Anyone who hasn't experienced the ecstasy of betrayal knows nothing of ecstasy at all."
― Jean Genet, Prisoner of Love
Chapter 1: A Burning Match
Captain's Personal Log: 3014.2
General Order 7 has been rescinded and Mendez is allowing me to use my own best judgment. Pike, that poor bastard, is living an illusion, safe with the Talosians. I don't think I could do it. Living in a dream, an imaginary reality? What a terrible waste. But . . . of course, Pike didn't see it that way.
I am left with the problem of what to do with Spock. He has been granted amnesty. It was for the good of the Service, after all. But he stole my ship! He mutinied against me. I can't understand this. I can't forgive this. I thought he was learning to trust me, but again, I am proven wrong.
We can dance around this. I push and pull him, trying to get some response. After revealing his emotions and acting on them, he's shut down. I can't reach him at all, his shame is so great.
Spock has agreed, finally, to come to my quarters tonight after Alpha shift for a game of chess. He probably thinks I am going to try to worm an explanation out of him. He would be correct.
Spock stood for several minutes outside the Captain's quarters, staring at the call button. He was cold. In fact, the Enterprise, as a whole, felt unusually cold. He rubbed his hands together and hit the call button.
"Come." Jim sat behind his desk and greeted him with a smile.
"None of that, Spock. You are here to play chess."
Spock sat across from Jim and folded his hands in his lap. He looked everywhere but at Jim.
"Can I get you something, Spock? Tea perhaps, or a brandy?"
Spock looked up from his hands and raised an eyebrow. It was a parody of his usual expression.
"Brandy, thank you Jim."
For a moment, Jim was surprised.
"Brandy it is." Jim brought over two glasses and a decanter and set them up next to the chessboard.
"So, Spock . . . I . . ."
"Cap – Jim, you . . ."
They both stopped.
"It's okay, go ahead."
Spock took a deep breath and studied his hands.
"I know you are disappointed in me, in my treachery. I can only offer myself for disciplinary action. If you wish for me to transfer off Enterprise, you need only tell me. I understand." Spock spoke quickly trying to get the words out before his brain stopped him.
"I don't think you do understand, Spock. You lied to me, you lied to Star Fleet, you stole my ship . . . I didn't think you were capable of this. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. And . . ." Jim paused and took a sip of his brandy, "And, you have amnesty. I can't punish you. You are doing a fine job yourself, anyway."
Spock closed his eyes to Jim's words. He deserved every bit of this. He looked up at Jim, eyes filled with pain.
"Tell me, Spock. Explain this in a way I can understand. You want my forgiveness? Prove it. The truth. Now."
Spock took a deep breath. "Captain Pike was more than my superior officer. He was more than my commander just as I was more than his subordinate. I could not accept he would live out his life, trapped in that useless body."
Jim considered this for a moment. "I don't understand, what exactly do you mean?" Spock continued as though Jim hadn't spoken.
"I still believe Star Fleet would never have taken action against you, Jim. I had every confidence I could find a way to exonerate you. You would have your ship, career, freedom."
"And you, Spock? What would you have?"
"Nothing." Spock's voice was very quiet. He picked up his king and ran his thumb over it.
Jim sat back in his chair feeling cold. He didn't know what to do with this information. He didn't know what to say. Spock was the single most important person in his life. What the hell was going on?
"Jim, I am sorry."
Jim reached across the table and covered Spock's hand with his own. He could afford to be generous. After a moment, Spock looked up at him. Jim gave his hand a squeeze. Just before he pulled it back, Spock turned his hand over and grasped his.
Oh. Jim felt a tingling and the slide of Spock's mind against his.
It was as if he was watching a meld from outside his body. It began with a small point of light, that expanded to a full-blown picture. Jim understood this was his human mind trying to make sense of a purely Vulcan concept.
Images and stray thoughts flew through his mind, missions, conversations, and adventures. One common thread was Spock's bone deep respect for and devotion to Pike. Pike was not only his commanding officer but had taken the time to mentor Spock, to be the father he had never had. Spock had been like son to him too. Pike would never have a child of his own but if he could create one out of whole cloth, Spock would have been it.
Spock let go of his hand and Jim returned to his own mind. He had never realized how lonely and isolated Spock was. Pike provided an emotional outlet. Now, it was up to Jim.
"Spock, I'm sorry. I didn't know. This whole thing has been hell for you."
Spock was quiet, considering. "When he left the Enterprise, I wished to follow him with Number One. He . . . he convinced me I could stand on my own, create my own family of sorts on this ship."
"And I have, Jim. . . When he became injured, I could not bear his suffering. The Talosians created a mental link between us. They offered me a reasonable solution to my pain and his. It was worth almost any price. But not you, Jim, never you."
Spock reached for Jim's hand again, long fingers brushing his wrist. Jim felt a spike of emotion, of love. Spock loved him.
He focused on his own emotions. Jim tried to put a picture to his own feelings so Spock could understand. He had begun to see Spock as more than his closest friend, his brother in fact, if not in blood. He was afraid the intensity of his feelings, his affection, might overwhelm Spock.
Jim looked closely at Spock's face, the sharp planes, the wide generous mouth, and the expressive eyes that were so often sad. Forgive him? Of course he would. Love him. Of course he did.
Suddenly, he realized Spock was still holding his hand, a slight smile on his face. Oh. Telepath. Spock's eyes twinkled with amusement. He searched Jim's face and shook his head, finally letting go of his hand.
"Thank you, Jim. I wish you a good night." Spock turned and walked to the door, leaving Jim standing, mouth agape. As the door opened, Spock looked back over his shoulder with a half smile.
Jim stared at the closed door and wiped his hand over his face. What the hell?