Notes: Another Keeping Love story, sequel to 'Keeping Love' and 'Crystalline.' And this shit'll make your teeth rot.

Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek 2009, and I make no profit from this work.


-lovelovelovelove, mine, all mine, mine forever, happywarmsafeloved, placeforme-myplace-ourplace-placewithhim, happysafe, bothsafe, loveloveminemine, love him and he's mine, keepkeepkeep, keepforever, nobody-else-evereverever, justus-himandme-meandhim, wake up like this every morning, mineminemine, keepforevermineforeverallmine, lovemine, lo-whatthefuckISTHAT?

Spock's alarm went off, and Kirk jumped before groaning and groping blindly for it without disentangling himself from either the sheets or Spock himself. It was an inefficient way of turning off an alarm, but Spock declined to voice that fact - waking up to the warm wash of Kirk's thoughts made him reluctant to jeopardise it.

"D'n't wanna to go work," Kirk grumbled, tucking his face back into Spock's neck. After a pause, he tilted his chin to kiss the cool skin there. "Did you sleep or meditate?"

"I meditated for the majority of the night."

"D'it go well?"

"Yes."

"Didn't disturb you, did I?" Kirk asked, eventually rolling away and stretching so that his back arched luxuriously, and the long, smooth expanse of his stomach was displayed to its full potential. Due to the heat of Spock's quarters, Kirk had a habit of sleeping on top of the sheets. It made the mornings...interesting.

"Negative," Spock eventually remembered to reply, stroking a hand across the bottom of Kirk's ribs, then trailing it up to rest over his heart. "I trust you slept well?"

"Duh," Kirk grunted, relaxing out of the stretch and scratching his stubble idly. After a moment, he tangled his fingers into Spock's hand, lifted it from his chest to his mouth, and kissed the knuckles. "Got a Vulcan to snuggle with. S'pretty easy to sleep well."

Spock hummed, pressing light Vulcan kisses to Kirk's jaw. With the morning stubble, it was tantalisingly erotic to do so, and he entertained vague fantasies of one day having the time to explore the possibilities of that hair growth at length.

"S'that you kissin' me?" Kirk asked, nudging his face into Spock's palm, tilting his head back to allow those ghosting fingers to brush lightly under his chin and up the other side of his face. He probably already knew - he was a communications officer, after all, and the Vulcan tendency to kiss with their hands was hardly the same kind of secret as Pon Farr. But Spock had already noticed Kirk's tendency to ask questions to which he already knew the answer.

"Indeed."

"S'nice."

A corner of Spock's mouth twitched. He did not criticise himself for the lapse. "I am pleased that you think so."

"Mm," Kirk caught the hand again, pressing a firm kiss to the palm, before sitting up with a groan and scratching the back of his neck. "Urgh. I am on shift, right?"

"Indeed."

"Fuck," he said eloquently, though through the groan it sounded more like 'ferrrrrrrk.' "You on the bridge today?"

"Negative. The entirety of the sciences have been rerouted to engineering and maintenance to assist with repairs."

Kirk made a noise that was somewhere between a groan and a growl. "I'm not happy about it."

"About what?"

"You going back on shift," he said, rolling back towards Spock and working his arms around the Vulcan's upper body in a hug. "I mean, you nearly died down there."

"I assure you, Jim, that I am quite recovered," Spock said, returning the hug briefly.

"Yeah. I guess. Well, don't blow yourself up, and I'll swing by and grab you for lunch," Kirk yawned, only half-joking, and staggered out of bed and towards the fresher.

Spock took an unVulcan moment to appreciate the view, before rising.


"I have had," Kirk announced as he swept onto the sixth level of engineering and beelined for Spock, "the most ridiculously busy morning of my life. Hey," he added, pressing a swift kiss to Spock's cheek. When Lieutenant Astansi turned away hastily from the bench with a dark expression, Kirk frowned. "What's her problem?"

"Irrelevant," Spock said; judging by the expression on Kirk's face, that did little to nothing to appease him. "I presume you are here to once again remind me 'what 1300 hours is for'?"

Kirk smirked at his own vehemence being quoted back at him. "Yep. C'mon. You need all that energy to keep up with me." The moment they were out in the corridor, however, his joking mood dissipated. "So what's Astansi's problem?"

"The lieutenant is not approving of interspecies relationships," Spock said flatly.

Kirk's lips thinned. "What, so she thinks she can just give you shit about it?"

"Lieutenant Astansi has never 'given me shit' about our relationship, nor my own heritage," Spock replied evenly, inwardly amused at Kirk's ferocious bristling against an imaginary foe.

"Like right then?" Kirk demanded as they entered the turbolift.

"I was unaware that removing oneself from a source of discomfort classed as 'giving shit' about said source."

"Yeah, well," Kirk subsided a little, grumbling. "I still don't have to like it. Why the hell's she in space if she's got ideas like that?"

"That is her business, not ours," Spock said.

Kirk shrugged, still scowling. "I don't have to like it," he repeated stubbornly.

"I do not recall claiming that you did."

"Smartass," Kirk muttered, striding out of the turbolift slightly ahead of Spock. They had fallen back into step by the time they had entered the mess hall, however, and he sighed as they approached the line for the replicators. "Just...promise me you'll report it if she does give you any shit?"

"Jim..."

"Promise me," Kirk repeated flatly, folding his arms.

"Very well," Spock did not sigh, but it was a close thing. "You have my word."

"Damn right," Kirk said, barely softening as he jabbed the replicator buttons for his chosen meal. "Nobody gets to give you shit about anything."

Spock did not bother to inform Kirk that, under those rules, both Kirk and McCoy would have to be reported. And Pike, for that matter, when the Captain was one of his good moods and prone to teasing.

"You going to be working late to finish up those repairs?" Kirk added as they headed for a table.

"Negative. We can only stabilise the engines; full repairs cannot be completed alone."

"Awesome," Kirk said; Spock suspected he had not heard a word beyond 'negative.' "Can I stay over again tonight, then?" he asked, lowering his voice a little.

"If you wish," Spock said.

"Uh, yeah, I wish," Kirk rolled his eyes. "Just don't want to impose on you."

"I do not believe, in your case, that it is possible," Spock said, and Kirk's smile softened.

"Now that was just downright romantic, coming from you," he teased lightly, stealing a piece of mango from Spock's tray."Hey, I asked Bones about the whole mind-melding thing, by the way. He couldn't tell me how often you'd need to do that. Any help?"

"No," Spock said flatly. "There are too many variables. Almost any change to a routine can heighten the need to connect with a familiar mind. The general proximity of said mind, as well as the frequency of relations..."

Kirk snorted with laughter.

"...illness, stress, significantly heightened mental activity, prolonged periods of absence..."

Kirk sobered. "Jesus."

"It is...difficult to establish any kind of prediction. It is not a problem that commonly occurs outside of sexual relationships, so it is largely dependent upon the frequency of intimacy. However, I am untroubled by the symptoms for several days, so..."

"None of that," Kirk said, jabbing his fork in the air to make his point. "I'm not having you sitting quietly and suffering like you did last time. The minute you need me, you come and goddamn well get me."

Spock raised an eyebrow; Kirk flushed and grinned again, ducking his head sheepishly.

"We really shouldn't have these conversations in public," he said.

"I believe the expression is 'you started it.'"

Kirk snorted. "Okay. Okay, I give. You win. So - safer topic. We're supposed to dock at Deep Space Four tomorrow afternoon. I'm on duty until docking's complete, obviously..."

"As am I."

"Right. But I get off at 1800 hours. You?"

"1900 is the current estimate, though it is of course dependent upon whether we experience any further mechanical difficulty in the docking procedures."

"But a safe estimate is you'll be free by 2000?"

"Affirmative."

"Great," Kirk beamed. "So. Date."

"Jim..."

"Don't care about your objections," Kirk sing-songed. "I'm taking you on a date and you have absolutely no choice in the matter."

"I see."

"I'll make plans," Kirk beamed, tapping the back of Spock's hand lightly with two fingers. "You be ready in your quarters by 2000, and I'll come and get you and sweep you off your feet."

"That will hardly be necessary, Jim," Spock returned seriously. "I have yet to regain my footing after the last time you swept me off them."

That was too much - Kirk laughed, and leaned right over the table to kiss him then and there in the mess.

Spock couldn't find it in himself to mind.


"Oh...dear...God," Kirk moaned, his chest heaving as though he'd just been rescued from a drowning. If Spock had not already achieved orgasm, he would have done so at the expression on Kirk's face. "Jeeeesus...you were...not a virgin...when I met you..."

"I assure you that I was," Spock said.

"And then you have...the...the gall...to sound so collected," Kirk panted, clumsy hands reaching up to pull Spock down against his chest. The change in position meant that Kirk slipped free of Spock's body, and it left him feeling strangely empty. "Goddamn."

Spock settled against his chest, breathing in Kirk's scent and listening to his heart rate gradually returning to normal.

"We're going to stick together," Kirk warned him.

When Spock said nothing in reply, Kirk eased out from under him and disappeared into Spock's bathroom, momentarily returning with a damp cloth. He diligently made another hickey on Spock's collarbone as he cleaned him off, and - rather than return to the bathroom - lobbed the cloth in the general direction of the bathroom door before sliding back into bed.

"C'mere," he mumbled, almost physically dragging Spock back over him like a living blanket. "Y'okay?"

"Indeed," Spock murmured, curling an arm around Kirk's torso and pressing his head into that firm shoulder. "I am sufficiently relaxed."

"I'll say," he felt Kirk grin against his hair. "I still don't believe you were a virgin."

"I was."

"Spock. We've hardly been breaking the bedframe here, and then you turn around and offer to ride me?"

"You presuppose that virginity equates to a lack of knowledge of humanoid sexual practices."

Kirk snorted with laughter. "Guess I did, huh?"

"Indeed, you are the only human to have ever initiated any kind of sexual activity with me."

Kirk stilled, aside from the hand idly stroking through the short hair at the nape of Spock's neck. "Yeah?"

"Yes."

"Any kind? I mean, you told me I was your first screw, but...any kind? Really?"

"Yes."

"...Really?"

"Yes."

"Wow," Kirk breathed. In vague curiosity, Spock focused on the thrum of Kirk's thoughts beneath his fingers, and found a running litany of mineminemine waiting to greet him. "Wow. So I'm the only one to...?"

"Yes, Jim."

A gentle, yet firm, kiss was suddenly pressed into the top of his head, the hand on the back of his neck squeezing hard for a second, and the litany swelled into MINEMINEMINE seamlessly.

"Love you."

"And I you."


Kirk appeared at his quarters at 2000 hours the next evening, dressed in black slacks and a shirt that was so neat, Spock suspected he had borrowed it from somebody else.

"No need to look so surprised," Kirk said, offering two fingers for a kiss. "You set?"

"I am," Spock said, not bothering to question Kirk's somewhat interesting terminology as they headed toward the turbolift. "May I enquire as to where we are going?"

"You may."

"...Am I going to receive any response?"

"No, not really," Kirk beamed. His good mood was infectious, skittering along the soft hairs on the back of his hand and the thick pads of his fingers, burrowing into Spock's nerves like worms. "It's a surprise. But you'll like it, I promise."

"I am certain that I will."

"Faith in me?" Kirk guessed as the turbolift ejected them just shy of the transporter room.

"More the knowledge that your company outweighs the vast majority of negative circumstances."

Kirk stopped him outside the transporter room doors and kissed him quickly, a brief peck of affection, before drawing back and smiling. Not grinning, but smiling - that gentle expression that told Spock more than words ever could how Kirk regarded him.

In the empty corridor, Spock brushed their fingers together and watched in mute fascination as that smile widened, before they turned into the transporter room, separate and professional once more.

"Stuck with the graveyard shift, Ensign?" Kirk asked the bored-looking young woman that snapped to attention at their entrance, and she offered a rueful smile.

"Yes, sir. Oh, and congratulations on your promotion, sir."

Kirk waved it off. "Not for a week or two yet, Ensign. Plenty of time to screw things up and make the Captain change his mind."

"I don't think so, sir," she said, and flushed. "Er. Yeah. Request a return estimate for the logs?"

"I'll have him home by midnight," Kirk grinned. "Energise."

They rematerialised on the main plaza of Deep Space Four. DS4 was one of the more luxurious space stations, used more for commercial trading between Federation members than a border-guard or a military pit-stop. Its central plaza was a circle of transporters and thoroughly bored security guards, surrounded by a hub of shops, stalls and informal eateries.

"There's some fencing championship held here," Kirk said as they flashed their Starfleet IDs to security. "Sulu's trying to talk me into going along with him - day after tomorrow, I think. I'm tempted to fake a stomach bug."

"Dr. McCoy would only take the opportunity to have you in Sickbay to update your vaccinations."

"Urgh, good point," Kirk grimaced; Spock found it faintly ridiculous that he managed to be attractive even when adopting an admittedly horrific facial expression. "How about I tell him I'm still all sexed out from our date and sitting down's going to be way too uncomfortable?"

"It would be improper to lie."

"Fine, so I won't lie," Kirk grinned, hands faintly twitching as though he wanted to touch Spock there, in the middle of one of the wide, well-light and very densely populated walkways. Thankfully, Kirk could master his own desires if he had the motivation to do so, and he kept his hands to himself.

He walked them to a quieter corner of the station, where the markets thinned into larger restaurants and a fleet of artificial parks and fountains. Between two such parks sat a concert hall, and the advertisements caught Spock's eye immediately.

"Jim..."

Kirk grinned as he was handed their tickets by the box office...person...and placed a hand in the small of Spock's back to push him inside. "I told you that you'd like it."

'Like it' was hardly going to be an appropriate phrase. For all that Vulcan was a dominant player in intergalactic politics, Vulcan culture had not strayed far from its homeworld. And yet, somehow, Kirk had managed to book tickets to a string of performances by one of the most skilled Vulcan orchestras in existence.

Vulcan music had been the one thing that Spock had missed of his people. For all that the humans romanticised the expression of the soul, he found their music to be unbearable, and nothing like the notes of his homeland. Music was Spock's truly Vulcan trait; he differed none from his father in his appreciation of Vulcan music and Vulcan insruments, and had gained approval throughout the clan for his diligent practice and moderate skill with the lyre. He had missed the concert hall in Shi'Kahr, which brushed each morning in the city with the notes of practice, and the one thing that had really united their odd, mixed, strained family in his childhood had been a monthly visit to one of the evening performances. Then, there had been no judgement from his father or his grandparents or his cousins, and no sorrow from his mother. Then, there had been peace.

And here, he found peace again, when the familiar jarred notes of Vulcan came rushing in as though he were in the darkened concert halls of his youth - only this time, with Kirk's arm solid around his back and pressing love into his soul, until it merged with the music and created, for the first time, a sense of home.


"This way," Kirk murmured as they left the concert hall, two hours later. The station lighting had been dimmed to simulate night, and the artificial park that Kirk guided them into was dimly-lit with lights fashioned to look like old Andorian street-beacons.

In the false privacy of the darkness and the mostly-empty park, Spock slipped his hand into Kirk's.

"Hey," Kirk tugged him to a stop by one of the fountains. "Are you alright? You're very...quiet."

Spock hesitated, then drew Kirk forward into a brief, open kiss, broadcasting his sense of languid peace loudly enough for any half-decent telepath within a four hundred metre radius to hear - loudly enough to affect Kirk's own mind, and he smiled against Spock's mouth. Spock released him, only to press their foreheads together, and breathe, "Thank you," into the small space that separated their lips.

Kirk's hands - rough, warm, powerful, skilled, fascinating hands - came up to cup the back of his neck, stroking the skin almost absently.

"I watched you in there," he said roughly, "and you were the most damn beautiful I've ever seen you. It was like you'd found paradise, and I was the one to give it to you, and right then, I could have done anything. That's what you do to me. You make me better, you make me more. I'm not just some jackass from Iowa who got lucky when I'm with you. You're my world. You're the whole of my fucking world."

Spock kissed him again, short and sharp, before drawing back just enough to say, "You are my home."

Kirk smiled against his mouth. "Home. I've...not had a home before."

A low throb of love-power-strength-mine-home-love-love-home-mine pulsed between them for a moment, before Kirk shifted closer and smiled against Spock's cheek.

"I was going to take you for a long walk around the fountains," he murmured, "but...tomorrow? Right now, I just want to get you into my quarters and...and come home."

Spock hummed a low assent, and the throb spiked into a steady drumming, keeping a rough tempo with the human heart.


The alarm went off, and Kirk smacked it with a low growl before returning to his previous position wrapped around Spock's back. On his side, Kirk knew that he was sleeping - meditation was invariably done sitting up, or flat on his back - and so he resettled quickly, his arm falling into Spock's narrow waist and curling around his front in a possessive embrace.

Pressed close like this, Kirk could feel the trip-hammer of a heart low in Spock's side, thumping under his elbow diligently, and a very faint sensation of peace and wellbeing that spoke of good dreams and a restful sleep. There was a faint scent of crushed spices and Starfleet-issue soaps, and he pressed his nose into the hair at the nape of Spock's neck to catch the smell better.

"Mine," he whispered, pressing a faint kiss to the gentle run of spine that chased after Spock's skull. "You're mine."

He resettled, relaxing into the frame of Spock's back comfortably and surrounding himself with warmth and spices and rumpled bedsheets, both arms locked possessively around Spock's torso, and head pillowed between his shoulder blades.

This was his world, and so nothing was wrong.