Captain Kirk and his first officer walked around the surface of the rocky planet, Psi Omicron II. It was a small world but had previously been unexplored by federation members. The Enterprise crew's mission was somewhat historic. According to many scientific institutes, the planet was uninhabited, with the exception of a few native plant species and small mammals. There were no known intelligent species on the planet. It's temperature was a pleasant 20C and there was not a cloud in the sky.
"This shouldn't take long." Kirk said to Spock.
The Vulcan turned around. "No. It is, however, most peculiar as to why our orders were to physically beam down and collect rock samples. There are much more efficient methods at hand."
Kirk shrugged. "Maybe it was to look at the scenery?"
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"Well, we've got samples from the ponds and the open plains. All that's left is that cave." He pointed to the near east.
The cave was a large structure that went deep into the side of the mountain. It's mouth was less than two metres high. Spock had to bend down slightly in order to get inside the cave but Kirk, being shorter than him, was able to get in with no problems.
"Right, Spock. You take that path, I'll go this way." He pointed Spock in the direction of a larger tunnel, whilst he took the smaller route. It would be quicker and more effective to split up. A logical decision.
Spock had been collecting samples of the sides of the tunnel which Kirk had directed him to when he felt the ground shudder underneath him.
A few hundred metres away, Kirk had the same sensation. He carefully tried to back out of the tunnel. He cried out as he stumbled over a jagged piece of loose rock. He fell over backwards and landed on his backside. Suddenly, another shudder occurred and bits of hard rock of all different shapes and composition began to rain down on him. Luckily for him, the rocks were light and only very small. They grazed him ever so slightly, but he felt fine. When Kirk felt as though all the vibrations had stopped, one more occurred. This one, whilst not as powerful as the first two, was strong enough to cause parts of rock from the wall of the tunnel that Kirk had stumbled near to fall on his left foot. As time went by, bigger and bigger chunks of rock began to fall down on his leg. He was stuck. He couldn't even reach his phaser.
Spock had heard the yell of Kirk and felt all of the vibrations under foot. He didn't stop to think and ran over to the place where his captain was supposed to be. Spock thought he must have gone the wrong way; he couldn't see James Kirk anyway. Then, he heard another call for help and followed it a dozen or so metres and came across Kirk.
Spock looked at his captain and, after analysing the situation quickly and carefully, he took out his phaser and aimed it at the rock encasing his captain's leg. But the phaser didn't work.
Kirk sighed, annoyed. "Curious? My foot is stuck under a ton of rock and your phaser doesn't work and all you can say is 'curious'?"
Spock may not show his emotions, but his facial expression did slightly change. It became negative.
Kirk read the expression and promptly apologised. "I'm sorry, Spock. I just want to get out of here. Why doesn't your phaser work?"
Spock tool out his tricorder and began to scan the environment. "There appears to be high concentrations of iron in the cave, which seem to react with the components in the phaser."
"I guess that means there's no hope of me getting out of here anytime soon, then?" Kirk looked down and moaned. "Wait," he realised something, "does your communicator work? Maybe we could beam out."
Spock nodded his head slowly. "That does seen logical. Since the communicator is composed of different materials to the phaser, we should be able to contact the ship." Then, he flipped open his communicator and hailed the Enterprise.
"Enterprise. Scott here."
"Two to beam up, these coordinates. Immediately." His voice was evident of the urgency of their situation, despite to neutrality of it.
On the ship, Scott activated the transporter but nothing happened.
"The transporter is malfunctioning."
"Can you fix it?" Kirk was talking now as Spock had handed him his communicator.
"Not for sometime. Can you two hang on for an hour or so?"
"It depends on how much more rock falls on my head." Kirk was always good at making a seemingly dire situation seem amusing.
"I'm sorry sir?" Scotty asked.
"Never mind." He laughed. "Just see what you can do."
"Aye. I'll do my best, captain."
"Kirk out." He gave the communicator back to his first officer.
Despite Kirk and Spock's best wishes that no more vibrations should occur, they still occurred, getting more and more severe by the minute.
Spock knew they had no time to spare and tried to prise the rocks off of his captain's body. It was no use, they were completely stuck, and every time he removed one, another simply fell and took its place.
They had no option but to wait for Scotty to beam them up, but that would take too long.
Another vibration happened, and those time, the cave came very close to collapse. The entrance had almost been covered.
"Spock, you'd better leave. Another tremor could happen at any moment."
"If you are asking me to leave you, then... "
Kirk cut him off. "Spock, leave. The needs of the many... "
This time, however, Spock cut James
Kirk off, a very rare event. "You saved my life during the Kali-Fee. I must return that favour."
"You don't have to do anything, except leave." Before Kirk had even finished his sentence, another tremor happened, the cave wouldn't last much longer. He began to get worried and scared, he would get crushed. "Spock, please, I'm asking you to go."
"I cannot." The Vulcan however, remained stern, his mind unchanged.
"Please." More and more debris fell down in a shower. "Spock, you'll die if you stay. Leave. Once you've left this damn cave, you'll be safe."
"No... " as he said this, Spock sat down besides his captain on the cold ground.
"Don't worry about me." Kirk tried to smile.
"Jim, I cannot."
"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you to leave. As your commanding officer, I order you to leave."
"Them, from this moment on, I resign my commission."
"Spock, please, just go. I don't want you to die. Please, just go."
"My duty is to you."
"Yes, but your duty is also to the Enterprise. Once you've been beamed back aboard, you'll be fine. Don't worry about me."
"Worry is a human emotion, I cannot worry."
"Well, don't think about me then." Larger rocks began to fall and Kirk knew they didn't have long. As he saw the rocks fall, a tear dripped down his cheek. "Spock, please... "
"Jim, I won't leave you."
Kirk wiped the tear away with the sleeve of his shirt. "Please... " he no longer bothered to wipe the tears away, which were becoming more and more regular.
James Kirk felt a warm hand touch his face and free it from the teardrops. Spock had wiped away his tears. He looked at is captain. "I won't leave you, Jim."
"Why?" A tearful Kirk asked.
"I... I... I don't know."
Not satisfied with that answer, Kirk asked again. "Spock, why?"
"Because... Because you are my friend." Spock hung his head down.
"And you're my friend too Spock, you're my closest friend. But, you must leave. You'll die, you'll get crushed." He looked at Spock, who still had his head bowed. "Spock, look at me."
He obeyed and slowly lifted his head up, his eyes looking straight at his captain. "Jim... "
"There's more... " Kirk looked deep into his friend's eyes and noticed something else, something more. "Why?" He asked again.
"I have told you why."
"No, Spock, you haven't. I know you too well. I thought Vulcans can't lie. Why won't you just leave?"
"Because... I... I... I love you." Spock stood up and walked over into the corner.
Kirk sat motionless and didn't know how to react. He thought for a long while. "Spock... I... I... Sit down, please."
Spock didn't budge.
"Sit down, Spock."
Spock listened this time and sat down next to his captain.
"Did you... Did you mean what you said?"
Spock slowly nodded his head.
"Why won't you walk?"
"I have shamed all of Vulcan. I have disappointed my father and am a disgrace. Even having... human... friends cause my father some perturbation."
"Spock, no one is ashamed of you. You are the best first officer in the fleet, I've seen your medals of honour. You're not a disgrace to anyone."
"Nonetheless, what I said was inappropriate and the correct disciplinary steps must be taken."
"Spock, it wasn't inappropriate. Because... I... I love you too."
Spock's expression changed, and it became more human. He seemed pleased, perhaps even happy.
Kirk leant his head on Spock's shoulder, and Spock stroked his head gently, as if to say "don't worry."
Spock just happened to look up by chance, and that was when be saw a huge piece of rock hurtling towards Kirk. Without a second of thinking, he threw himself over Kirk, protecting him from the heavy rock. It was only about thirty centimetres in diameter, but it fell at considerable speed. If Spock hadn't intercepted it, it would have landed hard on Kirk's chest, crushing his vital organs.
Kirk has been asleep for the past few minutes, but was awoken when Spock's body impacted with him. "Spock?" He asked quietly, shaking the body that was on top of him. "Spock!" He shouted his name. "Spock! Wake up!" He was becoming more and more distressed.
Nearing despair, Kirk caught sight of Spock's communicator on his utility belt. He unclipped it and hailed the Enterprise.
"Kirk to Enterprise."
"Scott here." The engineer spoke.
"How is the transporter going? I've got Spock unconscious and I'm trapped under some rocks, we need medical assistance now."
"Give me half an hour or so, no less."
"Scotty, we need to be beamed aboard now. I can't reach the tricorder, so I don't know how Spock is, but he's unconscious and the cave is becoming more an more unstable. You have to beam us aboard now."
"Captain, it'll be extremely risky. It's not fully calibrated yet, you might end up with a foot coming out of your face or something. It will be difficult."
"Look, we have to get Spock some help, now. Beam us up now."
Lieutenant commander Scott sighed and braced himself. He activated the transporter console and calibrated it as much as he could in the limited time. He breathed in deeply and exhaled on multiple times, he then beamed his captain and the Vulcan onboard. It went risk free, but the sight of the motionless body of Spock sprawled on top of Captain Kirk was certainly not pretty.
They were brought to sickbay as quickly as possible and dr McCoy placed nearly all of his attention on his newest patients.
"You'll be fine, Jim. Your ankle's in a pretty bad way, but its just a sprain. You can't walk, but it'll heal very soon." Dr McCoy gave his medical verdict.
"I don't care about myself, how's Spock?"
"He's not good, the rock landed right on his spine. He might not be able to walk." He put a reassuring shoulder on Kirk's shoulder then left.
That night, Kirk couldn't sleep, he tossed and turned all night long. All he could think of was what happened that day and what Spock had said to him. He wished he could swap their places; what is Spock died?
The following morning, Kirk returned to sickbay. "Bones! How's Spock? You said he was improving."
"His condition is improving steadily. He's lucky that rock fell a millimetre to the side, if it had hit the spinal cord, then it would pretty much have been over. It helped that the Vulcan heart is lower down than ours, too." He managed a brief smile. "I'll bring him round for a while, if you want."
"Thanks." He expressed his gratitude.
McCoy injected something into Spock's neck and the Vulcan began to regain consciousness.
"Jim?" Spock's throat was dry.
"Yes? Spock, don't worry, you're in sickbay. How are you?"
"I feel well. How are you?"
"I'm fine no I know you are too." He smiled at his friend and reached our for a hug, and Spock hugged him back.