Fandom: ST XI (mirror universe)
Pairing: m!Kirk/Spock, m!Kirk/m!Spock
Word Count: 1,800
Warnings: Dub-con (bordering on non-con but no actual sex), angst, general mirrorverse alert.
Beta: The brilliant aprilleigh24 gave invaluable input on plot, grammar beta provided by the lovely hey_ohhh, and dissociate provided general read-through plus moral support.
Note: Written for Aga, who gave very generously for help_chile. Due to the prompt received, this is a little different from my previous mirrorverse fare. The dynamics between m!Kirk and m!Spock are more st_au_drifters than the vibe I usually go for. Also a part of my sacred_20 collection: #15, Fate.
There is something entirely too soft about his prize.
How very strange, that two identical faces should look so affectingly different to his eyes. Still, as he touches those unscarred, smooth cheeks and feels their unequivocal solidity, James Kirk can only sing praises for the myriad mysteries of this universe.
From the time when he first became aware of the worlds on the other sides of the space-time mirrors, it had taken Kirk many careful sacrifices and complicated schemes to arrive at this moment. The right people had to be taken care of, laws of theoretical and applied physics had to be stretched and tamed, and enough lab rats had to be chosen. The planning, the calculation, the anticipation—all of it became almost unbearable, even for Imperial Starfleet's golden boy.
Yet it proves to be almost ridiculously easy in the end thanks to a timely ion storm, and now his deserved reward is once again in his hands, all warm skin and peaceful repose. A thing of beauty and wonder, even if it's not yet his Spock—but it's certainly a promising start, and by the time Kirk's through, it will be an adequate approximation of what he has lost.
Beneath his fingers, Spock stirs. The drug would hold for another two hours at least on a human, but its effects are always maddeningly imprecise on hybrids.
"Wake up, sleeping beauty," he whispers softly against this one's ear.
Out of his peripheral vision, Kirk spots thick eyelashes fluttering, the eyebrows knitting into an even deeper frown. Still a fake, certainly, an extravagant duplicate; yet done so convincingly that he feels compelled to kiss it in the most human way possible.
When Spock comes to consciousness with a small gasp, Kirk feels it instantly from the way tension spikes in that body. After a slightly delayed response time—the drug seems to be still at work—his captive begins to struggle against the restraints. Eyes as black as the depth of space stare up at him, registering something close to shock and confusion. There is not yet fear.
"Jim—" the Vulcan begins, but Kirk silences him by placing a finger on those pale lips.
"Welcome home," he says without a shred of irony.
McCoy once told him he's clinically insane in general, but downright batshit crazy where Spock was concerned. (It's amazing what people can let loose out of their mouths while under the influence.) Kirk pointed out that it's hardly out of line for an imperial starship captain to detonate a frontier planet or two, and that it was the most efficient way to get the Rigelians to start talking about where the hell they were holding the best first officer in the entire Starfleet—more importantly, his first officer.
Bones said nothing in return, just giving him that exasperated look he knew all too well. Borderline insubordinate, Kirk thought, even for a doctor who had enough genius to impress a joined Trill back in med school. But there was something to be said about his CMO's general discretion and flexibility. Besides, they went back a long way, almost as long as Spock and himself.
That name still hurt in a way he never expected it to.
They never got to say good-bye, never even saw it coming. One moment Spock was looking at him through the vid link with slightly widened eyes, those lips parting as if to call out to him, and the next—nothing. Transmission lost. Life sign in scanned area: zero. Sulu had the most unpleasant smirk on that face when he reconfirmed it. Zero. Zero. Zero.
Kirk stayed in the sector for two hundred and fifteen hours. He sent out recovery and rescue pods, called in every favor and promised unpleasant dooms to many a soul if they could not bring his back to him, alive and in one piece. Spock was not dead. They had shared a Vulcan bond—illegal as it might have been—since the age of fourteen, and the bond was telling him, in harsh terms, that his Spock was very much alive, if separated from him by space and time.
And the bond could not be placated.
He tried. He requested the most dangerous assignments and got medals for them. He slept with every humanoid species there was within the Empire, plus a few more for the kick of it. He even allowed Bones to stick a hypo into him on a regular basis just to get some real fucking sleep, but the CMO was actually more concerned than gleeful at the prospect.
It looked hopeless both for Spock and for himself, even more so when Bones came to him with the quarterly psych profile.
But let it be said that James T. Kirk does not believe in no-win scenarios.
This one is too trusting and too innocent, in fact too defenseless against him for him to play their cherished games; but when it comes down to it, a Spock is a Spock is a Spock. In fact, if they were to delve into philosophy, it was Spock who once said that his entire life's purpose was to stand at Kirk's side, no matter which universe. The ancient Greeks called it telos. James Tiberius Kirk, age fourteen and driving a damned fast vintage car over a cliff like it was nobody's business, called it destiny.
That's what he has always told himself. And it all works out, more or less, in the end.
"You are not my captain," this one says once the visible shock has subsided, his voice tight and his eyes carefully devoid of emotion. "And I am not your—"
The word gets caught there, abrupt and hushed as if somebody has knocked the wind out of him. Anger? Shame? Regret? Kirk can't tell which, and that unsettles him because he knows his Spock. But he is patient enough when he needs to be, and at the moment he has no desire to inflict unnecessary harm.
Instead of retorting, he runs a hand along the Vulcan's chest in intense fascination as if he's seeing it for the first time. The alabaster skin evinces a faint green hue under direct light, with elegant lines and graceful dips.
This being from the Vulcan's Forge is wholly his, and wholly beautiful. Kirk remembers being mesmerized by Spock's physiology, and not in that creepy way like Bones is. Right now, even Spock's elbows are making his stomach fucking clench.
It has been far, far too long.
He smiles at Spock again, full of intent and that rarely-made promise.
"You don't have the proper tattoo here," he jabs a finger at the abdomen, just above the Vulcan heart. "We'll have to fix that as soon as possible. Next R&R will be on Elgon II; convenient, isn't it?"
The voice rises a pitch. "As I have already indicated, I'm not—"
Kirk carries on, unperturbed. "Do you remember that Tvkin fellow, Spock? He's moved there now and he does such great work with Vulcan scripts. Unless, of course, you want my name in Standard this time. Or Klingon, if you wanna be kinky about it."
To emphasize his rightful ownership, Kirk drops his head to kiss the bare skin under his fingertips, feeling the tremors rumbling through this body despite the man's reticent silence. He can discern the rapid Vulcan heartbeat, as loud as the dark thunders rolling across the Iowa plain. Has that other James Kirk ever heard this sound? Does he know the exquisite, terrible secrets behind its songs and lamentations?
Unblemished, Spock's skin is a blank canvas. For a moment he considers if he should drag a hot knife through it the old-fashioned way, just to leave his favorite mark. His Spock is scarred all over, after all, and every cut tells a story.
"You lost the mark on your right knee," he informs this one. "Do you remember how you got it? It was from our first meeting. I was eight, you were nine. I said something about your dead mother, so we got into a fight. You were pretty stupid back then and didn't watch out for my boots' razors."
Kirk rubs the now-smooth kneecap with some regret, looking back to his captive for a moment. Spock's eyes are opened wide, as if he's completely at a loss. Kirk grins.
"Don't worry. You got even with me," he flexes his right wrist before Spock, showing the flesh-colored old wound there along the lines of the cephalic vein. "You taught me that Vulcans could bite like wild sehlats."
Spock looks up at him. There is a small noise, like from an injured animal still caught in the traps.
"I missed you," he says, fingers kneading at the inside of Spock's thighs. No tattoo there, either, but that's not a priority right now. "I missed this, having you next to me. I missed it every night—and there were so many nights…."
Something in him teeters dangerously at that admission, but he recovers quickly enough to steady himself and plant another kiss. How long would it take for this one's body to betray his mind? How long for the heart to be reclaimed?
"It's going to be all right. You'll see. The bond would never lie to you, even though I might try to."
He raises a hand to the meld points near Spock's temple. For the first time, a look of undisguised shock appears on Spock's face and the struggling begins again. So the other James Kirk is psi-null? What a waste. But this one is yet resisting him in earnest, and there's no need to hurry with this part, not when the process itself is so thoroughly gratifying.
"Jim—" His Vulcan whispers.
He smiles at the name. "Yes?"
"My Jim will find me." The inflection in Spock's suddenly cold tone is clear enough. "You're a fool if you believe otherwise."
Those are almost the exact same words the last one said to him, four years ago.
That Spock was mistaken.
Kirk straightens up and sees that Spock has already shut his eyes. There is that look of determination as if he's about to go into an anti-interrogation trance, and seeing it almost makes Kirk laugh out of sheer relief. Some things never change. Never, never, never.
Humming to himself contently, James Kirk uses his fingers to canvass Spock's body and envisions all the scars that he will draw on there. With each cut he will recreate another bit of their history together, allow both of them to relive all of its glory.
He has twenty years' worth of catching up to do with this one.
He can hardly wait.
A/N: Yes. The ending is sick, I know. I blame aprilleigh24 for it. :P