The crowds outside chanted and cried out for blood. His blood, Spock thought grimly as he was escorted down the main hall of the emperor's palace. One would have thought that their thirst would have been quenched with the death of his wife and father, but no. That had been just enough give them a taste. Only his death would satisfy them completely.
As he was marched down to where the executioner waited, he let his mind wander. Why not? After all it no longer mattered if he maintained his discipline, since these were his last moments alive. He could have let go completely, let the fear and shame come to the surface, but even though the masses wanted his blood, that would be all they would get.
Where had he gone wrong? For starters he had listened to the other captain. The one with the pretty words about peace and logic. Spock had listened to that Kirk and thought that he could change things. But he did change things. He changed everything. Starting with murdering his own captain.
There was an involuntary wince at that memory. The dagger in his captain's chest. The look of confusion on the captain's face. The heartbreak Spock felt as the human dropped to the floor and bled out in front of him. He hated to do it. James had been his light, his love, his world, but things needed to change and he have would never stood by Spock in his quest for peace.
So, with Marlena by his side and making use of the Tantalus field, Spock took the ship. Using the ISS Enterprise as base of power he moved through the ranks of Starfleet, eventually taking the empire itself. He married Marlena, not because he loved her or even wanted her, but as a reward for her assistance. She of course understood that she was not needed in his bed, so she found other ways to amuse herself, while Spock worked to promote peace throughout the empire.
For a while it worked. The people of the empire accepted the new emperor's message of passivism and they embraced the change. Then without warning everything came crashing down. Without it's ruthlessness, the empire could not hold itself together. There were many planets that demanded their freedom.
As emperor Spock sought to give them what they wanted, but as the empire shrank, it grew weaker. It was at its weakest when the Klingons attacked. They had aligned themselves with the Cardassians and together they were a force to be reckoned with.
Now with the Terrain Empire in ruins, its people needed to blame someone. Who better than the one who brought them the message of peace? The one who convinced them all that it would be better to put down their arms? The one who gave up the best thing he had ever known to make the universe a better place?
Now as he stood at the main entrance of the Emperor's Palace, he could look down into the crowd. Snarled, barbaric faces looked back at him, their shouts and cries louder now at the sight of him.
"Glorious, isn't?" Spock followed the sound of the voice and met the smirking scared face of Hikaru Sulu, his former first officer and the one who stood in the streets preaching to the masses of the need to do away with the one that weakened the Empire.
Sulu walked up to Spock without fear, knowing that he was in no danger from the Vulcan, not with the guards nearby.
"The voices of the people have been heard and the wrongs will be made right." Sulu said with zeal.
Spock eyed him stoically and then spoke. "The people voice only what they are told to say. When I spoke to the them they cheered me and my mission. Now that they are fearful they have heard a new voice, yours. I am afraid this will only last till a different voice comes along and tells the people something else they want to hear."
Sulu sneered at Spock's words. "That maybe, but it will still be worth it to watch you die." With that he spit in Spock's face, the saliva clinging to hairs of his goatee.
"Take him to the block." At Sulu's orders the guards lead Spock forward.
Spock watched as he moved closer to the makeshift executioner's block. Standing beside it was a large Orion with an ax. How quant, and ax. Spock thought to himself as he was forced to his knees and made to lay his head on the block. From there he heard the voice of Sulu call to the crowd to be silent.
He started to read off the charges against Spock, the main one being treason. Spock lifted his head to watch the people as they cheered Sulu's words. Something among the multitude caught his eye. A person moving through the scores of people. Just another blood thirsty civilian wanting a better look, he decided. Then there was a flash of gold.
It couldn't be. Spock scanned the crowds again, desperate to confirm what he just saw, but his view was blocked when Sulu squatted down in front of him.
"I just wanted to say good-bye and good riddance." Sulu laughed gleefully as he stepped back and the ax came down.
The ethereal body of Spock stood and watched his physical head roll away leaving a trail of green blood in its wake.
"Gruesome isn't it?" Spock's heard a voice say and he eyes went wide at the sound. He knew that voice. Knew it so well. It was the voice that for years gave him orders. It was the voice that called out his name in the night when they made love. The voice that would whisper to him as they would drift off to sleep in one another's arms. Spock turned towards the voice slowly, fearful of what he would see.
There he stood, arms crossed over his chest, clad in the gold vest of command that complimented his skin, his eyes laughing, the familiar smirk to his full lips.
"James?" Spock whispered to the air. The form of the former Captain Kirk moved towards the Vulcan.
"Miss me, handsome?"
Disbelief washed over Spock. "James." He said again, this time louder.
His captain grinned and laughed. "You remember me? I figured what with you being emperor and all, you might have forgotten."
Spock shook his head vigorously, not noticing that the crowd and the palace were fading from the background. "Never. Oh James, you have haunted my dreams every night. I have missed you."
Hazel eyes peered at Spock, the smile gone now. "Was it worth it?" Spock was taken aback by the question. He shook his head again, this time slower.
"No James. It was not. Not for the price we paid. I regretted your assassination every day of my life. The only thing that carried me was my mission and that has betrayed me."
James Kirk tilted his head at Spock's words. He said nothing but nodded. Spock moved closer and reached out to touch the human. He placed a shaking hand on Kirk's chest. At his touch, blood gushed out from a wound that appeared there. Horrified, Spock jerked back realizing that he now held in his hand a dagger.
His control left him then and he dropped to his knees. All around him was stark white nothingness and before him was his captain, bleeding from a wound in his chest that Spock had put there years ago. He stared down at the dagger as it fell from his fingers.
Suddenly it was cold and Spock shivered violently. He wrapped himself in his arms and looked up at his captain. Kirk had not moved, his expression had not changed. He just stood there watching the Vulcan.
"James. I am sorry for what I did." Hot tears spilled down Spock's face. He reached up to Kirk, beseeching him from where he was on the ground.
"Please, I beg you. Forgive me." He voice cracked and the tears continued to run.
For a moment Kirk's faced hardened and Spock's heart sank in his chest. He did not deserve forgiveness. He had murdered his t'hy'la. He lower his arm and hung his head, the silent tears becoming quiet sobs.
As he watched the Vulcan before him Kirk lifted his head as if listening to something that no one else could hear. He nodded once and the expression on his face soften as he dropped to his knees putting his arms around Spock. Spock froze for a moment and then looked into Kirk's eyes.
There was no malice there, no hatred, no venom, or vengeance. Open mouthed Spock felt warm hands take his face and wipe away the tears. There was a soft smile from his captain's face as he Spoke.
"I forgive you, Spock."
Wide eyed and in complete awe, Spock stared at the human.
"You do? Why?" Kirk smirked at Spock. He leaned in closer to the Vulcan and kissed him. When the kiss was over, Kirk placed his forehead to Spock's.
"Because I love you." The words were whispered but the impact they had on Spock was overwhelming.
He let out another sob and buried his face in Kirk's neck. Once more Spock felt arms go around him and hold him tightly. The cold was gone now, replaced with something Spock had not felt in years. He pulled back to look at Kirk and saw that the area around them had changed again.
They were now in a field, it's tall grasses rising up around them. Here and there were small blue flowers and the sun shone down from a beautiful blue sky. Taking Spock's hand, Kirk stood pulling the Vulcan to his feet.
"Where are we?" Spock asked looking into Kirk's amused face.
"Elysium. It's not Paradise, but it's not Hell either." Kirk answered, watching Spock as he turned in place taking in everything around him. To one side there was a great willow tree and nearby a small body of running water.
Kirk pulled Spock towards the tree and led him under the hanging branches. There in the eves, on the ground by the base was a blanket. On it were books scattered about. Kirk let go of Spock and sat down on the blanket looking at him expectantly.
Spock continued to peer around to stunned by events to speak. He blinked trying to grasp what he was experiencing. He turned back to Kirk, who sat watching him.
"Why are we here, James? Surly we are commend, damned even."
Kirk shook his head. "Funny thing really. It turns out that even ruthless bastards such as ourselves can be redeemed. Though some of our past actions keep us from Heaven, we are able to spend eternity here."
"Redeemed? What did we do that offered us such redemption?" Spock came and sat down beside Kirk and was moved when his former captain curled up in his lap. He wrapped his arms around Spock's neck and looked into his eyes.
"For you it was your quest for peace. That you were willing to give up your violent ways and teach the message to others. That coupled with repenting your actions when you took my life led you here."
Spock gazed upon his captain, his arms reaching around the warm body in his lap.
"And you? What redeemed you?" Kirk smiled and laughed, the sound like music to Spock's ears.
"Me? I loved you. That I loved you despite everything. That I was willing to love you in spite of the social norm. At the risk of my command. Even as I was dying, the dagger sticking out of my chest, I loved you."
Spock was speechless. He had never known that his captain's had felt so strongly towards him. He could feel tears forming in his eyes once more. Kirk took his face in his hands and kissed him again.
"None that now, Mister. That's an order."
Spock let out a little laugh. "Yes, Captain."
Around them Spock heard the sound of bird song and the water nearby babbled merrily. He nuzzled Kirk's neck and sighed, a feeling of peace washing over him.
"So what now, James?" He felt Kirk shrug.
"Whatever we want. This area around us is ours to do with as we see fit and if we don't like it, we can change it."
Spock lifted his eyes skyward, the possibilities swimming through his mind. He turned back to Kirk gazing into hazel eyes that he thought he would never see again.
"Do we have to change things?" He asked. Kirk shook his head. Spock nodded and pulled Kirk closer to him.
"Then let's leave things as they are for now."
At that Spock kissed his captain, long and hard, pushing them both down onto the blanket under them. He listened to the once longed for moans and felt hands on his body that soothed way the aches that had tormented him for so long. He did not care that he had not made to Heaven, because there in that moment, reunited with his love, he wouldn't have known the difference anyhow.