A/N: The final chapter. In which, if all goes well, there will indeed be an M-rating for Spirky fun times. For all of those who doubted and cursed my name, your cries of woe were delicious and appreciated. I must confess to harboring a slight sadistic streak when it comes to my OTP. But alas, I am not that cruel. HOW COULD I EVER KILL SPOCK? Tis blasphemy. But anyway, hopefully this chapter will appease you, for some merriment and unscrupulous knavery occurs and there is much affection in the air.

I feel like this is moving a bit fast, but the story is rolling out of my hands now, folks. It wants things to be done and accomplished and I shall have to acquiesce to the natural flow of events. See you on the other side.

Chapter 7

It was warm. He registered this first, above all else, as he hazily rose through the layers of unconsciousness. There was warmth all over, a soft pressure that cocooned and sheltered and protected. He felt that he could lie there forever. Except...something was wrong. It niggled at the edges of his mind, nudging insistently at the border of coherent thought, but still too unformed to break through.

He became slowly aware of his body over time. Two legs, two arms, lungs breathing in and out. The soft warmth gradually became fabric, starched sheets tucked tightly around his body. There was a dull throbbing in his left leg that was not totally painful, but still distinctly uncomfortable. His tongue felt fat and heavy and the acrid taste of copper coated the inside of his mouth.

He remembered now, a little...pain, yes, and blood. There was something...someone...he was trying to get to. Trying to save.

His name. Jim. Captain of the Enterprise. That's right. A thin thread of satisfaction at the breakthrough. He could hear something now. A low beeping, quiet and unobtrusive. The sensation that something was not quite right swelled briefly, dragging him to full consciousness with the abruptness of cold water dumped over his head.

Spock. Bleeding, falling-

His eyes snapped open and he stared up at a flat white ceiling, a bar of light burning into his retinas. He blinked and tried to turn his head. The motion triggered a flurry of beeping and dramatic wails from the equipment around his bed, summoning a running figure to his side at once.

"Jim," Bones said, relief evident in his weary voice as he bent over the bed. "You idiot."

Jim tried to speak, but could only muster a pathetic, wheezing groan. Bones held a paper cup to his face, tilting it just enough for the cool water to lap against his dry lips, and that helped a bit. "You nearly died, Jim. Your artery was blown to bits, your femur was shattered to pieces." Bones shook his head disbelievingly. "You were bleeding out faster than a punctured water balloon."

He had recovered enough now to find words. "Where's Spock?" he demanded, his voice a rusty, grating sound, but still audible.

"Jim-"

Through sheer strength of will, he seized the corner of Bones's white coat, dragging it down with the weight of his hand. "Where's. Spock." His voice cracked on his First Officer's name and he swallowed painfully

Bones was silent for a terrible, heartwrenching moment, and gently removed Jim's hand from his clothing, placed it on the sheets firmly and held it there.

No. "Bones-" No.

"He's in another room, Jim. He's sleeping."

Sleeping. Jim closed his eyes, released the breath he hadn't known he was holding. He's alive.

Bones was saying something and Jim forced himself to listen. "If he was human, he'd be dead, and that's the truth of it. Vulcans' hearts are lower than ours, about where the liver is, so the shot completely missed it. Tore up his lung pretty good, but he's alive." He patted Jim's hand gruffly. "He'll pull through, Jimmy. That pointy-eared bastard won't go down that easily, you know."

"The others...they're all okay?"

Bones grunted. "They're all fine. Minor contusions and scrapes. Been asking about you and the hobgoblin the past two days."

"And Carol? The scientists?"

"Patched up and fed and dropped off at the station yesterday. They wanted to say goodbye, but I figured you would want the place to yourself." Bones paused, rummaging through a pocket. "I found this in your clothes." He pressed the black knight into Jim's hand, curling the fingers around it tightly. "Thought you might want to hold on to it."

"Thanks, Bones," Jim whispered, eyes still closed. He could feel himself slipping back to sleep, now that he knew...the damn hypocrite, getting himself shot like that. And after all the patronizing bull he'd dragged Jim through...when he woke up, he was going to...

"Get some rest, Jim," Bones was saying, far, far away. "It'll all be okay."

When he next woke, the medbay lights were dimmed and it was quiet, but for the occasional beep of his numerous monitors. This was all a big deal of fuss, Jim couldn't help but think. He doubted Spock had this much hardware clogging up his personal space, and he was the one with the hole in his chest.

There was a rustling beside him and he managed to turn his head. His heart did something strange and dramatic, flipping ecstastically in his chest in cartwheels and somersaults.

It was Spock. He was sitting, propped up by piles of pillows, in the biobed beside Jim's, hospital gown open at the front to reveal a swath of white bandages against creamy greenish skin, and he was working. Tapping away on his datapad like absolutely nothing was wrong with him and he hadn't been lying in his own blood two days ago.

Jim uttered a stream of words that he hoped managed to convey both how happy he was to see Spock and how much he wanted to beat him around the head with his bedtray. Maybe this was how Bones felt whenever Jim escaped the medbay.

Spock's head snapped around and he dropped the PADD onto his lap. "Jim." He sounded strange, Jim thought. All muffled and suppressed. He mustered a shaky grin. "Shouldn't you be lying down or something?"

An eyebrow arched majestically as Spock countered, "Should you not be sleeping?"

"I've slept long enough." Now that he knew Spock was going to be okay, the situation seemed oddly amusing. He was insane, no doubt, to think this funny in any sort of way; sanity was overrated, in any case. He gave a quiet chuckle. "Look at us, all messed up like this. What kind of commanding officers are we?"

"This is hardly amusing," Spock told him, refusing to be deterred. "You nearly died, Jim." The accusation in his voice brought an automatic wave of indignation. "You were the one who was shot in the chest!" Jim protested. "If anything, you were closer to dying!" What kind of a conversation is this, anyway?

"My vitals were left intact and I was able to increase my healing rate through a meditative trance," Spock answered dismissively, as if getting shot was something he did every day after lunch and between the hours of two and four o'clock. "You, however, sustained severe damage to a major artery and would have expired if not for the convenient proximity of Dr. McCoy!"

Jim found enough irritation within himself to push up onto an elbow and glare defiantly at Spock. "Look here," he started hotly, "that's not very fair of you."

"Oh?"

"Oh. You weren't so logical yourself, you know! Running out there like that without even checking behind you? Even kids check the road before crossing! That's an elementary mistake, Spock, and you know it."

Spock blinked. "I-"

Jim wasn't through. No way, not after all this. "Do you know how I felt, when I saw you fall? Do you know how much I...how many things I realized I hadn't said, hadn't ever told you? Do you know how much I wanted to die, so that you wouldn't?"

Spock's eyes were very dark, he realized dimly. Almost black, like space, but brighter. They were glittering now, with some emotion he couldn't identify. Jim pressed on doggedly, suddenly desperate for Spock to know, for him to realize that he couldn't ever do that ever again. Never fall in front of Jim like that, because it would kill him to lose Spock.

"I can't do that again, Spock. If you-if I ever lose you like that...I couldn't handle it, Spock. I won't be able to just pick myself up and keep going like I'm supposed to. I'm weaker than you think." He then remembered, and thrust his closed fist out from the bed towards Spock, opening his hand to reveal the mended knight. "Here. I had Scotty fix it. I thought I'd never be able to give you this, you know. So here, before we both get shot again."

Spock reached across the distance between them and took the knight carefully, almost in wonder. He turned the piece over in his fingers once, twice, then set it on the bedside table and took Jim's still outstretched hand, squeezing their fingers so tightly together that, for a moment, Jim could feel him, could feel his mind brushing against his consciousness. "I feel more than you know, James," Spock said. A nervous thrill ran through Jim at the sound of his full name. He'd heard it from his mother, his teachers, the cops. But coming from Spock, it was something close and intimate and something to revered and replayed in his mind over and over, "and somewhat more deeply than you can understand."

There was an odd fullness to his voice, as if it hovered on the brink of trembling. But that was impossible. This was Spock, after all.

"What you have just described, what you think I do not understand, has it not occurred to you that I have felt the same every time I see you lying here, broken and bleeding? Do you not-" he paused suddenly, swallowed almost unnoticeably, and continued as smoothly as if he had never stopped,"Do you not think me capable of mourning, of grieving?" There was a definite shake to his words, Jim realized. He turned his head, but Spock was staring resolutely forward, his eyes fixed on something that was not there, or maybe not even in the present. "I am no longer capable of surviving without you, Jim Kirk. I can not explain it with logic or reason, I can only tell you what I...feel. And I feel a great deal." About you, were the unspoken words.

Jim lay there, feeling Spock's cool skin against his, and wished with all his might that he was not so completely incapacitated at the moment. "Well, damn," he said at last. "You really do have the worst timing."

"I apologize if it was inconvenient," Spock replied, a little frostily.

Jim grinned and glanced over. Spock met his gaze this time, his eyes heavy with unsaid confessions and promises. "You know, we never did talk about that kiss," Jim said softly. Their hands seemed suddenly very hot, but neither of them released the other.

"No," Spock agreed. "We did not."

"I really wish I could move right now."

"It can wait."

"No, it can't," Jim said peevishly, slightly annoyed that Spock was acting the mature adult part.

"It will have to," Spock told him severely. "I assure you, Jim, the experience will not be nearly as enjoyable if you begin to bleed out again."

He had to laugh at that. "No, I suppose not."

They were silent for several heartbeats, then Spock unexpectedly loosed a heavy sigh and said, "Then again, I must confess to possessing less patience than I claim."

"What-"

The presence brushing at the edge of his mind now focused into a strong, pulsing entity, nudging questioningly. Jim, overcome by how weird that felt, gasped his barely coherent consent, and then Spock was flowing into him, filling him with his memories and thoughts and emotions.

So you can feel, Jim tried to say, or think, but his mind was clumsy and unaccustomed to this alien presence. It was like kid who couldn't even reach the pedals trying to parallel park. He thought he managed to portray a bumbling sense of curiosity. Thankfully, Spock seemed to be a deft interpreter of his heavyhanded attempts at communication.

I have not yet made it clear? That was pure Spock on his head. Jim didn't "hear" it so much as he felt the thought form in his head. It was not an experience he thought he could describe. But he knew the words were not his own.

Melding with Spock, however limited it may be through just their hands, was by far the most intimate thing Jim had ever experienced in his life. There was something close and trusting in allowing Spock to enter his mind, to linger inside his consciousness and reside in his very existence. He could sense Spock's memories like peering through a foggy window, and he had only to look closer and wipe away the fog to see. He recognized a blurry scene of the warehouse, a faint impression of blazing pain and-

Spock swept him away briskly, with such ease that Jim mentally pouted. He felt a warm rumble of amusement and then a new memory was offered to him. This one he recognized as well, with a pleasant jolting feeling.

It was the kiss. On the observation deck.

You wished to know of my thoughts of the matter.

Jim tried to project how weird he found this, feeling the kiss from Spock's perspective.

Exasperation. Jim.

He could feel Spock's anxiety, his curiosity, his desire as he approached Jim, as he pressed him to the wall. It was strange, like watching a film, but the emotions were all too real. Reality seemed to flicker, until he was both lying in the bed and standing on the deck once more, the weight of a Vulcan pinning him still. His own memory of the incident twitched in interest, until he wasn't sure whose desire he felt, whose hands were sliding on whose skin, whose heartbeat was raging almost painfully in his chest.

And then Spock took it further, past the point where the kiss had actually ended. This must all be his imagination from that point on, and Jim barely had time to realize that Spock had fantasized about this before-

His hands moved higher under Jim's shirt, memorizing the shape and curve of strong, well-formed muscles beneath his palms. Electricity sparked and sizzled, whether physically or mentally he could no longer tell, Jim's skin burned alluringly against his. He felt hot hands at his own sides, slipping under the fabric and burning a trail along his ribs. Heavy pants of air against his neck, a hot tongue flicking against the pulse on his neck. Jim's hips thrust forward demandingly, grinding effectively against Spock's thigh between his knees. The friction caused a shower of sparks, a shuddering ripple of pleasure down his spine. He buried his face in Jim's shoulder, breathed in his scent. He opened his mouth, bit down possessively on Jim's shoulder, felt the other man shudder in his arms and groan in a low, vibrating sigh.

They stood there for some time, intertwined in a clutter of shaking limbs and quivering breaths, simply holding each other, two souls longing to be one...

Lying on Jim's bed, because he knew the heat of his own rooms made Jim uncomfortable, shedding unnecessary layers of clothing, pressing together. He gravitated towards Jim automatically when he felt the cooler air against his exposed skin, curling into Jim's radiating heat. He, like all humans, burned so brightly, so fiercely. Hot fingers tangled in his short hair, rumpling its neat shape, giving the strands that delicious tug that he had always found so stimulating...

Watching Jim sleep, face relaxed and unguarded. Trailing his fingertips down his forehead, his nose, hovering at parted lips...

Hot tongue pressing against his, flicking at the roof of his mouth, teeth pulling at his lower lip...

I think this will do.

Spock let Jim go, projecting...smugness, of all things.

Jim wanted to tell him that he had given this way too much thought. That they were, after all, still lying in the medbay and this was hardly fair. That he had never pinned Spock as the type to enjoy hair-pulling. But all he could manage was a confused mass of shock, desire, impatience.

Spock peeled away from his mind slowly, gently, almost reluctantly. Jim blinked and he was alone again. He had never realized how lonely his own mind was, how completed he had felt with Spock inside him.

Down, Jimmy. This was hardly the time.

There would be plenty of time later, once he was out of this damn bed.

It was almost a full week later before Jim managed to get Spock alone. The ship had thrown a massive celebration when he finally limped out from the medical bay. Spock had been cleared to go three days before, a fact Jim thought he would always be somewhat sour about. In the whirl of people and laughter and congratulatory sloshes of drink, he had managed to catch only a few glimpses of a pale, solemn face, floating barely within sight.

But every time, before Jim could call out, Spock would slip away. After the party, there had been the cleanup, during which Spock made himself efficiently scarce. He had hoped to at least lay eyes on the man during bridge shift, but Uhura had heaped a pile of PADDs in his face almost as soon as he set foot through the doors, and he had unhappily spent the next three days attempting to put his signature on every datapad flailed before his face.

It was not a promising situation.

How mean of Spock, really, to offer that teaser in the medbay. A hint of what could happen, might happen, would happen if he could get ten minutes alone with the Vulcan. Jim had never been overly fond of neglection play.

He saw his chance when leaving the mess hall after dinner with Sulu and Chekov, the latter jabbering excitedly about the complexities of roulette. Spock was already turning the corner when he noticed, but he was alone. Jim made his excuses with his companions and all but ran after his First Officer. He wasn't used to this, having to chase down what he wanted like this, but when had Spock ever been anything that he was used to?

"Spock," he gasped, wheeling around the corner and clutching at his thigh automatically. It didn't hurt, but tended to freeze up whenever he moved too quickly. Bones had said that it would get better with time, but the look of concern on Spock's face when he turned and saw Jim made him suddenly wish it wouldn't get better too quickly.

"Jim, are you all right?" Spock moved uncertainly towards him, hand half-extended as if he wasn't sure he should help.

"No, I'm not." Jim reached out and made his decision for him, grabbing his hand and using it to straighten himself up. "You've been avoiding me."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You know what I'm talking about." Spock tried to pull away, but Jim clung tight to his hand, using it as an anchor to pull him closer. He could smell the Starfleet regulation shampoo on Spock's hair and the completely ordinary scent was suddenly the most intoxicating thing in the world. He took a deep breath, his tongue flicking to the corner of his mouth habitually. Spock's eyes darted to the movement and his throat bobbed in a visible swallow.

"Spock," Jim said quietly, knowing the victory was already half won. Now, to seal the deal. "You know I can't wait much longer."

"I am...aware of your lack of restraint," Spock told him, a dry note in his voice. "I merely thought...I was not certain..." he trailed off, looking faintly confused.

And then Jim understood. Spock, being Spock, had not approached him because he didn't know how to. The last strand of his expiring self-control snapped so loudly at this revelation that he could almost hear it. He tightened his grip on Spock's hand, projecting all of his desire as loudly and wantonly and fiercely as he could, and watched with satisfaction as the tips of those pointy ears flushed green and a spot of color swept across high cheekbones. "Jim..."

"My rooms," Jim breathed, inwardly crowing with triumph. "Let's act out some of your fantasies, shall we?"

Spock may have answered, but Jim was too busy crowding him into the nearest turbolift to take notice. He punched in the crew quarters level, wheeled around, and dragged Spock's mouth down to his in one move. He slightly miscalculated the angle, his lips dragging against Spock's chin. He growled impatiently, scraping his teeth down Spock's jawline. Spock's hands moved up his arms, gripped his elbows tightly, nuzzling the side of his neck with a singleminded determination. The doors opened and they spilled out into the fortunately empty corridor.

Jim didn't remember opening his doors, but he was tearing his shirt off before they closed, growling and pulling Spock's over his head when he didn't remove it fast enough. The undershirt gave him slightly more trouble and he was puzzling over it when Spock made a strange sound and lunged forward.

Jim felt his back slam against the wall, the air whooshing out of his lungs in surprise. "Spo-" Spock fell against him, the lengths of their bodies suddenly touching in numerous delicious points of contact, his forearms braced on either side of Jim's head. This brought his face breathtakingly close to Jim's.

They stood frozen like this for a second, two seconds. Then Spock moved, tilting his face with agonizing slowness and brushing his lips against Jim's lightly, hesitantly. Jim let him experiment, though every nerve of his being screamed for him to grab Spock and completely undo him. "Jim," Spock whispered, as if tasting the name for the first time. Jim felt his face warming, for absolutely no reason. Spock's pupils were blown black with desire and Jim noticed for the first time the slight tremor that rippled through his entire body.

"Don't hold back," he breathed, his heart battering at his ribs.

As if those had been the magic words, the key to whatever door Spock had locked himself behind, Spock moved. Jim gasped in shock when cold hands shoved under his undershirt with surprising force, a contradictory hot tongue latching onto the side of his neck. He tilted his head to the side automatically, exposing the length of his neck, and Spock obliged accordingly, his teeth grazing light patterns across Jim's skin, every movement sending jolts of blood straight to his groin.

His own hands seemed to move automatically, wrapping around Spock's shoulders and weaving into his hair. He remembered dazedly Spock's half-formed dream and gave the back of his head a sharp tug. A hiss of air chilled his bared skin and Spock dragged his mouth up his throat and kissed him roughly. It was a messy and clumsy kiss, all teeth and tongue with little coordination from both, but it was the most inspiring kiss Jim had ever had. He found himself gasping for air, groaning when Spock's wandering hands discovered his nipples and gave them an experimental roll.

His knees buckled, his leg finally giving out, and he gave Spock's hair another yank. "Can't," he managed to say, but he knew Spock would understand. Good old Spock. Good-shit, his hands were cold. Spock's hand had moved down, squeezing the bulge between Jim's legs with deadly accuracy. Jim clung to Spock helplessly, unable to stand on his own, his hips rocking forward into Spock's palm involuntarily. "Stop, I'm going to-" he bit the rest of his sentence in horror. He was acting like, like some kind of virgin. He was Jim Kirk! There was no way he was just going to come like this against a wall, with his clothes still and Spock still so irritatingly in charge.

He shoved at Spock's chest, freeing enough space between them for him to cup Spock's own erection. To his fascination and slight apprehension, the act required both hands. "Tricky," he murmured, unsure of what he was even saying anymore. He squeezed slightly, reveling in the little shudder Spock gave at the light pressure.

"What?" Spock muttered, and he sounded so human and confused and hot in that moment that Jim almost gave up and came right there. But no. He had never been the type to give up halfway through a battle, and if this wasn't a battle then he would eat Spock's datapad. After, that is, he ate Spock's-

No. Bad Jimmy.

He wouldn't last long, in any case. There was a throbbing tightness in his thighs and abdomen, an uncomfortable straining in the fabric across his crotch. Spock's hand had not stopped moving, stroking and rubbing in all the right places, and there was nothing Jim wanted more at that moment than for Spock to touch his bare skin, to feel the, together. He was half aware that he was about to shoot in his pants like some horny teenager, and he found that he could care less, as long as he didn't go down alone.

He moved a hand up and around, gripping the back of Spock's head again. He gave his hair a hard pull and tugged with his other hand at the same time. That time he got some kind of vocal response. Spock uttered a low groan that was almost Jim's name, his head falling forward against Jim's shoulder. His hand gave a hard, almost violent jerk, and Jim was gone, panting and bucking in staccato bursts into Spock's hand. Spock followed soon after, his hips twitching forward once in silence. Jim raised his hand shakily, flexing his fingers and marveling at the sticky strands that dripped from the digits. He was sure he had made quite a mess himself, but now Spock's hands were sliding down from his waist, gripping the back of his thighs.

The world flipped in a sudden blur and he was suddenly bouncing on the mattress, Spock crouching over him almost predatorily.

"Round two?" Jim asked breathlessly, feeling his own cock stir with interest. Good to know that his stamina was still in good shape, at least.

They got their clothes off this time, tossing the layers somewhere and promptly forgetting where. Spock snapped Jim's pants off with an eerily murderous glint in his eyes that didn't disappear as he kicked off his own clothing. The last time he had looked anywhere close to this had been when he had his hands wrapped around Jim's throat on the bridge console.

Kinky. Jim grabbed Spock's wrists and pushed a knee against his left hip, flipping the Vulcan onto his back. "Let me," he said, locking eyes with Spock as he straddled his stomach. Don't kick me across the room, was the message he hoped he managed to get across.

Spock lay still, chest rising and falling with shallow breaths as he looked down at Jim with half lidded eyes. His hair was tousled, unruly tufts spiking up around his temples. A faint dusting of green softened the hard angles of his face and emphasized the ethereal paleness of his chest, his arms. The effect was staggering. Jim felt his half-soft erection harden in seconds at the display before him.

He wriggled down lower, lowering himself across Spock's chest. He lowered his lips gently, almost reverently to Spock's skin, tracing his collarbones with the tip of his tongue. Spock held admirably still while this went on, only the slightest twitching of his hands by his sides betraying his instability. Jim moved down, then paused when he discovered the healing, puckered scar on Spock's chest, just left of his sternum. "Does it hurt?" he murmured, kissing the round mark curiously. Spock tensed beneath him, a shaky sigh hissing between his clenched teeth. "It does not," he responded.

Jim carried on, mouthing at a flat nipple until it had hardened between his lips. He bit down lightly, hard enough to get Spock's attention, and glanced up in time to see Spock's eyes flutter shut, his lips moving silently in what was possibly a prayer, or, more likely, a recitation of the periodic table of elements.

That won't help you, he couldn't help but think wickedly, raking his teeth down Spock's flat stomach. The muscles there tensed and flexed beneath him involuntarily, and when his tongue traced the thin strip of hair leading to his groin, he felt Spock's hands moving onto his hips.

"Don't move," Jim said sternly, trying to control the quiver in his own voice. "This is a valuable experience."

Spock's grip tightened, his eyes snapping open to send a smoldering glare that had Jim melting into a puddle of hormones. "You talk too much," he rasped admonishingly, and dragged Jim forward by the hips so that he was straddling Spock's waist again. Jim straightened, slightly annoyed. "Look here, I'm trying to-"

"Don't speak." While Jim spluttered over this new offense, Spock placed a hand on his chest, dragging it down slowly. The trail he left behind burned and tingled strangely and Jim arched back unconsciously, trying to prolong the contact.

And then Spock's hand curled around his cock and tightened experimentally and Jim flinched, feeling himself drawing close again. His fingers scrabbled at Spock's wrist fruitlessly, barely coherent words spluttering out, "Wait-no, hold on-oh, that's good..."

Spock sat up suddenly, a hand strategically placed in the small of Jim's back to prevent him from tipping over, and set about invading his mouth with his tongue once more. Jim groaned around the kiss at the new sensation of his cock trapped between their two heaving bodies, and couldn't help but rock his hips, testing the angle. Spock's erection twitched uncomfortably beneath him and he shifted accordingly until they were pressed together.

He threw his head back in pleasure as Spock's hand covered his, working the two of them with just the right amount of pressure and delectable friction.

Spock didn't make much noise, but Jim found that if he thrusted forward at an unexpected moment, he could get little, barely restrained huffs of air from the Vulcan. This delighted him inexplicably and he set about making it a personal mission of his to see Spock completely undone. To his slight disappointment, neither of them made it to that point before they both came, Jim with a loud groan, warmth spilling over their hands.

Spock's hand tightened on his back with enough force to make a mark, and Jim somewhat suspected that that was exactly what he intended. He sighed with satisfaction, slipping to the side and pulling Spock down with him until they were lying down, facing each other.

"Mmm," he smiled, looping an arm lazily over Spock's waist. Spock was watching him with a strange expression, as if memorizing every feature of his face, every heaving breath that brought their chests closer together. "What?" Jim finally asked.

Spock blinked. "I was merely...I wanted to remember this," he said, sounding almost embarrassed.

"Your memory is perfect," Jim pointed out, though he couldn't help but feel exceedingly pleased by the confession. He then grinned. "And this is hardly our last time, if I can do anything about it. I won't give you enough time to forget."

At that moment, he could have sworn he saw a quick twitch at the corner of the Vulcan's lips. "I will hold you to that, Captain."

"Damn right you will."

A/N: THE END? I'm bad at endings, lol. When in doubt, add sex, I suppose. Well, this has been an excellent adventure, folks, and I have greatly enjoyed your company. Alas, for there will be an unfortunate pause in further fics until I return from my one-month quest from Taiwan. NEVER FEAR, AND DON'T GIVE UP ON ME, FOR I SHALL MAKE A GLORIOUS RETURN LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES OF DESPAIR (lack of Internet).

A hint of possible works to come:

-a Bones-centric drabble, because I love him

-Spock realizes feelings for Jim and sets about avoiding him. Jim is appropriately puzzled and outraged.

-a glorious adventure for which much research about ST universe must be done -_-

-a choose your adventure quest in which you guys get to vote on what happens next ohohoho

Also, I might be looking into a beta reader (slave) to assist in the gathering of research and such and proofreading, because although I think I'm pretty good at catching slips, sometimes while editing I accidentally delete a word without noticing. So if you're interested in such a position, feel free to PM me and I'll sort it out whenever I find a wifi hotspot ;_;

edit: beta reader positions have been filled! Thanks to everyone who considered it!

I love you guys so much. For real. Like, fk eskldmvlkd mdslkmsdlmKJDSKLFJDLK. You don't know how much I appreciate your feedback and emotional responses lol.