Short Beginning A/N: Yeah. I tried minimalism. And K/S. I mean, like, actual K/S as apposed to implied romantic feelings. There are romantic feelings in this fanfiction, and they are actually acted on, hopefully in the most realistic way possible because I did really try. Not sure how either of these first tries are going to work out, but I figured I might as well post it. Oh, and- Minimalism=short. Sorry.

Disclaimer: Not mine.

What He Lost:

It was simple, really.

Of course, it had always been there. The deeply grained possibility for something else. Not something more. No matter how superficial it might have been, they both thoroughly believed there could be nothing 'more' in the universe.

In the end, before he left and they parted ways for an amount of time neither of them could really process yet, Kirk kissed him. And it was not a sweeping romantic gesture. There was nothing fevered in it. The brush of his mouth was simply something else- a hug, perhaps. A clasp of a cool human hand on his shoulder. It was an act perhaps of going too far, caring too much to simply pat a person on the back and say 'goodbye.' Of caring too much to say goodbye at all.

The feeling that did well up was that this was a kiss born of long association. He had never kissed Jim before at all, but it was familiar.

For that instant, it all seemed to fall onto his shoulders, making him go cold. This was what he was loosing.

Jim's thumb rested against the side of his shoulder for that instant, moving slightly up in the motion. One hand had held his face, and he felt only slightly the fingers curling, trying to grasp something. He could taste water. And salt.
He had kissed people before, kissed them deeper, for longer. But it seemed to him that no face had ever rested this close to his. That his nose had ever lined up beside another person's before. That he had never been able to breathe a breath of air so near where someone else had and know the taste of their mouth in it.

It really only lasted an instant. One very simple, achingly human gesture.

As Jim pulled away, he found himself leaning forwards slightly, felt his own breath stutter for a moment as the words filled him.

This is what I am going to loose.

Jim was looking at him almost warily. Soft brown eyes flickered over his face as though trying to understand something. Trying to read the last few lines of a book before it closed. Perhaps, trying to memorize him? He didn't know.

A small disk was pressed into his hand, his own fingers pressed gently closed over it, one by one.

This is what I am going to loose.

Something was clawing at him. This was not the end. It seemed in that moment as though he had only been given a glimpse of what life could be. That disk weighted his arm down. It didn't make sense. Those eyes were trying to pin down a picture of him. He could still taste water in his mouth, around the edges of his own lips.

They would never pin it down with a name. He didn't care. At some point, perhaps part of him had cared, cared much too much, but none of that mattered.

He would quit.

He knew he wouldn't.

Jim could come with him.

And he knew he couldn't.

They would make their own rules.

They always had.

And this was still, decidedly, what he was going to loose.

He couldn't shake the terror and couldn't justify it, later. He held the disk as if it were made of glass, memorized those much too precious last words when he was lightyears away.

Stared at the blurred mirage of a face and thought:

This is what I am loosing.

They never kissed again.