Quick note! Thanks for the reviews! You guys are so nice. I've gotten a few saying it's a lot like avatar! I'm shocked. I didn't watch the movie. :D I must be a regular James Cameron. I'm sorry if it's too similar. I really didn't know anything else about the movie besides that it had really good special effects and people told me to see it in IMAX. It makes me dizzy though. Anyhoo! Thanks!

Chapter 3

..Almost there.

The beam jumps and dances, my vision jarring it from its place. Spock runs to the far left wall and starts climbing. My lungs are burning as I follow.

"We... lock.... alm..." I can hear the comm. Spock doesn't make a move for it.

"Maybe they can get us from here!" I call up, beginning to fear that I'll be left here alone. At least Spock would be able to get out. I just don't think I have the strength. Spock... please...

He stops now. His hands are locked on the topmost rock. He turns. A flash burns my eyes, blinding me as I stagger back. My mind explodes with pain and my ears burst with an awful ringing. I feel little rocks and bits of plant hitting me. Another wave forces me back - my legs slipping. A third wave throws me from my feet and sends me tumbling down the tunnel. The sensation is similar to wiping out in the surf. Without the water of course.

I struggle to my feet, my eyes are watering so badly that even with them open, the world is just a messy blur. Through the tears, I see Spock. He's making his way toward me, but his motions are stiff and jerky. Even with my limited vision I can tell he's hurt.

I gather my strength and grab onto him when he gets to me. I feel his pain. My back, my hands, but most of all my right arm. Instinctively I grasp his left one instead and pull him down the tunnel. Staying close to the surface means certain death. I push away the thought that this might be the last time the enterprise has even the slightest chance of getting us in weeks. My decision might just be signing our death certificates.

We move as fast as our injuries allow and soon the rumble of the storm is again reduced to just small vibrations. I let go of Spock, slowing down and letting him compose himself.

"Are you okay?" I ask, bending to try and get a look at his eyes. He's looking down. "What happened?" I try again, having trouble resisting the urge to touch him. Why do I always do that? I just feel like I want to help him. Hold him.

"I do not know. It appeared to be some sort of energy strike, but it had none of the characteristics of lightning. I lost my grip and fell." Spock sounds so defeated that before I can stop myself, I again lay a hand on him. He jerks back and I feel his hopelessness and regret.

"What do you regret?" My voice sounds funny to my own ears. Gentler than I intended. "I'm the one who made all of the mistakes. I should've stayed on the ship. You were right. There was no need for anyone but your team. I just wanted to get off that ship. I had been.... I have been feeling worthless. If I'd stayed on the ship, I'm sure none of this would've even happened."

I feel Spock shift a little but I can't stop myself. I continue on, throwing it all on the table.

"It's been so long and I still feel like I'm not doing a good enough job. We were supposed to be this great team, but it doesn't feel like we are. The more time that passes, the more I feel like something big is missing."

Spock carefully takes my hand off his shoulder and holds it in his own. He moves it around and I feel something. I feel the same fleeting tickle of something I'd been feeling the whole time. And as he draws me closer I finally put a name to it. Affection. For the longest time I've been having these thoughts and now I can feel Spock is struggling with the same thing.

The entire scenario is so bizarre and sudden that for a second I wonder if it is real. Maybe I'm still unconscious from hitting my head on that rock. Or maybe I'm dead...

I feel Spock's lips on mine. A brief touch and then they're pulled away. I open my eyes, unsure of when exactly I'd shut them. He's staring at me, his face the same as always, but different because I can feel what he feels. Somehow, in all of the mess, I realize now is probably not the best time to be doing this, but I cast away the thought as Spock shifts my hand once more and I feel a tingling. My pulse quickens and I take a deep breath. Whatever he is doing I like it.

Spock...

I'm sure I didn't actually moan his name, but instantly he leans forward again and I find myself pressed against him. He's warm. I can feel the heat even through his shirt and I sink into its comfort.

There's a low rumble and I feel the hairs on my arm stand straight up. I can feel the electricity.

"We must go lower. This section of the storm in worse than the first." Spock pulls away from me and instantly begins walking.

"But..."

I stare at his retreating form and make another snap decision that I'm sure I'm going to regret immediately. I rush up to him, grasping him roughly and turning him toward me. He doesn't put up a fight, making the entire process even easier.

"We are not going to pretend that didn't just happen!" I stare him down, my blue eyes against the glittering coal of his. He doesn't answer so I take matters into my own hands – or in this case, my own mind. I lean forward and place my forehead against his, hoping that I'm getting this right. I want to show him how I feel. I want to let him see through everything I have carefully placed to hide the way I feel… I've always felt about him.

There are a few flashes but before I can even delve into the deep spectrum of emotions I want to show him, something snaps. It feels like the ground is pulled out from under me.

Agony pierces my head next and I'm sure I'm going to pass out. Somehow though, I push the darkness away. I claw with all my will back to reality and open my eyes. For the first time I bless the darkness around us. Spock is still in front of me; standing stock still.

"What did you just do!?" My emotions are so much sharper now and even I wince at how my voice echoes. Despite it all Spock stays as stoic as ever.

"I have advised you before, Captain that I do not welcome your invasions of my-"

"Bullshit!" I grit my teeth, trying to rein myself in. This is new. "You weren't saying anything about your personal space a few minutes ago! You remember… when you kissed me!"

"You are mistaken." A flicker, a movement as light and quick as lightning. He looked away.

"You just lied to me." I'm astonished. Spock doesn't lie.

"It is true that I did not mention how uncomfortable your closeness was, but I did not engage in-"

"Bullshit! You kissed me. I felt it." ...I think. "And don't try to weasel your way out of it with technicalities because I know how Vulcan's kiss too." I reach out with my mind but feel nothing. In fact, everything around me seems more… quiet. Oh no.

"You attempted to force yourself upon my mind once again after I have clearly advised you otherwise." Spock says. He doesn't yell but his tone of voice suggests that this is just as bad.

"I wanted to show you…" I deflate. All of my anger is gone and replaced with a bone-deep weariness. I feel lightheaded. Had I imagined it all? It happened only moments ago and yet the memory is strange and faded. Everything happening now feels so much more clear. Had Spock actually kissed me or was it just a ghost of a breeze, flittering down the tunnel and carrying the vague sent of rain and electricity.

I was so much more aware of my surroundings earlier. I can't feel anymore. I can't feel Spock's throbbing elbow or his determination. I only feel me. My hopelessness, my disappointment, and most of all my embarrassment. I am wrong. I somehow messed it all up. I almost told – hell, showed Spock how I feel. How I can't stand when he's not by my side, how I haven't just grown to expect his corrections, I've grown to enjoy them.

I need him and what I'm doing is surely going to ruin what we've already worked so hard to build. So what? I have a crush. I've had them before. I can handle this.

"It seems that your ability has halted." I glance up and feel my heart twist. I can't feel him anymore. It was such an intimate experience and now it's gone. Maybe this will make it easier. I can't just drop it though.

"I think we should discuss-"

"Captain." He uses my title again and I feel a twinge of anger. He doesn't need to remind me of what I am. "I am not asking you to forget the encounter." Spock says evenly, folding his arms professionally behind his back. "I am simply asking you to... postpone it. Briefly."

I sigh. He's right. This is no time to be dealing with this. I'm reluctant to let it go. The whole situation is embarrassing. I can almost hear Spock now. 'You are the captain of a starship and as such you are expected not to harbor hidden romantic emotions toward your first officer.'

I bite my lip. "Okay." I say, trying to mimic Spock's calm voice. I turn my head slowly and think. We can stay close to the surface like before, hoping the storm will have another momentary lapse or we can move deeper into the tunnel and find out where the animals go.

I feel a sudden thump and throw my head back the way we came. Spock is already reaching for his phaser as something leaps from the shadows. Its big-muscular body sends vibrations through the ground as it lands. I reach down but don't feel anything on my belt. My glance down is probably a mistake. I look quickly back up in time to see fierce yellowed fangs flying at me and I throw up my hands as if that'll stop the massive beast.

I hear Spock fire but am still smashed into the wall. The animal presses against me, using brute force to squash me against the uneven roots. I gasp, clawing at its fur. Up close I can see that it is a dark brownish-red color. Its easily twice the size of a bear and it has great big front legs.

I hear another shot and the animal screams. The phaser is only an inconvenience to it. It pulls off of me and I take a much needed breath. My ribs ache but I can't focus on my injuries long as I see the beast bounding toward Spock now. I don't have any weapons. Spock fires another few times and rolls out of the way just before the animal gets to him.

I frantically look around for something to use but it's hopeless. I rush forward, not caring that I have nothing to attack with. The animal turns to where Spock rolled and swipes an enormous paw out. I try to shout out but it's too late. Spock is tossed violently up the tunnel.

We're always wrong. The storm won't come back - it does. There are no animals - there most certainly are. I sprint to Spock as the beast thrashes around. It's angry. It tears at the roots and bucks it's much smaller in comparison back legs. I get to my first officer quickly. He's out cold but still holding the phaser in his hand. I pry it from his fingers and stand just as the monster charges again.

I push my concern aside and sidestep, moving diagonally back to where I was before. Firing a few shots as I go, the animal instantly follows. It's clumsy - knocking into pretty much everything. The huge tunnel narrows ahead and I pick up my pace.

I pass through only seconds before the beast does and to my shock it doesn't get stuck like I'd hoped. In fact, the hulking animal meets little resistance against the tightened walls. I turn, raising my phaser in one last desperate effort...

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DUN DUN DUN!!! I already have the next chapter written. I'm just leavin' you hanging. I know the Spock/Kirk is a little awkward. I've never written them before. Please review! Thanks!!!