Written for scifiroots on LJ, her request was Kirk/Spock amnesia.
Since this has eaten up my writing time recently, I thought it fair to post it here for you now! The next chapter of Gravity should be up soon, and I've already started writing a little follow up (much shorter) for this fic!
Being the Captain of a Starship was a hazardous job. It seemed to be even more so if you were Captain of the Starship Enterprise. Captain Pike had been deposed on the maiden voyage, Captain Spock had resigned shortly thereafter, and Captain Kirk seemed to be doing his best to get the shit kicked out of him at every turn. He was succeeding.
They'd departed for their five year mission two years ago now, and so far Kirk had managed many broken bones, torn ligaments, burns, and what seemed to be the most common – knocks to the head. Usually he was fine, blows seeming to glance off his thick skull and leave him perhaps a bit dazed, but otherwise unharmed. Today though was different. The hit had gotten him at the back of the head, hard enough to completely smash the statue with which he'd been hit. He'd fallen like so many pounds of rocks, leaving Spock to scoop him up and run with the limp captain slung over his shoulder. It was a commendable accomplishment, getting to safety, Spock thought, given the laser fire and various enemies getting in his way.
Sadly, they were now in the forest, Spock and a thoroughly unconscious Kirk. He didn't have a communicator. It hadn't been high on his list of priorities at the time (which had consisted of two items – 'get Captain Kirk', and 'get away'). He would have to construct a plan at a later time to get a communicator, but right now the highest priority was survival, and the Captain was looking rather worse for wear.
Spock set him down at an appropriate juncture, when they were no longer being followed and when he saw a stretch of ground covered in leaves rather than rocks or branches. Quietly, he rearranged him so that his body was straight and then turned his head slightly to check the damage. He was no doctor, and McCoy was not with him (something he was simultaneously glad of and annoyed by. It was nice not to have to listen to his complaining, but on the other hand, he would be able to see to their injuries at least), so he looked for blood, found none, and left it at that. He knew next to nothing about human head injuries (as compared to his other areas of knowledge).
He quickly surveyed the immediate area, checking for dangers. There should be no animals capable of harming them in this area, as the larger predators generally lived in the more mountainous areas of this planet. They were currently in a small clearing, about six feet in diameter, surrounded by thick and dense tree trunks, rising up hundreds of feet to the canopy high above. The sunlight -- which had been so strong and displeasing to the human members of their away party in the open air near the palace -- was barely filtering through, leaving the area dappled in softly dancing lights. The Captain's face was blank and smooth, almost as if he were peacefully sleeping. But he wasn't. He had been struck down.
So Spock sat, watching over him with careful eyes.
He was unaccountably relieved when Captain Kirk awoke, blue eyes opening, head rolling slightly as he looked around blearily. His gaze settled on Spock, and for a moment he just stared, uncomprehending. Finally he spoke, "Hello."
"Captain," replied Spock succinctly, "I am glad to see you have regained consciousness."
"What?" asked Kirk, looking confused. He tried to move, wincing when he did, lying back down gently.
"You received a blow to the back of the head which caused you to lose consciousness."
"From you?" the Captain suddenly looked worried. Spock frowned ever so slightly.
That was slightly concerning. Kirk seemed very confused. "No. From a member of the band of rebels who attacked us. I rescued you and carried you here."
"Oh. And what was your name again?"
"Spock," the Vulcan moved closer to the Captain, looking at him closely, "Are you experiencing memory problems, sir?"
"I don't know," Kirk frowned, "Are we in the military? You keep calling me 'sir' and 'Captain.'"
"We are in StarFleet, Captain. Can you tell me your name?"
"Sure I can," Kirk began, but then seemed to strain, frowning in concentration and confusion, "I'm….uhh…"
Spock frowned. This was not good. He was stuck in the forest with an amnesiac Captain, no communicator, and worse, no medical aid. He could only hope the Captain didn't suffer a subdural hematoma or something of the like. The blonde seemed to be panicking, so he supplied him with the answer to the question, "Your name is James Tiberius Kirk."
"Seems like kind of a mouthful."
"You prefer to be called 'Jim.'"
Kirk once again tried to sit up, this time managing to get all the way, despite grimacing in pain. His head must hurt badly, reasoned Spock, it had been a hard blow. "If I prefer to be called 'Jim', why do you call me 'Captain'?"
"You are Captain, and I am the first officer. It would be inappropriate for me to call you anything else."
"Even when we're alone, lost in the forest?" Apparently Kirk's personality hadn't changed much, even when he was missing his memories. Obviously this was just how he was programmed to be. When Spock didn't respond, Jim shook his head, "Never mind. So, where are we and where should we be?"
"We are currently in a forest of unknown name, on the planet Novartis. We should be in the city nearby, participating in diplomatic talks. Barring that, we should be on the Starship Enterprise."
"Diplomatic talks, huh?" Jim wriggled a little, "No wonder I'm wearing something itchy."
"I do not understand why you and Dr. McCoy persist in complaining about the quality of the material from which your dress uniforms are made."
Kirk was smiling at him with amusement, before asking, seemingly serious, "Does everyone talk like you? Am I being weird?"
"No," the thought proved vaguely amusing to Spock, although he would never admit to it, "I am the unusual one with regards to speech patterns."
They sat in silence for a while, Spock trying to plan their next move. Kirk seemed to be examining his hands and his clothing. When he spoke, his voice seemed loud in the evening air, "My skin is a different colour from yours. Do I look different from you?"
"Very much so," Spock tilted his head so he was looking at the Captain.
Kirk smiled earnestly, "What do I look like?"
Spock looked around for some sort of reflective surface, but failed to see any puddles of water or similar, "I shall have to describe you, in lieu of anything that could serve as a mirror," Kirk nodded enthusiastically, "You are approximately six feet and one half inch tall, with short hair of a golden-brown colour. Your eyes are blue, your skin is golden, and you have a relatively small nose and full lips. Your ears have rounded tips and your musculature is slightly more built than average."
Kirk seemed to consider this for a few moments, before deciding that there was a more pressing question, "But am I good looking?"
"Many people consider you to be aesthetically pleasing."
No point in lying, "Yes, I do."
This seemed to please the Captain immensely, which was hardly surprising to Spock. "That's good," said the human after a while, "Because I think you're quite dashing."
Spock was unsure of how to react to this, so he settled for deadpan, "Thank you, sir."
"No problem," said Kirk, "I like to be honest. Well…I think I like being honest. Do I?"
"Generally, yes," Spock told him, considering whether or not they should attempt to build a fire, as night was creeping up on them fast. Probably best not to. They didn't want to give away their position, although it could be cold during the night hours on this planet.
"So, what are going to do?" Jim's voice surprised him after some minutes of silence, "I don't think I like sitting in dark forests alone at night. Well, you're here, but what if some kind of monster turns up? I don't suppose we have any weapons?"
"No," said Spock, "But I very much doubt that we will encounter any animals threatening enough that we would need them. It is people we need to watch for on this planet."
"Why are people trying to kill us?"
Spock warily eyed Jim, who was shuffling closer to him, obviously confused and seeking comfort although he was trying not to show it. Unfortunately, Spock wasn't well versed in emotional support. "It is a regular danger of our job," he said, leaning away from the blonde slightly, "Many people do not agree with what the Federation tries to do."
"And what does the Federation do?" Jim's eyes looked shiny in the failing evening light, failing to hide how curious he was.
"Is is an organization dedicated to peaceful exploration of space. It is a force that unites planets together and seeks to understand new cultures and new science. We defend each other against others who would attempt to destroy us."
"People would destroy us because we explore?"
"They would destroy us because we do not allow them to conquer. We abide by the Prime Directive, a law that does not allow us to interfere with a planet's natural development. Others do not. They do not appreciate us preventing them from war or slavery or genocide." Spock looked at Kirk again. He was smiling up at him, all shiny teeth and crinkled eyes.
"So we're the good guys?" he asked.
"We are," said Spock, "Though sometimes we must make decisions that do not seem so."
Kirk didn't ask anything else, pulling his knees up to his chest and appearing to be deep in thought. Spock ran through possible courses of action. They could attempt returning now, to retrieve their communicators and possibly weapons. Unfortunately, it had only been two hours since they had been chased from the city palace by rebels with guns. There was an 86 percent chance that they would still be there. The risk factor was too high. He dismissed the idea.
It was also unwise to return the following morning, when there was daylight. They would be highly recognizable to anyone there and this would put them at great risk for further attack. There was also the option of waiting until they missed their check-in with the Enterprise. But that wouldn't be until tomorrow evening, and then that could end up being a dangerous situation in and of itself. The Enterprise might send down an away team, which could be captured, or they might begin to threaten the wrong people. And it would be difficult to locate their specific bio-signatures to beam them up.
Probably the best bet was to go back later tonight, perhaps about four am, just to ascertain the current situation. If the way was clear enough, he would leave Jim in safety and sneak into the palace to try to steal back the communicators. He would then return to the Captain and request immediate beam-up. The man could then get the appropriate medical attention from Dr. McCoy, and he could decide what to do about the rebels down here on Novartis. They would probably have to assist in eliminating the threat, but that was impossible when it was just the two of them.
So the course of action had been selected. Now all there was to do was wait until the more appropriate hour of the night to do some reconnaissance.
"Spock," Jim's voice came from beside him, "Are we in trouble?"
"We are in a difficult situation," said Spock and tried to suppress the irrational shiver trying to run its way up his spine as Jim finally ended up close enough to him that their shoulders touched.
"I'm sorry," said Jim as he noticed that Spock looked uncomfortable, "I'm just cold. And a little bit confused."
It was cold, Spock acknowledged, but that didn't mean that he wasn't a bit tense when Jim invaded his personal space, "That is acceptable, Captain," he said, then corrected himself, "Jim."
"We're friends, right?" asked Jim, "I feel like we're friends."
"We are," confirmed Spock, who was most certainly not thinking about how Jim smelled.
Jim was unusually tentative now, "It's okay then if I touch you, right?"
"Vulcans do not generally touch each other."
"So I can touch you," Jim's cheeky grin accompanied the statement, and he shuffled closer so that a length of their thighs were now pressed together, "We're best friends, aren't we? I don't know whether we actually are, I just feel familiar with you. Like I might have touched you before. Maybe I'm just crazy. I don't remember anything. I don't even know how old I am. I don't know where I'm from. You mentioned Vulcan before. That's a planet? That's where you're from?"
"You are twenty-seven," provided his companion, "And you are from Earth, and I am from Vulcan."
Jim leaned into him, a solid weight that was warming against the rapidly chilling air, "So we're from different ends of the universe, and we're still friends? How cool is that?"
Spock pondered over that. It was a pretty unique situation. "It is highly irregular," he decided to say in the end, "But we are both examples of unusual people, so perhaps we were suited." He neglected to mention the beginning of their acquaintanceship, which had been characterized by violence and dislike, before they had realised how similar they truly were.
"Spock, do you think we're going to be alright?"
"Please be more specific."
"You think we're going to make it back to our space ship okay?"
Jim said the words 'space ship' with a smile in his voice, Spock noted. "The chances are good. We have been in worse situations."
"Really? Tell me about them!" Jim settled against him more heavily, using him for support. Spock found he didn't mind the contact as much as he had thought he would.
"I will recount the mission upon which we met," Spock said, and began to rattle it off. It was rather more factual and less fantastical than the way Jim had told it countless times to females in bars, but all the same, the Captain seemed enthralled, asking questions at all possible junctures. Spock carefully glossed over the strangulation scene on the bridge and regretfully informed him that part of the tale was not known from his own experience, but rather from Jim's own retelling. "I apologize for any factual errors," he said and Jim laughed.
"Who is Dr. McCoy?" he asked after the story.
"He is the chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise. He has been your best friend for several years. You have informed me several times that you met when he informed you that he was liable to regurgitate on you."
Jim laughed delightedly, "He told me he was going to throw up on me? That's amazing!"
"I fail to see what is desirable about a person vomiting on you."
"I don't know, it just seems kind of funny and awesome that I'm best friends with someone whose first words to me were 'I may throw up on you.'" Jim smiled to himself.
"It is strange that you should quote the actual words that he spoke to you," Spock looked down at Jim, "Perhaps your memory loss is not as total as I had feared."
"Maybe," said Jim, frowning in thought, "But I didn't actually remember it...I just said it. Anyway, how is McCoy my best friend? I thought we were best friends?"
"We are," Spock assured him, trying to resist the urge to move closer as the temperature of the air around them dropped.
"You can't have more than one best friend!" A childish view, indeed, thought Spock, "So we must be more special than that. You sure we aren't like, married, or something?"
Spock's eyebrow shot up, "I am certain that we are not."
"Just kidding!" Jim laughed at Spock's affronted expression, "So are either of us married then?"
"No," said Spock, trying to ignore the memories of his bond with T'Pring that tried to resurface, "We are both unattached."
"Except to each other," said Jim, still with a huge smile on his face, "Can I have a hug? I'm really getting cold."
He didn't actually wait for an answer, typical Jim, even when he was lacking memories. He turned and wrapped his arms around Spock, hugging him from the side. He pressed his cheek into Spock's bony shoulder, warm breath seeping onto the material of Spock's shirt. There was a moment of stillness as Spock froze, and then, reflexively, his arm jerked out, sending Jim skidding across the ground. Surprised and frightened, Jim sat up and looked back at him with wide eyes, "What was that for?" his face crinkled in confusion, "You're really strong."
"I have approximately three times your strength," Spock said, feeling something twisting in his gut at the betrayed look on Jim's face, "I apologize for the rough treatment...I am not used to physical contact with other people."
"I'm sorry if I surprised you," said Jim, but his expression didn't change, "I'll just stay over here, if that's better for you."
"No," said Spock, "You may resume sitting next to me."
"But I can't get any closer? It's not like anyone's around to see it or anything. I'm just cold. And lonely," Jim's eyes started to search the dirt in front of him, "It kind of sucks to wake up and not remember anything or anyone."
"You have been handling it remarkably well," Spock murmured, "I would generally expect people to panic upon waking up without memory."
"Yeah, well, Jim Kirk doesn't panic..." he paused, "I guess."
"No, he doesn't." There was a long silence, both of them sitting alone and quiet before Spock finally rose to his feet. He took the six steps to Jim and sank down onto the leafy floor beside him. He tentatively raised an arm, it hovering in the air awkwardly for some moments before coming down to gently rest on Jim's shoulders. A flurry of movement followed as Jim practically dived into Spock, pressing his body against him, chests lined up together.
"You're warm," said Jim, "Or am I just cold?"
Spock trembled under the embrace, suddenly feeling the electric currents of emotions running across his skin, flashes of confusion and emptiness, the feelings of someone who knows nothing. But Jim trusted him, Spock could feel that, knew that he felt secure in the Vulcan's arms. "I naturally have a higher body temperature in than you do," he said, distracted by Jim's hair tickling his nose and his cheek against his neck. "This is highly irregular," said Spock, resisting the urge to squirm out of the embrace. It was overwhelming.
"I promise to forget it," said Jim, with some amount of humour in his voice, "If you'll let me do it for just a bit longer."
Obligingly, Spock remained where he was, letting Jim breathe warm air against the skin of his neck, allowing his fingers to press into his back. Eventually he felt the grip start to loosen slightly, the body sagging against him as Jim began to fall asleep. It was a relief, as the emotions began to wane as well. It was not that he disliked feeling Jim's emotions, rather that he felt that it was morally reprehensible to listen in when Jim was unaware that he could hear. He tried to ignored his arms tightening around Jim's back, clutching the soft body close. The close contact honestly wasn't displeasing, but there was that moral dilemma again. Jim Kirk didn't remember him. He was taking advantage of a confused and injured man.
Feeling daring, he pressed a pale set of fingers through Jim's hair. It was not smooth or silky, but soft, not unlike the fur of an animal, messy and disordered. Jim sighed in his sleep and pressed closer. Spock immediately removed the hand as if it had been burned. He sat and breathed deeply, trying to implement some of his meditation techniques. They were difficult to use when you had your fully-grown Captain in your lap. A Captain that seemed to be doing the best he could to permanently affix himself to you. He only had to last another three hours, he estimated, before they could begin the trek back to the palace where he would be able to steal back the communicator.
It was not to be, however, as a couple of hours later, he was jerked out of his concentration by lips pressing damply against his neck. "Captain?" he didn't squawk. Even though it might have sounded like a squawk, it wasn't. Spock was in control of himself.
"Mornin'" came the somewhat garbled response.
"Captain, it is Spock."
"What?" Jim sounded confused, but didn't sit up from where his nose was pressing into the junction of Spock's jaw and neck, just below his ear.
"What are you doing?" Spock asked, trying to pull him off.
Jim finally pulled back, "Wait, what? Who is this?"
It was dark, of course, difficult to see, but Jim should have realised immediately to whom he was clinging. He was clearly still slightly addled from the head injury. Abruptly Spock remembered that he probably should not have allowed Jim to go to sleep with such a bad injury. "This is Spock, Captain."
Jim did not move away.
Spock stood up.
Jim sprawled on the ground, peering up at him. There was a long pause and then he blinked slowly and seemed to remember who this was, "...I'm sorry."
"Apology accepted," Spock said, "You are still injured." He squinted in the lack of light. Vulcan night vision was not renowned for its effectiveness. Human vision in the darkness was much more effective, one of the few advantages they had over their Vulcan allies, "I apologize if I have taken...advantage of you in any way."
"You haven't!" Jim exclaimed, from where he knelt on the ground, "I took advantage of you, asking for hugs and falling asleep on you and...that just now...even when you weren't comfortable with it."
"It is my duty to do what you ask," said Spock, though that wasn't true when it came to personal relations, and that included embracing the Captain. "It shall be forgotten, if you wish it. We should now focus on retrieving the communicators from the palace back in the city. It should be sufficiently quiet there that we should not encounter too much danger."
"Of course," said Jim, standing and dusting himself off, "And consider it forgotten."
They walked in silence through the forest, keeping wary eyes about them. Spock lead, despite having the poorer vision, because, of course, he was the only one who knew where they were going, and he stumbled over several logs and rocks. Each time he did, Jim asked if he was alright, sounding concerned. Each time, Spock assured him that he was fine.
And then the forest thinned, and there were lights ahead of them. "I think I see the palace," said Jim, pointing up and to the left. He was correct. It was the palace, easily recognizable as the largest building in sight. There were people outside of it. They all appeared to be men, and in the dim glow of the streetlights, their guns were obvious, dark and gleaming.
"They are awaiting our return," Spock said quietly, "Perhaps it would be more prudent to attempt to enter from a side or back entry."
They retreated into the forest and walked until Spock estimated that they were approximately level with the palace. Peering out from the foliage, Spock immediately spotted one man guarding the back wall. It would be simple enough to incapacitate the single man, although it would be considerably more difficult to get over the wall directly behind him. It was at least twelve feet high and made entirely of smooth stone. "Spock," Jim whispered, "You think we can take down that guy quietly?"
"You do that, and then you can boost me up to the top of the wall, and I'll help you climb up after."
"Absolutely not," Spock told him, sounding very much like a parent, "You will remain here, and stay safe."
"Are you kidding? First of all, you need my help, and second, I'm probably safest with you anyway. If I stay here, men with guns could pop out at any moment and kill me, and you'd never know." Jim sounded much like a petulant child.
But his logic was sound, "All right," Spock said finally, "You must remain quiet and stay close."
Jim nodded eagerly, trailing behind him as they walked in an arc to remain out of the man's eye line. Spock reached out his long arm, pressing fingers to the points in his neck that would incapacitate him, and he dropped. Looking impressed, but staying quiet, Jim helped him to drag the body to the nearby foliage, making sure the man was out of sight. They were back at the wall moments later, Spock making a foot-hold out of clasped hands, and Jim stepping in it, surprised again at the force with which he was lifted. Wobbly from the swift rise, he slid hands over the wall, reaching up until his fingertips encountered the edge of it.
Spock watched as the Captain pulled himself up, the muscles of his back moving in a very interesting way. Once he was up, he carefully arranged himself on the top of the wall, and reached down a helping hand. Carefully calculating the required force, Spock took a run-up, jumping so that his hand connected with Jim's. The blonde pulled until Spock got his other hand over the top of the wall. Spock tried to ignore the way Jim's hand lingered against his own, tingling like a stolen kiss.
He dropped Jim over the side, dangling him for a moment before letting him drop the last three feet. He followed shortly after and then they were running quietly through the halls until they reached the dining room where they had been attacked. Miraculously, there was no one there, and they began the search for a communicator through the mess of broken porcelain and glass and splatters of blood. And there, under the table, a communicator. Spock fell to his knees to retrieve it.
Jim followed him to the ground with a thump, subsequent to the crack of a gun. "Spock!" he gasped, clutching at his bleeding shoulder.
The Vulcan's fingers closed around the communicator, and his other arm wrapped around Jim, pulling him close. His thumbnail went under the lid of the communicator, and it was open. He heard the rumble as boots thundered towards them. "Spock to Enterprise, beam us up immediately!"
"Sir?" came the confused voice of an Ensign.
"Two to beam up!" he shouted in urgency. Later, he would have to meditate on that loss of control, but right now, it didn't matter, because the world was beginning to dissolve in white sparks.
"Spock!" Jim was gasping, "What's going on? Everything's going white!"
"Transporter," Spock said, and clutched him closer, "Close your eyes."
Jim did. Spock didn't, and the last thing he saw of Novartis was the barrel of a gun lowered between his eyes.
And then they were on the Enterprise, air cool and recycled, surfaces shiny and clean. "Call Sickbay," Spock demanded of the shocked Ensign, who was evidentially not expecting them, probably having had a long and eventless shift thus far. But she was in the military, and snapped to, paging the Doctor as Spock turned back to Jim. He was unconscious now, and Spock realised that his shirt was rapidly soaking up crimson blood (such a strange colour really).
Then McCoy came bursting through the doors, and Jim was wheeled off to Sickbay.
Spock retreated to his room to change his clothing, and then reported to the bridge to attempt some sort of damage control.
When Jim awoke, it was to a white ceiling. He didn't hurt, like he had when he had passed out. Instead, he felt a little dreamy and warm. Abruptly, he realised he was in a bed, and he sat up, staring around. Most everything was white. He was dressed in white, his bed was white, the floor was white, and the curtain around his bed was white. Somehow he knew this must be a hospital. Otherwise there wouldn't be so much white. Turning, he saw the medical screen on the wall above his bed. Definitely a hospital.
Was he on the Enterprise maybe?
Jim Kirk wasn't one to sit and wonder. He was an explorer. So he got up, surprised at how cold the floor was beneath his feet. Cautiously, he made his way to the edge of the curtain, peeking out into a huge room, still mostly decorated in white, with lines of white beds filling it. Padding down the room, he took note of the one other person in here, a man with blonde hair lying in a bed, sound asleep.
He knew somehow that the doors at the end of the room would open automatically for him, and they did. The hallways were mostly empty as well, but the people who saw him got funny, confused expressions on their faces. "Captain?" one of the men asked as he wandered by. Jim remembered that Spock had called him Captain, so he reassured the man, "Yup," and carried on his way. When he reached the end of the hallway, he went right, meandering down the pale walkway. He didn't really have a destination in mind, he just wanted to see where the corridors led.
After several turns later, he passed a very pretty woman, who took more than a brief interest in him. "Captain?" she asked him, so of course he responded in the affirmative, and made to keep on walking. She got in his way, "Why are you dressed in a hospital gown?"
Oh. So he was. "I don't know," he told her, "I woke up like this. Do you know where a guy called 'Spock' is?"
"In his quarters, hopefully getting some sleep," she said, "Why are you wandering the hallways dressed like that?"
"You seem very concerned by my clothing. Am I not supposed to be wearing this? I can take it off," he began to pull it up to take it off, but the woman slapped his hands.
"I don't need to see that, Captain," she then sighed, "You're sneaking away from McCoy, aren't you?"
That was a good sign! Spock had talked about McCoy! "So I am on the Enterprise then!" he exclaimed in relief, smiling at the pretty lady. She didn't seem impressed though, rather the opposite. She frowned.
"Are you alright, Captain?"
"I like being called Jim better," he said, and turned on his heel to go back to the Sickbay. If his supposed best friend was there, that was probably the right place to be, even if he did kind of want to find Spock. McCoy could probably help him find his other best friend. Maybe McCoy had been that man in the bed and he had just walked right by him? That would be terrible, to not even recognize your best friend.
The woman was following him. "What's your name?" he asked her, to be polite. He was probably supposed to know it.
"You already know my first name," she said, sounding exasperated. Jim had no idea why she'd be annoyed. It was a pretty simple question, "You heard Spock say it several times."
"Well," he said, trying to remember exactly which door led to the room where he had woken up, "I'm having some memory issues, and I don't remember Spock mentioning your name last night. So, if you could just tell me, that would make my life a lot easier."
She was silent for some moments, "It's Uhura. And sickbay is this way," she took his hand and began leading him, just as he heard an angry male voice shouting his name, followed by a lot of expletives.
"Should we be worried?" Jim asked Uhura, who laughed at him
"That's just McCoy. I guess he's just realised that you're gone," she laughed, suddenly in a good mood. She seemed to be a little unpredictable, and Jim wasn't sure how he felt about that. "I've got him!" she yelled down the hallway, and a very angry looking brunette started stalking towards them.
"What the hell are you doing, Jim?! I can't believe you'd just sneak out like that with your injuries! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?! Jesus! Get in the Sickbay!" he wrapped a hand around Jim's upper arm and dragged him away from Uhura, manhandling him all the way back to his bed. When McCoy finally had him seated, Jim wondering why on earth they were friends, he began a litany of questions, barked out at top speed.
"How're you feeling – do you remember anything – what's your name – what's the date – how many fingers am I holding up – who am I – do you have the urge to flirt with anyone in this room – is your shoulder feeling okay – why do you always do this – do you know how worried I was?!"
Jim stumbled over his answers, barely able to finish his sentences before the doctor was on to the next inquiry. The last two, he could even answer. "I'm sorry," he said instead of a proper response, "I don't even remember who you are."
McCoy seemed to visibly deflate. Jim could tell that the man was primarily just hot air, that deep down he was probably a sensitive, cuddly teddy bear. Probably not a good idea to tell him so. Uhura had followed them into the room and was staring at him sadly. "Don't be sad," he told them, because they both looked so heartbroken, "Maybe I'll remember. And if I don't, it doesn't really matter. I can always make new memories."
Spock appeared in the medical bay some time later, just as the good doctor had reached approximately question 800 in the big book of "do you know this". It had been ascertained what he could and could not remember, and McCoy was under the impression that rather than his memories somehow being erased, they were probably just locked away and the head injury was preventing him from accessing them. Jim was still able to talk, read, write, and do arithmetic. Most of his basic skills were still there, but he couldn't for the life of him remember anything that had happened to him during his life before he had woken up in the forest with Spock hovering over him.
"Spock!" Jim exclaimed when he saw his Vulcan friend, huge grin spreading across his face, "I'm so happy to see you!"
"Captain," he greeted in return. When all he got was a blank scowl, he amended, "Jim."
"Where have you been?" Jim asked, attempting to get out of bed, but being blocked rather effectively by an irate McCoy.
"Immediately our return, I delivered you here to the Sickbay, and then proceeded to the bridge, where I began to try to ascertain the identity and motivations of our attackers. Following this, I retreated to my own quarters for rest."
"I see," Jim beckoned him over, "Do you think you could give me a tour of the Enterprise now that you're rested?" he asked imploringly.
Casting a glance at the doctor, who seemed to be ambivalent, Spock nodded, "I see no reason why not, provided you are well enough for such an expedition." This sentence was also a request to McCoy to elaborate on Jim's condition, which the brunette seemed to understand.
"He's well enough in body alright," said McCoy, "that shoulder won't take long to heal. It was only a primitive weapon, shooting a small metal bullet. Since it missed everything vital in his body, it was pretty simple to remove it and stitch it up. I had the regenerator going earlier, and he should be fine soon. He's on painkillers right now. It might be a bit sore later. But Spock," the doctor looked vitally serious, and Spock did not doubt that he was, "I'm concerned about his memory loss."
It concerned Spock that Jim was just sitting there and listening to them talk. He hadn't complained about being left out even once. Spock decided not to comment on the matter at this juncture. "Doctor, do you believe the memory loss will be permanent?"
"I have no idea," he replied.
Taking Jim out on a tour of the space ship was more involved than one might expect. Once he had been dressed (Jim insisting that he only wear the black undershirt after being informed that the colours and bars on the wrists were symbolic of command and position), Spock took Jim out into the hallway. And the questions began.
Spock found he didn't mind. Jim had always been a curious person, and having the man's undivided attention to his explanations made him pleased in a way that he could not explain. "Crew members can use these facilities as they like, although certain sections of the exercise complex are reserved for private workouts. It is possible to reserve wrestling or sparring rooms, the pool or the saunas."
"Hmmm, a private sauna?" Jim asked, looking up at Spock with a gleam in his eye, "Sounds like a wonderful place to get hot and sweaty. You wanna go some time, Spock?"
Contrary to popular belief, Spock could easily identify a sexually inclined invitation when he heard one, "Perhaps when you are recovered," he said, so as not to insult Jim. There was no sense in ruling out the possibility permanently.
Jim laughed, "Okay, I get it. So, you think some time I can go swimming? I think I like swimming. Do you?"
"I enjoy swimming as well," Spock told him, "I find it a curious sensation to be submerged in water. I am from a desert planet and such activities are not common there."
"Really?" excitement coloured Jim's voice. He was very much like a child now, Spock thought, with untempered curiosity and enthusiasm. "We should go swimming then! Maybe after the tour?"
"I will reserve us a time, but it is not likely to be today," said Spock, guiding Jim to begin walking down the hallway with a gentle touch to his back. He ignored the strange look a passing crewmember gave him in favour of gazing at the positively luminous smile the other man gave him. "Where would you like to go now, Jim?"
"I would really like to visit the bridge, if I can?"
Spock should say no, according to regulations, but logically, if it meant so much to Jim, and since it wouldn't hurt anyone, he saw no reason why he couldn't take the man up to the bridge. Only briefly, of course, "Very well, but you must be careful not to disturb any crew members or equipment."
"Don't touch, I get it," Jim laughed and walked next to him as they made their way up to the bridge. As they were standing in the elevator, he smiled up at Spock, "I really appreciate you being so patient with me. You're so nice! I don't get why people seem intimidated by you!"
"I am their superior officer," said Spock, "It is natural that they be intimidated."
"You're just a big softie," Jim said and nudged him. Spock knew he should discourage the casual touching, but could seem to make the words leave his mouth. He couldn't tell the man to leave him alone after that confession in the words. 'I feel alone', Jim had said. Who was Spock to deny him these small touches of comfort? The doors opened and they stepped out onto the bridge. Every pair of eyes turned to look at them, and the lieutenant who had been sitting in the Captain's chair got up.
Without a second of hesitation, Jim strode across the room, sinking down into the chair. He looked very much at home, fitting into the seat as if it were made for him, despite remembering nothing about his command. Laughing, he spun himself around, "Spock, have you ever sat in this chair? It's really comfy!"
"I have, Captain," Spock placed a hand on the back of the chair and it immediately stopped spinning, "Please refrain from doing that. You are a visitor on the bridge."
Jim's huge smiled faded somewhat, "You're right. Of course."
He stood again, and suddenly seemed to become self conscious of the amount of attention directed his way, shrinking slightly, "Hello everyone," he said, "Sorry about that. Spock's just giving me the grand tour of the Enterprise, and you know me! I get a little carried away!"
Most of the crew members of the bridge smiled then and got back to work. Spock beckoned Jim over, showing him where he worked, and Uhura's station. He explained what Chekov and Sulu did, and introduced some of the crew members sitting in spots on the bridge. Jim absorbed it all in the same wide-eyed manner that he had displayed on the rest of the tour, asking numerous questions, some seemingly irrelevant. Spock could sense the people around whom they stood becoming bored, "It is as well that I am the one giving you the tour," he said in the turbo lift on the way to the cafeteria, "I doubt that many others would enjoy giving such detailed explanations of minor processes."
Jim simply smiled up at him, "that's why we're best friends," he said, "You love me enough to put up with all my talking."
Weeks went by, and Jim did not regain his memories. He was, however, rapidly gaining knowledge of his job and his co-workers. He had called his mother (he had insisted on Spock being in the room the first time he did so, being so nervous that he had been shaking), had spoken to his brother. He spent more and more time with Leonard McCoy, whom he had resumed calling "Bones", and a month after the accident, Jim was finally allowed to get back to work as the Captain, on the condition that Spock was always assigned to the same shifts.
Soon, it was difficult to tell that Jim was missing twenty-seven years of memories. It only happened when someone made a reference to something obscure in the past. Jim knew solely what had been in official records and his own personal log. Several times they had met people and he had not recognized them.
Sometimes these incidents made Jim despondent, other times he didn't seem to mind. On the despondent nights, Jim would call him. Spock would answer.
They played chess, most of the time. They talked the rest of it.
"Spock," said Jim one night, twirling the white Queen between his left forefinger and thumb, "I know it's not logical. I know I can't change anything. But sometimes I get....sad."
"About what?" Spock asked, honestly concerned, although he didn't show it in his voice. He tried not to think about how often he had lapses of emotional control when Jim was around. It had never been so bad before, when Jim had had some restraint. It was not to say he felt nothing, but things we much easier to keep a handle on when the other person was controlling themselves as well. Unfortunately, this new Jim wasn't tied up by old stigma or discomfort, and he regularly made Spock nearly act on things he shouldn't even be thinking about.
Jim looked down at the chess board, "Sometimes I start thinking about things that I don't remember. I wonder what I've missed," he sighed sadly, "Seeing that girl today...it just reminded me of how much I don't remember about my life. I think sometimes," his eyes raised to meet Spock's, "Is there stuff about us that I don't remember?"
Spock was silent for some moments, "You do not remember two years of our acquaintance," he said in the end.
"But what happened in there?" Jim put his Queen down on the board again. Spock refrained from mentioning that he had placed on the incorrect square, "I don't remember it. What had we experienced together?"
"The majority of our experiences have been documented in mission and Captain's reports."
"No," Jim leant forward, big eyes imploring, eyebrows drawn together in distress, "I mean...what happened during those missions? What have we laughed at? What have we cried about? What do you look like when you're covered in mud after a mission? What did the appetizer at the Royal Banquet at Toros IX taste like? What does it feel like when I hold you in my arms and realise you're still breathing, even after you've just taken a phaser shot meant for me?"
Spock didn't say anything.
"I've read all the mission reports. I've listened to all my personal logs. Spock," Jim's voice cracked on his name, "I feel like there's so much between us that was lost. I think I loved you. And I think you loved me. I know neither of you acted on it. But the way he—I talked about you in the logs. The things I mention. I noticed what your hair was like. I spoke about how you flushed green when you were sick, and I seemed to have a preoccupation with your ears. I constantly mentioned how smart you were, how brave!" Jim couldn't stop himself now, words streaming out, "And I know you loved me too! The way you were looking at me as I woke up in the forest. The way you're so patient. You don't let anyone touch you, except me! Spock, please tell me I'm not wrong."
The silence stretched between them. Spock blinked.
"I'm not wrong," Jim's voice was practically a whisper, "I'm not."
The only noise in the room was breathing.
"You are not wrong," said Spock eventually.
Jim smiled, though his eyes were filled with tears.
Jim first kissed him three days later, planetside, after a mission had gone just a little wrong.
It was perfect, even if they were covered in rapidly drying purple slime and splatters of crimson blood.
"We will make new memories together," Spock told him and then kissed the smile he was offered in return right off of Jim's face.
"You know, Bones, I'm glad I lost my memories," Jim said, "It gave me a fresh perspective on life."
"How's that?" Bones asked, not sure if he actually wanted to know.
"It made me realise things that I guess I hadn't realised before. Like that your crabbiness is just a front, because you don't want people to know how much you care. You don't want people to know how much you care because you're afraid of getting hurt again after your ex-wife. Also you think people won't take you seriously if they know you care!" He laughed at Bones' gaping mouth, "I also realise that Uhura wants me. Badly. And that Scotty is insane and in love with our ship!"
"Everyone knows that last one," Bones laughed, "But I'm not sure about Uhura."
"I am. I guess no one realises it because of our history, but I totally remember the first time I saw her. She was trying so hard to keep her eyes on my shoulder, because she was afraid to look anywhere else!"
Bones scowled in disbelief. Jim was convinced that Bones was the only person in the universe who had an entire array of scowls. He could express any emotion through a scowl. Jim's personal favourite was the shocked-scowl. The combination of arched eyebrows and wide eyes was just priceless. "Look Jim, you're obviously not as good as you think you are."
"Well, everything else I observed has been right!"
"Like what? Name something that isn't readily obvious to everyone else on the ship!"
"Well," Jim smirked, and Bones could tell this was the entire reason for his visit, "Spock and I love each other."
There was a beat of silence, "No, I said something that we didn't already know."