There was no if's, no but's, no way around it.
He had been stone-cold and dead on the operating table of Medical and there hadn't been a hope in hell except the Tribble to bring him back to life- and it had been a risky move at that. His frozen body might not have even made it, his brain might have just refused to work, but it hadn't and he was here.
Granted, he didn't think that it warranted the ability to go into space on a five year programme, in fact, Bones had specifically stated that it was fucking stupid and that they couldn't expect him to do it, and that he wasn't ready to do it. He hadn't even passed the physiological and psychological tests he was damned sure, because he was about as far from stable as he was from ever meeting his father, he was fucked up and he definitely shouldn't be allowed out again, he'd have had himself sectioned if he didn't hate the thought so much.
Technically he had gone against Starfleet regulation, damned them all to death and then somehow by sheer luck managed to crawl out of it alive. There was no way that he should have accepted the mission and yet he did, and most people seemed to chose to forget the facts of what had happened that day.
Spock didn't forget.
Neither, did Jim.
On the other side of that glass door, which had saved the crew and the ship from a certain death had stood a Vulcan, and that Vulcan was the one person he had been so relying on to help him forget, help him master his feelings of 'oh shit I'm going to die, and yet I had so much left to do' and had betrayed him in a way by showing it to him, that Spock was scared too. That was not how it was meant to go down and he hadn't been able to get the last image of his first life out of his mind (that was how he was referring to it now, this was his second life.)
After his long recuperation at the academy, where all he had done was lay about and be treated by Bones (he had not wanted anyone else to treat him, nor had McCoy permitted it), he had had time to think about the events of what had happened. He had managed to prove to them and Starfleet then, that his crew was his family and that there was nothing that he would not do for family. For the first week or so, no one could believe that he had actually survived. Chekov had been most happy, and Jim had apologised to him for making him wear that red shirt and go down to engineering but the boy had not minded, not one bit, and the blind loyalty had hurt his heart and left a lump in his throat. Uhura had slapped him then hugged him; Sulu had just given him the eyebrow and a smile as he had taken his captain's seat. He loved his crew.
And everything seemed fine.
Except now, there's this tension between him and Spock.
He avoided him in the corridors of the academy, always finding an excuse not to speak to him. Never in the same place at the same time, has to hack into the system to deny his transfer request to a different ship and a different mission, he's never eating at the same time and even as they board the Enterprise together it's different, different enough for him to notice but not for anyone else because he knows Spock better than anyone else does. Well, probably except Uhura, although he's not sure what happened there because it seems Spock is avoiding her too (and she's been stabbing her cutlery into her food with more exuberance than normal.) Funny how being dead can put things into perspective as well, because he had sort of come to the realisation that he liked Spock quite a bit and didn't want another First Officer in the slightest. He's not sure what that actually means and doesn't want to think about it, because that's dangerous.
Jim has always been handsy, a touch here and a touch there that showed people that he was listening, that he cared, that he was attentive, attracted, swayed, and emotive, take your pick. Slowly he had managed to get Spock used to that very human side of him, but now he literally shied away from even being in the same room as him let alone a clap on the arm well done or a smile from across the bridge.
He couldn't figure out what he'd done wrong neither, which bothered him. Usually Spock gave some indication or Jim just knew that he'd done something wrong, put his foot in his mouth and overstepped the mark, but even though he had racked his brains a lot about this topic he couldn't find anything at all, not one thing, nothing.
"Let him be, there's probably something wrong in that hobgoblin brain of his or something," Had been the brilliant advice that Bones had given him when he had gone for his last check-up. "besides, you don't need to be best friends to run the ship together Jim."
But Jim had spent so much time trying to embed in Spock's brain that they were friends that it seemed a waste of time to just let it all go like that. Jim liked Spock. A whole lot, granted they hadn't been best friends at first but he thought that he understood the concept of human fucking friendship enough that they were friends at worse and best friends at best. But it wasn't like he had much of a choice, as he did have to spend five years on the ship with the Vulcan, if he made it that long, he thought to himself.
"But he knows he's my friend, I haven't done anything wrong." Jim protested.
"You died Jim, you died, and he became Captain, and you don't even want to know how much he tried to kill Khan for that." Bones had commented, and Jim had stayed pensive.
Jim had heard of course what had happened after his 'death'. He had heard that Spock had beamed down and completely beaten the shit out of Khan until they had sent Uhura to stop him so that they could use his blood to revive him. It was something he didn't really want to think about, because he hadn't been alive at the time, he had been nothing, absolutely nothing and yet they had still risked their lives for him- his family.
And then there was also the slight problem of he wasn't entirely convinced he would still live.
He lives with the constant panic attacks that happen when he's alone, the thought of death coming once more for him because he has cheated it so many times. The thought of him being just like his father, something that he never wanted to be, and the thought of no one giving a shit that he's one day going to die anyway, whether it be on this ship or on Earth years from now, he will be alone. He feels like shit, this is not his body and it does not respond properly and he feels like slowly it is going to fail on him.
When he's not at the bridge he's at the gym, because he doesn't sleep because his body has decided that it doesn't like the dark anymore and with good reason he thinks so he just lets it get away with what it wants. He's not sure whether it's because no one has noticed or whether they don't care that no one has said anything.
"For fucks sake." Is all he ever whispers into the dark silence of the corridors, because what can he do but go along with this. He doesn't want counselling, that's the last thing that he wants, to sit and talk to someone who doesn't know him, doesn't care about his feelings. Even though Bones has urged him to, he really doesn't want to confide in someone that doesn't know what he's been through, but is paid to sit there while he talks through his fucked up mind. And Bones is, as well as he is, not entirely sure that he will still live. Not that they let Starfleet know about that, this is where they belong. Even though he knows Bones hates the thought of being cooped up in a spaceship for five years, the only thing he would have hated more was being cooped up in a spaceship for five years without Jim.
It's starting to affect him now though, properly. He spends far too much time on the observation deck with Bones talking about Death and other Morbid Things (capitals because they are sentient) and they swap scotch and whiskey between each other and talk about what they're going to do when they dock back in five years time. Bones wants to visit his daughter, Jim wants to live it through, and then maybe go on a road trip, better himself, life defining shit.
He barely eats, he just vomits it back up anyway and so when he is actually at breakfast (Spock always seems to avoid him) he doesn't really eat at all, just looks about and smiles weakly at the jokes his Alpha team make to him. God he loves them.
It's about three days longer than he thought it would take before Scotty says something, because the man is usually quite perceptive, or maybe Jim's just doing a good job at hiding it so far.
"Are ye sure you're alright Captain?" he says, thick Scottish accent providing some comfort to him because it would always stay the same. He regrets the whole instance with the Enterprise and the missiles, wishes that he'd listened to the man when he'd been right. He wont forgive himself for not trusting his own crew, doesn't think he ever will.
Spock's there, its maybe the first time they've been in the same room for days, it maybe isn't, he can't remember. Every day now blurs into the next, punctuated by brief periods of sleep in which he dreams about death- his death, his crews death, imagining the ways his father dies, Pike's death. Then he wakes up and he remembers that he might well still die and see them all there anyway and that he's got scans and checkups from Bones soon so there is no use worrying (he worries anyway). Spock has changed, he is more defined, he fills out his uniform a bit more (how do Vulcans age), his eyes - and his haircut - however are still the same. Constant in Jim's wavering life. He doesn't examine Spock more than he should. Well.
"I'm fine, I've just not been sleeping well." He doesn't want to say that he can't sleep at all, never mind well, but Scotty seems to be able to read between the lines as he looks at Jim's face, dull blue eyes not bright, and dark circles under those eyes. What he doesn't expect however, is for Spock to notice. Because he hasn't noticed for days.
"Perhaps the Captain would benefit from a trip to medical to determine the source of the problem?" so logical, far from what he had seen and he doesn't even look at Spock, just looks at the floor.
"There isn't something Bon – Dr McCoy can give me for this." Is all he says by explanation, and Scotty just sighs and gets back to his work, that usually Jim would help him with but he's feeling too fragile. His body didn't come back the same, disjointed and not his. He can't work it properly. Scotty must realise this because usually he is a hand itching to help and now he is nothing, doesn't even offer because he wouldn't even dare try.
Spock still hasn't stopped looking at him he's pretty sure. He's also pretty sure that the Vulcan is trying to access what the hell is wrong with him, the first time that he's been looking at him for ages and he's trying to see into his soul. Jim doesn't like it, wants it to just go back to the way it was, to when they were friends and he didn't need pity or such.
"Perhaps you would benefit from someone to talk to?" Kirk doesn't look up still, doesn't think he can at this point and he's just staring at his shoes, almost falling asleep and willing the ship to swallow him whole so he never has to leave it. The sentiment of it all, of loving the ship that he never wanted to be Captain of is not lost on Jim.
"Perhaps." Is all he echoes back to Spock, no more and no less.
There's a rare moment when he's sat up on the observation deck and Spock comes too, not Bones. He gravitates towards Jim like he's in an orbit and sits down next to him but far enough that he is not in his personal space. Jim wouldn't have minded anyway. At least he doesn't think he would have done. He continues to stare up through the glass panels and into the stars of the universe that he is so passionately exploring.
"Which planet are we stopping at first?" is Spock's question and Jim ignores the pain in his ribs (he can't hide the wince though) to make sure that he focuses on everything that Spock says so that it doesn't get lost in the pain.
"I'm not sure, although I don't think it's inhabited." he says, biting his nails thoughtfully. He wasn't even conscious half the time that he had started with the habit and so ran a hand through his hair to give it something to do other than migrate towards his mouth.
"I was surprised that Starfleet cleared you for duty." he notes and damn the Vulcan is sharp, he's not asking, but he knows, he knows.
Jim takes a swig of his flask and lies back. His head is nearer Spock this way and he rolls his eyes back to look at him from the position. The drink dulled the pain.
"They didn't." and Spock doesn't seem surprised. Then again he never seems anything.
"Friend perks." he carries on explaining and gives Spock a grin that he's hardly given anyone recently, one that splits his face. The older man seems slightly amused, Jim thinks he does anyway (he could be wrong) and Spock shuffles closer.
"As your First Officer, by the way Jim, it is mandatory you tell me of any ailment which may compromise your efficiency as Captain." he was dodging the real question. "Are you suffering from such a ailment right now?"
"Perhaps." he takes another swig of his flask and shuts his eyes. Maybe perhaps is their thing. Couples have a thing right? He opens them again.
Does Spock look concerned? He can't tell and the answer is then probably no. But he's staring and so is Jim and there's that eye contact and Jim makes him look away first, almost as if with a blush that doesn't rise to his cheeks.
"Did they care, I mean, when I died?" he asks Spock and picks at his shoe at the same time and there's a hand on his shoulder that's very warm and very Vulcan.
"Everyone cared Jim."
"Even you?" He wangles, looking for the attention that he wants from his First Officer.
"Perhaps." there's a sort of hint of a smile in his voice and Jim snorts into his flask.
Apparently that perhaps was a yes, because the next time Jim hits the floor and is taken to medical; Spock is there when he wakes up. And he's more nosey than he has been in the past couple of weeks, maybe he's taken up Jim like one takes up chess.
Technically all he did was fall asleep, but apparently there is more than that, according to Bones anyway. His body isn't reacting properly to human functions, trying to regenerate problems that aren't there and creating new problems such as his insomnia and reduced mental function. Bones had had to drain fluid from his lungs, life sucks and he hates it. However he has found himself to be a lot stronger at times and weaker at others, his body is not coping. This, he is explained to in private, is a side-effect of dying. As in present tense. He is dying. Jim is dying. Full stop. Diagnosis.
"Do you think that your body could be rejecting the help?" Bones asks him.
"You're the Doctor, Bones, not me." Jim says, innocently and without the hint of snark that should have come with it but Bones looks at him like he has done anyway. Jim flutters his eyelashes in the usual flirtatious way and Bones gives him a slap upside the head for it.
"It is plausible that Kirk is not fit for the trial of the serum," Spock states as if annoyed by what he has just witnessed and McCoy stares, "how do we know that of those whom were given it, there were not more that did not survive." He says with logic.
Spock has a point that neither of them want to hear, because he's pretty damned sure that if that's the case, his body could reject this and he could die all over again. The agony of radiation poisoning was bad enough, this could be a million times worse and happen again and again and again if the serum just kept reviving him every time. God, what if he was fucking immortal and he just kept coming back to die again and again and again.
"We don't." McCoy says and Jim swings his legs over the side of the cot with effort, catches sight of himself in the mirror and looks away quickly. Spock catches him.
"Is there not something you wish to discuss?" he says and Jim wants to strangle him because he knows the bastard has done it on purpose in front of Bones to persuade him to open up.
"There's a great idea Jim, you don't need to talk to a physiatrist you can talk to Spock! Mr Emotion over here!" There is a hint of sarcasm that Jim detects in Bones' voice, humour and he immediately stands up at that and looks for the exit, anything but be trapped in here with those two of his so called friends that have obviously held an intervention behind his back.
He doesn't even understand, Spock didn't care for months after that he died, didn't look at him, didn't notice him and now he's suddenly back to the way he used to be. He thinks of what he said to Uhura, that his choice not to feel doesn't reflect his caring and calls bullshit on that one.
Bones reaches out for him and he recoils on instinct, something that he knows will have hurt Bones' feelings but he couldn't control. Touch isn't something that his body now likes; it reacts as if it is constantly under attack even if that is not the case, because it is from the inside out.
"Sorry." He mutters and he goes to leave, practically bolts out the room and makes it into the hallway before Spock closes his hand around his bare wrist.
They've never had proper skin to skin contact before, with Spock being a touch telepath, and Jim literally jumps about six feet into the air when it does happen and Spock has an expression on his face that is akin to amused bewilderment at his reaction. He can feel Spock's emotion through the contact, more calming, controlling, after all he is Vulcan, and he realises that Spock is trying to ground him. Trying to steady him and get his emotions under control because Jim recognises that he's about as highly strung as a highly strung cat and Spock touching him is making it worse because he feels like his body is on fucking fire.
"How long have you been feeling like this?" Spock asks him and no curiosity leaks into the question through his voice but Jim can tell that he is burning with it, emotions that he does not feel are running under Spock's skin through the contact with Jim and it probably hurts him to feel so much at once. Because Jim knows it hurts him.
He doesn't want to say it but he does anyway just to gauge Spock's reaction, "Since I died."
There it is; the barely noticeable crack in Spock's carefully trained armour as he flinches like he's been nipped and Jim pulls his arm out of the Vulcan's grasp. Spock cares and it's enough to help him on his way to death. Because he shouldn't care, Spock shouldn't care at all. There's a stare off for a few seconds as Jim looks into Spock's dark eyes, before Jim decides he's not wasting any more time and turns his back and leaves.
Spock is teaching him how to master his emotions, what a grandiose gesture from him, Jim thinks sarcastically as they sit in the gym at midnight. Alpha team has run off from the night team several hours ago and they will be in bed, but Jim does not sleep and tonight neither does Spock. It's become a weekly thing, for them to meet and for Jim to try and help this new body settle in, break it in, and become one with it-whatever. It's not working at all.
So far the only way they can properly do this is to establish a partial meld. Spock won't do a full one because he believes that he could accidentally change the nature of Jim's mind, and although Jim has pointed out to him more than once that his older counterpart forced him into a full meld he has dismissed these points.
Spock always keeps his hand firmly around Jim's wrist, because there are some memories that he makes him think of that make Jim want to firmly rip it out of his grasp, but because the Vulcan is three times stronger than him even though he has been enhanced he is not able to. Sometimes, Jim gets bits of Spock that he's pretty sure that he hasn't meant to leak through- he's pretty sure he has broken up with Uhura and that it wasn't good, he's sure that he thinks of New Vulcan a hell of a lot, and that he feels like he wouldn't make a good first in command if Jim wasn't the captain, which in truth made him a bit smug.
"What if I asked you," Jim suggests, "to think of me dying? I want to see what happened afterwards from your perspective, is that kind of morbid?" he pries a little bit through the meld to see if he can see anything and a wall is instantly erected, he can feel it.
"Perhaps, as you suggest Jim, it may be a bit morbid."
"We're friends right?" he says and Spock raises an eyebrow "you did acknowledge this before my death yes?" he says, a little more desperately.
He doesn't feel much emotion through their bond, but he does feel the hum of suppression underneath his skin and realises that it doesn't belong to him but Spock, and there's a strange look in the man's eyes, as if he's seeing Jim for the first time since properly.
"We are friends Jim." He says and Jim closed his eyed, fighting back his own emotions unsuccessfully, and Spock closes another arm around his other wrist as if to offer double the emotional balance and he can feel himself calming as he stares down with a locked jaw at his knees.
"Doesn't seem so much as friends as crew." He says tersely and Spock raises an eyebrow at his assement of their relationship.
"That is not the case Jim. I may not be as flamoyant with my emotions as humans are but I assure you, you are a friend."
Jim smiles, a light that brightens up his gaunt face and he takes a hand and puts it on Spock's shoulder.
The first planet they visit, things don't go as well as they hoped.
It should have been simple, it was a category M and they were going to look at what sorts of animals and indigenous species that inhabited it. Scotty and Sulu landed the ship perfectly and Uhura, Spock and Jim had gone down with some of the team to check it out.
The planet was glorious; everything was bright, greens, oranges, reds. Tropical rainforests that had their own ecosystem, the sound of animals danced along with the sound of water running softly and also heavy in the air. The planet was very flat, apart from a couple of currently dormant volcanoes that they had picked up on the scanner. It was like a sort of paradise with muggy air and a little precipitation and should not have been a problem in the slightest. They treked for miles, grass spongy under their feet and smells and sounds assaulting their senses. It isn't simple though, nothing is ever simple.
Somehow, Jim and Spock had ended up down what seemed like a cavernous pit hole, with no communication to the ship or anyone on the surface.
Spock had searched for something, but had found absolutely nothing. The walls were made of a porous rock that did not have enough inlets to be able to be climbed, and there were no exits from the alcove that they were in. On the plus side, he had noted, there did not seem to be any sort of animal or creature nest within the alcove, meaning that they were unlikely to be attacked. Jim had gone along with this with such sarcastic enthusiasm that Spock had given him a really cold level look
("Oh Spock, you handsome being you, thanks to your observation we're saved!"
"Sarcasm noted Captain.")
Jim knew of course, that they had hours before the Enterprise began scanning the surface for their life signs and would find them, but didn't comfort him at the fact that his team was up there, including Uhura, without their leader and that anything could happen to either party. It made him twitch and itch to know what was going on, made him feel guilty that he couldn't be up there.
"Is your comm not working?" he asked Spock for the fiftieth time and he just gave him a withering look. After an hour though, there was a new problem coming that Jim could see on the horizon and it made him sweaty and nervous.
It was getting dark.
He tried to stay as calm as he could about it, but eventually his chest began to feel tight and he had started pacing around the alcove, his palm flat on the walls of the cold cave as if to ground him but it still wasn't enough, he was on the other side of the glass again and Spock was pressing his palm to it and his chest was exploding with pain and his eyes were dimming-
"Jim?" a voice sounded from above his head and he wasn't aware that he was on the floor, chest heaving with his head in his hands until it was too late and he was too far gone to rectify the problem. Spock didn't make any move to touch him, which he was thankful for because his body was wound up, probably wouldn't survive the shock of contact but he was slowly losing the ability to breathe.
"Jim, I need you to tell me what the problem is or I cannot assist you." Spock said, and Jim focused himself on his voice and on answering his question.
"The dark, the dark," he managed as he tried to suck in air, and there was a fumbling moment as Spock reached into Jim's bag which was still slung around his body until he extracted one of the lanterns that they used to light caverns on mining planets. It hung in the air, bathing the alcove in light and Jim focused on that too, on opening his eyes and being able to see, the thought of the darkness leaving his mind and Spock closed his hand around Jim's wrist again and attempted to calm him.
"You did not mention that you were prone to panic attacks." He stated and Jim breathed deeply, a hand on his chest and the other one held by Spock, he looked at the older man with a slightly shocked expression from his near death experiance. How goddamn embarrasing.
"Yeah, I, dark," is all that he managed before he took another breath in.
Spock's eyebrows went down as he considered the statement and he seemed to enlighten upon a piece of knowledge.
"That is why you told Mr Scott you were unable to sleep." And Jim just nods, he's sick of playing the game where he pretends he doesn't need help anymore because he can't hide that he does.
Spock's eyes are impossibly brown when he finally looks into them and holds his gaze. Jim can see himself reflected in them and realises what sort of mess he's become, as he flaunts command gold for black, which matches his dark circles. His hair is in disarray, his eyes dull and almost colourless and his skin bleached and unhealthy. He looks sick, and he hates it, he fucking hates it.
"Why did you not permit anyone to help you Jim?" Spock says finally, not breaking the eye contact or the telepathic hold on him, so Jim knows he can't lie without Spock knowing.
"I didn't want to admit it, I guess." Is what he says and he's pretty sure that he can gather the word 'stubborn' from Spock's thoughts and closes his eyes again, collapsing back against the wet rock with a jagged sigh that is ripped from his lungs. "This isn't my body Spock, this doesn't feel like my body."
Spock doesn't reply to that one and he wonders if he ever could have done. Jim has put him in an awkward position there, telling Spock something emotional means that Spock has to gather emotion to say something comforting back and from the looks of it he can't manage it, not that he expected him too. He does remember however that the Vulcan cried.
"What did you say?" Jim breaks the silence after a while and Spock looks at him. "That a captain cannot cheat death."
"I believe you proved me wrong." Spock notes and Jim doesn't nod along with it.
"I think you're proving right." Jim states and Spock raises an eyebrow, as if to challenge the assertion.
"Jim, you cannot live your life fearing for death."
"We cannot hold mortality's strong hand." Jim quotes and Spock frowns at him as if his masochistic tendencies have got under the Vulcan's skin.
They talk until Jim falls asleep. It takes Chekov two more hours to find them and beam them up, and Spock still has that told on his wrist and Jim is started out of his sleep when he hits the transporter. He gets up slowly, and Bones is there already, waving the goddamn machine over him and telling him that he is a walking dead man from his vital signs, something that Jim already knows but it seems that death refuses to take him.
Once he realises that Spock can control his nightmares and fears he becomes addicted.
Being too dependant on someone else for something that he actually absolutely needs in his life is dangerous. He spends his days worrying about whether he will make it to the night and then spends his nights wondering whether his lack of sleep and his worrying will mean that he won't make it until the day. He starts to visit Spock almost every night now- Spock doesn't seem to mind and they sit for hours talking until Jim falls asleep and so does Spock and they're still connected and Jim doesn't dream. Then in the morning they wake up and the day starts again. He doesn't want to admit that also he likes being with Spock, too much and too little all at once.
"My body is most certainly rejecting this," he tells Spock one night, "and I don't think I'm going to survive. It doesn't let me sleep; it doesn't let me do most things I used to be able to. I hate some things now that I didn't mind before- like touch, Bones hates that he can't just reach out to comfort me anymore because it just makes it worse than it is. I hardly eat, and some days I feel like I'm too weak to get out of bed and others I'm unaware of the strength and break my mug of coffee. I can't do this anymore, I should have died."
Images play out in his head at that and they are not his own, he knows instantly that Spock is trying to communicate without words the opposite of the conclusion that he has reached. There is his own view, Jim stone cold and dead behind the class, Uhura, in shock and completely still. The announcement to Spock "You need to get down here now." And the curl of dread in his stomach is not his own. There is Sulu and Chekov, everyone, they cared. And it's still not good enough to make Jim want to live through this because he's going to end up letting them all down and disappointing them anyway, they struggled for him to live and he's ruining it.
"Sorry," he says and he realises his voice is broken and tears jump to his eyes. Emotional transference is a side-effect of the meld, something that he again learnt from the old Spock.
"Do not apologise for your sacrifice, we would do with the same." And he knows that he isn't lying, and yet for some reason there isn't relief with the fact there is only annoyance.
He shifts on the bed and puts himself closer to Spock, who no longer flinches away from him and is the only person Jim can bare to touch, he's lying on his side now whereas Spock is sat up staring down at him, brown eyes even darker in the lack of light.
He just breathes for a while, not sleeping but not being fully conscious neither. The crew had become startlingly noticing of the fact that Jim was not regaining his strength day-to-day and yet was still performing somewhat perfectly the role of captain. Although to their credit they did not know how badly that he worked at the veneer that he put on every day to manage this. He wants to crack in front of them and let them know it is okay to not be perfect but at the same time knows he can't because he is the one thing supposedly holding them together- albeit shitly.
Spock meanwhile, let go and moved around the room, ignoring Jim's whimper at the loss of contact but not going back to him. Jim sat up straight at one particular thought; the stare that he was currently giving the mirror across from him was wide-eyed and a little bit crazed.
"I think, I have to die." He says and Spock turns around at that one with a total look of miscomprehension on his face.
"You do not have to do anything Jim." Is what he says and Jim rolls his eyes at the Vulcan.
"Think about it, it's logical. Harrison's blood bought me back from the dead, and therefore my body isn't properly mine, his blood keeps my heart going. But my now my own blood will have turned, and if it wakes me up it will be me."
Spock gives him a glare under his eyes and then turns away, "I can't permit that, as you are captain it is my job to keep you alive."
Jim realises that immediately he said something stupid and looks away and back at the bed, then he stands and faces Spock even though his body aches goddamn it and he's annoyed, annoyed at himself.
"Yeah, shouldn't have even thought of it." he says and Spock's brown eyes find his again and Spock moves towards him with determined stride and Jim moves back several steps but finds himself with nowhere to go.
A hand comes up to his face and he screws his eyes shut in anticipation of some sort of attack but it's not the physical type that he gets. He is conscious that he's not in the room anymore but sort of in a place inside of his own mind and Spock is there too- and he's fully aware that this is a proper meld.
He can feel Spock inside, Spock is dark and Jim is gold that's how he is differentiating between the two minds. Spock's emotions are on display, probably because the walls in his mind aren't trained for melds, he's never been in one? No he can see that that is the answer. It surprises him how much emotion that Spock feels and simply disregards as not being logical because on the inside Spock is so human, and on the outside so Vulcan.
Consciously he's throwing up walls to stop Spock seeing things but that's obviously not what the Vulcan is concerned with because he's aware now that he's not breathing but Spock is making his body do it for him. His heart rate is slowing, his brain functions doing the same and he's drifting, slowly away, further and further and all he can see is the darkness but no pain and just relief.
Then a slam, he comes to and jerks backwards his head hitting the compartment door with a loud bang and he's about two inches away from Spock and can count every one of his eyelashes. His body shudders and then wracks with coughs, pain shooting through his chest as he raggedly pulls in oxygen staring at Spock with a wounded open expression.
"What the fuck?" he manages to say to the Vulcan and there is a surprised expression on the other man's face, as if he's seen or done something that he's not supposed to. He slams his hand against the door open and before Spock can even say anything he's out.
The compartment door shuts behind him and he doesn't say anything and can't hear what Spock was saying or about to say, all he can think is the fact that Spock nearly just killed him because apparently he wasn't allowed to die at the hands of anyone else. He makes his way down to medical to tell Bones his oh-so-not-bright idea, and the walls sway a bit when he moves but apart from that the ache has stopped now and he actually feels like he could eat something. Bones tells him that he's going to try a new drug with him, one that again he's tried using the Tribble.
So he ends up sat across from Bones in medical eating what's left of the night shifts food, and it resembles something like scrambled egg and sausage, strange because it's usually breakfast food but he doesn't comment as he shovels it down himself.
"Jim if you eat any faster I might as well just attach a line and pump the food straight into your stomach, now sit back and eat a little slower." He scolds and Jim consciously straightens his back and does start to eat with a little bit more finesse.
"It feels weird to be properly hungry again." He says.
"Maybe that's you getting better." Bones suggests and he knows it's probably just because his body got the kick start it needed to get his shit together. He also knows that it will probably be temporary.
Bones injects him with the hypo after they've eaten; he sits on the medical bed as Bones then examines him with the scanner, proclaiming that he's better, a little but not significantly. Better is good enough though, and Bones properly clears him for duty, because he's been doing it without his permission for a good few weeks now.
It occurs to Jim too late that Spock had been testing his mortality and he was fucking immortal, his body wouldnt let him die it just bought him back from the brink, only something forceful and dilberate could stop his body from regenerating, he had to want it. he just let's it slide because there's nothing else he can really do about it. Not like he can go back and change it, there was obviously something that Spock had thought to try and see if it worked and that is that. He tries not to think about the way his mind had felt against his, because thats a little bit homosexual.
"Anything you want to talk about?" Bones says and Jim shakes his head no because he's actually feeling mentally stable for once and doesn't really feel like risking it.
He has an allergic reaction to whatever Bones keeps injecting him with once a week but the side effects are nothing compared to what does happen when he doesn't take it. They visit several planets in the time after his treatment for whatever is actually wrong with him begins- Bones isn't sure and he isn't sure but he knows that its working whatever it is. Jim's back to captain and it's like a sigh of relief for the crew when he begins acting a little more like his old self again, a breath is taking through lungs he didn't know breathed the same collective air.
He can't stop himself however, from still seeking touch from Spock. Wrapping his hands around Spock's wrists and the actions are returned whenever Jim looks as though he might be stressing, be under mental strain, anything that causes Spock to, he would say worry but that can't be the case, so notice a compromise in his command.
The next planet is already named; Haxus IV and they are looking at highly oxygenated and desert rich, with a hot temperature and volcanoes peppering the landscape. There are hardly any trees and from the ship it looked as if the desert was never ending and stretched on for miles with only rock formations to break up the never-ending sand. For Spock it's easy, for Jim and the other humans it's like stepping into a furnace.
Luckily, McCoy is there with them to periodically administer the shots that they need to survive. However obviously the drugs and the atmosphere and Jim's body don't mix, because he's soon lagging behind and feeling like shit, but it's fine because Spock is lagging behind with him. It's always a concern when the captain can't keep up with the rest of the group but he knows that if it was needed he could probably muster the extra strength that he's trying to keep under wraps.
Bones is concerned and Jim knows that he is, but there's nothing he can say to the man to make it any less so because his best friend always worries, one of his only friends too.
"Are you feeling alright captain?" Spock says and it snaps him out of his day dreaming, but then he realises that he hasn't got a clue what Spock actually said. The meaning trickles through his brain and then he formulates the answer.
"Yeah, yeah." He says, "Better since you did whatever you did and Bones started pumping me full of drugs, yeah."
Spock looks different, he decides. His uniform fits him a bit better, but at the same time he is paler, a little less full of condescending life. He fixes Jim with a look.
"I did not mean to almost kill you Jim. I was merely trying to get a feeling for your vital signs."
"I know, you were just trying to help." Jim reassures him and takes in a hot, laboured breath. McCoy notices and drops back too, hypo already in his hand and Jim fixes him with a cold look that warns him from using it.
"Jim you don't need to be a little bitch just because you need a bit of help, it's heavy atmosphere here." He says, plunging it into his wrist instead of his neck and Jim brings his other hand the massage the part absentmindedly. He feels it sluggishly move through his veins until it gets around his body and he feels his lungs start to perk up and his face probably gets a bit of colour. There's a thrum in his mind, a buzz that wasn't there before he's quite sure and at the same time Spock shifts in his place and he gets the distinct feeling that he's being assessed. Did the meld even break?
His next breath is even better, and Bones looks pleased as he scans him. The drugs are working but the nightmares, when he doesn't stay with Spock are still as bad. He's still afraid of the dark, fearing oblivion but it also seems to fear him.
They make good progress, Scotty has a good lock on their locations and makes correspondence with them every now and again to make sure that they are fine and don't need the ship, which is currently doing a cycle to keep the warp cores at their best. Scotty's love for the ship almost, maybe even exceeding his love for it impresses him and makes him happy. Happy that his crew wants to be here almost as much as he does, and it hits him that he doesn't want to die, he wants to stay here with them forever and as much as he'd love to its not going to happen.
A hand closes around his wrist and he's calmed, reassured and he doesn't even need to look at Spock to know that it's him.
Jim starts walking again but Spock doesn't let go of his wrist and it occurs to Jim to make sure that Spock's okay too, because balancing his emotions and his own can't go well inside one man's head.
"Are you alright yourself?" he asks Spock and the man nods, but his eyes are tight. Then Jim does something potentially risky and tangles their fingers, instead of just wrist to hand contact they're now actually holding hands and Jim can tell that Spock is lying through his blinding surprise.
He doesn't comment though, and lets go of the man's hand before taking his own scanner out of the pocket and makes sure to scan the tree that they've just passed under, mostly because it's the first tree they've seen and partly because he needs something to do with his hands to make sure that he doesn't strangle himself with guilt over the fact that he's hurting Spock.
Jim's not entirely sure when he sort of, likes Spock but it appears to be entirely like waking up in the morning, slowly, very slowly and then suddenly all at once so that his eyes are wide open and he's staring at the sun.
He's fairly sure that his need for Spock now goes beyond his mental wellbeing and straight into the box that is ticked emotional and he's fairly sure that the box is but one leap away from emotionally compromised. And well shit, he needs to stop.
He administers his own drugs now and has good days and bad. Some days he doesn't want to get out of bed, and now he's sleeping with Spock (not in that sense) (although hed like it to be) he at least has someone to share his nightmares with. They don't sleep in the same bed but in the same room, and Spock wakes him up every single time he screams in his sleep and forces him to talk through it, calms him down with those eyes staring at him in the dark. Not that it in any way helps him mentally because he doesn't want Spock to be burdened with what he is also burdened with.
He catalogues Spock's every move on the bridge, where his eyes follow and what he looks at, what he does and where he goes and he tries to tell himself that its normal because he is the captain and he needs to know everything his first officer does but he knows it goes deeper and so does Uhura, he's fairly certain, because she actually comes him when he goes down to med bay for a diagnosis.
"Mr. Sulu you have the comm." He states as he pushes away from the chair and makes his way out of the bridge, Spock's gaze follows him as Uhura gets out of his chair too and gets into the lift with him, which is something that he finds annoying because he's currently on his way to get is chest drained and doesn't need this.
They don't speak and then, "How ill exactly are you Jim, and don't bullshit me."
He doesn't reply for a few seconds, trying to find a way to make it sound better but he truly can't. "I'm dying, slowly but surely Uhura," he says and his throat closes because he hasn't actually told anyone and he doesn't plan to. "and the drugs only slow it down."
She turns to him and stops the lift between floors and those eyes make contact with his and long ago he would have been attracted to her but he hates that he sees pity there.
"I'm dying over and over and over." He says and she hugs him, she fucking hugs him and he squeezes back as hard as he can and ducks his head into her neck. She lets go and her hand is still in his hair at the nape of his neck and he ducks his head, not looking at her.
"And Spock, what even is that, what's going on there." Jim moves away defensively and crosses his arms over his chest.
"He helps, alright. He takes some of it away, you know with being what he is." He says and Uhura fixes him with that look, the look that knows he is lying and she knows it and he knows it.
"Don't do what I did, Jim."
"What did you do?" he asks, and knows immediately what the answer will be.
"Pretended not to care anymore, pulled away."
Jim doesn't reply and restarts the lift, because that was exactly what he was going to do and now he can't because it will fuck everything up even more even though he's dying and he won't live anyway.
They make their way through the corridors to med bay together and McCoy fixes him with a cold stare. He's always a little bit twitchy now about Jim, and this mood seems to be in direct correlation with how his health is doing- which is shit.
"You're late." He states.
"Death waits for no man Bones." He says cheerfully and the man just gives him a look and then opens his mouth to tell Uhura to leave.
"She knows Bones, it's fine."
Once a month he has his chest drained, and it forces him to look like shit for about four hours and so he has to give up control of the ship on McCoy's orders. Spock is currently Acting Captain and he is demoted to basically nothing, which means he can relax and not think about it (he does anyway.)
It's weird having someone there and Uhura actually can't peel her eyes away as Bones inserts the tube into his chest and the amber liquid starts to drain away into the bag that Bones has attached to it. It hurts, it really hurts and it just saps all the energy out of him all at once and he lays back, relieved that the tightness in his chest is loosening.
"You're so ill," Uhura breathes and Jim turns to stare at her, tired.
"I know." He says with a weak smile and she holds his hand as he flinches through it.
"Five more minutes Jim I promise and you can go sleep." Bones promises and he keeps a focus on Uhura who constantly swims in and out of his vision. Bones hypo's him and he groans, but then removes the tube from his chest as quickly as he can and it's sort of being like stabbed in reverse. He takes deep breaths after it's done and sits up, and he's scanned and then told he can go.
"Get back to the bridge." He tells her after he leans on her all the way to the lift, she shakes her head but he fixes her with a glare, albeit a badly done one and she does that small smile and her eyes are full of pity again, he can't meet them and he turns around to sleep, crawling under the covers in the compartment that he shares with Spock and staying there, because he doesn't have the strength to do anything else.
He comes too when the light snaps on and Spock (he presumes) pulls back the covers a little bit. He shivers, he's pretty sure there's a sheen of sweat on his forehead, a side-effect of the drugs and the drain is that it leaves him weak and more susceptible to the ailments than usual. He opens his eyes against the light and immediately closes them, and realises too that he's gotten in the wrong bed because it doesn't smell of him it smells of Spock. Well shit.
"You have gotten worse Jim." Spock states and there's a statement in his voice alongside the accusation. How dare you get ill, "We are 5 days warp from the nearest planet that has sufficient status to look at you." He says and Jim waves a hand in the man's face.
"Na, na, I'll be alright, it's just some treatment, knocks it out of me." He tangles his hand with Spock's and feels the disapproval seep through the contact. He doesn't pull away as Jim rests his hand back on the bed and his eyes slip closed again.
"Jim?" Spock says sharply and there's a jolt in his head as Spock associates this look with the Jim that died and he feels immediately guilty for caring so much and yet also irrationally for dying.
"Spock I'm dying." He says and he feels the man tense, he tries to pull back his hand but Jim reaches up the other hand to hold it to his anyway.
"Please, stay, for god's sake." He pleads and the bed shifts and he allows Spock's hand to be taken out of his for the time being. He closes his eyes as he hears the rustle of clothes and then "Lights off." And he's scooting over and Spock's in bed with him, how amusing and the covers are pulled back over his shivering body.
He's not sure whether he's facing Spock or not but begins to talk anyway, he presses his hand against the other man's so he can feel the emotion that grounds him and then he starts.
"I've not really been honest with you," is how he starts and already the bed shifts and he opens his eyes and they're not that far away at all.
"Tell me Jim." He says and there's emotion in his goddamn voice never mind through the link and it's like dying all over again and it's almost ironic because he is.
"Fluid is building up in my chest, a side effect of the drugs I think. If they take me off the drugs, then my body will shut down and I'll die. For good, they're sure anyway, they don't think I'll come back but they're not 100% sure. Anyway, the drugs, the drugs are giving me more time; they think I could survive for months, years? Not sure, anyway but eventually my hearts just going to stop working and it hurts god it hurts Spock and you can't help and no one can help and I'm letting everyone down by dying."
There's no actual reply except a hand that comes up to his face and the meld opens again and he feels everything that Spock does, and there's no holding back for either of them, there is Spock;
Regretscaredbetrayedalonevulcanmothereintheendheca resaboutuhurajimthecrewtheenterpriseallgonedisease longevitylife
And there is Jim;
And they sort of meet together in the middle until Jim pulls away and presses his head into the pillow but keeps his hand on Spock's bicep and they sleep and Jim has no nightmares, except for the ones where Spock dies.
Jim gets better but he knows it's one of those 'is it the last good day or The Last Good Day' and he starts to think about what he wants for his death. He's decided that he really shouldn't tell Spock what he feels about him because it would only make things worse so he's going to take it to the grave. He also wants to sort of die on his ship in one of those sentimental last wishes sort of thing, which means that Spock will advance to captain.
Spock hovers, as does Uhura because they know how ill he is and they don't seem to care but they do at the same time. They treat him no differently, at least not in front of the others- that have been informed that Jim is ill but not to what extent.
"Don't go down to that fucking planet Jim, it'll kill you."
"Life in general is killing me Bones, there is no point trying to stop me." He had replied and Bones had hugged him, God he must have been close to death for that to happen.
"Bones, if it gets bad, if it gets shit down there I want you to kill me." He says and his eyes widen and he goes to open his mouth and shake his head but Jim puts up a hand.
"I want you to shoot me in the chest if I'm going to die anyway, I want it to be quick." And his hand closes around Bones' shoulder and he pulls him closer still and Bones drops his head to Jim's neck.
"Promise me." Jim says violently and there is a shudder through Leonard.
"I promise." Is all the older man says back, and then he hypo's Jim in the neck with all the romance that they have come to acquire in their relationship over the years. He's not even made it to a year into his five year mission and he's going to conk it. But he's certainly going to do it his own way. The curse of John Harrison lives on.
They get down there and the atmosphere is about as heavy as Haxus VI was, they are similar he notes in climate and pressure. It rattles his lungs and he knows that there is fluid in them, but he's not long since had them drained which means that there is something really wrong and it's not reversible this time. There is a pain in his shoulder- lack of oxygen. He doesn't say anything.
They split into teams, Spock, Jim and Bones, Uhura, Sulu and Carol and they each move off in opposite directions from each other. Jim sets off with a good pace to start with, that slows in increments as the sun gets higher in the sky. This is his dream, he thinks to himself and he's not going to make it any further. There are trees coming up, and there doesn't seem to be any life at all nearby from what the ship had told them and there is a river splitting the foliage in half that McCoy stands by and scans while he and Spock stand about 50 metres back, wary and not wanting to get involved with whatever the CMO is doing.
He coughs, shit and then carries on coughing until he's bent double and he knows he's going to be sick as he stumbles into the bush without looking back and his stomach is wrenched through his lips and onto the floor. He stands, braced against the tree for a few seconds just trying to catch his breath and ignore the blood. He takes in a shaky breath and wipes his mouth on the back of his hand, blood smeared across it and his face and he slides down to the floor shaking, with his head on his knees.
Someone crouches in front of him and reaches for him, and he's sure it's Bones until there is a crackle and a link is established and he's conscious that he's no longer breathing for himself again as his vital signs are checked.
"Jim," a voice says and it's cracked with emotion that he hadn't heard since The Day That He Doesn't Think About and he opens his eyes and can immediately see himself in Spock's mind.
His eyes are bloodshot, his skin pale and clammy, and his lips are blood-stained and blue, he is starved of oxygen that he desperately needs. That's what's killing him, the lack of oxygen to his lungs and therefore his body. He won't die though, he can't die unless he wants to and he doesn't fucking want it, not without him being selfish.
"I'm tired Spock, I'm tired of pretending I'm alright." He whispers conscious of every heartbeat that is shaking his body with every breath he also takes and Spock reaches his other hand for him.
"Get the fuck up Jim get the fuck up!" McCoy is shouting and running towards them with a not so brilliant look on his face that Jim vaguely ascertains when Spock turns his head to look and he sees him through the meld.
Spock practically fucking throws him to his feet, and his body aches to shit but he is pushed forward by Bones who refuses to carry him because that would mean that he is Near The End and he's not, well not in Bones' opinion but definitely in his own.
He's not exactly sure why they are running but then he hears something that is threatening and dangerous and his brain kicks into gear. His lungs burn, his legs ache and there is no option but to carry on because he's the Captain and he needs to protect his crew even if it's the last thing he does. He turns and sees it, reaching for Spock and throwing them both right and off course from Bones but he doesn't doubt that he knows how to outrun this.
There is a scratching sound too close to his ear and then it takes over his whole body and Spock fires his phaser. The scratching gets further away and then Jim stops, realising he can probably scare it and reaches quickly into his bag for a flash grenade and throws it in an arc backwards, and there's a loud bang and red smoke envelopes them both and he loses sight of Spock.
It all ends really when he can't go anymore and he falls to the floor beside a tree, one hand clutching his chest so hard that he's ripping through the fabric and another at his stomach where he feels the nausea rise. He's sick, it's all blood and fluid and he doesn't even have the strength to raise his head so that it goes somewhere else other than partially down his trousers and onto the forest floor. And then he sits there, pain leaving him immobile ready to die.
Spock finds him first and he's kind of glad because he needs Spock to know how he feels before he bites it because he's fucking selfish. He didn't plan to tell him but what's the point. Spock pushes him back against the tree and kneels between his own knees, ignoring the blood and the whatever the fuck else is wrong with him to grab his wrist and his neck.
"Spock don't leave me don't, don't go until I've gone please I'm selfish, don't leave me. I'm fucking scared." The impression that all heroes are glorious in death is one that he upheld the first time, but he is not like that this time around, he is a needy, desperate man with a life ahead of him gone and for no real cause unlike the last time.
"Jim I could not leave even if I desired to." He says and it is as close to an admission that he will stay with him until he dies that he needs.
"Spock," he says and it hurts to breath "I've wanted something for months and there's nothing I can do about it ever because I am a dead man walking and you're not and I fell and I couldn't catch myself and neither could you but I don't regret it because I got to be your Captain if nothing ever else and it wasn't enough for me I won't pretend it doesn't but I lived with you." He stops pouring it out without a pause and he can't breathe, and then he's leaning forward anyway to press his lips to Spock's anyway to punctuate his point in case the Vulcan didn't understand.
He pulls away because he can't breathe but Spock chases him, gaining access to his mouth as Jim lets him and he wonders whether this is a last wish thing because surely what else can it be. Spock wraps a hand that was on his wrist into his hair and despite the fact that he's a mess, he must taste like shit and look like shit he has been granted his last wish and he can let go. The Vulcan's tongue makes laps around his mouth and Jim would groan into the kiss if he could, but all he does do is tighten the hand against the other mans shirt and slant his head to allow easier access. And Spock pours everything into it and he can feel it. Spock loves Jim and hates him at the same time, Jim is the reason that Uhura and Spock broke up, because Spock was not happy and Uhura had seen it, Jim was the reason that Spock couldn't sleep at night because he had spent so many times worrying about him.
"Jim, it does seem futile right now as you are probably going to be separated from me forever to try and start something from this." He says and Jim smiles weakly, the plateau, the last Good bit before the end. "But you, are impossible to stay away from, and you concerned me and I had to help you, and I ended up in something much deeper, and I do not know what to do right now or how to feel Jim." He's not crying, but Jim is, this is all the right way round now, Spock is the ground, the earth and he is clinging to him not wanting to leave but there is the slight problem of the fact that he is about to be pulled into the oblivion.
"Piece of advice, don't ever love a dying man Spock, doesn't work out." He whispers and he lapses into unconsciousness against him.
His body hurls him back to life from the brink with a fucking large breath and he hates it. He turns, is sick all over the med bay floor (how did he get here) and tries to sit up in a panic but doesn't quite have the strength to do it. How the fuck is he alive, how is this still going, his chest is killing him and he wants it to end but it won't because every time his heart rate slows it kicks in and saves him and he lives time after fucking time and he doesn't want the immortality for this pain.
"I lied Jim I couldn't fucking do it" Bones is crying, he's sure as he's laid out on the stretcher very unceremoniously. "I'm going to stop your heart by electrical impulse I just can't shoot you in the fucking chest okay, forgive me for god's sake. Forgive him."
I do, he thinks but he's lost the ability to speak so he inclines his head slightly, where the hell is Spock, why Spock isn't here is all he can think but it's probably more for privacy than anything else that Bones had made sure that it's just him and Jim, a bit of dignity in his death. He has got to give in to die, he recognises this and he has to let go. And so, he simply does. He tires of the pain, of fighting it, and of breathing, and so simply just lies back with his eyes shut.
"Tell Spock-" He starts, his voice quiet and raspy and McCoy silences him with a hand over his mouth. It is warm, he is not. His eyes open.
"Tell him yourself Jim. Tell him your fucking self, because that man has been in love with you since you died the first time and he will sure as hell still love you whether you wake up from this shit or not. If you die I'm going to bring you back to life to kill you myself."
And then he leans down to press a hand to his face and Jim closes his eyes when his heart stops completely for the second time and then he is gone.
"Scotty, are you there?"
"Aye Captain, we've hidden behind the moon so that we don't attract attention from the natives. Don't speak to them I don't think they speak English and they won't take too kindly to ye appearance."
"Copied Scotty, over and out."
James T. Kirk turned to his first officer and smiled, a wide grin that took most of his face up and left Spock giving his own, small and mostly unnoticeable smile of his own- but Jim saw it, it was there. His dark hair was ruffled by the wind but always managed to lie back into that bowl cut that they had thought to bestow upon their entire race and it makes Jim smile again at the thought.
Jim had taken a good three months off after his second death, although he had wanted to kiss Bones when he had abruptly woken up a week after his heart had stopped with nothing but mostly clear vitals. Bones, had been working for months on something he wasn't sure would work at all, hence why he had been trying to delay Jim's actual death as long as he could. He had taken the blood and decoded it, working out what the serum had entailed and what was making it tick and had recoded it, making it safer and less likely to fall apart in the bloodstream and had promptly injected it straight into his heart at the same time as giving Jim such a huge electrical shock that his body had jumped off the table.
That had happened in the minute after Jim's death, meaning that his brain had not had time to become useless and they had forced him into a coma and prayed to fucking god that he would wake up. He did.
He is no longer immortal, he breathes properly and he dies properly. He wakes up every morning tangled in bed with Spock and there's a moment of clarity when he realises how fucking close he keeps getting to dying and he appreciates every moment.
The moment he returned to bridge had been his favourite moment ever. There had just been complete silence for three seconds before everyone was up, Uhura around him, Chekov on him and Sulu hugging him. Carol hung around and Spock hung back, both amused and glad that he could give up his Captain's post for Jim again, who had been told by Starfleet was a fucking miracle.
His second favourite moment ever had been the desperate, wet and hot kiss that he'd received the moment that Spock had seen him healthy and sat up in bed, he'd positively violated both his mind and mouth infront of a shocked looking Bones- it had been worth it just for that. He was however surprised that the Vulcan wanted anything from him at all, and it had taken a great deal of pussy-footing around for a good month and a half before they just decided to go for it and commit to it.
"Shall we go then?" he says, nuzzling his head into his shoulder like a playful cat and the Vulcan looks simulatenous unamused and happy at the same time at his display of affection.
"Perhaps." and Jim grins into his own shoulder and looks up under his eyelashes at his lover.
"You say some really sexy shit sometimes Mr. Spock." he comments just to watch his eyes darken.