Jim wasn't in the habit of doubting his decisions.
When he had been a captain, hesitation, and even lack of confidence could potentially mean life or death. As a newly appointed Admiral; his decisions would carry even more weight. A position of command was just as much psychology as it was strategy and the accumulationof knowledge, Jim knew that. Hell, he could write a book on it. Starfleet trained uncertainty out of their command trainees from the get-go, as well they should. All of this was common knowledge, even reiterating it in his head seemed like a pointless exercise when the knowledge was so purposefully ingrained.
Yet apparently he needed the reminder, because the doubt he was experiencing now seemed foreign, an infectious disease that settled in the form of a roiling stomach and the start of a tension headache.
It was completely unacceptable.
What the hell kind of impression was Jim going to make when starting his first day on the job, promoted and in possession of a shiny new uniform, and an even shinier new office, if he showed up to work looking like he'd gone seven rounds of hand to hand combat with a particularly enraged Klingon?
Although, if Jim were going to be fair on himself, and he was certainly in the mood to be charitable given his ever-increasing headache, Jim rather did feel like he'd gone a round or two with several dozen Klingons. And although he had no desire whatsoever at that point to look in a mirror, he'd hazard to guess that he probably looked like it, too.
Certainly, finding himself with a headache before the day had even begun didn't particularly bode well for the rest of the day or for his blasted appearance. And it certainly did nothing at all to help Jim's mood, which was already pretty damn despondent, and yes, cranky as all hell. He owned it. Despite Bones' opinion to the contrary, Jim wasn't completely without self-awareness.
In fact, if Bones was there, right that minute, Jim would tell him that, loudly, so they could argue about it, because Jim sure as hell felt like arguing with somebodyand Bones had always been more than willing to comply whenever that particular mood hit. And the mood was most definitely hitting, big time…. Jim needed a good fight to get his brain thinking in a sharp, driven, productive manner.
Except that he and Bones weren't speaking, the reminder of which only made him more…
Tired. He was so very tired.
Sleep was unbelievably hard to come by when Jim was used to the soft hum of an engine, the gentle vibration of a moving ship, and the knowledge that less than five strides and a wall away was the one soul in the universe that meant warmth, companionship, and safety to him… that one soul in the universe he already missed with a yearning ache that left his heart feeling a little sick at the loss.
'What a sad case of co-dependency, Jim-boy,' he told himself depreciatingly, 'if you can't even go a week without Spock, how the hell are you going to manage the rest of your life? For Christ's sake man, you're an Admiral now, act like it!'
Yet, it was just the knowledge that Spock was close, just knowing that he had been near during those five magical, wonderful years, was so very…. comforting ….and a line of thought that would accomplish nothing to break Jim out of this profound sense of 'what the hell have I done?'
Apparently dwelling on things that on served to make him feel even more miserable was the order of the day.
Self pity, thy name is James Kirk.
What a fine Admiral he was turning out to be, a model to his profession, really. Grieving the close proximity of friends. Mourning a promotion he should be celebrating. Admiral at 37, he was the only person in Starfleet history who could claim that, it was a remarkable achievement. He should be over the moon.
Besides, Spock was back on Vulcan, furthering his destiny, as was his choice. Right was the way of the universe. Jim knew that, hell, he wished Spock all the fulfillment it was possible to achieve in this great big universe of theirs; his friend deserved that and more. It was simply a matter of Jim getting his heart and his annoying sense of sentimentality to accept it.
That and a good hypospray of pain meds to deal with the confounded headache wouldn't go amiss.
But Jim couldn't bring himself break out of his funk enough to do either. Instead he was alone in a dark apartment, where the smell of fresh paint contributed to his escalating bout of nausea.
It had been a long time since Jim had felt sick prior to reporting to work. It had been even longer since he hadn't felt like reporting to work at all. Aside from the occasional death threats, weird space pollen/pathogen/mind control, and the sporadic torture, he loved what he did, what Starfleet stood for. Job dissatisfaction didn't play into that. In fact, he didn't think he'd experienced actual profession-related panic since living through finals at the academy.
Jim didn't like it. Didn't like second guessing himself, either. It was like ants crawling on his skin, itchy and uncomfortable.
If Spock were here he'd take one look at Jim's face, head to the food synthesizer to make a soothing cup of tea, and gently work to bolster Jim's certainty with unerring faith and familiarity.
God, and the unproductive trains of thought just kept coming. Why couldn't he seem to shake all of this goddamned anxiety? And why had Spock stolen his focus so thoroughly?
A part of him couldn't help but wonder if Spock was going through the same type of withdrawal. And a smaller, more malicious part of his personality hoped that his former First was; misery loves company and all that.
Jim wondered what that said about him.
He didn't particularly want to know the answer, didn't think it would be too flattering. God knew that he didn't need even more despondency on his plate, which was already full to brimming; more would simply be overkill.
Lord but this unhealthy pattern needed to stop now. It couldn't be allowedto continue. Jim was more professional than this. He'd worked his whole life for this.
What in all shades of hell was wrong with him?
Jim's decision to accept the promotion to admiralty had been the best. It had to be that way, no ifs, ands or buts. If Jim couldn't go two days without longing for the soft hum of his ship and the presence of his best friend and co-conspirator in the unending tug-of-war between Jim and the forces of the universe, then distance would undoubtedly be a chance at a bit of self growth, or so Spock would tell him in a more diplomatic, gentle fashion….
Right, so back to thoughts of Spock again.
'Way to go, there, Jim-boy, you're bolstering yourself out of this funk so well. It's a good thing they don't grade your work performance on self-geared pep talks, you'd surely fail that requirement hands down.'
'Project 'get the hell in gear', take five. Repeat the following':
Life had to move on, it couldn't remain stagnant. As wonderful and fulfilling as captaining the Enterprise had been, it couldn't have lasted forever. It was a natural progression, from captain to admiral,space exploration to planet-side. To have had those wonderful, exciting, though often times fearful and profound, experiences was extraordinary. There was no doubting he had been lucky in his career, and lucky in the crew the fates had blessed him with. He was grateful for that, and for them, but it was past time to move the fuck on.
Jim steadfastly ignored the acid churning in his stomach as he made his way from his small rented apartment in the ever bustling Union Square to Starfleet headquarters. His stomach was not going to stop him. It, his heart, and his brain could all go to hell. This was the first day of the rest of his life, and the right sort of attitude was required. He needed to be excited and he would damn well force it if he needed to. Just see if he wouldn't…
Except the long walk towards his office through headquarters felt foreboding, each step heavier than the last, as if he were walking towards death row, all of which culminated into stepping into an office that felt, for all its size, much, much too small.
The claustrophobia that grabbed hold of Jim was as instant as it was crippling. The moment he had stepped into the room, saw the desk, with his rotating chair, and white, white walls, the nausea, dizziness and heavy breathing threatened to overcome his will.
Of two things Jim was certain: one was that San Francisco, despite its predictably cool weather, had to be experiencing a heat wave, because the temperature seemed to go from livable to intolerable in a matter of seconds, and the second was that he was going to be sick all over the beautiful new carpet.
Jim stumbled to the desk, his palms flat against the shiny, cool surface as he fought to regain equilibrium. The visions of a lifetime spent behind a desk flashed before his eyes, of meetings and pointless rounds of small talk. Of seeing the same people day in and day out, the scenery never changing, the friendships of the past five years drifting away naturally with distance and time…. His heart clenched tightly and there was pain, so much pain.
He wondered if this was what dying was like….A death of the spirit.
Jim felt his fingernails scrape against the surface of his desk as his hands clenching tightly into fists. He was going to suffocate; the room was spinning so fast, the air too impossibly heavy. It was only by sheer will, and an innate sense of perseverance, that Jim remained upright.
People couldn't live like this, stuck in a small room, grounded, forbidden from exploration. They weren't meant to. It was inhumane.
The imaginings of Jim's dreary future were soon replaced with images of the life he'd left behind. Space passing by at warp speed; the distant stars becoming bright streams of white as his ship sped past them. The faces of each new species he'd encountered. The feeling of being a part of something larger than he was, of the sweet sense of belonging, of home…. big brown eyes, knowing, deep and unfathomably wise, a raised eyebrow, glossy black hair, a stoic mouth where the corners twitched involuntarily when trying to hide a grin, though Jim always saw it anyway, knew how to read the signs of laughter and happiness on the otherwise impassive countenance of his most precious friend.
The epiphany that followed was neither surprising nor a revelation in any true sense of the word. It was simply a moment of clarity; of blunt, stark, self-aware honesty, unpretentious, and logical; Spock would appreciate that….
Jim had made a mistake.
And there was only one way to fix it.
Spock! I'm coming for you, Spock.
The red sands of the planet Vulcan glittered under the sky, the heavy air thick and rippled with heat, and the markings of the stone structure before him, more ancient than the first Neandertal drawn hieroglyphs of deer and antelope that adorned the cavern walls of Terra's European continent, seemed to waver before his eyes.
To enter the structure would be the first step in relieving his pain, in purging the bonds of friendship and love, so great it often times felt like it would suffocate Spock in his longing; in finally squelching his human half which felt the loss most profoundly.
Loss of love. Love lost. The tearing of a soul pulled asunder, one half here at Gol, desperately seeking the peace and solace of logic and logic alone, the other half on Earth: beautiful, bright eyed, and wondering; ever fearless, ever curious - facing a new day, a new position, and the opportunity at a new chance at life.
Jim was lost to him now, as sure was his life on the Enterprise and the freedom granted by space and friendship, of working in a cohesive team with a group of humans who had become family to him, and the five years of acceptance and companionship that had wrought.
Jim had accepted a promotion that left him grounded, no longer in need of the first officer who would often stare in dazed wonder, incredulous at the emotions and feelings the admirable human evoked within him; the ones that sent his Vulcan half reeling.
His two sides could not be in conflict anymore. The war between them was slowly killing Spock. One side wanting to repress and dissect, and the other longing to grieve.
Logic would prevail. It was the Vulcan way, the way of Surak. The safeguard of his people's way of life and their success as a species of knowledgeable beings. Logic, alone, would protect him from the human frailty of loss.
Spock took a deep breath and cleared his mind, prepared, as much as he could be, to take this final step towards completion. The Kolinahr. The final purging of all emotion. After this the name James T. Kirk would be but a simple footnote in Spock's history. The name of a captain he had served under who had rendered much success with his command style and his unrelenting nature. The name of a lesson Spock had learned, and he could hear almost hear that message spoken now, stated with the voice of McCoy, in all his human slang and lecturing colloquies: all that glitters may in fact be gold, but should remain indefinitely out of reach, for the task of acquiring a gem (or Jim, as the case may be) could become a man's undoing.
It was a lesson Spock took most seriously.
One more deep breath. One more quick and silent release of his troublesome thoughts. One step, then another to tranquility….
Until a frantic voice, and the emphatic resonance of panic, then clarity, then determination hedged forcefully through his mental shields.
Spock! I'm coming for you, Spock.
Jim's voice in his head, as was his modus operandi, for he had long since taken up residence there, since the moment they had met, in fact.
That James Kirk called to Spock's very soul, his katra, was beyond maddening.
Jim had lost track of the amount of times he had talked himself into and out of his present course of action.
Thus each step he took towards reaching his goal, from closed-door meetings with Nogura, which was an experience Jim very much wanted never to live through again even if his very life depended on it, to pulling rank to gain shuttle passage to Vulcan, felt like an unachievable goal, an impossible step to take on a passage towards truth.
It wasn't that he was questioning the validity of it, the sheer rightness, oh no, that would be too easy. No, instead Jim doubted his ability to pull it off. To see it through, start to finish. To admit, out loud, that he was wrong, and that he… needed.
The fact of needing, itself, was a pretty difficult pill to swallow, and it stuck in Jim's throat, even now, with his butt planted firmly in the seat of a shuttle craft and his course set. He had always liked to consider himself radically independent. Had prided himself on being solo; a complete package in one deal. One career officer born, bred and raised for it, at your service, sir, ma'am. Yet he had also thought of himself as preferring women as sexual partners, married to his career, better off a bachelor… Jim thought it funny, in that life-is-so-screwed up kind of way, how many delusions one man could entertain just because it was easier that way; the correct image to portray for the path in life he had convinced himself he wanted.
It felt like a bit of a cosmic joke on his person, all truth be told, and if Jim had learned anything during his service out in space, it was that the universe had a rather profound sense of humor.
And the most comical irony of the situation, from which there was more than plenty to chose, was that Jim had been wrong on all of it, on everything he had thought he wanted, not just the admiralty, but the life he'd assumed would go along with it.
Admiral James Kirk-former ladies' man, ace in the hole, who'd sold his soul to the organization long ago-was a bit of a phony, and a semi-deluded one at that.
But Starfleet didn't own his soul, for Jim had inadvertently given it to Spock somewhere between Psi 2000 and Camus II. And he certainly wasn't solo, or bachelor material, or even a ladies' man, because he was pretty sure that neither model admirals, ladies' men, or bachelors woke up one day to pull their heads out of their asses long enough to discover that they were dramatically, overwhelmingly, and a tad saccharinely (as much of a blow as that was to his manly ego), smitten with their very male best friend. In fact, missed him so much that the whole 'lovelorn lost and lonely' cliché became a constant state of being.
Who the hell woke up to discover that their conscience had adopted a 'Spock' tone or that every thought, deed or action led to one highly esteemed individual? Not lifelong committed bachelors, that was for certain. And definitely not the 'I scoff at commitment' types either.
And no model career officer would give up his promotion to return to a lower position out in space.
Only Jim Kirk did that, ever apart in everything. Ever alone. Ever different. Nose consistently buried in a book at the academy, and nose firmly buried in his ass ever since.
At least Spock joined him in the loneliness, in feeling apart from everything. They really were a well matched pair.
So yes, deluding himself was a habit he needed to kick. And Spock was just the right person to do the kicking; he was the face of truth through Jim's many smokescreens.
In an ideal world, Jim would land on Vulcan, confess his feelings, and Spock, of course, would forgive him, because he and Spock had always forgiven each other everything in the past, and they'd put each other through some real doozies, and what was a little abandonment and midlife crisis among friends? Good friends? Best friends?...Lovers?
All of which led to the one undeniable fact that….he should have listened to Bones.
Not that Jim would ever concede that out loud, particularly with Bones anywhere close by, no sir. The good doctor already thought he was in the right, he didn't need it confirmed so assuredly. Jim was already picturing the smug grin the doctor would flash when his friend found out that Jim had took a leave of absence from his career to deal with a 'personal crisis'.
He supposed crisis was as good a word as any to describe what he was currently going through….a crisis of profound idiocy, maybe. And Bones had known. Had surmised Jim's reaction to such a posting thoroughly before any doubts had manifested in Jim himself. Annoying trait of McCoy's, that. He had even gone to Starfleet, over Jim's head, to argue against Jim's promotion.
Lord but there were no words for how angry Jim had been at that, how offended that Bones, a supposed friend, had gone behind his back to do that. In fact, his anger had pushed Jim to squelch any sorrow he may have felt over leaving the Enterprise, leaving the stars, leaving Spock, and caused him to heartily embrace the offer of promotion with the mutinous attitude of "I'll show you."
'Mutiny was never a particularly good idea on the cusp of anger on an otherwise beautiful Sunday afternoon', Jim thought with a sardonic smile, 'it just wasn't.'
Neither, apparently, was defiance, for all that Jim's natural inclination towards defiance had served him well. Or at least he thought it had. It had been rather significant in furthering his career. That ever so important career that he was only recently discovering could go hang itself. There were things in life more important….people in life who were more important.
Bones had probably foreseen that as well, damn the man. The uncharitable part of Jim wondered if Bones enjoyed being right all the time, high above on that cloud he drifted on over the rest of them. Another part of him missed the doctor terribly and felt infinite sorrow over how they had parted.
He owed Bones an apology, or two, perhaps five. But that would come later, one case of eating crow at a time was all Jim's nerves could take. Spock was first, because Spock was his First.
Jim had no idea what he was going to say to Spock once he landed on Vulcan. He hoped a bit of inspiration would come to him at the appropriate moment, because just holding his head up and not running for the bathroom and losing that breakfast he didn't eat was about all he could handle. Coming up with a speech just wasn't in the bag. He supposed the only thing he could do, the only pawn he had left to play, was complete honesty. Didn't he already feel that Spock was his personal emblem of truth? He would find Spock, tell him that he missed him, and that he wasn't quite ready to let him go just yet, never would be,in point of fact, and let fate weave their destiny from there.
He had nothing left, really, to lose at this point…. Except the hope of getting Spock back at his side.
The question didn't need to be voiced, for it hung in the air between them; was painted in his mother's eyes and within his father's deeper level of stoicism. It was a testament to their heritage, human and Vulcan, that neither gave into their curiosity, letting Spock explain his presence in their home on his own terms, in his own time.
A detailed explanation would be an illogical waste of breath, especially when everything-heading to Gol to learn the discipline to achieve the Kolinahr, and then immediately turning around once it became clear that the act of purging all emotion would never be an achievable goal in a universe where Jim Kirk existed-could be summed up in one word…
There was no logic in removing pain, grief or loss when the separation which had provoked such emotion was no longer going to be an issue.
Though Spock did wonder if the Kolinahr would have been achievable, if he truly would have been able to eradicate Jim from his mind, along with the link that had developed between them through five years of service, friendship, closeness, and the alarmingly frequent action of saving one another's lives.
In retrospect he didn't think he could have, not when it came down to that final severance in the end. Jim was so tightly fused within him, so integrated into his katra, that Spock wondered if that integration went down to a cellular level, if through osmosis he carried the imprint of Jim in his blood as it rushed through his body from his toes to his fingertips.
A small, righteous part of Spock's personality thought it only fair that Jim could not also make the cut. That his Captain had realized, with keen insight, that his decision to accept his promotion and remain grounded was a bad one; all things being equal at last.
His mother smiled, her eyes shining. "I had hoped the two of you would find your way," she said, although her soft voice and easy smile were enough to convey her unrepentant joy over the matter without words being necessary.
His mother was fond of Jim, approved of the influence Jim had had on Spock through the years, effectively breaking him out of a shell he had consciously built around himself like armor to protect his heart against the cruelties of both Terran and Vulcan perspective on his heritage. It was not surprising that she would hold on to the desire that he and Jim would come together as they had been designed to.
Jim had never expected Spock to be anything other than what he was; absolute acceptance was a rare quality for a member of any species. In that respect James Kirk and Amanda Grayson were very much alike.
His father's nod was nearly indiscernible, but evidence enough for his approval to also be noted. The bond of T'hy'la was an ancient one predating even the teachings of Surak. Two men in the bonds of friendship, loyalty, brotherhood, and boundless love – two partners united in passion and crusade. To achieve such a union, to find such a companion, was rare, and sacred.
He and Jim had long since fueled such a bond, repressed though it had been.
No traditional Vulcan would oppose it.
There was also the small detail that Sarek was also fond of Jim. In his own way.
There would never be another for Spock; both of his parents knew it, had already accepted it. It was only Jim who was just coming to recognize it.
"And when shall we anticipate the Admiral's arrival?" his father inquired, one eyebrow neatly raised.
"He should be arriving in 23.25 hours, given standard shuttle weight and velocity," Spock responded, a feeling of peace settling over his spirit in a way he hadn't experienced since he had left the Enterprise at spacedock. Jim was coming to him. The knowledge thrilled and moved him, for all that he kept such expression hidden from his father's watchful gaze.
"You'll bring him by, won't you Spock? Once the two of you have reconnected?" his mother asked, furthering Spock's feeling of rightness.
He nodded simply in response, lost, in part, to his thoughts.
At this time in the next standard day Admiral Kirk would step out onto the sands of Vulcan.
Spock truly wanted to smile, but the desire to do so, to feel it, want it, and let his katra absorb it, was enough, for now.
He'd smile for Jim when the time was right.
If Jim thought he had been panicked before, alone in a barren office at Fleet headquarters that might as well have been a cage, that was nothing on the trepidation he was feeling now, as the shuttle door opened and he was blasted with the stifling heat and lighter air of Vulcan.
Jim had always found Vulcan beautiful in a primal way. The desert landscape stirred visions of nighttime campfires, where the flames matched the planet's soil, and that strangely pleasant smell of sulfur tickled his nose. The aura of Vulcan always went hand in hand with the aura of Spock, in Jim's mind: exotic, hot, powerful and ruggedly handsome. Perhaps that was why the sight of it now was as warming in the metaphorical sense as it was in the physical; anything associated with Spock could only bring feelings of comfort and home.
Yes, he was nervous. And yes, he was infinitely glad that he had forgone breakfast that morning, but the bright sunlight and dry air around him were comforting, and in that Jim felt his shoulders sag, just a little….only to have his heart jump to his throat and his back tense up once more at the sight of the tall, lithe figure waiting for him, face hidden in the hood of a white robe, at the transport station.
Jim didn't need to see a face to know who it was. He didn't even need eyes to do so. He knew.
Spock had received Jim's message, as Jim had known, somehow, he would.
His most cherished friend had only seldom intimidated Jim before, but he felt helplessly frightened now. Yet, at his core, he knew that this was his move, that he had journeyed all of this way, yet he still hadn't reached the end of the voyage quite yet. It was up to him to reach out to Spock, and Spock would patiently wait while he attempted to do so.
The world became surreal and Jim could only concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, focused on moving despite the loud drum of his heartbeat in his ears and the fogginess that took hold of his brain. Get to Spock, meet him all the way, prove to him that Jim had come to understand….what he hadn't fully realized before.
They were connected, he and Spock, somehow, and Jim had come to recognize that the best part of him would fizzle out and die were that connection to break.
As Spock was there, Jim could face anything. Co-dependant? Maybe, but happy and loved, and that was more than anyone could ask.
Time seemed to slow to a languid pace and the world around him blurred to a fuzzy background, like the lineless haze of an impressionist painting, as Jim came to stand directly in front of Spock, his breath catching in his throat as he grappled with what words to use to express all that he wanted to say.
What did one say when they had been on the verge of a colossal mistake, nearly severing ties that weren't meant to be broken? Jim had always been quick witted, had counted on his mind to get him out of scrapes when his physical strength could not, but now he was at a loss to explain it, or anything. Apparently he had left his tongue and his brain in San Francisco. The only thing he had left to work with was his heart.
"Spock, I'm….I'm an idiot," he finished softly, a humorless chuckle escaping this throat.
Long fingers reached up to pull back the concealing hood to reveal the beloved features of an amused Vulcan, his dark eyes shining in the light of the bright Vulcan sky.
"My most treasured friend, you are a great many things, but one thing you most definitely are not is idle minded." Jim recognized the teasing humor of his tone one reserved for Jim and Jim alone. And just like that, under dancing eyes, unparalleled camaraderie and an understanding that conveyed everything without in-depth explanation, Jim knew that everything was alright.
Jim felt all tension leave his body, and his stomach settle, as he basked in what it was to be with Spock, all ease, grace and spirit, as it always had been.
"Yet you'll concede that I nearly made the biggest mistake of my life?" Jim asked, his single question inlayed with two… 'I almost ruined us. Did I ruin what we could be, which goes beyond what we've been, Spock?'
And Spock, as Jim had known he would, knowing Jim as well as he did, answered both.
"No irreparable harm has been done. The experience was unpleasant, but it brought you the knowledge that led you back to me. For that, I cannot be ungrateful." His fingers slowly reaching up to gently touch Jim's temple, the heat of those soft fingertips warming Jim's face as well as his heart. He breathed in Spock's musky scent, so familiar, drank in his presence, and leaned into the fingers that moved into a familiar position, not melding, yet, but wordlessly hinting in that direction.
This was how it was between them, how it should always be.
"Yes, Spock, do it….Please," Jim breathed. For a timeless instant there was only Spock staring at him, and then came the feel of a well-known mind meeting with his with all the ease of two trickling streams combining to form a river.
That parts of Jim's mind that were his, desolate and lonely, brightened and expanded with the merging of Spock into them, as if he alone could wake them from a doze, becoming fuller, deeper, richer…. growing and intensifying to reach a dazzling potential that Jim had only felt when Spock's essence combined with his own in this fashion.
There was so much stark honesty in their melds, and with it the release that came of being absolutely free, no pretenses, no bravado; he was accepted and adored for all nuances and facets of himself, the light as well as the dark, the wrong as well as the right: his humor, his bookishness, his ambition, his unending curiosity and his loneliness.
But mostly the meld conveyed brotherhood, friendship…. and love. Definitely love. Pure, undaunted, and all-encompassing. Jim, a grown man with countless experience, felt like tearing up at the honesty of it, at the undeniable truth that had been staring him in the face for so long which he had somehow blinded himself against in his false idea of what was ideal.
This was ideal and Spock was his truth, as suspected.
So with that in mind Jim allowed the joy of discovery to overcome everything - allowed himself to marvel in it – wonder at it – become in reverent awe of it - his heart singing as he sent his own love back to Spock with every bit of strength he could muster.
'I love you, Spock. I'm sorry. I'll never leave you again, not by my own will.' It was a vow he could make, because he meant it with all of the sincerity the moment had wrought.
Abruptly Spock pulled out of the meld, slowly, gently, leaving Jim feeling abandoned and bereft until he opened his eyes to look upon Spock's face, the question on his lips dying at what he saw there.
On that face, so beloved, was a smile.
Pleasures of the flesh were not something in which Spock had an abundance of experience.
He had always imagined that were he and Jim to come together, at last, no amount of Vulcan training or discipline could squelch his nervousness or feelings of inadequacy, particularly since his chosen was the notorious Don Juan of Starfleet.
Yet there was no nervousness now, with Jim lying naked on the bed before him so invitingly, a glorious cornucopia of golden skin, hard muscle, and desire laden eyes. No, instead there was the overwhelming urge to possess, to mark, to own… to love so hard, so long, and so fiercely that Jim would never doubt Spock's devotion and the memory of any other lovers would fall from his mind indefinitely.
Spock didn't know if Jim had any sexual experience with other males. It mattered little. Jim was his gift now, his blessing, and one he fully intended to take.
His own naked flesh, flushed green in its state of excitement, sought contact.
So he allowed himself to fall gracefully over his Captain, forcing a knee between strong thighs, his hands on either side of Jim's dusty curled head, while his arms held him adjacent, not allowing full connection, not yet. Jim had to ask for it.
Slowly, reverently, Jim lifted his hand to lay his palm over the right side of Spock's abdomen, where his heart lay beating, and met Spock's eyes with his own, the message within them clearly sent, 'touch me, get a move on it, I need you NOW'.
And Spock let his arms give out, and fell flush against the coolly smooth flesh of his demanding lover. He burrowed his hands under Jim's shoulder blades, grasping at them firmly and lifting his lover slightly as he slid his body down to bury his face in Jim's neck, pausing there, taking in that scent, so heady, masculine and stirring, before nuzzling his nose against it, once, twice, and then gently biting down on the juncture between neck and shoulder.
Jim gasped and ached against him, their bodies crashing against one another, Jim's arousal stiff and silky against his stomach.
Spock had never felt anything more powerful, anything more potent, than the ardor conjured by the sensation of holding Jim in his arms, goose pimpled flesh pressed so tightly against him, smelling so wonderful and feeling so extraordinary. The energy between them crackled, and Spock knew that Jim could feel it as well as he could.
Their bodies, Spock decided - hot and cold, intoxicating and powerful - were as compatible as their minds were, because never before, in all his thirty-eight years of life, had Spock felt so aroused. The feeling exceeded everything he thought it could be. And with the way Jim was rutting against him, his mouth slightly open, lips full and inviting as he gasped and groaned, and his hands grasping at Spock as if he would slip away if he didn't hold on tightly, Spock didn't even need to utilize his telepathy to know his mate felt the same.
"God Spock," Jim moaned, the breathlessness of his voice arousing Spock further.
He released his hold, letting Jim fall softly to the bed as he balanced his weight to his arms to push down further, laving at rosy nipples and nuzzling the hard abdominal muscles, and placing a reverent kiss at Jim's navel, before looking up to capture his eyes.
Spock wondered if the fire in those brightly hazel eyes reflected the burning in his own, then felt, with their contact and his empathy, skin against skin, that yes, they surely did.
Jim's eyes and emotions spoke of a need so great he might expire were it not met, and Spock had never been one to deny Jim anything.
Without further preamble, Spock took Jim's penis into his mouth, enjoying the salty, exotic taste which conjured images of Terran oceans, with waves that surged and rolled much in the way Jim's body moved as it responded to this one lovingly gifted action. Spock had always found Jim aesthetically pleasing, so it made sense to him that Jim would taste as beautiful as he looked; as fresh and warm as ambrosia.
And as pleasing as Jim was to the eyes during normal, everyday function, there was nothing more lovely than the sight of him pleasured: his face completely open and radiant, glowing with unrestrained gratitude as his fervor reached itspeak and he released its culmination into Spock's eager mouth.
In fact, the sight was so heady that Spock's own body became frantic in its desire for its own release.
Jim smiled at him, nodding his permission as Spock moved up and over him, one hand moving to stroke his penis and cause it to excrete the natural lubrication his Vulcan biology gifted him with, the oiled substance coating his fingers which he used to prepare Jim, stretching him first with one finger, then two, moving deftly and gently despite his hands shaking with his need.
"Do it, Spock," he heard Jim gasp, urging him on, causing Spock's blood to soar and sear with its sheer want.
Spock was relatively certain he'd lost full control of his mental facilities, that he couldn't calculate a formula or predict an outcome if his life depended on it, as he removed his fingers, used his arms to lift, his hands to anchor and then his hips to push in, all smoothly, as if choreographed.
And it was natural and loving… and then just plain euphoric. So, so, so euphoric.
The two of them, together in this manner, their bodies and souls linked in every feasible way, as was their want, was the very definition of rightness. It went beyond any dream or wistful thought Spock's imagination had conjured through years of yearning. And Jim's face, so beautiful in passion, so exquisite in bliss, showcased his agreement.
It was the most awesome sight Spock knew he'd ever see.
It was everything. Everything. The well of feeling that existed between them, they way they moved, in-sync, flowing and gliding like a current, the way Spock's vaunted control over his emotions slipped naturally, thoroughly and without care to explode into a carnal pool of sheer feeling.
As Spock lost his vision to the bright, light haze of release, he could call out but one syllable…
To: Leonard H. McCoy
You are cordially invited to the bonding ceremony of S'chn T'gai Spock and James Tiberius Kirk on the planet Vulcan, to commence in five days' time. Please respond promptly. I will arrange transport for you.
PS – So Bones, you up for another five year mission once the Enterprise is refitted? That's a rhetorical question, by the way, I'll draft you if I have to, don't think that I won't.