|Love in a Verbal Confrontation Pod
Author: Dracavia PM
Written for the following prompt from corcalamus: Kirk and Spock, stuck in a turbo lift with a ping-pong ball. - K/S pre-slash/slashRated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - J. Kirk & Spock - Words: 3,677 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 29 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7394988
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Love in a Verbal Confrontation Pod
Rating: PG/PG-13 ish
Fandoms: Star Trek 2009
Warnings: none really
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or any of the other Trek characters, and sadly don't make a dime off any of them or their shenanigans. I'm just trotting them out for the amusement of myself and others (hopefully).
Summary: Written for the following prompt from corcalamus: Kirk and Spock, stuck in a turbo lift with a ping-pong ball.
Notes: This is my first attempt at Star Trek fic. Jaylee_g, this is dedicated to you, since you've been prodding at me to try something of the sort for a while now. I hope this doesn't disappoint.
Also, the title of this fic is a nod at a line from Le-Culdesac's wonderful Because the Simple Fact is, Love is Never Discreet.
The small white ball bounced off the wall beside Spock's head, and landed in Jim's palm where he sat on the floor of the turbolift. He threw the ball again, and again it bounced beside Spock's head, before being caught by Jim. He threw the ball again...
Spock's hand moved almost faster than one could account for and caught the ball, squeezing before he dropped the now misshapen and bounce-less ping-pong ball to the floor.
Jim scowled, "Well now that you've destroyed the only source of amusement left in here, how do you suggest spending the time until we can get out of this damn thing?"
A quirked eyebrow was all he got for an answer before Spock's gaze settled back on the blank control panel across from him, ignoring Jim once more.
3 Hours ago:
It had been the tensest mission debrief the senior staff had experienced in recent memory. They were now 19 months into their 5 year mission, and most days the crew worked like the well oiled machine everyone expected of Starfleet's flagship.
In the beginning they had their ups and downs, no-one would have been surprised at this atmosphere had this meeting been 15 months ago, maybe even a year. Tension was to be expected back then. So many of the crew, the senior staff being no exception, were fresh from the academy and finding their feet. Everyone knew there would be some bruised egos and ruffled feathers while they got settled in, developing the mutual respect and trust needed to make things go more smoothly in time. This was perhaps most expected between the captain and first officer, after-all in their first few days of knowing each other they were adversaries more often than anything else, their impressive triumph over the Narada not withstanding.
Of course that was then, and this was now. These days people were far more likely to speak of Captain Kirk and Commander Spock as one of the top up and coming command teams in the fleet. They'd taken a bit of time to settle in and find the best way to interact with each other, without stepping on each other's toes, but when they did, everything just seemed to fall into place. The Enterprise's mission statistics spoke for themselves: a higher than average mission success rate, and a lower than average casualty rate. Combine those things with the state of the art equipment on the ship and just about everyone on board agreed that the Enterprise was ithe/i place to be.
Except, it suddenly seemed for some reason, for the captain and first officer.
Sulu was blaming it on the admiralty, they just couldn't leave well enough alone. So what if the regulations stated that the two most senior officers on the ship shouldn't go down on an away mission together unless specifically directed by 'Fleet command, or there were extenuating circumstances? Kirk and Spock going down on most of their away missions together had worked out just fine the first year and a half they'd been out here in the black. As far as Sulu was concerned the smooth functioning of the ship was all the extenuating circumstances they needed if this was going to be the result of their newly reaffirmed directive.
It was meant to be a routine mission, the planet they had stopped at was a trading partner of the Federation, and had been for some years. There was talk of Galanos VII soon making a bid for membership in the Federation, in fact this was a large part of the reason for their mission. The captain was to go down with his landing party, ostensibly to negotiate for certain items that were needed at the nearest Starbase, which were not part of the standard trade agreements. That was true, but Kirk had also been ordered to make an assessment of the Galanos VII government and its readiness for Federation membership. This was the part where things went terribly wrong.
Apparently the talk had been going around Galanos VII as well, and certain factions were far from pleased with this possibility. So far from pleased in fact, that they had staged a coup of the sitting government. How something of this magnitude had been kept quiet from the Federation, none of the senior staff had quite figured out yet, but suffice it to say they were still in the dark when they arrived, and the landing party beamed down right into a trap.
When Captain Kirk had missed his first scheduled check-in, Commander Spock had begun to become agitated, well, agitated for Spock that is. Most probably wouldn't have noticed anything, but after all this time working closely together Sulu knew the signs. Commander Spock's orders were just that bit more curt, his eyebrow rose just that fraction higher... Then the Captain missed his second check-in, and the government was ignoring their hails. Directive from the admiralty to stick to regulations or no, Spock was going to lead the rescue party.
Two hours later, everyone was back and the worst injury sustained was a broken ankle by Captain Kirk himself. Three hours after that, with the ship headed towards the Starbase and Captain Kirk's ankle healed, the senior staff gathered together for their debriefing.
Sulu decided the worst thing about the meeting was that technically there was nothing about it you could complain about. Everyone was behaving professionally, iparticularly/i the captain and first officer. The level of indifferent professionalism between them hadn't been seen since the earliest days of their mission, and was completely at odds with the looks they were giving each other when they thought no-one was watching them. The heat in those looks was nearly enough to make him burst into flames, and they weren't even directed at him. Damn was he glad they weren't, and he pitied the poor person or persons who eventually got all that furry directed upon them.
With a sigh he refocused on the report Uhura was giving and began counting down the minutes until he could escape the conference room.
"You're going to have to talk to me eventually, you know," Jim said petulantly from his place on the floor, but Spock continued to ignore him. He let out a frustrated sigh and continued, "I don't see what's so logical about your current behavior, it's certainly not mature, and you're supposed to be the mature one here." Jim gave Spock one of his best roguish smiles, but it quickly faded when Spock refused to look at him.
"On the contrary, there is no logic in allowing you to draw me back into a circuitous argument. It would be best left for a day or two until you have taken the time to reflect upon the events which have transpired, and view them with a calmer mindset." Spock's words were clearly meant to be delivered impassively, but there was an edge to them that Jim didn't miss.
"You mean until I see it your way," Jim accused.
"It's the same thing," was Spock's reply with an air of finality.
Jim just sighed.
5 Hours ago:
Jim Kirk would be the death of him one day, McCoy was certain of it, the man took more risks than any sane man had a right to. Of course some might debate whether Jim was in fact sane in the strictest sense of the word, psych evals to the contrary or no. And then there was his damned Vulcan shadow, nearly as bad and twice as stubborn.
They'd returned from the planet about an hour before, and as usual Jim was battered and bruised. McCoy had put Jim in one of the private recovery rooms while the regenerator worked to mend his broken ankle, and had moved on to the other party members with less serious injuries waiting out in the main bay. Sometime not long after, Spock had slipped into the recovery room, which wasn't all that surprising. It seemed that whenever one or the other was injured on a mission, the other – if they weren't injured as well – made a point of stopping in to see them. The worse the injury, the longer they sat vigil and the more likely McCoy was to have to kick them out to get their own rest elsewhere.
Something was different this time though, and it made McCoy uneasy. Spock had slipped in as usual, but not long after his arrival the sound of heated voices could be heard coming from the recovery room. They weren't quite loud enough to make out what was being said, or for their discussion to constitute a disturbance worthy of leaving his current patient to break it up.
By the time he was just about done with the young ensign in front of him, and planning his entrance, Spock abruptly exited the recovery room. Without a glance for anyone in Sickbay, the Vulcan left as quickly as it was possible while maintaining a walk. Of course McCoy took that as his cue to check on his best friend, but Jim remained firmly tight-lipped about the whole thing, and with an exasperated sigh McCoy returned to his other patients.
Jim glanced sourly over at Spock. The time spent stuck in the turbo lift finally appeared to be taking a slight toll on him, at least it seemed that way as Spock had forgone his standard posture of parade rest to lean up against the wall of the capsule. Tired of the silence and, though he didn't wish to admit it to himself, wanting to get a response from the Vulcan, Jim spoke again.
"I'm not going to apologise, and I iwon't/i concede to you being right, because you're not. Hell, this time iI'm/i the one with regulations on his side. It was just last week Komack himself gave us a dressing down for flaunting the regs regarding senior personnel going planet-side. You should have stayed on the ship and left Giotto to lead the search party as procedure dictated." The heat in his words betrayed the fact that Jim was angry about something a lot more important to him than a few broken regulations.
"If I had done so, you would currently be dead," Spock replied in a deadpan tone, gaze firmly focused on the control panel so that he wouldn't have to look at Jim. Most would have thought Spock to be as dispassionate as his tone implied, but Jim wasn't most people. There was a tightening around the eyes and lips that gave away the strain Spock felt as he spoke.
Despite the noting the strain Jim remained undeterred, "You can't know that for certain."
"Based on my observations I calculate the probability of your survival without my presence as having been less than 4.29%, therefore I stand by my assertion." He still refused to meet Jim's gaze.
"And by being down there you nearly got iyourself/i killed instead!"
"I took a calculated risk, it was required to ensure your survival and the successful rescue of you and your landing party. The odds of my perishing were acceptably low to warrant my actions."
"Damnit, you couldn't have known for certain that their phasers would be set on stun. Their models might not be as effective on Vulcans as they are on humans, but you're only half Vulcan and if they'd been set on kill you'd have gotten a hell of a lot more than just an unpleasant jolt," Jim growled out.
"They wished to keep us alive as bargaining tools to secure the non-interference of the Federation in their world's affairs. It would have been illogical for their phasers to have been set higher than stun and risk losing potential hostages."
"If you were so certain their phasers were set on stun, then why interfere in the first place? Why throw yourself between the phaser blast and me?" Jim stood, too agitated to continue this conversation sitting down.
"You were already injured, and had already been stunned once upon landing on the planet. The risk that the blast might do additional permanent damage, even if set on stun, was too great. The Enterprise needs its captain." Spock finally turned his gaze to meet Jim's, and the depth of feeling in those fathomless brown eyes momentarily took Jim's breath away.
2 ½ Hours ago:
After the hectic mission on Galanos VII all Uhura wanted was a bit of time to unwind, which was why as soon as that tense debrief was over she made a beeline for the main rec room. It looked to her as though she wasn't the only member of the senior staff to have the same idea. In fact the only senior staffers missing from the room were Spock and McCoy, which didn't surprise her in the least, both men tended to prefer solitude after a stressful mission.
Part of her said she should go seek out Spock, make certain he was alright given the tension that was unmistakable between him and the captain in the debriefing. She didn't though, because even though they hadn't been a couple for well over a year, Spock was still her friend and she knew him better than almost anyone else on the ship. She knew he wouldn't appreciate anyone prying now, it always made him uncomfortable to attempt to discuss things when his emotions were closer to the surface than he believed proper.
So she'd stay put at her table playing cards with Scotty and some others, and if her eyes strayed from time to time over to where Kirk was playing ping-pong a bit more forcefully than was strictly necessary, well, any suspicions or conclusions she made she kept to herself. Filed away for the time being in the recesses of her mind.
When the yellow alert signaled half way through the card game, Uhura figured they should have been expecting it. The universe didn't really seem to enjoy giving the crew of the Enterprise much down time, especially when they needed it most. Though she appreciated when Kirk said he was going to head up to the bridge to check on things, and the rest of the senior staff could stay put unless he called for them. She'd appreciate it even more a few minutes later.
2 Hours ago:
Jim strode out of the rec room towards the nearest turbolift, intent on getting to the bridge as quickly as possible. The announcement that had accompanied the yellow alert mentioned an ionic anomaly and he wanted to be in his chair if there was anything about that might threaten his ship.
When the turbolift arrived and the doors opened, he hesitated only a moment before stepping inside with the lone occupant.
"Spock," he said perfunctorily before standing beside his first officer.
"Captain," was Spock's inflection-less response.
They stood in silence as the doors closed and the turbolift resumed it's assent towards the bridge, only to stop a few moments later with a shuttering jolt as the lighting flickered. When the flickering stopped it was only the dimmer emergency lighting which was on, and the control panel went blank. Jim took the step across the capsule to the com panel and slapped his hand against the button for the bridge.
"Bridge, this is Kirk, what the hell is going on up there?" There was an unmistakable edge to his tone.
A moment later the com crackled to life, though the signal was quite poor, "Captain, we were unable to avoid the anomaly and it passed over the ship on its way to wherever. Electrical systems all over the ship have been damaged."
"Commander Spock is here in the turbolift with me, but the rest of the senior staff barring Dr. McCoy was in the main rec room. Assemble any needed personnel to get the ship fixed as quickly as possible."
"Aye sir, we'll send someone down right away, no doubt Mr. Scott will be needed in engineering." There was a pause before the voice on the com spoke again, "And Captain, I'm afraid you and Commander Spock will have to remain in your lift until we can get them moving again. The computer shows you're stuck between floors, and unfortunately while lift control is down, the tubes are still fully charged with electricity."
Jim gave a heavy sigh before responding, "Great... just, keep me updated. Kirk out." He looked over at Spock, "Any ideas for how to get us out of here?"
He raised an eyebrow at Jim, clearly indicating what he thought of that question, "Given the available information it seems that following the Lieutenant's suggestion is the most logical course of action. Therefore I suggest you make yourself comfortable and wait."
Grumbling wordlessly, Jim leaned against the wall, "Absolutely fabulous." Something dug into his hip and he pulled back away from the wall to dig in his pocket, pulling out a ping-pong ball. "Huh, must have taken that with me from the game, didn't notice. Well, at least there's something to keep me occupied." He started bouncing the ball off the floor, and he could have sworn he heard Spock sigh except he was sure somewhere along the line Spock had indicated sighing was one of those emotional things Vulcans just didn't do.
Jim's voice had lost it's angry edge when he finally found the words to speak, "She needs her first officer as well."
Spock looked away, "Your command has proven to be far more invaluable to the successful completion of many of our missions, I am more expendable."
"iNo one/i on this ship is expendable," was Jim's fierce reply. He forced himself into Spock's personal space, until the other man met his gaze once more, that unexpected pain still present.
"That is not true, regulations dictate-" there Spock went, hiding behind regs like he was so prone to doing when a situation was outside his comfort zone, but Jim wasn't having any of it this time.
"Damn the regs! Life is not expendable, no life on this ship is, especially not one of my two best friends." Jim shoved Spock back against the wall, punctuating his words.
The Vulcan's guard began to crumble further as the contact wore away at his already damaged reserve, "Jim, kindly remove your hand from my chest."
"And if I don't?" Jim challenged, stepping in closer until their bodies nearly touched.
It was too much for Spock, the emotions running through them both were stronger than he could block out. Especially with Jim's proximity, and his hand upon Spock's chest. Under the anger they'd both been carrying all afternoon was an even more powerful feeling of concern, which given the direction of the day's arguments didn't exactly surprise Spock. What did surprise him was what he felt compelling the concern, he knew he'd gained Jim's friendship, but he'd never guessed the depth of feeling was quite so profound, and it resonated with his own often ignored emotions.
Instead of answering Jim with words, he reached up and took Jim's face in his hands, bringing their lips together in a hard and demanding kiss. Jim didn't respond at first, frozen with shock, but it wasn't long before he was kissing back just as fervently, arms wrapping around Spock.
It was some time before they broke the kiss, just standing there breathing heavily, eyes closed and arms still around each other. Jim was the first to break the silence, his voice soft and hoarse, "If you ever do something stupid and get yourself killed, I'm going to follow you into the afterlife so I can kick your ass."
Spock gave a huff that might almost be a laugh, "The feeling is mutual."
Jim grinned as they both opened their eyes to look at each other, "Just as long as we understand each other."
Spock's thumb stroked across Jim's cheekbone, "Perfectly I believe."
They shifted to lean more comfortably against the wall and there was a crunch under Jim's boot. He looked down as he moved his foot and gave a small laugh upon seeing the poor mangled ping-pong ball. "Well, I guess I won't be needing that to find ways to pass the time until Scotty gets us out of here," he looked back up at Spock, still with a grin.
"Indeed I think not," Spock replied, and proceeded to show Jim just how he thought the time was best spent.