A/N – So one night I was on my way home when a song came on the radio. I thought that the line was "I am the last place you have to go" but apparently I heard it wrong because when I Googled that phrase, I didn't get any real song results. But I liked the line so much, I decided it needed its own story. Which is how this one came about.
Spock glanced over from his console, not surprised that the Captain was staring blindly at the viewscreen. The routine nature of this particular mission was the type that slowly drove Kirk up the wall, distracting the entire Bridge crew with his restless energy. At no time would the Captain choose to endanger his ship or his crew but ferrying supplies between Federation colonies was not enough to keep his over-active imagination occupied and his desire for new adventures satisfied.
When Spock looked away from the Captain, other members of the Bridge crew caught his eye in silent pleading. Please find something for him to do. You can't let him suffer like this. He's going to drive us batshit if you don't do something soon. Well, that last was more like something the Captain himself would say but the sentiment was clearly written on the faces of those counting on Spock to spare them the coming unpleasantness if the Captain was not quickly and thoroughly distracted.
"Mr. Chekov," the Captain said, ignoring the soft groans of those around him.
"Captain," Spock said quickly, intercepting his order. The Bridge crew held their collective breath to see if Spock had jumped in soon enough.
"Mr. Spock," the Captain returned, looking over at him in question. Disaster diverted, at least temporarily.
"I am planning to recalibrate the solar array, sir. I thought you might be available to assist me in that endeavor," Spock said smoothly.
"Didn't you recalibrate it last week?" the Captain asked in a toneless voice.
"I did, sir. However, there have been anomalies that have appeared since that time which I believe may be due to the inaccuracy of the calibration."
"You're telling me you did it wrong?" Kirk asked, one eyebrow raised in a remarkable imitation of Spock's.
"I do not believe it was wrong, sir. I believe that the hardware itself may be faulty. I must first rule out any errors in the programming. That is where I had hoped to avail myself of your expertise."
Kirk considered his statement briefly before visually sweeping the Bridge. He could not fail to notice that everyone was silently watching and waiting to see what was going to come of this conversation. "If you want me off the Bridge, Commander, why don't you just say so?"
"It is not my place to request that you absent yourself, sir," Spock said.
Kirk returned something that may have been a snort, not that any of the crew would react as though it really were. "Fine," the Captain said, standing abruptly and pulling down the hem of his top which tended to creep up at the most inopportune times.
"Sir?" Spock said, his eyebrow raised in inquiry.
"Let's go recalibrate … something," Kirk said, with a wave of his hand vaguely toward the turbolift.
"Yes sir," Spock agreed, following him.
"Sulu, you have the Bridge. Alert us if anything interesting happens. You know. Like you see Santa Claus streaking across the sky," Kirk said.
"Aye, sir," Sulu agreed, not moving to sit in the Captain's chair. He would have normally but he and Chekov had to settle up their bet as to how long it was going to take Spock to find something useful for the Captain to do. Sulu had won again so he got to decide what Chekov would do to pay off this bet.
"You're not exactly subtle, Mr. Spock," the Captain commented as they took the turbolift up to the level that housed the array.
"Subtlety is overrated, sir," Spock said in his well modulated voice.
Kirk glanced over at him, certain he must have been making his own version of a joke, not that he ever had before. So he wasn't entirely sure he'd recognize the look on Spock's face if he really had been joking. He stilled those stray thoughts chasing around his head, taking a deep breath. "Yeah. I guess so. No one would ever accuse me of it."
"You are when it is necessary, sir," Spock assured him.
"Whatever. I know Vulcans have the reputation of not lying but do you really need my help to recalibrate the solar array?"
"There are unexplained anomalies, sir. I have been unable to determine the cause."
"If you can't figure it out, you really think I can?" Kirk asked in a mixture of surprise and possible indignation.
"Your approach to many problems is much more creative than mine, sir. You have the ability to analyze any given situation from many perspectives that I would not consider," Spock said.
"Well," the Captain responded, looking up at Spock. "That's quite a compliment from you, Spock. Considering how much you despise everything else about me."
Spock reached out and pressed the stop button for the turbolift and turned to face his Captain, the look of disbelief on his face so genuine that no half Vulcan or full Human could have pulled it off if it weren't real. "Sir."
"What?" Kirk said before his first officer could continue, his blue eyes hard and angry. "You think I haven't noticed, Spock? I'm not as stupid as some people think, you know." He briefly considered that he was about to say things he ought never to say but his frustration, his anger, and his sheer feed-up-ness with Spock's condescending, smug evaluation of him snapped what might have been left of the tenuous control he once had. "You chose to be my First Officer and it's not that I'm not grateful. I am. But honest to god, could you make it a little less obvious that you think Starfleet made the universe's biggest mistake by leaving me Captain? I may not be your first choice, Commander, but have I not yet succeeded in proving myself to you? At all? I haven't caused any diplomatic catastrophes. I have not turned any galaxies against each other. And since I've assumed command, we have only lost a handful of crewmembers. Surely even to your logical, calculating brain that must count for something," Kirk demanded, the color slowly creeping up his face, his breathing shallow and unsteady. Why did the turbolift seem unnaturally hot all of the sudden? Had environmental controls failed while he was having what amounted to a tantrum in front of his First Officer?
"Sir, if you think that I believe that Starfleet erred in making you Captain, it is you who are mistaken. I have nothing but respect for you and the proficiency you have shown as the commanding officer of Enterprise."
"Bullshit," Kirk returned.
"It is you who stated that Vulcans do not lie. Why then do you disbelieve that which I have told you?" Spock asked. From a Human it would have been a demand, or a challenge. From Spock it was just a…question.
"The other Spock lied. You've lied when you thought it in your best interest. I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm saying I know you do it," Kirk shot back at him, his hands in fists against his thighs.
"What would you accept as the truth, sir? That I believe you are in the process of becoming the finest Captain in Starfleet? That there is no one else I would choose to serve? That you have become the most important person…" Spock stopped, turning away from those eyes that had begun to thaw and sparkle in a way he knew was dangerous to his tenuous control.
"Finish what you were going to say, Spock," Kirk requested, the anger only a shadow in his words. "I'm the most important person…to who, Spock?"
"Whom," Spock corrected automatically without thinking. He was relieved when Jim laughed. A hollow sound but welcome even so.
"To whom, Spock? To you?" Jim asked, looking up at Spock's profile. That he refused to meet Jim's eyes did not surprise the Human. He wasn't sure he was ready for what he might find there when Spock did look at him.
"Cap'n," Scotty's unmistakable voice called out over the lift intercom. "Are ye alright, sir?"
"Fine, Scotty. We're fine. I stopped the lift. We'll restart it," Jim said, staring at Spock the entire time. "My quarters."
"Yes sir," Spock had to agree. The lift obediently altered course to take them to the officers' quarters. Jim left the enclosed space, Spock trailing behind. When they were both inside Jim's quarters, privacy lock engaged, Jim resumed his penetrating gaze at Spock as though he could read the thoughts Spock had not yet shared, was not sure he was willing to acknowledge, even to himself.
"Tell me," Jim requested, his voice soft and coaxing.
"Is it necessary? Do you need the words?" Spock asked in a matching tone.
"Yes. I don't want to risk any misunderstanding. I don't want to risk thinking you meant one thing when the opposite in fact is true," Jim explained quietly.
Spock had to nod at his reasoning.
"Should I start?" Jim asked, seeing the hesitation remaining on Spock's face.
"Not if it will conclude with you throwing me out of your quarters."
Jim laughed softly and shook his head. "That's not going to happen. I know you didn't like me when we started out. You thought I was young and brash and careless. Maybe you still believe it. But you did choose to be my first officer. Something resonated with you that made you want to see this through."
"Yes," Spock agreed.
"I'm not going to pretend we don't still have some shit to work out, Spock. But in the time we've served together, you've become much more than my first officer. You've become my friend. And I like to believe you feel the same way about me."
"I do," Spock agreed very quietly.
"I care for you, Spock. A lot. And I think in some ways that scares you. It sure scares me. I've never been in a relationship that lasted longer than three or four drinks. Except with Bones. He's the first real friend I've ever had." Jim saw the surprise in Spock's eyes at the confession. "Yeah, I know. I come across cocky and arrogant. Some of it I believe. Some of it's bluster."
"Surely you have had long term relationships," Spock said.
"Not until Bones. And ours is a friendship bordering on brotherhood. But I don't desire him, Spock. Although now that I've said that out loud, it makes it sound like I'm living in some 19th century novel."
"You and Dr. McCoy are not involved in a relationship of a sexual nature?" Spock asked, betraying even more surprise.
"No. Never. It might destroy what we have. And I won't risk it."
"I had been under the understanding that the two of you were…lovers," Spock said evenly.
"Lots of people think that, Spock. We know people say it and it's fine with both of us. It's also not true," Jim said, watching Spock expectantly.
"I see," Spock said. "It does not concern you that many of your crew are mistaken about the nature of your relationship with the Doctor?"
"No. It actually makes things easier, as it turns out. Admiral Pike warned me that mixing business with pleasure is a death-wish for a captain. So letting everyone believe that Bones and I are lovers helps to stop me from being propositioned," Jim explained.
"I have been witness to those who still ask," Spock pointed out.
"Yes. And when I turn them down, I let them believe it's because of Bones even though it's not."
Spock nodded at that, not sure where that left them. Not sure where he wanted it to leave them.
"Spock?" Jim asked softly. There may have been a tiny note of pleading in the word but Spock chose to ignore it.
"I am uncertain as to what to say, Captain," Spock admitted. "I regret that you believed I thought you unworthy of your position."
"I may have overreacted," Jim admitted with his most intentionally charming smile. "These milk runs stretch my nerves thin. And I'm sorry."
"Your apology is unnecessary, sir," Spock said. "We are, regrettably, still on duty."
"Yes," Jim sighed. "If you really need my help to recalibrate the solar array, I have the time."
"I would appreciate it, sir," Spock said, heading toward the door of Jim's quarters. He stopped when Jim lay a gentle hand on his arm.
"When we're done, I'd like to return here."
"Absolutely, sir," Spock agreed automatically, studying the sapphire eyes that he was sure saw straight through to his soul. And found that he did not mind in the least.
"Are you agreeing because you want to? Or because you think it's an order?" Jim asked. Spock was pretty sure he was kidding but the humor that Humans shared so easily (and sometimes too freely in his opinion not that anyone had asked him) still eluded him from time to time.
"If it were an order, it is one I would eagerly obey," Spock replied, certain that would cover all the possible of meanings of the question. He thought he had guessed correctly when Jim smiled and nodded, leading him out of his quarters.
They went in easy silence to the ship's observatory that housed the array, studying the printouts that Spock had collected. Jim agreed that the readings did seem anomalous and speculated that the error was in the hardware of the array, not the programming of the computer.
"Is that what you thought?" Jim asked Spock as they studied the computer screen, heads nearly toughing.
"It was my general assessment," Spock agreed.
"It looks to me like these readings indicate a misalignment of the primary and ancillary vertical axis," Jim said, his head tilted as though that would bring into better focus what they were studying.
"Indeed," Spock said, realizing that his Captain was correct. It was a significant misalignment in astronomical terms but not in mechanical ones. And it was a misalignment easily rectified.
"If we use the Jefferies tubes just below the access port, we'll be able to realign them from right here," Jim said, tracing the proposed path on the schematic he had called up from the databank.
"A most efficient strategy," Spock concurred. He opened the cabinet that housed the tools they would need to make the adjustments, nodding when he had everything required. The tools were not huge and between them they had no trouble carrying all eight of the items. "With your permission, I would suggest that I affect the actual repairs," Spock said as they prepared to enter the Jefferies tubes.
"Absolutely, Spock. Lead on," Jim said, waiting as Spock used the ladder to gracefully scale the tube, following far enough below that Spock wouldn't inadvertently kick him in the head. They climbed the two decks they needed to pass until Spock reached the access to the array mechanism. Once there, he handed his tools to Jim who was carefully stationed below him. Spock turned his back to the ladder so he could open the access panel, the heels of his boots hooked on the rung for stability. Jim faced the ladder, looking up to watch Spock work.
"Can you reach it?"
"Quite well," Spock agreed, reaching up over his head to fully examine the faulty mechanism. "Would you hand me the quadrangular ratchet?"
Jim reached it up to him, making sure Spock had it in his grasp before he released it. As he waited for the next request, he could not fail to notice that his nose was level with Spock's…groin. Jim tried to ignore his proximity to that particular part of Spock's admittedly fine anatomy but the more he tried to ignore their positions the more he found himself imagining what lay waiting beneath the thin layers of fabric.
"Sir?" Spock said in a tone that implied he'd said it at least once before. He was holding the ratchet down, waiting for Jim to accept it.
"Sorry. I was…lost in thought," Jim said, hoping Spock couldn't see the color rise in his cheeks. "What did you need next?"
"The 4.25 centimeter hexagonal wrench."
Jim just looked up at him, a blank expression on his face.
"The allen wrench?" Spock tried.
"Oh. Of course," Jim said, reaching up to provide it. He leaned back within the tight confines as much as he could but it did not get him any further away from Spock's body.
"Jim?" Spock said, looking down at the top of his head.
"Uhm…these Jefferies tubes are kind of…narrow, aren't they?"
"Are you suffering claustrophobia?" Spock asked.
"No no. I'm…uhm…" Jim looked up at him and leaned just that much closer to Spock, exhaling onto the body part closest to him.
"Oh," Spock gasped softly.
Jim smiled and did it again, enjoying Spock's sharp inhalation of breath.
"You need to …stop," Spock said in a strained voice.
"Really? Is that what you really want?" Jim asked, his voice somewhere in between teasing and pleading.
"Nooo... however, these tubes are monitored and we cannot lock their access."
"I can," Jim said with a wicked grin. "Computer, lock access to Jefferies tubes C23 to C33. Authorization Kirk J alpha theta alpha."
"Acknowledged," the computer answered, making Jim's smile grow even wider.
"Are you suggesting that our first encounter of a sexual nature take place here?" Spock asked, not complaining in the least.
"Uh huh. No time like the present," Jim agreed, putting the tools safely in a perpendicular access tube. His hands free, he used them to quickly and efficiently open and pull down Spock's uniform pants and underwear, freeing his erection. He noted that the pace of Spock's breathing was picking up the closer he got to his goal. "I'm planning to give you a blow job," Jim said, looking up at him.
"Yes," Spock had to agree breathlessly. "Why is it called that when there is no blowing involved?"
Jim had to laugh, shaking his head as his right hand reached for Spock's very firm and beckoning erection. "I have no idea. It's an excellent question. Are you ready?"
"Need you ask?" Spock returned, hardly able to form the words.
Jim shook his head, carefully licking off the glistening drop waiting for him. He took a moment to consider the taste, deciding he liked it. A lot. "Mmm…tastes good."
"Perhaps your analysis could be postponed," Spock whispered, staring wide-eyed down at him.
Jim laughed at that, letting just the tip enter his mouth, careful to keep his teeth in the clear. He heard Spock moan and took more of him in. That elicited another moan from Spock, this one of need and desire and pleading. Jim took pity on him, taking him in all the way and caressing him with his tongue, enjoying the exotic flavors and textures that were alien but familiar. All Spock.
"You have experience," Spock breathed.
Jim didn't bother to break his rhythm to respond. Explanations would come later. There were several truths he was going to have to give to his brand new lover but this was not the time. Or the place, he acknowledged to himself. When Jim increased the suction he was providing, he had to hold Spock's hips, stilling him so that Jim didn't end up with a concussion. He was pleased that Spock was clearly enjoying his efforts but Spock could not actively throat fuck him inside the Jefferies tube without knocking him unconscious.
"Apologies," Spock whispered, trying to remain motionless as Jim did things to him he had never felt before. It wasn't the first time he had been the recipient of a blow job but never one like this one. Maybe it was Jim's unquestionable talent. Or maybe it was the sexual repression he was only now willing to acknowledge, a tension that had been slowly building since he and Uhura had parted ways. Or maybe it was the fact that it was his Captain…Jim doing such incredibly erotic things to him that made it without a doubt the most intensely pleasurable sexual experience he could recall having. "Jim," he moaned, his fingers buried in the soft blond waves of his new lover. "T'hy'la."
Jim hummed his response, the vibrations sending Spock over the edge and into bliss. He collapsed against the side of the tube, waiting for his breath to return to something like normal. He was vaguely aware of Jim stroking his penis softly with his tongue, enjoying the attention as the world slowly coalesced around him once more.
Jim backed away as much as he could, licking his swollen lips, looking up at Spock in near wonder. "What does it mean?"
Spock knew what he meant, what he had said in the throes of the unleashed passion. "Friend, brother, lover. All the things you have become to me."
"Even though you don't even like me very much?" Jim asked with a smile that lit the entire Jefferies tube.
"You are utterly wrong about that," Spock assured him.
"I sure hope so. Otherwise that was a fine blow job I just wasted."
"It was quite fine," Spock agreed.
"Fine?" Jim teased.
"Your term," Spock reminded him. "When we return to your quarters, perhaps you would instruct me in the finer points of reciprocation."
"I'd be glad to," Jim agreed, pulling Spock's clothes back into place while Spock watched in glazed satisfaction.
"Are you…aroused?" Spock asked in some concern.
Jim shrugged, staring up at Spock. "What else do you need?"
"To know that I can depend on you."
"You can. But I meant to repair the array." Spock raised an eyebrow making Jim laugh. "Don't you know I'm yours?"
"I had hoped. You are, however, unpredictable."
"Not with you. With you I'm where I belong," Jim told him firmly.
Spock nodded in satisfaction, requesting the dog-legged clincher. When he gave it back to Jim, the solar array was in perfect alignment, just as their worlds were. And would remain so.