VI – Found

Jim stared at the rising sun, the heat of the coming day already warming his body. It was nice being back home again even though the house had never really been home to him.

He couldn't deny though that there was comfort to be had to be back where he had spent his childhood even though there weren't really all that many good memories around. But the few ones he had made up for the bad ones – at least that was what he figured.

He could barely remember getting back home; the whole journey was just really fuzzy but he clearly remembered that Sam had fought Bones and Spock for him because his friends hadn't wanted to let him go.

Sam was family though and with him being the way he had been, there really had been no regulation that anyone could have quoted to keep him on his ship.

His ship…if the Enterprise even still was his ship because he hadn't been acting as a captain for quite some time and even though Sam never really said it out loud, his eyes clearly told Jim that even his brother doubted that he would make a full recovery.

He was getting better every single day; that was a fact and while he had most of his memories back, at least enough to be able to function like he should, he wasn't so sure if it was enough to get his commission back.

A Starfleet captain after all had to 100% there and as much as it pained Jim to admit it, right now he wasn't so sure if that was true. He couldn't guarantee that at some point his memory wasn't going to fail him and then it wouldn't just be his life on the line but the lives of the entire crew.

He could understand the reluctance of Starfleet to reinstate him but he sill hoped that they would do just that.

Tomorrow morning he had an appointment with the designated shrink and then with the commission that would determine his fate and even though he wasn't the praying type, he still prayed that a miracle would occur.

Over the last few weeks while he had been recuperating at home he had been forced to retake most of the tests from the academy and as far as he knew it, he had aced them all which clearly showed that his memories were still there. They might be buried under a little bit of fog but he could still access them and he hoped that this would prove to be enough.

If he didn't get his ship back then he really had no idea what he would do with his life and it was odd that he found himself in this situation because just a few years ago he had been fine with doing nothing and picking fights.

Now though that was no longer enough; he had a chance to make a difference and being forced to walk away from that, well he wasn't too sure how he would handle that.

Gracefully he hoped but he was pretty certain that he would opt for self destruct instead. And wouldn't that be a shame?

"Jim!" his brother was calling him, "Breakfast is ready and your friends are here…"

Jim got up quickly, rubbing his nose because he couldn't remember any plans for anyone to stop by and before he could stop himself he shivered because what if he had forgotten again?

As far as he could tell that hadn't happened to him ever since Spock had fixed his mind but the fear was still something that was ever present in his mind. More so now than ever before because tomorrow would decide the fate of the rest of his life and he really wasn't all that good with just waiting for other people to make up their mind.

He would rather go out and do something about it but in this instant he was well aware that apart from showing up tomorrow and doing his best, there literally wasn't anything else he could do.

And that was slowly driving him insane…

"Were we expecting someone?" Jim asked casually when he entered the house but he was pretty certain that he didn't fool his brother. Thankfully Sam just smiled at him and shook his head, "No, they just showed up, wanting to give you support for tomorrow…I told them they could stay…"

"Of course…"Jim nodded because why shouldn't they stay? However there was a faint nagging at the back of his head that told him that he was missing something that could potentially be of importance but unlike before, he just let it drop.

If he had learned anything over the last few weeks and from having his mind messed with, it was that sometimes you just had to wait for all the pieces to fall into place and while being patient wasn't something that came naturally him, he could still see the benefit of it.

"Bones…good to see you!" he smiled at his friend, clapping him on the back and he was rewarded with a smile and then with a bear hug that nearly broke his ribs.

"Careful there…I still need to be in one piece tomorrow…" he joked and Bones quickly pulled away, looking chagrined but not really sorry.

"Spock, good to see you too…"Jim addressed the Vulcan who just nodded his head in a greeting. For a brief moment his hands twitched, as if the was about to extend them to Jim but then the Vulcan clasped them behind his back, looking all rigid and stoic as if nothing had happened at all.

"How long have you been back?" Jim asked while he sat down at the table, grabbing some fresh toast and coffee while he was at it.

Bones had no problems in making himself at home but Spock seemed to be waiting for an invitation and Jim had just opened his mouth to issue one when Bones grumbled, "Just sit down Spock…have a fruit…" and then Bones shoved a banana at Spock who looked torn between commenting on the rudeness of it all or amusement.

"We just got in a few hours ago…acting captain Spock here got us back in one piece but Scotty is still crying up a storm about needing time to fix up the lady and I think he might get it…we're due for some shore leave after all and you probably won't be ready to resume command in a few days either…"

"That's if I get reinstated…"Jim mumbled and before Jim could stop Bones, his friend had produced a tricorder and was scanning him.

"Hey…!" Jim protested but there was a smile on his face because he had missed Bones mother henning even if it got annoying sometimes.

"There's nothing physically wrong with you…"Bones mumbled, his keen eyes focusing on Jim who suppressed the urge to squirm, "and I know that you aced those test so why would you think that you wouldn't be reinstated?"

"Because there are still parts of my memory missing…" Jim pointed out and this time it was Sam who sighed, "And you can't just let it rest either…"

"How can I let it rest?" Jim was getting agitated now, "There are pieces missing! Do you have any idea how that feels? I think I got most of it back but how would I know?"

Jim threw the toast onto the plate because he wasn't really hungry any more.

"Jim…"Bones spoke in his reasonable tone that always made Jim do exactly the opposite. It might be a juvenile reflex but he just couldn't help it. "If you push it then you're blocking yourself…you just need to relax and then the memories will come back on their own…"

"Yes, everyone keeps saying that…"Jim mumbled, his eyes slowly rising to look at Sam then at Bones and finally settling on Spock, "But do you have any idea how hard it is knowing that my future hangs in the balance?"

He got up, pacing the room before leaning against the wall, "I know I can do my job. I feel it in my bones…but I also know that I could be considered unfit and there isn't a dam thing that I can do about it!"

And after a pause, "And you know how well I react to things I can't change or influence…"

"If I may suggest going for a walk" Spock finally spoke up and Jim had to blink because that had just been really random. "Fresh air helps clear the mind and I have never been to this part of your world…I confess to some curiosity…"

"Of course Spock, let me show you around…" Jim answered quickly, "Bones…?"

The doctor shook his head, "Thanks…I've got some reading to catch up to and with you gone I might actually get the chance to do it." It was said with the usual gruff tone of voice that could be mistaken for dislike but Jim could read the subtext well enough.

Bones wanted to give him some time on his own and for some reason he wanted him to be alone with Spock. Jim eyed those two, noticing that the usual animosity, at least from Bones' side was missing.

The doctor still glared at the Vulcan and probably still called him names but while he had been away those two had formed some sort of truce and Jim was glad for it.

"Alright…let's go for a walk then…"Jim announced, bouncing slightly on his heels and then with a wide smile he ushered Spock out of the house.

For a while they walked in silence until Jim found a nice tree to lean against and then he watched as Spock spent a few moments examining the tree, the grass and the tiny flowers that were growing nearby.

It looked endearing in a way, almost like a puppy examining the garden for the first time and he quickly shook his head because he wasn't supposed to be thinking of his First Officer that way.

As far as he could recall they weren't even friends; he had tried but Spock had pushed him away and if that was really true then why did he feel this pull towards the other man?

"Spock?" Jim said quietly but with his good hearing Spock still heard him, coming over to sit down beside Jim.

"Yes, Jim?" the half Vulcan asked and Jim could feel the heat from his body and before he knew what he was doing he grabbed Spock's hand and intertwined their fingers.

He knew that he was on to something when the Vulcan didn't push away or make any sort of move because Vulcans were very sensitive about their hands and they usually didn't allow anyone to touch them.

"I only remember trying to be your friend and you rejecting me…"Jim said slowly, "but something tells me that there is more…will you tell me?"

Jim eyed the Vulcan carefully and the only thing that betrayed him was the slight twinge around his mouth. Eventually, after what had seemed like an eternity to Jim but really was only a few moments, Spock broke the contact, turning around so that they were now sitting face to face.

"Logic dictates to allow you to recover the lost memories on your own…"He stated firmly and Jim was starting to protest when Spock just silenced him with one dark look, "However I find myself unable to adhere to this logic so I will answer your question."

And Jim stayed silent, waiting for Spock to continue.

"You're my t'hy'la." The way Spock pronounced the word it clearly told Jim that he was supposed to know what he was talking about and he did recognize the word as Vulcan and there was something resonating within him but that was all he got.

"I don't know what that means…"and if Jim couldn't quite keep the whine out of his voice then he was just going to have to live with it because it was still better than to be seen stomping his foot with impatience.

"It means friend, brother and lover." Spock answered calmly but Jim narrowed his eyes because there was a slight tick to Spock's eyes that told Jim that the Vulcan was anything but calm.

"So we were lovers?" Jim tried to clarify because this was like slowly pulling needles out of a haystack. He was getting several pieces of information but he still didn't see the whole picture.

"I rejected your advances at first because I believed them to be insincere." Spock finally started talking and Jim had to fight the urge to shake him to keep going. "I was misinformed and when I tried to rectify the problem you did not believe me. I then set out to prove myself to you and you accepted being my t'hy'la shortly after we arrived on Earth."

Jim scrunched up his nose; deep in thought because that moment in time Spock was talking about was just before his mind had been meddled with and because of that, it was really hard for him to really remember anything that had happened.

"I remember docking…heading to the hotel…"Jim said slowly, his eyes closing so that he could see the images more clearly.

Then suddenly he blushed and his eyes opened, "I remember…"his blush deepened and Spock just looked at him oddly. "I have never known you to be embarrassed about your sexual activities."

That was true but it was the first time Jim had needed help in remembering because in the past he had never really gotten so drunk that he couldn't remember what or who he had been doing.

He might have been reckless but he had never been stupid…

"So…"Jim drew out the word, trying to order his mind, "We had just started our…"he stumbled a bit because the word relationship almost sent him running but then he just stopped.

"You do not have to commit at this time." Spock was giving him an out and Jim honestly wasn't so sure if he wanted or needed it. "Once you have regained your memories and are capable of giving me your answer, I will still be here."

"But…"

"I won't change my mind…"Spock said gravely, "finding my t'hy'la is something really rare and I will not mate with anyone but you."

"No pressure there…"Jim mumbled because how was he supposed to make up his mind when Spock was telling him that if he didn't accept him then he would be celibate for the rest of his life? That just wasn't fair…on either one of them…

"Jim…"and despite everything, despite his doubts, he still loved hearing his name rolling of Spock's tongue because no one had ever pronounced it quite like that. "Do not worry about me. This is your choice, just like this is mine. When you are ready, you will tell me. I will be here."

Jim nodded because what else could he say to something as important as that?

"I'm sorry that…" Jim started to apologize because he felt that he should at least be able to reassure Spock that he still felt the same but Spock just sent him another one of those non-existing Vulcan glares and told him to shut up – politely.

"When you are ready…"

*

Not much else happened for the rest of the day and supper was quite enjoyable. Jim was uncharacteristically quiet which caused Bones to send some worried looks his way but he had a lot on his mind and chatting wasn't really all that important right now.

"Maybe you should take it easy tonight…"Sam said, gaining an approving look from Bones.

Despite not wanting to be babied Jim just nodded. "I think I'll turn it…make sure that I'm awake, alright?" he smiled at his brother who just nodded and then Jim quietly left the room.

He took a quick shower; trying to relax enough to fall asleep but his mind kept replaying what Spock had told him and the more he thought about it, the more memories came back.

He remembered that the old Spock, who now went by the name of Suvok, had manipulated him and Spock into admitting their feelings and Jim smiled at just how devious the older Spock had become.

He could see how Vulcan didn't lie still applied because technically Suvok hadn't lied but it had come close enough for Jim to admire just how Suvok's mind worked.

He remembered how Spock had explained t'hy'la to him and how he had not understood the significance of it. He still wasn't quite so sure that he fully understood it now but he recognized that it was something akin to being Spock's soulmate and he felt slightly sorry for having pushed Spock away.

On the other hand Spock had led him around by the nose for a few months as well and while he forgave him for that because it had all been a big misunderstanding he still couldn't help but wonder if Spock would've ever realized that they were supposed to be together if Suvok hadn't pushed it.

He hated that he wasn't sure if Spock wanted him for himself or just because he should.

As per Suvok he was Spock's t'hy'laso logically that meant to Spock that he should want Jim but Jim couldn't forget that until before that moment in his quarters Spock hadn't really made any advances towards him.

He found it hard to believe that someone could go from zero to 100 in such a short time but then again the only one who could answer that question would be Spock and Jim didn't estimate his chances as very good in getting the half Vulcan to talk about his feelings.

This afternoon had happened because it had been necessary but he doubted that Spock would suddenly start opening up to him because that just wasn't who he was.

Still, Jim thought, if he wanted to give this a real shot he would have to figure this out because regardless of how he might end up feeling, he really wasn't going to settle for being an afterthought.

Spock wasn't cruel by nature but he also didn't quite understand how human emotions worked so despite not being fond of sharing and caring either, Jim realized that the only way he would get any answer would be if he opened up first.

He sighed, rubbing his face because at this stage he wasn't going to get any sleep and he really didn't want to show up at his meeting tomorrow looking like he had pulled an all nighter.

He quietly got up and on bare feet, dressed in just his sweatpants and light shirt he padded downstairs. Maybe his friends were up for some drinks before Jim tried sleeping again…

Bones surely would be up for it and even Sam enjoyed a drink here and there. He might be able to offer Spock some fruit juice or something…

"He hasn't remembered yet what sent him running?" that was Bones voice and Jim stopped in the hallway, torn between announcing himself and listening in. In the end his curiosity won out and he just continued standing there, holding himself as still as possible because Spock's keen ears would surely notice him if he wasn't careful.

The Vulcan must have been distracted because otherwise he would've heard Jim descending the stairs so Jim almost held his breath and stood as still as possible.

"No…"Sam answered, "And to be honest, I still haven't received an explanation myself…"

And with that revelation nothing short of something cataclysmic could've pried Jim away from his spot in the hallway.

He was pretty certain that what he was about to hear wasn't something he wanted to hear but it was obvious that it was something he should know or at least remember.

"Pike approached us while Jim was out running…"Bones started and after a short pause he continued, "He showed us the picture of you and Jim and since we didn't even know that he had a brother we just assumed that you two were lovers. Or at least had been at some stage…"

Jim heard some rustling inside the room and he could practically see Bones shuffling while Spock just stood still and stoic. Strangely he couldn't picture what Sam was doing at the moment because despite his love for his brother, he really didn't seem to know him all that well.

"It was logical to assume some familiarity considering your body language…"Spock offered and for a second Jim caught a fleeting glance of a picture in his mind. He wasn't sure if it was the one they were referring to but from a strictly logical point of view, he could see how his and Sam's relationship could've been misunderstood.

"Has Jim not asked yet how he happened to be with you when he was taken?" Bones changed the subject and Jim heard Sam decline.

"He doesn't really ask any questions unless it is to confirm something that he remembered. I believe his doctor friend told him it would be better this way…"there was a slight biting tone to the last remark and Jim wondered for the first time why he hadn't really pushed for more answers.

He understood the need to remember in his own time but now that he thought about it, it was indeed odd that he had gone from being with his friends to being alone with his brother in such a short amount of time.

Jim frowned, several emotions were tugging at the edges of his mind and none of them were pleasant. He forced them back down because for now, contrary to medical advice, he wanted to hear what his friend had to say before trying to remember the events.

"The facts were that Jim had been photographed in the presence of a terrorist leader looking comfortable in his presence." Spock continued and was interrupted by Bones who added, "None of us believed that Jim could be a part of something so ugly, it just didn't fit with the man we've all come to know but the fact was that Jim was in the photo and that someone obviously wanted Jim discredited because what other reason could there have been for it to show up anonymously on Decker's desk?"

"Admiral Decker, despite the fact that Jim had never met the man, holds an unfounded grudge against the captain." Spock continued where Bones had left off, "Pike proposed that for now we play along and allow Jim to be taken into custody so that we would have the time to clear his name and get to the bottom of it all."

However Jim could clearly hear what Spock wasn't saying at the moment because Spock was a logical creature and the half Vulcan wouldn't have been able to just ignore the facts before him.

With a sudden rush memories washed over him and it felt as if he was falling headfirst into an abyss. When he landed on the other side, his memories had returned and he found himself on the cold floor with the three men looking down at him.

Spock was the first one to reach out to him to try and help him up but Jim pushed his hand out of the way, getting up on his own accord.

"You betrayed me!" he shouted and before he could process what he was about to, he had hit Bones. The other man stumbled backwards cradling his jaw but for once the doctor wasn't shouting or fighting back. "I told you about Tarsus IV in confidence and the first chance you got you just blurred it all out!"

"Jim…I'm sorry…."Bones stuttered but Jim just shook his blond head, not wanting to hear any excuses.

"And you should've known better…!" he now poked at Spock, feeling the urge to hit the Vulcan as well but his intelligence won out because Spock wasn't the type of man or Vulcan who would take kindly to being hit.

And he really didn't want to be on the receiving end of yet another attempt at getting strangled.

Jim took a deep breath before his eyes lost some of his heat; still regarding the stiff half Vulcan who might look at is everything was alright but Jim knew better.

"You live by facts and logic…"Jim said slowly, "so I'll cut you some slack for it…the facts did look rather damming but what is also a fact is that you should've known what type of man I was!"

"Jim…"

"Shut up Sam…"Jim hissed at his brother, "This isn't your problem…"

"I beg to differ because their actions sent you to me and it wasn't them that allowed you to be taken, that was all me."

"You did your job…"Jim wasn't hearing a word of it, "it wasn't your fault that you hadn't anticipated to be taking someone else along on your last mission. You did what you had to do and if it is anyone's fault for getting kidnapped then it is mine because I insisted on coming along…"

"Jim…"

"Sam…" Jim said with narrowed eyes and for once Sam got the message and shut up, raising his hands as if admitting defeat but Jim knew better. His brother was retreating but he hadn't yet given up his argument.

"You should've talked to me…" Jim's voice rose again, once again facing Bones and Spock.

"There wasn't time…"Bones countered, "and how could anyone anticipate your need to jump out of a high story window!"

"I didn't jump!" Jim shouted back, "And what did you expect me to do? Go quietly while my brother was in danger?"

"We didn't know that he was your brother!" Bones shouted back but Jim just shook his head, "That's not the point. Even if he had been my lover, it was obvious that I cared about him!"

"Jim…"Spock was trying to break up their fight but instead Jim just focused his anger on the half Vulcan.

"And you…"Jim hissed, "I offered you my friendship for months and you pushed me away every single time…"

"I already explained…"

"I don't care…"Jim actually stomped his foot even if that did make him look childish. It was better than actually trying to hit Spock, "If you really thought that I was just trying to be your friend due to a bet then you should've confronted me about it because for a Starship captain that kind of behaviour would've been unseemly."

And Jim knew that he had Spock on that one.

Spock hadn't wanted to confront Jim for whatever reason when logic should've dictated that he do just that.

Jim's shoulders suddenly sagged, the fight draining out of him.

It had been obvious that something drastic must have happened in order to send him off on his own but in all his life he would've never imagined something like this.

And maybe he was taking this harder than he should but the fact remained that in all his life he had never really had a single best friend or any person that he trusted with his whole heart.

His mother had more or less abandoned him and for all he knew, up until now she still had no clue about the scars he carried. And she hadn't even bothered to contact him when he had saved Earth and gotten his captaincy!

She clearly had no interest in him whatsoever and as much as he loved his brother, even Sam had been mostly absent in his adult life.

He understood now what had propelled Sam into this course of action but understanding and forgiving were two totally different things. He was sure that given time he would come to totally trust his brother just like it should be but right now, they weren't there yet.

However he had trusted Bones almost from the first moment they had met and his friend had never disappointed him.

Sure, they fought like hell and apparently their shouting matches were something close to legendary, at least if he believed one tabloid he had accidentally read not too long ago, but he had always believed that when it came to it, Bones would always have his back.

And he wasn't really mad at him for playing a trick on him because he could understand the logic behind it. He didn't like it and he still felt angry that they hadn't come to him first but if being a captain had taught him anything then it was that sometimes one had to do what was the best for everyone involved regardless if that might mean hardship for one person in particular.

But what Bones had revealed to the world was something that he wasn't sure that he would ever be able to forgive and forget.

If it had been just him, Spock and Pike then maybe Jim would've been able to just push it all away but there had been three other people in the room that day so it was only a matter of time before everyone knew where he had been.

And it wasn't as if he was ashamed of what he had been through; he was proud to have survived that hell hole and to have come out of it all right but the point was that he didn't want people to look at him with pity in their eyes.

He had seen it happening to other survivors and that wasn't something that he would be able to tolerate.

Either way, he might have accidentally revealed his past to Bones but that didn't change the fact that he had told his friend in confidence which he had broken – and for no other reason than to shout at him!

If there had at least been a good reason for this breach of trust but Bones had simply been angry and lashed out and that wasn't something that Jim could forgive so easily.

"I don't want to deal with this now…"Jim waved with one hand, turning around, "I've got an important interview tomorrow and I can't…I can't…" the words just wouldn't come and when he felt Spock's gentle touch on his shoulder he nearly jumped out of his skin.

He ran up the stairs, ignoring the shouts that followed and then he did another juvenile thing: he locked himself in his room and he refused to answer anyone trying to talk to him.

And when Bones started to say just how sorry he was and that he would never forgive himself either but Jim really was too important in his life to give up on, Jim stuffed ripped handkerchiefs into his ears, blocking out any further sounds.

*

The next morning Jim dressed with care.

The jeans he had picked out went back into the closet and instead he chose some black slacks followed by a black shirt and a simple jacket.

He could've worn his uniform but he thought that this might be too much and his current outfit suited him.

He might not be vain but he wasn't stupid. His looks had gotten him out of several situations and he wasn't above using his charms if it got him what he wanted.

And looking good and confident was never wrong; especially not when today a bunch of strangers were going to evaluate him and decide if he was still fit to be a captain.

When he opened the door he actually found blankets on the floor and Bones sleeping on the ground.

He felt tempted to wake his friend by kicking him gently but in the end he chose the more humane way by shaking him awake.

"Jim…I'm…"

"If you say sorry one more time I swear to you I will put your head through the wall…" it was the calm and almost icy tone of voice that had Bones instantly shutting up. "When I get my ship back…"and Jim made sure to always think positive because if he didn't believe himself that he deserved the Enterprise then how was anyone else supposed to do so? "I still want you as my CMO. That hasn't changed and that will never change."

Bones was about to say something again but Jim really wasn't in the mood to hear it, "Right now I have bigger things to worry about than what happened and we'll just have to see where we stand over time…"

"Jim…"

"I can't just forgive you Bones…"Jim said wearily, "I told you something in confidence…I didn't mean to do it but I still did and for you to just blurt it out like it was nothing…how do you think that made me feel?"

"Jim…"

"Let's just take it one step at a time…"Jim cut him off because regardless of how angry and hurt he was at the moment he still wanted Bones in his life. The man had been his only true friend so far and he knew that he wasn't ready to just cut him out of his life.

He felt hurt, betrayed and just really angry but he could also see that Bones was really sorry for what he had done and that it would probably never happen again.

"I'll give you all the time you need…" Bones said quickly and Jim just nodded, stepped over his friend and hurried down the stairs.

"Oh Bones...?"

"Yes?" came the almost eager reply.

"Why did I never ask about what happened to...the carver?" Jim really hadn't been happy when those memories had come back and he had tried to recall what had actually happened to the lunatic Admiral but he really hadn't been able to come up with an answer. The only thing that he could've come up with that for some reason he had actually never tried to find out which was rather out of character for him – he knew that much at least.

Bones regarded him thoughtfully before finally answering, "I think that it was probably enough for you to know at the time that he had been dealt with. I'm sure you would've demanded more answers but then one thing led to another and I guess it never had the chance to come up."

Jim worried his lower lip thinking that this was really odd but then again, that had been the day from hell so maybe he should just give it a rest.

"Thanks..."

"Any time Jim, any time..." he could tell that Bones meant it but for now their friendship was on probation. Jim cared for the man, in many ways he was like a brother to him and probably eventually they would be back to normal but for now, he needed time to process it and despite obviously not liking the idea, Bones knew that he had to give him space.

He could hear his brother in the kitchen so he quickly said his goodbye and then headed outside. There was really no point for him to leave the house but he really didn't want to face anyone right now.

He quickly placed a call saying that he was ready and then he was beamed to Starfleet headquarters in San Francisco.

Beaming wasn't a standard mode of transportation while off duty but in his case an exception had been made and he was quite grateful for it.

"Captain Kirk?" a man addressed him and with a polite nod Jim greeted the man.

"Please follow me." The man said and with a confident stride he followed the man. "Dr. Kenslow is expecting you." The man said and Jim took a deep breath before he knocked.

"Enter…" a woman answered and fought the urge to twitch. Showing just how nervous he really was would give away that he still had some doubts about his ability to lead and that really wasn't something he should be sharing with the shrink about to evaluate him.

He knew he could do the job but he was also aware that not all of his memories had returned and that fact alone made him quite nervous.

"You're an hour late…"the woman snapped at him and Jim just blinked before he narrowed his eyes. "No I am not." He answered, still politely but with an edge to his voice. "The meeting was arranged for 9 am and it's now…"after a quick glance he said, "9.01 am."

"Are you sure about that?"

Jim resisted the urge to copy Spock by saying affirmative so he just settled for yes.

"Very good…"he was startled when the woman suddenly smiled at him and he had the impression that he had just passed a test of sorts. "Please have a seat."

He nodded and took his seat, taking a moment to evaluate his opponent. And she was his opponent right now because his future rested in her hands. If she deemed him unfit, his next appointment with Admiral Pike would be pointless.

Chris would cut him some slack, Jim was sure of that but even he wouldn't be able to do anything if Dr. Kenslow didn't give him a clean bill of health.

The woman seemed to be in her mid fifties, well dressed with short hair and trim nails. She didn't seem to be the type to smile very often so Jim toned down his smile just a little bit. Charming had its place but he didn't really want to over do it.

"I apologize for the little test but I wanted to see how you would react." She explained and Jim just nodded having arrived at the same conclusion himself. He didn't much like being tested like that but then again this was the point of this visit…

"So let's begin then…"she said.

*

An hour later Jim exited the office, feeling the urge to just slide down the wall and to close his eyes. It had been taxing but in the end, she had given him a clean bill of health.

She still seemed to have some reservations and she had told him that she had noted those in his medical file but over all, she hadn't seen any reason why he wasn't fit for duty.

At that moment he could have hugged her but considering that she seemed to be the reserved sort he had settled for a heartfelt smile and a thank you.

He knew where Pike's office was so he headed there now after allowing himself a few quiet moments. He didn't have an appointment but his former mentor had told him to just stop by when he was done and he would make time for him.

Pike probably had his evaluation form on his desk already because the doctor had assured him that she was going to send it straight away so after a slow start, Jim was practically running towards the office.

He didn't think that Pike was going to deny the application to be returned to duty but he would rather have everything sorted before he allowed himself to feel relieved.

Pike's secretary obviously knew that he was coming because she only had him waiting for a minute before he was called into Pike's office.

He hadn't seen his friend since he had come back to Earth and after having just remembered what had happened the last time they had been in the same room, Jim felt slightly apprehensive.

Out of his three friends he felt less betrayed by Pike but he also couldn't deny that he had questions. He just wasn't so sure that this meeting was the right place to ask them…

"Jim…come in…have a seat…"

Jim sat down, smiling at his friend and after a short moment of silence, Pike cleared his throat, "So the doctor cleared you for active duty…"

"Yes Sir…"Jim answered, fighting the urge to clench his fists. Instead he made sure to appear as relaxed and confident as possible because even though Pike was his friend and mentor, nothing could come in the way of getting his ship back.

"Very well then, I see no reason then to keep you off active duty…"Pike said with a smile, "I expect you to return the space dock tomorrow morning."

"Thank you Sir." Jim finally allowed himself to smile for real and to really relax. If Pike was able to see the difference he didn't comment on it.

"As you are probably aware your crew is currently on shore leave and your engineer is driving everyone crazy trying to upgrade the ship."

Jim nodded because he was aware of those facts.

"I want you to oversee the repairs and to familiarize yourself with the mission logs from acting Captain Spock."

"Of course"

"Shore leave is only one week so you won't be stuck in port for too long…"

Jim smiled again, "That is good to know." And after a moment, "Thank you."

"Don't thank me, Jim…"Pike said gravely, "I've been wanting to talk to you every since you returned but I wanted to wait until you were fully recovered. I might have also been stalling…but since you're here now…"

Jim could see where this was going and he leaned forward until his hands were on Pike's desk and he could stare at his friend. He wanted to make sure that Pike understood that he harboured no hard feelings for what had happened. Maybe some resentment but that was about it.

"I'm not mad at you." He said calmly, "You had to take action and you did your best…I don't blame you for how things turned out because it was my decision to make a run for it."

"Still…"Pike said, "I should've found a different way or anticipated that you would do something crazy because let's face it, crazy is your thing…"

Jim laughed, shrugging while leaning back into the chair. "Maybe but everything is always more clear cut in hindsight."

"Did you ever find out who handed over that picture?" Jim asked after a few seconds and Pike shook his head.

"From what I've been able to gather, it actually wasn't an attempt to discredit you. There was a member of the United Front that didn't like the power Sam was wielding and he was trying to discredit your brother by making a supposed romantic relationship public."

"Ah…"Jim nodded, "My being a starship captain and the current golden boy could've meant trouble for Sam since they wanted Earth to go back to the good old days where there were no aliens running about."

"That's right…"Pike confirmed.

"Like I said, "Jim smiled again, "no hard feelings…you did what you had to do…"

"Thanks…"Pike answered, looking quite relieved, "however something tells me that you're not going to be quite so forgiving with your friends."

Jim's face darkened and before he could answer, Pike added, "Don't be too hard on them…"

Jim shrugged before answering, "I can understand why Spock would've actually taken the evidence seriously because he's a logical guy…and the evidence wasn't really in my favour…but I still feel that after what we've just shared that he should've known me better."

"He's Vulcan, Jim…"Pike pointed out and Jim just shrugged again, sending a rueful smile to his friend, "True, I know that…I just don't quite feel it…if you know what I mean…"

"And Bones…"

"He's sorry…"Jim spit out, "and I get that…but he's the one I'm actually the angriest with because he had no right to reveal that information…"

"Maybe…"Pike admitted, carefully holding Jim's gaze, "but I think it's for the best that it has come out…"

"There's nothing good about it!" Jim countered, "I've seen how survivors of Tarsus IV get treated…"

"Treated?" Pike obviously didn't understand just why Jim hadn't wanted anyone to know.

"I'm not ashamed of having been there…but I don't want to be pitied for it either…"Jim clarified, "In many ways my time on that hellhole shaped me into the man I am, I just don't want people to see me as the victim."

"Ah…"Pike said, obviously some things were making more sense now, "I'm pretty sure that no one is going to think of you as a victim, Jim…not after what you've already accomplished…"

"Maybe…"Jim admitted, "but that doesn't change the point that it wasn't Bones's place to reveal that information…"

Pike nodded; there was obviously nothing he could say to that.

"Just don't be too hard on him…"the admiral said again and Jim's shoulders slumped.

"I don't want to be angry with my best friend but he betrayed me. I know he is sorry but how can I tell him anything in confidence again? What if he gets angry again and blurts out something else he shouldn't?"

"I don't think he will make the same mistake twice…"

"Probably not…"Jim admitted, his eyes downcast, biting on his lower lip just before he looked up again, blue eyes fixating on something just behind Pike's face. "But the damage has been done…"

"Just give it time…"

Jim nodded, "I will…"

*

That night they celebrated and for a few glorious hours Jim managed to forget that he was mad at Bones, that Spock was staring at him constantly and that Sam seemed to be torn between being happy and being sad.

VII – Epilogue (also known as my way to express my sweet side)

Jim dropped his duffle onto the floor, smiling.

He had finally come home…he was back on board the Enterprise and everything was just as he remembered.

The corridors were mostly empty now but that didn't matter. He was looking forward to having the ship mostly to himself and to spending a few good hours working with Scotty.

What most didn't seem to know about him was that he was quite capable when it came to engineering and Scotty had beamed at him when he had offered his help.

Apparently somehow he had managed to convince the gruff Scotsman that he was trustworthy when it came to his engines and Jim was looking forward to getting greasy and to just doing a few hours of good, honest work.

He loved being a captain but right now spending a few hours just doing something else he loved was just what he needed.

Before he had left home he had assured Bones once more that whatever had happened was in the past and that he still wanted him as his CMO because that had been very important to him. Just thinking about not having Bones aboard his ship made him break out into hives so he had wanted to make sure that his friend didn't do something stupid and drastic – like asking for a reassignment…

They hadn't talked about it but he could tell that Bones had been thinking about it…

Thankfully Bones hadn't wanted to come back with him and that only left Spock for Jim to worry about.

The Vulcan honestly didn't have anywhere else to be and Jim hadn't had the heart to tell him that he couldn't come back with him. He wasn't really avoiding the Vulcan per se but he also wasn't seeking him out.

He wanted to avoid stringing Spock along because now that he knew just how serious the Vulcan was about him he really felt horrible that he hadn't been able to give him an answer.

He knew that he was going to have to have a heart to heart with the Vulcan and quite honestly he wasn't so sure if between the two of them Spock would be the one in more discomfort.

It couldn't be avoided but he was going to postpone that conversation until later…he wasn't a coward but he really didn't feel up to it now.

Spock however seemed to be having a different idea because Jim had just started to unpack when the door chimed.

"Enter…"Jim said and when Spock entered he wished that he hadn't answered.

"Spock…"Jim smiled at him, "What can I do for you?"

"We need to talk…" the Vulcan said and judging from the stubborn look on his face Jim knew that Spock wasn't going to take no for an answer.

"Do you want some tea?" Jim offered and Spock inclined his head in agreement.

When Jim was done preparing the beverages he sat down on the bed, crawling to the far end to make himself comfortable. He could've chosen the sofa but that would've put them close together and he was kind of hoping that Spock would be too polite to sit down on the bed.

Unfortunately the Vulcan seemed to be in the mood to be contradictory because he did just that: he sat down on the edge of the bed and after a curious look at Jim, he scooted over and leaned his back against the wall, cradling his own mug just like Jim was.

"You said you would wait…"Jim started and Spock nodded, "I'm not here to push you for an answer but I got the impression that you were labouring under a misapprehension."

"Oh?" Jim said vaguely, "How so?"

"You seem to think that I am not serious about you…"

For all his supposed unfeeling nature the Vulcan was really quite good at reading him.

Jim decided that even though he would've picked a different time for this conversation it still needed to be had so he answered honestly, "You didn't give me the time of day before your other self came on to me…"

"Jim…"

"No, let me finish, "Jim insisted, "You don't lie. I know that. But how can I take your offer seriously when you ignored me first and only changed your mind when someone else took an interest in me?"

Spock looked slightly affronted which was a hard thing to manage considering that not much had changed in his expression.

He opened his mouth, obviously about to say something but then he closed it again. He glanced at Jim and after a few moments he put his mug down, scooting closer until his hands rested on Jim's thighs.

"There are no words for me to describe how I feel. But I can show you."

Jim's eyes widened and he was about to shake his head because the last mind meld had been far from pleasant but then he realized that Spock was actually right. They could talk about this for hours and the fact would remain that Jim wasn't going to be able to take Spock's word for his change of heart.

However if he could feel what Spock felt, if he could see with his own mind that Spock was speaking the truth then that would alleviate his concerns. Then all he would have to do is decide if he really wanted to have Spock as a lover or if he would rather just stay friends.

"Alright…"Jim said slowly and when Spock moved he leaned back, "But I want you to understand that even if believe you after, I cannot guarantee that I will want more than just friendship…"

"I understand…and my promise still stands. I will give you all the time you need to find your answer."

"Thank you…"Jim nodded and Spock took this as an affirmation to go ahead. He raised his hands, put them on the pressure points and then Jim was falling into darkness.

It wasn't total darkness; there wasn't anything scary about it, it was more like being cuddled in a big, fluffy blanket, protected from the world.

"Jim…"Jim could hear Spock's voice and he turned around but he couldn't see him. "Stay still…" Jim could feel the humour in Spock's voice and even though he had no idea how to stand still in his mind he focused on being still with all he had.

"Look behind you…" Jim did and when he saw a golden ball, his first instinct was to avert his eyes. "This is you…you shine in my darkness…"

The words were rather corny but Jim found that they warmed his heart.

"How come I'm this golden ball of light and you're all dark?" He asked and then he felt Spock beside him and seconds later, he could see the Vulcan appear out of the darkness.

He looked down, noticing that he was back in his human form and for a moment he frowned but then he remembered that anything was possible in this place.

"That's how you see yourself…your energy and enthusiasm and joy of life…"

"Then you're what…depressed?" Jim offered feeling slightly concerned now with Spock's darkness.

Amusement once again was in the air and then Spock answered, "I associate dark with logic and a calm mind…like the night's sky over Vulcan…it always was my favourite time of the day…"

"Ah…" was Jim's only answer. "What should I do now?" he asked and Spock held out his hands, "Take them and I will give you free access…just think of what you're looking for and I won't stand in your way…"

"But I don't want to rummage around your mind…there might be things you don't want me to see…"Jim pointed out but Spock just shook his head, "You're my soulmate, if you choose to accept me then we would bond and I don't intend to hold anything back from you. Besides, I trust you…"

Jim swallowed hard, making a mental note to himself that if he chose to bond with Spock that he would have to have to talk to him about this bond because he wouldn't be able to allow Spock free access to his mind. He was a Starfleet captain and there would be some things that he wouldn't be allowed to tell even his First Officer and besides that, he kind of liked the privacy of his mind.

"There are shielding techniques I can teach you…"Spock assured him and then, Jim closed his eyes, allowing himself to be immersed in Spock's mind.

He really had no words to describe the feelings that were running through his mind. At first he couldn't really tell where he began and where Spock ended but eventually he realized that the burning desire and this strange need that he felt were coming from Spock.

The emotions were slightly alien to him but he figured that this could be because Spock was only half human so there were parts of him that were alien and that he was feeling emotions that didn't belong to him.

What shocked him though was the intensity of what Spock was feeling and for a moment he felt his skin burning.

"I'm sorry…"he could hear Spock's voice, "Emotions do run deep within Vulcans. This is why we need to control them…"

Jim decided that this made sense after all because the torrent of feelings that was washing over him now was slightly disturbing and also quite exhilarating because with astonishment he realized that Spock had really fallen in love with him.

It might have started out as simple jealousy because his other self had laid a claim to him but did it really matter that Spock had needed a push to recognize his feelings? Did Jim really have a right to begrudge him this?

He decided that in the end it didn't matter how Spock had discovered that Jim was his soulmate; all that mattered now was that Spock truly loved him with all that he had and Jim really didn't think he deserved that much devotion.

"You do, t'hy'la." Spock's voice echoed through Jim's mind and he could feel the half Vulcan's amusement and anguish because Jim apparently didn't consider himself worthy of his love. "You deserve this…we complete each other and I can only offer my apology that I didn't recognize this sooner…my logic failed me…"

Jim shook his head, at least he was trying to but it was very hard to be sure when he had no body, "I guess neither one of us is to blame…"

And after a moment Jim signalled that he was done and then suddenly he felt as if he was falling and then he was utterly alone in his own mind again. He blinked, feeling the loss and warmth of Spock's presence and he realized that he could become used to feeling Spock in his mind. It was comforting to know that someone else would always be there for him and if he was honest, he would have to admit that it was also slightly scary.

When Spock removed his hands from Jim and started to move away Jim automatically reached out to him, grabbing his hand. "Don't leave…"he whispered with wide blue eyes because he really couldn't believe that he had made up his mind in such a short time but then again he was known for always leaping first and thinking about the consequences later.

Now wasn't the time to suddenly change a lifelong habit…

"I've made my decision…"Jim said slowly and he smiled brightly when he saw Spock tensing, "Let's try this…"

"Jim…"Spock said gravely, "Once we commit to this, there is no turning back. There is no divorce on Vulcan. We bond for life…are you absolutely certain that you want this?"

Jim felt himself getting angry because why didn't Spock believe him now? Was it because the Vulcan still thought that he wouldn't be able to keep it in his pants? That he was simply incapable of monogamy and keeping his word?

He opened his mouth to deliver a rather heated reply when he noticed the faint traces of worry and fear in Spock's eyes and he suddenly realized that Spock was only trying to protect himself because if Jim were to change his mind later on, it might quite literally kill the half Vulcan.

"I want this…"Jim repeated slowly, putting emphasis on every single word, "I want you…"

Spock's face didn't actually change but to Jim it was as if the sun had just opened up its gates and as if he was basked in blinding sunlight.

Spock's smile, even if it wouldn't be noticed by anyone but him, was something precious, beautiful and worth waiting for.

*

VII – Epilogue

Once Jim had found out that the only way to get Spock drunk was to expose him to chocolate there simply had been no stopping him.

Spock of course was way too astute to fall for simple presents because he felt no human compulsion to eat them to make Jim happy.

Instead Jim had decided that he needed to stop giving Spock chocolate to get him drunk because when the half Vulcan didn't eat it, he was eating it and there really were only so many hours a captain could spend in the gym.

He had enlisted Bones' help and even though the doctor had been mortified he hadn't refused.

Jim had felt slightly evil for taking pleasure in the fact that Bones was trying really hard to make amends and that also meant that he simply wasn't able to say no to Jim. Jim of course could have done the nice thing and tell Bones that he wasn't that small minded to quit his friendship just because Bones had a different opinion than him but then again, he still felt betrayed even though the pain had lessened so maybe this was sort of therapeutic for both of them.

They hadn't announced to the world yet that he and Spock were a couple because Jim hadn't wanted the publicity. Spock had agreed, finding Jim's decision a logical one.

However on board, far away from the prying eyes of the rest of the world, everyone sort of knew because apparently neither one of them were all that good at keeping lovesick looks to themselves.

Jim had to admit that Spock had been watching him more often than before and that maybe he might have growled a little bit when someone had gotten too close or too friendly but overall the Vulcan had just remained as stoic as before…

However Jim's ability to just read Spock's body language had blossomed and now he found that he had no difficulty at all to distinguish between a happy Spock mood and a grumpy one.

And Spock was really good at doing grumpy even though he would forever deny that he felt such an emotion.

They had left Earth only two weeks prior and so far the one mission they had completed had been rather uneventful.

They were currently on route to a rather distant planet to do some geological readings and ever since he had announced the new mission, the scientists on board had been almost painfully ecstatic about it.

Jim hadn't been so thrilled at first because a mission like that meant literally no work for him apart from day to day stuff but his mood had lifted rapidly when he realized that he now had all the time in the world to get Spock drunk.

Jim was a physical guy and since his memories from the one time he had had sex with Spock were rather fuzzy he had assumed that they would be continuing where they had left off almost instantly.

However apparently the Vulcan had decided that they needed a courtship time and Jim was rapidly losing his patience. It wasn't that he couldn't control his urges but he really saw no need to do so! Especially since they had both already proclaimed that this relationship was going to be it for both of them…

If Spock wanted to be romantic then Jim wouldn't stop him but he saw no reason to be so mean as to withhold sex!

However apparently Spock also didn't do romantic because all they had done since that decision was play chess, have meals together and maybe share a work out session.

The few times he had tried to talk about it had been met with stern refusal on Spock's part and so the plan get Spock drunk and into his pants had been born.

"I got it…"Bones suddenly startled Jim out of his gloomy thoughts and for a moment the blond man had to blink.

"You got what?" he asked and then Bones just grinned, "I got the perfect way to get Spock drunk without him noticing…"

"I just want him to loose some of that control, not to knock him out…you do understand that, right?" Jim had to make sure because the last thing he wanted was to take advantage of his hopefully soon to be lover.

He wanted Spock to succumb to him because he wanted it too and the only way Jim thought that this could be achieved was if Spock's famous controls were lowered. He didn't want Spock so out of his mind that there would be regrets the next morning…

"Oh, don't you worry…here take a look…" and Bones shoved a description of a drink under his nose.

After reading it, Jim's face lit out like a Christmas tree because Bones was right, this could work…

*

He had issued the invitation for Spock to join him to dinner during lunchtime and if the raised eyebrow had been any indication then Spock was aware that Jim was up to something.

Jim knew that he had no hope at all to actually hide that fact from Spock; he just hoped that the Vulcan wasn't going to figure out what he was up to.

He ordered their meals just before Spock was due to arrive and when the door bell chimed, he quickly put the plates onto the table.

He had ordered one of Spock's favourite dishes and a steak for himself. Spock might deny that he preferred one dish over the other but Jim was just as adept at watching Spock as Spock was at watching him and he had noticed that Spock seemed to tend to prefer two or three meals over others.

So that clearly meant that he liked them more than the others…even if Spock would never admit to it…

"Come in…" Jim shouted and he almost dropped the glass he had been carrying when he saw what Spock was carrying in his hand.

"Flowers…?" Jim couldn't hide the slight rise of his voice because that was the last thing he had expected. And where had Spock found flowers on the ship anyway?

Spock looked uncomfortable for a moment before he quickly crossed the room, holding them out to Jim. "It is a human custom to bring flowers to a date…I asked Ensign Marcus which plants in the lab she found the most aesthetically pleasing…"

He almost shoved the flowers in Jim face and after slightly leaning back; Jim took them out of Spock's hand. He had never received flowers and he was unsure what to do with them.

"Thank you…"he said and after sniffing them he added, "They smell nice…"and quietly he thought that he better not end up allergic to them because if he got hay fever now then Bones would surely lose it. Not to mention just how upset the Vulcan would get if a gift of his would end up harming him.…

"I'll just find a place to put them…"Jim blinked, looking around his room for any sort of container and when he didn't find one he just gently put them onto a shelf, "I'll ask Bones if he has something in the morning…"

"That will be acceptable…"Spock inclined his head and then with a nervous flutter in his stomach, Jim sat down at the table.

He tried to hide his nervousness when Spock picked up the glass and just before the Vulcan was about to drink from it, Jim reached out, taking it away from him. "Don't drink that…"

Spock's eyebrow rose up and Jim put the glass onto the table, "I'm sorry…there's chocolate in it…"he explained, wondering when he had lost his nerve but maybe it was the right thing to do after all.

"Can I ask as to why you tried to hide this from me?" Spock inquired and Jim shifted on his seat, feeling like a school boy facing the headmaster.

"I miss sex…"Jim finally just said, "and I thought that if you lost some of your control you might want me…"

"Jim…"Spock said gravely, "this has never been about me not wanting you…I can assure you that I find everything about you appealing…"

Jim smiled at that but then he frowned, "Then can we please just have sex…?"

Spock did the Vulcan equivalent of a sigh and eventually his dark gaze focused on Jim, "I have spent many nights in medication trying to find a flaw in my logic but the logic is still sound. It is the Vulcan way to court before agreeing to a life bond…"

Jim opened his mouth to protest but one look from Spock shut him up, "However I failed to consider the human side to this and the simple fact remains that I do not want to wait. I came here tonight with the intention of asking you if you were prepared to forgo the courtship and move on to the next level…"

Jim's heart started racing because was he really hearing this? They were going to have sex.

And was it really sad that he was so focused on that?

"Before you answer me, this will be your last chance to decline the bond. Once we have sex I will initiate the bond between us and only death can break it…"

"Yes…yes…"Jim said with a roll of his eyes, "We've been over it…I'm still as ready as I was two weeks ago."

Spock just nodded in agreement and when he started eating Jim couldn't believe it. The rumble in his stomach though told him that maybe he should eat his dinner too…

*

When Jim was finally lying naked on his back he almost couldn't breathe because watching Spock slowly reveal his body was just something that he was sure would never get old.

"Come here…"He held out his hand once Spock was naked and guided the Vulcan to lie next to him.

This time he wanted to have some time to explore Spock's body because he couldn't remember having had the chance to do this before.

He ran his hands slowly down Spock's chest towards the already half hard cock and when he gently picked it up, he marvelled at how similar it was and just how different at the same time.

The colour of course was greenish of sorts, unlike his own and there were some other differences as well but over all, Spock's cock wasn't really all that different from his own.

With an impish smile he looked up at Spock, some blond strands falling into his face before he licked the quivering shaft his hand. Then he opened his mouth, guiding the shaft into his mouth and then slowly he took in as much as he could.

He couldn't take all of it but he was sure that given enough time he would learn how to deep throat. For now though he didn't think that Spock minded his lack of technique because the Vulcan's eyes had actually fallen shut and his hands were nestled in Jim's hair.

Spock didn't push or pull but he gently tugged and Jim found that he really liked the sensation.

He brought Spock to the brink of an orgasm before he pulled free, positioning himself on his hands and knees, thinking that this might be the easiest way for them to do this.

"No…"Spock said, voice rough with emotion and that was a sound that Jim had never heard before and one that he was sure he would never get tired of hearing.

"On your back…and then…afterwards, you can enter me…"

Jim complied, looking forward to burying himself in Spock's hot body but for now, all he wanted was to be taken by the strong Vulcan. He had no clue where that need had come from because there wasn't a submissive bone in his body but then again, he had never really trusted anyone as he trusted Spock and since they were both equals in this, then no one would really be more dominant than the other…

"Don't go easy one me…"Jim suddenly said and the could see the Vulcan tensing, slowly trying to remove himself from above Jim's body but Jim just grabbed his hips, keeping him in place, "I'm not that fragile…you can let go…"

"I don't think it would be wise…"

"Just do it…I don't think that you would hurt me…not even when you lose control…"

Spock still didn't seem to be convinced of Jim's logic but for once the need in him won out because even without any form of outward agreement, Jim could see that Spock was going to do as he had asked.

The preparation took forever; at least that was what it felt like to Jim. He didn't think that he could actually be any more impatient but sadly he had been mistaken.

When Spock was finally buried inside him, he let out a sigh of relief and when the stubborn Vulcan finally started thrusting, Jim matched his movements with the same enthusiasm and need.

Being filled by Spock's long cock wasn't necessarily different from all the other times he had enjoyed sex but what made it different was that it actually meant something more than just physical pleasure.

This was it, this was forever and he was the first to admit that he would've never thought that he would be among those crazy people considering getting married.

Being bonded to a Vulcan wasn't going to be like any marriage he knew about but then again, what he had seen of marriage so far really hadn't convinced him either. Maybe doing something like this was going to be just the right thing for him…

And then again, he really didn't have any choice in the matter because he didn't think that he could imagine his life without Spock in it.

He had been floored by the intensity of the Vulcan's emotion and he still wasn't convinced that Spock really felt that way about him but he couldn't argue with what he had experienced himself and even right now, the feelings were strong enough to almost short circuit his brain.

"Spock…"he moaned his lover's name after a particularly demanding thrust and when Spock angled his cock just right, Jim keened and then without any warning he came like a freight train.

His world dissolved into darkness and he thought with some amusement that he had finally met his match in Spock because it took someone really special and talented to fuck him unconscious.

*

Minutes, hours or possible days later – who knew? – When Jim floated back into consciousness, the first thing he noticed was being held in a tight embrace with lips pressed to his ear. The kisses trailed further up until Spock planted a kiss in his hair and Jim just sighed contently and shifted just a little bit.

"You're finally awake…"Spock's voice was just like always but the difference was that this time around Jim could practically feel just how pleased the Vulcan was at having rendered him unconscious.

Even though Spock would never do anything as basic as gloat, Jim was pretty sure that deep down the Vulcan was more than just pleased with himself. This once though Jim really didn't mind because the sex had been more than just good, it had been phenomenal and he just hoped that not all of their encounters were going to be like this because if what he had experienced was going to be standard for them, then soon the Enterprise was going to have a fucked out captain on the helm, unable to utter a single command.

"How long was I out?" Jim's voice was sleepy and he didn't object when Spock actually cuddled closer.

"10.2 minutes…"came Spock's answer and Jim couldn't suppress a smile at just how accurate the Vulcan was. Apparently Spock couldn't help himself, not even if it was only the two of them, basking in the afterglow of their joining.

"Are we bonded now?" Jim asked, voice slightly hesitant because he wasn't sure.

"Yes" was Spock's simple answer.

"I don't really feel any different…"Jim observed and even though he couldn't see Spock's facial expression - not that there really was that much to observe – he still was pretty sure that the Vulcan was just now raising an eyebrow at him.

"I'm blocking the bond for now…"

"But why…?" Jim protested feeling oddly hurt by this because they had just bonded and now Spock was blocking it? Why?

"Because I haven't yet taught you how to shield your own mind and I didn't want the new bond to overwhelm you."

"Oh…"that made perfect sense and Jim mentally slapped himself because when had he turned this needy?

"There is no rush but I am certain that you will master control within approximately a day. You have a very active mind and unlike most humans you are not PSI null. That will work in our advantage."

Jim blinked and his lips were already open but then he closed them again because one oh was enough. He had standards to upkeep after all.

Without any further conversation or any other attempts by Spock to be distracting, Jim slowly drifted off to sleep again, thinking that he really could get used to feeling like this.

*

When he woke up again he was alone, a fact that he didn't much care for but then again, he knew that Spock didn't need as much sleep as he did and it would have been perfectly illogical for the Vulcan to just stay in bed, watching him sleep.

Not that Jim would've minded if Spock had done just that…

He got up, had a quick shower and then he started familiarizing himself with the reports. He had a lot of catching up to do and not really enough time to do it all.

A few hours later, the door opened and when Spock entered carrying an assortment of things that he was sure no Vulcan had ever carried, Jim couldn't help but smile his widest smile every, perfectly lighting up his face.

"What's all this?" Jim inquired and he watched with fascination that Spock still managed to convey dignity while carrying flowers and chocolates.

"Was your rest adequate?" Spock asked and Jim nodded, still smiling and staring at the flowers because seriously, Spock had brought him flowers?

He found that he could really used to getting flowers even though men weren't supposed to be getting flowers but then again, when had ever followed the rules?

"I had reports to finish and Dr. McCoy informed me that there are human courtship rituals that I should acquaint myself with."

"So you didn't do this with Uhura?" Jim was slowly moving forward, almost as if he was afraid that if he moved to quickly the presents were going to vanish into thin air.

Spock looked puzzled for a moment, as puzzled as he could manage, before answering Jim's question, "I was not courting her in the same way as I am courting you. Our relationship is different."

Jim blinked, feeling momentarily sad for Spock's former girlfriend but then his eyes got drawn once again to the gigantic chocolate heart that Spock had placed on the table. It was red of course and Jim quickly tore the wrapping paper off, revealing perfectly shaped dark chocolate behind it. Just the kind he liked.

Bones must have really worked his magic on Spock if the Vulcan had gone out of his way to procure all of this.

"Where did you get all this…?" Jim couldn't keep the wonder out of his voice but then again, did he really want to?

"The flowers are from the botany bay; and I reprogrammed one of the replicators to produce the chocolate."

Jim snorted but when he broke off some chocolate he didn't hesitate before offering a piece to the Vulcan.

Spock took it and swallowed all of it which delighted Jim to no end.

Either way, he quickly produced a place to put the flowers in while chewing on his piece of chocolate and he made a mental note to get Bones something really nice as his own personal thank you.

He might not have completely forgiven Bones for his betrayal but he was on his way there.

Friendships after all were much like anything else of importance: only that worth fighting for was worth keeping.

And he had the feeling that his friendship with Bones was going to be legendary…just like his relationship with Spock…

The stuff of legends…and right now, with uncertainties and danger ahead, Jim couldn't help but think that it would all be worth it in the end.

And for now, he was just going to enjoy the moment…and get Spock naked…ASAP.

The End.

*

AN: This is the end. However I am not happy with how this story turned out. I had a plot outline and the first bit is just how it should be and then between writing, editing and studying I lost track of what had been written and as a result lots of things have turned up missing. That is no excuse, poor planning on my part and I've learned my lesson to never start posting until I am completely happy with the ENTIRE story. Anyway, you can call this story version a, version b will include more details, different pov, notably Spock POV and maybe McCoy POV and it will possibly continue way beyond the ending here because believe it or not, this wasn't actually supposed to be the end.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading and for all your reviews, they mean a lot to me and hopefully you guys will still be around when I post the updated version – the way the story should've have gone in the first place...thank you!