Chapter 1: In Any Universe
Jim sat up suddenly in bed, panting, his eyes wide open.
Even in the darkness of his quarters, the colours in front of his eyes were almost blinding. He screwed them shut, opened them again and blinked slowly, waiting for the bright sea of colour to lessen. The sensor on his bedside lamp detected movement and turned itself on, which did nothing to help soothe his eyes but it was better than sitting in the dark.
Shore leave would begin tomorrow, and he knew now more than ever where he needed to go. It was a gut feeling. But he wasn’t sure how well he’d be received and what would happen next.
Lights out,” he said as he laid down again, hoping that the darkness would stay dark long enough to get some sleep.
“You’re not coming?” McCoy asked him at the Starbase the next day. The Enterprise had docked primarily for shore leave but a couple of minor repairs were going to be done also and Scotty had insisted on staying aboard for now to oversee things. Jim was pretty sure he’d marry the ship if he could.
“I’ll join you later, tomorrow probably. There’s somewhere I need to be.”
McCoy’s brow furrowed. “You sure you’re ok?”
“I’m fine, Bones.” Jim smiled broadly and patted him on the arm. “There’s just something I have to do.”
McCoy looked doubtful but to Jim’s surprise and relief, he left it at that.
“Just let me know when you’re back and we can hit that bar I was telling you about.”
“I will.” Jim was still smiling as he turned around and headed off to catch a shuttle. “And make sure Chekov brings ID,” he called out over his shoulder. “Last time we all went out the bouncers thought he was twelve!”
“Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor not a babysitter!”
It was nearly evening when he arrived at his destination, straightening his uniform and checking his reflection in the glass front door before knocking on it.
“No James T. Kirk this time?”
“Jim seems more appropriate now. To what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of your visit?” The elder of the two Spock’s in Jim’s life glanced down to the duffel bag bearing the Starfleet insignia that Jim was holding.
The younger man followed his gaze and laughed lightly. “Don’t worry, I’m not homeless. We’re on shore leave so I just thought I’d drop by and…” he hesitated and Spock tilted his head just slightly to one side, watching him search for the right words. “...visit.” Jim finished simply with a smile, going with Spock’s choice of word.
Spock nodded and moved aside for Jim to come in. The door led almost directly into the small but ample kitchen which opened out into a spacious living room.
“Would you like some coffee?”
"That'd be great, thank you." Jim went through, taking in the singular armchair, long sofa and shelves lined with books about Vulcan history and a couple in languages that Jim vaguely recognised from classes at the academy when he hadn’t been paying enough attention.
“I’m sorry I didn’t call ahead and tell you I was coming. It was a spur of the moment sort of thing,” he said when Spock emerged with a tray carrying a mug of tea for himself and coffee for Jim.
“Apologies are not necessary, it is good to see you again. I am, however, intrigued.” Spock set the tray down on the low coffee table and sat in the sleek armchair opposite Jim on the sofa.
“Can’t a guy drop by his new old friend’s house for a surprise visit?” Jim put on his best dazzling smile, the one that usually got him out of most kinds of trouble.
“Jim, I have known some version of you long enough to know when you’re not telling me everything.”
Jim‘s dazzling smile evolved into a rueful one, as if he'd been caught out by someone who knew him better than he knew himself. “I've been...having dreams.”
Spock arched an eyebrow. “And what is the nature of these dreams?”
“It’s hard to explain. They started before everything with Nero. From my end anyway. I mean….I think the timing works out that I started having them when you came through the black hole."
There was no mistaking the surprise on Spock's face, but his voice was as calm and even as Jim had ever heard it. “What takes place in them?”
“I’m not sure how to describe it. Nothing actually happens. No people, no talking. Just colour. Intense colour, so intense it burns my eyes. Blue and yellow. No, more like gold. And they merge together but…they don’t change. I mean that should turn everything kinda green right? But they just stay like that. The two colours fit, perfectly together and if anything they each get brighter.”
Spock nodded slowly, taking a moment before he spoke. “You are far too insightful and intelligent not to have figured out what these dreams seem to symbolise.”
“I don’t know for sure.”
“But that’s why you’re here, for confirmation.”
”I guess I am, yeah.” Jim nodded as he spoke.
“The science officer and captain’s uniforms were the same colour in my Starfleet as here in yours,” Spock said, anticipating Jim’s question before he could even ask it. He sighed heavily. “It is possible that something slipped through in the mind meld I performed in the cave. Something more than the initial emotional transference. It had been some time since I had last engaged in a meld and my mental shields may not be as fortified as they once were. I am sorry, Jim, if I have caused any of your distress.”
Jim shook his head. “This wasn’t your fault. It was already happening. For whatever reason." He met Spock's eyes, looking into them as if they were the only place left in the galaxy to look. "It’s like...I knew you were coming." He held Spock's gaze for a few moments more before closing his eyes and shaking his head as he looked away, chuckling lightly. "This sounds ridiculous. I'm sorry, I probably shouldn't have come here."
"On the contrary, I think this is the only place you could have come." Spock's small smile was kind, comforting. The kind of smile people didn't usually aim at Jim Kirk, and any thought he had of just upping and leaving right now instantly disappeared.
"There was actually a flash of something in the meld. Not an image, just a...feeling. A good one but…not familiar. And...and it…" Jim hesitated, but Spock inclined his head, brow arched just slightly, as if the end of this sentence was the final line of a book that couldn't be left unwritten.
"...It felt like you took my hand.”
There was something in Spock’s expression that Jim couldn’t read. Expressions would be more accurate: sadness, confusion, a wistful smile. Jim wondered if he even saw a glimmer of hope on his face. But they were all just glimpses, micro-expressions even on the face of this older Vulcan who was more emotive and readable than his younger self.
Jim decided to ask the question that had been on his mind during so many of his sleepless nights, the one he knew he’d really come here to ask. “Were you and the other Jim Kirk...together?”
“We were. Though I would have used a different term. T’hyla .”
“What does that mean?” Jim asked, feeling like he already knew the answer.
“There is no direct translation into English but the closest description would be -“
Jim exhaled and nodded. “Wow. I mean, I guessed but...wow. “ He leaned back on the sofa, rubbing his eyes with one hand and holding his coffee cup in the other, the warmth radiating from it comforting and grounding him as he tried to make sense of everything.
“You are tired, Jim.”
“Yeah, well I haven’t been getting much sleep.”
“ It would be advisable for you to try and rest while you are on leave.”
Jim nodded in agreement, not even trying to stifle a yawn. “I’m gonna stay at the Starfleet embassy in town tonight, catch a shuttle back later tomorrow. Hopefully, we can talk more before I go?”
“I have a guest room that has never been used and is unlikely to be. You are welcome to stay here.”
“Are you sure?”
“I am. And it would give us more time to speak about the dreams.”
“Thank you.” Jim smiled and yet again he was met with the same small, comforting smile in response.
“Let me show you upstairs and I’ll make a start on dinner while you rest." Spock rose gracefully from his chair and Jim followed him, picking up his duffel bag.
“Making sure I eat properly too, you’re starting to sound like Bones. But less…"
“I was gonna say shouty but we’ll go with your diplomatic version.”
“A wise decision.”
Jim grinned and Spock opened the guest room door, showing him in.
“I’ll just get settled and come help you with dinner.”
“You are a guest, it would be customary for me to make you dinner and for you to simply consume it if is acceptable.” There was a playful smile on his lips, which was not what Jim was used to seeing on the face of a Vulcan. Although he only knew one other Vulcan.
“Was the other me prone to being customary ?”
“He was not.”
“Well, there’s an old earth saying, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. I guess that was written for me, all versions of me.” Jim’s smile was playful too and, he had to admit, almost flirtatious. “Besides, I’d like to help.” He hadn’t ‘helped’ in the kitchen since he was little and would watch his mother making meals from scratch then insist on stirring or mixing something for her. She would smile and scoop him up, letting him sit on the counter and help, even taste the food before it was ready. But those times had been few and soon stopped altogether.
Spock turned to head back downstairs as Jim walked through the door, leaving it half-open behind him. But the temptation was, to his surprise, too much and he soundlessly turned back, watching Jim for a few seconds as he dropped his duffel bag on the bed and went to to the large window, smiling at the view. The younger man stretched, rolling his shoulders and yawning again before taking a plain grey t-shirt from his bag and starting to pull off the Starfleet one he was wearing.
Only then did Spock turn around, making his way back downstairs to the kitchen.
Chapter 2: Stronger Together
Jim was floating.
The feeling was familiar, but this time he felt like he was moving faster. Moving toward the blue and yellow instead of it overwhelming him. He reached out and touched the gently undulating colours, right at the centre where they met. The reaction was instant. The blue and yellow-gold intensified and a familiar feeling washed over him, pulsated through him from his very core. The same one he’d felt in the cave on Delta Vega . As if Spock had taken his hand.
He woke suddenly, blinking back the colours once again and breathing hard. Moments later a robed figure appeared in the doorway.
As the older man stepped into the moonlight that streamed in through the blinds, Jim could see the concern on his face.
“You had a dream too.”
Spock nodded. “It would appear that our close proximity to each other has enhanced whatever is happening, therefore intensifying the dreams."
Jim sighed, turning on the bedside lamp then rubbing his eyes with his palms as he scooted to sit on the edge of the bed. He patted the space next to him, looking to Spock who hesitated a moment before walking over and sitting down, feeling very aware of his robed body next to Jim’s shirtless one.
“It’s ok that you don’t have all the answers.”
“That is why you came here. And I have a responsibility to you.”
Jim shook his head. “You’re not my first officer. In this timeline you’re my friend.”
Spock’s expression softened and he nodded slowly, pausing before he spoke again. “I have some things I could work on in my study, it is a little farther away than my bedroom is so you should be able to sleep better.” He rose from the bed but Jim reached out for him.
Spock looked down at the strong hand holding onto his arm, how young it looked, yet how familiar its touch was.
“I don’t think I could sleep now, can we just….I don’t know...sit? We don’t have to talk.” The way Jim looked up at him, hopeful, desperate even, Spock couldn't say no. And he didn’t want to.
And so they sat on the long sofa in Spock’s living room. They sipped tea and didn’t talk. Spock made more tea and they spoke. About Starfleet, and how Jim’s eyes were blue here and how Chekov looked too young in any universe. Until Jim fell asleep and Spock couldn’t help but notice how his eyelashes fluttered slightly as he slept, the way his Jim’s used to.
Until the sun came up and Spock sighed softly at the sight of another sunrise casting its glow across Jim Kirk’s face. A sight he’d resigned himself to never seeing again, except in his memories.
Chapter 3: By His Side
Jim yawned and stretched, blinking into the sunlit living room. It took him a moment to remember where he was but he smiled as the memory of last night came back to him. The delicious scent of pancakes coming from the kitchen did nothing to dampen his mood. Still smiling, he padded in barefoot to find Spock clearing some clean dishes away. He’d left a stack of pancakes on a warming rack for Jim.
“You slept well?”
“Very. Better than I have in a while actually.”
“I’m glad to hear it.”
“What about you?"
Spock paused as he closed a cupboard. "Would you like some pancakes?"
"Deflection? That's a very human trait, Ambassador, maybe a little bit of me rubbed off on you in that meld as well." Jim grinned as he picked up his stack of pancakes and took a bite.
The small upturn in Spock’s lips made Jim grin even more.
“Did you get any sleep or were you watching over me or something?” His tone was teasing but Spock didn’t answer, merely busied himself with pouring Jim a cup of coffee.
“Oh my God, you were. Alright, that's it." Jim put his plate down and took Spock's hands.
"Come on, you need some proper sleep, a nap even."
“You think me so old I require a nap to get through the day?” Spock asked, clearly amused as Jim led him upstairs and to his bedroom door.
“Spock, even I take naps. I’d take more if I wasn’t the captain of a Starship."
“Now it is you that’s beginning to behave like our mutual friend Dr McCoy.”
“Well, hopefully there’s a hypo that can fix that.” Jim opened the door and practically scooted him inside. “And don’t you dare tell him.” He said with a wink.
Spock found him downstairs about three hours later, on the balcony that led from the living room, reclining in a chair and checking how the Enterprise repairs were going via his PADD.
“Feeling better?” Jim looked up as he approached and greeted him with a smile that made Spock’s heart soar and break simultaneously.
“I am rested. Thank you.” Spock sat in the upright wooden chair next to him.
“No problem. We all need someone around sometimes reminding us to look after ourselves a little better."
“For you that person is Dr McCoy?"
"If you call that giving me surprise hypo shots and scanning me for problems every two seconds then yes.”
“And my younger counterpart?”
“He’s starting to be, yeah.”
“As it should be.”
“You’re both very different though.”
Spock nodded solemnly. “His hair is somewhat darker than mine.”
Jim laughed, his head moving back against the recliner. “Oh, Vulcan humour, that’s definitely different. He hasn’t quite grasped that concept yet.” He sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the recliner, facing Spock and resting his head on his hand. “Besides, grey hair suits you.”
Spock arched an eyebrow and Jim mirrored his expression.
“Are compliments contrary to Vulcan etiquette?”
“No, but I have not received one in quite some time.”
“Well, I’m glad I could remedy that.”
Spock recognised the way his mouth was curved into a sultry smile, he'd seen it looking back at him many times before. He would control the longing that it brought out in him though, decades-old and yet so fresh. He had to if they were ever to figure out how to stop the dreams so that Jim could return to his life as a Captain and have the vital friendship, if nothing more in this universe, with the younger Spock.
Jim looked away, as if his own thoughts had led him to realise what he was doing and why he shouldn't be. He stood up, walked to the edge of the balcony and looked out at the arid but beautiful landscape that was New Vulcan.
“The last shuttle leaves in an hour,” he said quietly.
“You are welcome to stay a little longer.”
Turning to look at him, Jim’s expression was a subtle mixture of surprise and relief. “You sure I'm not getting in your way?"
“James T Kirk could never get in my way.”
“Oh, we're back on that now?”
“I reserve the right to call you that at my discretion.”
“Then I’ll start calling you ambassador. At my discretion. ”
“I am comfortable with that title.”
“I’ll bet you are.”
The sultry smile was back, as if Jim couldn't quite help himself, and Spock knew he was looking back at him the same way he had years ago, countless times, responding to his captain's flirtation. But as exhilarating as it was to have a young Jim Kirk look at him that way again after all these years, Spock knew he couldn’t let this continue.
“Would you like to take a walk? In my experience, a Starfleet Captain doesn’t enjoy being cooped up inside unless he is on his ship.”
“You gonna be my tour guide?”
“If you wish.”
“I do.” Jim outstretched his hand, offering it to Spock who hesitated before he took it, allowing Jim to pull him up so they were standing face to face, so close that if either of them moved just an inch or so closer their lips would have met.
“Lead the way, Ambassador .”
"I should call Bones when we get back, I told him I'd probably be back today."
“Does he know you are here?”
Before Spock could say anything else, Jim gestured to a small group of Vulcan children nearby, staring up into a tree looking, what Jim assumed to be, the Vulcan version of upset. “Wonder what’s going on over there?”
All he got was a grin in response before Jim walked over to the children.
“Hey,” He said, smiling down at them. “Is something wrong?”
Jim looked up into the thick leaves of the tree to where they were pointing and saw a small animal that to Jim looked like some kind of vampire teddy bear.
"I'll get him down.”
“Jim, that is a Sehlat, they have been known to bite.”
"Then I'll be extra careful.” Jim winked in Spock’s direction and headed for the trunk of the tree. He climbed up without difficulty but picking up the alarmed Sehlat without getting bitten proved to be significantly more difficult. 'Why can't Vulcan kids just play with Tribbles or something?' he thought to himself as he somehow held the creature at arms length in one hand, gingerly climbing back down using his legs and free arm. He landed on the ground on both feet with a soft thud, then handed the Selhat to one of the children as they all politely thanked him.
"What?" Jim asked as he patted down his clothes to get rid of the leaves and bits of bark that had attached themselves to him.
"Ever the knight in shining armour."
Jim chuckled, moving to stand in front of Spock. “I couldn’t just leave a defenceless animal and distressed kids. Besides, I’m wearing this,” he tapped the Starfleet badge on his t-shirt. “It’s literally my duty to help.”
“I believe the earth equivalent of what you just did would be rescuing a cat from a tree.”
Jim burst into laughter and the children looked up from their pet, surprised to hear the noise.
“I guess they’re not used to hearing someone laugh,” he said in a hushed tone. “Especially a human.”
“Or an elder Vulcan showing amusement at such a sound.”
“You’re quite the rebel,” Jim said teasingly as they walked on, past more houses similarly built to Spock's but smaller.
“I have spent much time in the presence of species other than my own. Especially humans. The way I balance my Vulcan and human sides, my emotions and feelings, has evolved over the decades.”
Jim nodded. "Seems like a natural progression. But how does that go down when you're around younger Vulcans or any who haven't travelled and mixed as much as you have?"
"I am mindful to keep certain...idiosyncrasies to a minimum. Although…
I admit to finding an inexplicable thrill in raising eyebrows, here and there.”
"I knew you were a rebel.
And now you have me staying with you. People will talk."
“I believe they already are.”
Jim followed his gaze and saw that they were indeed garnering some subtle attention from people passing them. “Then we should give them something to really talk about.”
Spock’s brow rose once again. “And what do you suggest?”
Jim took a step closer to him, so that their shoulders touched and their hands would have too had Spock not been holding his clasped together in front of him.
"I can't believe I'm in a situation where standing a few inches closer to someone is practically scandalous."
“I imagine it is quite different from the way you're used to interacting.”
"Was that your way of asking me about my love life, Ambassador ?"
Spock almost chuckled and Jim gave him a bemused grin.
"Why do I get the feeling you’re enjoying a private joke that I'm not in on?”
"I was reminded once again of the similarities between you and the Jim Kirk I knew. He could also be an incorrigible flirt."
" I'm not flirting."
"I would never imply that you were," Spock said with another almost imperceptible, sly smile which prompted a smirk from Jim.
"But some people are naturally flirtatious and you seem to share that trait with the Jim of my universe."
"What would you have said if I had been flirting, ambassador ?” Jim moved swiftly to stand in front of him, blocking his path. Spock's surprise was momentary before he drew himself up to his full height, looking Jim in the eyes. The younger man's confident smile faltered, just a little, as Spock’s eyes locked onto his so intently.
“Jim please, not in front of the Vulcans.”
Jim’s bemused grin returned. “Another joke I’m not in on?”
“And yet one that you are very much a part of.”
“Ok, I’m definitely gonna need the backstory on that later.”
He still didn’t move and Spock tilted his head inquiringly at him.
"You were worried about me earlier. With the Sehlat.”
“I would be remiss if I did not warn you of the danger."
“You’re not my first officer, remember.”
“And yet, old habits are hard to shake.”
“I suppose they must be."
Jim finally moved aside and they carried on walking. "I wonder what other old habits will come back to you while I'm here."
I did some Sehlat research before writing this chapter (yes really) and apparently they don't like to climb. Soooo...for the purposes of this fic, this one mustve been chasing something and got stuck. Or he's a matchmaker and just had to get these 2 together...
Chapter 5: Paging Dr McCoy
Jim uses Spock's home office to finally call Bones.
“Where are you?!”
“I’m….actually with Spock,"
“No, I’m with Spock." Bones moved slightly so that Jim could see Spock and Uhura in the distance behind him.
“Not that one, the Ambassador."
"Are you….? On New Vulcan?!"
"Yeah." Jim shrugged. "Told you I had somewhere to be."
"But why New Vulcan of all places? What could you possibly need to to be doing on that glorified volcano of a planet?! With a man you barely know!?”
Bones looked as if the vein in his forehead was about to burst, and Jim took that as his cue to say goodbye.
“Look, I’ll explain everything soon. Talk to you later, I've gotta go, dinner’s nearly ready.”
The viewscreen went blank and an exasperated Bones turned back to a surprised looking Uhura and Spock, whose eyebrow was arched perhaps higher than Bones had ever seen it.
“Don’t say it,” he pointed a warning finger in Spock’s direction. “Don’t you even say-“
“ Fascinating .”
“So he went to hug you and you said, ‘not in front of the Klingons?’ ” Jim was laughing as he helped Spock put their plates into the dishwasher after dinner.
“ That’s a mood ruiner.”
“I was merely trying to keep up an air of dignity and professionalism. "
“Or…. you thought he might be going in for something more than just a hug.”
“He was very happy to see me and to be alive, so yes, the thought crossed my mind.”
Jim chuckled and once again he saw the hint of a wry smile on Spock’s face.
For the next couple of minutes the only sounds in the kitchen were the light clinking of plates and cutlery, until Spock spoke again into the comfortable silence.
“I have given some thought to what you said. That perhaps somehow you knew I was coming.”
“That’s impossible and I shouldn’t have said anything. My first officer would call it highly illogical.”
“I...am not so sure.”
Jim looked at him. “Wait, what?”
“As far as I am aware, no research has ever been done into how far reaching a bond between bond mates can actually be. And obviously no scientific study could have been conducted on the circumstances I have found myself in, because there is no record of it happening before.”
“So you’re saying….I could be right? You think it’s actually possible?” Jim shook his head slightly in disbelief as he leaned against the counter.
“As illogical as it may at first have sounded, I believe it may be the most logical explanation in this case.”
"So...what do we do now?"
“That, I am not sure of." Spock thought for a moment before going on, knowing how Jim was likely to react to what he was about to suggest. “A hypo of Lexorin could treat it.”
Jim’s brow furrowed.
“In the absence of a solution and in order for some semblance of balance to be restored, a hypo of Lexorin would put an end to what is happening to you.”
“I’m not sick, Spock.”
“These…” Spock sighed, “...emotions are meant for another. Or...at the very least they are not meant for me.”
“And what about your emotions? Hmm? What about you? Are you gonna just take a hypo too? Because I don’t think there’s any cure for what’s happening here.” He took a step closer to Spock, looking him the eyes. “And I don’t believe you do either. Not really. Not deep down.” One step nearer brought them as close as they’d stood earlier that day when he’d blocked Spock’s path. “In the cave it felt like...merging. Not just up here,” Jim lightly touched the side of his head. “But in here.” He took Spock’s hand gently, bringing it to his chest and placing it over his heart.
“May I?” Jim moved his hand towards Spock’s abdomen but the older man moved back as Jim had done on Delta Vega when he'd approached him to meld. He stopped just as Spock had and waited for permission.
“You’re surprised I know where your heart is?” His smile was soft, hoping that would encourage Spock to let him in. “I do pay some attention to what Bones says when he’s going on about medical stuff and anatomy you know.”
Spock moved closer again, allowing Jim to put his hand over his heart.
Spock arched an eyebrow inquiringly.
“Your heartbeat, it’s different. To his.”
“You have felt his heartbeat?” Spock almost whispered.
Jim’s smile turned from soft to wry. “Yeah, when he was beating my ass after your ‘expert advice’. Our bodies touched, I couldn’t help but notice. It was racing like a hyperdrive.”
This Spock’s heartbeat, right now, was slow and steady, compared to his own.
But not as slow and steady as it should be for a Vulcan, even Jim knew that. He knew Spock was feeling something, even if his face barely showed it.
“Now you sound like him.”
“And you would be wise to listen to us both.”
“I can think for myself. With my heart and my head. That’s wisdom to me.”
Yet again, Spock marvelled at how very much like his Jim the young man that stood before him was.
“I figured out what that feeling was, in the meld. The good one.” Jim went on in a quieter voice, not looking up. “It was only unfamiliar because I haven’t felt it before, not like that. For my mom yeah, for Bones even but….not like that.” He finally looked up, meeting Spock’s eyes. “Not like this. And that scares the crap outta me but what scares me more is the thought of it stopping.”
Spock saw the desperation again in those beautiful blue eyes. He nodded slowly, acknowledging that he understood the gravity of Jim’s words.
“I...feel the need to meditate tonight, to consider all that we are experiencing.”
“Ok.” Jim nodded, “I understand.” His smile was small but hopeful as he finally and slowly moved his hand from Spock’s beating heart as Spock lowered his own from Jim’s. “Goodnight, ambassador.”
Spock wanted to move as he walked away. To reach out. To touch him . But he stayed rooted to the spot, resolutely in his kitchen as James T. Kirk once again disappeared.
for anyone interested in more on the Lexorin reference:
Fandom Wiki Lexorin
"Lexorin was a drug utilized during the late 23rd century.
It was able to alleviate symptoms of malaise and/or multiple personality disorder in those who experienced a Vulcan mind meld."
Chapter 7: Lullaby
So, I feel like I'm better at writing dialogue than descriptive narrative annnnndd this isn't a dialogue heavy chapter, lol. But I hope you guys enjoy it, thanks for all the kudos and comments so far! :)
Edit: please marvel at the gorgeous fanart sciencebluefeelings created based on this chapter, which I've now included right at the top.
It's perfect and I'm honoured.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jim was floating again. No , he realised. This time he was walking. The familiar colours swirled around him as his legs carried him from his bed down the dark hallway.
But by the time he reached Spock’s bedroom he was wide awake. He could turn back now. But he didn’t want to.
The door was already open and Spock was at the end of his bed as if on his way to meet Jim halfway. He blinked as if he too was waking up, as Jim strode across the room and stood in front of him with parted lips and shallow breaths. He pulled his tank top off over his head as Spock looked up at him, taking in every centimetre of skin illuminated in the moonlight, from Jim’s collarbone, down to his chest and taut stomach.
He closed his eyes for a moment, as if willing himself not to do something, or perhaps the opposite. With eyes wide open again he reached up and pulled on the waistband of Jim’s sweatpants slowly, bringing them down over his hardening cock, revealing more and more skin and muscle as he went until Jim stepped out of them. Spock took hold of his hips kissing across from one to the other before turning him around, kissing across the curve of his lower back, moving slowly down, leaving more kisses and soft bites across his cheeks as Jim stroked himself, lost in pleasure. By the time Spock turned him back around, Jim felt like he was aflame, he wasted no time in pushing Spock down onto the bed, pausing to look at his face, look into those greyish eyes, before he kissed him. Finally . Wantonly . Like this man was the first and last person he would ever kiss. Spock leaned up returning the kiss, deepening it , grasping the back of Jim’s head, pulling him down closer as Jim pulled at his robes, desperate to feel Spock's body on his own. His skin was like velvet. Jim straddled him, moving up onto his knees, ready, so ready, for Spock to take him and give him what he needed.
But he heard Spock’s voice, “Not yet, T'hy'la”. Although Jim was sure he hadn’t actually spoken. He relaxed back onto Spock’s legs as the older man reached behind him, soft hands caressing his cheeks. Jim hummed softly, biting his lip when he felt Spock circling his hole with one strong finger, teasing him open. The sound of Jim Kirk moaning softly above him was one that Spock hadn’t heard in so long he’d almost forgotten how beautiful it was. Jim reached for Spock’s free hand, taking his fingers into his mouth, sucking on them slowly, achingly slowly , as Spock’s hitched breath resounded in his ears. His soft moans now reverberated along Spock’s slender digits bringing the Vulcan close to oblivion as he gently pushed two fingers of his other hand deep inside Jim. That tight warmth and the wet heat of Jim’s mouth made his body sing with pleasure.
Jim started to stroke himself again as Spock’s agile fingers worked him, his orgasm gradually beginning to wash over him, slower and more intense than any he’d ever experienced. Wave after wave of bliss hitting every atom of his being until Spock felt the heat of him spilling onto his body. Familiar. Searing. And sublime.
Spock came only moments later, Jim’s lust scorching his skin had broken the levy and he let go, murmuring Jim’s name like a mantra. His fingers slipped from Jim’s slack-jawed mouth, the younger man looking down at him with a small exhausted smile before dropping by his side on the bed. As their shallow breaths pierced the silence of the New Vulcan night, Jim moved closer, laying his hand once again on Spock’s abdomen.
Spock tentatively put a hand over his as Jim fell asleep to the lullaby of his heartbeat
Yeah...the slow burn is over ;)
Chapter 8: Old, New, Borrowed, Blue
Ok, guys, I've made a bold move in the chapter.
I had an idea...so I've put in a Vulcan anatomy reference that I personally haven't come across before in fics or fanart etc (though in all these decades something like it must've been done by now) and it's...well, unusual. but hopefully hot too lol. Hoping, I haven't invented a new trope because that's way too much responsibility especially if it's too unusual and no one likes it ;)
Anyways, ummm enjoy!
Jim reached out for him in the night. Both men had moved in their sleep and Jim’s body instinctively missed the warmth of Spock’s.
Taking his hand, Spock pulled him up and across his body and Jim straddled him again, leaning down for one deep kiss as Spock touched between his cheeks just as he had done earlier that night. Only now though did it occur to Jim that Spock's fingers had teased and penetrated him with relative ease, and why. Because they were wet. As if Spock had coated them with a layer of lube. Which was different. Like really different , he thought to himself as he took hold of Spock for the first time. But he sure as hell wasn't complaining.
He stroked Spock slowly, getting used to the texture, the girth and length. Damn, it felt good in his hand. Though that just wasn’t enough. He rose up onto his knees and this time Spock didn’t tell him to wait, instead pulling Jim’s cheeks apart and letting the younger man guide his now rock hard cock to his entrance. Jim took just the head inside at first, moving up and down on it, getting used to the sensation and intrusion, but he couldn’t wait much longer, taking in more of Spock’s length until he was nearly sitting on his pelvis. Then he started to move. Up and down. Up and down. Rising and falling over and over, and over again. Spock tried not to thrust too hard back up into him, instead letting Jim set the pace, which was slow and hard. And Spock revelled in every second of it, watching Jim’s face contort with pleasure in the moonlight, his half-lidded eyes looking even bluer than ever.
“Spock….Spock…” Jim’s voice was breathy, each utterance of Spock’s name a low, soft gasp. He took one of Spock’s hands, kissed the centre of his palm moving up to his fingers, taking three of them into his mouth again, tasting his skin as he sucked slowly, driving the older man to the edge of euphoria for the second time that night.
Spock took hold of Jim’s cock, slick with pre-come, pumping him with a rhythm that came naturally. His hand moving with some kind of muscle memory that made Jim wonder how many times he’d touched his counterpart like this to be so good at it.
Jim made a sound. Louder than a gasp but quieter than a shout, blue eyes wide and pupils blown as he came, scorching Spock again with white-hot splashes. The older man kept pumping, the same rhythm but slower now as Jim watched him, breathless and mesmerised and still riding up and down, waiting for him to come, desperate to know what it would feel like.
When Spock did let go a few seconds later, Jim’s eyes closed, basking in the heat that now filled and overflowed from him as he heard Spock’s voice again echoing inside his head.
“ T'hy'la .”
Chapter 9: You Called Me T'hy'la
Jim's eyes opened slowly, blinking yet again into the New Vulcan sunlight. On instinct he reached across the bed but Spock wasn’t there. Assuming he’d gotten up to make breakfast or something, Jim stretched and yawned. He was sore, that was new. But he couldn’t keep the contented smile from his face as he got out of bed and picked up his clothes from the floor, dressing as he made his way downstairs.
He found Spock sat at the kitchen table with a mug of tea, a pot of freshly brewed coffee waiting for Jim in the centre of the table.
“Morning Ambassador.” Jim smiled down at him, a broad smile that lit up his face as he poured himself a cup of coffee.
“Good morning, Jim.”
Spock was looking up at him but there was something in those greyish eyes, something that even a Vulcan couldn’t hide. Something that made Jim’s heart start to sink from where it felt like it was soaring.
“There’s something wrong.”
Spock sighed, a small sigh that felt heavy on his chest, and gestured for Jim to sit. The younger man pulled out the chair next to him at the table and sat slowly, afraid of what he was about to hear. His fingertips tightened around the coffee mug, its warmth feeling anything but comforting today.
“You...you don’t regret what happened do you?”
“I should not have given in to my desires.”
Jim’s heart sank just a little bit lower. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“It would be illogical to regret that which has already taken place.”
“Well it feels great to know that logic is the only thing stopping you from wishing you hadn’t slept with me.”
“I’m usually not the one on the receiving end of this talk, the morning after. Some people might call it karma.” His smile was automatic but mirthless. Like the irony wasn’t lost on him but it hurt like hell.
“I am doing what I believe to be right. For us both.”
Jim shook his head, the mirthless smile now joined by a chuckle to match. He got up, walked across the kitchen and leant a hand on the counter, looking out of the window at another impossibly sunny day on New Vulcan.
“Meld with me again,” he said suddenly, turning around.
“I do not think that would be a good idea. It is likely to invoke further emotions and perhaps more than that.”
“Exactly! You need to know how I’m feeling because just telling you doesn’t seem to be working!” When Spock didn’t respond he went on. “I hadn’t even…” Jim stopped, his pale skin tinged just slightly pink. “...hadn’t even been with a man until last night.”
Spock looked at him from across the room. His lips parted as if he might say something but no words came out.
“And I couldn’t even tell you the last time I slept with anyone I cared about as much as I care about you. Do you have any idea what you’ve given to me and what you’re taking away?!”
“It was always my intention, as soon as I arrived here, not to interfere. My very presence has already altered events and the relationship between you and-“
“Don’t bring him into this again,” Jim said, pointing at Spock as he walked closer to the table again before sighing in frustration and dropping his hand back by his side. “You’ve made the assumption that I haven’t looked twice at him. Well I have, since he stopped being quite such a dick to me. Twice, three, and four times. But he’s with Uhura. And she’s awesome. Like truly awesome. And as much as I might be attracted to him, feel something for him, it doesn’t feel anything like this.” Jim put his fist to his heart, looking Spock in the eyes.
“That could all change in time.”
“ You’re here now . And I know you feel the same way about me.”
“Even if things do not change….there is the significant age disparity to consider.”
“You think I haven’t considered that? God, why do Vulcans think they have the monopoly on logic?” Jim shook his head and sighed, closing his eyes momentarily. He decided he was going to have to be blunt to make Spock understand just how deep his feelings ran.
“You want the truth? I never saw myself wanting to be with someone older, leave alone this much of an age gap. Was I surprised to start feeling like this? Yeah. But I do. And I can’t just turn it off. And I know you’re trying to fool yourself into thinking that you can do that but we both know that’s bullshit.”
At Jim’s use of that word, Spock was taken back to that day in the cave, when he’d had to convince him that he was indeed Spock and that they were friends. And always would be. It had been what humans might call heartbreaking to instantly know and recognise Jim Kirk with no such reciprocation. Perhaps, Spock realised, Jim was feeling that kind of heartbreak right now and he wanted more than anything to spare him that.
“Hell, I’ll use even the word I couldn’t say yesterday if you want me to! Love. I love you, ok?! Just...please don’t shut me out, Spock.”
Jim sat down next to him again, took hold of Spock’s hand, put his index and middle fingers against his, not quite sure how he knew to do this, or what it meant. But he felt it. Felt that it was right for this moment, to show Spock how much he cared. The fact that Spock hadn’t pulled away gave him hope. And the look of quiet surprise mixed with one of his almost smiles made him hope even more.
Spock felt like he was thirty-something years old again, denying himself affection being offered by someone who so obviously cared about him. Back then it was not simply because of his Vulcan upbringing but because his affections lay elsewhere. With Jim. Now it was Jim Kirk that he was trying to shield himself from. Or, perhaps more accurately, Spock conceded, he was trying to shield Jim from himself.
“You called me T'hy'la,” Jim said quietly.
If logic didn’t tell him better, Spock could’ve sworn that his heart skipped a beat. He remembered using that word, the way it had fallen from his lips like a prayer and how exhilarating it had felt to call Jim Kirk his T'hy'la again after all these years.
“I do not regret a single moment of what we shared. But that does not mean we should pursue this.” Spock slowly moved his fingers from Jim’s, instantly missing the contact of his skin, knowing that Jim felt the same.
“So what, do you want me out? Shall I just take the next shuttle back?”
“You are welcome to stay as long as you wish.”
“ ‘Welcome’ ? Maybe that means something different in Vulcan,” Jim’s tone was harsh, cutting, as he rose from his seat. “...because I don’t feel very welcome right now.” He made his way out of the kitchen to the bottom of the wooden slatted staircase, pulling his tank top off and dropping it on the floor. “I’m gonna take a shower. Join me if you want,” he said without turning around as he walked upstairs. “If you don’t, then I’ll get out of your hair when I’m done. You’ll never have to see me again.”
Spock watched him go, put his hand around the pendant that hung from his neck, concealed under fabric.
If this really was a second chance with the man he’d loved for so long, even a version of him that was simultaneously so different yet so identical, could he take his own advice and put logic aside to take it?
Chapter 10: My Heart Is Drenched
Aghgh feels like I've been trying to finish this chapter forever, stupid "real life" has gotten in the way of fic writing again lol. (And a *slight* distraction with a Kinktober fic or two)
Thanks again for the comments and kudos so far, I'm aiming to reply to comments I haven't managed to yet asap :)
As you might've noticed I've filled in that this is gonna be about 12 chapters long. I've had the whole story mapped out in my mind from beginning to end for a little while now, it just might take a while to get it all written down and posted but hopefully it'll be worth the wait ;)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Being an ambassador had some perks and one of those for Spock was having an actual shower in his bathroom. Jim was certainly glad of that right now. He put both hands on the tiled wall in front of him, leaning on it as the cascading water washed over his head, down his body and disappeared down the drain, taking with it every trace of last night. Every physical trace anyway.
He’d almost given up hope altogether of Spock changing his mind, the little hope that he had left, when he finally heard the bathroom door open behind him, followed by the sound of fabric dropping to the floor. Hands soon moved over his on the bathroom tiles and the sensation of familiar lips kissing his neck and across his shoulder blades brought a small, relieved smile to his face. He intertwined his fingers with Spock’s leaning his head back and turning to kiss him.
One of Spock’s hands slid up his arm, travelled down his neck and chest, stopping at the growing hardness between his legs and taking hold of it.
Jim put a hand over his and they stroked together, Spock planting soft kisses to his back and neck again. Jim could feel Spock get harder and harder against his ass and all he could think about was having all that hardness inside him again. Fucking him hard and slow. Just the way he liked it.
“Turn me around.”
He let Spock pull him around by the waist and they stood looking into each other’s eyes before Jim raised a hand, traced the lines on Spock's skin with his fingertips. “God, you’re beautiful.”
Spock closed his eyes for a moment as if he didn’t know how to respond. It had been so long since his T’hy’la had spoken to him that way.
“I mean it.” Jim took hold of his face with both hands, kissing him softly then passionately and lifting a leg, wrapping it around Spock as they moved against each other. Spock put his hand between Jim's legs, and he looked down to watch those experienced fingers again, massaging and teasing him open. He had no idea that could feel so good. Until now. Until Spock .
Suddenly he was being lifted, slammed back against the tiles. Jim was surprised by his strength, not that he didn’t know Vulcans were strong, he’d certainly been on the receiving end of Vulcan strength that day on the bridge of the Enterprise but he was surprised that it didn’t fade much with age. Surprised and incredibly turned on . He wrapped both legs around Spock, holding onto him as he pushed inside. Jim looked into his eyes, the ones that seemed to see everything that Jim knew and didn’t know about himself before leaning into him as he thrust. Jim pressed his face into Spock’s shoulder, gasping, moaning barely audibly above the sound of the shower but Spock heard it, and felt it, vibrating against his skin.
“Spock….Spock…yes…..Spock...” Jim gasped his name as if all other words had fallen from his mind, as Spock pounded him against the bathroom tiles.
Everything tingled, and his orgasm started to build, washing over him slowly like it had last night.
Spock slowed down a little, sensing that was what Jim needed. Jim’s body tightened around him, his grip clenching, lips groaning against Spock’s shoulder. And then he felt it again. Hotter than the water pouring down from the showerhead, hotter even than the unrelenting Vulcan sun. Jim’s white splashes of lust pierced his body as they had done last night. His chest. His stomach. The skin above his heart. His own orgasm flooded Jim as the younger man jerked gently against him, lost in the final throes. Spock’s legs felt like they might buckle but he held firm, losing himself in the intense pleasure as he thrust into Jim, once, and then twice more, until every drop of desire had flowed from him and his body stilled.
Jim dropped his legs from around Spock, both men standing shakily under the cascading shower, eye to eye and breathless as they steadied each other.
Spock slowly lifted his hand, placed it on Jim’s face just as he had done on Delta Vega, his fingers finding Jim’s psi points. Jim was pulled in, moving through time he hadn’t spent and space he hadn’t explored. And then he saw he saw him. A younger Spock, smiling at someone Jim barely recognised but instantly knew. But more, so much more, than what he could see was what he could feel . Admiration. Affection. Respect. And love . All washing over him, pulsating through the connection with Spock’s mind, almost moving him to tears again.
Spock heard Jim’s voice, faint but making its way to him, “Love….you….”
It would get louder as he became more used to melding but for now, it was more than enough. Spock heard and felt his love, loud and clear.
He gently broke the connection, wanting to ease Jim out of the meld this time. Breathless but smiling softly, Jim’s blinked to bring the room into focus, to find Spock’s face in front of him. He pulled him close and Spock embraced him, his heart beating faster next to Jim’s abdomen.
“T'hy’la,” Jim whispered with perfect pronunciation, like an echo from the past spoken with a new voice. Spock held him tighter.
When they eventually moved apart, Spock bathed him with his hands, meticulously, lovingly, every inch of skin pink from the heat of water and lust. When he was done Spock stood under the showerhead for a few moments, allowing it to cleanse him and Jim kissed his cheek leaning into him, resting his head against Spock’s.
Jim took his hand when they left the shower, tied a towel around Spock’s waist and did the same for himself before taking him by the hand again as they went through to Spock’s bedroom and sat on the bed.
“So where does this leave us?”
Spock turned his head to look at him, a small, resigned smile on his face as he moved his open hand towards Jim across the bed.
“I have been and always shall be your friend... and your T’hy’la.”
The smile he got in return as Jim took his hand was the happiest he’d seen on Jim’s face since the day he’d been made Captain, officially, at his ceremony.
“Took you long enough to realise. I thought age was supposed to bring wisdom.”
Spock smiled ruefully. “Indeed. But it sometimes brings fear…of repeating past mistakes or making new ones.”
“You don't have to be afraid. I‘m right here, we can do this together. Let me help.”
Spock’s jaw dropped just a fraction, but he was still smiling.
“What, did I say something wrong?”
“Quite the opposite.” Spock brought Jim’s hand to his lips, kissed it softly.
“Another reference I’ll need an explanation for?”
“Perhaps. But I have a diplomatic meeting to attend at the embassy very soon so I am afraid we will have delay talking further until later.”
“You’re gonna love me and leave me?” Jim teased, trailing a finger through the grey hair on Spock’s chest.
“Not for long, Ashayam. Then we can not only talk more but also engage in the other things you are thinking about.”
Spock quirked one eyebrow and Jim’s hand froze at his chest.
“How did you……?” Jim chuckled softly, a hint of a blush on his cheeks as he realised. “Touch telepathy, I’d forgotten about that. Well...” he whispered, leaning in to kiss Spock softly, letting his lips linger at Spock’s mouth as he continued, “I’ll just have to learn how to keep my naughty thoughts to myself so I can still surprise you.”
“That sounds satisfactory,” Spock replied as Jim slid into his lap, putting both arms around his shoulders.
“I’ll start by making dinner tonight. Have it waiting for you when you get home,” he said with a wink.
Spock raised an eyebrow.
“What? I can cook!”
Spock raised both eyebrows and Jim started to laugh.
“Ok, fine I’m gonna use the replicator so I don’t poison us both but that still counts.”
Spock chuckled very softly. “I shall look forward to it.”
Jim sprang from his lap and went to Spock's closet. “Alright, let’s get you ready.”
“First naps, now helping me dress?”
“This isn’t an age thing. It’s an…’I love you’ thing.”
Now he’d already said it out loud Jim found himself wanting to say it whenever possible. Whenever it felt right.
Spock arched an eyebrow and smiled, not one of his more subtle ones, an unmistakable, happy smile and Jim’s cheeks tinged just slightly pink once again. He cleared his throat, turning his attention to the handful of dark robes and tunic-like garments hanging in Spock’s closet. “So, which one of these is appropriate for today?”
Spock gestured to a dark grey tunic and Jim took it off the hanger for him.
“How do you even wear stuff like this in this heat?” He asked rhetorically, reclining on the bed as Spock removed his towel and got dressed. Lying on his side with his head propped up on his hand, Jim smiled with something that Spock recognised to his surprise as pride, making his heart skip a beat again.
“Here, let me,” Jim said, getting up and adjusting Spock’s tunic slightly, smoothing down the fabric.
“You’re not getting dressed?”
“Figured I don’t have to anymore, not now we’re officially together. I can be naked all the time. Unless you want me to put more clothes on,” Jim said innocently while smirking in an absolutely not innocent way.
“I did not say that.”
“Good.” Jim grinned as he pulled off his towel, threw it onto the bed and stood with his hands on his hips.
“Jim, in the interests of decency and as much as I am enjoying the sight before me, perhaps you should be wearing something as you see me off. In case anyone is passing by.”
Jim rolled his eyes. “Fine, I’ll go put some pants on.” He made his way out of the room, pausing at the door with a grin on his face.
“Ambassador, are you checking out my ass?”
“Vulcans cannot lie, so I will say...yes. Absolutely.”
Jim laughed as he disappeared down the hallway to the guest room.
He returned not even a minute later wearing grey sweatpants and a white tank top. “Better?”
“No. But it is more socially acceptable.” Spock said as he let Jim once again take him by the hand as they made their way downstairs.
Jim kissed him gently on the cheek at the front door and Spock closed his eyes for a moment, letting Jim’s affection wash over him.
“Have a good day at work. I love you.”
“And I love you,T’hy’la.”
FYI the title comes from a lyric in a Norah Jones song, Come Away With Me, and it just really seemed to fit this chapter :)