AN: This is my first fic ever so be niceish with your reviews.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek. I wouldn't be 80k in debt if I did.

Jim was, for once, at a complete loss for words. Spock, his wonderfully brainy, sexy, vulcan boyfriend, was yelling at him. Well not yelling, but doing the vulcan equivalent in his flat, monotone voice.

"Your actions on the last mission were exceptionally irrational and reckless" Spock ranted. "But Spock, you didn't see what I saw" Jim cut in in what he hoped was his most assertive not-at-all-whiny tone. "Regardless" Spock continued almost seeming to not hear him at all "your behavior today was unacceptable and I will not tolerate it." Jim felt like he had just been punched in the gut. Had Spock finally had enough of him? Would he leave? The past three months had been some of the best of Jim's life and he was absolutely not ready for it to end especially like this. As Spock continued his tirade Jim found himself beginning to zone out. His hearing went fuzzy, his brain went hazy, and he felt like he couldn't move. Unconsciously Jim took a step back from Spock who continued berating him. "If you cannot understand why putting yourself in such needless danger was a poor decision on your part, I will have to show you in an alternative manner." Spock moved then, lightening quick, with his hand extended towards a still immobile Jim's face and just like that Jim was no longer standing in his quarters with Spock.

He was now in Iowa standing in the kitchen of his childhood home with his stepfather Frank looming over him. The air smelled of stale cigarette smoke accentuated by the tangy scent of alcohol. "You think your god's gift to this planet you little shit, but I know better" Frank said in the middle of one of his legendary tirades. "I know who you really are and I won't tolerate any more of your behavior" Frank spat. "I've tried to get this through your thick little skull, but you apparently haven't learned. I guess from now on I'll just have to show you." Frank raved whipping his fist out and hitting Jim squarely in the face before he had time to flinch away. That had been the first time that Frank had actually resorted to hitting Jim. While his mother was around all Frank had dared do was belittle and threaten him but as his mother's missions had grown longer Frank's temper had shortened to the length of a match. From then on Jim learned to dodge Frank and Frank learned not to hit him where marks could be seen. Thanks to his stepfather Jim became adept at reading facial expressions and body language, a skill that still came in handy in his missions as captain of the enterprise. Over the years Jim had gained a sense of invincibility having been away from Frank for many years and surviving on every crazy mission that he had undertaken with his crew. Spock's shattering words had quickly and efficiently stripped Jim of his invulnerability leaving behind feelings of unease and the impulse to run away.

Acting more out of instinct than conscious thought Jim felt his body flinch back and his hands come up to cover his face. Spock's hand froze in mid-air, then retracted. "Jim?" he questioned. The uncertainty in Spock's voice broke Jim out of his momentary paralysis bringing a flood of realization back with it. An overwhelming panic then settled over Jim. How could he ever explain his reaction to Spock? Jim realized now that Spock was probably trying to meld with him like his older counterpart had done on Delta Vega, but why? Did Spock want to show him just how badly he had fucked up through his own eyes? Whatever his reason all Jim knew was that he couldn't face Spock having just reacted the way that he had. What would Spock think of Jim if he found out? He could never know that underneath Jim's charismatic, unshakeable facade there was an insecure, sometimes jumpy for no reason Jim. The former was the person Spock had been attracted to and Jim decided right then and there that he would do anything to keep things the way they (. "Jim?" Spock questioned again, this time with an edge of annoyance underlying his tone. "Spockā€¦ I" Jim started but Spock cut him off. "If you are going to act childishly Jim then I will not continue this conversation. I will not persist in making a point to someone who does not care to hear it." "Spock, no!" Jim tried to protest. "We will continue this discussion when you are able to act appropriately" Spock said heading towards the bathroom door adjoining their quarters. With one last disappointed look back, Spock walked through the door leaving Jim standing stalk still in the middle of his quarters with absolutely no idea how to fix the situation.

Wearily, Jim shook himself out of his stupor and forced his legs to carry him over to his desk. It was too early to go to bed yet, so Jim tried to occupy his muddled brain with mundane documentation of the day's events and the outcome of the mission. He managed to write something that approximated a report but his mind was only half there. Sighing, Jim got up from his desk, mechanically stripped off his uniform, and climbed into bed. He tossed and turned, unable to fall asleep. Ever since he and Spock had started dating, they had shared a bed. This was the first night that Spock hadn't been next to Jim and he felt the loss keenly. Finally, he fell into a fitful sleep. Jim rarely had dreams, or at list he rarely remembered them and he reasoned that this was probably for the best. This night was different though. The scene picked up where it had left off earlier that day with Frank's fist connecting with the side of Jim's face, then flashed forward to Frank hitting Jim with his belt, leaving marks and bruises all meant to wear him down. The scene morphed again, this time Frank had Jim's arms pinned and Spock now stood in front of him. Spock began to speak, telling Jim all of the things that he had secretly been afraid to hear him say; that he wanted someone else, that he was tired of always having to save Jim, that he would no longer be there for him. Jim tried to open his mouth, to beg him, to plead with him not to go, but his mouth, like his arms were trapped and sluggish. Suddenly, his arms and legs were freed. He could move and he flailed his arms out trying to reach for Spock, trying to stop him from walking away. He was jolted awake when his hand connected with something hard. His eyes flew open darting around frantically until they settled on the form of Spock who was standing over him. "Spock!" he gasped and reflexively grabbed him around the middle and clung to him for dear life. He couldn't let Spock leave. He tried to speak, to tell Spock that he was sorry but all that came out were sharp gasps of air as Jim desperately tried to calm himself down but found that he was unable to. Spock sank down onto the bed and began slowly running his fingers through Jim's blonde hair as he rocked them back and forth. After a while Jim began to calm down and was able to remember where he was and why it was that he needed to apologize so badly. While Jim had previously sworn to himself that Spock could never know about his past, the warm arms currently wrapped around him made him feel so warm and safe that he never wanted to lose that feeling.

Tensing, Jim opened his mouth and tentatively began to speak. "Spock, there's something I have to tell you." Spock's gentle hands continued carding through his hair and one came down to rub circles on his back. "I am listening Jim. You may tell me anything you wish and I will listen." Stealing himself Jim forced himself to go on. "When I was a kid, I lived with my mom and stepdad Frank." Jim felt Spock nod in understanding and was encouraged to continue. "Mom was off-planet a lot so Frank took care of me. He never really liked me and I never really liked him either. One time, when I was 11, I stole my father's old car because I found out that Frank was planning to sell it." "What happened to the car?" Spock asked when Jim had paused for just a beat too long. "I drove it over a cliff." Jim said, the slightest hint of defiance still presents in his voice. "And frank did not take this well I presume?" Spock encouraged. "No, he didn't. He was so furious! He acted all relieved when the police brought me back, but then when they left he completely flipped out. Frank could always be a little heavy-handed especially when he drank but he never hit me before." Jim paused here once again, this was where everything had started and he found it hard to go on. As he tried to continue he could feel the embarrassment, the shame, and the fear of judgement forming a lump in his throat which prevented him from speaking. Spock looked down at him then and Jim saw nothing but understanding in his eyes when he said, "I can help you Jim. If you will let me." "How do you mean?" Jim asked tensely. "Allow me to meld with you." Jim stiffened. Could he really let Spock see everything? He relaxed back into Spock, let his warm and solid presence lull him into a state of calm. Looking up at Spock, Jim nodded giving him the go ahead.

This time, when Spock's hand came towards his face, Jim wasn't scared and he could've sworn that Spock's hand moved more slowly. Jim felt Spock's warm fingers connect with his face and enjoyed the little jolt that went through him at the contact. Then, they were connected and they were everywhere in each other's minds. Spock saw 11-year-old Jim, heard Franks words which were a parrot of his own earlier ones, and felt Jim's fear then and now at seeing hands coming towards his face. Delving deeper Spock watched fights unfold, observed his adrenaline spike and the world fading away around him when he was fighting. He felt Jim's anger earlier that day as he watched one of the

alien creatures on the planet that they had been on raising his hand towards one of the young in much the same manner that Frank had. Jim's desire to intervene, to protect was overwhelming to Spock. Finally, the tables turned and now Spock's feelings washed over Jim. He felt Spock's pressing concern for him, when he put himself in danger and the anger underneath the worry. He now realized that the anger masked the concern that Spock wouldn't allow himself to admit to feeling.

Spock disconnected their minds and Jim pulled back uncertain of what he would see in his boyfriend's eyes. Would he be angry at him for not telling him everything sooner? Would he leave now that he knew who Jim really was? The silence stretched between them, Jim too afraid to look up, too scared to see his worst fears confirmed in Spock's eyes. When he couldn't stand the tension anymore, Jim raised his eyes up to meet those of Spock. What he saw there wasn't disappointment or rejection, it was gratitude. A weight was instantly lifted off of Jim's chest and he sagged against Spock relieved. "Thank you for telling me" Spock whispered close to his ear. Looking up at him Jim could only nod too choked up for the time being to say anything. There were still many things that he couldn't quite bring himself to talk about yet, but for the first time he felt like maybe Spock might just be the one who would really listen. Reaching up Jim pressed a quick kiss to Spock's lips and then snuggled back into Spock's chest. Pressed against Spock being lulled into sleep by the heartbeat under his ear Jim felt more content than he had felt in a very long time.

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