Title: Drifting

Author: xiaou-xijiang

Rating: K+

Warning: character death

Summary: Spock!Prime is dying. Kirk can't let him go. Oneshot.

Author's Note: this is another fic inspired by a prompt from LJ. Some plot reference to Search for Spock (does it even count as a spoiler anymore?). Katra is essentially a Vulcan Soul.


Drifting

His eyesight faded. He saw only shadows, drifting in and out of his mind. Whirlpools of bleak anxiety hang in the air. Death is inevitable. The minds around him calmed him, but through the ripple of Vulcan song and grief, one word.

One word. It meant everything.

Kirk.

Yes. The word brought warmth to the coolness of Spock's dying mind. Yes. Kirk. Captain. Kirk.

Jim.

A hand in his. Warm against gnarled fingers, familiar, strong. The warmth spread, burning. Lips pressed to his ear.

"Spock, I'm here."

Spock commanded his eyes to open. Drifting shadows parted by the sheer strength of this golden light. Halo, then, clarity. Light melted into golden skin, blue eyes gazed at him. His grip was strong.

So young. Too young. If only…

Jim's lips tilted, a mockery to the grief in his eyes.

"Sorry, I'm late. Traffic was murder." Jim laughed; sobbed.

"Jim." Jim. Jim. Yes. Jim. Jim pressed a kiss to Spock's knuckles and nodded.

"Yeah, I'm here."

Spock drifted away into his mind again, exhausted. Jim never let go of his hand.

"I hope you don't have plans for this evening." Jim gave his first officer a flirtatious grin, strong hand curling around his shoulder. "Because I have no intention of letting you out of quarters tonight, mister."

The captain's fingers radiated pale warmth, cool sunlight tempering the fire in his blood.

Perfect, precious, friend.

"I don't understand." A breath whispered against his old fingers. Spock fought the shadows of memory and death long enough to open his eyes.

"Yes, why don't you explain it to me, Mr. Spock?" The captain crossed his arms and propped his shoulder against the wall, sinful smile on his lips. Challenging.

Spock answered the smile with his own.

"Do you believe in heaven, Jim?" Jim, this Jim, more than a child but barely a man, gave him a look of longing, passion, and words he never had a chance to say.

Jim ignored the question. "I won't let you die. Not you too."

Spock felt a rush of affection for the boy. "Every living creature deserves the right to die, Jim. I have made my choice."

"But why? "

"I do not…understand." Breathing was becoming laborious, and Jim was drifting out of focus. So little time left, my friend.

"I spoke with the elders, Spock. You refused the transfer."

"Yes." Spock tightened his grip Jim's fingers, beckoning him closer. Jim obliged immediately, pressing his face into Spock's neck and hiding there.

Always your favorite place to squander yourself away from what you do not want to hear.

"Do you believe, Jim?"

Jim stayed silent, but Spock felt the wetness against his neck. He closed his eyes.

"I am old, Jim. I am weary. I have lived so long for my people, for their legacy." For you. "If I released my katra, I will live longer still, trapped with only my memory…and the ghosts of my friends." Spock drew in a rasping breath, taking comfort in the weight of the boy in his arms.

Jim raised his head, eyes bloodshot and so very desperate. "Then don't. Stay with me. Bones, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, you can see them all again! We can travel the stars together...just…please don't go."

Jim was weeping, his eyes begging Spock to listen. Spock raised his other hand and touched the tears reverently. Jim closed his eyes.

"You honor me, my friend. But I cannot stay. It is hope, you see. Something a Vulcan cannot fathom, but is deeply seeded in every human. I cannot allow my soul to become one with my people, when I desperately hope to find them again." To find you again, my love. Oh, Jim, t'hy'la, will you still remember me?

"Do not deny me this, James T. Kirk. It is the privilege of every dying man to hope for paradise." Spock closed his eyes. "I must sleep."

"Not yet, Spock. I can't handle it, not yet. Please."

"Just to sleep. I am so…so very tired."

A wet kiss pressed to his brow. "I'll be here when you wake up."

"Are you dreaming, Spock?"

"Vulcans do not dream, Captain." Jim buried his face into the crook of Spock's neck and chuckled.

"I don't believe that for a second, Mister Spock." He rested his chin on Spock's chest, looking thoughtful. "I was dreaming. But I can't really remember it, it's drifting away from me. I was on the ship, I think. You were there, but I couldn't really see you. You were shrouded in mist."

"Mist, Captain? On a Starfleet vessel in space?"

Jim poked his lover in the side. "Don't get cute, Mister." Spock raised a mocking eyebrow at Jim and accepted his human's spontaneous kiss with ease.

Jim smiled but his eyes were sad. "It was only a dream. "

"Are you dreaming, Spock?"

Spock gave a small smile, but didn't open his eyes. "Vulcans do not dream, Captain."

Jim's snort told him exactly what he thought of that. "I've thought a lot about what you said. Even though…even though we're here, its not the same is it?"

Spock opened his eyes and saw nothing. He was blind. He turned towards the warmth of James T. Kirk. "No, Jim, it is not the same." Spock felt a numbness creeping up his limbs, a bleak heaviness weighing on his chest. "Our time has passed, Jim. The future is yours."

"Spock, can you see me?" Jim sounded terrified. He's so young. Spock didn't answer, only drifted his fingers against the fist that held his hand.

"Spock." Jim was weeping again.

And for a moment, he could see. Just for an instant, he saw a glimpse of the sun that was James T. Kirk. Blue eyes ablaze, beautiful and strong.

A kiss was pressed against his lips, a gift he could hardly feel.

But Spock accepted it, grasped it with both hands and drifted away.

Live Long and Prosper, my most precious friend.

Jim whispered, "No."

finis