The last part - yay! this part took a really long time cos it was significantly different from the other parts and I had to work through the difficulty of conveying properly Spock's alien POV on relationships and how they're supposed to go.

Resources - Spock's World, Vulcan's Forge, Vulcan Academy Murders, Triangle, The Search for Spock (novelization)

ITALICS - used for anything that occurs mentally, either a flashback memory or a thought

Used to cleaning open wounds and grafting skin cloned from a patient's own cells during the pounding and shaking that a starship underwent on a weekly basis, Leonard McCoy was good at keeping focused on the job. With single-minded annoyance, he usually just shut the danger out of his thoughts by blaming the whole situation on Jim and promising himself to ream the man out later. It wasn't that easy to ignore Spock. Vigilance was one thing, but this was incessant and getting on his nerves.

"Will you stop that?" He groaned when Spock wandered back within touching range, hands behind his back as if he was just taking a stroll – in circles around Jim's bed! "You're making me dizzy, dammit."

Spock stopped then where he was, damn literal Vulcan that he was, right at McCoy's shoulder. It was a good thing that he was finished with Jim because that honestly would have sent him over the deep end. Fed up, he seized the Vulcan by the arm and dragged the man into his office.

"How the hell did you do that?" He barked. The Vulcan straightened his dirty sleeve and met his gaze stiffly. "And don't try and tell me that was a mind-meld – that wasn't a mind-meld! You didn't have to touch him to find him. What happened?"

There was an edge of nervousness in the way that Spock glanced away. McCoy tensed, reading into that look as trouble, big trouble.

"Leonard," Spock said quietly, the use of his name cluing him in the fact that what was about to be said was in confidence and should be kept that way, "even before today, Jim's natural mental shielding was eroded over time. Through contact with me, one of the consequences has been the development of an unintentional link between us. Since it has come to my awareness, I have tried to resist mental contact of any sort with him, but even then he has reached me spontaneously. Unless I shield, I am aware of him though it is very faint."

He stared at the Vulcan incredulously. "And you thought it was a good idea to be keeping this from me? God, Spock, this is–" Immediately McCoy wished he had kept his mouth shut when he saw the look on Spock's face. "So… today…?"

Spock shook his head slowly and straightened, as if preparing himself for an assault. McCoy had rarely ever seen the man so wretched, so uprooted – and the look in his eyes… it was as if Spock had been blessed and cursed all within a day. "I initiated a full mating bond. With the intention to stop it before it progressed too far – I'm afraid… I miscalculated."

The Vulcan turned away, hands locked behind his back and head bowed. McCoy didn't need to see his face to know that Spock was troubled. The heavy emotions were almost tangible in the enclosed space of his personal office.

"Well, that explains a lot." He said roughly.

It explained everything. It explained why last month Spock had offered up his own psychic life-force at the expense of his precious Vulcan control to bring Jim back from the brink. Why Jim had returned the favor when they got into a phaser fight, running into a phaser bolt meant for the Vulcan.

"I'm glad I didn't have to wrangle it outta ya… I know that Vulcans don't tell outsider this kind of stuff. So… thanks. There are… consequences to this sort of thing, you know, and I want the best for Jim and –"

The Vulcan shot him an almost savage look. "And you believe that I do not! Jim is my captain and my friend. I am fully aware, Doctor McCoy, of the consequences!"

McCoy held his breath as the Vulcan turned away, shocked that the man's control was so tenuous. He had seen Spock in such a state before but – Jim had always been around to deal with him. It made sense, he supposed: Vulcans were very strict regarding the use of their psionic abilities, as well as very particular about their privacy. A deep non-consensual mental contact was an absolute no-no in their strict law-abiding society. And adding into that mix, the close relationship the men shared ….

He took in the stiff hunch of Spock's shoulders, the pensive quality of his profile, the quick harsh breaths and took a wild guess at what had the man all worked up.

"You don't have to worry about HQ. I'm not going to report you, Spock. I think we both know that you didn't mean for this to happen – Jim's alive because of you, don't forget that. I certainly haven't, and he's not going to either." As a doctor he knew how close that Jim had gotten to that precipice, so he was certainly grateful to Spock. But this bonding-for-life thing… it made him uneasy, in fact it seemed downright horrific. Suddenly having someone invade one's inner being like that! Frankly, he didn't know how Jim did it, all those mind-melds and what not. "I know there's a way to dissolve a bond… but I've heard it's not pleasant and doesn't always work out. I think it's a possibility–"

"I will not." The Vulcan's tone was curt. "The law is quite clear on this matter."

McCoy blinked as he realized what Spock really meant was that Vulcan law was clear on this matter. All Vulcans were married young, it was practically a social institution. The rule of thumb was: a short courtship, the marriage to take place within days of meeting, then death till you part. On the majority, this worked. But as far as he knew, and he knew a damn lot about Jim's life, there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that said that Jim would be open this.

"That's not even logical!" McCoy glared, "That's Vulcan law, Spock, Vulcan law, and in case you hadn't noticed, Jim is not Vulcan! Look, you did this to save his life not get hitched, so just get the damn thing annulled, cut, broken, whatever, and –"

"Doctor," the Vulcan met him with a hard look, "you speak as if Jim is an unwanted burden that I must bear."

McCoy stilled.

"Well… isn't the bond… I mean, it's for life, Spock and…" He narrowed his eyes at the man but Spock didn't look away, his gaze almost defiant. A voice inside of him crowed with glee that finally, finally the pointy-eared bastard admitted to being sweet on someone, but another part of him was reeling.

Spock looked away, solemn. "As the non-telepathic party in this binding, Jim shall be more adversely affected by the severing. I do not wish that upon him…"

"I see..." He said tiredly and ran a hand over his weary eyes. "Lemme be honest, Spock. If you're doing this because it's the Vulcan way or whatever, fine. Humans on the other hand prefer to be cared for, for there to be love, demonstrations of how they'd be treated in a relationship before even considering–"

Spock jerked up sharply and spun to face him. "Doctor, I would cherish my mate!"

"I'm not saying you won't, I'm just saying…" Honestly McCoy didn't know what he was saying anymore. Jim wasn't the rash young man he'd met on the shuttle but he wasn't exactly Mr. Right. "Look, Jim may not be all that open to this, is what I'm saying – so don't be… upset or anything, and um, just – there has to be a way out of this thing, right?"

"Yes, however–"

"Yes – adverse effects – I heard you, Spock. But you must give Jim the choice."

"That had always been my intention."

Many expressions, more than the doctor had ever seen or thought Spock capable of, smoothed across those patrician features within a micro-second. They unfolded so quickly that if he'd blinked he would have missed the show or thought himself dreaming. They stared at one another and reached a silent understanding. McCoy looked away uncomfortably, fighting the urge to fling a good insult. "Well, at least someone else gives a damn about him I guess, even if it has to be you."

He busied himself with the open kit on his table and pulled out a hypospray. "You're going to get a shower, takes off these ridiculous clothes and rest, meditate or whatever it is you Vulcans do. I'm going to send M'Benga around to have a look at you in a little while."

"Doctor, I am uninjured." The Vulcan's voice had a distinctly dry note in it, and if it trembled slightly that was ignored.

"Well, that wasn't a suggestion." He snapped, grateful to be back on familiar territory.

The Vulcan gave a solemn nod. McCoy wanted to reach out and reassure Spock that it was going to be okay, that Jim would forgive him for this terrible thing he thinks he's done, that he has seen the two of them interacting, the light in Jim's eyes. He didn't though. It wouldn't be accepted anyway.

"It'll be a few days until I'll be ready to release him." He said gruffly and attached himself to an arm to give Spock that shot. "When he wakes up, Spock, you talk to him, you hear? I know Jim, and he's gonna need some reassurance that this bond thing hasn't screwed things up."

There was a glance of surprise before the Vulcan went back to brooding. When he finally spoke, the words were so low that they were almost a whisper, and it was only by leaning forward that McCoy heard anything at all. "Thank you, doctor, I shall… though I suspect that I'm ill-suited to the task."

He almost felt sorry for Spock. Almost.

"You'll think of something. God knows you've had enough practice over the years running around behind him. Do what you always do with him, Spock." Against his own wishes, a note of affection crept into his voice. "Just, be yourself."

The Vulcan gave a grateful look that was gone so quickly McCoy suspected it was his own overwrought imagination and moved to leave.

"And one last thing, don't you dare run away."

Spock turned from the door. "I assure you, doctor, it would be quite impossible."

After cleansing himself thoroughly with the decon sonics, he had been examined by Doctor M'Benga who recommended rest. It had been in Spock's mind to protest, but he glimpsed the determination on Doctor McCoy's face and decided that a respite would indeed be welcomed. It had been only been a short twenty hours since he last meditated but it felt much longer.

Spock had never been so aware of his own pulse, throbbing like a thunderstorm through his arms and legs as he stood at the foot of his captain's bed. The bond wasn't planned but he couldn't deny that he found Jim's mind uniquely compatible, that they were each other's defender, advocate and that this bond was logical in the most wonderful way. His fingers itched to reach out and snatch up a hand, cradle it between his palms and finally relax the shields that he built during his association with Humans, to be with Jim as his Vulcan nature yearned. He forced himself to look away. Even in unconsciousness, Jim's presence stayed with him, a safeguard and a promise.

"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 warning that his father had given him, which had seemed somewhat cryptic in his youth, was now utterly clear.

Perhaps it was the lack of privacy, the unfamiliarity of the surroundings or the presence of Jim, but meditation eluded him. After fruitless attempts over a long agonizing hour, he gave up. He attempted to fall asleep. Normally it was usually only a simple matter of adjusting his bio-rhythm accordingly yet he could not seem to do that for himself tonight. The disarray of his mind, desperately desirous of pulling on the bond while his will forcibly avoided it, wearied him.

In the next bed, the other man sighed a little in discomfort and shifted onto his side, rustling the sheets. Even though the shields he felt it, the unease rolling of Jim, the torment of his psyche. Something twisted in Spock's solar plexus.

"I cannot explain to you how your mother and I chose one another, except it was mutual. One day, Spock, when you chose your own life's mate, you will understand…"

"You do not intend to arrange another marriage for me?"

No, his father had left him to make his own choice. Slowly he got up and went to Jim's side. He looked down on Jim's peacefully sleeping face, overcome by a fierce protectiveness.

Vaguely as if he was very far away, he was aware of a steady strength reaching for him and lifting him from the dark place he was in. Jim relaxed, recognizing the presence – Spock, just Spock, he thought calmly – he was perfectly safe with the Vulcan. A deeper torment eased in him, all the stresses of the day's events slowly sapped of their sharpness until they became mere memories. He didn't understand all that was happening but he accepted it and fell into Spock's lulling presence.

This was nothing like the mind-meld he had first experience with the elder Spock, nothing like the rush of memories, information, overwhelming agony of grief, walking away from love, the rigors of duty, the impression of all those years lived, the weight of one hundred and fifty years. It wasn't even comparable to the melds he'd had with Spock to share information in the line of duty. Jim sighed in his semi-lucid state, feeling his muscles relax further. There was gentleness in the touch of Spock's mind, an almost seductive-appeal and giving in seemed the most natural thing in the world.

For those seconds he was cradled in Spock's strength, he saw the mind behind the expressionless face. Jim saw things that he was certain that he wasn't meant to see. Those times when Spock put a hand on his shoulder in what he wanted to be a comforting gesture, the doubt the Vulcan felt in those moments – for what did a Vulcan know of comfort – but he tried anyway, for Jim. For me… why? The ferociousness of the Vulcan's loyalty, something he couldn't find words for –

Tzaled… it came to him in a flash. Spock took personal responsibility for his well-being, and he could fight it, struggle, make it difficult but Spock would continue to protect him, care for him even if Jim rejected him. Spock was his – to command, to lean upon and hide within. Oh, he murmured wordlessly. The presence eased until it withdrew from the layers and levels of his consciousness and while it felt like a great weight had been lifted, it left him feeling bereft of something that he had no word for.

Jim reached up eyes still closed and gently touched Spock's cheek. A hand covered his, inhumanly hot, and slowly laid his hand back on his own chest. He made a wordless plea. Rest, came the mental command, resonating through his entire being.

He obeyed and easily drifted into a deep sleep.

"…No, Commander Spock, I have no doubts at all." the admiral said unhappily. "I accept your recommendation. Effective immediately, diplomatic relations with Kijani will be put on hold until further notice. For permanent sanctions to be brought in, well…Command won't accept this on telepathic testimony. You know that."

"I understand, Admiral."

The woman sighed and shot him a wry smile, relaxing back in her chair. "In any case this isn't your problem anymore. New orders are in: the Enterprise is to head for Earth at all deliberate speed, for some well-deserved shore leave. Good work, Commander."

"Thank you, Admiral. The crew shall be pleased."

"I'm sure they will be – the Enterprise is long overdue for leave, Mister Spock, I think we can both agree that the Enterprise is in high demand these days.'

Next to him, Doctor McCoy snorted quietly and grumbled, "A little too much if you ask me, ma'am."

The admiral gave the CMO a warm smile. "I've read your report, Doctor – you people all need a holiday, which is why we're giving it to you. Have fun, that's an order, barring of course the end of the world in which case, you're out of luck."

"Actually I wouldn't be surprised." The doctor muttered under his breath, heard only by Spock.

"Gentlemen, needless to say I am required to be elsewhere very soon. Please give my regards to Captain Kirk." With a nod and another smile, the admiral's image winked out of existence.

Cheers had gone up around the ship as Lieutenant Sulu turned the Enterprise around and headed at Warp 8 to Earth. Spock put Uhura in charge of shore leave arrangements, and purposefully ignored her dark gaze boring into his back as he avoided the captain's chair, occupying himself with his duties. The last time they had returned to Earth was over a year ago and even he had to admit that he was looking forward having some personal time.

"I hate leave."

"Jim, I do not understand – you just stated quite clearly–"

"I know I KNOW – but that doesn't mean I like the process! I already feel a headache coming on – it's going to be a long night, trust me, Spock: shuttles stacked up, people at the wrong airlocks, everybody complaining. You'll see."

Despite his desire to return to Sickbay, Spock did not shirk from his duties and forced himself to put Jim out of mind. As acting captain, he was responsible for finalizing the ship's schedule, painstakingly going through each item. He met with department heads, checked inventories, and authorized the usual overwhelming number of vouchers, requests and invoices that were typically Jim's responsibility.

"You're good at this… careful, Spock, I might think you're after my job."

"For the record, I do not wish to command, and will never seek it."

"But you would do it superbly, Commander."

"Of course, Captain. The chair however, is yours."

Within thirty-six hours they would be at Space Dock, and the ship would be handed over into the care of dock engineering crews and Starfleet Operations. Spock intended the transfer to occur without incident. With this goal in mind, he worked through the night and into the next day until finally, Doctor McCoy threatened him with enforced rest unless he took the next two shifts off.

It was very late evening by shipboard time when Spock left his room and walked down Deck Five's empty corridor, deliberately rushing past the doors of the captain's cabin. The lift opened, and still deep in thought he stepped in, hitting the button that would take him to the observation deck. It was on the leading edge of the disk hull with a real view not screens, floor-to-ceiling portals that gave the illusion of what Sulu called 'the twenty-third century equivalent of a ship's prow.'

It took time to explore an entire starship. There eleven decks in the primary hull of the Enterprise, twelve in the secondary, with corridors stretching from a 200 standard meters on certain decks and corridors that went for at maximum three point five kilometers on other decks. Jim often referred to the starship as a small town. To cover the entire Enterprise by foot would require at least two hundred hours, allowing for moments to stop and examine one's surroundings.

When Jim and he had first taken command of the vessel, they had taken this tour. Every night, for three entire Earth months, they met unfailingly as the ship travelled peacefully between non-populated star systems on the edge of mapped space. By the time they had finished exploring, it seemed that they had known one another for a very long time, effortlessly comfortable in one another's company. Was that when it had started, he mused, or was it the first time their minds had locked together in a single purpose?

The turbolift finally drew to a stop, the doors opening to the grand open views of the observation deck. Thankful that it was empty, Spock found a dark corner from where to watch the starry landscape of otherspace as the ship tore through the galaxy on high warp and considered how his life had changed. He had come to Starfleet, to escape his status as a half-caste, and found a place where he was welcome. He had no friends, but now he had the respect of an entire crew whom depended upon him, the affection of many that he might be proud to call friend. He also had Jim.

"I wish I could be a small fly on the wall when you have your talk with Komack."

"Why would you desire to be a fly? And specifically a small one?"

Jim laughed. "You know perfectly well what I mean."

"More often that I used to…" Spock murmured quietly, quoting himself from memory. Something stirred within him and penetrated the mental shield he carefully put in place upon leaving Sickbay. He sensed Jim rousing. The captain was confused, but relaxed and free of pain. He exhaled in relief.

There was a vibration under his feet before the ship gave a small lurch and the view changed dramatically, plunging the observation deck into almost complete darkness. Stars winked at him from an impressive expanse of darkness. The engines had dropped to sub-light. They were at the Sol system.

There was no sign of Charon or Pluto and Neptune was a mere light blue crescent to the starboard. It was strikingly beautiful but Spock saw nothing, distracted by Jim's unintentional broadcasting. The other man was searching for him with a gentle probing curiosity and a desire for his company. He roughly quelled the urge to call out through the bond and waited painfully for Jim find him. Neptune drew closer suffusing the observation deck in a blue glow.

The turbolift doors opened with a swish, admitting Jim who stepped out into the room, his eyes fixed for a moment on the observation windows in awe before he turned unerringly to face Spock. Even though he was aware that Jim was able to tap into the carrier-wave between them though he was mindblind, it still surprised him. Spock quickly stood, and for an instant, felt a wave of affection so deep it was worse than pain. It was clear all of a sudden to him that their interactions had always been couched carefully in terms of friendship, innocent duty. Indeed he had not allowed himself to notice the growing attachment that had developed; the way they could communicate with simply a look, the intimate manner which they treated each other. Spock tensed as the other man opened his mouth to speak.

"Spock, you have any idea what's going on with Bones?" Jim graced him with an easy smile, as if they had been conversing for hours. "He keeps giving me these looks and watching me like a hawk every time I rub my head –it's not like I didn't just have brain surgery but still…"

"I do not presume to understand any of Doctor McCoy's actions." Spock stated coolly. Jim laughed and the sound, previously pleasant, seemed now so utterly provocative that he wondered how he could have missed this. "Are you well, Captain?"

"Yes, Commander, I'm fine." Jim gave him a crooked grin, throwing his hands out to his sides in a familiar casual gesture. "Report?"

Of course, ship's business came first.

"In your absence, I filed a full report with Sector Command, and recommended a retraction of provisionary Federation Protectorate World status to Kijani. Ambassador Morales remains in charge of diplomatic contact with the planet. The Enterprise received new orders – shore leave, on Earth – and our rendezvous with the Swiftfire and Rosencrypt occurred without incident. All transfer passengers are aboard and will disembark upon our arrival at Space Dock."

"We're ready to go then?"

Spock gave his captain a long look as was their pattern feeling an unexpected burst of satisfaction at the exchange. Jim broke out in a chuckle, "Dumb question, right?"

Indeed, he wanted to say, but instead he simply raised an eyebrow. It invoked the same response: Jim beamed at him, eyes aglow with pleasure and a deep trust in his abilities that Spock did not know how he managed to inspire but was glad for. Jim's smile gentled.

"Thanks, Spock. You saved the day, and me, again. You're making a habit of it."

Many things tumbled through his mind, things that he would have desired to say – but Spock controlled the urges and chose to wait, his anticipation honing his desire further until it was a sharp ache. "If you will desist in your habit, Jim, and I will seek to control mine."

Jim laughed as he walked to the window and touched the surface of the transparent aluminum almost reverently, leaning upon hand rails. Spock followed and stood with him in content silence. Saturn slipped past them, a discus thrown in a large arch; a small prick of light on the starboard side, growing larger until it filled up the bottom half of the windows then fell away beneath the ship, sinking into the darkness. It was a startling sight but he paid no heed, his attentions absorbed by the sight of Jim whole and well.

"Spock, tell me, down on the planet, how did you find me?" Jim asked suddenly, giving him a sideways look. Their gazes clashed. The warm blue eyes quickly glanced away almost startled and then back again, a challenging glint in their depths.

Automatically his mind went into overdrive, striving to find some adequate explanation, an excuse. But just as sharply he jerked out of his meanderings; Jim was not some opponent who needed to be manipulated! "Our mind-melds had an unforeseen effect, Jim – a light mental connection was forged between us. I did not know about it till recently, otherwise I would have informed you – at first I was not even aware of its existence as the possibility of this occurring had been less than point seven percent. I deepened the connection to form a lifebond, which enabled me to locate you."

For a long tense moment there was silence. Jim broke it with a soft murmur, "That simple, huh?"

His head snapped up a retort on his lips, as always Jim was making light of things but Jim was not to make light of this – he did not make this decision lightly or frivolously! But whatever he meant to say was lost when he saw that Jim was still looking at him.

"I remember. I thought I was hallucinating, because you were there with me – I was thinking, man I've gone off the deep end." Jim's eyes softened, "But you really were there weren't you?"

Did Jim remember what had passed between them in those moments underground, as the world shook around them? When all Spock had been aware of was his captain, his friend, his heart racing at the possibility that he should lose him. He met Jim's gaze with his own steady regard, what might be considered tenderness but not the type that a human may understand.

"So, what happens now?"

Now we will be drawn together when the Time comes... "There's usually a ceremony... where the bond is verified by a mind adept. But," Spock tensed, "I am aware that we come from different cultures. While I am obligated under custom and law by the matter, you are not… especially considering the circumstances. If you wish it, there is a way it can be removed, though I must warn you, it is not a…precise matter, there are side effects... but I will honor your decision in this matter."

Your life was in danger – there was no choice…not for me…

Jim went very still and deliberately turned away to watch the stars, his eyes flicking to catch Jupiter – a mere dot on the port side. Spock watched him thinking, his own state of mind wavering between anticipation and dread.

Finally Jim smiled with corner of his lips, contrite, slightly self-deprecating but somehow lighthearted. "Sorry for all the drama, as usual. Next time it'll be better."

The words, the manner of Jim's deliver of what should have been a grave matter incited another wave of affection. Of course, Captain, next time… the words were on the tip of his tongue, a touch of familiar teasing along with the usual reproach and understanding of a dear close friendship, but he found it unsatisfactory. It should be different now, it was different now. He reached towards the other man before he had a chance to think and then froze when his knuckles brushed the material of Jim's sleeve. Before he had a chance to pull away, Jim grasped his hand in an easy grip. It was the touch of a friend, drawing comfort and giving thanks.

"Spock, answer me honestly – I know we're friends but this is different, I mean, do you… this would be different. This was kind of unexpected, and I'm sorry for putting you in this position but I need to know, what would you do?"

Mysterious warmth flowed between their touching fingers. It moved up to Spock's face, his temples, and he felt a soothing, lulling flow of energy, an invitation, a welcome, an end to aloneness. With Jim, he would never lack a confidant, an ally, an intimate who desired to know the hidden matters of his mind and heart.

"Lemme be honest, Spock. If you're doing this because it's the Vulcan way or whatever, fine. Humans on the other hand prefer to be cared for, for there to be love, demonstrations of how they'd be treated in a relationship before even considering–"

"I was told once by someone that becoming the First Officer of the Enterprise was my destiny. I have been content these years with your friendship, Jim…" He wanted to tell Jim that he had a list of qualities that a mate must possess which Jim fulfilled effortlessly, and that they were very compatible judging by their professional and personal interactions. But these types of remarks were not always considered complimentary by Humans.

Spock clenched his fingers around the strong hand, savoring its coolness and quite aware that he could crush every bone in that hand. "Perhaps I am incapable of love as Humans know it – but as there has been no adequate explanation of it, I am free to define it for myself." He stared at the other man unabashed, the veils of Vulcan social strictures and his own embarrassment worn down and discarded. "And I choose to define it as the feelings I have for you…."

At the peripheral of his vision, Jupiter swam slowly into view, a small half-globe of bright reds, browns and yellows arranged in stripes that expanded and became full, almost looming as the ship slipped round the planet's curvature.

There was a light chuckle, "How do you always know the right thing to say?"

"I am merely stating the facts."

Jim grinned at him with the side of his mouth. "Right, just the facts…"

The spark in Jim's eyes sent a blazing curl of heat through his entire being. Simultaneously they leaned towards each other, with a heady awareness that they were alone together. Jim hesitantly reached up and touched his cheek. The shock of that cool touch tingled pleasurably across his skin, leaving him almost light-headed.

"Jim, I know that you are not indifferent to me, but the rituals of human courtship are complex in their definitions of what should happen at this point. Should we –"

"Kiss me," Jim ordered.

Spock studied the indent above Jim's lips, and wondered at how they would feel against his own. Leaning forward, he tentatively pressed his lips to Jim's and felt an unexpected flex of pleasure at the intimacy. Slowly he sank into the sensuousness of their mouths together, warm and yielding. All of his senses were attuned to the smell of Jim's skin, the sensation of their bodies pressed flushed against each other. Jupiter disappeared, rising above them as if it were floating away. Mars streaked past, a barely visible blur of red dust. Spock took no notice. Careful fingers gently followed the upward stroke of his eyebrow then curved down to caress his temple as they finally broke apart, breathing heavily.

For a long quiet moment, they stared at one another, taking in the sight of one another. There was much more to say of course, much, much more…

The moon gleaming brightly as the Enterprise snuck past her and onwards to the hourglass-shape of Earth Space Dock. Slowly the Earth came into view, silhouetted by the glow of the sun.

Jim glanced over at Spock and fought down the automatic impulse to smile when unerringly, the Vulcan turned to catch his gaze. "Approach Control, this is Captain Kirk of the Enterprise. Requesting permission to dock."

There was a small pause before the response came, "Captain Kirk, Enterprise is cleared for docking. Welcome home, sir."

the end.

well, I hope that wasn't a let down considering there is no smutty fun - maybe next time

There was a specific line used in the story which was actually paraphrased from Vonda McIntyre 'The Search for Spock' novelization -- no infringement was meant :) but I'm citing it just in case.

I'd love to hear what you think, if you enjoyed it rah rah so drop me a comment thanks :)