It begins with a distant humming in his ears and turns into a something nudging the edges of his brain. Every time he takes a breath his exhale is shaky and his fingernails dig into the cloth on his pillow. He can't close his eyes. It's also that feeling like you're being held in place by something, where you don't feel heavy but it's too difficult to move.

Jim blinks slowly, unable to tear his gaze away from the ceiling of his cabin. His pushes his mind into wondering about the useless in an attempt to find sleep, thinking that pondering over something like who designed the rooms for this ship anyways would be boring enough that his eyes would start to droop. But no luck.

The feeling is back, the one that's biting at his skull and not letting him sleep. The one that he can't even begin to identify. This has never happened to him, Jim's never found himself lying awake in bed late one night, trying to push away an emotion that his body doesn't understand. He's never been the type to dwell over his feelings, but it's hard not to when they're so strong you want to throw up.

Jim doesn't want to understand what's creeping up on him, he wants to sleep. He really just wants to sleep.

Jim wonders if anyone else on the ship is having trouble falling asleep. He idly wonders if people like Scotty are still awake, burning the midnight oil and then will complain tomorrow how there aren't enough hours in the day. That surge of pride that fills his chest spreads throughout him, he can't avoid it whenever he thinks about his crew. How could anyone, with a crew like his?

He allows his mind to run over everyone, thinking about the past few days. His eyes still won't close but the rest of his body is beginning to relax.

He thinks about Uhura and how insanely beautiful and confident she is, but also unbelievable terrifying at times - she honestly scares Jim to some extent. He thinks about Bones and how he knows exactly the right things to say to get Bones riled up, and it's one of his favourite things to do, fall back into a good conversation with his best friend. He thinks about Sulu and Chekov and how brave and brilliant they are, how everyone on this crew really is, and Jim is now beginning to feel his eyes droop.

But once his mind reaches Spock, Jim's fingers twist around the edge of his blanket and his face flushes. Jim quickly tries to move past the image of Spock that's now filling the entirety of his mind, but to no avail. He tries to go back to the pleasantly calm thoughts from before, but now he can only see Spock and the curve of his neck, and Jim's stomach curls in knots.

This frustrates Jim, because recently every time he sees, talks to, or even thinks about Spock there's this weird feeling in his chest and throat, and Jim's inital reaction is panic, because he has no clue what's going on. He has no freaking idea why even the barest thought of Spock makes his body do strange things like trip over stuff or his mind blanks out.

Jim bites down on his lip and just forces his eyes shut. He just wants to sleep, that's all he wants right now. He wants to shut everything down and out and not feel anxious and uncertain.

When he lets his mind go, the first place it goes to is Spock. Jim sighs into his pillow and tries to relax, letting go of everything and just not caring at this point.

He lies there for several moments, and his mind lingers for a second on what it felt like when Spock's shoulder brushed his earlier that day, and then he finally drifts off.

The first thing Jim sees is white. Everything is bright and then it all fades away, forming into a pale apartment room. He blinks and when he breathes even the air is crisp, just as spotless as the room is. He looks around and notices that it does look lived in though, there's a pair of shoes tossed about the floor and a book left open on the couch next to the balcony. There's a cup of something out on the kitchen table, and Jim thinks he hears someone moving in the other room.

He scans over the titles on the bookshelf, and recognises a few of his favourite books. There are also a handful in a language he doesn't understand. A language that seems really familiar.

Jim experiences that moment where you realise you're dreaming and everything becomes completely lucid. Instead of waking up, he feels a pair of strong arms slide around his waist, pulling him tight. Jim knows who it is and he's frozen, unable to move as Spock's hands move up and down his back, and Spock's lips brush against the line of his jaw. Jim knows he's dreaming and he knows this means something, but at that moment he's finally overcome with the strong desire to know what it would feel like to kiss Spock back. So he does.

And he wakes up.

Jim immediately reaches over for something next to his bed, something to grip so he can bring himself out of what he just experienced. His heart is pounding and his lips are tingling and his mind...his mind is positively reeling.

It takes a few minutes of trying to slow his breathing down until Jim notices he did manage to get at least a few hours of sleep. He squeezes his eyes close, but when he's just met with the image of Spock's face underneath his, he quickly gets dressed and leaves his cabin.

Jim walks, listening to the way his feet softly pad on the floor. He walks without aim, and as a result, ends up at an end of the ship rarely visited. There's a few chairs and a small table next to a large window that looks out into space. As Jim sits, he looks out the window and sucks in a breath of cool air, his eyes peering into the deep expanse of the universe.

Jim decides space is another one of those things that you can stare into for forever, searching for answers - only to uncover even more questions. It's a little melodramatic, but Jim's really feeling the same way about himself right now.

He looks down at his hands. The sensation's back, settling in his chest and making it hard to breathe. He doesn't want to name it, recognise it, or call it out. He honestly would like it to go away, but as he leans back and sighs, Jim knows he's gotten himself wrapped up in some tangled mess with his emotions that's going to be really hard to undo.

He hears light footsteps coming down the hall and of course, it's Spock. Jim's hand clenches the arm of the chair and he sees he's caught Spock momentarily by surprise, but the Vulcan quickly regains his usual composure. He comes closer, pausing at the edge of Jim's chair, peering down at Jim and asking, "Captain...it is unusual for you to be awake this early."

Jim decides to answer the question in that statement. "Didn't get a lot of sleep." He answers bluntly, too fried for even a joke. "Thought it would just be better if I got up."

Spock eyes him and Jim shifts uncomfortably in his chair. He's aware of how hot his cheeks are growing under Spock's gaze and wonders what Spock thinks of it.

Jim now spends a lot of time wondering what Spock thinks.

To Jim's surprise, Spock sits in the chair next to him, lightly intertwining his fingers and studying Jim. "Anything you wish to discuss, Captain?"

Jim wants to shrug away from the attention. He doesn't want Spock to have any inkling of the twisting feelings in his chest, or the way his bottom lip is raw from how he chews on it in worry.

Jim flushes at the thought of lips, because it brings him back to his dream, and Jim closes his eyes and wishes the floor would engulf him or something.

He jumps a little when he feels Spock lean close to him and his eyes fly open. Spock looks at him, concern obvious in his eyes.

Jim likes the way the shadows from the window fall across Spock's face and the way Spock's eyes reflect the dim lighting of the hallways.

Jim likes it a little too much.

He quickly slides out of the chair, standing up and retreating away. Spock's gaze follows him and Jim bumps into the edge of the chair. He manages to mumble out something like "I'm just tired" before taking off down the hall.

Jim's pace slows when he feels like he's a good distance away from Spock. Even if he can only put a physical distance between them, because every time he blinks Spock is everywhere, burned into the backs of his eyelids.

Jim thinks he's beginning to figure out what that feeling curling in his chest is.


Hey! I finally got this fic up. haha

It only took a year from having the idea until now...

Even though this chapter's short, I'm hoping the next ones will be longer. There's more going on than in this one...so they should be. lol

The fic's inspired by the song Cosmic Love by Florence + the Machine, which is also the song that really exemplifies Spork for me.

There's going to be five chapters! I want to finish it this week, so bug me so I don't get lazy. keke