"To Sacrifice All and Receive None"
By Ten Story
Series: Star Trek Original Series
Genre: Slash, first time, romance
Disclaimer: I do not own anything having to do with Star Trek. It all belongs to Gene Roddenberry, bless him, and Paramount (not so much with the blessings, there). I write this purely for my own venting pleasure. If you want to flame me, do it because you think the story is bad and not because you want to rag on Spirk. If you don't like slash and/or Spirk, don't read it. Plain and simple. As for the rest of you, enjoy!
Altogether a damned depressing day.
First the warp coil was malfunctioning, making maximum impulse speed the fastest the Enterprise could go. Second, there was cargo in the hold that had to be delivered in two days to a planet three days away, even with Scotty working around the clock. And thirdly, if that wasn't enough to drive Jim Kirk certifiably insane, the only safe course to the planet was right next to the neutral zone between Klingon and Federation space, making everyone on board the Star Fleet vessel so nervous and apprehensive that all one had to do was drop a pin on the bridge and the crew would jump and scream in terror at the sound.
"Captain! Captain, I must have a word with you this minute," said the most irritating, vile female voice he had ever heard in his entire life. A literal shiver of disgust pulsed through him, setting his shoulders rigid and his temper soaring to heights unprecedented.
Oh, and had he forgotten to mention that an obnoxious, moronic, spoiled, capricious, irrational, and exasperating ambassador from Vatos VII was hitching a ride to said planet that was three days away? And with each and every second she was inadvertently trying to drive Jim to murder her in her sleep?
It took every ounce of energy he had to turn towards her with a smile. The smile hurt. "Yes, Ambassador Geneval, what can I do for you?"
"You can get this ship into warp drive this instant. As I have told you a thousand times, it is very important that I reach my destination on time! If your crew is too incompetent to get this heap of junk working, I insist you call out for another ship in the area to take me the rest of the way."
Incompetent. Heap of junk. Each word raised the temperature of his blood by another hundred degrees. He had never wanted to hurt a woman, and he never had hurt one who wasn't a soldier. But for the lady Ambassador… it was so tempting to make an exception. To think he had let Uhura talk him into volunteering his ship at the Star Fleet conference to transport the meddling bitch. 'It'll make us all look really good,' she said. 'After what you pulled on Sorafar, we need a bit more credibility so the new Admiral will like you,' she said. He was such a moron for even mildly caring what that buffoon in uniform thought! Just because he was the newly appointed brass didn't make him an expert on the worlds in this quadrant! Who was he to tell him how to handle the Sorafarans, who would sooner shoot you than look at you?
"Madam, as I have already told you a thousand times, we are very alone out here. The nearest transport is four days away. So either you go back to your quarters and let me and my crew do our jobs, or you may continue to follow me around and cause our repairs to be delayed further. Have I made myself clear?"
Damn it. He hadn't meant to be so rude. He really hadn't. Somewhere in his brain more polite words had been on their way to his mouth but his temper had plans of its own and beat them to the punch line. And perfect. JUST PERFECT. Here comes Uhura waltzing down the hallway… with those perfect legs of hers…
Not now. He can't think like that now.
"You have made yourself clear, Captain. And let me make myself clear about this. Star Fleet command will hear about your appalling behavior. Good day."
Thank God. That enormous buttocks was swishing in the opposite direction at last. And here it comes…
"Captain, I'm sorry but I couldn't help overhearing. That was - " Uhura began.
He instantly turned on her. "I am not in the mood to be chastised by one of my subordinates, Lieutenant," he barked. It was so loud he shocked even himself.
Uhura frowned angrily. "Apologies, sir."
"Then get back to work."
Just as he suspected - she was mad. Didn't see the position he was in. Didn't see that he was only human - had a limit just like any other. And by God, he had reached his limit. He was going to punch someone at this rate. Angrily he punched the intercom nearby instead. He knew this was a bad idea - he shouldn't be talking to anyone in the state he was currently in, but he was just far enough past reason that it didn't matter anymore.
"Captain to Engine Room, do you read?"
"Aye, Captain. This's the Engine Room. We read ya loud n'clear."
"Scotty, I'm only going to say this once. If you don't get that warp coil working, I am going to rain all sorts of hell down on you, do you understand?!!?"
There was a long pause. Well, Jim, let's see how many friends you can lose in a day, hm? Doing great here so far.
"Aye, sir. We're workin' as fast as we can. Over and out."
Kirk cursed and punched the intercom again. "Captain to First Officer Spock."
"I will be in my quarters for a few hours - I… " he sighed. "…need to rest. Do not contact me unless it's an emergency."
On the bridge, Spock's eyebrows scrunched together curiously. "Understood, Captain." he said. Caught off-guard by such a strange statement, he almost asked if there was anything he could help with, but his tongue was stunned into silence. Jim Kirk admitting he needed rest? And on the Bridge channel, not a private one? That practically screamed to Spock that something was very wrong. Either that or the Captain was just so tired it didn't matter to him who heard evidence of his mortality.
The elevator doors slid open and Uhura stepped out onto the Bridge. She immediately addressed Spock.
"Sir, is there something wrong with the Captain?"
"What do you mean, Lieutenant?"
"Well, he just snapped at me in the hallway there. I had overheard him yelling at the Ambassador. I mean, I've seen him annoyed before but he's never let it get that bad. Perhaps we should notify the Doctor?"
Spock nodded slowly. "Agreed. Mr. Sulu, you have the com. Maintain best speed towards our destination. I will return to the bridge shortly."
"Understood, sir." Sulu said over his shoulder.
The elevator doors closed behind Spock. After poking a few buttons, he was traveling down the shaft toward Sickbay. Uhura was absolutely right. It was about time he consulted the good Doctor on this matter which was becoming more apparent to him every day for the last several.
A brief walk down the hallway and he was there. There was no one around except for the Doctor himself - all the more convenient for the errand he came to accomplish. McCoy was having a drink and reading a book, clearly in a serene mood.
"Doctor, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"
McCoy glanced up briefly. Spock could sense his mood instantly change to a more guarded one. "Well, Mr. Spock, I can't think of what I'd rather do with my time than talk with you privately."
"Your sarcasm is not lost on me Doctor, and the feeling is mutual to its greatest extent. However, I come concerning a matter with the Captain."
The Doctor closed his book and stood up, putting on a more serious face as Spock locked the Sickbay doors.
"I'm all ears, then. What seems to be the trouble?"
"Well, to be frank, Doctor, I was hoping you could tell me. You see, the Captain just announced on a public channel that he needed to rest."
McCoy's face was shocked. "Now this is a red letter day."
Spock continued. "Also, according to Lieutenant Uhura, he is very much on edge. He will not come to you directly, Doctor…"
"… Unless he's on his deathbed, I know. That man thinks he's invincible. No… this sounds like a psychological matter to me."
"There is a possibility that it could also be political. The Lieutenant told me he was exchanging strong words with the Ambassador."
McCoy groaned. "Have you spoken with that witch since she came on board?"
"No, I have not."
"Trust me, that woman is abrasive on anyone's nerves. She comes in here every ten minutes thinking she has some rare disease she read about in the database. A jagged pill if there ever was one."
"I see. But in any case, I think I should speak to the Captain to make sure there is no lasting damage with the Ambassador. It could cause problems between her people and Star Fleet."
"True, but if you want my two cents, which is what you came down here for in the first place, I'd leave Jim alone just now. If he asked you for some time, he really, really needs it. He knows he can only let a scarce few people know on this ship that he's made of flesh and blood, and when he's more man and less God to a point where he tells you on a public channel to leave him be… well. As his friend, I know you'll want to do him the favor."
Spock turned towards the wall and squeezed two fingers in his other hand. He seemed far away for a minute, then abruptly returned to the room they were standing in. "Is it your professional opinion that he is fatigued?"
McCoy shrugged. "Could be. It could also be the bubonic plague for all I know. Without getting a look at him I can't make any sort of assessment. But if you ask me just as somebody who knows Jim, I think he just might be a little lonely is all."
Spock squeezed his two fingers a little harder while he listened. McCoy went on. "I mean, the last two times we had shore leave he didn't leave the ship, much to my chagrin. He hasn't had the company of somebody who wasn't professionally involved with him for a good while now."
"And why should that matter, Doctor?"
McCoy smirked despite himself. He knew Spock long enough now to recognize when he was insulted. "You're missing what I'm saying entirely. Come on now, you're with him for almost his every waking moment. Surely you've noticed he's been without a certain human necessity for quite some time."
Spock looked like he had swallowed something extremely unpleasant. McCoy assumed, with Vulcans being so reserved, that perhaps they didn't talk about this sort of thing openly.
"Are you referring to his sexual endeavors, Doctor?"
The Doctor laughed. "Think about it. He won't get involved with anyone on the crew because he knows that causes trouble. Plus Star Fleet generally frowns on it - all relationships have to be reported, and any unrest has to be discussed with superiors… it's a big hassle. And we haven't had female passengers in a while that he could interact with in that way… he's probably starved for affection."
"But he voluntarily remained on board the ship during the last two shore leaves. If it is so important for a human to remain… sexually active, as the result of inactivity is that they are unable to function at full capacity, then why would he not seek out a companion?"
"My thoughts exactly during each of the shore leaves, Mr. Spock." McCoy sighed. "Sometimes I wonder if he's not getting a little detached from humanity - if he's not maybe developing issues with intimacy."
Spock raised an eyebrow.
"Yes, I know. Jim Kirk having intimacy issues? It sounds ludicrous. Even to me. But it's just that he's so damned obsessed with this ship."
"Because he is a good Captain."
"Yes, but at what cost? …Look, I'm just saying that sometimes I wish he'd take an extended leave and come back when he's sorted some of this stuff out. That's all."
Spock nodded quickly and began to shoot for the door. He looked extremely nervous.
"Spock." McCoy called out after him. Spock paused just in the doorway, but did not turn around.
"You may be half Vulcan, but I can't believe that you don't understand about sexual desire. How it's like a fight within humans between raw, instinctual power and reason. Our pride allows us to 'function at full capacity' as you put it, ignoring our own needs. But to give in to that feeling is one of the sweetest sensations in the world."
The doors closed, and McCoy found himself alone. A brief suspicion passed through his mind, but he dismissed it and went back to his book.
Spock leaned on the wall outside of Sickbay. When he looked around and saw that he was alone, he exhaled deeply and whispered to himself.
"It is not only within humans, Doctor."