By: Ragdoll / Keshka
Summary: Nothing in his life could have prepared him for what he was discovering here.
Sometime In The Future…
Chess, like any other game of strategy, was an intellectual pursuit of the highest order, and not, Jim was well aware, a game to be taken lightly. It was a complex combination of planning, subterfuge, brazen bluffing, sheer nerve, ruthlessness, and an elegant execution of style. There might also be a little dumb luck in there, although if there were, Jim would never tell Spock that; the Vulcan didn't believe in luck. But while the merits of unexpected chance were something he'd had no success in teaching his First, other Human characteristics were rapidly becoming key points of interest between them.
"Wait," Jim said breathlessly, torn between genuine irritation and absurd laughter. He tried to bat away the hands that reached for him so slyly, but his protests were halfhearted at best, and they both knew it. Not to mention the fact that Spock didn't look in the least willing to take anything less than 'yes' for an answer. "Dammit Spock; I had that game won in three moves; check and mate! Trying to sweeten your odds with underhanded attempts at distraction is practically cheating!"
"Indeed," Spock agreed, trailing his mouth from the shell of Jim's ear, where it had been determinedly examining the Human's anatomical differences, to the corner of his mouth, where he pressed a soft, exploratory kiss. "If so, I believe I am finally beginning to understand the benefits of this 'cheating'. But perhaps I am being hypocritical; should I desist?"
"If you stop I might have to kill you," Jim moaned, partially in agreement with the hypocrite comment, but mostly in response to the way the Vulcan had tipped his head up and was now nibbling down the length of his neck. "Oh, Christ, do that again. And you – ah, right there, yes – just don't want to admit that I would have had you in check – ngh – in two moves."
"Three," Spock corrected him, biting down lightly on the juncture of neck and shoulder.
"Three moves." The Vulcan shifted him, pulling until Jim was sitting astride his knees, legs splayed to either side of his lap. Dark, feverish eyes glittered up at him in carefully concealed amusement.
"Moves to what?" Jim gasped, arching sinuously at the first touch of hot hands settling with casual strength at the apex of his hips and pressing him further down.
"Precisely," Spock murmured.
The banter was familiar; lighthearted and relaxing, but the heat rising between them was by far the more blissful indulgence. Jim would never have pegged a Vulcan as a spirited, almost impishly playful bed partner, but he couldn't deny that Spock, at least, didn't believe in excluding the word 'fun' from the bedroom. Or the shower. Or the sitting area. Or the jefferies tubes, either, come to think of it, though that was one incident unlikely to be repeated, or spoken of, again, either by him, his First, or his chief engineer. Jim now had conclusive proof – proof he could really rather have done without – that the Enterprise bulkheads were not, in fact, as soundproof as he'd been led to believe.
Nimble fingers plucking at the belt of his casual black slacks told Jim to get his mind out of previously cleaned-out gutters, so they could work on exploring new ones. While Spock began to unbuckle the metal snaps, Jim shimmied out of the rest of his clothes, and then hindered his lover when he impatiently tried to tug both of the Vulcan's shirts right over his head without removing his arms from the sleeves.
Distracted from his economic efficiency, Spock gave him an arch glare that clearly said 'see here, if we're going to do this, you could at least try to do it right', which Jim grinned at, completely unrepentant. When the Vulcan reached up, trying to unwind his arms from all the fabric, Jim slid down his thighs a bit, until he was much closer, and licked delicately at the muscular chest that was exposed. Half hidden by his own undershirt, Spock stilled, and the Human took the opportunity to caress one of the flat, olivine nipples until it stiffened in his mouth enticingly, then bit down on it, too lightly to hurt but too hard to ignore.
The all-over shudder he received for his efforts was more than worth the crick in his neck that was likely to result.
Laughing at his own eagerness, Jim helped Spock struggle out of the last of the offending clothing, locking their mouths together in a sloppy, smiling kiss. He nudged his tongue past the guarding teeth, sucking on that bottom lip and letting soundless pants of air escape him, just the way he knew Spock liked it. Jim had been utterly taken aback by the reaction he got the first time he'd ever moaned his lover's name in the heat of passion; the response had been inspiring, to say the least. Spock liked to hear the sounds of his excitement, liked to have his senses inundated with Jim's pleasure, and being a hedonist of the highest order, the captain was more than happy to oblige him in that. They hadn't quite gotten to the point of dirty talk, but it wouldn't be long now. Even the thought forced another breathless stutter of air from Jim's lips, drove the heat up another notch.
"Let's move this to the bed," he gasped, arching back shamelessly when a hard, proprietary hand settled at the prominent edge of his collarbone and dragged slowly all the way down his body, reaching his heavy, aching cock and wrapping slowly around it. Two smooth strokes were enough to make Jim's toes curl, clenching all his muscles hard. If Spock hadn't had his other hand at the small of Jim's back, holding him up, he probably would have fallen.
"Bed!" he demanded.
"No," Spock countered, not stopping his rhythm. "I prefer it here."
"What, so you can watch the chessboard? The sight of the pawns does it for you? That's – ah, yes! – positively perverse of you, Spock."
"So I can watch you," the Vulcan corrected, and Jim had to reward him with a kiss, deep and throaty and inelegant and wonderful. The hand on his cock feathered up the shaft with each thrust of their tongues, but the thumb rubbing roughly over the tip was what made Jim break it off, burying his teeth in the side of Spock's neck with a groan.
"Mm, that's good ," he muttered, snaking a hand down to return the favor, feeling the hard length of his lover in his hand, warm and solid. "That's very good."
Spock's response to being touched wasn't quite as obvious, but the way he leaned his head back to offer Jim more access to his throat spoke volumes. Happy to oblige, Jim set to work peppering that ghostly pale skin with the sort of bruising only a bed partner should be privy to.
Their weight leaning back on the chair made it creak ominously, but Jim ignored it. He knew their position was precarious; a little further forward or backward and they'd tip over, but Jim trusted Spock to hold them. His First's greater strength was an aspect of his physiology the Human took frequent advantage of; Jim had a lot of fantasies in his sexual arsenal, and Spock's more versatile abilities definitely made a few of the impossible ones – possible.
Further aroused at the very thought, Jim shuffled forward until their hips meshed together, hissing at the contact of their cocks, trapped in the friction of their bodies. Keeping that central point of connection, he leaned back to the very edge of his balance. Resting at least half his weight on Spock's supporting hand, he locked his arms for support, wrapped his legs around the Vulcan's waist and began an even, gentle rocking.
It didn't take long, after that. The tempo was steady, crackling with energy, but languid, sensual rather than overtly sexual. It was a happy medium between Jim's more usual quick-and-easy bedroom encounters, and Spock's preference for slower, exquisitely demanding ones. This rhythm was one they'd designed with the intention of driving one another to the brink with desire, and it was highly effective at doing so. Orgasm was so swift, in fact, that it almost caught Jim by surprise, jumping him from behind and settling into his shuddering bones an instant behind his lover. Spock was almost always silent at the moment of climax, but he sometimes couldn't find his voice for entire minutes afterwards, a fact that often filled Jim with insufferably smug pride.
In the aftermath, they did move to the bed, cleaning up with lazy efficiency (meaning Jim was lazy, and Spock was efficient) and settling on the single sleeping unit in a snug tangle of limbs. Jim drowsed, resting his head contentedly on Spock's shoulder and shivering in the warm air as he felt the sweat begin to cool and dry. In deference to Spock's higher Vulcan temperature, the captain kept his quarters moderately hot, hovering somewhere between their two comfort zones, and his lover paid him the same courtesy. The result wasn't exactly ideal, but they were both learning to compromise in this, as with many things, by keeping the greater goal in mind – each other. It was surprising, really, the sheer amount of things they were both willing to make adjustments over.
It had been almost five months since Ambassador Spock had spent ten days turning their lives upside down aboard the Enterprise. In that time, Jim had surprised himself by spending inordinate amounts of his recreation hours keeping his friendship with the older man current. They sent each other weekly or biweekly missives that were full of anything from the latest mission antics to the exploits and efforts of Vulcan's new colony. He put more effort into maintaining his friendship with the Ambassador than he ever had into any other relationship – aside from the one with his First – and every minute was worth it. Both Spocks were worth it. The irony of attempting to cultivate two relationships with one man, represented in two 'versions', was not, in any way, lost on Jim.
However, these difficulties had given him a new appreciation for his chief medical officer. Bones might be a sarcastic bastard as well as a great friend, but he also had the merit of being relatively low-maintenance in comparison to the two Vulcans in Jim's life (not that he would ever tell them that, for fear of prolonged lecturing, strangulation, death, etc).
And if he sometimes felt like he was walking over his own grave when he spoke to the Ambassador – and if he sometimes felt like their relationship was the most exquisite combination of pain and pleasure for the older man – well, it wasn't enough for them to end it. Barring universal destruction, Jim wasn't sure that anything would be enough for them to end it. The friendship was – incalculably valuable. Cherished. Immutable.
The relationship between he and Spock (the Younger) had also seen some dramatic growth these past months, and it hadn't been an easy road, by any stretch of the imagination. Between zipping from one half of the galaxy to the other on missions, there were times he and Spock barely had time to breathe, let alone discuss anything of importance.
The beginning had been especially difficult. Being reasonably intelligent men, they'd both been very aware that though the potential was obviously there, their counterparts must have built a partnership over a great deal of time and mutual effort. It hadn't taken long for them to realize that they were trying to function on a level it had taken their future selves years to reach, trying to operate off a degree of familiarity that simply didn't exist yet. At first, circumventing all that seemed impossible, but they were very determined (and Jim had been more than willing to play on Spock's involuntary possessiveness to encourage greater effort; it was something he felt guilty enough not to do often, but not guilty enough to stop).
So, armed with their future knowledge, they'd set out to build a relationship, and their progress had been, in a word, astounding. Also astonishing, according to certain quarters (McCoy, for a very loud example). They now spent many evenings together, dining, playing chess (Jim was annoyed to lose at least half those matches, if not more, while Spock was amazed at losing any), and occasionally just having involved debates over a variety of topics. Jim was a little surprised at how easy it was, really, considering how badly they'd clashed in the beginning, but what should have taken years was rapidly condensed in the knowledge that a greater link lay somewhere further down the road.
They still butted heads on all manner of things, often coming to heated words over opinions neither of them was willing to back down from, with Jim getting repeatedly angry about Spock's overly rational views and Spock sniping (quite stoically) about Jim's overt emotionalism. But the captain could honestly say that each time it happened, it only seemed to fortify their connection, rather than choke it. He'd never quite found another personality that so paralleled his own, strengthening him simply for being there. It was both a very heady and very frightening sensation (again, not something he was going to admit to out loud).
The intensity and the energy that gave rise to their various conflicts transferred from one aspect of their lives to the next with no obvious difficulty. The first time they'd had sex, the sheer magnetism of it just about slammed Jim into unconsciousness – and it was only the thought of his absolute humiliation if he did so that had kept him awake and aware. The passion of The Briefing Room Incident hadn't died with time – it had transformed into an immense heat, into a spark of wanting, of having, that was the truest reflection of that passion, tempered by genuine affection and desire. Jim had shared a hundred meaningless moments with other people, a thousand that were less than meaningless, and only a handful that had ever meant anything. Nothing came close to this – this all, this everything, that he had with Spock. Nothing in his life could have prepared him for what he was discovering here.
The jump from friendship to lovers hadn't been a straightforward one; there were a million and one issues to consider, even in the thought of it. But they'd made their decisions on that day in the corridor, which seemed so long ago now, and they were determined to see them through.
The issues with the command structure, not combining their personal and professional concerns, took a great deal of focus, but not as much as Jim had feared. They actually performed better together as Captain and First, even when they disagreed about something. But it was a balance they worked at maintaining hourly, and Jim was just waiting for the day when they ran into a snag they couldn't compromise on – and it all went to hell. He had a bottle of Saurian Brandy set aside for just such an event, as well a as a cleverly devised list of instructions for how to make Spock see reason when he inevitably decided that their relationship was detrimental to the ship and should be discontinued. Jim had no intention allowing that, and if he had to tie Spock to the chair to make him listen to reason, he was fully prepared to do so (and that image contained a plethora of possibilities, really, not all of them on Jim's official list).
Friends and colleagues had been another hitch in the road. It had taken Jim eight weeks to work up the courage to tell Bones, and Spock, the coward, had made it a point to be elsewhere on the ship when the confrontation had gone down. And confrontation it had been. Jim suspected the resulting explosion of incredulity and disbelief following his announcement would been sufficient to inform the entire crew – if he hadn't had the presence of mind to lock them in the good doctor's office, which was, he was relieved to note, remarkably more sound proof than the Enterprise bulkheads.
The situation with Uhura was bad – but not as bad as it could have been. She and Spock were as tight as ever, a circumstance that Jim admitted made him a little uneasy (though he was prepared to swear up, down, and on whatever religious deity struck him at the time, that it couldn't possibly be jealousy). The only thing that seemed to have changed for those two was lack of physical encounters. Jim sometimes got the feeling that Uhura would love to meet him in a dark alley somewhere and give him his own physical encounter – of the less sexual, more deadly, phaser-on-kill-setting kind. The one conversation they'd so far managed to have about the unfortunate situation they found themselves in had been painfully awkward and unproductive, and had gone a little bit like:
"Uhura, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for playing the Big Bad Wolf to your Little Red Riding Hood, and if there's anything I can do to make it up to you –"
"You can promise not to hurt him, but I think that's more a matter of looking out for yourself than for me. You do know what happens to the wolf in that story, don't you? There might be more airlocks and less happy endings in my version, but you get the picture."
"So, apology accepted then? Glad to see we're in agreement on this one. Thank you so much for your concern for my welfare. Have a nice day now."
And that, as they say, was that. He and his communications officer were actually quite civil to each other, all things considered, but he thought it would be a long time, if ever, before they were friends.
Other problems cropped up – sometimes daily, sometimes not – but none of them seemed substantial enough to consider putting a stop to what was, Jim wasn't too proud to admit, the most important relationship he'd ever had, or might ever have, in his life. And though he didn't say so in as many words, Jim knew Spock felt the same.
Reminded that the object of his contemplations was lounging contentedly beneath him, Jim floated back up from the light doze he'd fallen into. He absentmindedly traced his hand down the length of his lovers body, feeling the minute differences between them: the higher body temperature, obviously, but also the texture of skin, the throb of a higher pulse rate, the deeper thrum in his side, where Spock's heart was located. Jim liked these differences – they were unique to his experience, and they reminded him each time that the person he was building this relationship with was exceptional, and more than worth the effort. Not that he needed reminding; he had the word of a certain Vulcan Ambassador to back him on that, and if anyone should know, it would be him.
"Hmm," he murmured, brushing his thumb teasingly over a nipple, which pebbled immediately at his touch. He wasn't quite ready for another round so soon, but sometimes he enjoyed just exploring his lover, enjoyed watching his body react in ways he had little control over (or chose not to control). Sometimes Spock was even willing to let him, pretending ignorance of his own reactions, until it became obvious to them both that they couldn't be neglected anymore. Not tonight, it seemed – though Spock's breath caught just a little at the feathery touch, Jim shortly found his hand captured and pressed flat over the Vulcan's abdomen. Giving in gracefully, he stilled, enjoying the feel of Spock's fingers smoothing carefully over his own.
"Do you know what today is Spock?" he murmured, hovering in that pleasant zone between full awareness and light dreaming.
Annoyed at this conclusive and unimaginative answer, Jim opened one eye to glare at him fondly. "That was a rhetorical question. I know you know the stardate, probably down to the minutes and seconds and milliseconds. But did you also know that today is exactly three months since the first time we had sex?"
"Not exactly, Jim. It is three months, one day, twenty-two hours, one –"
"So, as it's been exactly three months since the first day we had wildly inappropriate sex – in this bed, I might add – there are certain concerns I feel should now be brought to your attention. Would you like to hear what it is about today's date that makes these concerns stand out for me?"
"Yes, Jim," Spock confirmed resignedly, not rolling his eyes, the Human suspected, only because it would be a severe breach of Vulcan etiquette. "I would be fascinated to learn what it is about today that had caught your attention."
"Well, three months is a long time by my standards, you know, Spock. Long enough to start telling each other things aside from our opinions on the justice system of Rigel IV, or the current theories of quantum mechanics. Things like our favorite foods, which I suppose we've already discussed, favorite recreational activities, favorite sexual positions, favorite colors –"
"I have already informed you of all those things –"
"And I'll maintain until my dying day that black is not a color, and can't possibly be a favorite anything. But, in any case, I figure if you can tell me that, you can certainly tell me things like… oh, I don't know. When your birthday is."
Spock said nothing, and in the ensuing silence, Jim popped open the other eye to stare up at him.
"Spock, why didn't you tell me today was your birthday?"
The hand resting so casually on top of his tightened briefly, and then relaxed, resuming its former motion of aimless patterning. "How did you know?" Spock asked, his voice a low baritone rumble beneath Jim's ear.
"It's in your personnel file."
"You accessed my personnel file in order to ascertain my date of birth?" The eyebrow sweeping upward was so obvious that even if Jim hadn't seen it, he'd have known it was happening. He grinned, propping himself up on his elbows so he could peer from a more comfortable angle into his lover's face.
"Yep. Right after that day on the bridge, just following The Briefing Room Incident."
"I still do not understand your amusement with that term."
"You will, one day," Jim assured him. "Just think: someday soon my sense of humor will be so familiar to you, you'll wonder how you ever made do without it."
"I have my doubts," Spock remarked dryly, and Jim, utterly charmed by his facetious ill-manners, kissed him noisily and with great fanfare on the tip of his nose, just to piss him off. The look Spock gave him promised revenge of a terribly uncomfortable sort.
"So, why didn't you tell me?"
"It did not seem important," Spock admitted with a shrug that lifted and dropped them both with the motion. He didn't often shrug – it was a very Human gesture, and one he usually confined to those moments where he was most comfortable. Jim always took note of the circumstances that spawned those shrugs, usually filing them away to be repeated at a later date. "As I have told you in the past – my people do not celebrate a date of birth, nor the passing of a single year in one's life. There are several coming of age ceremonies within a Vulcan's adolescence, but most are arrived at quite early, and none are celebrated this late in adulthood."
"Is the giving of gifts offensive in your culture?" Jim asked, lacing their hands together again. The fizzle of energy particular to Spock's mind brushed against Jim through the contact of their fingers, and the Human let his eyes drift closed, the better to savor the sensation.
"No, though the giving of material possessions is unofficially regarded as wasteful."
"Mm." Momentarily distracted, Jim pressed the full length of his middle and index fingers to Spock in the Vulcan equivalent of a telepathic kiss. "Okay, so Vulcans don't celebrate their birthdays, but they don't disdain the practice of it, in theory, then."
"In that case, Spock, I think I have a gift I'd like to give you."
"A gift?" Spock murmured, tracing the whirls of their fingerprints together in a mesmerizing pattern of languid tenderness. Jim stopped him, before the heady sensation of rising arousal could flood over, multiplied as it was by the psychic echo of their feelings looping between them.
"Yes. It's from the Ambassador too. Let's call it a mutual gift-giving."
"The Ambassador?" Sounding a little more awake, Spock peered at him, looking mildly affronted at having their afterglow interrupted for the impractical consideration of a gift, for a birthday he barely acknowledged.
"Come here," Jim coaxed, positioning them until they were lying face to face, with Jim's hands resting comfortably against his lover, one bracketing that tempting nipple and the other circling his waist. Well used to what this position usually entailed by now, Spock easily fitted his hands to the meld points on Jim's face, though the Vulcan made no move to connect them. His eyebrow did the talking for him, quirking expectantly, and Jim smiled.
"I meant come here in the literal and figurative sense. Meld us Spock – I have something to show you."
Looking more and more curious by the moment, the other half-whispered the Vulcan mantra, "my mind to your mind…" and their thoughts sped together, like water taking the path of least resistance and merging at a well-defined juncture.
A gift, T'hy'la? Spock asked, though his mind wasn't totally consumed by the question. As always, he couldn't help but run his mental fingers through the landscape of their minds, combing through it as a barber combs and arranges hair. They melded often, but not overly so, and the pleasure of seeing his lover in such a way was a priceless gift, never to be taken for granted.
Yes, Jim replied, pulling him along in a way Spock suspected he would never quite get used to. His older self had given much to his captain – too much perhaps, as there were times Jim demonstrated a particular telepathic sensitivity or skill that should not actually be his, and each of these moments was startling to Spock. The Vulcan did his best not to think too deeply on the implications of this; it was enough that the unexpected aptitude eased the burden of their slowly burgeoning relationship, it need mean nothing else unless they choose to make it so.
Spock looked, and saw – something that should not have been.
What is this? he asked, fascinated in spite of himself. What the Human saw, he wasn't certain, but to his well-disciplined mind, the foreign nature of this object in Jim's subconscious was particularly obvious. For a moment, a deeply troubled sense of worry flooded through him, the thought that Jim had been telepathically mined or attacked at some point in the past, that this was evidence of a violation Spock have never looked closely enough to notice.
Don't be an idiot, Jim thought fondly at him. It seems foreign only because you don't recognize the flavor of your own thoughts, changed though they are through differing experiences.
The Ambassador left this? Spock asked, startled. Looking at the object through this new perspective, incredulity and amazement struck him as he realized the nature of the reserve hidden in his captain's innermost self. Do you understand what it is he has done, what placing this cache in your mind actually entails? Did he explain the delicacy, the enormity, of it to you?
Yes. And now you're going to understand what it means too. Open it.
Utterly incapable of withholding his fascination any longer, Spock did as he was bid. And in the resulting storm of memory and light and brilliance, only the anchor of his T'hy'la kept him grounded and sane, kept him from flying apart at the seams; kept things real. And above the maelstrom, one thought echoed distinct and clearly between them, around them, within them:
Her name was Amanda.
End Breaking Points.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who stuck with me to the end. :-) A special thank you to Amanda Warrington, my wonderful beta reader, who keeps me on the straight (not-so-straight) and narrow, and who has not actually seen this epilogue as she's out enjoying life, so any problems with it are mine; I'm aware there are more typo's here than my last few posts. Sorry. ^^ I know Breaking Points was a hard, angsty ride, but I hope in the end it was worth it, just as Jim thinks Spock was worth it! Thank you again for you time, patience, and for giving me your thoughts. :-)
And for anyone who didn't see my bio, I am leary of posting stories containing sex (I considered not posting this here) on FF. net, for personal reasons. I have had issues with them in the past. Therefore, since any future K/S stories will likely contain more of it, I will be posting them to my LJ only. It's listed as my homepage if you're interested, and if not, thank you anyway for reading to the end of this! I appreciate all your thoughts and every review! Cheers!