The last fan fiction I wrote was in 2003 for the series JAG. I've been a fangirl of Trek all my life but somehow, this latest movie got the itch going again. What great characters they all are! A diverse universe with intriguing plot lines and tangents. Thanks for reading and helping shake the rust from my writing skills. Feedback is humbly appreciated and accepted.

Death wasn't what he thought it would be. No release from a failing body. Nor shuffling off of a mortal coil as the Bard described it. No clarity of perspective. No all-knowledge or truth. To be completely honest, Jim felt like shit. And there was this immense weariness that was influencing his ability to focus. On anything.

Dark. Everything is dark. Open eyes. White. Everything is bright and glarey. He immediately wanted to go back to the oblivion of the dark. He blinked, rolled his head and felt a sting at the side of his neck. Hypo-spray? What was Bones doing here?

"Don't be so melodramatic. You were barely dead."

Like McCoy could read his thoughts. What? What? What do you mean 'barely dead?' I am dead. I died. Immense dose of radiation from the warp reactor. Spock was there. He cried. I saw it. Ask Scotty.

He concentrated on the source of the voice. The figure bending over him came into focus. Definitely Leonard McCoy, old friend and perennial pain in the neck, pun intended. Huh. That's so weird.

His looked around. It was a room. A hospital room. A hospital room on solid ground. Likely Earth. Odds are then its San Francisco. Starfleet Medical! He patted himself on the back for stringing together a brilliant piece of logic

Kirk directed all his attention to what McCoy was saying. Something about Khan. Using Khan's blood to save him. Is he trying to say I am alive? Well, that's fucking amazing. He had cheated death.

He looked at McCoy again. You frigging saved me, you silly-assed bastard. I am lucky. I also have the best of people as friends. Smart as shit friends. Unbelievably smart friends. Bones, I love you. I am alive.

Wait, what did he say? Khan's blood? Catch up, he just told you that he used that psychotic super bastard Khan to bring you back from the brink of death. No, no, no. That's like using Genghis Khan's heart for transplant. Cloning Colonel Green's brain. Whoa. There's a troubling line of thought.

"Are you feeling homicidal, power-mad or despotic?" Bones was talking again. Kirk looked at him intently, measuring the tone in his friend's voice. He was joking, right?

"No more than usual," he quipped back. His voice sounded like gravel inside his head.

McCoy smiled as he concentrated on a scanner somewhere behind him. That exchange was comforting. If Bones was cracking jokes, everything must be okay. I must be okay. Lets face it, it had to be okay. The deep lines on Bones' tired face relaxed slightly. It suddenly occurred to Jim that saving his sorry ass had been hard on his best friend. Bones, I will never forget. Ever.

He started to inventory his body. How did he feel? The quicker he got back to normal, the faster his friend could take a break. Bones could be a little over focused when it came to a few cuts and bruises. Every one knew that. He raised his head slightly off the pillow and immediately fell back. That hurt. The effort it took was shocking. He was as weak as a fucking baby. It was wiser now was just to rest. Like he had any choice. He glued on a smile for Bones' sake.

There was some one else in the room. Carefully avoiding any movement that set off a surge of pain, he looked towards the end of the bed. There standing quietly with his hands behind his back, was Spock. He was watching him.

He felt himself tense. That was the nature of the relationship between Kirk and Spock. It was different than with Bones. Bones, he could swap lies sitting in a bar drinking a Bud Classic. Tell him the intimate details of his latest lady friend. Or bullshit about success in a bar fight. Bones was relaxing. Spock was not.

Interaction with Spock required his full attention. Jim was accustomed to bulldozing over most people with a combination of charm and quick wits. None of that had ever impressed Spock. He held Jim to a frustratingly standard. That computer brain of his never forgot a comment or misstep.

But it was more than that. For a man who stated he was devoted to logic and had discarded emotion, he was pretty intense. At times Spock was more intense than most humans. He had displayed some breath taking anger when Kirk had challenged his objectivity after the destruction of Vulcan. Spock was one strong Vulcan.

Perhaps this is where the common ground lay between them. He was always driving; always pushing. Intense was an adjective to describe himself. Jim's child hood had been less than stellar. Pike had been correct when he pointed out that he was a repeat offender. Nothing big. Just stupid kid stuff that was a result of an overly creative and far too idle mind.

Vulcans controlled their emotions by choosing not to feel them. They were still there, ready to spring free from their prisons in the mind. That was clear from his mind meld with Spock Prime. And although Spock identified himself primarily as Vulcan, he wasn't. His internal conflict came from a different place than pure Vulcans. From the beginning, he had more to overcome.

When Jim reflected over the events of the Narada, he concluded that his entire life was at the epicentre of the alteration of the time line. Like seismic waves that move outward in a spherical pattern after an earthquake - the destruction is more intense the closer to the point of impact. He had been altered more than most.

When the Narada destroyed Vulcan, it registered a nine on the Richter scale, temporally speaking. In an instant, Spock's life was engulfed by a tsunami of life altering events. He too had been changed.

Jim also learned one more important fact as a result of the mind meld with Spock Prime. Both he and Spock were different people from their counterparts in that other timeline. Harder lives had made them harder people. He liked to think he could have kicked Jim Prime's ass in fight, that soft bastard with an easy life. Spock Prime was the embodiment of Vulcan ideals yet fully exploiting the strengths of his human ancestry. A man at peace. As contrast, his Spock (the one standing at the end of his bed) could lay that Kolinahr-worshipping counterpart down with a single blow. Younger version, of course. No one likes to see an old man beaten. In a nutshell, Spock and Kirk were tougher than their reflections in a time line that only existed in the memory of an ancient half-caste on New Vulcan.

But now, here, his friend was waiting to talk to him. Despite the calm exterior, Jim sensed he was one raw nerve under the surface. He had brought back Kahn alive but lost the war on his emotions. He had felt Spock's mounting anger moments before he lost consciousness in Enterprise's warp reactor. For Spock, half human, half Vulcan - control was everything.

Jim's philosophy on the other hand, was simple. "You saved my life." To Kirk, that meant everything. He silently vowed a second time. I won't forget it.

In the background, McCoy interjected, "Uhura and I might've had something to do with it too."

"You saved my life, Jim, as well as the lives of - "

Jim's eyes flicked upward towards Spock's serious face at the use of his first name. A rare occurrence which made him feel better than a hypospray. "The needs of the many… yeah, I know." He paused. "Thank you."

McCoy cleared his throat before interrupting the heavy mood of the room, "Come on, Spock. From the little I've heard, you must have laid an epic whooping on Kahn. A man expert at disappearing into thin air."

McCoy had moved in closer to adjust a monitor and continued. "Uhura told me she had to physically stop you from beating the man to death."

"No way, Bones - what else did Uhura say?"

Discussing his descent into madness was starting to piss Spock off. But it was also helping to focus his anger on someone other than himself. "Doctor, I'm not sure why you are so interested in talking about this. Kahn is no longer a threat to Earth."

McCoy ignored him. "She said he tried a mind meld on Kahn."

Jim smiled. "In the middle of a brawl? How does that work?"

"Actually Doctor, it wasn't a mind meld but Tal Shaya - a martial arts technique that is considered to be a merciful form of execution."

"You can do that?" McCoy asked. "You can kill a man by pressing finger to his face and neck?"

"Yes," said Spock. "But it didn't work with Kahn."

Jim closed his eyes. He let their conversation go on without him, comforted by familiar sounds. He must have dozed off because the next thing he knew - Spock was gone and Bones was adjusting the shades in the room.

"Go back to sleep, Jim." He felt a squeeze on his shoulder and then oblivion.

McCoy was leaning against the nurses station, head bowed reading the PADD in his hand. He was trying to formulate his orders to the next shift. Tonight he was going home to a beer and bed. It had been a long couple of weeks.

"What did you think, Doctor?" McCoy looked up. It was Spock, standing beside him, hands behind his back.

"About Jim? Good. Tired. Weak. But good.," he replied. "What did you think?"

"He seems to be suffering no ill affects from the radiation or as a result of the unorthodox use of Kahn's blood."

"We've been monitoring and suppressing at the DNA level any changes brought on by Kahn's blood. Don't worry, Spock."

"Thank you, Doctor." He turned on his heel and walked away.

Don't worry, Spock. He snorted. Now if he could only convince himself not to worry.