Author's Note: Hello everyone, and thanks for reading! This is the final chapter of AMMD, so please enjoy! I had fun writing it, and I hope you had fun reading it!

A Madness Most Discreet

Chapter 11

"What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."

~Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947

"Hmm."

Kirk glanced up sharply. "What do you mean, 'hmm'?"

McCoy looked up from the scanner he had been using to examine Spock with. They were back in sickbay, finally. It had taken a while to get the pleasantries out of the way with the Pak'Tul. Kirk had contacted Starfleet command and they were sending the Yorktown to learn more about the Pak'Tul and consider them for admission into the Federation of Planets. Under ordinary circumstances, Kirk would have fought for the privilege to stay and open talks with the Pak'Tul, however, today he had just wanted to get Spock and get the hell off that planet before any other "accidents" occurred.

"By 'hmm,' I mean be quiet and let me examine my patient!" McCoy snapped.

"Huh?"

"Jim," Spock said patiently. He was lying on the biobed. His vitals looked normal. But then again, what did Kirk know? "Jim, you have been tapping your foot. I believe it is beginning to annoy the doctor."

Kirk looked down at his foot. It was tapping. He stopped it.

"Thank you," McCoy huffed.

It was a few more minutes before the doctor came to a conclusion.

"He's fine. Healthier than before, even," he said, standing back to let Spock stand up.

Kirk breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Bones."

As Kirk and Spock left sickbay, McCoy called after them.

"But don't push it, Spock!"

Kirk chuckled as they left sickbay together and headed towards the bridge. For all their bickering, he thought, McCoy cares about Spock. He wondered if he should be jealous. Nah. He's more like a mother hen, to the whole crew.

When they arrived on the bridge, Spock headed for his station and Kirk to his chair. Kirk noticed the bridge crew looking at Spock, and Uhura gave him a wide smile as he passed her. They were all obviously relieved to have him back to normal.

"Communication from the planet, Captain," Uhura told him as he settled into the familiarity of his chair.

"Put it on audio, Lieutenant."

A second later, Shar's voice echoed onto the bridge.

"We thank you, Captain. And again, we apologize for our transgression."

"All is forgiven, Shar."

"Fly well, Enterprise."

After the connection was severed, Kirk turned to the helm.

"Set course for Starbase 5, Lieutenant Sulu. Warp factor three."

"Aye, Captain. Warp three."

Kirk settled in his chair as the Enterprise got underway and thought about what came next. He had decided to do this once Spock was back to normal…but he had to work up the nerve first. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair. Don't be such a coward, Kirk, he admonished himself. Man up!

Still, it took him till the end of their shift to speak up.

He took a deep breath and stood. "Mr. Spock, may I see you in my quarters?"

Spock cocked an eyebrow but said nothing as he followed Kirk into the turbolift.

When they walked into Kirk's quarters and the doors slid shut, silence descended on them. Spock was silent, no doubt wondering what this was about but knowing Kirk well enough to let him get to it in his own time.

"Spock…" Kirk began. He paused and turned to face his friend. "I know you said you didn't want to talk about it, but…" his eyes drifted away. "I do. I need to talk about what happened between us, I need to know where we stand. Can you understand that?"

Spock nodded slowly, his expression inscrutable. He opened his mouth to speak, but Kirk cut him off. He needed to say this, and he needed to say it now.

Now, or never.

"I know that you regret what we did," he said. "But I don't and I don't think I ever could. I understand your need to forget it ever happened, but I can't. I can't just go back to normal, pretend everything's ok. Because it will always be there, between us, unspoken. I just can't live my life like that. I need to hear how you feel about it. I need to get it out in the open, just this once, and then you can forget about it, and transfer, or whatever you want."

He finished, and sagged. I was like he had been holding that inside himself for so long and now that he'd said it all his energy felt like it had been sucked out of him. This had been coming for a long time, Kirk realized. For long before they had had sex Kirk had discovered his feelings, had grinned at Spock on the bridge and wished that they were more than friends, had caught Spock looking at him and fooled himself into thinking he felt the same way. It had been time to finally address it, for better or worse.

Spock was silent for far too long. Kirk watched him sit, watched him steeple his fingers in that way he always did when he was deep in thought. Kirk watched the wheels turning and wished he knew what was going through Spock's mind.

When he finally spoke, it wasn't what Kirk had expected to hear.

"I do not…'regret' what happened between us, Jim. Take that as you will. I understand what it must have been like for you when I was in female form. I believe I understand the temptation you must have been experiencing." He gave a little Vulcan shrug. "I cannot speak for your taste, nonetheless, I—"

"Temptation?" Kirk cut him off midsentence. "Temptation?" He scoffed. "What do you know about it?"

"A fair amount," Spock said quietly, but Kirk didn't hear. He began to pace. He'd told himself he would handle this gracefully, but now he was angry and he wasn't quite sure why.

"So, that's what you think? That I just took advantage of you in a delicate situation?"

Spock shook his head. "It was I who took advantage of the situation. Instead of controlling myself when the Pon Farr struck…" he stood, shook his head, turned away from Kirk. "Instead of controlling myself, I went to your quarters. It was wrong of me to put that on you." He turned back and looked Kirk in the eye. His eyes held a sorrowful look. Kirk stopped pacing. "I believe that you were attracted to me when I was in female form, for whatever reason. I was a novelty. I do not believe that you took advantage, Jim. That is not the sort of man you are."

Kirk's brows knitted together. Spock didn't understand. "Spock. Haven't you noticed?" he paused unsure of how to put this. "Spock, I've been thinking about you as…more…than a friend for a while now. Long before all this happened. That night was just the catalyst." He started pacing again, speaking quickly out of nervousness. "I know I'm making you uncomfortable, but it needed to be said. Maybe I shouldn't have brought it up at all, I don't know—"

He stopped pacing. Spock had walked over and placed a hand on Kirk's arm.

"Am I to understand…" he said slowly, "That you are in love with me?"

A blanket of silence dropped over the room, only the quiet sound of the engines filling it. But after a few seconds Kirk started…laughing.

Spock frowned.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Kirk said, still chuckling. It was the wrong time to feel silly like this, but that statement, coming from Spock's mouth, with such dead seriousness, was one of the cutest and funniest things Kirk had ever heard. "I'll explain later." He smiled fondly at Spock's confused expression, and e suddenly felt very serious.

Gently, he stepped forward and kissed Spock. It was quick, done so fast Spock didn't even have time to react.

"Yes," Kirk said softly. "I am in love with you. I have been for a long time."

Spock nodded slowly. Was that a faint green blush? "I see," was all he said.

And then, to Kirk's utter astonishment, Spock kissed him back. And it was more than a light peck. Kirk deepened the kiss when it became apparent that Spock wasn't going to pull back right away. He wrapped his arms around Spock, pulling him closer until their bodies were flush against each other. Spock's lips were abnormally warm, hot even. Kirk hadn't noticed that the last time they'd kissed. He parted Spock's lips with his tongue, wanting to be closer, and Spock complied, lightly nipping Kirk's own lips as he did so. Spock ran his hands down to Kirk's ass, lingering there for a moment before drifting up under his shirt and running up his back.

And it was only once they both pulled back, flushed and out of breath, that Kirk realized that was the first time he had ever kissed another man.

It didn't bother him one bit.

Kirk decided to push his luck. "Would you care to continue this discussion on the bed, Mr. Spock?" he asked with a mischievous grin. He was so happy he didn't even care if Spock said no. He could spend his life like this, loving Spock…and knowing Spock loved him, too.

However, to his great pleasure, Spock took the bait.

"I would not be…opposed to it," he replied, almost playfully, a ghost of a smile playing around his lips.

"I'll take that as a 'yes'," Kirk murmured as their lips met once more.

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I can't believe this is really happening," Kirk thought later as he watched Spock sleep. He'd never actually seen his first officer sleep, and he was, for lack of a better word, fascinated. Spock's hair was slightly mussed, his lips flushed. His breath escaped him at regular intervals with a nearly silent woosh of sound.

Captain Kirk and his First Officer, he mused. Who would have guessed that we, of all people, would end up together?

He was a little overwhelmed by it, a little daunted by the future that faced them. He knew they would have problems, they might argue, there would be misunderstandings. He knew that there would be pain, and sorrow, and maybe anger. But there would also be joy, and love. The unknown was in front of them then, and who knew what would happen to them as the years marched by?

But then again, he thought with a smile, the "unknown' is the best kind of adventure.

FIN

Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet.

- William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet"