Disclaimer: Star Trek and the boys belong to Gene Roddenberry, who I am not. I am only borrowing them with the greatest respect, and promise to return them in (mostly) pristine condition.

"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes,
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet."

William Shakespeare

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The first indication that something was wrong with Spock should have been when he had misread the data from his station. Not once, but three times in a row thought Jim as he paced the length of his quarters agitatedly. But Spock's minor faux pas hadn't been given much thought by any of the crew for two reasons. One, it had happened in the middle of a mind-numbingly boring shift patrolling the edge of the neutral zone, where Jim himself had nearly been asleep and Chekov most definitely had been. And two, it had happened on the tail end of a decidingly uncomfortable break-up with Uhura that had left the entire bridge on edge for a month while Spock had studiously avoided looking at his ex and Uhura had alternated between not looking at Spock and glaring at Jim. Which Jim still didn't get because really, he'd been on his best behaviour regarding his Vulcan First Officer and his attractive and scary girlfriend both before and after their break up.

After the whole Narada incident where Vulcan had been destroyed and Earth was saved only by the skin of their teeth Jim had realised that if he wanted to keep his ship he was going to have to show his crew he was actually capable of being a respectable authority figure. So Jim had embarked on his quest to 'be the best Captain he could be' and had stopped trying to sleep with everything that moved under its own power, something that admittedly had been hell for the first few months but once he'd finally adjusted hadn't been so bad. He'd also been pleased to note that as a side effect of his lifestyle change, he'd stopped having to skulk off to Bones for treatment of horrible space STD's that had always seemed to involve exceedingly painful hyposprays. He'd dropped the number of bar fights that he started by being a dick to zero, although he still wasn't averse to joining in when some asshole tried threatening a member of his crew. He'd read up on Starfleet regulation until he had wanted to bite his own head off and he'd taken every boring ass mission that Admiral Komack had come up with in the hopes of getting Jim to give up and relinquish the Enterprise to someone that Komack deemed "more worthy." And by the end of his first year as Captain, Jim had not only won the respect and loyalty of nearly all of his crew, he'd also managed to convince Starfleet that 'Yes, he was good at this and that whole saving the world thing hadn't just been a fluke, so maybe they could get off his back, ok?'

But really, if Jim had to pick an accomplishment he was most proud of in his first year, it would have to be the friendship he'd managed to develop with Spock. He had started on what he'd thought was going to be an epic crusade into his first officer's giant bubble of personal space because he'd had enough sense to realise that if a starship was going to run successfully, there needed to be communication between a Captain and his First. Also, he'd been more than a little intrigued by what he had seen in his mind meld with Spock the elder on that damned ice ball. The old man had shown him a future (a past? Time paradox's were confusing) where he and Spock had been closer than Jim had ever been to anyone, including his mother and Bones combined and Jim had figured that if he managed to achieve even a fraction of that with his own Spock then he'd be satisfied. It wasn't that he hadn't wanted the whole deal he'd seen with that Spock, the 'T're'hia' or 'T'hy'la' thing, but the Kirk that he had seen in the meld had been, for a lack of a better word, perfect and he to the best of his knowledge wasn't, so he'd decided to settle for what he could get.

And so, with the best of intentions (and some mental consulting) he had asked Spock to join him in a game of chess. Four hours and two exceedingly simulating chess games later where both he and Spock had each managed a single victory Jim had decided that the whole 'let's be friends with Spock thing' might not only be possible, but a great deal of fun. After three months of missions, chess games and several very enjoyable private meals Jim had been proud to say that he could call Spock a true friend without feeling like a fraud. It had also been around that time that he'd stopped hitting on Uhura, even in jest, because Jim really did have a sense of honour and trying to pick up a friends girl was one of those things in the 'unwritten rules to man friendships' that simply was not done.

However because this was his life and the course of his life, much like true love, had never run smooth, the easy and carefree relationship that Jim had been enjoying had to end eventually. And so, a year and twelve days (not that Jim had been counting, or anything) into their five year mission the dynamics of Jim's comfortable friendship with Spock had changed drastically. The day hadn't started out much differently than others; himself, Spock and an away team had beamed down to the new planet de jour, which admittedly had been rather unique as it had looked a great deal like something out of a child's cartoon, complete with lavender sky, fields of daisies, big fluffy clouds and what had looked suspiciously like unicorns grazing in a meadow to their right. However, the outlier in the slightly creepy scenario had been the natives, who, likely driven mad by all the happiness oozing from the atmosphere, had decided to take out their frustrations by sneaking up from behind and attacking with exceedingly pointy spears and rocks that had both sparkled like mad and hurt like hell.

The climax of the situation, however, had occurred when he had been distracted trying to protect three red-shirted ensigns (who had seemed to be trying their best to get themselves killed), and had consequentially missed the sparkly little native that had taken surprisingly good aim and thrown a spear directly at his heart. Spock however, had not and utilizing his Vulcan swiftness had stepped in front of the spear, which had then promptly buried itself in the new inhabitant of the space that had previously been occupied with Jim's heart; Spock's chest. Jim had whipped around just in time to see his first officer go down, green blood tricking around the imbedded spear and after that things had gotten a little fuzzy for him. The three red-shirts (who had amazingly not died) would later report that the Captain had begun vaporising the little natives like some kind of killing machine until there wasn't a single one left and all that had remained of the field that they had been fighting in was a severely charred crater. He had then promptly gathered his first officer into his arms and beamed up to sickbay.

Once in sickbay Bones had yanked Spock from his grasp and set to work trying to save his life, while Jim had paced around anxiously like an expectant father trying to deal with a high risk pregnancy until Bones had turned on him and had told him to "get the hell out and get some god damn sleep, cause you're making me nervous Jim, and I'm no good to him when I'm nervous." Jim had gotten the hell out and had gone to beat the shit out of something in the gym. He had then returned to hover outside the sickbay doors until Bones had finally emerged and told him that "yes Jim, Spock was going to be ok," and that "yes Jim, you can visit him, but really don't expect much of a response because he's in some kind of Vulcan voodoo healing trance."

Jim had rushed in and starred at his Vulcan first officer on the thin hospital bed and had watched the slow and steady movements of his chest that had proved he really was alive. Once Jim had ensured himself of that fact and after making sure that Spock was truly out of it in his trance, he had sat down beside his first officer's bed and gently taken one of Spock's hand within his own without fear of breaking the general "no touching" rule that Spock pretty much exuded. Spock's skin had been warm under his, warmer than any healthy human's should have been, but normal for a Vulcan; knowledge he had learned from the accidental contact that had occurred between him and Spock in the past year. It had understandingly not been something that he'd noticed when Spock had been strangling him as at that time he had been a little distracted by his rapidly pressing lack of oxygen, but sitting at Spock's bedside the heat was obvious and soothing.

And Jim had just looked at him and had felt the overwhelming urge to wrap himself in that warmth and never let go, and holy fuck, once Jim's rational brain had caught up with the rest of him he had already yanked his hand out of Spock's like it was on fire and in his all consuming haste to get the hell away had brushed past Bones without even noticing him. Bones on the other hand had taken one look at Jim's face and Spock's still sleeping form, added two and two together and come up with four, and had then promptly gone to find himself a stiff drink in the hopes of convincing himself that his math was wrong.

Jim, who by then reached the safe haven of his quarters, had found himself in the middle of a full blown panic attack, because at that time and place were two huge things wrong in his world. The first was that he was hard, simply from looking at the curve of his Vulcan first officer's lips and wondering what they would taste like. His attraction to Spock had apparently crept up on him over the past year and in true Jim Kirk fashion had decided that now had looked like a good time to jump out and make the rest of him aware of it. This however, while inconvenient, was not world ending news because Jim had plenty of experience being attracted to inappropriate and totally unavailable people (of both gender persuasion) and he'd always been alright before. No, it had been the second epiphany that had made him want to grab his subconscious by the scruff of its neck and have serious words with it because unless he was wrong, and he was pretty sure he wasn't, he was in love with Spock. And that, despite feeling so terribly right, was an extraordinarily bad thing because if Spock ever found out, not only would Jim's friendship with him end, but it was also likely that his life would as well, either at Spock's hands as he once again tried to strangle him and was not stopped by the timely presence of his father, or by the end of Uhura's boot heels as she kicked his ass and ripped off sensitive parts of his anatomy for even daring to think such thoughts about her boyfriend.

It had been in the moment that the panic had reached its peak that Jim had realised that there was a simple solution to his most pressing problem; if Spock never found out how he felt then nothing had to change. He could keep both his exceeding precious friendship with Spock and his balls, which admittedly were also something he was very fond of. So, from the moment that Spock had woken up in sickbay the next day Jim, with his famous 'James Kirk iron resolve' behind him had begun to execute his 'keep the truth away from Spock plan.' It had been a relatively simply plan, which at its core had involved an intense decrease in physical contact, both casual and professional so that the Vulcan's telepathic spidey senses wouldn't pick up his carefully hidden secret. He had not, however, limited the amount of time he spent in Spock's presence, as that would not only lead to suspicions, which would lead to questioning, which would likely involve some form of comforting touch and then the truth would be out and Jim would be ejected from the ship via an airlock, but also because Spock's presence was becoming like air, vital and the most natural thing in the world.

So Jim had kept his mouth shut and Spock and Uhura had appeared to carry on strong, perfectly unaware of his problem, and he'd been happy for them, really, because the bottom line was that as long as Uhura was what made Spock happy, then Uhura was what Jim wanted for Spock. It had seemed that a consequence of the whole 'in love thing' had been the acquisition of emotional maturity, which admittedly had downright sucked in those rare moments when Jim had caught Spock and Uhura together and his inner child had grumbled "itsnotfair" and Jim had only left them alone to their business instead of say, intruding with some trivial ship problem that might have gotten Uhura's hand off Spock's ass. It had however kept him from causing several diplomatic incidents involving royals and their overly controlling parents and/or spouses, so it clearly wasn't all bad. And really, if the consequences of keeping his secret were limited to an increase an in masturbation staring his first officer and frequent drinking sessions with Bones, who despite his protest (which had lacked his typical indignation and had been accompanied by an understanding look) of "damnit Jim, I'm a doctor not a shoulder to cry on," had actually served that particular function quite well, Jim had figured that things could had been worse.

Of course, since if you speak of the devil he shall appear, things had gotten worse when Spock and Uhura had suddenly and unexpectedly broken up, leaving Spock a free agent. Jim, who had developed a sense of resigned irony after finally accepting that the consequence of his fabulous luck in the 'not getting killed department' was that the universe had devised personal relationship booby traps involving his first officer, and had then sat back to watch him try to get around them without going insane, felt perhaps a moment of happiness, before firmly delving back into a panic spiral because suddenly keeping his secret had become a million times harder. When Spock had been with Uhura he had been safe and totally off limits and it had been easy for Jim and his affection to fly under Spock's radar because said Vulcan had been too busy looking at Uhura to notice the occasional wistful glance that Jim had thrown at him. However Spock was now tantalisingly single and with his 'Uhura blinders' torn off, much more observant, causing Jim to be constantly on edge because Spock still hadn't shown any interest in Jim beyond friendship, which left him pretty much 'back at square one.' And hard. A lot.

But that, though it definitely played a factor, was not the immediate reason why Jim was currently pacing his quarters. No, his current state of general anxiety was instead due to the events that had begun one week ago with Spock's mishaps on the bridge. It had been, Jim supposed, a relatively good time for something to go wrong. Spock and Uhura had finally started to communicate in ways that hadn't left any innocents bystanders present with frostbite and Uhura had decreased the intensity of her glares at Jim from 'I hope my gaze sets you on fire' to 'your presence slightly irks me.' All and all, things had been good and whenever that happened Jim instinctively ducked for cover because he knew it wasn't going to last. So, as steady as clockwork, it hadn't and the only thing that had surprised Jim about it was that it had been Spock who was apparently getting a crash course in Murphy's Law and was suddenly acting, for a lack of a better term, exceedingly unSpock-like.

Really, looking back at the past week now, Jim couldn't believe how long it had taken him to clue into the fact there was definitely something off about his first officer. However, in his defence he had been a little distracted by his goal of trying to keep his attention off of Spock, for fear he would be discovered and then strangled. Also, his perceptions around that time had been lowered because it had been then that he had noticed that he really spent too much time thinking about Spock and strangulation and had been experiencing a tiny bit of understandable paranoia at the fear that it was going to turn into some kind of kink. (It hadn't appeared to yet, thank god, but Jim was still wary). Jim might have been a full supporter of sexual diversity, but he really preferred his larynx uncrushed.

As well as his uncharacteristic errors on the bridge, Spock's catlike gracefulness had seemed to desert him and he had become a great deal clumsier, brushing up against Jim with an increased frequency that had caused a vague sense of hysteria, (because hello, big secrets and touch telepaths just don't mix) and it was likely said hysteria that had prevented him from cluing in right then. Another glaringly obvious sign of general Spockish unease that had only come to Jim's attention upon reflection had occurred two days before when he and Uhura had been conversing surprisingly civilly in the hall about a Klingon transmission that she had intercepted early that day.

The incident had begun when an ensign had brushed by them, knocking Uhura off balance and she had clutched his shoulders as Jim had grabbed both of her forearms to keep her from falling. Uhura had then flashed him a grateful smile and Jim had been in the process of returning the gesture when he had looked over her head he had seen Spock, with a glare on his face that had possessed a degree of heat would had made Uhura's glares jealous, rapidly advancing towards them. Jim had immediately released Uhura and brought his arms up in the universal signal for 'I'm not at threat, please don't kill me.' He had then beat a hasty retreat to a place that was anywhere but there because he was pretty sure that said glare had been directed at him and not at the back of Uhura's head and if that look was going to become the beginning of a reconciliation between Uhura and Spock then he didn't want to be anywhere near them.

However, the matter of his first officer's problem had finally become inescapably obvious to Jim earlier in the day when Spock had finally done something so out of character that Jim had been unable to do anything but gape at him in disbelief. He had been heading to Spock's quarters after his shift to see if he could interest him in a game of chess, and perhaps at the same time casually enquire if he was still Uhuraless, when the door to said quarters had flung open as a blond nurse had practically flown out of them in tears. She had been promptly followed by an airborne bowl of bright orange soup, which had nearly collided with Jim's head as he had stood motionless in shock just outside the door. Spock had then stalked to the door frame where he had growled at the nurse to "Get out and leave him in peace." He had then whipped his head over and had bestowed a heated stare at Jim for had what seemed like an eternity, before stalking back into his room and locking the door behind him.

After Jim's shock had worn off he had escorted the sobbing nurse back to sickbay as she, in a state of near hysteria, had recounted the events that had lead to the soup throwing. She had apparently heard from a crew member that Mr. Spock had seemed unsettled and had decided (her clearly obvious crush likely a key factor in doing so), that taking him some soup would be a good way to 'break the ice.' Clearly Spock had not agreed, because the next thing she had known he was yelling and she was out the door, the soup not far behind her. By the time she had finished, Jim had been truly worried because if her story was true (and he had no reason to believe she had left anything out) then Spock was acting in a way that violated the basic fundamentals of who he was. Spock was intelligent, serious, quiet and tremendously polite. He could tell an offensive individual to "please, go to hell and burn for all eternity" with such class that even those who possessed brains that functioned wouldn't realise they had been insulted until days later. So the fact that Spock had just made a beautiful nurse cry for no apparent reason pretty much cemented in Jim's brain that there was something seriously wrong with Spock.

So, after he'd dumped the nurse on Bones, Jim had proceeded to grill his doctor friend to determine if there was anything medical that could explain whatever was happening with Spock. Bones had pulled up a few research articles on his data pad after Jim had mentioned the soup incident, but hadn't been able to find anything relevant. The best idea that Bones had come up with had been "maybe it's some kind of male-Vulcan PMS thing" and that perhaps, if he was really worried he should go ask Uhura, who likely "knows more about the pointy eared hobgoblin than the two of us combined." And although Jim would had rather subjected himself to voluntary hypospray testing than ask Uhura about her past (and possibly present) relationship with Spock, he had been forced to admit that she was probably the most likely person on the ship to be in possession of the knowledge he'd been looking for. So Jim had left Bones in sickbay after he had promised to keep looking (he'd been curious, but mostly he had seen how worried Jim really was) and had gone off to find Uhura.

Twenty minutes and one exceedingly uncomfortable conversation with Uhura later Jim had been no better off and had been frankly a bit underwhelmed by the level of communication that had seemingly occurred between her and Spock while they had been shacking up, because apparently Uhura also had no idea what was wrong with Spock. Jim had made his exasperation known rather vocally, because really, he was pretty sure that he'd had relationships involving more communication than theirs apparently had and he'd had relationships that hadn't involved words beyond "hello" and "goodbye"! Uhura had pointedly ignored that and had told him that perhaps he should try "talking to Spock, because god knows how well not talking was serving both of them " and then had promptly retreated back into her quarters, leaving a confused Jim in the hallway alone.

So Jim had walked back to his quarters and brooded on a course of action until he had mentally smacked himself for overlooking the obvious solution. This...problem his first officer had was clearly either a Vulcan thing or a Spock thing, so really who better to ask than a Spock who had likely lived through it and could tell Jim what to do so that everything could go back to normal. (Well, as normal as life ever got on the Enterprise). So Jim, whose spirits had been slightly bolstered by the possession of a working plan had sat down at his computer and put a video call through to one Ambassador Spock of New Vulcan and had then thanked his lucky stars when the ambassador's image had appeared, slightly fuzzy, on the screen. After beginning the call like he did when he spoke to his mother; exchanging pleasantries and promising to call more, Jim had found himself hesitating, because in truth, he wasn't precisely sure how to ask the Ambassador if there was anything that would cause Spock to chuck soup at walls and growl at nurses. In the end he had simply settled with something along the lines of "I think our Spock is broken and would you know anything about how I might go about fixing him?" and had then added a vague explanation (which had involved several abstract hand gestures) of the growling, the errors and the soup.

The ambassador had then gotten very serious and Jim had been sure he had felt the blood draining from his face, cell by cell, as the elder Spock had gravely explained the Vulcan reproductive drive that was known as Pon Farr. Jim had listened as he had told him about the Plak Tow; the terrible fever that wouldn't disappear unless it was cooled by mating and any humour Jim had felt at the thought of a race as logical as Vulcans having a biological multi-day-fuck-fest every seven years was instantly extinguished because this was Spock and if something wasn't done he was going to die. So after he had listened in a slight daze to the rest of what the Ambassador had to say about willing mates, bonding, and Vulcan marriage Jim had given a weak "thank you" to the elder Spock and hung up. And then he had started pacing.

As he paced, he considered what the Ambassador had said. If Spock was going to live, (and Jim was going to make damn sure of that), then he needed a mate who was willing to not only sleep with him, but also bond with him, which according to the Ambassador could be likened to marriage. And not a human marriage that was "till death do us part or until we decide to let the contract run out" but a Vulcan marriage involving permanent mental linkage and complete faithfulness. The person also had to be someone that Spock would respond to and since they were in the middle of bumfuck nowhere space and much too far away from New Vulcan, they would also have to be a member of the crew, which really limited the choices.

Jim thinks he should start his painfully short mental list with Uhura, but crosses her off relatively quickly because there was no way that Spock didn't notice this mating thing creeping up on him this past week (and after he saves the Vulcan they are going to have a serious talk about the necessity of sharing with ones friends) so if he had wanted it to be with Uhura they probably would be doing it now. (And there's a visual that Jim can't deal with right now, because he really needs his brain for thinking). He also feels that it's a pretty safe bet that the blond nurse with the mile wide crush on Spock is out, unless soup-throwing is considered to be some kind of foreplay to Vulcans, which he seriously doubts. And because Jim really does possess an above average intellect, he can see where this is going; if he wants to save Spock, Jim himself is going to have to bond with him.

It's at this that he finally abandons his pacing in favour of standing in front of the door to the bathroom that he shares with Spock. For him, the issue isn't bonding with Spock, because really, that would be the fulfilment of his every wish and his fondest fantasies. No, what makes him hesitate instead barging in and taking his chances, is that this bond would also be permanent for Spock as well and though it pains him to acknowledge, even in the relative privacy of his own mind, Spock's not in love with him. He may respect and enjoy Jim as a friend and a Captain, but he doesn't want him as a lover and Jim loves him too much to force him. He laughs joylessly and thinks that if Starfleet considers the Kobayashi Maru the ultimate no win situation, then Jim's got news for them. A starship Captain may be taught to deal with a lot, but no one ever told him how to handle falling in love with his Vulcan First Officer. Jim thinks it definitely should be added to the manual.

So he stands in limbo at the door and wonders in a moment of passing whimsy; to go or not to go and in the same instant thinks that if Hamlet had thought he'd had problems, Jim would be glad to straighten him out. But Jim is a starship Captain and a damn good one at that, so isolating a problem down to its baser elements is second nature to him and in the end his decision is easy. If he goes, he could lose Spock's friendship, but if he stays he could lose Spock forever and the later is just not something Jim is willing to consider ever. So, Jim gathers his courage and, in typical Kirk style, barges through the bathroom and into his First Officer's inner sanctum to see if he can't "emotionally compromise" Spock into saving his own life. If that doesn't work, well he always has his failsafe James T. Kirk patented Plan B; jump him and hope afterwards Spock is too weak to kill him before he gets a chance to explain.

However upon entering Spock's quarters his attention is not on his first officer but rather on the uncompromising heat of the room he has just entered. His fortifying breath escapes his lungs in a huff and Jim only barely resists the urge to put a hand in front of his mouth to see if he really is breathing fire, or if it just feels that way. Then, in a rustle of movement Spock rises from his meditative crouch like a serpent uncoiling itself and locks his gaze with Jim's and the room is forgotten as the span of Jim's consciousness shrinks to hold only Spock. The Vulcan doesn't look especially surprised to see him, but he is also clearly not pleased as he hisses at Jim, "Get out," his gaze threatening to burn into his skull, but that's not what Jim's come for, so instead he throws on his best 'make-me face' and replies defiantly, "No."

Spock gaze grows impossibly more heated, crackling with the sharpness of his anger at Jim's response and he takes a step forward before visibly stopping himself, clenching his hands into fists. "What?" He hisses at Jim, his teeth clenched like his hands and Jim takes a step forward as well, smirking as he does so. "I think you heard me just fine the first time, Mr. Spock" Jim taunts, watching Spock's face closely to see which of his words have the greatest affect. When he sees the Vulcan clench his hands so tightly that the knuckles turn white, he continues. "I think you know exactly why I'm here," and his next words are a purr, slow and dangerous. "Don't you Spock?" and Jim watches as the patronising quality of his voice compels the man in question to take another one of those aborted half steps forward.

Jim can practically see the tiny cogs in Spock's impressive brain turn as the Vulcan processes this. "You have spoken to my elder self," Spock finally responds, glaring at Jim, his words no more than a forced expulsion of air through his teeth and Jim is sure his mouth falls open just the tiniest bit because weren't there supposed to be world ending paradoxical consequences if the two Spock's communicated? Then he mentally shrugs and returns to the task at hand, because if the universe hasn't imploded then he's still got a job to do. "I like him," he replies, his voice a taunt. "He trusts me with stuff like this" and his words, accusing and sharp, are accompanied by another step towards Spock. He watches as the anger seeps from Spock's eyes to encompass the entirety of his typically emotionless face and Spock stalks the across the room, stopping barely a foot from Jim's own face and barks once again "Get out!" this time his voice an order coated in steel and Jim (who's always been good at ignoring orders) covers that last distance until his nose practically brushes Spock's and whispers, "Make me," the words a caress against Spock's lips.

In the next instant Spock is moving, using that same inhuman swiftness he once used to save Jim's life to crowd him up against the wall and hold him in place as he shoves his face into Jim's and captures Jim's lips with his own, his urgency like the hungry desperation of a starving man. And if Jim had thought the room was hot, it is nothing compared to the inferno that is Spock's mouth as he attempts to devour Jim's lips, or the heat of Spock's hardness that can he feel as it grinds against his stomach. He moans, long and low into Spock's mouth and the noise might as well be a shout in the silence, jolting Spock from his trance and causing him to rip his lips from Jim's with a sound that hints of pain. Spock's eyes burn into his again, only centimetres from his face and although it takes all his willpower, Jim pushes down his desire to chase after those appealing lips so that he can listen to the words that are pouring from said kiss moistened lips.

"You need to leave," Spock chokes out, "Can't you see what will happen" and now agony bleeds into his eyes, "What I'll do to you if you don't." The words are accompanied by a particularly strong thrust of Spock's hips against Jim's own (perhaps as a reinforcement, or simply an urge he cannot stop) and the movement leaves Jim's mind fogged and he shakes his head as if that will clear it, because something about what Spock is saying is trying crystallize into something important and precious. Spock, clearly seeing the gesture as a refusal of his wishes (and in a way it is) continues, unaware of Jim's dilemma, his words filling the minuscule yet giant gap between them. "You do not want this," he mutters, "You do this out of duty alone, and if you do not leave I will take you anyways. I will not force you!" his last sentence as close to shouting as Jim has ever heard from him, so tortured and ... sad.

And suddenly, Jim gets it, (and god, was this the only thing they needed all along, because it can't be this easy) and nearly frantic in his haste he grabs one of the hands that are pinning him to the wall and places it at his own forehead in the best imitation of the meld position he can manage and concentrating only on the sheer, all encompassing love he feels for Spock he shoves it as hard as he can towards the Vulcan and hopes that he can feel it. For one terrifying moment nothing happens and Jim is filled with despair until slowly, Spock's face softens with something that looks like wonder and Jim knows it's gotten through because the link roars open suddenly and he is drowning the waves of Spock's feelings for him; the love, the affection and the heat. God the heat!

Then Jim's thoughts are simply gone because Spock whispers, possessively and hot, "T'hy'la. Mine," and his mouth returns, ravenous and perfect while his hands roam over Jim's body, arousing and enflaming the flesh they find until Jim is so painfully hard that he thinks he'll go mad. The ripping sound his uniform makes as it is torn from his body is drowned out by the blood rushing in Jim's ears as Spock, without hesitation, buries himself in him with a single lunge that reverberates in his very soul. Then Spock is thrusting, once, twice, and Jim knows that he isn't going to be able to last this perfect fullness much longer, so he twists his head and licks one of those perfect, pointed ear tips and manages to whisper through kiss swollen lips, "T'hy'la. Yours," and Spock moans and Jim screams and they let the flames carry them away.

Much later, when the flames have finally begun to cool and Spock's Pon Farr is finally over, Jim lies with his head pillowed in Spock's abdomen and listens to the alien heart beat of his lover (his love), contentment humming through their new bond. "I love you, t'hy'la," he hears Spock whisper, almost shyly into the comfortable silence and then follows his precious words with a contented noise in the back of his throat that vaguely resembles a purr, before closing his eyes and promptly falling asleep. Jim's heart simply overflows and he turns his head a fraction to watch the fluttering of Spock's eyelashes as he sleeps and wonders if this has been the old man's intention all along, ever since they met on that frozen nightmare of a planet, because really, if it has then Jim thinks he probably owes the guy a thank you card and several truckloads of flowers. However his musings are suddenly interrupted by Spock, who without waking, draws an arm across Jim's body and pulls him closer and Jim allows the movement, nestling his head in Spock's shoulder and smiling. As he begins to drift off he thinks that he can send the old man something later, because right now, lying sated in bed with Spock, Jim refuses to allow anything to intrude on the sheer perfection that is this moment and so, really, the rest of the world can go to hell.

FIN