A/N: This was created while listening to the song "Come Here Boy" by Imogene Heap. It's mostly just the feel of the song, though, and not the lyrics itself, that inspired me. (This is not a songfic, and the lyrics are not contained herein)

The End of a Long Day

Jim is exhausted. He's been pushing himself, on the edge of collapsing for days now as he clung with tooth and nail until he's a bleeding stump of exhaustion with nothing else left. He had to. His people were depending on him, needed him to be there and pull them out of a crisis again.

But now, when the last report has been written and every muscle and sinew in his body is begging for sleep, and his eyes feel like sandpaper in his skull – he can't sleep. The memories are far too raw, as crushing as the multitude of fresh scrapes and scars that coat his body, and he's too stubborn to let Bones treat til morning. For all intents and purposes, he won the day, pulled them out of a mission that everyone else would have given up on long before. He knows exactly how many people he saved – each and every person, down to the children – just like he has a mental list of the people he wasn't able to. Wasn't good enough to get there in time to save.

And that's what's devastating him. Images of their bodies, mangled and broken, float to the surface of his subconscious whenever he closes his eyes. And no matter how much his body aches, no matter how much he begs for slumber to steal these thoughts from him for a while and leave him in peace – he's restless. Keyed up on adrenaline and far too many stim packs, he can't settle his mind enough, even with help.

Sighing, he swings his legs over the side of the bed and sits up. The warm form that should be beside him, wrapped around him and calming the feverish qualities of his mind, is noticeably absent – he has duties, too. With his ability to function on less sleep, Spock was the only choice to get them started on their limp back to the Starbase, and repairs and rest for everyone involved. But that means he's not here when Jim needs him – when Jim is exhausted and frail and trembling with the aftershocks.

He shakes himself and levers to his feet, rubbing his eyes as he takes a step forward. He'll just have to keep walking until his feet give out, and the stims finally wear off, and he just passes into unconscious. It's his only option now, with Spock busy and unable to sooth him into the sleep he so desperately needs.

"Ouch," he whines, his voice coming out more of a rasp against his sore vocal chords, as he glares down at the offending limb. Cursing colorfully, he wiggles the broken toe just to prove to it he's still boss.

Even though he knows it's useless. He's not the boss of anything, least of all his body and its demands. If he was, he'd be passed out right now and drooling. Sagging, he falls back onto the bed and rests his head into his hands. He hurts too much to move, but he's too antsy to stay put. Frustrated, he tugs on his hair as he chews his bottom lip. Closing his eyes hurts, but he can't help it if they won't stay open any longer.

He blinks away grit at the sound of the pneumatic door whooshing open, and closed. Lifts his head to see Spock looking as worn and weary as he feels – at least to Jim's practiced eyes.

"Aren't you supposed to be on the Bridge?" he croaks, absently massaging the bone above his left eye. Too much strain, without his glasses, always gives him a pounding headache.

"I have left the Bridge under Lt. Rodriguez's charge," Spock replies, striding up to Jim with purpose.

Jim stares up at Spock when the Vulcan stops right before him, so close the fabric of his leggings brushes against Jim's bare knees. Of their own volition, his limbs part to allow Spock into the sphere of his personal space. But even as his body lets Spock closer, his words try to push the Vulcan away. "What are you doing? What if they need you, and you're not there, and something happens –"

"Lt. Rodriguez is more than capable of getting the ship to the Starbase safely," comes Spock's voice, calm and logical as always. One of his hands rises, splayed fingers stroking gently along Jim's throbbing temple and down along his cheekbone. "I could not stay there. Not while my t'hy'la has need of me."

Leaning into the touch, Jim can't help but snort – even though it hurts to do so. "Which is exactly my point. You can't let your personal attachment to me get in the way of doing what's best for the ship."

Spock's other hand rests against the side of Jim's face, the pad of his thumb stroking over his eyebrow. "Everything that is required for the safety of the ship and her personnel has been accomplished. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make this so, Jim. I am needed here."

He can't deny his need, and even though he tried all of his tenuous arguments were summarily shot down. Sighing, he lowers his head and gives in to the touch.

"Come here," Spock murmurs, shifting infinitesimally closer. Jim complies, resting his forehead against the Vulcan's warm abdomen, wrapping his arms around Spock's slim hips and nestling in with a sigh. Without hesitation, Spock's hands move from Jim's face to his back, stroking gently from the hair at the base of his neck down his spine.

And as soon as he gives in, as soon as he clings and just lets Spock's presence be the comfort that it's meant as, there's a shimmer at the edges of his consciousness. There is a trickling of Spock that flows into him, tingling along every nerve pathway and slowly filling him with calm and consolation.

He sighs, curling around that sense of Spock – him, but not him, as they are one but separate – that is coating every piece of his mind. Finally, finally, the images of the lost fade from behind his eyes, and he is left alone with Spock in his head.

"Thank you," he murmurs into the muscles of the Vulcan's belly, and he feels them flex at the same moment a curling of frustrated amusement unravels from the pieces of Spock coursing through him. The hands leave off stroking his back for a moment, as Spock quickly removes everything but his boxers, and then strong arms cradle him close – holding him as they both fall back, into the welcoming expanse of the mattress.

Jim closes his eyes as the sense of Spock-inside comes back stronger than before, as there is more skin-on-skin contact now. The Vulcan spends some time arranging Jim's limbs around his heated form, and Jim finds himself resting in the hollow of Spock's shoulder as delicate fingertips stroke his temple.

"You do not ever have to thank me, t'hy'la," the words come to him as if from the bottom of a well, as Jim feels sleep calling to him. He can also feel Spock nudging him along, the Vulcan soothing the tender parts of his mind and imposing rest on his muscle, sinew, bones. I am yours, as you are mine, Spock whispers to his heart. Always.

He doesn't fight it. This is all he wanted – all he never needed, since the first day he laid eyes on Spock. I know, t'hy'la, he pulls himself out of sleep just far enough to form thoughts coherent enough for the Vulcan to pick up.

And then he drifts off into slumber, lulled there by the promise kissed into his flesh by smooth fingertips.