the sick bay afterwards feeling like somebody drilled a fucking giant hole into his head. His entire body was numb too, but that was better than the pain.
His vision was hazy at first, but he did recognize the blue uniform hovering near the bed.
As soon as he said it he knew it was off. Not just because of the height, but also the way that body moved.
"Hey, Spock," he corrected himself, suddenly cheerful, almost giddy. Things were going to be okay now.
"Captain, among other numerous injuries, your vertebral column has suffered significant fracture," his first officer, however, definitely sounded less than pleased. "I advise you to take precaution against any possible aggravation."
The fact that he couldn't sit up didn't stop him from giving Spock his best come-hither look. It worked, too, because Spock capitulated and walked over to him with an air of resignation. One touch and he knew Spock wasn't really angry, but the sullenness was there, insofar as it was possible for Spock to be sullen.
"What, not even a 'hey you are awake'?"
"With the extent of the injuries you received, I did not foresee myself needing to employ that expression," said Spock rather stiffly.
He knew there was an admonition there but couldn't resist the urge to call Spock out anyway. "Sure, and that's why you took over the medical shift for Bones right? To watch a dead man?"
Spock didn't say anything but looked at him. It took him about three seconds before he realized how he was being insensitive again (who the hell knew you needed to be sensitive around Vulcans?). He glanced at the computer screen next to Spock and surmised that he'd been out for at least thirty-six hours, and felt accordingly repentant.
When that didn't work, he went for the it's-not-me-it's-my-job route: "Look, I just did what had to be done. There was nobody else nearby, and I"
He got cut off quickly.
"In my personal evaluation, what you took was an unnecessary risk," Spock was eerily still. Jim suspected that the Vulcan was exercising every last bit of that famous self-control to not punch him.
They got into an argument after that, about how Kirk was too reckless in his risk assessment, either that or Spock was being too unreasonable in caution. It was a familiar point of contention between them, even though it wasn't raised very often because most of the time Spock just went ahead with his captain's orders. But this time, it didn't turn into a yelling match only because Kirk didn't have the strength to yell and Spock probably couldn't manipulate his vocal cords into yelling even if he tried.
Eventually the heat died down with the cold knowledge that they were at an impasse, and it was no use to say anything further. Kirk tried to collect his head and maintain a somewhat dignified posture on the bed. He suddenly felt very tired, far wearier than he was when he first woke up.
"Let's do this later, or something. I know you disagree, but it was all I could do," he shut his eyes, hoping to find respite in the darkness. "I had no other choice, because it's who I am."
He was ready to drift back into sleep, but something in the persistent silence bothered him. Spock was still at the bedside, he could sense the other's body heat even though their hands no longer touched. A speckle of guilt crept into his mind, because it was Spock who had to clean up after him and....
His eyes snapped open as the realization hit him cold.
"If I may, it is...merely my wish to not see you injured so grievously," Spock's calm was not the infuriating kind, but it carried a hushed sadness that almost broke him to hear.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly.
"You must understand that it would be ruinous for the Federation to lose its most promising Starfleet captain at this particular juncture in time. As the first officer, I am always quite prepared to lead this ship should she lose her captain due to unforeseen circumstances. But Jim, back there on the ground, when I thought you must have died, I"
Kirk heard that normally imperturbable voice cracking and had to close his eyes again. He didn't dare to look at Spock's face. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. He must had repeated this silently a thousand times. And I'm sorrier still, because it's bound to happen again.
Gritting his teeth, he willed his left hand to do the ta'al. On any other day, he would have been immensely proud of himself.
"See? Live long and prosper. I need you to do that Spock, with or without me. You have to."
"No," Spock answered him swiftly and matter-of-factly.
Before he could argue any further, a warm hand took his own and soothed his fingers back into their natural state. Then Spock leaned down onto him. Their foreheads touched and he couldn't help but smile again, because he could feel Spock's breath trembling against his cheeks. To be alive and together, it was the most fucking amazing thing in the world.
So instead Jim Kirk said: "I guess I'll just have to make sure it never comes to that then."
It's a promise he made against all principles of logic and physiology. It's also a promise that he intends to keep.