Title: Beginnings and Ends 2/2
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek and I do not make any money from these fictions.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: K/S slash. The timeline changes even further when Amanda brings young Spock to Earth for a visit – and straight into the path of his destiny. But the course of true love doesn't always run smooth…

*****

After the events of the movie…

And this is their true beginning, though it came close to being their final end…

Spock walked into sickbay, needing to ascertain the conditions of both Captain Pike and Acting Captain Kirk.

Captain Pike was pale and still, lying unconscious on a medical bed. Nurse Chapel looked up from where she was examining his charts, standing at attention.

"Status," Spock asked evenly.

"Commander Spock," she acknowledged. "Captain Pike should make a full recovery, although he may need to use a wheelchair for a while."

Spock nodded, moving on to the Chief Medical Officer's private office - now held by Doctor McCoy.

Jim's best friend and closest confidante.

Spock's sensitive ears picked up the sounds of an argument inside the office, and the half-Vulcan stopped just outside the door for a moment.

"Dammit, Jim," Doctor McCoy muttered. "How many times were you strangled in the past twenty-four hours?"

"Bones..." Jim whined, voice raspy and low.

"How many times, Jim?" the doctor questioned again, voice hard.

"Three," the acting captain rasped. "Is Dad going to be okay?"

"Captain Pike will be fine, Jim - stop trying to change the subject," Doctor McCoy reprimanded. "And you were strangled three times? How did you manage that?"

"I'm not trying to change the subject - I'm worried!" Jim protested weakly. "And Nero and Ayel both had their hands around my neck. Nero got called away before he could finish me off, and I managed to grab Ayel's gun to shoot him."

"And that green-blooded hobgoblin was the third," Doctor McCoy grumbled to himself.

"He was actually the first," Jim disputed weakly. "And don't blame him - his dad just died, and I purposely set out to prove he was emotionally compromised."

Silence reigned for a few seconds, and Spock raised his hand to knock on the office door, but a low curse from the doctor stilled him once again.

"Jim? There are fucking claw marks on your back!" Doctor McCoy exclaimed. "How the fuck did you get these?"

"Delta Vega," Jim murmured back lowly.

Spock did not believe that he had ever gone so still in his life.

"Delta Vega?" Doctor McCoy questioned. "Spock told me the planet was safe!"

Jim snorted in disbelief.

"There was some weird white snow monster thing that wanted to eat me, and then it was thrown aside by this giant spider thing with a really long tongue and pointy legs. If it wasn't for that other Spock, the thing would have made a meal out of me," Jim attempted humor, but it fell flat.

Especially to Spock, who felt as if the inertial dampeners on the Enterprise had just failed.

He had lost his planet and his father, but thankfully had managed to beam aboard with his mother and most of the Vulcan elders. When Jim had questioned his authority, Spock deduced that the only way to prevent his emotional compromise and keep command would be to remove his beloved, unknowing t'hy'la from the danger of the ensuing mission.

So he had used Jim's insubordination to maroon him on Delta Vega - a planet he believed safe - instead of confining him to the brig or quarters.

And if it was not for his alternate self - the ambassador who had previously piloted the Jellyfish - Jim would have died on that planet.

Spock would have taken the Enterprise to rendezvous with the rest of the Fleet in the Laurentian System, the Earth would have been consumed by a black hole, and the Enterprise and the rest of the Fleet - as well as the rest of the Federation planets - would have most probably been destroyed by Nero.

And if they had not been, Spock would have returned to Delta Vega to recover Jim, only to find whatever might have remained of his body after the indigenous creature had consumed his meal.

Spock closed his eyes against that thought, breathing deeply.

He owed his counterpart everything, because Jim - Jim was everything.

Spock finally raised his hand to knock on the CMO's office door, and he entered the room on Dr. McCoy's gruff "Come."

"Spock," Jim rasped a greeting, voice rough from his strangling and face bloody and pale from too much fighting and not enough sleep and eyes too bright on fading adrenaline – and he was still the most beautiful thing Spock had ever seen.

Because he was there, and breathing, and alive.

"James," Spock murmured in response, dark eyes taking in every detail of the acting captain's appearance.

His eyes could not help but wander to Jim's bare chest – and the bruises blooming purple underneath his pale skin.

Spock did not want to see Jim's back, because he knew it would raise illogical emotions in him.

But Dr. McCoy had other ideas, and he forcibly pulled Spock behind Jim so the half-Vulcan could get a good look at the deep claw marks and scratches littering his back.

"You said that Delta Vega was safe, you bastard!" the doctor accused. "You said he would be fine – that you couldn't function if you had to worry about him being in danger on board, as well. He was almost eaten!"

"And not even the good way…" Jim interjected, trying to lighten the mood as he grabbed the scrubs Bones had left nearby for him to change into.

"Don't you dare put those on," Bones growled. "I need to run the dermal regenerator over those before they become infected and kill you."

Spock stood still and silent as the doctor meticulously healed all of Jim's wounds, leaving the half-Vulcan to stare at the again-flawless skin of Jim's bare back.

"Can I put some clothes on, now, or are you guys having too much fun ogling me?" Jim joked.

The doctor just stared back at him flatly, a scowl pulling his lips down.

"I'm going to go check on Pike," he grumbled, walking to the door.

He went the long way so he brushed by Spock on the way out, and the doctor growled low under his breath, knowing that sensitive Vulcan ears would hear every word: "You hurt him again? Keep in mind that I can kill you dozens of ways without leaving any evidence."

Spock gave the doctor a curt nod.

"Do you need something, Spock?" Jim asked, jumping up and pulling the scrubs on.

"James…" the Vulcan began, uncharacteristically lost for words. "I wish to apologize…"

"It's fine, Spock," Jim interrupted. "I purposefully goaded you – you have to know that. If anyone should apologize, it's me. I'm sorry for what I said about Sarek. I know you loved him. I did, too. I was so lucky that you guys took me in when I was little. Who knows where I would be now if you hadn't."

Jim paused as he took a breath, but Spock interrupted him with a fierce, possessive kiss before he could continue.

"You have nothing to apologize for," the Vulcan told him seriously. "But I have much. I am sorry for physically harming you. I am sorry for accusing you of cheating on the Kobayashi Maru, when you were just showing your commendable determination when faced with impossible odds. I am sorry for not informing you of my decision to join Starfleet, and then treating you negatively as my student. I apologize for allowing you to leave as you did, and then never responding to any of your communications. I…"

It was Jim's turn to interrupt Spock with a kiss.

"Why?" he asked softly, his breath brushing against Spock's lips. "I thought…I thought you hated me. You looked at me as if you hated me. Ever since your fight…"

Spock closed his eyes against the pain in Jim's bright baby blues.

"Savak and the others threatened to attack you where I could not protect you in retaliation for the damage I inflicted during…my emotional response," Spock replied. "I thought it only logical for you to return to Earth, where you could be amongst your own people and avoid the illogical prejudice of my Vulcan peers. I concluded that if I was cruel to you, you would logically decide to accept Christopher Pike's offer of guardianship. I did not intend for you to be injured."

Jim looked up at the Vulcan, Spock's explanation only satisfying some of his questions.

"But once I was gone…why didn't you ever answer my communications? I talked to your mother and father – Amanda even came to visit me on Earth a few times!" Jim pointed out.

"I had decided to embrace my Vulcan heritage, and both you and my mother were obstacles in the path to Kolinahr," Spock admitted.

Jim recoiled, pulling back at being called an "obstacle" – but Spock's warm hand gripped his wrist gently, not allowing him to back away.

"You inspire emotions in me...emotions I tried so desperately to control," Spock told him. "And when I rejected the offer to attend the Vulcan Science Academy and joined Starfleet…you were attending university. Your father told me that you were content with my absence, and I thought it illogical to interfere."

"And once I joined Starfleet?" Jim questioned, blue eyes bright and searching.

Spock could not meet those eyes.

"Spock?" Jim demanded. "Answer me."

"I may have felt the illogical emotion of…jealousy," Spock told him.

"Jealousy?" Jim asked, incredulously. "Jealousy over what?"

"Your relationship with Dr. McCoy," the Vulcan said, embarrassment coloring his cheeks a faint green.

Jim blinked in shock.

"Bones is my best friend," he told him. "But Spock? You're my friend, my brother…and I'm hoping all these kisses mean that you are now my lover."

"T'hy'la," Spock agreed, dipping his head for another passionate kiss and pulling Jim into his warm embrace.

Neither heard the door open, but both heard Bones's indignant: "Goddammit, Jim – I'm a doctor, not a voyeur! Get a room!"

So they did.

And as far as beginnings went?

Well, Spock and Jim wouldn't have changed it for the Enterprise.

(They got her anyway, of course. How else would they boldly go where no other had ever gone before?)