Disclaimer: Star Trek belongs to Gene Roddenberry. The movie rights belong to J.J. Abrams and Paramount. Thanks to Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine for inspiring me to write about the young versions of Spock and Kirk!

A/N: Warning: This story contains SLASH. As in a male/male relationship. If you don't like it, don't read it. Thank you.

That being said…welcome back, everyone! Again, thanks for sticking with me through my first story. As promised, I have begun to work on the next installment of Kirk and Spock's adventures. For my new readers, Mission to Gamus is the sequel to Teach Me. I would recommend that you read Teach Me first and then read this story, as it explains how Spock and Kirk came to be where they are now. This story will follow a similar format of The Original Series, but I will keep the flavor of the ST: XI universe alive as well.

For those of you who haven't watched TOS, the crew of the Enterprise was sent on a five year mission in deep space. My story will be consistent with that, and may refer to some incidences on the show although they will be very minor. They are more of a treat for those of you who have watched TOS. If you haven't watched TOS, I highly recommend it. The countless tender moments between Kirk and Spock make the outdated scenery and technology seem irrelevant.

Excluding the prologue, the story will follow a format where each chapter alternates between Spock and Kirk's point of view. My sister, who is also a K/S shipper, will be writing some of Kirk's POV, so I will be having assistance there. I'm also crediting her for outlining the plot with me. I couldn't have done it without her support! Now, on to the prologue…

.~.

Mission to Gamus

Ch. 1: Prologue

(Spock POV)

Stardate: 2263.3

Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence. This is a favorite saying of Dr. McCoy, and it has been proven to be correct. Five years spent in uncharted deep space has taught the crew of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise to expect the unexpected and to conquer our worst fears. We have experienced our share of deaths, thus forcing the young members of Starfleet to come to grips with their own mortality, myself included. Every one of us has experienced the agony of not knowing if their friends down on the planet's surface would return to the ship. I especially was well acquainted with this particularly unpleasant feeling, thanks to the risky behavior of the one closest to me.

There have been many near-misses for our beloved captain, James T. Kirk. Dr. McCoy often accused me of not caring that our captain was sick or injured, as I would not outwardly show my true feelings. My Vulcan sensibilities allowed me to perform my duties as acting captain, but that did not mean I wasn't afraid I would lose my captain. Each time Jim neared death's threshold, I walked that dark, lonely path with him. Through our mind link, I sent him strength, pleading that he return to me. And every time, he did. For you see, while Captain Kirk is indeed my best friend, he is also my bondmate.

Directly following the Nero disaster, we were bonded on New Vulcan just in time for my premature entrance into the pon farr cycle. The entire crew of the Enterprise was on hand to witness our bonding ceremony, and I was pleasantly surprised that they approved of our interspecies relationship. My father, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth, had taken much more persuasion before he finally accepted my union with Jim. But thanks to the wisdom of my elder self, Sarek found that he could welcome another human into the House of Surak.

.~.

Over the duration of our relationship, Jim and I slowly grew together. He'd suddenly had a thousand responsibilities thrust upon him, from deciding who was to be part of the landing party, to marrying love struck ensigns, to deciding whether or not to adhere to the Prime Directive when we encountered primitive civilizations. As time went by and he had plenty of successful missions under his belt, he grew more confident about commanding the Enterprise at such a young age. I much appreciated that he learned to value order, although he still didn't run the ship by the book. I accepted this, because while it was not logical, this ability was what made him such a fine captain.

I, on the other hand, had learned how to 'lighten up' when I was not on duty. This, of course, was Jim's fault. Though I still retained my logical sensibilities, I allowed my newly developed sense of humor to seep through when I deemed it appropriate. Dr. McCoy, Sulu, Uhura, Scotty, and Chekov seemed to appreciate this very much, and over time I found that Jim's friends had become mine as well.

.~.

When it was just the two of us alone together, I allowed myself the luxury of showing him affection. This was something I absolutely would not do when we were on duty. No matter how Jim pleaded, I wasn't about to let him steal a Vulcan kiss every time he passed the science station. That sort of behavior would be undignified for a starship captain. But when we retired to our quarters each night, I found myself subtracting many more things from my "Vulcans don't" list. Jim's vast expertise in matters of physical intimacy coupled with a mind meld is a most powerful experience, which was why I don't allow a meld every time. It would simply be too much for both of us to handle.

However, although Jim and I had a stable relationship as a whole, there were plenty of difficult and trying times in our hectic lives. There were days when I could barely speak to Jim after he'd made yet another reckless decision that almost got him killed. Dr. McCoy shared my anger, as we both knew of his several suicide attempts as a child and as a young adolescent. Jim would lash out at us for worrying about him and then sequester himself in our quarters. About an hour later, he would emerge, smiling as if nothing had happened. I tried to get Jim to discuss it with me, but he always but refused, citing some petty excuse about paperwork or other ship's business. Tensions flared between us and we butted heads for days before I finally forgave him. Finally, after one of these incidences, I asked Jim what he thought would happen to me if he died and I had no mate for my next pon farr. I could tell this disturbed him greatly, even though he said that it would be only logical for me to choose another mate. After that illuminating discussion, the number of unnecessary risks taken by the captain greatly diminished.

Though my relationship with Jim has certainly been a challenge, it has been vastly rewarding. My time with spent with him in the freedom of open space was worth facing the surprise Klingon attacks, the unfortunate loss of landing parties, and the alien viruses. He is the shining presence who gives all on board the Enterprise the hope that what we are doing - cataloging new planets and making contact with new civilizations - is more than worth it. Even when the hope for the ship's survival is grim, Jim keeps the atmosphere light and positive. Our crew knows that he never gives up in any situation, that he has the uncanny ability to think of unorthodox methods that allow them to live another day. All on board the Enterprise have the utmost respect for their young captain. They would follow Jim anywhere if he asked it of them... and so would I.

.~.

There is a deep, sometimes blinding connection between Jim and I, one that could not easily be severed. We discovered this unique energy that flared between us that fateful day when I taught Jim's History of Starfleet course. He dared to challenge me in regards to the proceedings of the Kelvin incident. Not realizing at the time that he was George Kirk's son and wanting to put this arrogant young human in his place, I brutally insulted him in front of the entire class. This led to an increasing animosity between us over the next three years. It culminated when Jim joined the Three-dimensional chess club, of which I was president. Begrudgingly, I taught him how to improve his game, and he often requested me as his opponent. Although we did not know it, this was the beginning of a friendship that would define us both. Right before Jim's graduation from the Academy we figured out that what we felt for each other transcended simple friendship. We were in love, pure and simple. I am pleased to report that our love has lasted for the entire duration of the mission, although the 'newly-bonded' blissful period has long since passed. Nevertheless, these past five years were by far my happiest, as Jim filled the festering hole inside of me left by the destruction of Vulcan, making me whole again.

Our strong bond has made our partnership as Captain and First Officer the most efficient in the fleet. We know what the other is thinking before we speak, and it helps us to make split second decisions during times of crisis. It also helped cut down on the amount of arguing on the bridge. Well, out loud anyway. We'd had many telepathic debates on how to handle certain situations if the subject was too dire for the bridge crew's ears. For the most part, we respected each other's opinion. But although his rank gave him the highest authority, Jim always held my advice in the highest esteem. He knew that he could always count on me to give him a detached, logical outlook on the situation, just as Dr. McCoy could give him the emotional point of view. Jim did his best to consider both before taking action.

.~.

While we have enjoyed our time of exploration, all things eventually come to an end, even this unprecedented mission of five years. We had one last mission to carry out, a medical cargo run to a distant planet, Gamus. Once we delivered the cargo, we were ordered to return to the San Francisco base for reassignment. It sounded like a simple supply run, and we expected no trouble from the Gamosians, as their society was a considered a peaceful one. Still, some of our most disastrous missions had occurred we'd least expected it.

.~.

This night I lay in bed, pondering what was to come for us. Earlier Jim had been worried that once we returned to Earth, Starfleet would give the Enterprise to someone older, with more credentials. I assured him that after his stellar performance as her captain, it would be illogical for them to do so. Then he confessed that as long as Starfleet assigned us together, as they were required to do for all married couples, he would be content. I had no choice but to thank him for such a sentiment, and afterwards Jim collapsed at my side, alerting me via telespeak that it had never been that intense for him before. Vulcans don't usually feel smug, but as I am half human, I allowed said illogical human emotion to leak through our bond. Just this once. Jim fell asleep with his arm protectively over my waist, and I wished that we could go on like this forever.

End of Prologue

A/N: There you have it! As always, feedback is always appreciated. Thanks!