For thousands of years, humans have marveled at the wonders of space. The deep, pitch black nothingness, dotted with the occasional glowing spherical masses of stars. Many a time, astronomers and poets alike have attempted to explain the almost god-like feel of this nothing that surrounded us. But, no one could truly explain the stark, almost empty feeling of fascination until they experienced it themselves.

Not even James T. Kirk, the blond-haired, spunky, self- assured hero complex of a person, understood how to describe it. But, if he had to compare it to something or someone more likely, his tall, skinny, dark-haired first officer to his right would be the closest. For in fact, even speaking to the stoic, sharp- as-a-tack Vulcan was almost unbearably infuriating.

"Coming in to Earth orbit, two seconds and counting. Mr. Sulu, prepare the forward thrusters for interceptive landing." The phrase almost robotically spoken, Kirk continued to gaze out into the ever-growing swirls of blue and green, almost marbled in comparison to its dark protector of space.

"Captain… Captain…" An echo of sound barely filtered in his ears, almost ghostly in the swirling vortexes that were his thoughts. Why was he so unfocused? A whining voice in the back of his head warned that losing focus was unacceptable, that he was a captain of a Galactic Federation flagship, and he should probably pay attention…

"Captain, are you well?" Blatantly falling from his thought-induced reverie, Jim turned swiftly to encounter stark, black eyes watching cautiously, slanted eyebrows furrowed in worry and concern. Waving him off wordlessly, he stood, silently regretting the half a dozen meetings that he would probably be required to attend. Walking swiftly to the launch pad, he caught a silver reflection of himself in the machinery of the transporter. He looked old and weary, mouth permanently pressed into a frown, his hair sticking up in all different directions.

"Hah, I look like shit. No wonder Spock was worried about me." A dark, sardonic chuckle escaped him as his long-exhausted body began to inwardly collapse. It had been three months, three fucking months, since he had been back home. Every single time he managed to pull an impossible feat of saving everyone, another "life or death crisis" manifested itself in front of his eyes. Even shore leave was a hassle, because it seemed work was never too far away to find him. His entire body felt heavy from lack of sleep.

"Count off in three…two…one…energize." Before he could protest, another body passed into the translucence of the pad. In the split second of consciousness that was left in him, a dark pair of chocolate-brown pupils gazed at him, unknown pools of warmth and life that could never be denied. And, as the bone-weary thoughts escaped him, he felt a slight sense of guilt. Spock, and only Spock, was his only tether to life, and he was slowly letting go of the only lifeline he had. To put it simply, he was a fool.