Notes: For ShamelessSpocker, because she gave me kisses. Women, beware with kisses. They turn men into suckers. (Not that I wasn't a sucker to begin with, as you all know.) Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.
Jim paced to one end of their quarters, turned sharply on his booted heel, and paced back. Turn, pace, turn, pace, turn. Repeat on loop and intersperse motion with foul language and dark mutterings about the officer in question. Jim rarely felt the urge to find a brick and smash someone's face in, but he did right now - and doing it wouldn't be good for him.
But God, he wanted to.
It wasn't really about Spock disagreeing with him on the best course of action. He did that all the time. It wasn't even about Spock's demand that Jim should stay on board, in light of the shoulder injury. He'd said things along those lines too. It wasn't about that.
It was that Spock, when Jim rebuffed his protests, had gone over his head to the admiralty.
He'd ratted him out to the fucking brass.
Jim had gotten a comm from Nogura shortly afterwards, banning him from away missions until the CMO cleared him as fit - which everyone on the damn ship knew that Bones wasn't going to do until long after they'd left Midu's orbit. So he wouldn't get to see Midu now at all - and he was going to kill Spock. Murder him.
He barely noticed when the cabin doors opened and shut again.
That got his attention.
"What the fuck were you playing at?" he demanded, rounding on Spock furiously, hands clenching and unclenching spasmodically at his sides. "What the fuck was that?"
Spock actually took a step back, and his spine stiffened. "Captain," he said, dropping the informality of Jim's first name. "I stand by my decision. Your injury posed a significant risk were you to..."
"You went over my fucking head, to the fucking brass, and got me fucking grounded like a fucking schoolkid!" Jim snarled, grinding his teeth when Spock's face tensed minutely at his cursing. "You refused to follow my goddamn orders and went over my head to get the fucking approval that you desired!"
"Shut up!" Jim snapped, jabbing a finger into Spock's chest. "You went behind my back! You fucking stabbed me in it! You didn't trust my judgement so you went against my orders and used your own! I could have you brought up on charges!"
"I did what I felt best for the captain and crew of this vessel," Spock intoned formally, sounding for all the world as though he were at his own court-martial. Jim's already precarious temper wobbled again; how dare he sound that fucking calm!
"You satisfied your own goddamn emotions!" Jim sneered, turning and storming angrily to the other side of the cabin. "You gave in to your fucking human half, for once, and you fucking stabbed me with it! You're compromised, when it comes to me, aren't you?"
Spock took a shallow breath, as if to reply, but Jim ploughed on, regardless, the blood humming in his ears as the anger struggled to find an outlet.
"If you can't trust me then why the fuck am I meant to trust you?"
"Don't you 'Jim' me!"
"Captain - I do trust you, but you do not take your own welfare seriously enough..."
Jim whirled around, face twisted in fury. "Don't you fucking turn this on me!"
"You telling me I need a fucking babysitter?" Jim roared, taking two long strides towards Spock again.
"You cannot deny, Captain, that your regard for your own injuries is..."
"Can it," Jim snapped, shaking from head to toe, fists clenched so hard that the knuckles were turning white. "Just fucking stop, right the fuck there."
"I will not. Your..."
"I said shut the fuck up," Jim snarled, voice rising. "You went over my fucking head, and this is my problem? I could have you transferred off this ship faster than you could fucking pinch me!"
Spock went completely rigid. If frost could have formed in the air, it would have done.
"Get out," Jim hissed, turning away from him again.
"I will not leave you in such an agitated sta-"
Spock never finished that sentence; Jim's fraying temper snapped entirely and he whirled, fist in the air, with a primal roar like an animal. His right fist smashed heavily into Spock's chin, snapping the Vulcan's head back sharply. As Spock had been in the act of walking towards Jim, his posture was loose and his body off-balance - the force of the blow took him back into the bulkhead, the back of his head colliding with the sharp edge of the doorframe.
His face went blank in a nanosecond, and he crumpled to the floor.
The pain that rocketed through his pulled shoulder, and the glisten of green on the doorframe, combined to snap Jim out of it, leaving him feeling dizzy and sick. He stared shakily at his hand for a long moment, taking several short, stumbling steps backwards, before his eyes flew to the dark form on the floor, and a shiver ran up his spine.
"Spock..." he breathed, then remembered how his legs worked and shot to his side, falling on his knees beside the Vulcan's body. "Spock! Oh God, Jesus, Spock, please..."
He hadn't killed him - thank anything out there - but he wasn't getting a response either, and he could feel the stickiness of blood in Spock's hair. He didn't dare to move him - he didn't know enough to feel for skull fractures or neck damage, and his hands were shaking anyway.
"Spock, please," he whimpered, stroking his fingers desperately over Spock's forehead and psi points. Touching his psi points always got a reaction, always. Not this time, though. "Oh God, please, please wake up. I didn't mean to - I didn't mean any of it! Please..."
He bolted for the communicator, desperately sending the emergency beacon to Sickbay, and returned to Spock's side without pausing for breath, hands still shaking as they returned to those urgent, fleeting touches.
"Please, please wake up," he begged, feeling the panic seeping into the skin of his face and the hot burn of tears developing inside. "I'm so sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it, I didn't mean to! Please, you can't be...oh God, please, just wake up, please, please - oh God, Bones, help him!"
And McCoy was there, landing on his knees beside them and snapping his plastic gloves on. The moment he felt the blood, he called to the orderlies who'd entered with him for pads, and gave Jim a grim look.
"What the hell happened?" he demanded, turning that scowl back to the medical tricorder when it whined miserably at him.
"We were arguing and I...oh God, I hit him," Jim whispered, still stroking Spock's face. His skin felt too cool - or was it Jim's paranoia? "I fucking lashed out at him, like...like...oh God..."
McCoy's lips thinned, but he said nothing, taking a couple more readings and loading two hyposprays in record time. "Jenkins, Myers - let's get him to Sickbay. Jenkins, call ahead to Nurse Teyman and tell her to prep the neuroscanner."
Jim choked back a sob and leaned down to press a devastatingly gentle kiss to Spock's forehead.
"Captain," McCoy said grimly. "My office, until I have the time to speak with you."
When McCoy strode into his office an hour and a half later, Jim was sitting in one of the chairs, knees drawn up to his chest, staring blankly at the floor and chewing his lip. It was quite obvious that he'd been crying, and he didn't bother to scrub at his face when he glanced up at McCoy hopefully.
"How is he?" he breathed.
"In a minute," McCoy said, sitting down opposite him. "So you hit him."
"Yes," Jim swallowed audibly.
"How many times?"
"Have you ever hit him before?"
"No!" Jim's head snapped up, and their eyes met. For a long moment, McCoy scrutinised Jim's face intently, his own unreadable for once.
"If I even think you've hit him again," McCoy said quietly, "then I'll have your ass up in front of a hearing before you know what hit you. And it'll be a Vulcan hearing. If there's anything left of you after that, then I'll throw you to the disciplinary board at Starfleet."
Jim nodded, not even trying to voice a protest.
"I've written a report, and it'll live in privacy on my account," McCoy continued, his voice still dangerously level and quiet. "If this is a one-time thing and I think you pose no further risk to Spock, that's how it'll stay. If not, then I'll get Scotty to play with the computers until it looks like I made that report right now, and the brass'll pick up on a medical report concerning their golden Vulcan out there."
Jim nodded again, hugging his knees and looking for all the world like a hurt child.
"The only reason," the doctor added, "that I'm not calling in security on you right now and discharging you from duty permanently is that I like to think I know you. I like to think that this was a one-time deal, and that you're never going to make that mistake again. You prove me wrong, Kirk, and I'll personally see to it that your life is ruined. We clear?"
"Clear," Jim croaked.
"You're going to report to Counsellor McClintock for anger management therapy, twice a week, until he decides you're good to stop. I'm not clearing you for duty on away missions until he states that you don't pose a threat to yourself or anyone with your temper. You can stay the fuck here until you sort yourself out. And I repeat: if I find one single reason to suspect that you have ever hit Spock again, I will ruin your life."
Jim nodded again, still not voicing a single protest. It was less than he deserved. He deserved McCoy to ruin his life for this.
"Just...please, how is he? Is he...is he okay?" Jim whispered.
McCoy's demeanour softened, but only slightly. "He'll be fine. A nasty concussion, and he had us worried with the unconsciousness for a bit, but no bone fractures or damage to the brain that the neuroscanner is picking up. I'm keeping him overnight."
How much that had to do with the concussion, and how much to do with the doctor's natural reluctance to release Spock back into the hands of the man who'd injured him in the first place, Jim wasn't sure - nor did he care to ask. He meekly accepted the decision, and licked his lips.
"Can I...can I see him?"
"No," McCoy said flatly. "You can see him when I release him tomorrow. I want to talk to him first, and that's not happening until he's fully awake and lucid. Go back to your quarters. He'll be out by the end of Alpha shift tomorrow."
Jim was twitchy all the way through the following days' shift. Nobody seemed to know why Spock was absent, but they also didn't question it. Jim surmised that someone knew he was in Sickbay, and they'd all thought he'd picked up the flu that was doing the rounds. Jim wasn't about to tell them otherwise.
He was surprised, however, to return to their quarters and find Spock already there, asleep in their bed, hospital gown abandoned in the sonic shower and a single candle burning by the meditation mat. The sight of that dark head on the pillow brought a lump to Jim's throat, and he locked the doors before kicking off his boots and crawling into the bed.
The shifting of the mattress made the Vulcan stir, and when dark eyes were suddenly staring up at Jim's face, he broke down with a strangled, vaguely embarrassing sound.
"Oh God," he whimpered, curling his arms around Spock's torso and clinging with all his might. "Oh God, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry; I can't believe I...oh God, I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to...!"
Spock folded him up in his arms, and Jim let out a shuddering sigh, tighting his own grip in response.
"Jesus, I fucking hit you," he shivered. He wanted to touch Spock's hair, but didn't dare. "I just...I just lost my temper, and I could have...I could have killed you, I..."
"It did not happen, Jim."
"I love you," Jim said desperately, suddenly sitting up and leaning over Spock, planting a hand either side of his head so that he had little choice but to look Jim in the eye. "I love you so much, I love you with everything I have, and that I...that I hit you, it..." He shook himself. "And the things I said - Jesus, I..."
"Don't leave me," Jim breathed. "You shouldn't forgive me for this - for any of it - but please don't leave me. I swear, I'll never do it again, and I'm going to anger management now, and I'll...please don't. I love you so much; please, please let me..."
Spock murmured something he didn't know in Vulcan, drawing Jim down to rest over his body with that effortless Vulcan strength.
"We will talk about it," he said, "in the morning - but I will not, to my knowledge, be leaving you. I...understand emotional outbursts, Jim, and I think you have forgotten that. If I can be forgiven for my lapse that year, then you can be forgiven now."
Jim hung onto him tightly, breathing in that familiar scent and shivering at the thought of what might have happened.
"In any case," Spock added, with a shot of possibly inappropriate humour, "Vulcan strength easily surpasses Human strength. You 'got lucky', as Humans would say. Ordinarily, you would not have been able to inflict any more than superficial surface bruising."
"Well, I did manage," Jim choked, feeling the tears rising again. "I did, and even if I didn't, I fucking hit you, and..."
"Ssh," Spock murmured, dropping his voice to a soothing rumble and began to stroke long fingers through Jim's hair, that repetitive soothing motion that...that...
Jim woke several hours later, still curled in the bed with Spock. From the perceptible motion of his breathing, and the lax hand tangled in his, Jim hastily concluded that Spock was deeply asleep, and he stayed relaxed and still so as not to wake him. It was pitch black in their quarters, so he couldn't see a thing, but when he gingerly reached up, that sleek hair was dry to the touch.
He let out a long breath, and shifted a fraction closer.
He would go to every single one of those damn therapy sessions. He'd even increase them if it helped. And Spock was getting all the time in the labs he wanted, and all the away missions he wanted, and a foot massage every night, and Jim would switch to vegetarian meals, and go to the Music Club recitals with him, and...
Spock shifted slightly so that his face was suddenly tucked again Jim's shoulder. Jim turned to throw an arm over his back and kiss his cheek carefully, trying to press his love through the skin with that clumsy human inability to use telepathy.
Spock's lips twitched faintly upward for a moment. Perhaps, then, it worked.