"Because you are my friend,"

Spock choked on the words. A lie by omission. The voice in his head sounded suspiciously like his older self. He can't bring this up now, not in Kirk's final moments. He must leave it so Kirk's soul can rest for eternity whilst Spock's feelings can wage war quietly in the back of his mind.

The emotion he's previously spent keeping contained within himself suddenly roars to the surface like an angry leviathan. His muscles contort and twist to reveal the desperation weeping off of his face.

"A friendship that will define you both."

A friendship that can never be.

Spock had a raging torrent of emotions flying about his head, crashing into each other and intensifying them as the chain reaction caused a nuclear explosion of anger, grief, horror and – most of all – heartbreak.

Why can't I stop it? Stop him from going, stop from feeling, stop from hoping that he may yet survive. It is impossible he will.

He reached out his hand for the glass. Cold, unfeeling. Like me. Spock blames himself. He makes the Vulcan salute with his hand, hoping that it will bring Kirk comfort in his passing. Kirk copied the salute. It would be cruel to say it now.

Spock couldn't blink. He was clinging on to the last image of James Kirk he will ever get to see. Although he's not sure this is how he wants to remember him, Spock stares at Kirk.

Captain...

As Kirk's eyes stopped glowing and his face relaxed it seemed just like he was looking behind Spock at a particularly enrapturing thing. It was almost like he wasn't dead yet. Spock let out the breath he was holding. The breath that contained all those unspoken words of comfort, those calming tones to help Kirk in his passing, those confessions he never confessed.

Kirk was gone. No, his name was Jim.

"At great cost."

It wasn't supposed to be Jim. It was never supposed to be Jim. Not in many ways. Yet it was Jim and it always has been.

Spock's fury was like a jungle cat hunting: it was silent for a moment, but then all at once it tore into him screaming the name of the one who was in all ways responsible for this.

Khan.