For you I will wake - by The Problematique
Part One: Dreaming Out Loud
"Okay, that is it."
The Captain's voice rang loud and true, and he was Not Amused.
"I have had it, people, I've had quite enough. We are professionals here. There is so much expected from us, you know this, and I…" Jim gave a weary sigh, and his heart plummeted as he realised no one seemed to be taking him seriously, bright smiles still on every face while he was trying to sound solemn and disapproving (and that in itself was quite something).
"This ends now, okay?" But they only nodded and returned to work, effectively ignoring him.
It happened more and more often lately. Uhura would roll her eyes at him and pretend she couldn't hear the words of denial coming out of his mouth. Scotty openly telling jokes in front of everyone, to much entertainment of both Sulu and Chekov. Even Bones had taken to siding with everyone else, just last week Jim had caught his best friend laughing about him with nurse Chapel. Everyone was suddenly undermining his authority. Accidentally "forgetting" he was standing right there.
Only the other day, he'd issued a new regulation regarding the number of times people could wolf-whistle in the Mess.
They… they just did it anyway.
It was the beginnings of mutiny, Jim was certain of it.
It had started with the Rumour. Jim wasn't sure who'd picked it up first, but it had been part of his daily routine for longer than he cared to remember.
They discussed it night and day, gossiping like old ladies or young girls, there were bets and games and Jim was sick and tired of it. He didn't know why they believed… what they did, and didn't want to know, at all. But he sure as hell knew he was ending this today.
Jim had tried to, honest to God he'd tried, but he just couldn't (and maybe a part of him didn't really want to) understand why his normally excellent, efficient, smart crew had absolutely no self-discipline over this particular issue. Oh, sure, when his orders were related exclusively to work they all listened. If they had to do with the Enterprise of course they were obeyed instantly. But if Jim tried to stop/deny/kill the Rumour in any way, rank-pulling became hilarious or silly. He was treated like a little ignorant child who refused to see the truth.
Jim hated it. With a burning, blinding passion he hated it. The condescending grins and back-patting, the jokes at his expense. He felt like everyone was against him.
Everyone except Spock, of course.
It hadn't even begun like this, though. At first Jim had laughed along with everyone, good-natured as he was, thinking their sudden (ridiculous) fancy would soon pass, and he could forget how weird it made him feel. Like a funny joke. Like a crazy, insane, bizarre, but still relatively funny, joke. Hey, he wasn't one to judge. He wasn't a stickler for protocol either, or an authority figure that felt his crew needed to exclude him from the usual banter. Jim could take it.
Or so he'd thought.
Because as the time progressed, and it all just went in crescendo, he began to feel a creeping panic whenever the topic was mentioned. And boy was it mentioned often.
The uncomfortable fear was replaced by anger soon enough. Then frustration. Sadness. Resentment at them for starting such a stupid, impossible idea. It became not just a funny joke, but something his friends actually believed to be true. And it was so far from the truth. So far.
So… very… far.
Jim stood up from his chair in a sudden movement, trying to ignore the way all eyes immediately flew to him. He looked toward his science station, where Spock was the only one still working.
"Did you want to say anything else, Captain?" Uhura asked expectantly, looking polite and quite professional.
Jim wanted to strangle her for her composture.
He was so alone and misunderstood. Again, except for Spock, but that was… another matter. Spock was awesomely different from everyone.
Curiously, it was with this thought that he finally felt something inside explode. Captain Kirk, wallowing in self-pity? Alone, was he? Misunderstood? Well too bad, Jim. Man up! Do something about it! Act!
He was seriously pissed, and he didn't care about smothered laughter anymore or (not very) discreet glances his way. He was the Captain, he needed to trust his subordinates, and what he didn't need was for them to laugh openly at him if he tried to deny something that was a ludicrous idea to begin with anyway.
Resolve fueled his voice as he turned to his science station.
"Mr Spock, please come with me."
The giggles and muffled chuckling had died down when Jim first spoke, but they started up again the moment he called his first officer's name.
Oh for goodness' sake!
Resisting the urge to do silly, girly things like stomp his foot, punch a wall (hey, Jim knew some pretty tough girls) or perhaps scream, the Captain settled for storming out of his own bridge, knowing Spock would follow him.
The rage was… disproportionate.
A part of his brain knew this. But the fury consumed his rationality for a few moments, and he just seethed out there in the bright corridor, stock-still, shaking with it, with the emotion coursing through his veins, until he wasn't even sure it was anger.
Spock's cool voice immediately brought him back.
Jim grabbed his first officer's arm and dragged the Vulcan along with him, although he also knew this was wrong, and not just because Spock didn't like to be touched.
"I'm fed up with it." He said through clenched teeth.
"All of it, you hear me? I am fed up with all of them!"
He ended walking all the way to his quarters and practically pushing Spock in there with him. The boiling in his blood this action caused just served to make him even madder, and he slammed the door behind them both.
Jim turned and looked at the man he'd just locked inside his room.
Goddamn he hated himself for what he was thinking, fucking crew-members and their stupid theories that weren't true!
In one syllable Spock managed to convey both reproach, understanding, and a sort of grounding call back to reality that deflated Jim's rage like a balloon.
"Sorry Spock, I didn't mean to touch you or… anything."
Suddenly Jim was rather embarrassed at his cave-man-like attitude. Surely Spock would think he'd finally snapped and gone insane?
He was very pleasantly surprised to detect amusement in Spock's eyes, and even see a light twitch of Spock's lips.
"That is forgivable, I think, Captain."
"Good. Heh, okay."
They smiled at each other (thought technically Spock wasn't smiling, but whatever, they both knew he was).
"Spock, we need to talk."
"So… you know about our… uh, Problem?"
Immediately Spock's demeanor shifted back to serious and withdrawn, with just a hint of still and formal. Jim blanched, he hadn't wanted that.
"I was not aware that any complications had arisen since we last spoke, Captain."
"Arisen? Seriousl- okay, no, what I meant was… wait, listen. Trust me, okay?" Jim missed the momentary widening of Spock's eyes when he spoke of trust. "I'm telling you we have a-"
"Yes, a problem. Fortunately my sensitive Vulcan ears enabled me to understand upon your initial use of the word."
Jim's had to grin at Spock's version of "I heard you the first time".
But a strange thing happened next. In the giddy, happy contentment that stole over Jim at that moment, he suddenly realised what he was feeling, and why. And he remembered what Scotty had been joking about with Sulu only this morning, and Chekov's loud laughter echoing from the controls as he listened to their impressions. Uhura's little smile every time Jim said Spock's name, which was messed up, as she'd been dating Spock herself only last year. Worst of all, he remembered Chapel's teasing of Bones, and their amused expressions when Jim began yelling about things like betrayal of trust and ending life-long friendships ("We've known each other for four years, Jim! Relax, geez!").
And his anger was back like a defense-mechanism snapping to attention.
Well, wasn't today turning out to be quite the emotional roller-coaster ride.
"Jim, I am afraid you must clarify what the problem is, for me." Spock's voice cut right through his red haze.
Jim took a deep breath to steel himself, if he was actually going to say this out loud and acknowledge it's existence. Then he took another one. Then he opened his mouth to speak… and closed it again. Then, he took another deep breath just to see if it made any difference at all.
Wow, he had no idea how to begin.
"So… you know about the illegal betting going on with the crew?" And the occasional passenger, actually. And once, when Pike was supposed to be getting a report on their ship repairs, the Admiral had actually joked about participating in the pool, right there on the bridge in front of everyone, to Jim's everlasting and mortifying humiliation.
"Yeah. I tried banning it a month ago, remember? They completely 'forgot'." Another perfect example of the attitude he had to deal with every day. How could he run a ship if they were allowed to place bets on…
"I am not certain I am aware of the nature of the bets you speak of."
"The… the bets about us, Spock."
There, he'd said it.
The curt, clipped, perfectly reasonable answer told Jim all he needed to know.
"So you do know."
"I believe I just indicated I did not."
"Spock, you can't lie to me, okay? And don't worry, I hate it too."
This didn't seem to be working. Spock just looked less expressive by the second, and Jim was having a lot of trouble trying to hold on to his blood-lust. Especially the blood part.
"Spock, I think we need to solve this problem. I spend all my free time working extra just to try and get them to stop. And they don't!" It might have sounded slightly close to whining. But it wasn't. Honest.
"Are you proposing a solution to your troubles, Captain?" Spock said coolly. Jim let himself fall onto his bed in a tired heap, body sprawled gracefully backwards.
"I don't know what else I can do." He groaned. "I've tried my best, apparently it doesn't work. They just laugh like I'm being stubborn! Me!"
Despite the fact that Spock had had to turn to face the wall and was taking deep, cleansing breaths, a micro-smile managed to creep up the corners of the Vulcan's mouth at this statement.
"Wait." But Jim had realised something. "My troubles? Doesn't it bother you, too?" He propped himself on his elbows and looked at Spock from his new vantage postion, decided this angle wasn't good for a number of reasons, and resumed his staring upwards.
"Vulcans do not feel bothered."
"That's bullshit, Spock." Jim told his ceiling firmly.
"I assure you, it is not."
"Yeah it is."
"It is not."
Suddenly, lying there, with Spock (but not like that!) Jim felt bone-meltingly exhausted, like he wanted to sleep forever to escape. And it wasn't because he'd spent the past thirty hours awake.
"Do you have any ideas? Mine suck."
Not a good thought, not a good thought, Jim, stop that right now, no, no, no, noooooooo…!
"Jim, did you just slap yourself?"
A small sound of exasperation came from where Jim knew Spock was standing. Which was the furthest corner of the small quarters, away from the bed where Jim was lying. Oh crap, maybe he was making Spock uncomfortable.
Jim sat up quickly, blinked to try and clear the spots dancing in his vision at the sudden head-rush, and promptly fell back again.
"Ugh, it spins."
"What spins, Jim?"
A few careful steps later Jim felt the familiar wave of heat coming from his first officer. Spock must be leaning over him. On top of him, almost.
Jim did not like how this meeting was going so far.
"M'fine." He mumbled, then sat up more slowly.
But not so slowly that he didn't brush his nose against Spock's neck before Spock could pull away.
Oh holy mother of God.
The reaction was fast, Jim had to give Spock points for his amazing reflexes. He was at the other end of the room in a heartbeat. And a Vulcan one, at that.
"Sorry." Jim said to his feet, feeling his cheeks heat with embarrassment.
"As it happens, I may have a possible plan, Captain."
A robot could have sounded more human if it was reciting the Cardassian alphabet backwards. There was literally not a single inflection in the words.
"Really? Great! Let's hear it!"
Jim looked expectantly at Spock, trying to resist the urge to touch the tip of his own nose, which felt tingly.
"Before I do, let me clarify: the crew believe we should engage in an emotional relationship."
It was kind of weird to hear Spock say 'emotional' in that tone of voice. Jim just nodded, feeling his throat dry.
"Not only that, they believe we both secretly harvest feelings of unfulfilled lust toward one another."
"Nyota has informed me that she also believes we are denying said feelings of unfulfilled-"
"Yeah, we can skip that part." Jim said quickly.
"All right. She says we are denying said feelings even to ourselves, and she is mistaken. Would you agree, Jim?"
"Yup. That's about it. Repressed urges, denied desire, all of it. Oh, but you forgot the bets are on how long it'll take for us to realise it's all one great internal lie and we should just run to each other's arms."
Spock gave one curt nod, but Jim was still riled up.
"And all of this just because we're friends and we hang out together, and I used to tease you but I stopped doing that when the bets began, and come on, it's not like I really mean all those innuendos, you know? And that one time I grabbed your hand which was totally by accident and I didn't know anyway, and I'm still sorry, though, but-"
"We are friends. It is all right."
On the word 'friends' a subtle hint of the more normal Spock came back. It wasn't really emotion, but maybe a touch of expression, at least.
"Thanks." Jim clapped his hands. "So, we've established the parametres, I'm ready to hear your hypothesis, Spock. Lay it on me."
Oh come on.
"No! It's an expression!"
Spock nodded again (but that hint of expression was gone again, and Jim found he really missed his usual first officer), then proceeded to outline the strategy that would keep Jim awake for the rest of eternity.
Because sometimes dreaming can be the most frightening thing.
There will be a Part Two to this, obviously! And it should be Coming Soon! (heh, like Jim and Spock *cackles*)
Also, for anyone who's interested, I have a couple of longer stories with actual *gasp* plots! They'll be Coming Soon as well!
I know Jim was VERY inDenial!Kirk here, I hope it wasn't too OOC :)
And finally, the green button calls to you… it calls… it beckons… it says: PUSH ME. PLEASE. PUSH ME AND WONDERFUL THINGS WILL HAPPEN. It says…