I do not own Star Trek I just really loved this movie and felt that there was a depth in it that has been absent from many films lately.
So to announce my return to , for you enjoyment I give you
To lose that which has found
"Vulcans do not lie, the torpedoes are yours."
He had considered every possibility, analyzed every possible scenario but none had been sufficient to turn him from his chosen course. Some might have called his actions human, his determination masking desperation but they would have been wrong. Spock was Vulcan and all possibilities had led to one reality: Whether Khan lived or died the enterprise would not, could not, survive. No matter how he twisted the variables the outcome remained the same. Better, by far, to insert a completely chaotic variable to alter the course. In his mind only the Captain would do.
The captain was as chaotic as they came; overly impulsive, overly impertinent, with a set of laws that the universe seemed to bend to. Lucky, was the common phrase, and James Tiberius Kirk was lucky, defying the odds and ensuring victory when the darkness seemed to overwhelm all else. A single vibrant flame. Logic dictated that if they were to survive then Kirk was essential and Khan had him.
"I have fulfilled your terms, now fulfill mine."
Spock felt nothing at the deception. After all Khan HAD asked for the torpedoes, that he was unaware that his crew no longer resided within them was his oversight. He should have verified, Spock was Vulcan, they embraced technicalities.
"Well Kirk, seems apt to return you to your ship. After all no ship should go down without its captain."
The torpedoes were gone, the Captain safe on board and now all he could do was wait. He estimated their survival rate at 23.67%. The Captain had done more with less. He had a moment to think, briefly, about his actions. They were logically sound in his mind and yet...
Then an explosion and too much had happened too quickly for him to revisit the thought. They were falling.
Spock knew something was wrong. His body was old but his mind, and more importantly his heart, were still young in many ways. Right now his heart ached. As much as it had the moment he had watched his world die. His hand pressed against the glass of his window, it was surprisingly cool. It took him back to another time, with Khan, with Jim.
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one.
He wondered if they were strong enough, these younger versions. He and Jim had had decades together to understand each other, learn, become friends and brothers. When Spock had died Jim had survived to bring him back. This Jim was different in many ways; more rebellious, more focused, rash, he was a man shaped by loss but also by destiny. It had been like stepping into the sun after years of winter nights, seeing him again. Jim had always been like that, like the sun. They had all gravitated towards his warmth, like planets spiraling around the sun. Even he, who should have been nothing but ice, had broken underneath that warmth. Oh maybe not on the outside but inside, inside the currents were deep, his emotions working in perfect coordination with his logical mind.
But this Jim blazed with a new kind of intensity that warmed you all the way to the bones. His Jim had been a softer light, a warmth that came to you slowly, allowing you to adjust to it. This new Jim did not know how to control that intensity, he warmed you whether you were ready or not. He could only hope that this time he would not burn himself out trying to save the younger Spock. But without Genesis...
His younger self had asked, "Did you defeat him?"
and he had responded, honestly, painfully, "At great cost, yes."
At great cost He hoped that this time things were different. But, somehow, he knew it would be worse. So much worse.
In an instant the world stopped spinning. Somehow, despite logic telling him no one man could make so much a difference, he knew that the Captain had something to do with it. That they had been saved and he was satisfied that his decision, and thus his conclusions, had proved to be accurate.
"It's a miracle." Those two words set him on edge instantly.
"There are no such things." Something was wrong. Truly and desperately wrong.
"Engineering to bridge, ?" The wrongness intensified. The sense that something horrible was about to happen was shoved into a dark corner of his mind.
"Sir, you'd better get down here." The man sounded breathless but not tired. He sounded as if...The Captain. "Better hurry." Spock paused for a moment, a single moment, before he took off. His feet pounding as soon as they touched the floor, moving through the Enterprise as fast as he could while everyone moved out of his way. Shock etched in their features at the sight of the cold, unfeeling, Vulcan moving as if the world was about to end. They didn't understand that it already had. All he understood was the terror that gripped him, all he could hear was those two words reverberating through his skull. Better hurry he'd said and that is what he did but, somehow, he didn't think he'd be fast enough. That same terror nearly overwhelmed him as he slowed, his breathing ragged. Mr. Schoot stood, his face impassive, but his eyes... There were wet with tears yet unshed. He did not speak, only looked at him before shaking his head, motioning with it to the side. Spock's gaze followed but his mind did not want to understand.
His body moved. There was no conscious action. All on its own it seemed his body strode forward, his mind desperately trying to understand and, at the same time, refusing to. Before him was a glass door, and for a moment he saw nothing just the door. His mind refused this though, refused to offer him any kind of defense because on the other side of the door lay the Captain.
"Open it." An order. A plea.
Scotty tried to explain. Tried to tell him that if he did that then everyone could die, including the Captain. That he would not let Jim's sacrifice be in vain, "The doors locked sir." Scotty had never seen it before. Never seen someone shatter but that look...For a moment the Vulcans eyes had been an abyss and the pain that lurked within was greater then he could ever understand. Scotty felt the tears struggling to fall and he knew that soon, too soon, he'd be powerless to stop them. For now all he could do was stand as witness.
For a moment Spock stared at the door, uncomprehending, tried to understand that he could not open the door. He stared down at the Captain and, like before, his body moved on its own. Bringing him closer when all he wanted to do was run away. The Captain was trying to prop himself up into a sitting position, but he was panting, his breathing was labored and when he fell back Spock could not stop his hand from reaching out. It stopped before touching the glass, instinctively trying to protect himself from the knowledge that his Captain was right there and yet he could not reach him. Could not help him. The Captain reached up and touched the necessary panel, the door behind him closed and yet Spock was no closer to him.
Spock watched as the Captain struggled to open his eyes and marveled at how bright they were. How intense as those blue, blue, eyes focused on him almost in surprise. Almost with relief, "How's our ship?" He sounded so tired. Spock was nodding his head, he didn't know why, "Out of danger." The ship was out of danger but his whole focus, every ounce of his being, was on the man on the other side of the glass. The Captain was dying and Spock...Spock was defenseless against this. Every breath was a struggle and logic? Logic had faded into the abyss. The Captain managed a chuckle, "Good."
"You saved the crew." It was a statement, a fact, and Spock could not hear the wonder in his own voice. Could not even begin to grasp how he could have done it, how the Captain could risk everything time and time again. "You used what he wanted against him." The Captain muttered, his breathing more labored, "That was a nice move." There was pride in his voice. Pride that Spock had done what he could not and now that persisting whisper made sense. It had been logical to save the Captain, yes, but no other Vulcan would have agreed with that statement. No, the only Vulcan that could see the logic of having the Captain on board this ship, with this crew was Spock future, and now, present. The reason behind this was close enough to touch but further than he could possibly reach.
"It is what you would have done."
The Captain locked eyes with him again, but he was fading. Faster than Spock could understand. He knew Kirk was trying to hold on but it was like trying to breath in space. Impossible.
"This...This is what you would've done. It was only logical." It sounded so apologetic. Later he would understand what his other self had meant. The great cost. Kirk had never been meant to die like this. Once upon a future that no longer existed Spock would have been the one there. He should have been on the other side of that door. But no, not this time. Somehow their roles had been reversed and he would have given anything to have it back the way it was suppose to be. Anything to know that Kirk would survive, that the light that seemed to define him would continue to shine. To blaze with all the force of a young sun. Instead that light was flickering out, a dying flame, Spock had never felt colder in his life. Blue and Brown clashed, both pleading. Kirk struggled, Spock knew he struggled, with his next words.
"I'm scared Spock."
No, no. The Captain was never scared. Kirk was never scared, he never broke. "Help me not be." He could feel it now, the wetness in his eyes. He could feel the tears there, not falling, but shimmering because Kirk was dying. He was dying. "How do you choose not to feel?" The confusion in Kirks voice was almost as painful as the knowledge that he could do nothing for him. Only Kirk could ask so much in so little. He had learned to pushed emotions aside, he had claimed supremacy over them and had banished them into the darkest corners of his mind, now he knew he'd been a fool. He could push his own emotions away in the face of death but this? How could you ignore it when it felt like part of your very soul was being torn away? When it felt like every fiber of his being was crying out in agony in the face of his helplessness? So he replied, honestly, wishing above all that he could do more. That he could comfort and soothe, that Kirk would not have to face this death. Confused, in pain...alone.
"I do not know." His voice was cracking, "Right now I am failing."
Too much. This was too much. How could he be expected to keep up the facade? How could he expect to continue on without this man beside him? Without Kirk he would have nothing, he would be alone. Even Nyota would not be enough. Kirk looked at him and he looked right back. Even as he lay there, fading, there was such strength in those blue eyes. Such understanding. A quality he could not name that Kirk alone possessed.
"I want you to know why I couldn't let you die. Why I went back for you." He was dying and Spock? Well Spock was dying right along with him. Kirk spoke as if trying to explain something to a child and, right now, that's what Spock felt like. He felt like the child he had once been, confused, scared, trying desperately to hold onto his place in the world. He felt the tear come, the single tear fall against his cheek as he answered. He had never cried, not for his planet, not for his mother, "Because you are my friend."
His friend. His only friend. The one who challenged him, confounded him, pushed him, surprised him, trusted him, understood him, infuriated him, believed in him. The two stared at each other for a moment. The words had warmed Kirk's failing eyes and Spock, well Spock was just looking. Both trying to absorb as much of each others presence as they could as time slipped rapidly away from them. Weakly Kirk pressed his hand against the glass, not wanting this. Not wanting him to be alone, Spock did they same. His fingers automatically moving into his customary farewell even as he noted how surprisingly cool the glass was. On the other side of the glass Kirks fingers mimicked his own. Live long and prosper.
Spock stared at their hands, separated only by the glass. So different, so similar. His eyes drifted back to Kirks and in that endless moment they understood the words neither could say.
You're not alone. You're not alone, I'm here. I'm right here.
You'll be alright. Take care of the ship.
No, no don't. Don't go.
Kirk's eyes lost focus, his hand slid down from the glass as if through molasses.
You needed each other. I could not deprive you of the revelations of all you could accomplish together. Of a friendship that would define you both in ways you can not yet realize.
Was this it? Was this what his older self had meant? Or, in that future, had they had more time? This was worse. Spock realized. This was worse then losing his planet, worse than watching his mother plummet to her doom and powerless to stop it. His soul was shattering, each piece a razors edge slamming into his barely functioning heart. Why? Why had this happened?
Anger came swift and pure. He didn't realize his head had come up, didn't know it when his moth opened, didn't hear himself as he bellowed the name of the one responsible but those around him did. They saw and they heard, the ache in their souls, the fear in their hearts.
His heart ached.
Spock stopped, pressing his hand over the place where it rested. His eyes blank. He knew this feeling, he had felt it once before on the worst day of his life. On the day Jim's life had slipped away from him, peaceful, content, but with a bang that could be felt in every heart. This pain was worse, this pain spoke of a violent filthy death. No Jim, not again. Please no.
He remembered a moment before his death, separated by a glass door, they had pressed their hands against it and Spock, with all the heart Jim had taught him to treasure, had looked into Jims blue eyes.
"You are my superior officer, you are also my friend. I have been and always will be, yours." It had been true, it had also been goodbye. Then, later, it had been a greeting. A promise. Vulcans do not lie and his human heart had given everything to that promise just as he had known his younger self would. But, now, Jim was dead. He knew it even without being told, felt it all the way to his soul. He was plunged back to that day when his own sun died out. The pieces of his soul that had been painstakingly glued back together shattering at the seams. He was moving, before he knew it, retreating to his rooms before that single tear that threatened to spill streaked down his cheek.
Bones had told him once of Jims eulogy. Of how Jim had stared, unseeing, at his coffin.
"Of my friend I can say only this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most human."
Those words burned in his mind as he closed his door. His old body falling to the floor, his hands reaching up to cover his eyes, "Only because of you Jim. Only because of you." Spock whispered into the depths of memory. His heart breaking at his loss, breaking for his younger self's loss. Of all he would never know.
Without Jim the universe was a bleak place. Without Jim he would always be cold. His younger self had none of the memories, none of the years of companionship, of trust. Spock allowed the tears to flow, one by one, in silence as he mourned his lost brother for the second time.
Khans ship had missed them by a hair's breath. Kirks sacrifice nearly made pointless, tragic. Anger and grief had consumed him, in more ways than he could possibly explain and, yet, he felt calm. His logical mind in overdrive, focused to a pinpoint by his anger. The choice had been simple: Anger or the Abyss. He had chosen anger because, for once, the coldness of the abyss was no preferred. It was abhorrent.
"Search the enemy ship for signs of life." Sulu blanched, confused, still reeling. "Sir, there's no way anyone survived."
Spock's eyes were fire, his voice ice," He could." It was almost a promise and Sulu realized, then, that something had snapped inside the Vulcan. For Spock it passed as if in a dream, words and faces meshed together until finally, finally, Khan had been located. His words, almost desperate, "Can we beam him up?"
"There's too much damage I have no incoming signal but it may be possible to beam you down sir."
Spocks head instantly turned. He wasn't sure when, exactly, Nyota had come to his side but somehow he had know she was there. Hey eyes were a lighter reflection of his own, she understood.
"Go get him." It was an order, her order and he would follow it because of Kirk. For the briefest flicker of an instant his love for her shone in his eyes and then he was gone. He was beamed down, the terror, the destruction, the lives lost meant nothing to him. His eyes didn't so much as skim the crowd. Rather his head turned, like a hound catching a scent. Predator and Prey, their eyes met and then Khan was running Spock chasing behind him with a singularity of focus that could not be described. Had Khan understood even he might have said that the Devil himself had been chasing at his heels.
The battle started the moment they had both been on the shuttle. Fists against flesh. Spock could feel it, understood that he should feel pain but all he felt was a hardening of his resolve. A flurry of punches, each man using every trick in their respective arsenals. Spock felt strength infuse him because when he saw Khan he saw, instead, Kirks eyes. His blue eyes scared, in pain. He saw Kirks hand sliding down the glass, saw his chest slow, the eyes close. He heard the phantom whisper I'm Scared Spock
How dare you? The thought drummed with each beat of his heart. Help me not to be. How dare anyone do this. Destroy his sun, his friend, how dare this creature send Kirk where Spock could not follow. It had been Kirks duty, his creed, to leave no man behind, anything for his crew, but it had been because of Khans betrayal that Kirks life had been forfeit. Kirk would have offered justice, friendship, but Khan had murdered him as surely as he had murdered Admiral Pike.
It was these thoughts that kept him going, even when his body struggled, he never wavered. It was Khan who ran first but it did little to slow the battle that raged on until, finally, Khans hands were on either side of his head pushing in. Spock felt the bones creak, crack, the pain unbearable but distant. Kirks eyes that was all he could see anymore.
Suddenly the hands were gone and through the haze he saw Nyota. His love, his life. She was shooting at Khan over and over but was only succeding in slowing him down. Spocks anger reached new heights in that moment. First Khan had taken Pike, the first human to appreciate him, then he had taken Kirk, his soul, and now Khan was preparing to take the only thing Spock had left. His love. He was just like Nero, systematically destroying everything Spock cared about.
Spock turned, reached, grabbed, ripped, stood and swung. The piece of metal connecting with Khans head with an audible 'thwack' as it bounced back. Leaving Khan dazed. Khans words came back to him 'You can't even break a rule how could you break bone?' Spock took special delight in proving him wrong.
He took pleasure in the sound of the snapping bones, in the feel of his fists pounding again
and again into Khans limp form. The memory of the fear in Kirks eyes intensifying his fury ten-fold. He almost ruined everything.
"Spock! Spock STOP!" Her voice was so far away, so desperate. The blows continued. He would kill this man, he would destroy him. He'd make it agonizing. Better he'd finish what Kirk had started on the Kligon planet.
"He's our only chance to save Kirk."
Everything stopped. Spock struggled out out of the fog and looked at her, his love, tears in her eyes. Help me, Kirk had said, Help me. For a second his anger almost won, spilled blood calling for spilled blood but it lasted only a second. Vengeance or Kirk, which would he rather have? Spock looked down at Khan, the mans face almost smug even now, and slammed his fist into the mans chin so hard the 'superior' man instantly lost consciousness. Spocks breathing was rough, labored, but Nyota came to him, placed a hand on his cheek. Spock calmed, she understood.
He loved her, she knew that, he loved her more than life but Kirk...Without him he was lost, adrift, broken and her love for him could not fix that. Could not hope to even try.
Scotty was the one that had told him. Confirming what he had already known and giving him hope. Could it be so simple? Had Genesis been utterly unnecessary? Spock did not believe so, fate had a strange way of making sure that things that SHOULD happen WOULD happen. But that Jim would be sacrificed, it put ice in his blood. This future would be so different thanks to Nero and himself. The present more brutal but his younger self was not as he remembered himself being. Then again Jim was different too. This new timeline had hardened them, molded them to be the men they were destined to be, despite the loss, made stronger by it.
Jim was in a coma, better than dead is what Scotty had said and Spock had felt his tumbling world turn back onto its axis, its Sun restored. That had been too close, had hurt too much. Scotty had said nothing of his younger self and, yet, Spock knew that somehow, despite it all, the bond destined to grow between the two young men was, in truth, a steel cord. He had often times wondered at this connection, the one that allowed him to know, even here displaced in time, if Kirks life was shinning bright or locked in the arms of death.
It worried him, this was not his Jim, not really, his Jim had disappeared with Neros jaunt into the past. It was only logical that the universe balance itself out with newer versions of themselves, equally different. But...It was still Jim. Sighing Spock closed his eyes, gratitude that his younger self had succeeded where he had failed. Jim was alive. Alive! Despite the differences his friend was still here, blazing and bright, and while he could only watch, only advise, for risk of getting burnt his younger self was its equal. Its perfect match.
"I have been and always will be yours." For a moment, just a moment, he felt a phantom heat against his cheek. A comforting hand against his shoulder, its warmth pulsing with the beat of his heart. Logic dictated that it was nothing more than a hallucination, a psychological manifestation of his apparent need for comfort but his heart, well his heart whispered of a future that no longer existed but a soul that was tied to him even beyond such mundane things as time and death.
"Jim" He breathed and, for the first time since that horrible day he had outlived his Captain, Spock felt at peace.
Perhaps Spock's Jim was still here, looking over these past versions , guarding them, guiding them. Just like old times. Nothing had changed. Their friendship seemed to transcend everything he had ever learned about the universe but, then, if anyone could defy mortality it would be Jim. He was a very determined man. The phantom presence seemed to chuckle, its fingers pressing down firmly on his shoulder an instant before it left him. It didn't go far, Spock placed a hand against his heart. No. no his Jim had not gone very far at all.
He had not left the room. No matter how hard anyone tried none could get him to leave the room. He had stayed with Khan until he'd been put into custody and then had gone, immediately, to Kirks side. Bones didn't even attempt to make him go. Indeed the doctor was just as determined in his vigil. Had it not been for all the injured he wouldn't have left the Captains side either. As it was Spock was alone with Kirk. With no one there to witness he crept closer to Kirks side, grasping his right hand gently. It reassured him. That Kirks continued existence was so vital to him should have worried him but, for once, the Vulcan and Human aspects of himself were in perfect agreement. At peace.
He considered what had happened. All he had learned, all he had almost lost. Might still lose. Kirk had not taken to Khans blood well, at first, his body rejecting it as ferociously as Spock had once rejected Kirk. Hope had seemed lost and Bones had retreated in quite desperation. Then, like now, Spock had grasped Kirks hand, it had been cold but at his touch Kirks pulse sped up. Spock had said nothing but, perhaps, there was a power at work here that he could not understand. Did not want to understand. A warmth that seeped from him to Kirk. A familiar and strange feeling.
That warmth was there again today, always when Spock was touching Kirk. Today Kirk muttered restlessly, that warmth almost humming in satisfaction,Spock wasted no time. He called out to Bones and as the doctor rushed forward he faded into the background. Long minutes past, blue eyes opened, Spock felt his soul mend. He waited while Bones greeted him, the doctors casual banter hiding his intense relief. Spock was grateful, he might have caught Khan but Bones had saved Kirk.
"How'd you catch him?"
"I didn't" Bones turned to look at Spock, Kirk followed his gaze. He look at Spock as if he were a mirage and Spock just looked. Kirks eyes were bright, focused, tired, alive. Not the eyes of a dying man, He stepped forward until he reached Kirks side, their eyes remained locked.
"You saved my life." He whispered. Shocked, confused, grateful. He remembered what he had asked Bones not all that long ago on that planet. If Spock were here and I was there what would he do? He'd let you die. They'd both been wrong. Go figure.
"Uhura and I had something to do with it too you know." Bones interrupted. They both ignored him.
"You saved my life, Captain, and the lives of-"
"Spock." Exasperation, "Just...Thank you."
You saved my life Spock wasn't sure who's voice that was. It sounded like his own, and his future. It sounded like Kirk and it sounded like the man Kirk would one day become. The Vulcan in him wanted him to fight the rising tide of emotion, pointing out how illogical it all was, how his emotions were taking so much from him but Spock finally understood that it was ok. He was Vulcan, he was human, and he could be the best of both if he wanted to be. With the Captains help it would be possible to learn to control the new human side of him.
No...Not the Captain his heart whispered. His friend, his teacher, his confidant, his student, his partner...
"You are welcome, Jim."
James Tiberius Kirk smiled, and it lit up the world.