This was done as a gift for a friend and will be posted in three parts. It was a response to a prompt on the second STXI kink meme. It's being posted on Livejournal as well. The idea is - Kirk gets separated from the crew, loses his voice and this puts him in danger. I kinda took that and ran with it -- and yes this is SLASH.

Please read, review and most importantly enjoy :)

"Nothing, sir, but I swear the signal's going through!" Lieutenant Hawkins switched frequencies and tried again. The man turned to look at Spock and shook his head, confusion and worry etched across his brow. "And I'm sending on Captain Kirk's channel, Commander, but he's not answering."

Did he take his communicator with him? That was the lieutenant's next question but he didn't verbalize it, only stared at his Vulcan commander with frustration. No, Jim had taken his communicator. Spock had made certain of that. He had seen the captain down to the planet personally the day prior and had spoken with him last night. Jim was fine, they had spoken of inconsequential things then Jim had complained about the food – again – and predicted a safe return. There had been no code words, no strange conversational tangents meant to hint that something else was going on, that Jim's return would be delayed. Something was terribly wrong.

"Try again," Spock said tersely, his attention split between the communications station and science console, quietly taking in all of the information being thrown at him by the officers monitoring the situation on the planet through every channel and method possible. Jim, where are you?

"Are you trying all departments, all levels?"

"We had the Lidioch and Thonia Central Command just five minutes ago." Uhura said quietly, her expression schooled to be professional but he could see that she was troubled by what was happening. "Either the whole communications network on the entire planet went down, or – where was the captain going?" For a moment Uhura thought Spock wouldn't answer. There had been confidential meetings between Federation representatives and various Kijani heads of states, organized to be held at secret locations and times which no one was privy to except for the captain, first officer and sometimes the CMO.

"Romenos Central Command," Spock said sotto voce, and did not elaborate on why the captain should visit the government of one particular Kijani nation. "We must locate the captain, immediately – and discretely if possible."

Uhura gave him a long look. "Yes, sir," she finally said and turned back to her own board.

"A missile has just been launched from the planet!"

"Red alert! Shields and evasive maneuvers! On screen!"

"It's not aimed for us, sir, it's – it's going for –"

The entire bridge crew froze as they watched a bright light flare across a section of the grey-blue planet they were orbiting. The planetary conflict that the Kijani had been attempting to delay was ahead of schedule, with the captain down on the planet, out of contact, location unknown.

"Lieutenant Hawkins, contact the USS Prahran and advise the Ambassador that today's meetings are cancelled." Spock said, the calmness of his voice which was usually so comforting had become cold and hard. He turned to Uhura. "Get me the sector commander and Headquarters."

"…Ambassador Morales will be handling the situation. For the moment, learn what you can and sit tight."

Spock listened to the orders and controlled himself. Beside him the doctor was not quite so composed. The human had his arms folded, thumb pressing tight into his lip, as if he were preventing himself from speaking. Outrage and disgust flowed out from every line of the man's body. Everyone else wore more timid expressions of puzzlement and indignation before they all stood and filed out mutely, realizing that they had been dismissed and were no longer welcomed. The only one who remained was Doctor McCoy.

"Spock," the admiral said quietly, her expression caught between awkwardness and compassion. "I'm due in a briefing so I'll get back to you." The woman nodded to McCoy, "Doctor." Then the screen went dead before the Chief Surgeon could object any further.

The silence stretched on.

McCoy broke it first. "When I gave him those damn shots, I asked him again and again what the hell he was going to do down there, what the hell was this diplomatic mission that didn't have any diplomats, and you know what Jim said? Spock'll explain, Bones – don't worry Bones, Spock'll explain…" The man turned and looked at him, worry, hope and fear crowding the lines of his face, waiting.

A sharp stab of something, not grief, not loss, logical and painful, churned in his torso. Wordlessly he handed the datapad to McCoy and waited as the man read it, his eyebrows rising ever higher.

"Spock, there's this little light on the chair panel that doesn't always work – I've been meaning to have someone look at it but, well, just um, tap it, doesn't meant anything so don't worry, okay? And if Scotty bugs you to –"

"Captain, I intend to return the ship to you in optimum working condition. You will be on the planet for a mere thirty hours – hardly enough time for Mr. Scott to cause a disturbance…"

"I have been permitted to beam down and locate the captain, but it shall not be a Starfleet sanctioned mission. In the event of my capture, Starfleet shall deny any knowledge of my actions." Spock said, much too quietly. "It is not an order, but your presence… in the event of a medical emergency would be much appreciated."

There was disbelief but it passed quickly; the Enterprise was often the subject to off-the-book missions, due to Jim's particular tenacity in excelling where all others failed. Spock ignored the suspicious warmth in the doctor's eyes that he recognized as sympathy. McCoy tentatively raised a hand but then lowered it. Had he been Jim, the doctor would have grasped him by the shoulder.

"Spock, you're not serious - going down there without a team, that's almost suicidal! How the hell are you going to find him? It will be chaos down there, and you're going to be noticed pretty quickly. I want Jim back as much as you do, but-"

Spock resisted the urge to flinch as the sensation of dread, icy and painful, spread further at the reminder of what he had found and stood to lose if Jim were to – no, doctor, I want him back more, he wanted to declare but dared not. Their mindlink had held hidden costs – as did all emotional indulgence – and this was a price he would not have ever wanted Jim to pay. But to obtain an objective, one traded something else. He stared at the doctor's face, permitted to brazenly display his concern worry and despair for all to see whilst he was required to keep his face continually impassive.

"I will be disguised."

"There's something you're not telling me, between you and Jim…' McCoy observed with his usual frankness, and raised a questioning eyebrow. "Think I ought to know before I follow your crazy ass down there?"

The Vulcan hesitated. "I would know," he said plainly, "if the captain were dead." He didn't elaborate but from the dawning look of realization on the physician's face, McCoy had arrived at his own conclusion. It was only a very weak link, hardly conclusive, except – "He is alive."

"And you can find him?" The doctor was not entirely convinced.

Yes, he would find Jim. Secretly, Spock knew he could do it right now through concentration, deepening the link until it thickened and became undeniable. Then it would be beyond the point where it could be removed without consequence. It was already too easy, the natural shielding of Jim's mind eroded away by their mental contact – Jim's mind recognized him, welcomed him, and had on several occasions spontaneously reached for him.

And when he realizes what you have done and demands that you release him, what shall you do then? It would be illogical to not exhaust all conventional methods first – yes, Spock thought, that would be a last resort and he would do everything possible to stave off strengthening the bond. But he knew that if it came down to it, he would do it.

Even when it may cost you his trust?

Trust would be utterly useless when one was dead. "I am certain that I shall find him."

The man eyed him critically with a slight smile, the same type of expression that Spock had observed when the doctor was confounded yet pleased and unwilling to show it. "God, Spock, you're not playing around are you? This is for real. You – and him – and –"

But it wasn't real, some insidious part of him whispered, there has not been time to make it real. As it stood, Jim was just beginning to accept the idea of him as anything more than a confidant, had no idea of the link between them, or if he did, had chosen to ignore it and Spock had not dared to tell him…. The Vulcan glanced at the doctor, face a cold mask. "In medical diagnosis, you are my superior, doctor. However do not presume that this gives you the right to seek information regarding my personal life."

For once, Doctor McCoy did not interrogate him further. "What do you need?"

"Prepare an emergency medical kit and meet me in transporter room 3 in twenty minutes."

Jim woke in stages, dizzy and nauseous. The floor seemed to shake and wave beneath him, as if it was not quite solid. His head ached, his vision refused to focus and there was a fog over his thoughts, making it hard to think. Gradually he began to remember… arriving on the planet… saying goodbye to Spock cheerfully – oh Spock – promising that he would back within thirty hours… the meeting… the roar overhead… something going terribly wrong…

There was a distant boom and then the entire structure shook, dust sprinkling down on him, startling him from the dazed shock he'd fallen into. Jim shot up from his prone position before pain hit him, almost toppling him back onto the floor. Something felt wet and hot on the left side of his head, a head wound he realized belatedly, and almost immediately Jim thought he could hear Bones' familiar grumble, calling him names, ordering him to staunch the bleeding dammit Jim and to stop sitting there like an idiot. He turned, trying to see if there was anything nearby to use and blinked, his brain struggling to interpret what he was seeing.

Next to him lay the body of his guide, one of the many Ambassadorial aides that he was passed between whenever he was planetside. With a gasp of revulsion and shock, Jim rolled away from her dark blood, staining the floor in an ever expanding circle. Despite the throbbing pain that seemed to dig further into his skull with every movement, he scrambled to his feet, knowing that that he had to leave this place before anyone came back for seconds and found him instead.

Jim staggered to the closest door and sluggishly pushed it open. A wall of hot smoke greeted him, making him choke and cough. There were people running – survivors, Jim realized, of the initial attack – crying with large fearful gulps as they jostled to escape from the government grounds. Some had given up on heading for the gates and were climbing the walls. A woman in the local law enforcement uniform saw him, yelling something as she grabbed him by the arm. Before he could open his mouth to tell her who he was, there was another shrill cry that sent a shudder straight down his spine followed by the deafening bang of an explosion.

Jim allowed the officer to drag him into the crowd as they ran for their lives.

The doctor was for once silent on the subject of having his molecules scattered all over creation but stubbornly clung to his 'little black bag' – the medical satchel – though Spock had offered to carry it. They had materialized at the mouth of a dead-end alleyway in one of the inner sectors, smoke twisting in the sky. It should have been broad daylight and instead it felt as if they had walked into some place which knew only twilight.

People ran amok in streets, some crying in huddles and others pale, quiet, too shocked to respond. Spock ignored them and pressed on, heading towards the nearest hospital where the wounded were congregating. Besides him the doctor grew solemn and quiet. He could almost sense the man's compassion and desire to help these people. It was only the doctor's loyalty to Jim that stopped the man from stopping where he stood and demanding to be allowed to practice his art.

McCoy looked to him. "What you said about Jim… being alive, you know something I don't?"

His eyes fluttered closed briefly as he remembered the breadth and width of Jim's mind, the way it leapt ahead, all that passion and intellect simmering beneath the surface. The tenuous link that remained between them, the consequence of their minds having coiled together so many previous times, responded when he sought it…

"He lives." He stated without elaboration.

"That is some trick, Spock…"

It's not a trick, he whispered silently in his mind as something swelled inside of him and threatened to spill over. Jim was very much alive but in pain, confused and lost. The link flared with recognition at his mental touch and reached for him.

Spock increased his pace. Grousing quietly to himself, the doctor followed.

Jim slouched over the nearby wall, pushed there in the tide of bodies. Behind him the woman placed a hand on his shoulder, her sweaty soot-covered face concerned. He didn't understand a word she was saying. He opened his mouth to tell her that he was a Star-World-Person, Not-Is-Kijani, and just like before nothing came out except warble noises. Distressed, he grabbed her arm and pointed insistently at the darkened sky, urging her to understand.

Nodding as if she were placating a child, she wrapped a comforting arm around his shoulder and guided him towards one of the buildings in the distance, a hospital going by the sign. Jim almost cried out in relief. All the hospitals had communications terminals and they would be running on auxiliary power totally separate from the city's primary power. He would be able to get a message to the Enterprise. He had to. Lives were at stake, not just the lives of people on the planet but the two ships in orbit, idle and unaware of what was really happening down here.

Suddenly someone yelled out what sounded like his name and instinctively, Jim looked up. Dread twisted in his stomach as he realized that he had been found and had just given himself away. Ducking, Jim ignored the alarmed shout of the female officer and rushed into the panicked masses, adrenalin pumping through his body. Just as quickly, men sprang into the crowd, yelling and shouting. The crowd dispersed in alarm, not knowing what was going on.

He heard the high-pitched whine too late to hit the ground.

He threw out his hands as he was thrown unceremoniously down the steps into the cell. Before he could even sit up, the cell door slammed shut, cutting off the only source of light. In his panic, the darkness closed on him rapidly before he fought it, putting all his focus on picturing the bridge – clean white surfaces, bright lights, the faces of the crew. Uhura would be at her station, her hands moving along the dials, relaxed and confident. Chekov would be fiddling with something on that PADD he carried everywhere, bored by the lull. Spock would be bent over his viewer, one hand held casually behind his back.

Jim collapsed back on the ground and closed his eyes, the world tilting on its axis sharply. The cell shuddered as another missile hit off and his stomach trembled in response but it sounded too distant to be dangerous. For the first time since this day's terrible events began, he felt a small sense of hope amidst his frustration. Spock would be looking for him. It was over thirty-hours, and he had been clear that he was to be picked up on time. Spock was a stickler for schedule and the minute he was late the Vulcan would have been onto him like a hound dog. Normally this would annoy him but today, he was counting on it.

Find me, Spock, he mentally urged as if the Vulcan could hear him and respond. It wasn't that far-fetched, in fact there were so many instances where it had seemed to Jim that the Vulcan knew exactly where to look for him, could anticipate him. A sudden urge to gag choked him; Jim rolled onto his side, knees coming up to his ribs as he curled into a fetal position shivering from cold. The dizziness and nausea were getting worse. His body felt numb though, and he couldn't tell if this was a good thing or bad thing. Another boom sounded, the shockwave shaking dust and plaster loose from the ceiling.

Spock, he thought weakly, we're in trouble now. The Kijani Alliance tricked the whole fucking Federation… there is no Alliance… there is no peace treaty-in-work… they don't care about having the honor of the Enterprise being present… it's all bullshit!

He had come down to the planet intending to discuss changes to security arrangements at next week's meeting to be heard at the Romenos Central Command. Instead, he had been made aware of a planet-wide conspiracy to steal Starfleet military technology and become the target of an assassination attempt.

The ships would be ambushed, shot out of the sky and stripped until there was nothing left to be found. And when the Federation marshaled the troops to come looking for them, the various Kijani nations would use this fucking fake war of theirs to cover up what they had done. They would put on a good show of blaming each other, and the Federation would let them off – they were making so much progress in achieving planetary peace, couldn't possibly let the investigation of what killed two ships be the cause of another world war.

And they'll be dead, floating at the bottom of the fucking ocean, unable to say a word.

Jim pictured the Enterprise, all her gleaming white edges and curves, drifting in space under the impression that she was safe, being suddenly attacked by a planet she had be ordered to guard.

Fear ran cold through his veins and sank into his soul. For the ship, for the innocent caught up in the abominable actions of those few in power, for his crew and all those families still waiting for their loved ones to come home. They were overdue for shore leave on Earth, Jim realized with regret, the last anyone would have seen their family would have been over half a year before. And now it might be all too late…

Jim swallowed – no, not too late, not while his ship was under Spock's command. The Vulcan would do everything he could, exhaust all possibilities, because he believed that if one eliminated the impossible, whatever remained – however improbable – must be the truth.

Spock, you know me dammit, you know that no matter what happened I'd find a way to contact you, so if I'm not then something's wrong and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Find me, Spock, FIND ME!

There was another explosion, this time closer, shaking the room so badly that he flinched and curled tighter. Though he knew it was impossible, Jim felt like the Vulcan could hear him and would somehow save the world.

Searching the hospital turned out to be fruitless. There was no sign of Jim even as he and the doctor had walked through every level. Nevertheless he didn't give up. 'You believe in hope now, Spock? Isn't that the illogical notion that all will be well, despite any and all evidence to the contrary?' The doctor had joked without his usual acerbic attitude. Not hope, he had wanted to say, merely… experience; Jim and he had not failed each other before and they would not be starting now.

"Where to?" McCoy asked once they were back out on the streets.

Closing his eyes, he mentally stroked the slender vein linking him to Jim. Putting aside his objections, discomfort and aversion, Spock allowed his mind to reach for Jim's faint presence on the outskirts of his awareness. He discarded his careful shields, feeling a flare of dread each time one disappeared, all painstakingly put in place to prevent this from developing further.

"Well, is he still there, still okay?"

Spock ignored the doctor, almost vibrating beside him in worry and impatience. He took a sharp breath when the link expanded, the connection thickening until it surged through him, alive and aware. His avowal to go no further, to resist the urge to take the final step that would cement this mental connection as a bond, seemed far away. Spock stumbled as everything inside of him leaned towards Jim's self, his hand reaching out to grab at the nearby wall. McCoy called out his name in alarm. No, he had pledged to endure, to resist the allure of bonding. He had promised this would be no more than a brief sharing of thoughts to facilitate the passing of information, this would be–

The urge be sick flew through him, making him want to gag.

"You cannot know the hunger for unity which can exist in one whose mind, having always been separate and alone, is given the opportunity to experience such a union only to be cut off again."

The pressure grew as he struggled against his instinct to seize Jim's mind and bind them together. The familiar comfort of Jim's inner space, seemingly endless, filled with stars, sensuality and rawness, called out to him.

Spock stiffened when suddenly the connection flared, pulsing strongly. Impressions came to him: darkness, cold, pain, cold fury, bitterness, fear and then finally hope, desperate willful hope – Spock, FIND ME!

He gave a startled gasp as his concentration broke and his attempts to resist failed completely. The presence of Jim crowded his mind until he felt like he was going to fall to the ground in a faint. The doctor grabbed him by the arms, righting him and pushing him against a wall. He felt full, agonized, satisfied and yet not.

Spock opened his eyes to the sight of Doctor McCoy, peering at him with great concern, tricorder out. He pushed the sensor in his face away and stood slowly, his entire body shaking. Control, he swallowed and took a deep trembling breath of the dirty smoke-filled air. It was done, and there was nothing else he could do except make use of it.

The true implication of what had taken place sank in, making him freeze; Jim lingered at the edges of his mind, comfortable, familiar, as if he had always meant to occupy that space.

"Spock, is he...?" The doctor asked worriedly, his eyes wide.

He shook his head. Jim was alive, weakened, in a dark place, and the young captain was furious, terrified, determined – he forced himself to swallow down his nausea and concentrate. Spock braced himself, his mind churning with possible reactions that the human would have to the touch of his mind, unsolicited and invasive. Jim, Jim, where are-?

DECEIT, LIES, TREACHERY! Images and thoughts rushed at Spock leaving him reeling. Even as he struggled to filter and decipher what he was receiving through the bond, he felt a strong sense of urgency as if time was running out.

Spock ignored McCoy's confused shout and ran, following his instincts, the pull of the bond leading him deeper and deeper into the labyrinthine streets of the Romenos capital.

to be continued in part 2