The immediate silence that followed had an agonizing affect on the Captain's mental state.

Plagued by guilt and a rather large dose of horniness, Kirk's mind was currently attempting to either drive him into full panic mode or to give up and just go completely insane. But he had faced life and death situations where the livelihood of entire planets and populations had been at stake.

He could handle this.

"…May I inquire as to what you are doing?" Spock Prime questioned, eye brow cocked.

"Attempting to hide." Jim said, as though it had been the most obvious thing in the world.

"You… realize the space beneath the couch is equivalent to precisely 1.45 standard Earth inches?" The older Vulcan inquired, finding the frantic Captain an amusing sight.

Hopping up, Kirk straightened his shirt, wondering why he was still wearing the Starfleet regulation uniform as he hastily replied, "I knew that."

Another knock sounded at the door.

"Hide me!" Jim Kirk's panicked voice was reduced to a high-pitched squeak.

"Jim," Spock Prime admonished, walking towards the door, "I do not understand the chaotic state you have put yourself in."

Jim grabbed the Vulcan's wrist as he walked past, "I am in a 'chaotic state' because that Spock out there wants me dead."

It sounded as lame out loud as it had in his head. But Jim honestly didn't know what else to say. What? That Spock was out there because he noticed the Captain was acting weird? That out of his entire crew, that Vulcan was the only one to realize something was amiss? And that now he had come all this way to… kill him?

Spock Prime frowned, "I hardly believe that he's-"

"All right all right, maybe not." Jim relented aloud in hushed tones, "But you can't open that door!"

Spock Prime quirked an eyebrow, but instead of arguing, he merely kept walking. Refusing to let go of the other's wrist, Jim was unerringly dragged along. He dug his heels into the floor, but was no match for Vulcan strength, even for one at Spock Prime's age. It would have hurt Jim's pride…

…if he didn't have bigger problems to worry about.

"He's gonna drag me kicking and screaming back to the USS Enterprise! I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my ship. But that… man… out there intends to *torture* me!" Jim continued to rant in a shouting whisper.

Spock Prime leveled the Captain with a disbelieving stare. After a few more moments, the Vulcan let out a brief exhale and relented, "All right, Jim. The cabinet against the wall would make a very effective hiding place. I suggest you hurry. My younger self is not the most patient person…"

"Thanks," Kirk sprinted over to the cabinet, vaulting over the couch in the process. Just as he backed into it, clicking the cabinet doors closed in front of him, he heard the front door open.

Immediately, he froze in place.

He heard muffled sounds of greeting and then a faint pause.

Wondering what was going on, the Captain pushed the hanging robes out of the way so he could see out of the tiny sliver of a crack between the doors. He only had an angle on the back of the couch and a little view out the sliding glass doors.

Spock walked into view, stopping right before the cabinet. Jim suddenly forgot how to breathe.

Had Spock Prime ratted him out? It only took a few rapid heartbeats, however, for Jim to realize that unless his young Vulcan friend had eyes in the back of his head, he couldn't possibly be staring at his hiding place. As usual, his First Commander's hands were clasped behind his back.

Jim strained his ears as they started speaking.

"What brings you here, Spock?" Spock Prime questioned, wandering into view as well. He stood in front of the couch, gesturing for his younger self to take a seat.

But Spock shook his head, declining as he replied, "I have business that draws me to the area. Tell me, Spock Prime, how are you faring in New Vulcan?"

"It is… not quite the same as before. However, I find useful ways of passing the time every day." The older Vulcan replied, with a slow smile.

"May I inquire as to the reason it took you so long to answer the door?" Spock questioned, and Jim swore he could picture the crease in the younger one's brow, "I thought I heard some voices…"

"Ah, yes. I was having a video conference with one of my old friends, or rather, young friends, due to this whole different time line situation…" Spock Prime trailed off, his gaze wandering around the room before returning, once more, to his younger self, "Are you sure you would not like to have a seat?"

"I must, respectfully, decline Prime." Spock replied, shaking his head once more, "However, may I inquire a simple query?"

"Of course." Spock Prime nodded with a warm smile.

"Have you run into the Captain lately?"

"I presume you speak of Jim?"

"Yes, James Tiberius Kirk."

"Why of course. He stops by all the time. As a matter of fact, he's in that wardrobe closet behind you at this very moment." Spock Prime answered calmly.

When Jim saw that perfectly defined face and pointy ears turn to glance back at his hiding place, Jim could almost swear his heart had launched in terror from his throat. It was flopping aimlessly around in one of these hanging robes, even as Kirk found himself gulping uselessly in the dark.

What was Spock Prime thinking?!

His mind was racing through a thousand explanations at once, but he found it hard to concentrate as those piercing brown eyes continued glaring at his wooden hiding place.

Spock frowned. Jim could hardly blink.

To his immense relief, his First Commander turned back around to face Spock Prime, stating in disapproving tones, "I assume that is your attempt at levity. Unfortunately, I am afraid I am in no mood for such games, Spock Prime. This is a very serious matter, I am afraid the Captain has taken leave of his duty."

"You are saying… that Jim has run away?" Spock Prime's arched brow cocked.

"Well… technically… no. He has merely logged in some shore leave for the span of a couple weeks, but there is more to it than that, I am sure of it." Spock's frown emanated from his tone, his fingers clasping together a little more tightly than before.

"Come now, Spock. You should know Jim almost as well as I. He merely gets restless floating in such a restricted space for such a long time."

Spock had no response. He merely stood there for a while, shifting his weight to his other leg as he thought quietly to himself.

What could he say to his older self? That the Captain had been distancing himself from his First Commander and his crew? That the loss of the irritating, yet light humor of the man's spark had extinguished from his piercing blue eyes? That in attempting to observe the Captain more readily, Spock himself may have seemed a little withdrawn, so as to have better perspective.

Perhaps… his older self was right. Perhaps…

His older self suddenly glanced upwards, behind Spock just as he heard a sudden commotion. With an eerily slow response time, Spock turned to view what had made the noise.

Out of the closet spilled none other than the fleeing fugitive- Captain, himself.

Spock's lips parted, his hands unclasped now at his sides.

"Jim…" The older Vulcan's ripened voice beat his own, and the younger Spock whirled to glance suspiciously between the two.

"My leg was falling asleep…" The Captain offered in explanation, almost coming off with a hint of a whine in the air, except that Captains most certainly do not whine.

"Oh, Jim." Spock Prime closed his eyes briefly to chuckle, with a shake of his head.

Spock's gaze narrowed profoundly, finding its target in one absentminded human currently rubbing life back into his leg.

Within three strides, the First Commander, aka temporary Acting Captain, was at the dirty blonde's side. Jim Kirk barely kept the undignified 'eep' from escaping as he straightened to find the one man he had been trying to escape mere hands widths away.

Spock had enough strength to overturn a house, shake a few extinct elephants together, and probably turn back a supernova with a mere glance. But for the moment, he was only demanding one thing. And the word tumbling from his thinly pressed lips were chiseled from molten lava and steel, his eyes just as adamant as he demanded, "EXPLAIN."

And god help him if Jim just about crumbled and withered under that intensely focused gaze.

What, exactly, was he supposed to do now?