All right, I obviously don't own Star Trek in any way, shape, or form. OK, that's a lie. I have the 2009 movie on DVD and a good bit of TOS on video. Yes, video. We've had them for what seems like forever.

I do own the idea, though. I wanted to see if it was possible to write a slow-going K/S (warning, SLASH!) fic that started out like this. You know, instead of a 'jump in headfirst' type. I also wanted to mess with the characters without actively trying to kill them, yet.

For the record, this is my first attempt at fanfiction that I actually like well enough to attempt to post ANYWHERE. If you choose to review, please be honest but non-insulting. (Don't rag on the choice of type of fic to write, as you don't have to read it if you don't want to.)

Chapter 1

The heat was nearly on par with Vulcan standards, but the air was heavy with moisture that left clothes clinging stickily to skin. Trees of varying types, all with thick, heavy leaves, shaded the thin animal path the away team had chosen to follow.

The Captain had elected to take the lead and Spock had positioned himself a pace behind him… just in case. James T. Kirk had the unnerving tendency to find trouble where no trouble should be found.

Movement overhead—a leathery-winged creature with a shape similar to Terran crows, but far larger—launching itself from the stem of a hanging leaf.

A shower of a pollen-like substance rained down, settling on the Captain.

A breath and the Captain was collapsing to his knees, Spock instinctively reaching forward to catch him, believing it to be an allergic reaction, and reddish dust hit his skin.

Before he had a chance to abort his movement as he felt every one of his mental shields drop and his telepathic senses go completely wild, he made contact, catching the Captain's shoulder, his finger just barely brushing against the skin of Jim's neck.

Pain/fear/shock lanced through Spock's mind and he couldn't stop the swirling thoughts and feelings suddenly flooded him—warmth and sunlight; shining, bright, fractured. Jim.

He did not initiate it, was not touching psi-points, but suddenly they were locked in something like a mind-meld and he saw himself as Jim saw him in that moment. Night to Jim's day; cool, calm, soothing.

And it was going too fast, too deep, and Spock was not in control any more than Jim was as minds meshed and melded, broke apart and blended back. Dimly, Spock was aware that this was dangerous, wrong. That he could not force this upon his Captain as thread by thread, a bond began to weave between them.

But there was no control, nothing even resembling it, and suddenly he was seeing flashes of a life that was not his own as he sensed the other watching his own life in turn.

Then there was a brief moment of nothingness—transporter, his mind identified distantly—and the physical touch was broken.

There was a moment's disorientation as the still-forming bond flared, dragging minds together in a way that no Vulcan could accomplish, and all awareness of his own body vanished in sunlight and wonder and fear and Jim.

xxxx

Spock woke to the sterile scent and bright lights of the ship's medical bay, but that barely registered past the realization that he was bonded more strongly than should have been possible—strongly enough to feel the warmth of Jim's mind even past the haze of unconsciousness.

He was broken out of his musings by Dr. McCoy entering the curtained-off area that was usually reserved for the Captain alone. It had been expanded to include another biobed, and Spock took a moment to map out the new layout in his mind, ignoring the doctor checking readings against a PADD in his hand.

Then his attention was redirected to a flicker in the back of his mind, the haze coating Jim's awareness beginning to lighten. He turned his head to look at the Captain's biobed, sensing pain.

"Captain," he offered quietly as he sensed the man's return to awareness a moment before quiet monitoring beeps changed pace.

There was a long pause before Jim answered, but the reply was not aloud. Spock… is there a particular reason that I can feel you in my head?

"Jim?" McCoy's voice interrupted before Spock could formulate a reply through the shock that he had been able to hear the directed thought.

That… should not have been possible. Not without contact with at least one psi-point, not for a half-Vulcan with a human, bonded or not.

But it was quite clear that it was possible, as it had just happened, and Spock's shock and confusion fluttered through the link.

"Damn it, Jim," McCoy reached out to touch a shoulder, fingers brushing against bare skin where the neck of the shirt was slightly askew.

The reaction was instantaneous and intense—Kirk recoiled from the touch, a shocked gasp ripping from his throat as he jerked sideways hard enough to tumble from the biobed in a tangle of flailing limbs, the sudden movement aggravating the already powerful migraine into something that blinded and confused.

Spock didn't even register moving before he was there, steadying his accidental bondmate, reaching for psi-points to bring minds closer still, to guide the other in a purely Vulcan technique to ease the pain.

And it worked.

When Spock realized what he'd done, his confusion and shock only mounted and Jim blinked open those too-blue eyes, the mirrored confusion tempered with concern. "Spock?"

A breath and Spock had himself back under control, though confusion still thrummed between them as hundreds of ideas were tasted and discarded, theories half-formed and abandoned for lack of information.

"I do not know, Captain."

And the seconds that it had taken for the entire exchange since the impromptu abandoning of the biobed were all that McCoy needed to get over his shock at his best friend recoiling from him so strongly.

He was next to them, running a tricorder over each of them in turn, eyes dark with worry.

And something occurred to Spock as he returned his attention to his Captain. Why did you react so strongly to Dr. McCoy's touch?

A pause, slight confusion, and it came in a rush of projected memory.

Had Spock been the type to curse, he would have done so. However, cursing served no logical function, so he settled for sitting back slightly, then standing and gesturing to Jim's abandoned biobed.

"Doctor, I believe we have information that you will require."

xxxx

"So you're telling me that Jim's now a touch-telepath with no training or control and you two are telepathically bonded." It was not a question.

Spock considered, then inclined his head slightly.

McCoy sighed, deflating visibly. "It explains some of the readings I've been getting," he admitted reluctantly. "… but not all of them."

Jim had remained silent throughout the entire explanation and Spock was admittedly concerned at the numbness emanating from Jim's end of the bond between them. Suddenly having telepathic abilities thrust upon him with no forewarning and nothing even resembling training…

From what Jim had shown him, McCoy's frustration, rage, and concern had hit new senses like a razor-edged sledgehammer. It was highly possible he was falling into some kind of shock.

McCoy made the same observation at nearly the same time, reaching for his tricorder to run a quick scan while Spock set about pressing into that numbness, searching for some kind of response.

Captain?

A flicker of annoyance—much better than numbness—and a sensation like a wince.

Jim, was the response. Please.

Jim, Spock acquiesced, are you all right?

Hesitation, confusion, reaching

Spock moved without conscious decision, gently laying a steadying hand on the back of his Captain's neck, the contact bringing the connection swelling to near the level of a full meld.

And there—new senses raw and pained, though Spock's mental touch soothed. I will teach you to shield your mind, Spock assured.

Jim nodded silently, weariness setting in as numbness faded into pain.

McCoy set aside his tricorder, frowning. "I need to run some more tests," he informed them both, leveling a concerned glance towards Jim. "There's something going on in there, but…" he sighed, a flicker of frustration reaching Spock's senses even from the distance.

"The Captain should rest," Spock observed.

Indignation touched his mind and Spock returned an unrepentant, if gentle, mental nudge.

McCoy didn't disagree, but there was an air of confusion as he raised an eyebrow in Spock's direction.

"His new senses were… strained by the unexpected influx of thought and emotion when you touched him," Spock was reluctant to explain more fully, as it would cause McCoy to feel guilty and that, in turn, would upset Jim.

But McCoy only nodded and reached for a hypo, which Jim submitted to with less than his usual bad grace, slipping almost gratefully into a drug-induced slumber.

Spock let out a breath, and kept McCoy from leaving. "Doctor…"

He waited until the man's attention was completely on him, "Until I can teach the Captain how to shield himself from the brunt of the influx of thought and emotion transferred through touch, it would be best if you ensured that your touch only contacted clothing. His abilities are far stronger than those found in the average Vulcan."

McCoy swore softly as it clicked. "I really hurt him, didn't I?"

Spock inclined his head, then shifted. "My abilities have also increased. I can sense your emotions though I am not in physical contact. The sense is distant, but nevertheless there. I can only presume that my 'touch telepathy' has also experienced a sudden increase in sensitivity."

McCoy frowned, glancing between the standing Vulcan and the sleeping Captain. "You can't tell?"

"The bond I now share with the Captain negates my ability to discern what increase in my 'sense' of him is due to his new abilities or my own. It is, simply put, exponentially more powerful than the mating bonds known to my people."

It took McCoy a moment to process what had just been said, and he made a leap that, while unexpected, was not entirely illogical. "Wait—you two are mated now?"

Spock hesitated a moment, "It is possible that my people would see this as an equivalent to a mate-bond."

"So it's not," McCoy sounded somewhere between confused and relieved.

"Bonds are not easily classified, Doctor. Formerly, the mate-bond was the deepest I knew of. This bond goes much deeper than the bonds that have been described to me. It is… probable that my people would see this as an equivalent."

The doctor made a growling sound in the back of his throat, "Damn it, are you or aren't you!?"

Spock closed his eyes for a moment, feeling flickers of emotion from his bondmate as he started to dream.

"If we were to inform the Elders of this occurrence, it is likely that they would declare us 'married'." And though it was an unexpected thing, Spock found that he was not wholly opposed to the idea. Though he had never thought of his Captain in sexual terms, there was no denying how well their minds fit together.

Had it not been so, the out-of-control mental abilities that had erupted at the touch of that alien dust could well have proved permanently damaging, if not fatal. Instead, they had bonded—bonded more deeply than anything Spock had ever heard of.

"Damn," McCoy's voice broke through Spock's quiet realization.

He raised an eyebrow slightly in the doctor's direction when nothing more was forthcoming.

Finally McCoy looked at Spock, "I'm going to go run those tests," he stated. "You get to figure out how to tell Jim he's married."

xxxx