Moments at Gol – Kirk.
Jim was scared to see Spock. He had never been scared to see Spock before. The Vulcan had been apprehensive of facing him, perhaps. When he had spoken of Pon Farr so very long ago it seemed, whenever he had some kind of emotional or physical problem that he did not want to admit to. But Jim Kirk had never in his life been afraid to face Spock.
Actually, that was not quite true.
As Spock had turned round to him in the warp chamber. Then he had been afraid. And when he first saw his living body on Genesis, living, but with no mind, or at least none of the warm, intelligent, shrewd Vulcan that Kirk had grown to love. Then he had been afraid.
And this time… This time, when he knew that Spock's mind and Spock's body were rejoined, albeit loosely enough for the present. This time, when all of that Vulcan's thoughts and memories were jostling about in his mind as if a life had been newly formed, in an instant, and injected into his head. This time, what would he find?
He had fought tooth and nail for this meeting. They had tried to stop him. All of those emotionless, tight-faced Vulcan adepts had tried to stop him. But then Sarek, Ambassador of all Vulcan, prime disapprover of Spock's entry into Starfleet and his long career there, had argued his case – and, as was usual with Sarek, had won.
He did not know what the think when he entered that room. Less of a room, and more of a chamber hollowed from the rock at Gol. There was no more in it than a bed, and the chair that Spock sat in. It was an attempt not to overwhelm him, apparently. But when, Kirk wondered, had a Vulcan last been joined in body and spirit by Fal-Tor-Pan? What precedent was there for how to treat him?
Spock sat on the chair in his all-encompassing white robe. It was perhaps all that he possessed at this moment in time. Kirk did not doubt that certain trinkets and treasured possessions still lingered in his parents' home. For all the width of the rift between him and his father, Spock still had his childhood room there. But right now, this was all that Spock was. His body, so freshly renewed but looking so old – and this one white robe that covered him to the wrists, to the ankles. It would not have surprised Jim if he was naked underneath it.
'Spock,' he said finally.
Spock looked up. He still had that look in his eyes – the confused look, the slightly fearful look of an aged animal. The eyes of one with dementia.
'Spock, it's me,' he said, taking a step forward. Surely the Vulcan had not forgotten him again, so soon? 'It's me, - '
He had not yet begun to form his name, but, 'Jim,' Spock said, rising slowly from the chair – rising as if it was not an accustomed action for him.
In some ways, Spock's life so far had consisted of nothing but crouching on a planet that was tearing itself apart, and of lying as if in trance on a bunk in the Klingon ship. In some ways – but in other ways –
Spock had such a rich and varied life behind him. So many jewels of knowledge and insight had resided in that mind. Was everything lost?
No, not everything. For Spock looked at him again, and said again, 'You are Jim. I remember this much…'
'Yes, you do,' Jim said, coming forward to him with a sudden, rich smile.
Spock flinched a little as Kirk lifted his arms towards him, as if he was not sure what this person was about to do.
'You remember that much,' Kirk nodded, putting his hands on Spock's arms. 'I'm Jim. Your friend, Jim.'
'I – communicate – like this,' Spock said hesitantly, reaching his hand tentatively towards Kirk's face.
Jim wanted to flinch away. He did not know what to do. Rejecting Spock was unthinkable. But what would the adepts say? He very much doubted that they would approve of Spock melding so soon – and melding, at that, with an emotional human, a human who had just lost his son, who had just regained the best friend he had ever had. Jim was the first to admit that his emotions were uncertain at that moment.
And how much memory did Spock retain of the techniques of melding? He had mentioned often in the past...
Oh, Spock… Oh, that Spock of the past, how I miss you…
So often he had said how dangerous melding could be, how joining with an unbalanced mind could upset the balance of one's one. And they were both unbalanced at the moment. There was no doubt about that.
Spock, oh, Spock, how I miss you…
And without conscious impulse he was stepping forward to the Vulcan, and Spock's oh-so-familiar fingers were touching his face, burning onto his skin with typical Vulcan intensity. And startling, out of the maelstrom of echoes and memories and thoughts that circled in his head, Spock said again, I communicate like this.
Yes, Spock. You communicate like this.
And you are my friend.
Oh, my friend…
The urge to weep almost overcame him. This was too much. Too much… The loss of David, the loss of Spock. My child, my friend…
Must I leave?
He regained control of himself.
No, Spock. Don't ever leave again.
You – love – me?
Love. A swirling vortex of undefined emotions. Colours and feelings and scents and memories jostling one another, erasing and effacing one another, confusing the mind.
Love – is not logical…
It is not logical, Jim agreed. But it exists. You cannot deny it.
And you love me. I am – a friend to you. And you to me. I – also love you.
It was not quite a question, not quite a statement…
I hope so, Spock.
It is not sexual.
Images burst in Spock's mind, blurred and tired. Droxine, Christine, Leila. Other women, that Spock could recognise but Kirk could not. He thought, spontaneously and humour-full, I didn't realise you'd had such a varied past, Spock.
Nor I myself.
Nor I myself. That last was so Spock that Kirk almost cried.
And no, it is not sexual, Kirk confirmed. We love each other, as –
Brothers, friends, family, t'hy'la.
The words were like flowers unfolding, like crystals growing in Spock's mind. Unlocking doors, sparking memories, unfolding the pages of forgotten books.
Yes, Spock. Brothers, friends, family, t'hy'la. Kirk repeated. You are mine, and I am yours. I came back for you, because you belong to me, and I need you by my side.
And – you are my Jim, Spock said.
His hand fell from Kirk's face. He stared at his fingertips, registering tears.
'Your face is wet,' he said, and his forehead creased in puzzlement, as if those words had been pulled from a time long passed.
'Yes, it is, Spock,' Kirk said without shame. 'It is wet because I am happy.'
Spock stared at him, still with that haunted, bewildered look in his eyes. And then he said, 'Humans are illogical.'
'Indeed we are, Spock,' Kirk said, with the most illogical smile he had ever worn on his face. 'Indeed we are.'