For you I am awake
Part Five: And See the Morning Light
"Can I please just slip Commander Spock some chocolate and lock them in a room together until something happens? Please?"
"Dammit that's not… hang on."
"We might have something here, after all."
"No, not chocolate you idiot. But the other thing… is actually a pretty good idea…"
"Frii told me last night." Chekov whispered. "It is true. Right in front of ewerybody, too. And it was Meester Spock, who did it."
"This has to be some kind of record. Or something. Right? Some kind of… something." Sulu said, looking at the other three people gathered around the Communications Station of the bridge. Jim was in Sickbay waiting to receive a few 'emergency' vaccine shots at Nurse Chapel's hands before they dropped out of warp, and Spock was in his quarters, meditating.
The scene in the Mess had happened yesterday, and obviously had spread like wildfire. It was now 2310 hours, and the day had been rather uneventful, all things considered. All the crew needed to do tonight was to be on the bridge monitoring the equipment, since it was still another twenty hours before they got to Forn VI. This meant, of course, that they could talk without fear of interruption (it was a relatively safe, known Quadrant that would not pose problems to navigation).
"I can't believe it myself." Uhura said quietly.
McCoy rolled his eyes. "We should talk about other stuff, don't you think? Interestin' stuff. Normal stuff. Please? Just… just try it. It might be nice."
"You're such a baby." Uhura joked, and punched him lightly.
"I'm a doctor." But he was grudgingly smiling, too.
"Is the plan still in place?" Chekov asked, lowering his voice unconsciously.
This was Scotty's voice coming from Uhura's intercom, as the Engineer was still in his station. "We cannae back down now! This is the moment to act!"
"But how to make sure they both go in there at the same time? I mean, everyone's ready but we still need, you know, Kirk and Spock for this." Sulu said.
"Don't worry, I've arranged that." McCoy grumbled.
"What? Don't act so surprised, I'm the first who wants all this drama out of my sight. Look, Jim's shots aren't exactly vital for a planet with such benign environmental conditions as Forn VI. I asked Chapel to do them now just so that he went to Sickbay. He should be coming up any second now, all we need to do is call Spock to the bridge and we have them both in there at the same time."
"But Spock's meditating." Uhura began uncertainly. "We shouldn't disturb him, I'm not sure this is such a good idea…"
"Nyota." McCoy said softly. "Think. Why is he meditating in the middle of the day? The normal Spock would be at his station, or at the science lab, or running tests or working extra hours."
"Right. You're right. Okay. Let's do this." She quickly moved several dials and waited for Spock's response.
It came very soon in his usual, calm tones.
"Spock, we need you up here just for a moment, the sensors seem to have detected an anomaly and we can't figure out what those readings mean."
"I will be here shortly."
The transmission was cut, and she smiled nervously. "No going back now, guys." Everyone nodded, and Chekov clapped excitedly.
"Scotty, are you ready? Targets are on the move!" Sulu called.
"Aye!" Came the enthusiastic response.
"Is Giotto at the security cameras?"
"He'll send a message when the moment is right, yes." Uhura already had a channel open for the Chief of Security, and was prepared for his warning.
"Excellent, excellent. Now all we have to do is wait."
"This is wery exciting!"
"It is, isn't it?"
Jim leaned against the wall of the turbolift and rubbed his neck. God, how he hated those damn hyposprays. At least Chapel didn't jam them in there with as much relish as Bones, he reflected, but it was annoying anyway.
The lift stopped smoothly at the floor to his quarters, and for a moment he turned and wondered whether he'd made a mistake, since his initial idea had been to go to the bridge and supervise the situation (no matter how pointless, boring, and all in all rather useless the task might be).
But no, someone had called it from there.
"Hello, Mr Spock." Jim said curtly and professionally.
Spock walked inside and stood beside him in silence, and Jim decided two could play at this game and didn't say anything either. For about two seconds they stared forward and nothing happened.
There was a powerful lurch and Jim was slammed against the wall. The lights flickered off. What the…? Before Jim had time to even swear properly the emergency lights kicked in and on, but the lift had stopped with a grinding noise he didn't like at all.
"Captain. Mr Spock." The voice was heavily accented, and Jim turned to the communicator eagerly.
"Scotty! Something's gone wrong and I think we're stuck between-"
"Jim. You cannae know how much it has cost me to sabotage me own ship."
"Your-?" Jim began with a grin.
"Jim, let Mr Scott speak. I believe you are not focusing on the important part of that sentence." Spock's tone was rather tense.
"That is the important part."
"You did this, Scotty?" Jim said loudly and incredulously.
"We all did. You are to stay here until whatever it is that is a'happenin between the two of yeh is resolved."
"We'll drop out of warp in twenty hours! I trust you don't intend to keep us here until that time!" Jim's voice was strict and commanding, back to Captain mode immediately.
"I do hope so, Jim."
"What do you mean you hope…? Scotty, let us out."
"'Fraid not, Jim."
"That's an order, Mr Scott!" Jim was angry, now. "Let us out immediately!"
"All right, all right, I promise to let you out when your shift begins again."
"That's in fourteen hours!" Jim bellowed.
"Actually it's fourteen and a half, Captain."
"I suggest you do as I say, talk things out and you will be allowed to leave."
"Mr Scott do you realise your actions may be considered mutiny by a Starfleet tribunal?"
"Wait, don't… let's not get carried away here, Spock." Jim said immediately. He realised, of course, what the crew was expecting, but he didn't want to land anyone in jail (no matter how furious he felt right now), especially not Scotty, who was a loyal friend and a brilliant Engineer. "Scotty, I may not take you to a Starfleet tribunal, but there's gonna be hell to pay for this."
"We figured, Capt'n."
"Good. Kirk out." Jim punched the button with extra force and turned to Spock. The emergency lights were red and dim in the turbolift, he'd have to have them fixed, or replaced, or adjusted or something. They cast a strange glow against Spock's pale skin that he really didn't need to think about right now.
"Well Mr Spock, I don't intend to spend fourteen hours stuck in here."
"Neither do I, Jim."
"So we're gonna break out?"
"You suggest we attempt to fix whatever it is that Mr Scott modified or 'sabotaged' in order to leave us trapped here."
"Exactly. He didn't do any permanent damage 'cause they needed to be able to get us out again, obviously. But the Captain's override codes aren't working."
Spock gently pushed Jim aside and examined the controls.
"Then we must dismantle this ourselves."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking." Jim moved next to him. "We haven't got any tools, but I'm thinking you're strong enough to rip this off, right?"
As way of response, Spock put his fingers at the corners of the panel and tugged. With a crunching sound they sprang apart, revealing the mass of wires underneath.
"Great. Let's get to work."
"For the last time, everyone, the security cameras in the turbolift are not functional because the damn thing isn't working either! Now get out of my office!"
"Wait, before touching that we should really make sure the power's down." Jim grabbed Spock's fingers and pulled them away from the suspiciously live-looking blue wire. Then he quickly let go as though nothing had happened, and squinted at his periwinkle nemesis.
"The fact that the emergency lights have activated signals the loss of power, Jim." Spock's voice was just as perfectly composed as the rest of Spock, as though nothing had really happened at all. Jim was quite glad.
But not really.
"Yeah, but Scotty was able to transmit, plus, they only cut the power from this one lift, so the others are fully functional, and some of these wires connect to the induction motors, which in turn connect to the main console, as you know."
"I see. Despite the fact that if the motors are inactive and therefore it is unlikely they still transmit any electrical impulses, you are correct. It would be inadvisable to risk your health."
"Or yours." Jim said graciously.
"Indeed." Spock seemed to be smiling with his eyes. Well, wasn't this nice? "Although we might consider the possibility of a crash with another lift, which would kill us instantly due to the velocity at which it travels, and regardless of the strong duranium sheeting-"
"I'm sure Scotty figured that out, so long as no one needs to go to the bridge for the next fourteen hours." Jim said nervously. He turned back to the panel, looking closely. "I'm familiar with the basic mechanics and hydraulics of this thing, of course, but I'm not sure what they've done exactly, which really pisses me off!" He shouted at the air in general, hoping someone could hear. "And means I can't… ugh, I can't risk hurting you."
"Or yourself." Spock added quietly.
There was a moment of silence while Jim glared at the various circuits and Spock looked at Jim. Then his first officer took his shoulders and firmly pulled Jim so his attention was focused solely on Spock.
"Jim, I believe it is time to terminate the ruse we have been conducting."
Jim really hadn't expected that. Especially not now.
"Our initial plan was to pretend we were engaged in a romantic relationship in order to avoid becoming the focal point of the crew's interest. We have, quite obviously…" And here Spock looked around them for a moment, as if to say 'look at us, look at where we are'. "… failed."
"Well, this comes out of the blue." Jim managed to choke out, not even bothering to pretend he didn't care.
"We have not been able to convince the crew of the fact that we are together." At this Spock's hands dropped from Jim's shoulders, and although it was quite warm in the cabin Jim felt inexplicably cold and hollow. "That, when combined with the increase in interest regarding our situation leads me to conclude our best possible course of action is to end it. The most likely scenario now is that we shall go on and continue to ignore unfounded speculation, whilst simultaneously working with your usual, if questionable, passion."
"So… you're breaking up with me?"
"That is an incorrect question, as it predicates upon the assumption that there exists a previous bond between us which I am now severing. I am not doing so, as there is no such emotional attachment, previous or otherwise, among me and you, Jim." The look in Spock's eyes when he said this was completely inscrutable. "I am suggesting we cease to pretend our interactions are even remotely romantic in nature or sexual in content."
"Yeah, okay, I get that there's nothing emotional between us, Spock." Jim spat. "You've only said it like a million times, I get it."
Spock looked taken aback, for Spock.
"And what the hell does 'questionable passion' mean?"
It was a stupid thing to latch onto, but he was so mad he didn't care.
"I was just referring to your singular devotion to this ship, it's crewmates, and our mission."
"Why is it 'questionable'?" Jim took a step forward, good-bye personal space bubble, hello uncomfortable closeness.
"It is not. Forgive my-"
"You know what, Spock? I'm kind of tired of having you inadvertently hurt my feelings all the fucking time."
"Jim, as you know it is never my intention…" Spock looked a little angry now, too. Again, though, for Spock.
"Yeah, well it's a little late for 'I didn't mean to' speeches."
"Sometimes it is difficult for me to comprehend your-"
"Just… shut it. I don't want to hear another word. What I wanna do is get out of here, right now."
He practically shoved Spock away and stared murderously at the jumble of wires. He was going to kill Scotty when he got out, if Spock hadn't choked him to death first.
"There has to be a way of overriding whatever the hell it is that Scotty's manipulated from here. I don't care if he did it from his own station, there just has to."
"That is an illogical assumption." Spock said coolly from behind Jim.
"Shut up, Mr Spock. That's an order." Jim snapped.
"You have no authority over me here."
"Why the hell not? We're in my fucking ship, and I'm the Captain! So do as I say and shut up!"
Jim spun around, unable to believe this was happening.
"What do you mean, no?" His voice suddenly dropped to dangerously low. A warning. The crew had hoped this would end with a great big kiss, but they hadn't counted on the possibility that Jim and Spock might end up killing each other.
"I believe it is quite clear what 'no' means, Jim. Surely your intellect, even for a Human, should be sufficient?"
"Sufficient? Even for a…? Have you forgotten you're half-Human, Spock?"
"Of course not, but I am much more intelligent than you."
As Jim's voice rose in volume, Spock's gained inflection and emotion, a clear sign of anger.
"Really? Maybe you think you should be running the ship, instead of me? Do you think I'm like a little kid that needs a nanny?"
"Obviously you are not a child, Captain, despite your apparent persistence to appear so."
Jim laughed without humour.
"Great. So you do think I need supervision."
"That is your assumption, not mine."
And there went the eyebrow. Jim really felt like punching something, but he didn't want to hurt Spock. Okay, maybe a little, but he knew he shouldn't.
"What, don't you have a come-back for that?" He goaded, moving even closer. A big part of Jim was kind of hoping Spock would hurt him. Physically and on purpose, so he had an excuse to loosen the tight knot in his chest cutting off his oxygen supply.
"Jim, please step away from me."
He was literally breathing Spock's air, they stood so close. And yeah, a part of him was noticing this only now, and his will just crumbled when Spock was involved, and he didn't want to step away. But he wasn't sure anymore if that was because it would feel like losing the argument or he just wanted Spock this close…
Oh, how he suddenly wished he could… just… one more kiss and he'd swear he didn't feel a thing until it was true, please just one more, just one…
"Jim." Spock didn't look very angry anymore.
"I'm sorry." Jim blurted, stumbling backwards until he was at the very end of the small, enclosed space. They really couldn't have picked a better setting, he thought bitterly, what with the low lighting and the carpet floors… no, bad Jim, remember you were fighting and you were angry? Not turned on, which is kind of insane and maybe you could ask Bones about your crazy sex-drive calling at inappropriate moments…
"And I'm sorry about… the other stuff. You know me, the impulse-driven Human. Guess I really can't control myself." He forced a laugh and didn't look at Spock, thinking it was a lie because he was controlling himself all right, especially now, he was certainly not giving in to his impulses or instincts or anything of the sort.
But then to his huge surprise Spock walked right up to him, his lean body easily covering the distance and essentially making his previous demand null and void, since their chests practically touched once more, to say nothing of Spock's lips at center stage.
Not that Jim had a problem with that.
"I respect you, Jim."
That was all Spock said, with an uncharacteristic fervour in his eyes that made Jim blink rapidly to clear his head. And it was simple and wonderful enough that Jim felt himself sagged against the wall, his thoughts a jumble. It was the most amazing thing anyone had ever said to him. Ever. Especially in that tone with those eyes. Seriously, the faith and the trust were all there, all managing to turn his insecurities into insignificant little details, and he knew it was Spock's way of saying sorry, that he hadn't meant any of those things before because he meant this one.
To his horror and embarrassment, Jim realised his eyes were kind of moist. Shit. James T. Kirk. Captain Kirk. He didn't… he couldn't… mustn't…
And then Spock reached up to Jim's face and wiped the corner of his eye.
It was a slow, deliberate gesture, Spock's eyes fixed intently on his own movements as he looked at his wet finger with scientific wonder and then brought it to his lips.
"Spock?" Jim whispered. And Spock looked into Jim's eyes with an expression which somehow conveyed everything, everything, Jim could see it all now, with razor-sharp precision he could see… that man that Jim had memorised and knew so well, every detail and every gesture, and he wasn't blind anymore, he could read what it told him now… like Spock's face was the dam holding back a thousand tonnes of something that came through those dark eyes… and finally Jim smiled.
Spock's lips against his felt better than he'd imagined or remembered, because he knew now that this was real, and when he was slammed against the wall he didn't even notice, he just tugged at Spock's shirt and pulled him closer. It was like finally giving in and it was right.
He loved messing up Spock's hair, he loved those exotic ears and the green flush against Spock's cheeks, because it was there because of Jim, and he was fiercely possessive of it, he loved the strength of Spock's muscles against his, and not having to hold back, and kissing Spock… he very much loved that.
Dimly, as though far away, he could have sworn he felt other emotions, echoes of thoughts that didn't belong to him. Were they Spock's thoughts? There were beautiful, intricate patterns in the way he thought, Jim drew from them a clarity and longing that touched him, because they mirrored his, echoed his, complemented his own perfectly.
It really was quite ridiculously perfect. All of it.
Spock's skin was very hot, and that plus… other stuff made a bead of sweat roll down Jim's neck. To his amazement (and… other stuff) Spock licked it off, slowly, in a tantalising movement. Jim's knees almost buckled.
"We should really get out of here." He said earnestly, pushing Spock away so he could think.
"I concur." Spock breathed, a small satisfied smile tugging at his lips as they both quickly moved back to the panel.
In less than ten minutes Jim had figured out how to shut off the power completely provided they could touch the damn blue wire, and Spock had calculated the necessary precautions they'd need to take provided they could not, and memorised the circuits. Once they could be sure to exit the turbolift and not die a terrible death on the electromagnetic conduits in the turboshaft… it would be slightly complicated, but it might work. This being one of Jim's plans, it was likely going to take a few strokes of luck to pull off, but again, this was one of Jim's plans.
"Are you ready?" Jim suddenly felt uncertain, but mostly too giddy to care.
"I trust you." Spock answered simply, with that glint in his eye Jim was becoming severely addicted to.
"Stop saying stuff like that or I'm gonna jump you right here." Jim growled, and then smirked because Spock turned to him with wide eyes. "And that would not be good because… I can't remember. See?" He grabbed Spock's hand and locked their fingers together, making sure to brush their palms. Spock seemed to sway where he stood, before he regained his balance by putting his other hand against the wall to steady himself. "See what you do to me?"
"Jim-" Okay, so he needed to stop the thing with his fingers now, he could see that in Spock's pleading expression. Jim let go, which seemed to give the Vulcan some relief, but also not really, as his eyes followed the movements of Jim's hand as he ran it through his hair.
"Spock?" Jim asked politely. "We should probably get back to fixing this?"
Spock jolted and Jim smirked. "You can be very distracting, Jim." He accused.
"I'm okay with that." Jim faked nonchalance, when really he was jumping up and down in pure joy. "It's only fair, Spock, you can be terribly distracting too."
Spock didn't answer, but there was the glint again, and Jim mustn't wonder what it would be like, on the soft carpeted floor, because they were trapped here and they needed to get… out… right? Wait, why did they need to get out again?
"Why do we need to get out again?"
"I suggest you do not ponder the reasons and instead assist me in this task." Spock said, the corners of his mouth twitching.
"If you say so, Spock."
"I do say so, Jim."
Jim smiled. "I love you."
Spock stopped mid-motion and straightened up, looking at Jim carefully and warily, as though expecting a sudden meltdown or brain aneurism.
"Would it be inappropriate for me to ask you to repeat your statement?"
"I love you." Jim said, loudly and clearly. He wasn't even freaking out. Not very much, anyway. Um. He'd mostly… realised where this thing was going already. Surprisingly quickly, some might say, given that a couple of weeks ago he was willing to swear he didn't know Spock from Adam, but then again this was James T. Kirk and he adapted easily.
"Jim… I am not certain I understand your meaning."
"I really don't think there are that many ways you can interpret this, Spock." Jim said.
"Perhaps I am not familiar with the Human connotations-"
"I really don't think you can mistake what I said."
"I think I can, because you cannot possibly mean what I believe you to-"
"Spock, I love you!" His voice was very loud in the small space, but he couldn't care less. "I can't stop thinking about you, your mind fascinates me, I'm really attracted to you, I feel like we're equal and perfect together and meant to be and all that crap because you sort of make me whole… and I… I'm… I'm in love with you. Have been for God knows how long, and although I was asleep for most of it, I admit, I'm awake now. For you I… I'm awake."
Jim felt his face heat and he stared at the floor, suddenly and inexplicably nervous. This was not normal, he was not familiar with these types of declarations, at the most he'd been at the receiving end of a few and then had to deliver an uncomfortable let-down and break someone's heart.
"In that case, I completely reciprocate your emotional proclamation in every sense." Spock said quickly, taking a step forward and leaning toward Jim to lock their gazes. Sadly, Jim was unable to speak because his heart had leapt to his throat. "You are fascinating to me, Jim. I… I find myself indulging in emotions so powerful I dare not even try to stop them." This final confession was said in a rush of breathless words that effectively ensued Jim still couldn't make a sound.
"I love you too." Spock added earnestly (and looking slightly worried), just in case. And it was this, this gesture which belonged so exclusively to Spock that made Jim laugh and throw his arms around the other man, holding on with all the strength he possessed.
When they emerged from the turbolift half an hour, a computer reprogramming, a jump through the emergency trapdoor, a long climb up the turboshaft, two near-death experiences and a few (well, few is a relative term) kisses later, it was to the loud sound of cheering, clapping and laughter.
After all, Kirk and Spock, are just really, really (really) good friends... *coughYEAHRIGHT!cough*
I am TOTALLY leaving the rest of what happens up to the imagination. If you want, after saying goodbye to the crowd, they go to their quarters and spend the next fourteen hours … dot dot dot …
PLAYING CHESS, of course! What did you think I meant?
Well, it's been gREat and Very IntEresting Writing this, and sharing it with all of you. I can only hope you enjoyed it, and maybe tell me your thoughts on every tiny little aspect? ;)