Assumes that Spock Prime and Kirk Prime (from TOS) were lovers in the first four melds. I know it's not canon, but personally I think it should have been. Also the last meld is Spock's point of view. Also, text in italics are the flashbacks/meld memories.
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.
"Blake was mad, they say, -- and Space's
Loosed its wonders upon him -- devils, but angels indeed." - William Rose Bennet
"Forgive me; emotional transference is an effect of the mind meld." – Spock Prime; Star Trek (2009)
The first time he writes it off as a dream. They've just returned, battered and broken to earth and they're all so tired; the kind of tired that not even sleeping for an eternity will fix. A world is gone, billions of people in the blink of an eye and now the universe must adapt to its new wound, like a child might to the loss of an arm. But even as Jim lies down he cannot sleep; his own wound is too new, still bleeding and he doesn't know how to stop it, because he saved the earth but Vulcan is gone and he can't help but feel like it's his fault, because if he'd been only a moment quicker...but it's too late now.
Sometime later (he's not sure how much) it happens, and although he can't remember falling asleep he surely must have because he's caught in what can only be a dream and - It's dark, and only the shadows are visible, illuminating the rounded edges of the bulkheads in his quarters aboard the Enterprise. There's a cold in him; the loss of a crew mate, and though he did all he could it feels like it's his fault...Then there's a shift of fabric and a warmth at his back; seeping into him until the cold is gone. "T'hy'la," and it's the faintest whisper, accompanied by the lightest of kisses to the rounded curve of his ear. "I grieve with thee," and it's too dark to see, but he knows there is nothing but love on that face, and he buries closer into the warmth an knows it will be alright - And the alarm sounds as the sun peaks through the gaps in the window cover, proclaiming a new day.
Jim wakes, stretches and stares at the clear blue of the sky as he contemplates the dream, trying to shed the last of his sleep from his eyes and his mind. Vivid but vague, the details drop away as he becomes more conscious until he remembers nothing more than the shadow at his back and the completeness that it brought. And the word; "T'hy'la, foreign and exotic, lavished on him from a mouth he could not see, sweeter than a syrupy kiss. Then a hail sounds from his computer and he puts away his dream (for what else could it be) and readies himself for what today will bring. As he leaves his room, he finds himself humming because against all odds, he's not tired anymore.
Later, once they're on the Enterprise and departing Earth, Jim will sit in his new Captain's quarters and blame the reason they look so familiar on déjà vu.
The second time he thinks it's a fantasy. They are a year into their five year mission and Jim is really missing the frequent sex he used to enjoy on Earth. He isn't really as much of a whore as people paint him to be; he'd simply realised early on that his passions burned brighter than most others, and while that makes him driven and successful as a captain it also leaves him overly aggressive if it bottles up. So to compensate he'd found two ways to channel the heat; fighting and fucking and while he's equally good at both, the latter is usually the one that causes the least amount of damage to others; a rule that apparently holds true everywhere but in space. Sleeping with the crew undermines his authority and jeopardizes his ship, and sleeping with ambassadors and royals endangers trade negotiations and lives, and since he can't simply go around assaulting his crew Jim's had to settle with shore leave fucks and a great deal of masturbation.
So, it's in a dry spell, with the anticipation of the next shore leave resting on the edges of his consciousness that that it happens. He's simply sitting on his bed, idly contemplating whether or not masturbating is worth the effort when - there are fingers, hot and slick from lube at his entrance, stretching and probing. Then there are lips, biting a nipple gently and then a tongue laps at it to sooth the pleasurable sting, hotter than lava and smoother than silk. Suddenly and without warning the fingers are gone and before he can even voice his protest at their loss, the bulk of a hard cock has replaced them and the burn of the thrusts that follow leave him raw and gasping for more. Then a hand rises, brushes his temples and now there is nothing but heat; burning brighter with the dual sensation of fucking and being fucked. And he knows he isn't going to last, so he turns his head licks one of those excruciatingly sensitive pointed ear tips in his mouth and sucks hard, like he would the cock that is buried in him and his lovers chokes out that single precious word and comes, and the sound of it pushes him over the edge - And Jim snaps back to reality and he's coming, back arched, toes curled, vision fucking white, his first officer's name on his lips and without a single touch to his cock.
After he finally returns to his body, he lays boneless and contemplates what just happened and decides that the only thing that really surprises him is hard he's just come. He's a relatively open minded guy and he's got eyes, so he knows that Spock is a tall drink of gorgeous, wrapped up in all that tempting Vulcan repression and so the fact that his subconscious decided to cast him in the starring role in his fantasy isn't all that shocking. And while he most certainly didn't start out attracted to the pointy eared bastard, after a year of working the guy Jim had noticed that along with the friendship they'd managed to make had come an appreciation for the aesthetic masterpiece that is his first officer. It's by no means all consuming though; Spock is like fine art that Jim can look at but can't touch and since he's not in the habit of pining over what he can't have, the occasional fantasy seems like the ideal solution because nothing changes. So he puts the issue away in his mental 'resolved folder' and after wiping himself clean of his cum, simply falls asleep where he's sprawled, a stated smile on his lips.
He won't think of it again until he's on shore leave, scoping out the bar he's found himself in. He's in the process of throwing back the local equivalent to a shot of Jack when a slender pale skinned man with dark hair approaches the bar and glances at him coyly from beneath thick lashes and Jim thinks 'that'll work.' Later, when Jim's in the process of being fucked into the mattress he'll latch on to a rounded ear, and before he loses himself to orgasm, think that something's missing; that the fantasy was more real.
The third time is when he finally realises that something is wrong, because now it's a nightmare, only he's most certainly not sleeping. In fact he isn't even lying down; they're actually running for their lives on the latest hellhole planet they've beamed down to while swarms of angry and armed natives chase after them. The Federation had deemed this planet ready for warp technology; Jim disagrees whole heartily as their reaction to 'the aliens' that had just landed on their planet was to chase after them with gun like projectile weapons. This particular form of reception is becoming a bit of a pattern and so sometimes Jim wonders if the Federation even researches these planets, or if they simply draw the names out of a hat and then send unsuspecting officers to them to be shot at (but he digresses).
So they're running because naturally they can't be beamed up (something about trees blocking the signal but he wasn't really listening because he was getting shot at!) and they finally reach an empty field. Jim's about to take a breath of relief but he doesn't get the chance because apparently one of those little bastards was faster than the rest and he steps out and aims and they don't even have time to raise their phasers - And god, he's running so hard he'd lose his breathe if it hadn't already been stolen, because no, he can't be right, please. Then there's glass, thick and clear between them and it's keeping him out and Spock is on the other side and he was right and god, please no; not him. Eyes, half blinded by radiation poisoning meet his and the beloved voice whispers "I have been and always shall be your friend," and he presses his hand to the one Spock raises, but the glass keeps him out and all he can think is 'please, old friend, my love don't leave me alone, there's no life without you,' but then Spock's eyes close and he slumps against the glass and the world simply ends. Later, forever but not even a second because there is no time without Spock, there are bagpipes but he can't hear them over the screams in his head that he doesn't allow to pass through his lips and the sheer encompassing grief leaves him so numb because he's dead, he's dead, Spock's dead - and the gun snaps as it cocks in preparation to fire and Jim's back but he's doesn't have time to think because the gun's pointed at Spock and the transporter isn't going to get them out in time and god, please no; not him...
Before the gun even goes off he's moving and he doesn't even feel the agony of the bullet piercing his chest because hum of the transporter reaches his ears and they're on the ship and Spock's alright, so there's no pain. Then his visions grays and he drops to his knees as his blood begins to seep around the hand he's pressed to the wound and chaos erupts in the room but his eyes are only on Spock whose hands have now replaced his own and are desperately trying to stem the blood and Jim wants to reassure him; make he see it's alright, but he can't speak over the blood bubbling out of his mouth. So he looks up at Spock and thinks 'to die would be an awfully great adventure,' but not a new one because he's pretty sure he's died before (on a bridge, on Vulcan, on the ship), but that can't be right, because he's dying now. And it is staring up at his first officer as Bones bursts into the room and his vision simply goes black that he finally realises that something is defiantly wrong.
When he wakes up in sickbay hours later he's greeted by a terrible pain in his chest and an exceedingly upset Bones glaring at him from beside his bed. But then Bones asks him what the hell is going on and the pain is simply eclipsed by the sharpness of realisation, because Jim is pretty sure he's knows exactly what is happening; fuckin' emotional transference indeed. He's half tempted to call up old Spock and see if he if can confirm his suspicions but he doesn't; they're too far from New Vulcan and the old guy is pretty busy trying to ensure the survival of his race. Also, he's not sure he even wants to call, because he knows it will hurt too much to look at him - at them - right now, while the image of death is so fresh in his mind. Even the destruction of Vulcan had nothing on this kind of grief.
The fourth time hurts like none of the others have before because now he knows it is real; just not real for him. People say that you can't miss what you've never had; Jim disagrees. He misses the life, the lover he's never had; but has all the time. He's opened up Pandora's Box and now he's drowning in what he's released, unable to close the lid. Sometimes he's not even sure if he wants to.
It's worse around Spock, the Spock that's his but not and so he distances himself; halts the chess games, limits physical contact. It would be easier, he thinks if his feelings were only ghosts like the life he has been seeing, but they're not; not anymore. They have grown; evolved and shifted until they encompassed the Spock of this time line, no longer remnants of feelings from a man who wore his face to a man that possessed Spock's; but real. Now there exists his love for the Spock of this timeline, stronger and more potent than the echoes could have ever been.
But this is not the universe where loving Spock was easy; here it's impossible and bittersweet and it hurts so fuckin' much. But clearly his pain is not bad enough that it can't get any worse, because Spock corners him on the observation deck one day and asks, without preamble, "What is troubling you?" And Jim thinks 'Where would I even begin?' and he can barely hold in the terrible hysterical laughter that wants to get out at the thought. And the agony; god the agony! Jim looks at Spock from the corner of his eye, not taking his gaze away from the smattering of stars in front of him and replies, "I'm fine, Mr. Spock. Simply trying to work out some personal issues that are causing me some...distress." And he chances a single glance at Spock, his face schooled into a smile that he hopes looks comforting and not as forced as it really is; as false.
But Spock, with those terribly observant eyes, is not fooled and asks "Am I the cause of your unrest, Captain?" his eyebrow tilted ever so slightly, and Jim just looks at him for a moment. Then, without warning the scene shifts - and there's the eyebrow, but this time it's a form of happiness, a smile just for him even if it's only the faintest hint, but Jim knows that it's the Spock equivalent of beaming. He's smiling back, so wide it nearly hurts, because this is it. And then amongst the jagged red rock of Vulcan a gong sounds and now their married, and god he loves Spock, and is loved in return - and suddenly Jim is back, and Spock is beginning to look concerned, and Jim wonders how long he was gone. Nearly wishes that he could have stayed.
"No. You're not, Mr. Spock," he answers quietly, and thinks he does a good job of hiding the turmoil - the resentment - in his voice. This Spock, the Spock in front of him, has Uhura; he's not the Spock he's seen, the one that is in love with Jim and even that Spock's not in love with him, but rather the memory of a man that wore his face. The truth is heavy in the back of his throat; stuck and it hurts so badly because the problem isn't this Spock, it's him. It's that in this universe there's no one for him. There never really was.
"I'll see you on the bridge, Commander,' he says as he walks away, and is proud that his voice does not waver; that his cheeks stay dry. He doesn't see the longing on the face of the Spock he's just left; is too far away to hear the whispered, "I could be," that echoes in the silence of the room, long after the speaker has departed.
The fifth time (although he's not sure if he should call it that because it's more like a first) isn't like all the others; in fact it's different from anything he's ever felt. Despite that it starts out a lot like the third one ended; he's in sickbay with a bleeding wound after a particularly not-fun mission. There are differences from his last visit of course, like the circumstances. This time he's not wounded because he took a bullet for Spock, but rather because the natives on this particular planet were a bit torture happy and so in the week he was held hostage before his crew managed to rescue him he obtained some serious life threatening injuries and so he's a bit more beaten up than he was before.
However, the biggest difference for Jim is that the face that he sees when he wakes up this time isn't Bones but rather Spock, who looks emotional. And if it was anyone else that wouldn't phase Jim for a second because he did just essentially return from certain death but this is Spock and he's being visually emotional. He's also holding Jim's hand, which is fabulous and wonderful and not good and very much not a Spock thing, because as a side effect of his touch telepathy Spock avoids tactile human contact like other people avoid touching an open flame. It's also not good because Jim doesn't know how long Spock's been doing it or what he's picked up from the contact and he really doesn't want to lose his friendship with Spock over something Spock might have seen in his head (like say, the fact that Jim's in love with him; that could probably do it).
So Jim's is about to try and remove his hand from Spock's and casually enquire if his first officer is alright (and if the world has ended while he was missing or something equally as drastic) but he never gets the chance because Spock fixes his brown eyes on Jim's blue ones and slowly and deliberately brings his free hand up to rest on the meld points on Jim's face. And this time it's not a jolt but a slow rush and - He's Spock and he's standing at a podium looking at Jim and he's so angry and so baffled that this cheating cadet is even capable of making him feel to a degree he hasn't felt in years and that in turn makes him angrier still and he lashes out. A few months later he's sitting in the Captain's half dark quarters as they play chess and when Jim loses he simply laughs and tells him that he mostly plays for the company anyways and he simply basks in the warmth that is the contentment of having Jim's friendship. Then later still he's watching Jim flirt with the Andorian ambassador and he is filled with the strangest feeling of unrest and moments later he's simply shocked into silence because he realises that he's jealous. Then he's on the bridge and he's desperately trying to stay calm but he's failing because Jim has been missing for four days and they can't locate him and the crew is starting to whisper that he's dead and he simply can't contemplate that because the pain is too unbearable already. Then he's standing in sickbay staring at the rise and fall of Jim's chest that proclaims him alive and he simply wants to hold on and never let him go in the hopes that it would keep him safe from the rest of the galaxy because he loves Jim; more than he's loved anyone before and he doesn't think he can bear having to live without his t'hy'la ever again - and then suddenly he's back and he's himself again.
And in the wake of having his world turned upside down he's unable to do anything more than stare at Spock who replies softly "Your life is precious to me t'hy'la, please try to take better care in preserving it," and he follows his words by leaning down and gently resting his forehead against Jim's bruised one. And Jim just nods minutely because for Spock that's a declaration of outright love, though with what he saw in the meld he'll never doubt that, but he also understands the need for words and so he gently rest his free hand on one of Spock's cheeks and replies "I love you too," and the light in Spock's eyes is the most brilliant thing he's ever seen.
Later, when Spock is asleep and Jim can finally think past the sheer wonder of the fact Spock loves him he realises that the source of the memories (visions, residual emotions, whatever) is gone; that Spock has removed them. But in the same instant Jim realises that he doesn't miss them at all because the gap they would have left has been filled with a bond of their own, real and vivid and Jim smiles because sitting here in sickbay with Spock and basking in the warmth of their new bond is better than anything he's felt before. So instead trying to argue his way out and back on duty as soon as possible with Bones he lays back and lets the sound of Spock's breathing lull him to sleep because he's in no hurry; now they've got all the time in the world to create some memories of their own.
A/N: I love meld fics and so I figured I write one in a sort of four plus one format (it's usually five plus one but, meh). Bonus points for anyone who gets the Peter Pan reference.